Elsa Gladiac Ultra - HotHardware

Elsa Gladiac Ultra

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The Elsa Gladiac Ultra
It sure is fast...but you'll pay for it!

 
By Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta - November 14, 2000
 

Quality and Installation Of The Elsa Gladiac Ultra
Let's get down to business...

When we did our usual physical quality inspections, we didn?t find anything negative to report.  We didn?t want to rip apart our new Ultra, so we?re unsure what type of interface material is used between the chipset and the heatsink / fan combo.  However, we did not experience any heat related issues throughout testing so we don?t think this is a huge issue.  As you?ll see a little later we had some good luck overclocking this board in it?s stock configuration. 

One thing everyone should notice is that although the feature set is the same as any other GeForce 2, the Ultra reference boards are quite different.

                 

Here you?ll immediately see that even compared ?side-by-side? with Elsa?s non-Ultra 64MB Gladiac (reviewed here), there are some major differences.  First, notice the size difference of the heatsink / fan combo.  The cooler on the Ultra is approximately 15-20% larger.  

Then there are the obvious heatsinks on the RAM.  With an effective stock clock speed of 460MHz., it was wise to use something to keep the chips running cool.  Everyone should remember though, that in a poorly ventilated case where heat cannot escape, heat sinks will actually warm what they?re mounted to!  If you?re planning on adding an Ultra to that rig of yours make sure you?ve got good ventilation! 

The extra components mounted to the right of the RAM are another fairly obvious difference.  These items are there to provide smooth, clean power to the very fast 4ns DDR RAM on board.  Having these extra ?power filtering? components on the board help insure stable operation at what is a relatively high clock speed.  These components also add to the overall size of the board which is evident in the above picture.  What you?re looking at in the picture on the right is a non-Ultra 64MB Elsa Gladiac sitting on top of the newer Ultra model.

Because we also opted for the optional Elsa Video Module, we had a little bit of extra work to do before installing our board into the test system.

                  
Before...                                                                          After...

In it's stock configuration, the Elsa Gladiac Ultra has a single analog monitor connector available.  The optional video module comes with a nut-driver to remove the front plate.  Once we had the plate removed, we connected the video module and new front plate.  With the video module installed the Elsa Gladiac Ultra is capable of video in and out.

Installation of the drivers was as easy as every other card.  Plug and Play really has come a long way :).  Just set your display adapter to "Standard VGA" and shut down your system.  Re-Boot and install the new drivers at the "New Hardware found" prompt...it's as easy as that.  Once installed, Elsa's drivers offer a good amount of "tweakabilty".  Here are some screenshots to give you an idea of what to expect...

           

There is also a system tray icon installed that gives you quick access to these options... 

The system tray icon gives you an easy to follow menu to access all of the display properties.  This isn't anything new to the video card world but anything that makes it easier to change your settings is cool in our book. 

Something overlooked as of late is 2D image quality.  We're happy to report that with it's 350MHz RAMDAC 2D image quality is excellent.  

 
FSAA, Over-clocking and Gaming Performance
 

 

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