Gainward's Titanium Series Lineup - HotHardware

Gainward's Titanium Series Lineup

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The Gainward Titanium Series Line-up
Pure Performance

By - Marco Chiappetta
January 3, 2002

When all three of the Gainward Titanium cards arrived in the lab, we gave them thorough physical inspections before installing them into our test system and running any benchmarks.

Quality of the Gainward Titanium Series
Lot's of NVIDIA hardware!

The GeForce 2 Ti/500 XP ViVo Golden Sample


 


 

Physically, all of the cards appeared to be similar.  The most obvious common "feature" was the bright red PCB.  No plane-Jane green cards here!  When I initially saw these cards, my first thought was, "Wow! These babies would "mesh" well with the MSI K7T266 Pro 2RU." Couple one of these cards with that MSI board, some red, rounded IDE cables and you'll have one seriously red system! :)
 

An the bottom of the GeForce 2 Ti / 500's external plate, you'll find a standard DB15 analog VGA out connector, and the Video-in and Out connector.  The card is cooled with an excellent, round, aluminum heatsink / fan combo that is attached to the board with two plastic spring clips.  The cooler looks similar to the ThermalTake "Orb" series of coolers, but is slightly smaller, and won't cost you a PCI slot.  The eight 4ns DDR RAM chips, totaling 64MB were cooled with four passive heatsinks.  Gainward's cooling efforts paid off, as you'll see later we had good luck overclocking these cards.

The GeForce 3 Ti/450 PowerPack Golden Sample


 


 

Physically, the Gainward GeForce 3 Ti / 450 looks similar to the GF2 model, and just like the Ti / 550 with one exception.  All of the boards have the red PCB in common.
 

The external plate also houses a standard DB15 analog monitor connector, and an S-Video-out connector, but on the GeForce 3 Ti / 450 they are located at the top of the plate.  The card is cooled with the exact same heatsink / fan combo, and RAM heatsinks as the other two boards.  Underneath those RAM heatsinks, you'll find 64MB of 5ns DDR SDRAM on the Ti / 450.

The GeForce 3 Ti/550 PowerPack


 


 

No, you are not experiencing Deja Vu, all three of the Gainward Titaniums we are reviewing just look very similar!
 

The Gainward GeForce 3 Ti / 550 is the only card we received that came equipped with a DVI digital monitor output connector, along with the standard analog and S-Video out connectors.  Again the same cooling scheme was used for the GPU and RAM, but populating the Ti / 550 is 64MB of 3.8NS DDR RAM.  Something we're pleased to report is that all three of these Gainward boards used thermal paste and the T.I.M. between the cooler and GPU.

There was one small chink in the armor though.  The cooler on our Ti / 550 arrived with one of the spring clips disloged.  Once we pushed the clip back down, it was fine though.  If we had not noticed this our card could have overheated.

Installation and Drivers of the Gainward Titanium Series
Anyone can do this...
 
We did not have any problems installing any of the Gainward Titanium cards.  We inserted the cards, booted up the machine and let the driver CD autorun.  One re-boot later and we were up and running.  Gainward included the older v21.81 NVIDIA reference drivers on the CD with all of their Ti cards, but as of today they have v22.50s are available for download on their site.  We won't bore you with any driver shots, I'm sure by now you've all seen what NVIDIA's drivers look like!

What we will show you is Gainward's ExperTool.  This useful utility gives users easy access to all of the driver control panels with a click of an icon in your system tray...
 

 

 

From within this utility, is also where you ca select the "Enhanced" performance mode which essentially overclocks the cards to the advertised speeds.

The Test Rig, Some Screens & DirectX 8 Benchmarks

 

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