Gigabyte GAGF2000 - HotHardware

Gigabyte GAGF2000

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The GA-GF2000 GF256 GTS 32MB DDR
Super stable and Super Fast, Gigabyte Does it right...

By Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta
8/21/00

 

Quality and Installation Of The GA-GF2000
That's good business...

My usual ritual of doing a thorough physical examination of every product I review, yielded some nice findings.  The GA-GF2000 may be based on the nVidia reference design but Gigabyte made a few modifications that we were happy to see. 

The first thing I noticed about this board made me EXTREMELY happy.  We'd say about 95% of high-end video cards released today have an active cooling system (heatsink / fan combo) mounted to them.  Of that 95%, most have them are held in place by thermal epoxy.  This may be the easiest way to manufacture the boards but short of using nothing, it is the least efficient interface material other other than thermal tape.  Believe me, you don't want to get me started on thermal tape!  Many companies use so much thermal epoxy that it actually hinders heat dissipation but not Gigabyte.  At least not on the GA-GF2000! Close inspection of the heatsink / fan combo revealed that Gigabyte used thermal grease as the interface material.  This sounds like something simple but it makes a WORLD of difference.  Many early Voodoo3 adopters, who saw as high as a 15-20MHz. difference in overclockabilty by simply replacing the included thermal tape with thermal paste, will vouch for me on this one.

Second, the fan?s power connection uses a very common 2-pin power plug instead of a hard to find proprietary one.  Take a look?

Overclockers that like to mount large coolers on their board will be able to connect their custom fan very easily and without cutting off the included connector and splicing it.  Again, this may not sound like a big deal but being able to restore you card back to it?s original configuration after heavy modification is a big plus.

Another and the most obvious thing to notice about this card, is the cool blue PCB.  This means absolutely nothing in terms of performance but because it's different than the others, it's worth mentioning.  I'm sure there are a few of you out there that would buy this card just for this reason :).

The installation of this card went off without a hitch.   Having done so many video card installs in my brief but busy lifetime, it?s almost becoming like second nature to me.  When you do it right the first time, there usually isn?t much to report. 

When this review began, we initially began testing with the Detonator 5.32 drivers, which yielded some nice results.  Then nVidia had to go and throw a wrench in the works by releasing the Detonator 3's!  With the boost in performance we saw by installing the Detonator 3?s, we simply had to re-run many of the benchmarks and show you what this card could really do.

Before we go into what kind of numbers this card was putting up, let's see what kind of visual quality it's capable of, shall we?  Anti-Aliasing has been a major topic as of late when discussing 3D video cards and for good reason.  The positive impact Anti-Aliasing has on the perceived image quality is very profound.  To give you an idea, here is a screenshot from Quake 3 with 2x2 anti-aliasing enabled.  We chose this shot because of the curves and steps that are visible.  


Click the image to enlarge (1024x768x32 screenshot)

The full image is a rather large, barely compressed JPEG.  So, those of you still working with a dial-up connection, be patient.  Notice that the curves appear far less jagged.  Also notice the steps.  Without AA enabled, the steps would appear very jagged and have terrible pixel popping at the seems, as your point of view changed.  Enabling AA virtually eliminated the pixel popping and smoothes out the "jaggies" immensely.

By now, I'm sure you're all wondering what this baby can do.  Let's find out...

Overclocking and Gaming Performance

 

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