Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO - HotHardware

Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO

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Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO
A "Friendly" GeForceFX 5800 Ultra...

By - Marco Chiappetta
April 25, 2003

NVIDIA's latest flagship GPU the NV30, now known as the GeForce FX 5800, has been a long time coming.  Products based on the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra are just now starting to arrive in very limited quantities.  The first batch of products to ship to pre-order customers were all basically the same.  They were all based on the same reference board design, and they all shipped with the now infamous "FX-Flow" cooler.  Gainward was one of the first companies to show off an FX 5800 Ultra with a custom cooling solution, but their card still looked very similar to the competition's.  Leadtek however, took things a giant step further and came up with a completely redesigned cooling solution for their card.  The WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO is based on the same GeForce FX 5800 Ultra reference design, but the cooling solution is not like anything else we have seen to date.  With all of the negative press surrounding the "FX-Flow" and its extremely high noise levels, it's no wonder Leadtek wanted to replace it.  Their solution is rather unique too.  Lets take a look...

THE WINFAST A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO
       
CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW

Specifications & Features of the WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO
A Full Featured DX9 Part
WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra GPU
  • CineFX Engine
  • Intellisample Technology
  • High-Precision Graphics
  • nView Multi-display Technology
  • Digital Vibrance Control (DVC)
  • Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
  • AGP 8X
  • 0.13 Micron Process Technology
  • 400MHz RAMDACs
  • 4 Billion AA samples per second fill rate
  • 200 Million vertices/sec
  • 16GB/sec memory bandwidth
  • 1.0 GHz memory data rate
  • 8 Pixels per Clock Rendering Pipeline
  • Architected for Cg
  • Microsoft® DirectX®9.0 Optimizations and Support
  • New 64-phase Video Scaler
  • OpenGL®1.4 Optimizations and Support
  • Video Mixing Renderer (VMR)
  • 128 MB DDR2 Memory
  • On-board DVI support up to 1600x1200 resolution
  • On-board TV-out support up to 1024x768 resolution
  • Integrated Full Hardware MPEG-2 Decoder
  • Vivid NTSC/PAL TV-out support with flicker filter

Software Bundle

  • ULead Video studio SE DVD / ULead cool 3D SE
  • WinFast PVR / WinFastDVD / WinFox II
  • Cult 3D
  • Coloreal Embedded / Coloreal Visual / Coloreal Bright
  • Gun Metal
  • Big Mutha Truckers
VIVO Features:

PIP(picture in picture):

  • One for live and the other for captured program. And master video can be alternative. The slave video can be displayed with any size and anywhere.

De-interlace:

  • Make the best quality for fast-motion video. No noise and flicker on the edge of motion objects.

Capture format profile:

  • Support friendly setting for MPEG1/MPEG2/VCD/DVD video format
  • Supports MPEG1/MPEG2/MPEG4 video codec and MPEG3 audio codec configuration.
  • Supports de-interlaced function to get high quality of motion video, Bridging video to PC from VCR, camcorder, LD/VCD/DVD player

 


Over the last 10 months, we have spent quite a bit of time exploring the NV3x architecture, the Detonator 40 drivers and the product line based on these GPUs.  For more detailed information regarding these subjects, please refer to these HotHardware articles...

NV3X Architectural Overview / Detonator 40 Driver Evaluation / GeForce FX Debut / GeForce FX Showcase / GeForce FX 5200, 5200 Ultra & 5600 Ultra / GeForce FX 5200 Ultra Performance Analysis / GeForce FX Go Unveiled


    

    

When this card was first introduced, two questions immediately popped into the heads of every enthusiast who saw it:

1) Does the A300 Ultra fill only a single slot?   No, the card has only one mounting bracket, but the fans completely obstruct the first PCI slot on most mainboards.

2) Is it as loud as the "FX-Flow"?   No, it's not even close.  We did not have an FX-Flow equipped 5800 Ultra in the lab to do a side by side comparison, but we were exposed to the FX-Flow at Comdex.  The FX-Flow sounds like a hair dryer when it spins up.  Leadtek's cooling solution is much quieter.  When running in 2D, the fans spin down, and the A300 Ultra is no louder than any other high-end card, like a Radeon 9700 Pro for example.  When in 3D Mode, the fans spin up, and get noticeably louder, but they are not unbearable at all.  One fan blows air into the casing; the other sucks air out...simple enough!  We took some decibel readings with an analog sound meter from about 12 inches away, with the case open on our test system.  When idle, the whole system was registering about 59db on the sound meter.  When in 3D Mode with the fans spinning at maximum, the noise level jumped to "only" 63-64db.

         

Underneath the aluminum casing on the A300 Ultra, you'll find a substantial copper-finned cooler mounted directly over the GPU and 2ns "DDR-2 type" RAM.  There is a copper heatsink mounted to the back of the card as well.  As you may already know, the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra runs at two different speeds, 300MHz core / 600MHz memory when in 2D Mode, and 500MHz core / 1000MHz memory when running 3D applications.  Leadtek's cooling solution handled these clock speeds without a problem.  As you'll see a little later, core temperatures remained well within acceptable limits even after hours of benchmarking.

    

Included with the card we found a few accessories and a ton of software.  As the name implies, the WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO has Video-In and Video-Out capabilities.  The blue cable that ships with the A300 allows for easy access to both S-Video and Composite in and out connectors.  A power cable splitter is also included with the card, as well as a standard S-Video cable, a composite video cable and a DVI-to-DB15 adapter.  A slew of software also accompanies the A300.  In the box we found ULead Video studio SE DVD and Cool 3D SE, along with Cult3D and Coloreal Embedded, Visual and Bright.  Two full games, "Gun Metal" and "Big Mutha Truckers", were also included with the card.  Some "Leadtek" branded programs shipped with the A300 as well, WinFast PVR, WinFastDVD and WinFox II.

Next Up, Image Quality... 

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