X-Micro Impact 4 Ultra - HotHardware

X-Micro Impact 4 Ultra

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The X-Micro Impact 4 Ultra
Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

By, Jeff Bouton
January 25, 2001

Today we?ll be taking a look at yet another product from Taiwan based X-Micro.  Not long ago I had the pleasure of taking the Hulk V GeForce2 MX card for a ride around the block and as you may have already heard, I liked it!  In fact, I liked it so much that it has remained the video card of choice in my second system.  This time around, X-Micro has brought to the table their latest offering, the X-Micro Impact 4 Ultra. 

Fresh out of the box, it?s obvious that X-Micro has taken the standard approach to video card marketing and brought it to a higher level.  They haven?t spent the big bucks coming up with different designs, like a recent Leadtek card we reviewed, nor have they changed the cards color scheme from green to metallic blue.  All of these imaginative designs may or may not improve performance but they definitely translate into higher costs to the buyer.  What X-Micro has done is strictly use a standard reference design and let the cards reputation speak for itself.  It?s no secret that the GeForce 2 family of video cards are made their mark in the industry.  With first-rate performance in all versions, is it truly necessary to fix something that isn?t broken?  Apparently X-Micro feels the answer to that question is no.  By sticking with a base reference design, X-Micro has been able to remain a solid contender in the already saturated video card marketplace by offering an Ultra powered video card for a little less cash.  At the time of this review, X-Micro has not made it clear what the MSRP of this card will be.  However, X-Micro does have a history of selling their cards at extremely competitive prices.  With that said, I believe it?s safe to say that if you?re in the market for an Ultra and were thinking of buying a card from a better known company, you?d be able to pick up this baby and have some cash left over to get some other goodies.  Let?s take a look and see if this would be money well spent, shall we?


Specifications Of The X-Micro Impact 4 Ultra
It's a reference board...but do you care!

Powered by NVIDIA's latest high-end 3D graphics processor (latest 2nd generation GPU):
  • GeForce2 Ultra
  • Optimized for DDR memory
  • Optimized graphics card design and improved stability thanks to  RAM heat sinks

Chipset:

  • Nvidia GeForce2 Ultra
  • RAMDAC - 350MHz
  • Default Core Speed - 250MHz
  • Available for AGP Only
  • Supported API(s)OpenGL & Direct3D
  • DVC Support - No
  • TwinView Support - No
  • Memory Amount 64MB of 460MHZ DDR RAM
  • Bandwidth - 7.36GB/S
  • 4 dual-texturing pipelines
  • 8 texels per clock cycle
  • 31.25 million triangles mapped per second
  • 4X AGP with Fast Writes support
  • AGP 2X compatible
  • NVIDIA Shading Rasterizer
  • Most advanced 3D functions
  • Optimized support for OpenGL® (Silicon Graphics) and DirectX® 7 (Microsoft®) APIs
  • Cube environmental mapping
  • Bump mapping
  • Vertex blending
  • Projective textures
  • Texture compression
  • Lighting
  • Shading
  • Hardware Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA)
  • Hardware Transform & Lighting Engines (T&L)
  • Resolutions up to 2048x1536 in 16 million colors

TV/Video Output for playback of DVD titles or games on your television:

  • NTSC and PAL TV output in 640x480and 800x600
  • DVI-Output for high resolution display on digital monitors
  • Play DVD-Video on your PC with PowerDVD?

System Requirements:

  • Pentium® II / AMD K6® and higher or compatible
  • Available AGP slot
  • 64MB RAM
  • 10MB hard disk space (More to install games)
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
  • Microsoft Windows® 95 OSR2, Windows 98 and higher

The X-Micro Impact 4 Ultra comes with an installation manual, a CD that contains the necessary drivers for the card as well as some additional software.  One thing I must point out that is a bit of a nuisance is the grammar in the installation manual.   Although I think the novice user will be able to work with it, the manual is full of misspellings and other errors that are borderline comical. 

The following software titles are included on the drivers disk:  Power DVD 2.55, Power VCD 95, and Powerstrip 2.27.  If you are looking for a good Software DVD player, I think that Power DVD is worth a look.  Although I have the newer version 3, I can say that version 2.55 has performed exceptionally well for me.  For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Powerstrip is a third party video card utility that is choc-full of features.  In a nutshell, this utility let?s you change just about every video related setting imaginable and yes it provides an over-clocking feature too.  I was a little disappointed to see that they included Power VCD 95 though.  This may have been a good video player in its day but that was six years ago.  Oh well, I guess two out of three ain?t bad. 

Based on excellent hardware specifications and a mediocre compliment of software and documentation, I give the X-Micro Impact 4 Ultra a Specification/Features rating of 8.

Quality and Design

 

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