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VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Lineup
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Date: Dec 15, 2001
Section:Graphics/Sound
Author: HH Editor
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The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Lineup - Page 1

The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Line-up
Taking Graphics to the Next Level

By - Jeff Bouton
November 1, 2001

Just in time to compete with the long awaited new Radeon's from ATI, nVidia has release their latest version of the popular GeForce GPU's named "Titanium."  By now, it is fairly obvious that when it comes to competition, nVidia doesn't like to be in second place, and with their latest offering being released in such a timely fashion, their position should be safe.  By fine tuning the existing manufacturing processes of both GeForce2 and GeForce3 GPU's, nVidia has been able to remain extremely aggressive in the graphics processor market.

One of the first manufacturers to adopt nVidia's new Titanium line is VisionTek, Inc. They have created three additions to their already popular Xtasy product line, the Xtasy 5864 GeForce2 Ti, Xtasy 6564 Geforce3 Ti200 and the Xtasy 6964 GeForce3 Ti500.  With so many video cards to cover, let's get right to it and see what VisionTek has to offer.

Specifications and Features of the VisionTek Xtasy Ti Series
Triple The Fun

Features and Benefits of Xtasy 5864?

Graphics Chipset
GeForce2 Ti
Graphics Core

250MHz, 256-bit 2D/3D GPU
Memory/Interface
64MB DDR/128-bit wide
Memory Clock
400 MHz SDR Equivalent
Memory Bandwidth
6.4 GB/sec.
Fill Rate (texels)
2B/sec.
2D/3D resolution (max)
2048 x 1536 @ 75Hz
 
  • 1 Billion Pixel/Second Rendering
  • Second Generation Integrated Transform Lighting (T&L) Engines
  • NVIDIA Shading Rasterizer (NSR)
  • High-Definition Video Processor
  • AGP 4X/2X, AGP Texturing, and Fast Writes Support
  • 32-bit Z/stencil buffer
  • Microsoft® DirectX® and OpenGL® Optimizations and Support
  • Unified Driver Support
  • Features and Benefits of Xtasy 6564?

    Graphics Chipset
    GeForce3 Ti 200
    Graphics Core
    175MHz, 256-bit 2D/3D GPU
    Memory/Interface
    64MB DDR/128-bit wide
    Memory Clock
    400 MHz SDR Equivalent
    Memory Bandwidth
    6.4 GB/sec.
    Fill Rate (texels)
    1400M/sec.
    2D/3D resolution (max)
    2048 x 1536 @ 75Hz

     
  • Shadow Buffers
  • nfiniteFX® Engine
  • Vertex & Pixel Shaders
  • Lightspeed Memory Architecture
  • High-Resolution Antialiasing (HRAA)
  • High-Definition Video
  • TV / S-Video Out
  • DirectX®8.1 Compatibility.
  • AGP 4X/2X, AGP Texturing Support
  • DirectX and OpenGL Optimizations
  • Unified Driver Support
  • Features and Benefits of Xtasy 6964?

    Graphics Chipset
    GeForce3 Ti 500
    Graphics Core
    240MHz, 256-bit 2D/3D GPU
    Memory/Interface
    64MB DDR/128-bit wide
    Memory Clock
    500 MHz SDR Equivalent
    Memory Bandwidth
    8.0 GB/sec.
    Fill Rate (texels)
    1920M/sec.
    2D/3D resolution (max)
    2048 x 1536 @ 75Hz
     
  • Shadow Buffers
  • 3D Textures
  • nfiniteFX? Engine
  • Vertex & Pixel Shaders
  • Lightspeed Memory Architecture
  • High-Resolution Antialiasing (HRAA)
  • High-Definition Video Processor
  • VGA / TV / S-Video Out / DVI-I
  • AGP 4X/2X, AGP Texturing Support
  • DirectX and OpenGL Optimizations
  • Unified Driver Support
  • A few weeks ago, the BigWop himself gave the new Titanium line from nVidia a thorough once-over, outlining the new and improved features.  I recommend clicking here if you haven't had the chance to read it.  Now we'll take a look at some of the goodies you get when you buy a VisionTek Xstay video card.

    In addition to the video card themselves, VisionTek includes two CD's within each package.  A comprehensive drivers CD is included that supports all Windows Operating systems and includes a detailed manual and installation video.  Also on the disk are numerous nVidia demos to demonstrate the power of your new video card.  Below are a few shots of the more popular ones we've seen.  These card have been out for a while now and I haven't stopped being impressed by the quality that these applications demonstrate.

    Click On The Image To Enlarge

                 

    The second CD that comes with the package is a full version copy of PowerDVD 3.  I have been using PowerDVD 3 since its release and think it is one of the better pieces of DVD software that you can buy.  This was an excellent decision by the folks at VisionTek to offer their customers a quality DVD software package.  With each of the three cards that we've sampled, DVD playback was excellent. 

    Now we'll roll up our sleeves and really go over the quality of each of the three cards...

    Quality, Setup and the Drivers 

     
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    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Lineup - Page 2

    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Line-up
    Taking Graphics to the Next Level

    By - Jeff Bouton
    November 1, 2001

    Quality of the VisionTek Ti Series
    GeForce Lovin'

    The Xtasy 5864 GeForce 2 Ti

    The first item on our list is the the Xtasy 5864 GeForce 2 Ti.  This card falls between a GeForce 2 Pro and and Ultra on the GeForce 2 evolutionary chart.  Boasting clock speeds of 250MHz. core and 400MHz. of DDR Memory, the GF2 Ti is well equipped for quality gaming and should make for an excellent entry level card.  Let us not forget that this card has TV-Out capability as well, making it an excellent value.  If a user is looking for quality gaming on a low budget, the Xtasy 5864 should do the trick.

         

    As we can see with all of their cards, the Xtasy models are all based on the standard reference design for their class.  What VisionTek has done is add a high efficiency cooling solution as well as RAM sinks, giving their cards a little extra help in keeping things cool.  Now boys and girls, we all know that these little extras can only mean one thing...these cards are built with overclocking in mind! 

    The Xtasy 6564 GeForce 3 Ti200

    The next video card in the line up is the Xtasy 6564 GeForce 3 Ti200.  The Ti200 is an mid-level GeForce 3 card designed for high-performance at an affordable price.  With a core speed of 175MHz. and 400MHz. of DDR memory, the 6564 should provide adequate horsepower to run most of today's DirectX and OpenGL intensive games.  This model comes equipped with an Analog monitor connection and TV-OUT.

         

    Essentially, the Ti200 uses the identical GPU as the Ti500, only the timings have been reduced by 65MHz. Later, we'll take a ride down overclocking lane to see how close we can get to Ti500 performance.

    The Xtasy 6964 GeForce 3 Ti500

    Saving the best for last, the final card in the line up is the Xtasy 6964 GeForce 3 Ti500.  This is the top dog in the Titanium line with a 240MHz. GPU and 500MHz. of DDR RAM.  The 6964 is the Holy Grail of the Xtasy Series with the muscle to insure a high-quality, high-performance gaming experience.

         

    Although the the Ti500 may be the priciest card in the line up, it comes equipped with the most amenities.  Like the 5864 and the 6564, the Xtasy 6964 comes with an Analog monitor connection and TV-OUT, but has added suport for digital flat-panel display capability.

    Overall, the new Xtasy line-up from VisionTek is pretty impressive with quality features, added cooling solutions and additional software, but we did find one item that was less than impressive.  Before we got going with the long line of benchmarks we had in store for these cards, we wanted to see what was underneath the heat sink to assure good heat transfer.

    What we found, unfortunately, is an ordinary thermal pad.  It would have been nice to see VisionTek continue with the qualities we've seen so far by using a decent thermal compound, whether it be paste or even a good epoxy...anything but a thermal pad!  After cleaning the GPU and heat sink, we applied some Artic Silver II Thermal Paste to the GPU and reaffixed the heat sink.  With the RAM sinks, there wasn't much of a choice in the matter and they appear to be adhered with thermal epoxy.

    Now we'll move on to the drivers to see what make everything all work in harmony...

    Installation and Drivers of the VisionTek Ti Series
    Better With Age.
     
    The one thing that really impressed me was that VisionTek actually includes drivers that are current!  It is an unusual sight when a video card that has been recently released doesn't include drivers that are several months old.  Fortunately for us, the VisionTek comes with the 21.85 Detonator 4 drivers to maximize each card's potential.  Ever since the release of the 21.81's, all GeForce 2 and GeForce 3 cards have shown significant performance gains.

             

        

    Some of the more notable changes we've seen since the release of the 21.81's is the addition of several new features.  The first feature that is most obvious is the Desktop Utilities section that allows for multiple virtual desktops, particularly useful for people like me who can have 6 different programs running at any given time.  The next less obvious feature is the "Anisotropic" setting under "OpenGL".  Anisotropic filtering is another means of filtering textures for better image quality.  The major difference is the quality of image that can be obtained with minimal drag on gaming performance.

     

    The H.H. Test Rig & DirectX 8 Benchmarks

     
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    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Lineup - Page 3

    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Line-up
    Taking Graphics to the Next Level

    By - Jeff Bouton
    November 1, 2001

    OpenGL Benchmarks with GLExcess XS Mark
    New Kid In Town

    Our next test is GLExcess XS Mark, a newcomer to the Hot Hardware labs that I stumbled across a few weeks ago and has rapidly gained popularity and respect from all of us here.  This test focus's on the four major components of graphics card performance:  Fill Rate, Polygon Count, VRAM & CPU/FPU performance.  We ran all tests at both 16 Bit and 32 Bit color...

    Let's hear it for the ol' GeForce 2!  The GF2 Ti showed a bit of spunk, passing its younger brother, the Ti200.  What is more notable is how the Radeon 7500 barely put up a fight.  The Geforce3 Ti500 and the Radeon 8500 were virtually neck-in-neck, with the Ti500 slipping slightly ahead.  Now we'll turn up the colors to 32Bit and see how the cards react to the added load...


     

    Curiously, although the Radeon 7500 was barely in the contest in the previous test, it also took the least hit in performance when the colors were increased.  What does this mean?  This is more than likely a driver issue that may be improved with future updates.  The Radeon 8500 took a more notable performance hit compared to the Ti500, virtually equaling the performance of the Ti200.

    Next on our list is Vulpine, another OpenGL attack...
     

    OpenGL Benchmarks with Vulpine
    More GL Torture

    Vulpine is another OpenGL benchmark that often graces the pages of many of our reviews.  For this round of testing we've run the utility at both 16 Bit and 32 Bit color...

    Once again, the Xtasy Titanium line outperformed the Radeon's in most resolutions.  The 8500 did, however, beat the Ti500 at its own game at 1600x1200.

    On to 32 Bit colors....

    More OpenGL with Vulpine and Quake 3

     
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    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Lineup - Page 4

    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Line-up
    Taking Graphics to the Next Level

    By - Jeff Bouton
    November 1, 2001

    OpenGL Benchmarks with Vulpine Continued...
    More GL Torture


    More Vulpine goodness...

    The one thing that we've seen here compared to the other tests is the relative uniformity when it comes to performance loss with an increase of color depth.  The resulting loss is virtually even with all of the cards.  Nevertheless, the Titanium Xtasy cards have a clear advantage over the Radeon's, period.

    Now we'll bring in the old-timer, Quake 3, and see if it still has what it takes to make a video card work for its money...
     

    OpenGL Benchmarks with Quake 3
    The End is Near!

    When it comes to OpenGL benchmarking, has there ever been a more popular utility than the Quake 3 Timedemo?  In recent years I would have to say that Quake 3 has been the most popular, but does it still apply as video card performance accelerates exponentially?  Let's take a look and see...

    Clearly, we can see that Quake 3's reign of OpenGL terror is rapidly reaching the end of its tenure.  At 16 Bit color, only the Radeon 7500 at 1600x1200 failed to break the 60FPS barrier.  Beyond that, the frame rates were more than sufficient.  Once we kicked the color depth to 32 Bit, the GeForce 2 Ti dropped slightly below 60 FPS at 1600x1200, but aside from it and the Radeon 7500, Quake 3 was quite playable at 1600x1200x32.  I wonder how long it will be before 800x600 resolution will be a thing of the past?

    For our final act, we will take the three Xtasy cards and overclock them until they scream.  Then we'll throw 3DMark 2001 at them and see how they like it... 

    Overclocking and Final Words

     
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    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Lineup - Page 5

    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Line-up
    Taking Graphics to the Next Level

    By - Jeff Bouton
    November 1, 2001 

    Overclocking with the VisionTek Titanium Series.
    Pushing Hardware to its Limits!


    For this test we've displayed both the original scores of each card when running 3DMark 2001 at 1024x768x32, followed by the overclocked scores.

    When it comes to overclocking, the Ti200 gave us the most bang for the buck.  The GPU overclocked an addition 25.7%, while the RAM increased 16.25%, yielding a 3DMark gain of 8.75%.  The GeForce 2 Ti and Ti500 models averaged respectable gains as well, ranging from 5% for the Ti500 to 7.25% for the GF2 Ti.  However, when it comes to pure power and capability to manhandle today's most demanding games, the Ti500 reigns supreme.

    Throughout our testing of the VisionTek Xtasy Ti line, the nVidia-based cards put up an impressive showing, dominating the majority of tests compared with the Radeon 7500 and 8500.  There is no guarantee that this will remain true if ATI delivers on its promise of new and improved driver updates every three weeks, but from what we've seen, the Titanium GPU is currently the graphics processor of choice.  We are interested to see how performance differences will evolve as the drivers mature.

    From what we've seen with the VisionTek line of Ti video cards, all three performed quite well, with expected difficulties at high resolutions with the GF2 Ti.  VisionTek has put together a quality package with a nice software bundle, as well as additional cooling support.  Aside from the use of a thermal pad on the cooler package, it is hard to say much of anything negative about these packages.  With a nice software bundle including unprecedented "current" drivers, the Xtasy product line has much to offer.  When it comes to rating these cards, though, it is difficult to justify a single rating.  Although the package are very similar, the cards have sufficient differences to warrant separate ratings.

    With the Xtasy 5864, I personally have a hard time encouraging someone to buy it.  With nVidia's rapid release schedule, clearly the GeForce2 line will be a thing of the past fairly soon.  If you are someone on a very limited budget, you may want to consider the purchase, but I would recommend mustering up the extra cash for a Ti200 if at all possible.  I give the Xtasy 5964 GeForce2 Ti a Hot Hardware Meter Rating of a...

    With the Xtasy 6564 Ti200 and 6964 Ti500, both cards demonstrated excellent benchmark performance as well as physical quality.  The Ti200 and Ti500 both exhibited superb benchmark numbers as well as overclocking potential.  The Ti200 proved to be an excellent all around card for the money with the most overclocking gains achieved out of all three models.  If you are on a budget and want a reasonably priced GeForce3 video card, the Ti200 is a no-brainer.  However, if you have the money to go high-end, I recommend picking up a Ti500.  For both the Xtasy 6564 Ti200 and 6964 Ti500, I give a HotHardware Meter Rating of a..

     

    Get in on it at the HotHardware Conference Room!  We're looking for some Fresh Meat!
     

      To HotHardware!

     
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    The VisionTek XTasy Titanium Series Lineup - Page 6
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