and Installation Of The Winfast
GeForce 2 MX
get to it...
inspection of the card yields some good and bad
traces and solder points were clean and
intact. The problems found certainly are not
problems with the workmanship of the
product. The quality is very high but some
rather dubious design decisions were made...
reference MX board does not require any sort of
heatsink or cooling solution because the power
requirements for the MX chipset are very low.
Low power requirements equate to low
temperatures but in an effort to insure cool
operation (and be sure provide some leeway for the
overclocking crowd) Leadtek opted to mount an
active heatsink / fan combo to their card. This in general is good news but there are some flaws in
First of all, if you look at this picture,
you'll notice that power leads for the fan are
soldered to the board.
you check out Davo?s
review of an nVidia reference board, you?ll
see that the default layout doesn?t have any fan
headers. So, instead of requiring a user to
connect the Winfast GeForce 2 MX to their power
supply, Leadtek soldered the fan leads right to
practice, solder does make for a better
connection, but this makes replacing the stock
cooler a much harder task and any tampering with
this setup will surely void your warranty. Another problem is that there was way too much thermal paste
used. Not only that but it seemed to be very
thin and oily.
We normally would applaud the use of
thermal paste over the more popular thermal epoxy
but feel Leadtek should have been a little less
"sloppy" here and used a higher quality
all fairness though, nVidia doesn't call for any
cooling at all, so Leadtek did at least take some
initiative to improve over the reference design.
at the front and back pictures of the card, you
probably also noticed the amount of real estate
that is not used on the board.
Looking at the front of the card you'll see
that almost 20% (look at the upper right) of the
board is free from any traces or connections.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing,
modifying their manufacturing process the cut down
on the size of the boards probably would have
raised the prices considerably but making the
overall size of the card smaller would make for
some improved airflow in your case, which I'm sure
overclockers would appreciate.
On the flipside, having all that space
could make for some interesting cooling solutions.
I can already see someone mounting a huge
heatsink on the RAM with a down-firing fan stuck
to the blank space with some double-sided tape.
(The first one to send me a pic of a setup
like this get's some recognition on the main
drivers that came in the box offered some nice
options, but were based of an earlier revision of
the nVidia reference drivers...
are shots of the tabs available under Display
Properties, but you'll probably want to go with
the nVidia Detonator 3's. The performance,
features and compatibility of the Detonators is
much better. Leadtek will surely release a
set of drivers based on the newer Detonators, but
for now, reference drivers it is.
and Gaming Performance