who remotely follows the PC hardware scene has no
doubt become familiar with nVidia and their very
aggressive product cycles.
Ever since the Riva 128 was released,
nVidia has consistently and quickly released a new
product every 6 - 8 months, that is faster and
more feature rich than it's predecessor.
Not all of these releases are for
completely new products though.
Some of these products are referred to as a
"refresh" release. Take the TNT2
Ultra for example.
The TNT2 Ultra did not offer any new
features over the standard TNT2. It was
simply a TNT2 with a higher clock speed.
The Elsa Gladiac Ultra that we are looking
at here today is equipped with nVidia's latest
chipset, the GeForce 2 GTS Ultra.
Like the TNT2 Ultra, the GeForce 2 Ultra
offers all of the same features as it's older
brother the standard GeForce 2 GTS. However,
thanks to a refined process at their fabrication
partner TSMC, it has a significantly higher clock
has not had any trouble finding OEMs to produce
cards using all of these new chips.
One of their loyal supporters has always
been Elsa. Elsa
as a company is much better known throughout
Europe than they are here in the United States.
Although Elsa has not modified nVidia's
reference design with any of their products, they
have consistently produced fast, stable boards and
get them on store shelves very quickly.
This excellent execution has garnered Elsa
some praise as of late and they are gaining market
share on this side of the Atlantic.
Their execution and loyalty did not go
unnoticed to nVidia. On
July 26, 2000 it was announced that Elsa and
nVidia would also form a strategic partnership
in hopes of becoming a more dominant force in the
we know that nVidia is capable of making one heck
of a 3D chipset and that Elsa sure likes
implementing nVidia's parts. Let's find out
what the Elsa Gladiac Ultra is made of!
Of The Elsa Gladiac Ultra
New Reference board to get used to
GeForce2 GTS Ultra GPU
Core Clock speed
4NS DDR memory
(460MHz Effective) Memory Clock speed
4X with Fast Writes
color ARGB with destination alpha
environment mapping and Anisotropic
Direct3D and OpenGL acceleration
DirectX 7 support
support for DirectDraw
color space conversion (YUV 4:2:2 and
horizontal by 3-tap vertical filtering
upscaling and downscaling
video windows with hardware color space
conversion and filtering
sub-picture alpha blended compositing
acceleration for DirectShow, MPEG-1,
Cycle: 350 MHz
64MB DDR RAM
Systems: AGP 2x/4x (including fast
writes and execute mode) or PCI
DPMS, DDC2B, Plug & Play
VESA BIOS 3.0 supportHorizontal SYNC
Signals: 31.5Hz - 108.5Hz
Refresh Rate: 60Hz - 200Hz
and Play installation
GLADIAC ULTRA gaming accelerator card
CD-ROM with on-line users manual
3D Revelator Glasses
drivers for Windows® 98, Windows® 95,
Windows® 2000, Windows® NT 4.0,
Windows® Millennium Edition, and Linux
utilities including ELSA WINman Suite
and ELSA 3D Settings
ELSA GLADIAC ULTRA is backed by a 6-year
registration at www.elsa.com/america
support - toll free 5 days a week at
you?ve been comparing the specification list of
other GeForce 2 Ultras, I?m sure you?ve
noticed that they are all very similar.
There are some rumors floating around the
net that we hardware review sites received ?juiced?
reference boards from nVidia with 4ns RAM running
at 500MHz. The
rumors also stated that many Ultras would ship
with 4.5ns RAM.
Well, let us assure you that the Elsa
Gladiac Ultra is guaranteed to ship with 4ns
RAM. It is printed prominently on their box.
It's under there
unsure what speed RAM will be shipping on
competing products. Perhaps Elsa and nVidia?s
special relationship made access to the premium
RAM easier for Elsa.
We?ll let you know as we find out
are also a few ?goodies? that either ship or
are optional with the Gladiac Ultra.
The card ships standard with a decent
software bundle, a $75 US set of wireless 3D
there is an optional video in / out module
available for $39 US.
We opted to get the whole package for
review. If you?ve got the cash for a major
purchase like the Gladiac Ultra, we assume you?d
want the works!