Over the last year or so,
has done an excellent job differentiating their NVIDIA
based video boards from their competition's.
Gainward's designers and marketing team seem to have found
a winning combination...high quality, hand-picked
components that are guaranteed to overclock, on products
that are sold at a competitive price. Lately, with
the high-end cards in their line-up, Gainward has also
started including a useful array of software and
accessories. The card we'll be looking at here, the
Gainward GeForce 4 PowerPack! Ultra 750 / XP ViVo Golden
Sample, is Gainward's current "Flagship" product, powered
by NVIDIA's GeForce 4 Ti 4600 GPU. In previous
reviews, we were very impressed by the other "Golden
Sample" cards we tested, so we were eager to get this
product in our lab. The Ultra / 750 XP shipped with
a ton of extras and should be one of the premier GeForce 4
Ti 4600's on the market. What do you say we get this
card installed and find out what she's made of?
CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN
Specifications and Features of the Gainward GF4
Integrated NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti, the most powerful
Supporting 128MB high-speed 128bit DDR RAM/SDRAM
NVIDIA nVIEW Display Technology provides flexibility
an control for using multiple displays.
Lightspeed Memory Architecture (LMA) II increases
memory bandwidth efficiency for unmatched
Accuview Antialiasing delivers unbeatable visual
quality and frames rates.
NVIDIA nfiniteFX II engine for full programmability.
Programmable Pixel product surface details never
before seen on the desktop.
Integrated hardware transform and lighting engine.
Integrated 32-bit color and 32-bit Z/Stencil Buffer.
Integrated Cube environment mapping, and true
reflective bump mapping.
Multibuffering (double, triple, quadruple) for
smooth animation and video playback.
2X/4X supporting and Execute Mode ,Easy Plug-
and-Play AUTORUN installation From CD-ROM include.
Support High-Definition Video Processor (HDVP).
Gainward's ExperTool TM utility for customized
performance enhancements and efficient desktop
Performance enhanced, accelerated software drivers
for all major operation systems and APIs.
Video-out support (NTSC/PAL) TV system. Providing
best-of-class TV-out functionality at high
Support LCD output with DVI connect, the resolution
up to 1600x1200.
XP-Feature for Video-In and Video-Out:
Gainward's award-winning XP feature, also know as
"VIVO", provides two video-in connectors and two
video-out connectors (both composite video and
s-video for PAL and NTSC) for smooth video recording
and video editing including accelerated DVD playback
with enhanced motion compensation in hardware.
EXPERTool Performance Tuning Utility:
EXPERTool is Gainward's performance tuning utility
that allows the user to easily adjust the engine
clock and memory clock of any Gainward product from
NVIDIA's recommended default settings to even higher
settings. Gainward offers the end user the choice to
either run the board in "Safe Mode Setting" or at
"Enhanced Setting" ("Golden Sample" products only,
featuring a more stable design with faster memory)
which offer enhanced real-world 3D performance for
higher resolution. Performance turning is the most
commonly used method among the ultimate power gamers
to extract the utmost performance out of a high
quality 3D graphics card.
enthusiasts have known for some time that Gainward
attempts to make their hardware stand out amongst a slew
of other similar products. With
the Ultra / 750 XP Golden Sample, they have also taken
steps to make the bundled software and accessories
overshadow anything available from their competition.
Included with the Gainward
GeForce 4 PowerPack! Ultra / 750XP TV/VIVO Golden Sample,
are a deluge of useful accompaniments. Along with the card
and user's manual, you'll find any adapter, utility or
cable needed to take advantage of the complete array of features this
card has to offer. The software bundle is comprised of
Intervideo's excellent WinDVD software DVD player, WinProducer video editing software and WinCoder encoding
software. There is also an obligatory driver CD
included, which contains a copy of Gainward's EXPERTool
performance tuning utility. Some gamers will be
happy to find a complete version of Croteam's Serious Sam
in the box as well, but we would have liked to have found a
more recently released game. Something else gamers
may find appealing are the included 3D Stereo-Shutter
glasses. These 3D glasses work with most games, and
when configured properly, produce a very realistic 3D
effect. Prolonged gaming with the glasses give me a
mild headache though, so if you're itching to try these
out, proceed with caution (and some aspirin!). There
are also two DVI-To-Analog adapters included with this
card, because it is one of the few GeForce 4 Ti's with two
Image 164 TMDS transmitters driving dual DVI-I outputs.
This configuration offers the greatest flexibility to
those looking to connect multiple CRTs or Flat-Panels to
The Ultra / 750 XP Golden
Sample also has Video-In and Video-Out capabilities, so
Gainward included an adapter that allows for the
connection of either S-Video or composite sources.
Taking things a step further, Gainward also bundles a VIA
powered IEEE-1394 PCI card and cable to appease the
growing number of digital video producers out there.
We did not test the transfer rates using the IEEE-1394
card, but we did install it into our Windows XP test
system. Windows XP actually detected the card and
installed the necessary drivers without even prompting us
for a disk...nice and easy, just the way we like it!
Setup and the Drivers