and Installation Of The GA-GF2000
usual ritual of doing a thorough physical
examination of every product I review, yielded
some nice findings. The GA-GF2000 may be based on the nVidia reference design but
Gigabyte made a few modifications that we were
happy to see.
first thing I noticed about this board made me
We'd say about 95% of high-end video cards
released today have an active cooling system (heatsink
/ fan combo) mounted to them. Of that 95%,
most have them are held in place by thermal epoxy.
This may be the easiest way to manufacture
the boards but short of using nothing, it is the
least efficient interface material other other
than thermal tape. Believe me, you don't
want to get me started on thermal tape! Many companies use so much thermal epoxy that it actually
hinders heat dissipation but not Gigabyte.
At least not on the GA-GF2000! Close inspection of
the heatsink / fan combo revealed that Gigabyte
used thermal grease as the interface material.
This sounds like something simple but it
makes a WORLD of difference.
Many early Voodoo3 adopters, who saw as
high as a 15-20MHz. difference in overclockabilty
by simply replacing the included thermal tape with
thermal paste, will vouch for me on this one.
the fan?s power connection uses a very common
2-pin power plug instead of a hard to find
proprietary one. Take a look?
that like to mount large coolers on their board
will be able to connect their custom fan very
easily and without cutting off the included
connector and splicing it.
Again, this may not sound like a big deal
but being able to restore you card back to it?s
original configuration after heavy modification is
a big plus.
and the most obvious thing to notice about this
card, is the cool blue PCB.
This means absolutely nothing in terms of
performance but because it's different than the
others, it's worth mentioning.
I'm sure there are a few of you out there
that would buy this card just for this reason :).
installation of this card went off without a
Having done so many video card installs in
my brief but busy lifetime, it?s almost becoming
like second nature to me.
When you do it right the first time, there
usually isn?t much to report.
this review began, we initially began testing with
the Detonator 5.32 drivers, which yielded some
Then nVidia had to go and throw a wrench in
the works by releasing the Detonator 3's!
With the boost in performance we saw by
installing the Detonator 3?s, we simply had to
re-run many of the benchmarks and show you what
this card could really do.
we go into what kind of numbers this card was
putting up, let's see what kind of visual quality
it's capable of, shall we? Anti-Aliasing has
been a major topic as of late when discussing 3D
video cards and for good reason. The
positive impact Anti-Aliasing has on the perceived
image quality is very profound. To give you
an idea, here is a screenshot from Quake 3 with
2x2 anti-aliasing enabled. We chose this
shot because of the curves and steps that are
Click the image to enlarge
full image is a rather large, barely compressed
JPEG. So, those of you still working with a
dial-up connection, be patient. Notice that
the curves appear far less jagged. Also
notice the steps. Without AA enabled, the
steps would appear very jagged and have terrible
pixel popping at the seems, as your point of view
changed. Enabling AA virtually eliminated
the pixel popping and smoothes out the "jaggies"
now, I'm sure you're all wondering what this baby
can do. Let's find out...
and Gaming Performance