Itís about that time of the year again, when things start rolling and rocking, and the world of computer hardware begins to show whatís up its sleeves. Following tradition, NVIDIA announces a new product line early in the new year, and follows up with product refreshes in the fall. While the fall product refreshes are a new product in themselves, they are based on architecture that was launched in the spring.
Well, itís spring time again and after all the announcements and blitz, we have a product in the labs that not only trumps the competition, but does so with so much brute force that itís nearly humorous. The good thing about the new GeForce4 products is that theyíre shipping a little earlier than GeForce3 or 2 did when they were released. This is mainly due to the fact that NV25 (GeForce4) was already introduced last year, in Microsoftís Xbox.
Leadtek WinFast A250 TD Ultra
Passive heatsink on the back
As of this writing, youíre able to find many GeForce4 MX type boards out in the retail channel in abundant quantities, but the Titanium series are far and few between. The good thing about this year is that NVIDIA is releasing an entire line of GeForce4 products that cover the entire user spectrum. Usually, a card like a GeForce4 Titanium 4600 would be saved until later in the fall, when NVIDIA does its refresh. The way NVIDIA has released its GeForce4 this year makes things rather interesting because now weíre not quite sure whatís in store for the fall season. Nevertheless, this gives us the chance to look at what is the fastest NV25 chip today Ė the Titanium 4600.
If youíre not first, offer more
The first thing manufacturers do is compete against each other for the first spot on store shelves or on online retailers. Being first to market has both its advantages and disadvantages. While its advantages are somewhat obvious, trying to be first to ship products may mean you have missed something or that you have to compromise your feature set in order to speed up production time.
If youíre going to do it, do it right
This is the case that met Visiontek, who is also known to be the first to ship GeForce3ís early last year. This year, Visiontek is trying to do the same thing but in doing so, it wasnít able to bundle the software that is suppose to accompany the video card. Missing from the retail box is the software DVD player. While this may or may not be a concern to you and or Visiontek, whatís also missing is extra value added features. Absent are things such as Video-in, hardware monitoring and more efficient cooling.
While this review isnít about Visiontek, itís a good example of what can happen when you make hasty decisions. Many times itís good to stand back and just look at something, wait a bit, and then make a move. What is the benefit of doing this in the computer world? More choices, more freedom, and more satisfying results.
With that, letís examine Leadtekís high-end WinFast A250 Ultra TD.