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More specs and features

With the amazingly good 2D graphics of the Matrox G450 I was hoping to get similar results with the Leadtek GTS card. Since it is packaged with 350 MHz RAMDAC I had no trouble reading even the smallest of odd fonts. If you have a 2 year old or older video card I'd recommend moving up to a newer card just for the great 2D that recent accelerators produce. I sometimes run at very high resolutions with some near microsocopic fonts and was very impressed with the 2D abilities of the Leadtek card.

A couple of other neat features that the card features are 3 LED's on the PCB and about the biggest heatsink/fan unit I've seen on a video card. The heatsink is so large that the fan is mounted to the side of it and it directs the air across the large heatsink rather than down onto it. Pretty nifty. Absolute put heatsinks on their ram but Leadtek doesn't think that is necesary. I have to agree since the better 5.5 ns memory should handle higher clockspeeds without heat becomind an issue. The 3 LED's on the PCB are ERR, AGP 4X, and PWR. If you are having problems with the system working and can't quite figure out what's wrong then the ERR LED may go a long way to deciding whether the problem is created by the card or the motherboard. The AGP 4X light is interesting since AGP 4X isn't much of a performance feature. A lot of motherboards even have problems when AGP 4X is enabled. The PWR LED like wise isn't the most useful, but at least that helps a little if you can't get a display once the card is installed.

Even more

The DualHead capability of the Matrox G450 made it very appealing to those who want to have the ability to throw graphics onto a second display or television. The most likely use for the secondary display for the average user is as a device to throw video onto a TV set. I think of watching DVD reproduction on my television whenever i picture a second display capability in my mind. Not surprisingly the WinFast GTS has a TV-Out feature and does not feature the ability to throw image onto a second monitor. A problem? Not really. I figure the average consumer that wants the ability to throw video onto a second monitor isn't the kind of person who wants the performance of the WinFast GTS. Since the card features an RCA dongle cable as well as an S-video I think people will be up and running on their television set in no time. nVIdia calls the second display capability TwinView - so lets just clarify that now. We'll have to come up with some easy acronym for this feature soon since it is popping up on so many video cards.

One of the best features of the Leadtek WinFast GTS is its WinFox software. I've been leary in the past to even bother installing the extra display settings software that most manufacturers supply. Truth is that I can change settings very easily just using the standard Windows features. Where WinFox makes itself valuable is that it incorporates all these features into one neat and easy to use program. You can adjust your color depth and resolution without havint to go into too many different screens.

One thing that blew me away was that Leadtek included a tab for overclocking the card past its stock 200 MHz core/333 MHz memory settings. Most manufactuers don't like the idea of the user overclocking their cards. In my opinion it wouldn't have made much sense to include the great heatsink and memory that this card does just to run it at its stock speed. I was able to overclock the unit up to 245 MHz core and 385 MHz memory. I had hoped for a little more memory speed but this is very dependent on the individual card. The WinFox software tracks the temperature of the graphics processing chip (GPU) and the surface temp of the card so you'll know if you are running your card at too high of a speed. I tried my hardest to get over 400 MHz with the memory but artifacts began showing up in 3D Mark 2000 and Quake III. Although I could have benchmarked on and got some slightly better numbers that would have produced numbers that didn't relate to the actual ability of the card. Anyone playing Quake III with huge artifacts and display problems? I hope not.


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