Let's take a look at what each board has to offer before hearing my final judgments. Keep in mind that this decision is rather subjective because many of the extra offerings may hold more value with some than others. This is something you as a consumer have to decide on before making your final purchase. Also keep in mind that we're basing at a decision with those cards that we have available at this time.
Asus is offering an SDR based board that is unique due to the fact that it is equipped with SGRAM when the rest of the SDR boards are using SDRAM. This advantage is very minor unless you're into overclocking where the board seems to do extremely well. The V6600 Deluxe has a pretty clean and helpful driver interface and comes with the optional VR glasses (these are the best fit for people with glasses) that some people may enjoy.
Creative Labs is offering the base SDR GeForce board with the bare essentials back by a frequently updated driver. Creative is also supporting a Unified driver that gives Creative customers a Glide wrapper (this allows you to run Glide software without a 3dfx based graphics card installed). This board is widely available at a very competitive price. The only particular drawback to this board is that it doesn't have a video out. This might not be important to people like me but to others, it's huge.
ELSA has the slickest looking board (not that it makes games faster) armed with the unique ChipGuard feature and a solid driver interface. The price is right there with the competition and the board can be found on many of the big online stores. You unfortunately don't get a video out option with this board but you do have an option to spend the extra $50 to get the 3D Revelator Glasses. As I said with the Creative board, not everyone needs video-out but it's nice to have the available option.
Absolute Multimedia's Outrageous 3D performs on par with the Leadtek DDR at a slightly lower price if you grab the single software version. You still get the DVD player and video out with this board but sacrifice driver interface quality and questionable support to save a few bucks. Although this board has been running beautifully in the lab for the past few days, I can't promise that this board will meet the same quality standards as the other big players in the round up and last just as long as they would.
Leadtek is offering us two solutions (SDR/DDR) that are solid boards that come packed with a strong software bundle and a good driver interface. The DDR based WinFast board is a mere $50 more than the SDR board but the performance difference at times is night and day. If you like the Leadtek packages, there is no excuse not to get the DDR based board. The performance return for the addition $50 is worth every penny so don't pass it up and regret it later on. You can also get the boards in a DVI version if you're into flat panels or plan to buy one in the near future.
With six cards to choose from with the same powerful chipset, I knew this deciding wouldn't be easy at all. The performances of the DDR boards are obviously superior to that of the SDR based boards but within their respective memory types, all the boards are basically dead even. The price you're looking at to move from SDR to DDR is about $50 and that's not much if you're able to consider buying a near $250 graphics card in the first place. The additional software and miscellaneous features to be haven't swayed my decision one-way or the other. Some boards are offering small perks but nothing that pulls me to a particular board. The first choice I made was that a DDR board would be a must. This leaves me with only two choices that are less than $20 difference in price. In the end, the Leadtek WinFast GeForce 256 DDR took my virtual money as I felt the additional peace of mind with a brand name that produces quality products and a solid driver GUI. With so many GeForce flavors out there that we've not reviewed yet, getting a GeForce DDR board in general won't be a bad choice, it's just a matter of finding one that suits your needs best.
- Outrageous 3D
- The Features
- Driver Interface - Erazor X, Continued
- Driver Interface - Outrageous 3D
- Driver Interface - Outrageous 3D, Continued
- Benchmark Results - Shogo
- Benchmark Results - Descent D3D
- Benchmark Results - Descent OpenGL
- Benchmark Results - Quake Arena Normal
- Benchmark Results - Quake Arena High Quality