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Summary

The Fastest GeForce2 GTS Card - Gainward's CARDEXpert GeForce2 GTS/400
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Gainward has certainly shown that it knows how to put its competition in the GeForce2 GTS card arena to shame. While most card makers concentrate on crazy cooling solutions for a GeForce2 GTS chip, which hardly benefits from overclocking whatsoever, Gainward stuck to a reasonable heat sink and added some kick-ass memory instead. The 5 ns DDR SDRAM from EliteMT makes the Gainward CARDEXpert GeForce2 GTS/400 up to 50% faster than its competitors at high resolutions and true color. However, this added performance comes for a price. So far 5 ns DDR memory is rare and very expensive. You may have to pay some 100 bucks more than for an average GeForce2 GTS card, which is also not exactly a bad performer.

Before some of you should get really excited about this card, I'd like to mention a few unanswered questions. As it seems to me, it's not quite clear yet when and in which volume the card will actually be released. This is obviously depending heavily on the availability of 5 ns DDR SDRAM in volume. We also don't know if all future CARDEXpert cards will be quite as overclockable as our sample. Gainward assured us however, that they guarantee 450 MHz memory and 220 MHz chip clock, which sounds very reasonable. Last but not least we should also not forget that NVIDIA will again have a new high-end chip coming out in the September/October time frame. This chip will most likely have overcome the current memory problems of GeForce2 GTS.

All in all I recommend Gainward's CARDEXpert GeForce2 GTS/400 to all the ones of you who want to have the fastest 3D card right now and who are willing to pay a whole lot of money for it. Gamers who fancy 32-bit color and highest resolutions will not be disappointed. However, people who like added features and who don't care quite as much about super high frame rates at high resolutions and color depths should probably save their hard earned money for other upgrades.

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