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Conclusion: GeForce3 For Gamers - TI For Enthusiasts

Win, Lose or Ti: 21 GeForce Titanium Boards
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All of these boards offer a lot of bang for your buck. The new GeForce3 Ti500 may not be much faster than the original GeForce3, but as the price remains the same, who's complaining? For most users, the Ti200 will be the card of choice, as it offers GeForce3 technology at an attractive price. On top of that, most Ti200 cards will easily overclock to the level of the original GeForce3 generation.

The Ti500 is aimed more at the enthusiast group - gamers that always need the latest, greatest and fastest components in their computer. Still, an "old" GeForce3 can still be found at relatively low prices in some stores, and will also overclock to Ti500 levels. Even when overclocked, the Ti500s can eke out only a marginal lead over the GF3. With a sharp eye and a bit of luck, now is a good time to look for a bargain.

The GF2 Ti cards are another matter. The main difference between the Ti cards and the "old" GF2 Pro is the Ti's higher GPU frequency. The GF2 architecture doesn't benefit from a clockspeed increase nearly as much as the GF3 does, so the real-world performance increase is only marginal. This also explains why the GF2 Ti was unable to set itself apart from the GF2 Pro in the benchmarks. However, most GF2 Ti cards come with much faster memory than the older GF2 Pros. Therefore, the Ti is the better choice for overclockers.

We would also like to draw your attention to one last point of criticism that almost all Titanium cards share: the inadequate TV-Out. An off-center output framed in black along with the lack of true DualView support does not bode well for NVIDIA's reputation in this respect.

Tools like the shareware program TV-Tool prove that a fully-functional TV-Out implementation is possible - even on NVIDIA cards. It just takes a little extra effort. Why can't NVIDIA's paid driver development team do what a couple of free-lance programmers did in their free time?

The competition, in the form of Matrox and ATi, has had a working TV-Out implementation in their drivers for years. NVIDIA still has some homework to do in this respect.

Card Summaries

ASUS


With the T2 and T5 Deluxe models of the V8200 series, ASUS is able to set itself apart from the rest of the field. Even the TV-Out is usable, at least with NTSC. Still, this is more than can be said for most of the competition.

Gainward


The CARDEXpert Titanium series' greatest strength definitely lies in the high overclocking potential these boards offer. Gainward's board designs are also a breath of fresh air, quite literally, and worth a look.

Gigabyte


The Tundra Ti200 impressed us with its very good cooling solution and its large gaming bundle.

Hercules


Hercules boards have always had a very characteristic look, and the new models of the 3D Prophet series are no exception. The cards achieve the expected performance levels, but are otherwise unremarkable. The software bundle is rather small.

Leadtek


If there were a prize for "most elegant card," Leadtek's WinFast cards would win it, hands down. Yet the GF3 Ti boards do not have to rely on their good looks alone - their feature set makes them a good choice, as well.

MSI


Packed with a whole bunch of features, the G3 Ti500 doesn't need to fear the competition. The G3Ti200 Pro-TD is an unremarkable card that can not set itself apart from the rest of the Ti200 crowd. The GF2Ti Pro-VT could use faster memory.

Prolink PixelView


Prolink is targeting the budget audience with its GeForce2 Ti board. Unfortunately, this shows in the very meager software bundle.

PNY


The Verto is a well-balanced piece of hardware. The nice 3D shutter glasses make up for the slim software bundle.

Suma


Suma disqualified its cards with the non-functional TV-Out and the outdated driver CD without Titanium support. Otherwise, the cards were solid performers when coupled with NVIDIA's reference drivers.

Visiontek


The US-based company was among the first to ship Titanium-based cards. The Xtasy boards performed as expected, but were otherwise unremarkable during testing.

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