Leadtek's A400 Series Goes Heavy Metal

Leadtek A400 TDH

The A400 TDH comes with a single slot cooler and one extra power connector.

The A400 is based on NVIDIA's GeForce 6800, i.e. the standard version without the additional qualifiers GT or Ultra of the bigger versions. The card follows NVIDIA's reference specifications in full. The graphics processor features 12 pixel pipelines, instead of the 16 pixel pipelines that the GT and Ultra models offer, and runs at a core clockspeed of 325 MHz. This being the smallest of the three cards, it only comes with 128 MB of DDR1 memory clocked at 350 MHz (700 MHz DDR). Like most higher-end cards nowadays, the card features an auxiliary power connector to satisfy the card's power requirements. To guarantee smooth operation, the computer's power supply should provide at least 300 Watts.

As mentioned above, what sets Leadtek's A400 apart from other GeForce 6800 cards is its unique cooling solution. While most other companies use NVIDIA's reference cooler, Leadtek has opted instead to design their own heatsink/fan combination. A massive copper sheet covers both the graphics processor and the memory modules. A heatpipe transfers the heat away from the GPU and to the lateral cooling fins. There is another ribbed heatsink on the back of the card. A dark transparent plastic cover directs some of the air that is sucked in by the fan towards the dorsal heatsink. On the whole, it seems as though this rear heatsink is more for show, since there aren't any memory modules on the back of the card and, therefore, there isn't really anything there to merit such a large heatsink. Without a doubt it does lend the card a certain enthusiast look. Since the heatsink isn't very high, it shouldn't interfere with any other components in the computer (Northbridge, memory slots and capacitors). At 564 grams, the card weighs about 10 grams more than NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra reference card, which is itself by no means a lightweight. In comparison, an ATi Radeon X800 Pro only weighs in at 345 grams.

Thanks to the special cooling solution, the Leadtek A400 differs quite a bit from competing GeForce 6800 models.

The card sports two display connectors. One is the standard VGA connector, the other a DVI-I interface. This allows for several combinations of displays, such as two analog CRT monitors (using the included DVI->VGA connector), one CRT + one digital TFT or simply either a TFT or a CRT. Thanks to the TV-Out connector, the card can also be hooked up to a TV using either an S-VHS or a composite (RCA) cable. The package also includes an S-VHS -> composite adapter, a short S-VHS cable and another short composite video cable. The card does not support Video-In, though.