VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003


The product range of the Taiwanese manufacturer Gainward is heavily weighted toward graphics cards and multimedia add-on boards. Gainward's graphics cards are all based on NVIDIA chips and covered by a three-year warranty. The manual included with the cards provides technical support information with phone numbers and email addresses in Taiwan, Germany, the UK, Sweden and the US. The website offers not only FAQs and downloads, but also special email support.

One of the peculiarities of Gainward's product range are the special Golden Sample models, which are based on better-quality boards than the standard models and can be run at faster clock speeds using Gainward's overclocking software. Gainward guarantees that its cards can be safely run in this Enhanced Mode. Also, Gainward develops what are probably the most confusing and longest product names in the market.

Gainward FX PowerPack! Pro/760XP 128 MB Golden Sample

The Pro/760 XP is based on NVIDIA's GeForceFX 5200 Ultra chip. For the Golden Sample variation, though, Gainward installs the chip on the 5600 Ultra board with 128 MB DDR RAM (128 bit DDR) in FBGA format (Hynix 28: designed for 350 MHz (700 MHz DDR)). Much like the expensive ATi and NVIDIA models, this card requires an additional external power source (Y-adapter included). Gainward claims that this better-quality layout enables the clock speeds to be much higher than on a "normal" FX 5200 Ultra.