VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003

Leadtek WinFast A300 TD MyVIVO

The Leadtek WinFast A300 TD MyVIVO is based on NVIDIA's GeForceFX 5800 alias NV30, which was superseded by the FX 5900 (NV35) just a few months after its introduction. NV30 cards suffer from their 128 bit memory bus, which creates a bottleneck despite using DDR-II memory. The memory itself was also a source of problems, since it produced a lot of heat and required its own cooling.

Leadtek has solved the problem of cooling the card in a very unusual and elegant manner. The entire card resides in an aluminum housing that sports a pair of fans. The first of these two fans acts as an intake for cool air, while the second one expels the hot air from within the aluminum casing. Inside, a large heatsink with many fine cooling fins covers both the GPU and the memory chips and dissipates the heat into the airflow created by the fans. The cover on the back of the card acts as an additional large heatsink. While the construction may be elegant, it has one serious drawback: weight.