Two months have passed since we brought you the first Battle of the Titans and now we've gathered all our GeForce based cards along with a couple of new faces to bring you part three. This follow up comes for our many confused readers who have asked the not-so-simple question, "Which GeForce 256 board should I buy?" Our latest showdown will hopefully give you a helping hand in figuring out which GeForce based card suites your needs, from SDR to DDR. We'll take a look at the competition from competing chipsets to comparing each of the GeForce boards to one another. Picking the best board in a group of similarly powered cards won't be easy but someone has to do it. Who else out there has the guts to do it? You got it, Tom's Hardware.
The New Guys
Our latest two boards to review are the ELSA Erazor X (SDR based) and Absolute Multimedia Outrageous 3D (O3D) DDR that are both based on the NVIDIA GeForce 256 chipset . The Erazor X comes from ELSA a very reputable company in the graphics industry that is based in Germany. ELSA is well known for bringing high quality and performing graphics products to consumer as well as professional users around the world. Innovation and top quality graphics products are something we have come to expect from ELSA these days. Where we see most manufacturers stick to the reference designs, ELSA takes the extra step in trying to enhance that design even if it is already "good enough." Bold decisions like these have been known to help make or break companies. Taking the extra steps to improve upon reference designs can be costly in the time and money department (aren't they the same?). This can be extremely painful if the design brings up its own flaws that weren't in the reference design. However, this hasn't been the case and ELSA has done extremely well. You will see an example of this custom work with the Erazor X as it has a custom design of its own.
Absolute Multimedia is a "newbie" to this group of experienced players and offers not only graphics solutions but audio as well. It started doing business by selling TNT2 and Aureal based products early on. This company that is based in Sweden was kind enough to send a board for review so we took them up on the offer. Not everyone has the guts to send in boards for review these days. We'll see how well the new guy measures up the big boys in our competition.
The Erazor X is ELSA's SDR based GeForce 256 board that has a very clean non-reference layout that saves quite a bit of space that cuts down manufacturing costs and in turn just might save you a few additional dollars. Another hardware difference between this card and the rest of the GeForce boards is the ELSA ChipGuard feature that monitors the GPU temperature and the fan speed. If either has problems, the card will safely shut itself down and reboot with a message that something has occurred.
The board comes packaged with a software DVD player and some sample software that isn't too thrilling but the DVD player itself is very useful. If you pick up the 3D Revelator, you
also get a nifty little cable that gives you the ability to hook up the 3D Revelator glasses. Check out the items below.
The optional 3D glasses will run you about $50 extra dollars but you may find them worth the cash. These glasses are wireless and are pretty comfortable. If you wear glasses like me however, don't both trying to wear both because it becomes very uncomfortable. Although the glasses from Asus aren't wireless, they are able to fit over glasses quite well. The fun of these 3D glasses varies greatly from person to person and depends on the application as well. Some games look much more convincing (like Expendable) than others.