The CARDEXpert GeForce2 GTS/400
As already mentioned above, Gainward did not only equip GeForce2 GTS with the fastest DDR memory currently available, it also added another 32 MB to GeForce2 GTS's standard amount of memory. Therefore the chip doesn't only benefit from the much faster memory, but also from the larger memory size. The latter enables this card to run Direct3D applications at 1600x1200 and 32-bit color depth, it can do FSAA at higher resolutions than the 32 MB GeForce2 GTS versions and because the larger memory leaves more texture buffer, the card's performance at high resolutions increases as well.
We received a prototype of this card, which came without special drivers, but NVIDIA's latest reference driver rev. 5.30. A little software tool, called 'Expertool Plus' allowed to change the memory clock and the chip clock to values far beyond of what Powerstrip would allow.
The card ran at 200 MHz chip clock and 400 MHz memory clock by default, but we could do continuous testing at the above settings.
This card is supposed to become available in August for a street price of some hefty $400. Gainward is planning to include a software DVD-player, Drakan, Rollcage and 14 3D game demos as well as several multimedia utilities from CyberLink and InterVideo.
You can see in the picture of the card that Gainward is using NVIDIA's reference design without any added features. The additional TV-in/out daughtercard known from NVIDIA's reference cards can optionally be added for additional costs.
All in all this card has only one special thing to it, but this one is special indeed. With 5 ns DDR memory it will be able to blow away any other 3D-card that's currently available. Let's have a look at the benchmark scores.