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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Leadtek WinFast S320 II review

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Leadtek WinFast S320 II review
Posted by Julio Franco on July 6, 1999

Leadtek, a Taiwanese video card and motherboard manufacturer, is no stranger to NVIDIA's line of 2D/3D chips, they first brought us the WinFast S320, based on the TNT1 chip, and now, c ontinuing its successful line of graphics cards based on NVIDIA’s latest chips, Leadtek is now bringing us the WinFast S320 II, powered by the non-ultra version of the TNT2 chip, I think you know what to expect, an affordable, very fast card.

The card Leadtek sent me for review didn't had any Video-in connector or the LCD Digital Flat panel output but it only had the TV-out feature so at first glance I would say this card is a good choice for the traditional/occasional gamer since it offers an excellent price/speed value while hardcore gamers will prefer the ULTRA version of the card which is faster and more expensive, too.

As most of you should know, there are two types of TNT2 cards, the standard ones that run at 125/150mhz (for the core and memory) and the TNT2 ULTRA cards that use exactly the same chip but these ones have passed quality tests running at higher speeds, so with the use of higher quality memory (5.5ns or better), manufacturers are able to clock these cards up to 150/175 or higher depending on what type of memory they use.

Installation

The installation of the card was a snap, I removed the 3dfx Voodoo3 I had installed in my system and Windows automatically switched back to VGA compatible adaptor and asked me for the Hardware Vendor drivers. Although newer drivers were already released in Leadtek’s website for the time I was testing the card, I used the CD drivers just to make sure everything would work ok out of the box.

Although NVIDIA's default spec for non-ultra TNT2s is 125mhz, Leadtek thought 140mhz was a safe speed to run at, that is with the heatsink/fan combo the card has got... more on this and overclocking in the next few pages.

Along with the drivers CD, the WinFast S320 II came with an User's Manual that should be enough to help rookies with the installation and configuration of the card, however I'm not so sure if first timers will be able to install the card with the help of the manual which in my opinion focuses more in explaining each one of drivers options.

Here's the software bundle you get with the WinFast S320 II... hmmm... no, no games included !

MPEG-2 (DVD) Player
WEB 3D from Asymetrix

WIRL from Platinum

VRCreator from Platinum
3D/FX from Asymetrix
RealiMation STE (Demo) from Datapath
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Digital Video Producer from Asymetrix

VDOLive Video Player from VDOnet


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