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Visiontek Xtasy Titanium Line Comparison

This fall NVIDIA didn't get anyone by surprise, I mean, they didn't have to release any revolutionary new product in order to get people's attention, and instead they used some old marketing tricks that have proven to serve them well. Their new Titanium line up is based on their already mature products, GeForce’s 2 & 3, giving them a considerable advantage over the competition <cough>ATI, when it comes to market deadlines, as well as drivers stability and expected performance output.

I say old marketing tricks, because NVIDIA has already done this kind of product relaunch in the past with the names of MX, Pro and Ultra, and this time is no different.

Expect 3 new products from the Titanium line, the GeForce 2 Ti, and the GeForce 3 Ti 200 & 500.

Visiontek, an US based manufacturer and main partner of NVIDIA, was first on the market with their complete Titanium line available in the form of the Xtasy 5864, 6564 & 6964, respectively. They were kind enough of providing us with all the cards aforementioned for testing.

In this article, we will concentrate on the comparison of the Titanium line, how the cards stand up to each other, considering both, price and performance. If you're mostly interested in product features and overall quality - how the cards do as a single product - then you will want to take a look to our Xtasy 6964 (Ti 500) product review where we cover those points extensively.

So let's get into business...

First I should mention that all cards came on similarly designed retail boxes, TV out ready and included the same bundle: a quick start paper with basic installation instructions plus two CDs, one containing drivers and extended installation instructions and a few technology demos and a 2nd CD with PowerDVD 3.0. We have been told however that the PowerDVD CD is not being included on the units sent to stores, instead a mail in postcard that will get you that free copy of the DVD software if you mail it in. According to Visiontek they are using this as a method of research on the percentage of people that actually uses bundled software… I can’t blame them for doing this, as I have found myself trashing most of the CDs that come with the hardware I buy most of the time, now, blame manufacturers for bundling crappy software ;). In the case of PowerDVD, it’s my favourite software DVD player however I already had a copy of it so the bundled CD wasn’t of any use to me.

Visiontek Xtasy 5864

The cheapest card on the Ti line, it's based on the older GeForce 2 technology and probably the last card that will make use of it in the desktop market.

Using the GF2 Ultra board design, the card comes equipped with a regular sized HSF and some RAM sinks to boot. Visiontek has followed NVIDIA's specs which results in a  default clock of 240/400 MHz (core/DDR memory) putting the card just between the Pro and Ultra versions of the GeForce 2.

Now, those are nothing but default specs, we know NVIDIA shrank the die size of the GF2 Ti to a smaller 0.15u process down from 0.18, that should not only help with fabrication prices but overclocking as well. Visiontek has configured the card with the overclocker in mind, I'm almost sure they could have left out those RAM heatsinks, and the card would still be good with the default speeds.

       

Now if you also consider this card can be bought for less than $130, you have got a real bargain here. GF2 technology is getting old though, so that's a point to consider, if you are just looking for a card that will do good on today's games, look no further, but as time passes, more features found on DirectX8 (and supported on the GF3) will be incorporated in new games.



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