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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Creative 3D Blaster Annihilator Pro GeForce DDR review

Creative 3D Blaster Annihilator Pro review
Posted by Adam Klein on March 14, 2000 - Page 3/7
Company: Creative Labs     Product: 3D Blaster Annihilator

The Chip/Card

The Graphics Processing Unit, aka the GPU, is the biggest feature of a GeForce board. The GeForce 256 can do a lot of the calculations normally done by the CPU and do them with the GPU.

There may not be many software titles to take advantage of the GPU at this time, but support is growing. The OpenGL API used in NVIDIA’s reference drivers already have support for some of the GPU processing power, so on top of high fill rates you also get some acceleration due to the GPU being used. The features that the GeForce 256 GPU tout is what is known as T&L.

Transform and Lighting is what the CPU, in the past, took care of. Now, when software is written to take advantage of T&L through the GPU, the CPU will no longer be used in these tasks and can do other things such as working with the AI (artificial intelligence) for a game.

The GeForce DDR cards are clocked at 120MHz for the core and 300MHz (150MHz + DDR) for the memory. This is a lot lower than the clock speeds that the TNT2 and TNT2 Ultras have. There is a reason for this though. The GeForce actually uses a smaller die size than the TNT2s have, but the GPU is a very complex architecture. The GPU is so complex, that 22 million transistors are used in the core. With 22 million transistors, heat can build up very fast and the heat may not be dissipated fast enough to run at speeds higher than 120MHz. Some sites have reported that the GeForce can run up to 70 degrees Celsius. This is very true. In my experience with the Creative Labs Annihilator Pro, I have measured temps at 65 degrees Celsius on the back of the card with an external diode probe. That is very hot indeed.

Installation and Drivers

Installation of the board was a breeze, just as it should be. I took out the Creative Labs Annihilator and put in the Creative Labs Annihilator Pro. It booted into windows without me even having to reinstall the drivers, since it just redetected the card as a GeForce DDR and continued using the drivers for the GeForce SDR.


The drivers made by Creative Labs are very similar to that of the reference drivers made by Nvidia. The main difference you will see between the reference and the Creative drivers are looks. I find that the reference drivers to better for me though, since the reference drivers allow for both clock speed and memory overclocking. The Creative drivers only allow you to overclock the memory on the card.


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