OCZ Technology Titan 2 Ultra SE review

OCZ are a relatively new name to graphics cards and have only recently decided to release their own, Titan, range of GeForce 2 & 3 based cards. They have been supplying memory, & overclocking equipment for some time. OCZ is not the same company as The Overclockerz store, who come under criticism in the past, although it must be pointed out that Titan cards are chiefly distributed by The Overclockerz store. Both companies are owned by AFASTCO. As their name suggests, OCZ creates their products with one specific market in mind, although this card will appeal to anyone who craves faster frame rates, regardless of their intentions of overclocking. Today at 3D Spotlight we are looking at the GeForce 2 Ultra version of their product line; the Titan 2 Ultra SE.

Into nVidia’s GeForce 2 family, the GeForce 2 Ultra is the fastest model, with official clock speeds of 250MHz for the core and 460 (DDR) MHz for the 64 MB of DDR memory. OCZ have gone one better and have increased memory speed by 20 (40 DDR) MHz for a total of 500 (DDR) MHz, setting this board apart from the competition. The core remains an unchanged 250MHz. As you might have already guessed, we were even able to take the clock speeds higher than this. The Ultra retains the same four pipelines as other GeForce 2 cards, apart from the MX family. It is the undisputed king of speed, and this particular Ultra model could plausibly outperform other GeForce 3 models on non-GeForce 3 optimised programs.

The card

The Titan is more than your average GeForce 2 Ultra. Apart from the previously mentioned increased memory speed it is also pre-fitted with a Blue Orb cooler and suitably chunky memory heatsinks. The advantage being the card will run cooler, and (hopefully) with a better ability to be overclocked. The disadvantage of using this method however is that the card will obscure the PCI slot next to it.

The 256-bit 0.18-micron GeForce 2 chipset is identical to units used on the Pro and GTS models, albeit running at a higher clock speed. The advantage of higher clock speeds however is not as pronounced as higher memory speeds, given the GeForce 2’s memory bandwidth problem. The Ultra’s memory bandwidth is officially 7.36Gb per second, but this is inevitably more for the Titan with its increased memory clock speed. I worked out the actual bandwidth to be 8.02Gb per second (501MHz * 128bit / 8 bits per byte=8016Mb/sec). For reference, MX cards have a memory bandwidth of just 2.76Gb per second. The memory is not only DDR but also 128 bit, unlike DDR memory on the MX, which is 64 bit (which defeats the object of having DDR memory).

The card, as the SE name might suggest, is OEM, although this does not mean the card is affected in any way. It comes with no official packaging bar an anti-static bag, and no software whatsoever. It did, however, come with an S-Video cable & a 3 pin (fan connector) to five-pin (Molex) adapter. It is a very power hungry card, and a suitable powerful PSU is needed, especially with an AMD system (more on this later). The Titan shares many of the same features of most other Ultra boards because it is made to the reference board design nVidia specifies, apart from the aforementioned faster memory. However, this does not mean OCZ have not been innovative. Quite a few other nVidia cards from relative unknown companies do not come with adequate cooling and do not feature a TFT Flat-panel (DVI) connector, or even a TV-out.

Nvidia GeForce 2 Ultra LogoSpecifications

  • AGP 2X /4X Support, AGP texturing, Fast Writes & Side band addressing support.

  • 250 MHz, 256-bit quad pipe core.

  • 64Mb of 250 (501) MHz 3.5ns VRAM, 8.02Gb per second memory bandwidth

  • 1 gigapixel per second, 2 gigatexels per second, 31 million triangles polygons/triangles per second

  • Second generation transform and lighting engines

  • DirectX & OpenGL Optimisations support

  • S3 texture compression

  • 32-bit Z-stencil buffer

  • High-Definition Video Professor (HDTV) for Full-screen Video playback of 720p and DVD resolution.

  • Advanced support for DirectDraw

  • NVidia Shading Rasterizer (NSR)

  • Hardware colour space conversion (YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0)

  • 5-tap horizontal by 3-tap vertical filtering

  • 8:1 up scaling and downscaling

  • Per-pixel colour keying

  • Cube Environment Mapping

  • Single pass multi-texturing

  • Multi-buffering (2x, 3x & 4x)

  • Pre-pixel, perspective-correct texturing

  • Improved RFI filtering for sharper 2D quality

  • Order Independent FSAA

  • Original Thermaltake Blue Orb cooler

  • 0.18 micron

  • Multiple video windows with hardware colour space conversion and filtering

  • DVD sub-picture alpha blended composition

  • S-Video, DVI & D-Sub connectors

  • Video acceleration for DirectShow, MPEG-1, MPEG-2

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