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Review: Leadtek WinFast MX (Page 2/5)


Posted: September 26, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen

The Card (cont.)



Guess what this is for? You got it. Itís where the video out chip was supposed to go. Leadtek could have incorporated it in to save space and they also could have added a composite video-out connector too. But nevertheless, if you want high quality output, youíll be using the S-Video connector anyway.



Leadtek packs its card with 32MB of SDRAM from Samsung. This memory is rated at 6ns which is almost like every other MX card out there.

Letís take a look at the specs.

Specs

0.18 micron manufacturing process
175MHz core clock
183MHz memory clock
2 pixels per clock cycle
350 Mpixels/s fill rate
4 texels per clock cycle
700 Mtexels/s fill rate
2.8 GB/s memory bandwidth
20 million triangles/sec
128-bit Single Data Rate (SDR) or 64-bit Double Data Rate (DDR) memory
350MHz RAMDAC
Digital Vibrancy control
NVIDIA Shading Rasterizer (NSR)
TwinView Technology
High-Definition Video Processor (HDVP)
AGP 4X with Fast Writes
32-bit color
32-bit Z/stencil buffer
Cube environment mapping
DirectX and S3 texture compression

A technology that NVIDIA is pushing is its TwinView technology. Much like Matroxís DualHead technology but less versatile, TwinView letís you have two simultaneous displays at once. I had the opportunity to have TwinView be demonstrated to me at NVIDIA and I must say, I like the feature. I mean, having two 19Ē monitors side by side sure does look professional.

Is It Just for Graphic Pros?

Any professional knows the unfortunate inverse relationship of workspace and workloads: the more work you have on your desktop, the less room you have to do your work. The same is true of your onscreen space -- stacking window on top of window doesn't help with productivity, as you waste time sorting through documents, slowly piecing information together or editing new and existing documents. It's easy to lose track of things, including your sanity.

We don't always associate "productivity" with "home" but most of us are trying to accomplish more things in less time there -- imagine catching the evening news while catching up on email. DVD and TV-out capabilities are becoming standard fare in most PCs, but watching a video while running other applications on a single screen translates into a miniscule viewing experience. And from a purely fun point of view, the ultimate in immersive environments eludes gamers, so long as they remain confined to single, frontal views.

Enter multiple displays to save us from document pitfalls and confining views.

Now space comes at a reasonable price. Financial analysts can have a monitor for tracking each data stream. Graphic artists can use an entire screen for palettes and another for editing. Enthusiasts can watch DVDs on their televisions while working on their PCs. Gamers in search of increasingly immersive gaming environments can surround themselves on all sides with windows into new worlds.

Previously, dual display support required ample power, multiple graphics cards, and sufficient slot space. Visual performance typically suffered, and power issues kept multiple display support from evolving into a universal solution.

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