Leadtek WinFast A380 Ultra TDH MyVIVO

Review

posted 11/26/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
A review of a NVIDIA card on Gaming Nexus? What is this world coming to?! Ok, we do have a review of an old Ti4200 but it’s been a while since we did feature a NVIDIA card on this site. Yes, we have finally broken the ATi barrier and Leadtek was very generous enough to supply us with NVIDIA’s latest and greatest, a GeforceFX 5950 Ultra. Leadtek’s gone out and deviated from the reference design to add their touches to the card. Titled, the WinFast A380 Ultra TDH MyVIVO, this 256MB card features VIVO functions and sports the fastest chip from NVIDIA available. Let’s see how this card does.



The WinFast A380 Ultra TDH MyVIVO , a GeforceFX 5950 or NV38 card, runs a speed of 475MHz for both core and memory. Since memory is DDR, the speed is 950MHz DDR. Compared to the NV35, it’s an increase of 25MHz for the clock and 50MHz for memory. Memory bandwidth is increased from 27.2GB/s on the NV35 to 30.4GB/s. Unlike the competition’s high end card (ATi), the NV38 is manufactured on a .13 micron process. The Radeon 9800 XT is still at .15 micron but they are using a .13 micron process in their 9600 cards.

Features for the card include 8-pipelines, 256-bit memory bus, and CineFX 2.0 technology. The 5950 is a perfect name for this series as it’s a minor upgrade to the NV35 with no new technologies incorporated. Everything that came with the 5900 is the same with 5950 with a bump in clock speeds. Like the Radeon 9800 XT is to Radeon 9800 Pro, the GeForce 5950 is to GeForce 5900 in terms of features and speed upgrades.

Leadtek’s cooling system differentiates from NVIDIA’s reference design and it actually reminds me of ATi’s Radeon 9800 XT cooling. On the front of the card is a large copper heatsink that covers a good 2/3s of the card. A single large fan produces airflow through the copper fins to cool the card. A grate covers the fan. On the back is what seems to be an aluminum heat sink. Since there is no exhaust system, there’s only one bracket. Does this mean that it’s just a one slot solution? Well, kinda. If you do put another PCI card next to it, it has a good chance of blocking the front of the cooling system. If possible, I’d advise keeping the space clear on the next slot. Some motherboards, like the ABIT NF7-S, has an extra space between the AGP port and the first PCI slot for large cooling solutions. The cooling solution also makes this card very heavy. It’s quiet when no 3D programs are running. Once you start a game, the fan kicks up a few notches and you do hear it. With my system having many silent components, it’s pretty noticeable. Compared to the sound of the Radeon 9800 XT, it definitely generates more noise during 3D operations.


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