Elsa – Gladiac 721 TV-Out review

Nvidia Titantium-based card; a GeForce 3 by another name
Photo of Elsa – Gladiac 721 TV-Out
£169 + VAT

It’s that time of year again: time for Nvidia to announce a new range of graphics chips. The latest release is the Titanium series, consisting of three products. Two of these are based around the GeForce3 core – the Ti 500 and Ti 200 – while the third, the Geforce2 Ti, heralds the return of the GeForce2 core.

All three chips are based on a 0.15-micron manufacturing process and have a new eight layer PCB with improved power supply circuitry aiding performance and reliability. It says here. The current GeForce3 cards will be eventually replaced by the Ti 200 series.

The latest card in the Gladiac range, the 721 TV-Out uses a GeForce3 Ti 200 chip. The Ti 200 is essentially the ‘budget’ version of the GeForce3. It uses the same core as the original GeForce3, but is clocked down from 200MHz to 175MHz, while the memory is clocked down to 200Mhz DDR. This is equivalent to a 400MHz bandwidth, some 60MHz down from the original. There’s 64MB of DDR memory with a 4.0ns access time on this card.

Elsa’s card provides FSAA (Full Screen Anti-Aliasing) and is DirectX 8.0 compliant, so the image quality is pretty exceptional. The maximum claimed resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels (you’ll need a very snazzy monitor to get that) is produced at a refresh rate of 75MHz with 16.7 million colours.

The 3D performance of the Gladiac 721 TV-Out is slower when compared to original GeForce3 cards, but is still more than adequate for all but the most power-hungry gamer. It is also somewhat cheaper than the original. The back plate just contains the usual D-sub VGA output and the S-Video TV-Out connector allowing the keen gamer or couch potato to play on a big screen from the comfort of their favorite armchair.

Software provided with the Gladiac 721 TV-Out includes ELSAMovie 2000, a software DVD player and a full version of Giants Citizen Kabuto, optimised for the GeForce3. There’s also a copy of MadOnion’s 3Dmark2001 Pro, so you can do your own benchmarking. The drivers included are the latest (at time of the board’s release) versions of Nvidia’s Detonator drivers, which now include support for Windows XP. There’s also a manual on CD, while Elsa provides a six year warranty.

Company: Elsa

Contact: 0118 965 7755


Verdict
By using the new Nvidia chipset, Elsa has been able to keep the costs down and aim the Gladiac 721 TV-Out firmly at mid-range gamers, giving them excellent graphics performance without the usual extravagant cost. There's the added bonus of TV-Out, allowing users to play 3D games on their home TV sets.