Gainward – CardExpert GeForce 3 PowerPack Golden Sample review

Feature-rich GeForce 3 graphics card
Photo of Gainward – CardExpert GeForce 3 PowerPack Golden Sample
£320

This GeForce 3 card from Gainward – not a well-known name in the UK, but better established in Germany – is distinct from its competitors in several ways, most notably its colour. It’s a rich, deep red, and may remind more experienced readers of the Gravis Ultrasound card of old.

But that’s merely a cosmetic factor, and the Gainward card has some other, more unusual features to offer. First is the fact that it has a built-in DVI port. This is an important feature given that LCD displays are becoming ever more common on the desktop. The DVI port is a digital output for LCD displays, bypassing the card’s RAMDAC and, potentially, considerably improving the stability of an LCD monitor’s display.

For those users with conventional CRT monitors, or LCD displays without a DVI input (there are many), the card also has a standard VGA D-sub connector and an S-video output for TV connection.

A circular heat sink and fan – colour coded to match the board itself – keeps the GeForce 3 processor cool, while the twin rows of graphics memory chips have their own heat sinks. Included in the box are drivers for the usual range of operating systems, plus a copy of Ulead VideoStudio, a software DVD player and a selection of utilities.

As you’d expect, this card vies with the other GeForce 3 adapters that we’ve reviewed recently, which means it’s outstandingly quick in just about every test you can throw at it.

Company: Gainward

Contact: +49 89 89 839 445


Verdict
Anyone wanting GeForce 3 performance with digital LCD output should seriously consider this card, as the combination of the two features is far from common. The price is fairly sensible for what you get, too. Sensible in GeForce 3 terms, that is...