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home : reviews : ELSA Gladiac GeForce2 GTS




Joe Glass
July 2, 2000

ELSA Gladiac Review
Is the Gladiac the true Gladiator of GeForce2 GTS boards?

Introduction
We all know ELSA as a German based PC component manufacturer. Nothing in particular stands out from this company other than their video board line. In this regard, ELSA excels well. ELSA produces consumer video cards and also professional video cards. By teaming up with NVIDIA, ELSA from the start has an outstanding chipset to build a video card around. The latest ELSA board, the ELSA Gladiac is what we'll focus here. Based on the latest NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS chipset, the Gladiac is one monster of a graphics board.

What's with the name?
Gladiac sounds like an odd name. According to ELSA's PR representatives, this name has been tested with focus groups and it scored the highest in their branding tests. I don't particularly agree with it, but then again, I didn't like the name "GeForce" either.

Specs
We have discussed this in our last preview of the GeForce2 GTS. I quote:
The GeForce 2 GTS expands on the existing GeForce 256 feature set. Features such as hardware transformation and lighting, AGP 4x with fast writes, 32/64 mb DDR memory, hardware texture compression, hardware motion compensation engine, 350mhz RAMDAC, and DVI interface.

Regardless from whatever people say over the Internet. NVIDIA says the GeForce 2 GTS is not a simple refresh to their GeForce 256. There are fundamental changes from small optimizations to complete redesigns of nearly all parts of the GeForce 256. These changes include:

Die shrink from a .22 micron process to a .18 micron process. This is beneficial is several ways. Smaller transistors give more room for NVIDIA to pack transistors in the same space. The smaller die reduces heat and reduces power consumption. Power usage is down below 10 watts (around 8 watts) under load. This is significantly less than the GeForce 256. For those who had problems with GeForce 256 boards and power management, the GeForce 2 GTS will give you hardly any problems. Less heat and smaller circuit trace lengths improves timing. The core is capable of operating at 200mhz nominal (it can overclock even higher).

The chip now has an embedded digital TMDS (Transmission Minimized Differential Signaling) transmitter. Extra hardware and design was necessary on the GeForce 256 to add a DVI port for digital flat panel monitors. Hardware vendors can now add DVI ports with lower development costs as well as make better use of PCB space freed up by the integration.
Specifications
  • Per Pixel Shader
  • 8 Texels Per Clock with HyperTexelTM
  • High Definition Video Processor
  • 2nd-generation T&L Engines
  • High Performance Hardware Antialiasing
  • Integrated TMDS (1280x1024 max DVI)
  • 256-bit Graphics Architecture
  • 200mhz core clock
  • 166mhz Double Date Rate (DDR) Memory
  • AGP 4x with Fast Writes
  • 1.6 GigaTexel Fill Rate
  • 25 million triangles/s through T&L and Setup
  • 5.3 Gigabytes/s Memory Bandwidth
  • Maximum 3D/2D resolution of 2048x1536@75hz
  • Complete DirectX 7, DirectX 6, and DirectX 5 Support
  • Fully 1.2 Compliant Professional OpenGL support for all Windows operating systems and Linux.
  • Integrated 720p, 1080i HDTV plaback
  • WHQL-certified Windows 2000, Windows NT4, Windows 3.5, Windows 98, and Windows 95

2D Specifications
  • Optimized for multiple color depths including 32, 24, 16, 15, and 8-bits per pixel
  • True-color hardware cursor
  • Multi-buffering (double, triple, quad buffering) for smooth animation and video playback




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