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Leadtek WinFast A170 DDR T
By CPU-zilla
Category : Graphics
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 11th February, 2002
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  
Price : SGD299

Leaping From Two to Four

Keeping up with new NVIDIA chipsets today can be an extremely difficult task. It was just not long ago that NVIDIA released their Titanium series and right here, we have a slew of chipsets flooding the market, known as the GeForce4 series. Although it does look like an overly saturated market, the fact that games today requiring more processing power from the graphics chipset makes it ever more important to keep upgrading. At least I know a handful of people who upgrades at every opportunity they get while the majority of my friends upgrade as they see the need to. For example, the latest craze in Medal of Honor : Allied Assault (MOHAA) got my friends to upgrade to a GeForce3 Ti 200, although I know they are already moaning at the fact that their 2-month old card is already outdated, thanks to GeForce4. Of course, at least one of them I know still refuse to admit that his old Matrox G400 will not handle the complexity of MOHAA.

With the introduction of the GeForce4 series, we are once again bombarded with more choices than before, from the mainstream MX class series to the more high performance Ti series. The Ti series are still making its way into the market while the MX series are already flooding the stores, and one of them that made it first was Leadtek (why am I not surprised?).

The GeForce4 MX 420, 440 and 460 are the much needed upgrade to the GeForce2 MX series. Making a leap from GeForce2 to GeForce4, the MX class now comes with a more powerful core and features which most users may want to look out for. Of course, don’t expect the MX series to outperform the GeForce3 Ti as it is not really meant to be used as a hardcore gaming card. However, it is still able to churn out some pretty decent graphics.

The new GeForce4 MX features an extremely integrated core which is made to produce the best graphics possible through a single GPU (graphics processing unit). The main features include :-

  • Integrated Dual 350MHz DACs (Digital to Analog Converter) – the chipset now comes with two dual RAMDACs for driving dual independent displays with crisp and clear image quality at 2048x1536 resolution at 75MHz refresh rate. Previous GeForce2 MX only featured a single RAMDAC while the second display is driven by an external RAMDAC. The external RAMDAC often caused poor image quality due to signal loss and noise. This is one area where the GeForce2 MX lost out to the Matrox G550.

  • Integrated Dual-Channel TMDS Transmitters – these transmitters enable two independent Digital Flat Panels (DFP) displays at a maximum resolution of 1280x1024.

  • Integrated TV Encoder – manufacturers no longer need to use external TV encoders. The chipset now supports TV-out functionality for resolutions up to 1024x768. Since it is integrated, cards should be made more affordable too. Does that mean manufacturers shouldn’t charge a premium for TV-out functionality? We should believe so.

  • Integrated Video Processing Engine (VPE) – the engine allows for the highest quality, full-frame rate and full screen HDTV and DVD playback.
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