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GeForce Driver Comparison (updated 4-2-00) If you would like to support this site, visit Crucial today Elsa Erazor X2 Review

Elsa Erazor X2 Review (page 1)

Founded in 1980, ELSA had been primarily a manufacturer of high-end CAD and graphics cards. In the 3D consumer market, they were overshadowed by companies like 3dfx, ATI, Creative Labs and Diamond. Starting with their Riva128-based Erazor cards, they began to gain a presence in the market. The Erazor was followed by the Erazor II (TNT1-based) and the Erazor III (TNT2-based). These cards help established them as a player in the consumer arena. With their GeForce-based accelerators, they were hoping to step to the front of the line.

My first experience with Elsa was when I bought an Erazor II. It proved to be a real work horse; stable and fast with incredibly sharp 2D text. Since I run at 1152x864, the 2D was very important to me. When the GeForce cards started appearing on the market, I purchased Elsa's SDR-based card, the Erazor X. Not content to follow nVidia's reference design, Elsa redesigned the card to make it smaller to also fit the NLX form factor. Once again, the card was very stable (though I didn't find the 2D quite as sharp as the Erazor II). Software DVD playback was awesome with no dropped frames. So when Elsa gave me a chance to review their latest entry, the Erazor X2 based on the DDR (double data rate) version of the GeForce, I jumped at it. This time, Elsa decided to follow nVidia's reference design. In fact, most of the DDR GeForce cards available also follow the reference design. Consequently, you will find that performance varies little between different manufacturers. It's the execution and extras that make a difference.

The GeForce was the first graphics accelerator to employ DDR memory. DDR RAM gives the video card the ability to transfer information on the rising AND falling edge of the signal. This benefit does not really become apparent until the card is run at high 3D resolutions with 32-bit color. In the SDR configuration, there just isn't enough bandwidth available to handle all the information - DDR overcomes this limitation.

The Specifications

Graphics Controller: nVIDIA GeForce 256, First Graphics Processing Unit
Display Memory: 32MB -DDR High Speed
Horizontal Sync Signals: 31.5KHz - 108.5KHz
Vertical Refresh: 60Hz - 200Hz
Bus System: AGP 2x/4x
Maximum Dot (Pixel) Rate: 350MHz RAMDAC
API Support: DirectX 6, DirectX 7, OpenGL ICD
Other Standards: VESA Bios 3.0, DPMS, DDC2B, Plug & PLay

The GeForce includes 4 independent rendering pipelines, hardware transformation and lighting (T&L), mullti-texturing, bumpmapping, environmental mapping, procedural texture, table fog, shadow stenciling, bilinear-trilinear and 8-tap anistropic, texture filtering, MIP mapping. With separate engines for transformation, lighting and setup the GeForce delivers 15 million triangles per second. The four independent pixel- rendering pipelines (effectively 256-bit) delivers up to 480 million (120MHz core speed x 4), 8- sample fully filtered pixels per second. The GeForce also supports AGP 4X with Fast Writes. This enables the CPU to send the data directly to the GPU to maximize overall system performance and avoids costly data copying to and from main memory, which can significantly slow down your system. Finally, with an integrated T&L engine, calculations can be off-loaded from the CPU; thus freeing the CPU up to things like AI, physics and collison detection.

The Erazor X2 is backed by a Six-year warranty.


What's Included

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