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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 2)

What's Included

ELSA ERAZOR X2 gaming--accelerator card
Installation CD-ROM with online-users manual
Hard-copy installation manual
Software drivers for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4,
Windows utilities including ELSA WINman Suite and ELSA 3D settings
(only Windows 95, Windows 98)
3D Game sampler - over twenty exciting playable games samples.

As mentioned earlier, the Erazor X2 is based on nVidia's reference design. It includes 8 Infineon DDR RAM chips (four on front, four on back of card). It includes active cooling via a fan/heat sink combination. Though servicable, I would have liked have to seen something a bit more substantial for the heatsink; the GeForce chip generates a lot of heat. Some high-end GeForce cards go the extra set and add heatsinks to the individual memory chips, but this is not available of the Erazor X2 and is probably only necessary in extreme overclocking situations.

Their User Manual/Installation Guide is thorough and well designed. The game sampler is standard fare...use it for a coaster when you're done. That's okay because I don't want to pay extra for games I'm not going to play. The one glaring omission with this bundle is the lack of software DVD player. It amazes me that a card based on the GeForce with its Motion Compensation for DVD playback would not ship with a DVD player. This was disappointing.

The display utilities, SmartRefresh and SmartResolution are interesting. SmartRefesh allows the user to select virtually any refresh rate above and beyond the standard ones. SmartResolution gives you the ability to maximize your desktop space without having to resort to a virtual desktop. This can be done horizontally in 32, vertically in 1 pixel steps. For more information on refresh rates, check out the article What does 'Optimal" Refresh Rate really mean?

ElsaWINman is a glorified Control Panel applet that gives you a few more options except overclocking. Finally, Elsa ChipGuard was supposed to be a technology that would protect the GPU from excessive heat. I can no longer find any mention of it on Elsa's site, though. However, I noticed that it is loading from my Registry.

The card comes with the standard monitor connector and a S-Video connector for viewing on your TV. However, it does not have the latest connector, DVI, for digital monitors. TV functions are handled by Brooktree decoder but was not tested for this review.

Installation

The card was a breeze to install...just popped it in and away I went. Since my old card was a TNT1 using the reference drivers, Win98 picked up the new card and automatically installed those reference drivers. I experienced my only glitch when I fired up Tribes. After a few minutes of play, I got kicked out of the game. I remember reading reports about problems with the I/O voltage and GeForce cards. The GeForce needs a minimum of 3.3 Volts (which is the spec for the AGP slot). However, some motherboards and/or power supplies don't supply enough voltage to the slot. In my case, the voltage was dipping as low as 3.16 volts. Ouch. However, courtesy of my Abit BF6, I was able to increase my I/O voltage from 3.3 to 3.4V in the BIOS. Consequently, In Windows, I was reading a consistant 3.26 to 3.34 volts. I have had no other problems with the card. If you have a good power supply (mine isn't), you should have no problems.

         
         
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What's Included

   
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Conclusion