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LeadTek WinFast A360 Ultra TDH Video Card Review

/ Feb 3rd, 2004 No Comments

The nVidia chipsets that were released under the new GeForceFX chipsets were extremely popular in the form of the 5900 and 5600 boards. Although nVidia’s chipsets have taken a bit of a challenge from other manufacturers, they maintain a market dominance that many find appealing. LeadTek is a company we’ve checked out before in the past and have really enjoyed their slant on upgrading and gaming. They offer quality parts based on nVidia chipsets (nForce2 motherboard, 5900Ultra video card) and have historically carried some of the more attractive bundles that go along with their cards.

This time around we look at the brand new GeForceFX 5700 Ultra video card in the form of the LeadTek WinFast A360 Ultra – packaged in an attractive retail box, and with a ton of bundles, offers some very nice gaming potential at a very nice price point of $179 – very affordable by most gaming standards.

Specifications & Features

  • Features
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPU
  • CineFX II Engine
  • Intellisample Technology HCT
  • High-Precision Graphics
  • nView Multi-display Technology
  • Digital Vibrance Control (DVC)
  • Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
  • AGP 8X
  • 0.13 Micron Process Technology
  • 3.8 Billion texels/sec fill rate
  • Graphics Core: 256-bit
  • Engine clock 475 MHz
  • Memory Interface: 128-bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 14.4GB/sec
  • Fill Rate: 1.9 billion texels/sec.
  • Vertices/sec. 356 million
  • Pixels per Clock (peak): 4
  • Textures per Pixel: 16(Maximum in a single rendering pass with 8 textures applied per clock.)
  • Memory Clock 900MHz
  • RAMDACs 400MHz
  • Microsoft® DirectX®9.0 Optimizations and Support
  • On-board DVI support up to 1600×1200 resolution
  • On-board TV-out support up to 1024×768 resolution
  • Bundled Software : WinFastDVD , WinFox II, Cult 3D, Coloreal Embedded , Coloreal Visual, Coloreal Bright , Gun Metal, Big Mutha Truckers

The name of the game here is serious power for low money. It’s not really going to blow the $450 cards out of the water, but as you’ll see from the “real world” benchmarking we did, it actually can compete in the same ballpark – amazing for this price. LeadTek has done a nice job with a decent bundle and putting the board on a standard PCB. The software included ain’t too bad – Big Mutha Truckers is actually fairly entertaining, and Gun Metal is an old favorite. The inclusion of WinFastDVD is standard issue.

Benchmarking

We used the same system we tested the GeForce4 Ti4200, Ti4400, and Ti4600 on for this review…

Test System Specifications:
– AMD 2500+XP Processor
– GigaByte GA-7NNXP nForce2 Motherboard
– 512 MB PC2700 Dual Channel DDR RAM
– Windows XP Home- DirectX 9.0b

We used the following for games using the popular FRAPS Utility which allows you to grab the framerate for ANY game you play, record the framerate as you play, and export it to a text file. Using this, we captured the frame rates using three different video cards with these five very popular titles (all were set in 1280×1024 mode):

– NHL 2004 : Most gamers don’t realize that the graphics engine used by the NHL series from EA Sports is amongst the most advanced in the industry

– Grand Theft Auto III : A very popular title that allows you to easily remove any and all frame rate limits

– XIII : The new and very popular title from UbiSoft

– Command & Conquer: Generals : a very popular RTS game

We also ran through the very controversial 3DMark 2004 program which benchmarks video cards … obviously with recent issues regarding the testing favoring certain manufacturers over others must be taken into consideration, but all things being equal we can still at the very least look at the results.
Grand Theft Auto IIIWe definitely fell this is one of the better games to test out with the framerate benchmarking utility, because it fully supports turning off the framerate and vsynch limits, as some games won’t allow more than 75.

As you can see there’s a big difference between the ATI 9700Pro chipset and the LeadTek GeForce5700Ultra performance, but consider the fact that these cards are almost $200 apart in retail stores. Also look at how closely this card performs against its fellow nVidia chipset mate – not too far off.

XIII – Unfortunately this game tops out at 75 for a frame rate, so the numbers are minimal in difference.

NHL 2004 (1600×1200 resolution) – This game also topped out at 75 for all the cards at 1280×1024, so we pumped up the juice and saw the difference in performance we were looking for. Again you’re going to see the same thing … the 5700 Ultra isn’t beating the cards ahead of itself in class, but is definitely in the same ballpark – considering the price tag difference, it’s very impressive.

C&C GEnerals (1280×1024 resolution) – A popular game at a very popular resolution level setting. We published these results because we tested them and the numbers were consistent … the 5700 Ultra actually outperformed (for whatever reason) the other cards!

3D Mark 2004A lot of websites use this as a benchmark, as we have in the past. Many readers like to see the results …

For reference the ATI AIW 9700 Pro received 4668 Marks.

Conclusions

The theme of this review is definitely “bang for your buck” because that’s what the nVidia GeForceFX 5700 Ultra video card provides. LeadTek has put together a fantastic solution for gamers and people looking to upgrade alike with a very attractive board that won’t kill you in the wallet – the price tag should be very popular with gamers used to getting a stroke when wishing to upgrade to a video card with similar statistics to this card.

LeadTek has put on a very interesting and aesthetically pleasing cooling solution that employs – as far as we know – the only dust guard in the video card market. The cooling solution is a high performance “Air surround” technique can lead the air flow every side of the board, which makes the Fan more efficient. The “Filter on Fan”design provides better protection on the heatsink by reducing the amount of dust that collects – a smart move for any gamer. In the ever long pursuit for all things quiet – this video card should make most people looking to keep their PC quiet, as the Winfast A360 Ultra only makes around 28dB of sound.

LeadTek has also included their “WinFox II” utility that allows you to tweak your card to your hearts delight (although this is will take away from the potential life from your card).

For the price tag, this is a great video card to buy with your hard earned dollar … and LeadTek has developed a fine reputation for quality with their products. Put that together with their unique and quiet . LeadTek definitely has a winner in the WinFast A360 Ultra video card which employs a fantastic chipset at a cost most gamers can afford. A definite winner that you’re going to want to check out the next time you plan to upgrade your video card solution.

FINAL SCORE: 96%

Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer. Sean's opinions on this site do not reflect those of his full-time employer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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