WinFast Leadtek GeForce 2 GTS

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FIRST LOOK

NATA Computers was kind enough to send a LeadTek GeForce 2 GTS for our evaluation. I want to say from the outset, this is one helluva’ piece of work! One of the first things I did was to run some quick views through 3DMark 2000’s demo; I sat my wife in front of it to get her reaction. She, being sensitive to motion, lasted about five seconds before she had to stop looking at it – “Too real” she says.

And that about sums up the visual test – this card blows me away. I will do more benchmarking over the next few days, but visually it’s a stunner. Quick specs: 32 MB/DDR, AGP 2/4X, nVIDIA GeForce 2 GTS GPU.

Shown below is the card’s front – note a very large heatsink and four SGRAMs.

Front

The back is uninteresting except for four more SGRAMs – a total of 32 MB. Used to be the entry-level W95 system was 32 MB.

Back

Shown below is the SGRAM chip used – Infineon @ 6ns. Now this is one fast chip; at 6ns, the chip is designed to run 166 MHz. Just considering engineering overkill, 200 MHz would not be unreasonable. Since this is DDR, the memory clock default is 333 MHz with an upper bound of 450 MHz (adjustable per LeadTek). The Graphics clock default is 200 MHz with an upper bound of 400 MHz.

Infineon 6ns

I did some quick temp measures of the SGRAM at default and the chips peak at about 35 C running the 3DMark 2000 demo. Any substantial overclocking will, I think, require some SGRAM cooling as well. RAM Heatsinks might be an interesting tweak. I considered a cooling solution covering the GPU and SGRAMs, but they are not the same height. A water cooled solution with shims could be interesting.

HS Off

Removing the heatsink shows how large it is in comparison to the GPU (note the white areas – thermal grease). The heatsink could be lapped for better performance. As the pic below shows, the LeadTek card has some “extra” holes for custom heatsink mounting. I’ve outlined the “extra” holes in red, the LeadTek heatsink holes in blue.

Holes

I made one mod already – rather than use the nylon heatsink push-pins, I am using small bolts using the same mounting holes. This gives more mounting pressure for better cooling.

I will continue testing and looking at some cooling options and update periodically. First Impressions: awesome performance, good customizing potential.

Email Joe


Dan Edgar pointed out that we did this about three months ago HERE. What a guy – deja vu all over again.

SUMMARY: Have an Intel heatsink lying around? Great cooler for the LeadTek GeForce.

Overclockers Australia had a great idea about using Intel’s retail CPU fan for video card cooling. The LeadTek Geforce 2 GTS is just crying out for a better heatsink. In Part I, I showed what lies underneath the stock heatsink – lots of nice holes to customize cooling options. Shown below is the Intel heatsink on the card.

Intel HS

I mounted this with two one inch 6×32 bolts. I tapped the base of the Intel heatsink after lining it up with the hole pattern of the stock LeadTek heatsink. Drill two holes, tap for 6×32 threads, and bolt it on.

Shown below is how I isolated the bolt heads from the card’s circuitry. I used a small rubber grommet so that the no metal touches the back of the card.

Bolt

I have some other ideas on cooling, but the GPU does not get all that hot – runs very cool. I mounted my Radio Shack I/O on it and did not get more than 40 C. The 0.18 micron die makes a big difference in heat generation.

Email Joe


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