XFX GeForce 3 Ti500 Video Card Review

xfx-geforce-3

Introduction

XFX Graphics, which is a division of Pine, has sent us one of their GeForce 3 Ti500 model video cards. Although the new Nvidia flagship is now the Geforce 4, the Geforce3 series is still a major player in desktop graphics. And now since the GeForce 4s are out, you can get great deals on GeForce 3s, which are still amazing video cards. Let’s see some of the specs, shall we:

Using what nVidia has deemed the Infinite Effects (nFiniteFX) Engine, the GeForce3 is a next generation video card capable of advanced 3D rendering, including full hardware transform and lighting (T&L), programmable pixel shaders, and vertex shaders, along with support for 32 bit color and full DirectX 8.1 compatibility.

The GeForce 3 Ti500 uses nVidia’s unified driver architecture, so that all you have to do is download one driver for any nVidia card you have since the TNT, and it will work. Although these sound quite impressive, many games don’t really use any of these features, and thus are left out in the cold. That’s why we here at OCmodshop try to give you a full spread of benchmarking and testing results, so you can see not only what the buzz is all about, but also to show you how well you can play your games with this piece of hardware, and how it will enhance your experience.

Here are the specs of the card itself:

  • 256-bit Graphics Core running at 240MHz clock speed.
  • 8.0GB/s Memory bandwidth.
  • 64 Megabytes DDR RAM running at 250MHz (500MHz DDR) clock speed.

If you would like to check out all the nifty features and such that this card is capable of, you can read the support document from nVidia (link below). You can also find out more information about this particular card at XFX Graphics. Let’s check out a few pics of the card itself.

This is the top of the box. I don’t know why they put a jet on it, maybe it provokes thoughts of speed or something in the consumer, I really have no clue. Doesn’t look bad though.


Here’s a picture of the box, it shows us all the neato features of the card, as well as the system requirements for it.

Here we can see the card inside the anti-static bag. This card didn’t come with any bundled software, besides a driver CD. But this is a good thing, because it keeps the price low.

We took the heatsink off to get a picture of the core. As you can see, it is a GF3 core, and that the PCB is actually a very attractive blue color, which would go great with a blue modded case.

This picture shows us all of the different kinds of outputs that this card can take advantage of. On the very left we have the standard 15-pin VGA output. In the middle, we have the S-Video output so that you can hook the computer up to your TV for some DVD or game playing action, and on the right we can see the DVI connector, which allows the card to be connected to digital monitors such as TFT LCDs and some CRTs which use the DVI connection.

This is a picture of everything that comes along with the card, which is the driver CD, the manual, and a card so that you can register your card with XFX Graphics.

Here we can see the thermal grease on top of the core which is used to transer heat from the core to the heatsink/fan combo that comes with the card. We here at OCmodshop recommend Arctic Silver 3 as a replacement thermal epoxy, since it is the best stuff on the market and you get a ton for cheap.

And finally, here we see the card as we tested it, all in one piece :) I noticed that the heatsink/fan combo on this card really isn’t the best, and you’ll probably be able to see the effects of this in the next few pages. My recommendation is to just get a really good heatsink like the Crystal Orb or something and throw that on the core with some AS3 and you’ll be stylin’ as well as running cool.