Hardware

Leadtek WinFast A250 Ultra TD

Although its performance is roughly identical to that of other GeForce4 Ti 4600 cards, the WinFast A250 Ultra TD's robust features, utilities, and extras make it a better overall value. Find out more.


By Eric Franklin

The Leadtek WinFast A250 Ultra TD is not just another GeForce4 Ti 4600 board. While its performance is nearly identical to that of other Ti 4600 cards we've tested, the Leadtek includes useful features and extras that set it apart from previous cards and make it a better overall value. Click here to check the latest prices on the Leadtek WinFast A250 Ultra TD.

Snappy setup
Leadtek makes the $359 WinFast A250 Ultra TD easy to set up and use. The card comes with drivers for all Windows flavors from 98 up and a quick-installation guide that offers simple, step-by-step instructions. The WinFast A250 Ultra TD (Figure A) is also versatile: With three standard ports (DVI, VGA, TV-out) and a host of cables and converters (RCA, S-Video, and a DVI-I to VGA), you can connect up to two displays, plus a TV. Nview, Nvidia's multidisplay technology standard across all GeForce4 Ti cards, lets you connect and configure a multiple-monitor setup.

Figure A
Leadtek's WinFast A250 Ultra TD graphic card offers great performance, handy utilities, and lots of extras. CNET Editors rated it 9 out of 10 and gave it an Editors' Choice award.


A useful utility and a couple of bundled games add value to the card. Neither game—DroneZ nor Gunlok—is a must-have, but DroneZ really shows off the card's capabilities because it's programmed to take advantage of the vertex and pixel shaders of the GeForce4 Ti architecture. The WinFox 2.0 utility included with the WinFast A250 Ultra TD makes it easy to overclock the memory and core clock speeds using software—no hardware modifications are necessary. One dark spot is the card's user guide: It's not written for the GeForce4 Ti 4600, so there are a few discrepancies between the user guide and the utility interface.

Tied for first
Compared to the PNY Verto GeForce4 Ti 4600, the 128-MB WinFast A250 Ultra TD held its own in each of our performance tests. Like the Verto, the WinFast A250 Ultra TD excels at higher resolutions, thanks to Nvidia's optimizations of the GeForce4 memory architecture. It also handily beat lesser cards, such as the VisionTek Xtasy 6964 GeForce3 Ti 500 and the VisionTek Xtasy MX 440 (another GeForce4 card).

Leadtek backs the WinFast A250 Ultra TD with stout support. A three-year warranty on parts and labor hedges against defects. Technical support is free (and toll-free) for the life of the card, but it's available during work hours only: Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 6 P.M. PT. The Leadtek Web site offers driver and firmware downloads, FAQs, and support via e-mail.

More than fast
The Leadtek WinFast A250 Ultra TD makes a strong case for itself. It performs as well as any card we've ever tested, it can support multiple monitors, and it comes with a full complement of hardware and software extras. These features, coupled with its easy-to-use overclocking utility, land the WinFast squarely in the winners' circle.

Performance charts
The Leadtek WinFast A250 Ultra TD performs almost identically to other GeForce4 Ti 4600 cards we've tested. It excels at high resolutions and is meant to handle complex graphics, with all the effects turned on. The Leadtek handily beats GeForce3 Ti 500 and GeForce4 MX 460 cards on all 3D tests. (See Table A, Table B, and Table C for results.)

Quake III Arena test

Table A
Frames per second—longer bars indicate better performance.


3D test: MadOnion.com's 3DMark2001 Pro

Table B
Longer bars indicate better performance.


3D test: eTesting Labs' 3D WinBench 2000 1.1

Table C
Longer bars indicate better performance.


Complete specs
Click here to check the latest prices on the Leadtek WinFast A250 Ultra TD. Table D lists more product specifications.
Table D
General
Device type Graphics card
Video RAM installed size 128 MB
RAM type DDR SDRAM
Output interface DVI
Additional interface(s) RCA & S-video TV-out
Graphics card processor NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600 GPU
Compatibility PC
Software included Two full games bundled (DroneZ and Gunlok)
Click here to learn more about these specs and what to look for in a graphics card.

This review was originally published by CNET on June 26, 2002.


 

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