The Leadtek Winfast A250 Ultra TD
The GeForce4 Ti Card With A Massive Heat Sink

By -Dave Altavilla
March 26 2002

Before we dig into the drivers and setup of the card, let's give you another look.  We would call it a thing of beauty.

Leadtek's Winfast A250 Ultra TD
Plug and play, literally

 

     

 

Drivers and Utilities
Detonators with a wrapper
 
OK then, enough drooling.  The folks at Leadtek decided to go with the 27.50 version of NVIDIA's reference drivers for their base driver set.  They have the exact same basic functionality as the refernce drivers but Leadtek also adds a few bells and whistles to their setup.

 

 

So, as you can see, you get your standard issue reference driver interface, complete with FSAA and now Anisotropic Filtering settings, along with Leadtek's display adjustment and "Speed Runner" overclocking slider.  We'll cover more on the overclocking side of things later.  Finally, you'll also notice that Leadtek also has an option for hardware monitoring, in their advanced properties control panel.  We certainly would have liked to see this feature activated but unfortunately it was not highlighted and unavailable.

We did run into one small snag with these drivers.  We like to use pure NVIDIA reference drivers, when testing.  When we went to uninstall the Leadtek version of the 27.50 drivers and reinstall NVIDIA's version, the Leadtek drivers caused the OS to not accept the new NVIDIA driver install and the only way we could work around this problem was a complete reinstall of the OS.  Since this is standard procedure for us in the HH Lab and reinstalling WindowsXP for us, is a short 15 minute ordeal, it was only small speed bump in our testing.  However, novice users could run into this snag and may be forced into a reinstall or complete format of their system.  Leadtek most likely will have this rectified shortly but we felt compelled to let you know the details regardless.

Screenshots
NVIDIA's Chameleon Tech Demo

We always like to give you a little "eye candy" with a review of each new graphics card to hit the market.  After all, we are taking about 3D Graphics here, right?

We fired up NVIDIA's "Chameleon" Tech Demo and ChameleonMark (benchmark numbers later) to grab some screens of this impressive 3D reptilian rendering.  Here's what NVIDIA has to say about their Chameleon Demo.

"The changing skin of a chameleon is no match for the number of effects possible with the GeForce4 nfiniteFX II engine. See the wide range of skin treatments on the chameleon as it makes it's way up a vine of shading effects. The walking motion of the chameleon is accomplished with nfiniteFX Vertex Shaders. The skinned model is manipulated through a 25-bone skeleton. The skin surface of the chameleon obtains a new level of realism through nfiniteFX Pixel Shaders. Combining color maps, specular maps, and reflection maps, Pixel Shaders give a multitude of possible skin treatments - enough to make a real chameleon green with envy."

   
Shots taken on Leadtek's A250 Ultra TD GeForce 4 Ti 4600 Card
Click for full viewing

Needless to say, these screens look great but really don't do this NVIDIA tech demo justice.  To see the Chameleon in motion is like night and day compared to these still captures.  On the GeForce4, the skin textures, lighting and reflections are simply jaw dropping.  What the world needs now is a game developer to implement a new title with this level of detail.  Can you say Unreal II?  We knew you could.

2D Desktop Image Quality:

We also felt compelled to let you know what to expect from a desktop image quality standpoint, with the Leadtek Winfast A250 Ultra TD.  At resolutions all the way up to 1600X1200, the card exhibited crisp bright images at very high refresh rates of 85Hz.  We would venture to say that 2D image quality was at least on par with previous GeForce3 based products and even ATi's Radeon line.  However, this is a subjective area, so ultimately you'll have to be the judge.
 

Test Setup, Quake 3 With and Without AA and Anisotropic Filtering