The Card

As stated before, unlike previous GeForce 2 GTS cards we have seen roll into the lab, the 3D Blaster Annihilator did not have the eye candy we have become accustomed to seeing on GeForce 2 GTS cards. No fancy cooling, no advanced video capture chips, no precise hardware monitoring. On the surface, the 3D Blaster Annihilator looks identical to the reference design. Boy, how looks can be deceiving.

The board layout and component configuration is nearly indistinguishable from the other GeForce 2 GTS cards we have received in the lab. Although these other cards may have larger heatsinks or other additional features, underneath all that glitter is the standard NVIDIA reference design. The 3D Blaster Annihilator 2 features the video out pin header that is missing on some other GeForce 2 GTS cards, meaning that perhaps someday a video out module will be available for the Annihilator 2. The heatsink, the standard 4.5 x 4.5 cm reference design heatsink, is attached to the cooling running GeForce 2 GTS GPU by means of thermal glue. Normally we would scoff at such bonding methods, however we showed in our Overclocking the GeForce 2 GTS guide that GPU heat produced by the core is negligible, meaning that cooling methods are coming in second when it comes to overclocking: card construction and chip quality seem to take the lead, a fact further discussed in the Overclocking section.

The 3D Blaster Annihilator 2 features the same 6ns (166 MHz) Infineon SGRAM chips found on all other DDR cards we have seen since the arrival of the GeForce 256 DDR. As we have said time and time again, it seems that Infineon is the only company currently producing DDR SGRAM chips for use in graphics cards, meaning that long gone are the days where RAM brand varied not only from company to company but also from card to card. You can also feel safe a bit longer knowing that the 6ns speed rating is the fastest SGRAM chips that Infineon currently manufactures, however their roadmap calls for 5.5 and 5ns RAM speeds in the future.

Basically, that is all there is to the 3D Blaster Annihilator 2. The lack of unnecessary eye candy is one method that Creative Labs used to keep the price of the card down. While the lack of features may seem as if they would deter the performance of the card, the Overclocking section proves that this is not the case. Read on and let us find out why.

Index Overclocking
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