When someone mentions Gainward I often recall the Geforce2’s and Geforce3’s that overclocked so well. So for a brand name that screams "overclock me," I did just that. The card comes default at 275/550 so we overclocked the Gainward Ultra/750-8X XP by 5mhz increments from default up to the point at which the 3dmark loops would lock up. By doing so we found the Gainward maxed out at 330mhz core and 690mhz memory. If we try running the core timings at just 1mhz higher we received minor distortion which resulted in lower benchmark scores. To determine if the card was stable at these clock settings, we ran loops of 3dmark2001 for four hours. After the four hour period we ran Code Creatures Pro and the card ran fine.
To get the last couple mhz out of the Gainward Ti4800SE, we removed the fan to find a thin layer of thermal compound. We took the generic compound off and applied Nanotherm XTC. Once we put the card back together and completed some more benchmarks, we found that the card was now stable and able to run at a speed of 334mhz core and 690mhz memory. So by changing the type of compound and applying the perfect amount we raised our 3dmark2001 score from 12,929 to 13,137. We ran the benchmark several times to make sure the numbers were accurate. So we gained 208 points from a compound change alone.
I must admit the Gainward Ti4800SE surprised me by how well it overclocked. At first, I doubted the "stock" looking heatsink only later to find that this card would overclock to beat the Geforce Ti4600’s and 4800’s that we have looked at!
You want to know what I think? Well this card is a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Honestly, you see an average heatsink design, but when closer inspected you notice that the card comes with ram heatsinks, VIVO, Firewire, and a 3 year warranty. This card out performs many of the Geforce 4 Ti4600’s we have seen and is priced around US ~$70 lower. That alone puts the Gainward Ultra/750-8X XP in a league of its own.
For those looking for one of the fastest nVidia cards on the market, it would be hard to pass this card up. This is especially true since the nVidia FX is still "paper launched" and seems to be a number of weeks away. Therefore, after reading this review I hope you are now better able to see which of the 8x AGP nVidia solutions is worth your hard earned money. Of all the cards we have looked at, the Gainward Ultra/750-8X XP offers the best price versus performance ratio– that makes it one of the top Geforce 4 cards on the market today.