Out of all the cards on the market, why Gainward?

I've used a lot of video cards in my CG career. (From the earliest SGI machines to the latest Wildcat cards.) Recently I had the chance to test drive a GeForce4 Ti 4600 manufactured by Gainward. My initial thoughts were, this card pretty big. In fact, because of where my drives are located, I had to move some cables around just to get it to install properly.

This card is pretty big. It just barely fit in my computer.
(If you look to the right between the cables, you can
see the end of the card dissapearing under the hd.)


After that, installation was a breeze. Video cards can be hard to install and difficult to configure. Not this one. I firmly believe that just about anyone could put this card in.

This card comes with everything you need to get up and running.
There were no unexpected trips to the computer store this time.

Last time I bought a video card, it did not come with everything that I needed. (Adaptors, cables, etc.) Not this time. Gainward included everything I could possibly want, and then some. It came with a Firewire card, a Firewire cable, a Video in/Video out cable, WinDVD, WinProducer, a driver/utility CD, a game (Serious Sam) and two DVI to DSub adapters (so I could use my analog monitors, see below.)


Included with the card were 2 DVI to DSub adapters.
Many other companies don't include such obvious necessities.

Modern 3d applications, like SOFTIMAGE|XSI, (shown above)
are much easier to work with when you've got a dual monitor setup.

Of course the best feature, in my opinion, is the dual monitor support. It is very flexible and has a lot of good controls. Modern 3d animation packages have lots of floating windows and really need 2 monitors. Even if your application runs just fine on one monitor, it's really nice to have Photoshop, e-mail or a compositor running on the second screen.

As you know, there are a lot of companies out there that make GeForce4 video cards. So why would you pick Gainward? Well, some vendors come and some vendors go. (Especially with the way the economy has been lately.) Gainward, on the other hand, has stood the test of time and consistently delivered quality cards with the little extras that many companies leave out. Sure, you might get a different brand card for $15 less. But what if it does not come with DVI to DSub adapters? If you have analog monitors then you could end up spending $10 each to buy new ones. Suppose you buy a card from a "no-name" vendor and they go out of business 2 months later. You might be out of luck if the card stops working. Gainward also manufactures quality cards. (Something that cannot be said for some of its competitors.)

Gainward is the only company out there
that has "hand picked" above average cards.

Something that I have yet to see on any other card is what Gainward calls "Golden Sample." From what I understand, these are "hand picked" cards that are of above average quality. As a result they can be over clocked, which will make them perform faster. Since these cards are designed to be stable at a higher clock speed, running them at the stock speed will provide you with an incredibly stable card.

However, if you want to over clock them, Gainward includes something called EXPERTool. With EXPERTool you can turn up both the core clock and the memory clock speeds independently. The higher you turn these up, the faster your card will run. If you've got a golden sample card, there is an additional setting called "Enhanced Mode Settings." With the enhanced mode, you can turn your card up quite high and still not void your warranty. From what I understand, no other card has a warranty like this and only Gainward cards come with EXPERTool. Not only does EXPERTool allow you to over clock your card, but it has other controls that provide you with an easy way to adjust ordinary desktop settings as well.

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Review Contents:
Page 1: Intro
Page 2: The GeForce4 and why it is the ideal choice for 3d animators on a budget.
Page 3: Out of all the cards on the market, why Gainward?
Page 4: Softquadro4 and what it can do for you. And this card can output demo reels!
Page 5: Conclusion