VisionTek Xtasy 5864
WHAT'S HOT: The budget iteration of NVidia's newest line of graphics chips, the GeForce 2 Ti, is no slouch when it comes to speed. In fact, the GeForce 2 Ti-powered VisionTek Xtasy 5864 posted Unreal Tournament speed scores nearly identical to those of the VisionTek Xtasy 6964 GeForce3 Ti 500 card we tested. In other games, its scores came close to those of the pricier card in all but our highest test setting, 1600 by 1200 resolution in 32-bit color mode.
WHAT'S NOT: While this card is swift, speed isn't everything in the graphics-board world. We rated this card's image-quality scores in Test Drive 6 as Poor because texture problems marred the game (yellow-gray shapes appeared in the middle of the screen as we played). And despite the high frame rates, game play in Unreal Tournament was jerky at times.
For the driver CD-ROM, Autorun failed to run, so we had to install the card's drivers manually.
WHAT ELSE: With only S-Video-out and a coupon for DVD software, this card's bundle is skimpy.
An issue with Quake III version 1.2 and NVidia's new Detonator XP drivers caused a disco-ball effect that rendered the game virtually unplayable. This problem did not occur with the 1.3 version of Quake III. We're currently retesting all graphics boards with version 1.3, and we plan to incorporate those test results into our next graphics board ratings.
It's common to see glitches and bugs in early releases of any vendor's drivers, and NVidia's Detonator XP drivers are no exception. As NVidia works to smooth out its latest drivers and release new versions, we're anticipating better image-quality scores for all of the NVidia-based boards we test.
UPSHOT: It's a speedy first-generation card at an affordable price, but you might prefer to wait until NVidia has fine-tuned its drivers before you buy.
By Alexandra Krasne