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Leadtek's nForce II - K7NCR18D Pro
Author : Martyn Date : 18th December '02

3DVelocity wish to thank Leadtek and especially Claire at Axalia for providing this board for our review.

...Product K7NCR18D [Pro]
...Manufacturer Leadtek
...Supplier Leadtek
...Price TBC

 

 

 

Part Five: The Test Setup

  • The board in question. [Leadtek's K7NCR18D Pro nForce driver v.2.00]
  • AMD's 2100+ [1.73GHz, 133FSB]
  • 2 x 256MB PC2700 Samsung [@ 333MHz]
  • Crucial's Radeon 9700 [v.6.13.10.6200 Catalyst Series]
  • Windows XP SP1
  • 550w AMD Approved PSU

[Notes on testing]

The combination of nV and ATi worked perfectly throughout testing (sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists out there). As one would expect the nForce2 supports any video card you wish to use. While the synchronal bus if far more recommend for the nForce, we chose to use the memory at it's faster 166MHz setting. Running at dual 133MHz speeds actually lowered scores slightly even though the latency of the different settings was less. This is partly as we have chosen to use a 133FSB CPU for this review. Why? Simply because the nForce is, in many ways, an all in one solution and you need to gain an idea how it will perform for you. Not many people have access to the newer AMD CPU's and certainly won't until a long time after this Xmas. With that in mind we looked at a more mainstream rig. It is still a real number cruncher just slightly more within reach of a retail audience. Please note we have used very new versions of drivers, even for our board. You can take a peek at the new audio panels below.

Part Six: nForce Drivers v2.00, More Than An Update?

The new nForce drivers have really improved upon those shipped with the Leadtek retail package. In truth these were very poorly conceived as, while they worked excellently when installed, most users will have to install aspects of them on their own. (USB 2.0, ATA 133) For the user who wants to get up and running as soon as possible but has a more limited experience this presents a small problem. The updated 2,00 drivers have improved the situation greatly. Installation was a breeze and the everything was faster than ever. We know about nV's reputation for VGA updates, let's hope their chipsets receive the same amount of attention.

The audio panels have has a facelift in this release but the change is more than skin deep. The audio was sounding better than ever, it's the first on board soundcard that can truly rival an Audigy (for example) for those who mainly use it for games and music.

 


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