months have passed since NVIDIA introduced their version of a high-end gaming
video-card solution, the 64MB GeForce2 GTS. This chip featured a GeForce2 GTS
core clocked at 200MHz, 64MB of 166MHz DDR-SDRAM (333MHz effective), and a price
tag of just under $400. Not surprisingly, it is basically a souped up version
of the less expensive GeForce2 32MB, but the extra 32MB of DDR RAM can help
quite a bit in texture-heavy game scenes. The GeForce2 64MB has dominated a
good portion of the gaming market, and there is no sign of it slowing down.
Competition is present, in the form of 3dfx and ATI, but they have not been
able to take the speed crown away from NVIDIA thus far.
Chaintech is well known for their "bang for the buck" products, which
usually yield excellent stability and great prices. Like many motherboard manufacturers,
Chaintech is based in Taiwan, which has become a small "silicon center"of
this industry. Chaintech is a very "easy going" company as they rarely
try to deliver a product which differs significantly from the reference design.
What do you get when you pair up NVIDIA with a motherboard manufacturer like
Chaintech? The Desperado RI-91, a 64MB GeForce2 GTS card.
Chaintech has been making video cards for a few years now, but none have ever
received any great attention or recognition. Their first big announcement was
with the release of NVIDIA's TNT chip, which ultimately found its place on the
Chaintech Desperado RI-30. The trend continued with the release of the Desperado
RI-40, based on the NVIDIA TNT2 core, and finally the RI-70, which was powered
by the NVIDIA GeForce 256 chip. From there, Chaintech has widened their horizon,
and released the RI-A2 in the form of a low-cost GeForce2 MX, then the RI-90
with its 32MB of DDR SGRAM, and now the RI-91 64MB, their current top of the
line model. Their slogan for the RI-91 is "GeForce2 Power, Chaintech Price!"
While many competitors are trying to ramp up the value of their flagship card
by adding bells and whistles, they're simultaneously increasing the price, which
actually lowers the value in the minds of many users. Chaintech, on the other
hand, has stuck to the old adage "keep it simple stupid" in order
to keep costs down. Lets see what they have to offer this time around.
Features (Courtesy of Chaintech)
4x AGP support / 2x AGP compliant
DDR SDRAM ( RI91 )
32MB DDR SDRAM ( RI90 )
2048 x1536 32bit color
- 25M Polygons
/ sec , 800M Pixels / des.
ARGB rendering with destination alpha.
Z-buffer / stencil.
- DVD and
HDTV-ready motion compensation for MPEG-2 decoding.
, MPEG-1 , MPEG-2 , Indeo
- NTSC /
- RCA TV-output
/ S-Video output jack
- VESA DPMS
- DDC2 monitor
for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0 / 2000
DVD play ( optional )