Leadtek WinFast 3D L2300 4MB AGP

Leadtek WinFast 3D L2300 
4MB AGP (66 Mhz) 
Reviewed by Jackie Lee Choon Yau (19 June 98)

Video Card Specifications

Interface PCI 2.1
Chipset 3DLabs Permedia 2
Ram 4 MB 100 Mhz SGRAM
Data Path 64 bit
RAMDAC 230 Mhz
TV-Output Nil
Video Playback MPEG-1, MPEG-2, Indeo, & Cinepak
Supported API Direct3D, DirectDraw, Autodesk's Heidi, OpenGL
Supported Resolutions 640 x 480 - 1600 x 1200
Supported Refresh Rates 60 - 200 Hz

<Introduction> <The Good> <The Bad>
<Test System Configuration> <Conclusion> <Rating>

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Introduction

The Leadtek WinFast 3D L2300 has won two awards;Best Overall and Best Value 3D graphic card by Byte Magazine Lab Report, March, 1998. The card was also rated 5 stars by Byte Magazine. This Ultimate 3D Graphics Accelerator is distributed by Intresource Systems Pte Ltd. There are two version of the L2300 that is available. The 4MB and the 8MB versions is priced at S$ 249 and $299 respectively.  The L2300 uses PERMEDIA 2 workstation class 3D processor chip from 3DLabs.

The following is the attached softwares you will find if you buy it in Singapore :

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The Good

The first good point on the list is the fact that L2300 utilizes that workstartion class PERMEDIA 2 chip for superb 3D acceleration and MPEG -2 video acceleration.The next good point is that this card supports DVD playback too. The card also provides a VMI connector for multimedia extension.  The card also uses high quality 100 Mhz SGRAMs on board. The Winfast 3D L2300 is designed to accelerate 3D presentation, animation, authoring, 3D VRML web browser, CAD applications and 3D gamings. From this you could understand that this card should provide a wide array of 3D features and superb picture quality. And you are correct.

The 3D Features includes : (3D Winbench)

Don't just think of L2300 as a 3D only solution, because it simply isn't.  While most video card manufacturers, when designing a 2D/3D combo card, will skimp on either the 2D or 3D acceleration of the card, Leadtek also create a video card that not only excels in 3D performance, but Windows/2D performance as well.

To better understand the card's performance, I have extracted the below :

Professional Performance

The bios drivers for the Leadtek WinFast 3D L2300 can be downloaded here from the Leadtek Taiwan Site.

The benchmarks below are performed under the Windows 98 Environment and with the installed DirectX Version 6 Beta.

So here they are :

Leadtek WinFast 3D L2300 4 MB AGP (66 Mhz)

Benchmarking Softwares  
Quake 2 Timedemo1 / fps 10.3
Quake 2 Timedemo2 / fps 9.8

Done @ 640 x 480 with Quake II V3.15 tests.

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The Bad

The price tag of S$ 249 is relatively high as compare to its competitors; Riva 128 based cards. The card has a very system resources dependent nature due to the Permedia 2 Chip. Do not expect that even with Pentium II 300 Mhz to give very high frames rates in Quake II. This explains the super low reading in Quake 2 Timedemo. The installation package could also be improved with recent games demo (Permedia 2 supported) and a CD installation package.

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Test System Configuration

Processor(s) AMD K6 266 Mhz .25 micron Chip
Overlocked Configuration 300 Mhz (4.0 x 75.0 Mhz)
Ram 64 MB Mitsubishi SDRAMS Dimms
Motherboard AOpen AP5T Ver 3.4 V1.70
HardDrive(s) Quantum 3.2GB ST
Operating System MS Windows 98 Build 4.10.1998
DirectX Version MS DirectX Version 6 Beta
Other software used Nil
Video Card(s) Winfast 3D L2300 4MB AGP
Video Card Drivers Version 1.2A

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Conclusion

Overall,this card offers superb picture quality leaving Riva 128 based cards in shame. But the lagging DirectDraw performance will probably put you off. The higher relative pricing could also be another detering factor. But, if you are concern principally on a good affordable CAD graphics card, then Leadtek WinFast 3D L2300 is the card to go for.


VIDEO CARD RATING

Overall Rating (Out of a maximum of 5 Star)

Installation *****
Performance ****
Price **
Software Bundle **
Material Quality ****
Overall Rating ***1/2

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This Product is provided courtesy of,
Intresource Systems Pte Ltd

Copyright 1998 by Singapore Hardware Zone. All rights reserved.

None of the above shall be reproduced, copied and/or
modified without the permission of the WebMaster.