Tornado GeForce 256 Conclusion
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Head-To-Head
Since there will no doubt be a radical drop in GeForce 256-based video cards we thought it might be a good idea to try the Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 head to head with a rival GeForce card.  Guillemots 3D Prophet SE is an OEM card that cost about $20.00 more than the Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 and offers nothing in the way of a software bundle.  Built on the same nVidia reference design the cards (except for the color of the pcb) could almost be twins.  The drivers accompanying the Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 and 3D Prophet SE seem to be interchangeable as well however the Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 seems a bit more mature in its design and seems to take advantage of it.  In head-to-head tests using the drivers that came with each card we set up the Athlon 600MHz reference system on the EP-7KXA and used both 3DMarkô 2000 and the old standby Final Reality to check data throughput and found the Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 the performance leader by about 5% overall.  Here's how they fared...

We tested the Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 first and then set up for the 3D Prophet SE which we'll be reviewing next week and ran the Final Reality Advanced benchmark with the following results...

Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 Video Performance
   The Intervideo WinDVDô 2000 included in the software bundle makes for a nice match with the Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256.  Surprisingly good DVD and video capabilities are evident even on super7 systems as the scores shown by MadOnion.com's Video 2000 benchmark under a reference system based on the AMD K6-2 450MHz as seen below...

 

Conclusion
   Innovision's Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 is going to be tough to beat for pure price to performance ratio for awhile at least.  You may have some difficulty finding the card though as Innovision's Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 is in limited distribution in the US anyway.  For just a few dollars more that a brand name OEM TNT2 Ultra you can have the kind of performance that truly makes game play a lot more visually interesting and as more applications that use transformation and lighting in hardware become available you'll likely find your existing graphics card lagging severely behind.  Of note to super7 users that are currently using system boards based on ALi's Aladdin V chipset, as with other nVidia chips the GeForce 256 has been know to cause lock-ups in both D3D and OpenGL APIs.

So far the only place we see selling the Inno3D Tornado GeForce 256 is at http://www.ocie.com and up for auction on the web.  If you're truly hankering for a graphics card that can pump up the volume without emptying your wallet, we don't yet see a better offering anywhere...

 
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