Trident vs. Leadtek – Head to Head

For the last two weeks, since my Leadtek Geforce 4 Ti-4600 blew up, I’ve been using a Trident 3Dimage 975. You may remember them – from about 1998. I’ve been more than a little unhappy with its performance – and not unjustifiably, I’d say. Still, you can’t argue with its price.
On the other hand, anyone who doesn’t argue with the price of the Leadtek a250 Ultra TD VIVO probably needs their head read. But its performance makes the Trident card look like the shabby little hunk of silicon that it is.
Now, let’s go Head to Head!


Usability
Trident: 1/10
Leadtek: 9/10
I don’t think I can actually give the Trident 0/10, because for all its faults, I can still use Windows. However, since I use a monitor that’s slightly better than Trident anticipated, I can either have 1280×1024 resolution, or 32-bit colour. Not both at once.
As for the Leadtek, not only does it do 1280x1024x32, through its DVI port no less, it also doesn’t flinch when I pipe my PS2 into it so I can play GTA Vice City on the PS2, should I so desire. It does exactly what I want it to.
Performance
Trident:
Quake 3 benchmark: 0 fps
UT2003 benchmark: 0 fps
Aggregate: 0/10
Yep, I couldn’t get either game to run.
Leadtek:
Quake 3 benchmark: It runs
UT2003 benchmark: It runs
GTA Vice City benchmark: It runs
Aggregate: 10/10
Marking on a scale of 0-10 may not have been such a crash-hot idea…
Reliability
Trident: 3/10
Despite its lack of a heatsink, the Trident works okay. That said – there are almost incessant little glitches in the form of short horizontal lines of lit pixels, and my computer now crashes randomly in the middle of DVDs. I suspect a driver issue.
Leadtek: 8/10
Well, there is the small matter of it blowing up and having to be RMA-ed. Other than that, it works like a charm.
Shiny Factor
Trident: 1/10
It’s pretty shiny that the Trident can run without even a heatsink. But that’s it.
Leadtek: 8/10
It’d be even shinier if the built-in cooling wasn’t so incredibly, monstrously annoying. Admittedly, as a quiet-PC freak, I am not the target market for this card. But still, it’d be a bit nice if I didn’t have to install a 90mm fan in my case to keep the card cool without blowing my eardrums. That, and the huge heatsink is annoying – but, being a heatsink, it’s very shiny. I have to give it points for that.
Price
Trident: 10/10
Leadtek: 0/10
Trident: $5 at your friendly local swap meet.
Leadtek: I paid $550. It’s probably worth about half that now, but it was so worth it.
Overall
Trident: 3.25/10
Leadtek: 7/10 on average; 9/10 in reality.
The Trident… well… it’d be perfect in a server! It’s just that my desktop is not a server. The Leadtek, on the other hand, is about as close as you can come to a workstation-grade video card without actually shelling out for the Quadro badge.
Welcome back, little Leadtek. I promise not to say any more mean things about you.

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