- Jan. 8, 2000
When I'm Christmas shopping in stores that sell computer parts,
I sometimes drift away from my original shopping list and end
up buying computer hardware and software gifts for myself. This
Christmas season was no exception. I decided to walk down the
isle containing the video cards to see what was in stock and
was surprised to spot a Creative Labs Annihilator Pro in the
store. So, after debating with myself for a few short minutes
as to whether to wait for a Voodoo4 or Voodoo5, or buy the Annihilator
Pro, I gave in to temptation and bought the Annihilator Pro.
The Annihilator Pro comes with 32MB of double data rate (DDR)
memory which runs at an effective rate of 300Mhz. The DDR memory
is actuall running at 150Mhz, but is transferring data both
on the rise and fall of the memory clock to effectively give
it a 300Mhz clock rate. It will work in a 2X or 4X AGP slot
and according to the box it came in, it fully supports AGP 4X
fast writes. If you want to read all the features and specifications
of the Annihilator Pro, visit Creative
Lab's web site.
My system previously had a Voodoo3 2000 video card. 2D video
with the Voodoo3 always looked a little blurry to me. The 2D
video with the Annihilator Pro seems to be a lot sharper.
The free software supplied with the Annihilator Pro included
Colorific and 3Deep, InterVideo WinDVD, Need for Speed 4: High
Stakes (full version), Evolva Scout (special
edition), and Dagoth Moor Zoological Gardens.
Having previously owned a Creative Labs Riva TNT card, I was
familiar with the Colorific and 3Deep software. The Colorific
software helps you to setup your monitor to provide whiter whites,
"more vibrant" colors, and color printouts that "match
the display on your screen." The 3Deep software helps display
images "the way designers intended." It only takes
a few minutes to install, but I was too eager to get into Quake3
and see the Annihilator Pro perform!
I didn't have to good a luck with the InterVideo WinDVD software.
The software would jump backwards a few minutes in a movie at
the end of a chapter. The same movie running under "DVD
Station" software provided with a REALmagic Hollwood plus
hardware decoder runs without any problems. Otherwise, the InterVideo
software provided smooth playback with the Anninilator Pro and
the Pioneer 10X DVD drive.
I already owned Need For Speed 4 and have played it a good
bit in the past. Lately, when I have to time to fire up a game
I've been just playing Quake 3, so I haven't gotten around to
running NFS4 on the Annihilator Pro, or installing the other
Hardware Installation and Drivers
As with any video card upgrade, I always remove the drivers
from the previous card and select the standard VGA driver before
installing the new card to avoid any problems with drivers.
Installation of the Annihilator Pro and its drivers went smoothly.
After clicking on the "Tweak" button in the BlasterControl
panel, you can click on the "Advanced" button to get
to the options that allow you to tweak the Annihilator Pro's
graphics performance. The software allows you to select memory
speeds up to a max of 330Mhz. An option to overclock the core
is not offered in the software.