Spectra 5400PE comes with a host of proprietary utilities from
Canopus. However, even the retail-boxed version I received, did not have any
games bundled together with it. Guess
Canopus have truly distinguished themselves to be targeting high-end
graphics users and not typical gamers. This card is no exception.
having said that the proprietary utilities are indeed useful:
disc full of Canopus drivers + utilities
There’s a whole list of past & present Nvidia drivers here,
from v1.76 to 2.01.
The TNT2 chipset itself assists hardware decoding on DVD playback.
However, it doesn’t support full motion compensation nor
Inverse Discrete Cosine Transforms (IDCTs), unlike the Savage /
SIS chipsets. Hence, the
CPU still has to do most of the work here.
I believe the hardware DVD assist can be enabled via an
option on the Canopus Advanced Options-> DirectX panel (Quadrant
DVD support). But more on
This utility allows one to play AVI / MPEG files and capture
screenshots of playback. Although
it’s nothing revolutionary, it does work well.
Reminiscent of its predecessor, the Spectra 5400PE comes with the
software control features offered in the original Spectra 2500 and
This is an extremely useful utility for any user, especially
gamers. Basically, by
mapping hot-keys to change certain settings (like increase /
decrease gamma settings), one can adjust these anytime during a
Windows session (or gameplay) without having to mess with monitor
controls. An innovative
utility since the Spectra 2500 days…
Basically a nifty little applet that resides on your system
tray and allows one to change screen resolutions / colour-depths /
refresh rates on the fly. Pretty
similar to what Entech’s Powerstrip offers.
installing the Canopus drivers, several tabs are added to the
Windows Display Control Panel. This
includes a Spectra Gamma Control tab (for colour management) and a
Spectra Options tab (for screen positioning / cursor control and
access to Advanced options). The Advanced options panel reveals various overclocking settings
(for the chip / mem) and OpenGL / DirectX / Direct3D parameters.
Out of which, one can also enable / disable Vsynch – a hot
topic with Q3 testers.
"Okay, that’s enough rattling…Tell me how it performs!"