Canopus Spectra 5400 PE - Page 4
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The 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.

However, having said that the proprietary utilities are indeed useful:

CD-ROM disc full of Canopus drivers + utilities
There’s a whole list of past & present Nvidia drivers here, from v1.76 to 2.01.

WinDVD v1.2.4.5
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 later…

MediaScope
This utility allows one to play AVI / MPEG files and capture screenshots of playback. Although it’s nothing revolutionary, it does work well.

Canopus Control Utilities
Reminiscent of its predecessor, the Spectra 5400PE comes with the software control features offered in the original Spectra 2500 and more!

Quick Control
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…

Screen Control
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.

On 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!"

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