Aside from the chip coolers, the only card that deviates very visibly from NVidia’s reference design is the S II, which has a toroidal choke sticking up next to the RAM, which might account for the fact that I found the card to be capable of a little more speed than the others. No doubt this will change in the very near future, but if you want to buy a video card right now, there’s really no contest on price. DB analog monitor connector Drivers Windows. As far as 2D performance goes, there’s no reason at all to pay for the extra memory. Live also defaults to the none-too-efficient Cinepak codec , which has the advantage of ubiquity if you’ve got Windows 95 or better, you’ve got Cinepak , but which makes big, big AVI files. If you don’t need it, don’t pay for a graphics card that’s got it. Frankly, even without overclocking, the TNT2 may be faster than you need, if you’re a Quake 2 player who doesn’t own a monstrous monitor.

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But Live forgets the change when you close it, so you have to reset the codec again every time you use the program.

Diamond Viper V770 ATX AGP 32mb Video Card 28230351-004

On every other front, though, it’s TNT2 all the way. Tribes added as well at a smaller but still decent discount. Given the low price of the card, the Leadtek bundle is OK. My lazy and lightweight benchmarking effort consisted diamind Quake 2 framerate tests and a quick buzz with WinTune 98a mini-benchmark program which is to Ziff-Davis’ monstrous WinBench as a roller-skate is to a Star Destroyer but which produces quite reliable and repeatable figures and is, I think, adequate for testing two closely related chipsets like the TNT and TNT2.

The two more expensive cards in this comparison both have video out, and the ASUS board has video inas well. Any 3D game would display blurried textures and diqmond after a couple of seconds.

The TNT2 also supports textures up to by pixels in size, versus a mere by for Voodoo 3.


Testing All TNT2 boards support outrageous 2D resolutions – a maximum of bywhich not many screens can display at all, let alone clearly, and high refresh rates in more realistic resolutions.

If you consider the realism of a parallax-scrolled variable-transparency sky to be an important feature in your 3D card, I can only presume you spend a ivper amount of time in your games staring at the sky. In multiplayer, though, you’ll get more frags if you drop to 16 bit. Earlier TNT2 drivers caused the game to slow down gigantically when you changed colour depth – selecting menu items took some tens of seconds, and actually playing was completely impossible.

Diamond Viper V Ultra TNT2

Which drivers have you been using i. Imagine playing a game diiamond looks like this, but with all of the deeply wrong textures pulsing away like crazy as they change their opinion about exactly how wrong they want to be.

Although, since the S II has no video capture facility, you’ll need some other way to get your video into the computer. Games with funkier engines v7770 do fog mixing and similar tricks benefit more visually from 32 bit, but since going for 16 bit will let you run a higher resolution at the same speed, most gamers opt for fewer colours.

In the narrow definition used here, codecs are just software, and they’re used for compressing and decompressing video and audio files. DB analog monitor connector Drivers Windows. The NVidia drivers actually have just about all of the features that the brand-name drivers have, although the brand-name versions may make some of them easier to use.

In gaming, refresh diamons is not so critical, because you’re generally not staring intently at relatively stationary objects apg great fields of solid colour.

With frame sync turned on, your framerate can never exceed your monitor refresh rate, so you won’t find out if your video system is faster. Increasing texture quality to 16 bit made the diamind – which has transparent parallax scrolling clouds – look a little better, but made no perceptible difference to anything else.


The S II I checked out has 16Mb of video memory and video out, but that’s where its fancy features stop. The Q3Test preview version of Quake 3 Arena asks considerably more of the video subsystem than Quake 2 does – partly because it’s a great deal prettier, and partly because it’s not finished yet and thus uses more power than the final version will. The other two cards, considering their specification levels, offer similar value.

But, with 16 or 32Mb of on-board RAM, TNT-series cards generally don’t need to transfer data very often; in most 3D games, the RAM gets stocked with all of the texture data at the beginning of each level, and this happens at the mercy of the hard drive, which limits the maximum possible data transfer rate more than PCI ever could.

All three cards come with a CD-ROM containing driver software, supporting utilities, documentation and so on. If you’ve got Internet access, the rule of thumb is to not even look at the drivers provided on the included CD which are likely to be the dreaded v1. For most users this isn’t actually much of a selling point, as the resolution of the average TV is crummy. The current ones use the more pedestrian and MHz speeds. Please post your motherboard’s BIOS settings too, just to be safe e.

End of editorial opinion.

Which is what you’d expect, since the cards use exactly the same chipset. Current video cards are reaching new memory capacity heights. Download the better ones before you even install the card. I am unsure how successful this much overclocking would be in a normal, poorly-cooled PC case. The Quake 2 results:.