Posted - 11/12/2003 : 11:10:11
| i just saw it hasnt been posted yet, but www.hardware-tweaker.de has received a production model of a duo V8 with the first official driver from XGI, Reactor 188.8.131.52.
the direct link to the review: http://www.hardware-tweaker.de/HTML/Home_4/Overclocking/Artikel_Teil1/XGI_Volari__duo_V8Ultra_Part1/xgi_volari__duo_v8ultra_part1.html
it is in german, but im sure you guys know how to find a site translator. and the benchmark graphs speak for themselves.
what is also curious, is that there isnt 1ghz memory to be found on the card, but the same 900 mhz ddr2 as on the beta card reviewed earlier (www.tomshardware.com). also, the cores are 20 mhz lower clocked at 328mhz. the card also gets really hot, despite a huge copper heatsink on the front and back. (80 degrees celsius was measured, and more then once).
Pixel shader performance is holding the XGI back when compared to the 9700 and 9800. Anisophric Filtering still isnt available in the current driver, but FSAA is. Hardware-tweaker.de finds the XGI FSAA a bit better the ATIs which is good, but ATIs FSAA a bit sharper (which is, erm, bad) but the most important thing is that even 2x FSAA slows the XGI way to much down.
a link to this review was also posted on the dutch computer news site www.tweakers.net and they asked XGI to comment on the review. they didnt post the whole comment of XGI, but just a part, and the rest was translated by them. the quote from XGI:
The Club3D graphics board you referred to incorporates high speed DDRII technology, which consumes more power than regular DDR memory. Without suffering performance loss, the engine clock of graphics processors was reduced by 20 MHZ to enhance the stability of graphics board. This way, users who are using Club3D Volari Duo board can enjoy both fast and stable performance while playing heavy 3D applications. [...]
Regarding the issues with FSAA and Pixel Shader speeds, we have made an improvement with driver version 1.01.05, which will be released next week.
but, ddr2 doesnt consume more power then ddr, it consumes less. at the same speed there is absolutely no difference in performance (link: http://download.micron.com/pdf/flyers/ddr_to_ddr2.pdf ). also, if the core can be clocked 20 mhz lower without suffering performance, in my opinion, the card has a bottleneck at its memory bandwidth.
i do think the FSAA perfomance will be better, and i think AF will be available too. i just dont know how much of perfomance loss both will cause with later driver versions.
Wat betreft de warmteontwikkeling wordt gesteld dat voor het komende jaar de stap naar een kleiner procédé gepland staat, wat de enorme hitte zou moeten doen afnemen. Voor de huidige generatie videokaarten wordt er gewerkt aan een programma dat het stroomverbruik moet inperken. Wat betreft de sterk wisselende prestaties weet de woordvoerder te melden dat komende week versie 1.01.05 van de Reactor-driver zal uitkomen waarmee de FSAA en pixel shader prestaties naar verwachting zullen verbeteren:
a direct translation: As for the heat development, XGI says they will introduce a smaller production process then its current 0.13 micron, which should decrease the heat development. for current cards, there is software in development to lower the power consumption. the 1.01.05 Reactor driver should enhance the FSAA and pixelshader performance, and the new driver should be available next week.
okay, so we now have a card which is priced around a 9800 pro, and it performs around a 9800pro, when no pixelshaders or fsaa is used. it also gets really hot!
good thing is: FSAA looks good, and there is definatly a progress in driver development (no fsaa in beta --> good, but slow fsaa in first official driver).... now lets all wait for more reviews and driver releases.
ECS K7s5a@ 147 MHz, Athlon XP 1600+@1825+, Voodoo5 5500 @166 MHz, 512mb pc3200