During our test session we used the new S3 drivers, which we the company was so kind to provide us with. In terms of the available setting options the new driver version is absolutely identical to the previous one (see our Review for details), although this time we discovered one new settings page devoted to OpenGL:
Unfortunately, the variety of available settings doesn’t strike us as rich: you can only adjust the anisotropy level, enable/disable Vsync and set the level of detail. But this is definitely better than nothing. At least you can now take advantage of the S3’s excellent anisotropic filtering algorithm in OpenGL applications, too. Besides that, there are no new settings or options in the drivers. And the pages devoted to power consumption and working frequencies are still missing completely.
Testbed and Methods
Besides S3 DeltaChrome S8 Nitro we will also have the following products participating in our test session:
- S3 DeltaChrome S8
- ATI RADEON 9600 XT
- ATI RADEON 9600 PRO
- NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
- NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 Ultra
- XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra
Our testbed was configured as follows:
- CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ (2.20GHz, 1MB L2);
- Mainboard: ASUS K8V Deluxe;
- RAM: Corsair XMS PC3200 512MB (2x256MB, 2-3-3-6);
- HDD: Seagate 7200.7, Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer;
- Audio: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2;
- Software: Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP1, DirectX 9.0b;
- Drivers: S3 Graphics 220.127.116.112; ATI CATALYST 4.2; NVIDIA ForceWare 53.03, 52.16; XGI Reactor 1.02.05.
Just like in our previous review we used two versions of Force Ware driver. One of them, version 52.16, was used only for performance tests in FutureMark packages, because it is exactly the version certified by the developer and it provides adequate results in 3DMark03. In all other cases we used version 53.03. The gaming tests were run with the maximum image quality settings for each game.