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Reviewed: 3D Prophet DDR-DVI
Author: Chris Kim       Date: July 4th, 2000
Page: 4

One of the biggest inclusions in the newest 5.22 Detonator 2 drivers is the inclusion of Full-Screen Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), which removes all the "jaggies" seen onscreen when running at the lower resolutions and removes other artifacts such as texture "shimmering" and "swimming". Whether or not FSAA on the GeForce 256 setup is supported in hardware or drivers is yet unknown, but the FSAA works very well. The whole purpose of FSAA is to remove those "jaggies" that appear all around the 3D-polygon world at the edges, the "stair steps" case is commonly seen. FSAA resolves this by rendering a scene at a higher resolution and then scaling it back down to fit the resolution of the monitor. This way, it removes the jagged edges; however, there is a huge performance hit because the screen has to be rendered in the frame buffer at such a high resolution.

Also in the newest driver revision included the first addition of S3 Texture Compression (S3TC), which has the ability to yield photo-realistic textures when a game or application is optimized for it. It can also be used to compress textures into less video memory for faster performance. Most games currently only compress existing textures for faster performance, and that is a bummer because after seeing what S3TC can yield, 2048x2048 resolution textures, we are really looking forward to some S3TC optimized games... like Unreal Tournament, but isn't included in all rendering APIs.

It seems as if bundles that come with videocards nowadays are getting even slimmer and slimmer, and the 3D Prophet DDR-DVI follows this rule with an extremely paltry bundle. It includes four game demos, NVIDIA's technology demos, and software DVD player. The DVD player included is the excellent PowerDVD, and the DVD assistance on the 3D Prophet DDR-DVI is good, although it doesn't replace a true hardware MPEG2 decoder. This is by all means a very weak software package, but the main purpose of the videocard is to get just that isn't it?

The machine which the 3D Prophet DDR-DVI was tested upon:

  • CPU: Intel Celeron 450MHz (75MHz FSB)
  • Motherboard: DFI TA64-B (Rev. 0.5)
  • RAM: Enhanced Memory Systems 128MB PC133 HSDRAM
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar 10.2GB ATA66
  • Soundcard: Xitel Storm Platinum (Vortex2-chipset)
  • Drivers: 5.22 Detonator 2 Reference
  • OS: Windows 98 4.10.1998
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    Added:  Tuesday, July 04, 2000
    Reviewer:  Chris Kim
    Page: 4/8

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