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Diamond Stealth III S540 Savage4 (Page 1/3)

Posted: August 26, 1999
Written by: David "Spunk" Grampa
Estimated retail price: $99.99

The presence of the Savage4 Pro as being one of the few competitors for 3D king this year was quite unexpected. Plagued by its father (the Savage3D), the Savage4 Pro definitely made 3D hardware enthusiasts think twice about S3's position in the graphics market today. An improvement on those that came before, but do you really want the Savage4 to be the next card YOU take home? You'll just have to read along and see...


  • S3TC texture compression, multi-texturing and massive texture bandwidth (2048x2048)

  • Superior 32-bit rendering

  • AGP Texturing

  • 24-bit Z-buffer and 8-bit stencil buffer

  • Full support for Direct3D and OpenGL ICD

  • 128-bit Windows 2D Accelerator

  • High-speed 300MHz RAMDAC

  • Full palette of 16.7 million colors


  • S3 Savage4 Pro+
  • 128-bit 2D, 3D and video
Bus Type:
  • AGP 4X
  • (Compatible with AGP 1X/2X)
  • 32MB SDRAM
  • Capable of achieving memory clock speeds of 143MHz
Horizontal Sync Signals:
  • 31.5KHz-112.0KHz
Vertical Refresh:
  • 60Hz-200Hz
Maximum Dot (Pixel) Rate:
  • 300MHz RAMDAC
Monitors Supported:
  • Standard and Multi-frequency Analog Monitors
  • DDC2B Plug and Play
Video Playback:
  • AVI and MPEG-1
  • DVD/MPEG-2 requires DVD ROM Drive
  • Motion compensation
  • X and Y interpolation
  • Color space conversion
  • DB-15 analog monitor connector (VESA DDC2B)
Complete 3D Feature Set:
  • 8-bit Stencil Buffer
  • 32-bit Rendering
  • Anisotropic filtering
  • Backface Culling
  • Bilinear MIP Mapping
  • Bump Mapping
  • Floating Point Z-Buffer
  • Full Scene Anti-Aliasing
  • Gouraud Shading
  • Integer Z-Buffer Multi-Texture Blending
  • MPEG-2 Video Textures
  • Perspective Correction
  • Ramp Mode Rendering
  • Reflection Mapping
  • Single-Pass Bump Mapping
  • Single-Pass Multi-Texture Blending
  • Strips and Fans
  • Texture Cache
  • Texture Compression
  • Tri-linear MIP Mapping
  • Up to 24-bit Z-Buffer
  • Variable Length Vertex Parsing
  • Vertex Cache
  • W-Buffer
  • API Support
  • DirectX 6.1, OpenGL ICD
As seen above, many of the features needed in a card for next generation games are present. There are a few speculations that seem watered down compared to the other chips/cards on the market today, but remember- this is directed to the value customer!

Take special interest upon the S3TC (texture compression technology). This is what, or will rather, make the Savage4 shine when supporting games come along such as Unreal Tournament. Many other popular releases will also be ported with S3TC in mind. Until then, we can only speculate on the performance increase. A very innovative strong point that will be implemented (at par with S3TC) by many companies in the future... Let's move on to the performance.

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