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Diamond Stealth III S540 Savage4 (Page 2/3)

Test System

  • Intel Pentium II 450MHz

  • Abit BE6 i440BX Motherboard

  • 128MB of PC100 SDRAM

  • WesternDigital ATA/66 HD

  • Diamond Stealth III S540 w/ Savage4 Pro+ (v1.02)

  • Aureal SuperQuad Vortex II Soundcard

The test system is a little bit above what the average money-conscience consumer owns, but in my eyes- close enough ;). We used Diamond's latest drivers released way back in June. Sadly, severe conflicts occured in Quake3:Arena and the card didn't run correctly at all. This is definitely a problem that needs to be solved either in Diamond's drivers, or Q3:A. This was just to let you know why I have no cool screens or benchies from that game (and yes the newest version is a reasonable and accurate benchmark now).


The performance of this product is a bit below what a video card should be. Or should it? Anyone satisfied in a card that makes a game perform a tad bit slower, yet makes everything look highly realistic should take this card into consideration. High texture support will play a big part in tomorrow's games, and the Savage4 does it well. It's really in one's matter of opinion: speed or quality?

Okay, I'll stop stalling, here are the benchmarks for Quake II. Take note they were performed at 16-bit color with v-sync and sound enabled.

Moving on are some overall performance marks taken using 3DMark which tests everything a card needs all in one. Although the numbers won't play a part in anything without comparison, I can say they are definitely higher than the Voodoo3 2000... Note: taken at different resolutions with a 16-bit z-buffer, 32-bit color, and all the other goodies enabled:

What's on the CD?

Besides getting the usual drivers (we hope :), Diamond packed in some nice stuff on thier CD. Included are ZoranSoftDVD, a nice Savage Island Demo showing off S3TC, 3D Sensations for presentations, Fremont SE business software, and Diamond GameZone which allows you to choose two game titles for free (but must pay $12.99 S&H). This puts two of the following titles in your hands: Sin, Shogo, Heretic II, Asteroids, StarSeige Tribes and Fighter Squadron. Also, to make sure that everyone has no excuse not to enjoy Diamond GameZone, they included Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0.

Overall, the bundle is surely better than that in which Creative's Stealth4 card offers. Moving on to the biggest strongpoint of this card: S3 Texture Compression (S3TC)...

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