In the Forums...
Posted: August 17, 1999
Written by: Chris Burek
Company website: www.diamondmm.com
A veteran in this area, Diamond Multimedia has long been the choice of many indulged gamers and end-users alike when it comes to choosing video cards based on industry standard 3D chipsets.
Based on nVidia's latest silicon, the Riva TNT2 Ultra chipset, Diamond's Viper V770 Ultra is not a card to dismiss because of its features, bundle, and performance. The V770 Ultra is a step up from Diamond's vanilla TNT2, the V770, clocked at higher speeds and accompanied by an impressive game bundle.
The Viper V770 comes with the TNT2 Ultra norm of 32MB SDRAM (5.5ns), its engine clocked at 150MHz and memory timed at 183MHz. However, Diamond's included InControl Tools 99 utility allows you to increase the speed in increments of 5MHz up to 175/200MHz, respectively.
Installation was hell. Our test system housed a Canopus Spectra 2500 prior to the Viper V770 Ultra installation, and we were running it with Canopus' latest Spectra drivers at the time. We first uninstalled the Spectra drivers, removed the board and replaced it with the V770 Ultra. After being prompted for the installation CD, and installing the drivers, we ran into _constant_ lockups and screen glitches. Neither the latest Viper drivers nor the reference drivers yielded a fix. It took us a total format of our hard drive before the Viper V770 Ultra worked without flaw. We concluded, obviously, that the Spectra drivers and the Viper drivers were conflicting with each other. However, with a fresh format, the V770 installed flawlessly. Quite a messy and time-consuming job.
Game Bundle and Software
Accompanying the V770 Ultra comes full versions of Superbike World Championship from EA Sports, Wild Metal Country from Gremlin Interactive, and a 4-hour, Internet-enabled copy of Need for Speed III. Utilizing a special offer from Diamond's GameZone, you can pick up any two of the following titles - Sin, Starseige, Heretic II, Asteroids, Fighter Squadron, Shogo: MAD - for only $12.95 US, the cost of shipping. Zoran's SoftDVD is included for DVD playback.
One of the most highly touted features of the V770 Ultra is Diamond's InControl Tools 99 utility. Located in the Display Properties of Control Panel, the InControl Tools let you tweak the V770 Ultra to your heart's content, a huge improvement over nVidia's reference drivers.