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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti, Carl Nelson [02.24.03]
Card Manufacturer: Powercolor
GPU Manufacturer: SiS
MSRP: $125

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The Drivers

Everyone is going the Unified Driver Architecture route, though they can't call them "Detonator" like NVIDIA does.  ATI calls theirs "Catalyst," and SiS calls their "Xminator" in keeping with the whole "X" theme (and it happens to rhyme with "Detonator").  It'll work with any Xabre series card released to this point, from the Xabre80 up to and including our Xabre600.  While the drivers’ dialogs aren't the prettiest to look at, and there are quite a few dialogs, they work fairly efficiently (though not as efficiently as NVIDIA's new single-dialog design). 

Within the Display Properties/Advanced menu, you find all of the desktop and 2D settings for the Xabre, including dual-display modes, and color adjustment and correction. 

Most of the main config dialogs are also accessible through this shortcut in the task tray.  This icon also gives access (the only access, incidentally) to the 3D feature adjustments of this card, as well as the hotkeying for the on-screen display:

Direct3D and OpenGL dialogs are similar, offering 3 different modes of operation for the GPU, from Quality, up to Performance.  FSAA is also accessible here, as is a checkbox to disable VSync.  It's a good thing it's there, since it's NOT in PowerStrip.

SiS puts a nice overclocking tab right there, where it's easy to get at. The memory and GPU can be unlocked from running synchronously here as well, in case the memory might be limiting speeds. 


This is the dialog for the Xmart utilities, including an adjustment for the XmartVision brightness function.  This is an INCREDIBLY worthwhile feature, and it's very noticeable.  Just try running 3DMark2001SE with and without it enabled.  The default run in that benchmark will produce enough dark-light environment variances to kick XmartVision into doing its thing.  It REALLY makes it easier to see a darker game, and does it all by itself, without needing to be told.

These driver dialogs are pretty simple, but they do the job.  I'd prefer that the dual-monitor dialog was a bit easier to use, but it does work.

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