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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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Our main concerns will be the results from the vertex and pixel shader tests, as well as the Ragtroll test.  When we test DirectX9 cards, we will also look at the results for Game4, which requires DirectX9 functions to run, but neither of the cards tested today can run it, nor could they run the v2 Pixel shader test.

Now this is fairly well expected, since the Xabre was NEVER meant to deal with this much strain. Plus, as you can see, even the TI4200 struggles with it. The difference in FPS here, while great percentage-wise, is not so huge in real life (since they are both so slow).  But when you start talking about fill rate... REALLY have to start wondering what's going on.  Theoretically, the Xabre600 should be capable of 1200 MTexels/second in single texture.  Here it manages just over 400.  In multitexture, it is theoretically capable of 2400 MTexels/second.  It's lucky to get to half that number in this test.

The results would be easier to ignore if the Ti4200 didn't do so well in this regard.  With a rate of 872.4/second, the Ti4200 is within 100 points of its theoretical fill rate in single texture.  Swithing to multitexture, it is almost dead on; just 50 points under the theoretical rate.  Ouch.


This powerful benchmark uses all of the latest OpenGL technologies available, including pixel and vertex shader extensions.  The problem is, the Xabre600's software shader unit does NOT seem to do well with support pixel and vertex shaders in OpenGL.  GLMark doesn't even detect the Advanced OpenGL, only standard OpenGL.  We'll look closer at this issue in the DroneZ test. All detail settings were maxed out for this benchmark, for each card, and we also ran the TI4200 at the standard OpenGL settings.


The Xabre struggles to keep within 2/3rd the framerate the Ti4200 is capable of.  But there is still more work to be done if OpenGL can't access the DX8 features of the card.  This basically means that this card is only HALF DirectX8.1 compliant; while it supports everything in DirectX (at a very low performing rate), it doesn't seem to provide extensions for those features to be used under OpenGL.  Of course, the TI4200 tops it either way you set it; turning off the advanced features just means that the TI4200's shader units sit unused, though it is able to get a higher max FPS number.

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