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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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Massive development's engine is a nice looking one for DirectX8-compliant benchmarking, but will soon be replaced by AquaMark3.0, which will boast full DirectX9 support.  We ran this benchmark in 2 resolutions, and recorded average FPS.

The TI4200 is a clear winner here, handling this heavy-duty test with quite a margin of comfort.  This doesn't usually happeb, but I am  beginning to feel sorry for the Xabre.  I think I see Geoff The Goat licking his lips.. He's looking hungry!


Another "DirectX8-era" benchmark for pixel and vertex shaders, even though it runs in OpenGL.  The game itself is horrible, but the engine looks nice, and makes a great benchmark, not only measuring FPS, but triangles generated and amount of T&L operations performed, giving us another measure of T&L unit effectiveness.

Now, if you'll remember, in the Vulpine GLMark test, GeForce3 features couldn't be turned on.  It's the same story in DroneZ, but we can see exactly what features are inaccessible:

No vertex programs, no shaders, none of that fun stuff, nor is there any S3TC compression available (It's not supported in DirectX either).  SiS has some real hard work to do with the OpenGL drivers for the Xabre.  Anyway, we ran the TI4200 with everything turned on, as well as with only the things the Xabre supports turned on.

It handles DroneZ somewhat well, managing slightly better average and minimum FPS when the TI4200 is cranking out shader programs.  However, turn those off, and the TI4200 takes a clear lead over the Xabre.  This is yet another win for the TI4200, since it's capable of either having greater performance than the Xabre600, or making use of advanced display fratures that the Xabre is currently unable to access. 

Remember, the T&L triangles test includes the operation of the vertex shader unit, which is inaccessible on the Xabre in OpenGL mode.  The TI4200's Vertex shader is part of the T&L unit, thereby affecting number of triangles processed.  Amazingly, when the field is leveled, the Xabre600 averages a higher number of GL triangles processed per second. The Xminator drivers are fairly new, and most likely need a lot of optimization, while the TI4200 is a mature platform that has already been optimized.  SiS has a lot of work to do to bring performance up to the point where the GPU can compete.

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