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2THEMAX 3DFX BANSHEE

"Today we review the 2theMAX 3DFX Banshee with 16MB Memory against Diamond S3 Savage4 Pro and the Hercules Beast S3 Savage3D using a powerful AMD Duron 750MHZ."

2THEMAX 3DFX BANSHEE

"3dfx released the Voodoo Banshee at a lower price to aim at the mainstream market. A single-chip solution the Banshee was offered excellent 2D and 3D performance with some draw backs compared to the Voodoo2."

"The Banshee's single-chip form factor dictated a 128-bit memory bus, like the first Voodoo. Performance wise, the Banshee was a mixed bag. In scenes which used multiple textures per polygon, the Voodoo2 was substantially faster, due to the second TMU. In scenes dominated by single-textured polygons, though, the Banshee would match (or even slightly exceed) the Voodoo2 due to its higher clock speed."

"While the 3D performance was somewhat of a disappointment, Banshee's 2D core was anything but. It rivaled the fastest 2D cores from Matrox, NVIDIA, and ATI. The chip was equipped with a 128-bit 2D GUI engine and a 128-bit VESA VBE 3.0 VGA core. It was perhaps the fastest MS-DOS performer released, certainly at the time. Windows performance was equally impressive. The graphics chip capably accelerated DirectDraw and supported all of the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) in hardware, with all 256 raster operations and tertiary functions, and had hardware polygon acceleration. All of this helped the 2D core be able to boast near-theoretical performance with a null driver test in Windows NT. 3dfx had indisputably fixed part of the weakness of the older Voodoo Rush."

3DFX BANSHEE SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: 3dfx
GPU: Voodoo Banshee
Release Date: 1998-06-22
Interface: AGP 2X
Core Clock: 100 MHz
Memory Clock: 100 MHz
Memory Bandwidth: 1.6 GB/sec
Shader Operations: 100 Operations/sec
Pixel Fill Rate: 100 MPixels/sec
Texture Fill Rate: 100 MTexels/sec
Framebuffer: 16 MB
Memory Type: SDR
Memory Bus Type: 128 bit
Process: 350 nm
Fragment Pipelines: 1
Texture Units: 1

GENERAL SYSTEM INFORMATION

VIDEO CARD 2THEMAX 3DFX BANSHEE
DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO
HERCULES SAVAGE3D
PROCESSOR AMD DURON 750MHZ
MOTHERBOARD JETWAY 663AS PRO
MEMORY 128MB PC-100 SDRAM
OPERATING SYSTEM WINDOWS 98
DIRECTX VERSION v8.0A

PCPLAYER DIRECT3D

640x480x16BIT

2THEMAX BANSHEE82
DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO87
HERCULES SAVAGE3D92

640x480x32BIT

DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO72
HERCULES SAVAGE3D82

1024x768x16BIT

2THEMAX BANSHEE44
DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO51
HERCULES SAVAGE3D55

1024x768x32BIT

DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO41
HERCULES SAVAGE3D40

2THEMAX BANSHEE DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO
HERCULES SAVAGE3D

COMMENT "The Hercules Savage3D puts in a great performance and actually outperforms Diamond Savage4 Pro by 13% and the 2THEMAX Banshee by 20%. The reason there are no 32BIT results for the 2THEMAX Banshee is because it doesn't support 32BIT Colour only 16BIT."

WINTUNE 97

800x600x16BIT

2THEMAX BANSHEE171
DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO117
HERCULES SAVAGE3D91

800x600x32BIT

DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO58
HERCULES SAVAGE3D55

2THEMAX BANSHEE DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO
HERCULES SAVAGE3D

COMMENT "2THEMAX Banshee puts in a great performance and shows it's 16BIT 2D pushing power beating Diamond Savage4 Pro by 32% and Hercules Savage3D by 47%. When 32BIT is used which the 2THEMAX Banshee doesn't support Diamond Savage4 Pro outperforms the Hercules Savage3D by 6%."

QUAKE 2

640x480x16BIT

2THEMAX BANSHEE72
DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO77
HERCULES SAVAGE3D47

640x480x32BIT

DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO70
HERCULES SAVAGE3D33

1024x768x16BIT

2THEMAX BANSHEE36
DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO35
HERCULES SAVAGE3D21

1024x768x32BIT

DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO31
HERCULES SAVAGE3D12

2THEMAX BANSHEE DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO
HERCULES SAVAGE3D

COMMENT "The Diamond Savage4 Pro puts in an AMAZING performance beating the Hercules Savage3D by 68% and drawing the 2THEMAX Banshee when using 16BIT."

QUAKE 3

FASTEST

2THEMAX BANSHEE85
DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO97
HERCULES SAVAGE3D47

NORMAL

2THEMAX BANSHEE48
DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO55
HERCULES SAVAGE3D30

2THEMAX BANSHEE DIAMOND SAVAGE4 PRO
HERCULES SAVAGE3D

COMMENT "The Diamond Savage4 Pro shows it's great gaming performance beating the 2THEMAX Banshee by 13% and the Hercules Savage3D by 52%."

CONCLUSION "The 2THEMAX 3DFX Banshee has only limited AGP implementation, only one TMU per pipeline which results in lower performance compared to a Voodoo2 when using multi-textured games. The good points are the excellent stability, excellent quality 16BIT output and good performance. Out of the three video cards featured in this review the 2THEMAX 3DFX Banshee comes second with third place taken by the Hercules Savage3D. The real star of this review has to be Diamond Savage4 Pro which was usually clearly faster than the 2THEMAX Banshee and Hercules Savage3D and unlike the 2THEMAX Banshee Diamond Savage4 Pro can deliver crisp clear 32BIT graphics!"



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