By no means am I a computer guru as many of the members here are. I purchased this video card after serious research, product availability in my area, cost, ease of installation and the fact that my graphic chip is integrated on the motherboard which has no AGP slot. This limited my choices of graphics cards. I also wanted to ensure I personally could do this, the correct installation procedure. I went to the manufacturers web site, PC911 and other hardware upgrade sites.
I followed exactly the manufacturers recommended installation guide and PC911 tutorial on video card installation. By the way, in essence they were exactly the same. Everything went without a hitch. Of course upon boot up I had a hardware conflict between the new card and the integrated chip. Let me back up a week or two. Prior to this I was told Windows 98 might not have a conflict and recognize as a Multi-monitor. I wish to state in other cases this might be true, but the minute I tried the Multi-monitor setup, I was treated to a box on my screen. Basically it stated Hewlett Packard had somehow removed this option in their versions of Win98.
Fast forward. I found three separate suggestions on different sites on how to proceed to eliminate this conflict. One was to eliminate the conflict by removing the on-board chip through the Device Manager in System. Two was by changing VGA jumpers on the mother board. Three was a combination of both. On my Asus P2B-98XV motherboard changing the recommended jumper from enable to disable or back didn’t seem to affect it either way. I placed the jumper back to ‘Enable’ as Default position. I went to Device Manager in the System. The conflict resolution was as simple as a check mark, changed from ‘Exists in all Hardware Profiles’ to ‘Disable in this Hardware Profile’. The installation and conflict resolve was as easy as that.
As per the PC911 tutorial I went to the 3dFx site and downloaded the latest drivers and installed. I tried all the games either my son or I normally play. The newer games such as Soul Reaver and Rogue Spear worked flawlessly first time out. The older games I own such as Forsaken had problems, blank screens, etc. as I was forewarned. I immediately went to the different game manufacturers sites, downloaded game patches and viola. All games work flawlessly.
I never owned a 2d/3d Graphics card before other than the on-board ATI Rage Pro chip so I really didn’t know what to expect. I was astounded at the total difference, the clarity, the phenomenal color in the games. As I said I am no computer guru by any means so I really don’t know much about the specifications. I know it is a Voodoo3 2000 PCI card that is PCI 2.1 compliant, 16megs of SDRAM, Core clock is at 143Mhz, (some 3d Card sights have software downloads to overclock this card), 60Hz to 160Hz Refresh rate. On my 17″ NEC Multisync Monitor I set at 1028X768 and 85Hz based upon both the card manufacturer and monitor manufacturer said I could. I did try it at different refresh rates and sizes but, this is the one I liked the best. API Support is DirectX, Glide, OpenGL. Since I had already downloaded DirectX 7.0 I didn’t need the DirectX 6.0 files that came on the installation CD.
There are tweaks and such that came with the software. I have only had the card for about few hours so haven’t played with them. I wish I could comment on this aspect because I am sure this will bring out the best of the card for my application.
As just plain ole Joe, a guy off the street, I am impressed. I don’t know anything about the other chips used in other graphics cards. So, I cannot compare. As a just plain ole guy off the street who read a few reviews, did a bit of research, followed the PC911 Online Tutorial I must admit if I can do it, anyone can do it. The overall deciding factor with my purchase of this card was the cost. $99 out of the store. I know there are better cards, more Triangles/sec. and Megatexels/sec…whatever this is…..more memory, more features like TV Out – but, based upon my limited budget, I couldn’t afford anything more. Since I have an integrated chip on the motherboard I wasn’t able to take advantage of the AGP slot. I was limited in the cards I could use. And this one was exactly what I was looking for.
Submitted by: Firewalker