Kyro II-based graphics card
Review Compromises are never easy to accept, and while Nvidia's GeForce 3 technology is expensive, the sub-£100 alternatives of ATI's Radeon VE and the GeForce 2 MX cards aren't more tempting. Be thankful, then, for Videologic's VividXS, a 32MB card that offers near-GeForce 2 GTS performance at almost half the price.
Although Videologic's commitment to the PowerVR technology hasn't always been impressive, on this occasion it uses clever techniques such as tile-based rendering (maximising efficiency by only drawing the parts of the scene that the player can see) and full-scene anti-aliasing to outstanding effect.
In performance, the VividXS confounded all expectations, and its searing frame rates - almost 90fps (frames per second) in Quake III at a resolution of 1024x768 - not only outclassed those of the GeForce 2 MX and Radeon VE, but came close to matching the GeForce 2 GTS. Hike up the resolution and image detail and the VividXS fades slightly, but it's never in danger of losing out to the MX and VE.
The Videologic card isn't perfect. It doesn't support DirectX 8.0 and, as more games take advantage of DirectX 8.0's advanced facilities, expect the VividXS to lose out. The lack of hardware Transform and Lighting means the card will rely more on your PC so, unless you have a fast processor and plenty of RAM, the Gainward Pro/400 is a better bet.
The Videologic VividXS offers more power than the GeForce2 MX and Radeon VE cards. With a price tag of £85, this is the perfect stop-gap while you wait for the high-end GeForce cards to become more affordable. ®
Contact: 01923 277 488
GPU: STMicroelectronics Kyro II
Max resolution: 2048x1536 with 16.7m colours
Memory: 32MB SDRAM
Drivers: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/NT 4.0
This review is taken from the August 2001 issue. All details correct at time of publication.
Copyright © 2001, IDG. All rights reserved.