Velocity 4400 review
long awaited Nvidia TnT chip based boards are now in stores.
It will appear on many company’s cards, Diamond, Canopus,
Creative Labs, but first there was the STB Velocity 4400.
Being first to the market has its pros and cons. Pros are
you get flood of TnT enthusiast and hardcore hardware
collectors who will pay top dollar for any card based on the
much-hyped chip. I am one of these.
loved the paper specs of the TnT and developer hype and I am
always looking for the next great AGP card to team with my
Voodoo2. The cons are the bug hunting. STB had many problems
with motherboard compatibly and driver bugs. This left STB
with a tarnished reputation for “rushing” the product.
The current state is much better. They have had at least
four driver updates and one BIOS upgrade that eliminates
problems with some motherboards.
myself had few problems and I even used the dreaded BH6/STB
4400 combo. With the current drivers and BIOS I have NO
problems to report, not one bug!
TnT stands for TwiN Texel something or other. In other words
it can do multi-texturing in one pass due to a parallel
pipeline to process pixels. It was originally spec’d at
.25 micron 125Mhz chip clock for a peak of 250 Megapixel a
second. These specs were lowered due to Nvidia wanting to
get to the market faster in order to compete with the
Voodoo2 and beat the flood of upcoming “2nd generation”
3D cards like the Savage 3d by S3, RRedline by Rendition and
Permedia3 by 3D Labs. The decision was made to go with a .35
micron fabrication process to get to the market faster.
of course, heats things up and for stability sake, Nvidia
was forced to run the chip clock at 90Mhz, thus leaving the
peak fillrate at 180-190Mpps. This compares to the Voodoo2’s
90Mpps (180Mpps dual textured games), Savage 3D’s 125Mpps
and G200’s 100Mpps.
Like I stated above, the Abit BH6 has
been compatibility problem with the STB Velocity reported on
the net. I read horror story after story and decided to try
it anyway (I wanted my TnT!). At first my system wouldn’t
boot at all, just beeped. After putting the old ATI PCI card
back in and going into the system BIOS, I adjusted my AGP
aperture size to 256MB and turned boot card from AGP to PCI
(this ultimately was my problem). After this the system
booted and drivers installed like normal.