Viper II Z200 review
Klein on March 24, 2000
since S3 announced their Savage 2000 chip I have been curious
as to how this chip would perform and look. I am lucky enough
now to be able to see just how the Savage 2000 performs and
looks with the Viper II.
Now that S3 has acquired
Diamond, they have a lot of market push behind them. Instead
of S3 just making the chips, they are now able to make the
whole board and sell it under Diamonds very popular Viper
The Diamond Viper II Z200,
with its Savage 2000 chip, is a 4th generation board sporting
features like S3’s popular S3 texture compression, hardware
transform and lighting, 32 MB of RAM and tremendously high
fill rates. In fact, The Viper II has proven to have one of
the highest fill rates around for a video board, but is it a
While in the past the Viper II
wasn't originally planed to compete with NVIDIA’s GeForce
boards, with its impressive performance it proves that it can
indeed compete with the GeForce SDR line.
The Viper II can now be bought
for as little as $140, making it a great deal for anyone who
wants great performance without the high price. One question
still stands, "Has S3's driver support got any better
with the Savage 2000?"
This is one important question
that remains on everyone’s mind that have previously owned
an S3 based board, such as the Savage 3D and Savage 4. While
S3 can claim that the board offer certain features and can
deliver amazing graphics, that doesn't amount to anything if
the drivers do not keep up.
The board is clocked at 125MHz
for the core and 143MHz for the memory. The Diamond Viper II
also has a very impressive feature and that is to be able to
process four textures at once. The Savage 2000 is based on a
.18 manufacturing process, but it still cannot run at high
frequencies like previous chips could.
This is most likely due to the
large amount of transistors needed for the chip. The Savage
2000 still runs very very cool. In fact, the board does not
require a fan for the heatsink. With
the Savage 2000's ability to process two pixels per clock and
each one with dual texture engines, this makes it one of the
fastest chips available. The GeForce 256 can process 4 pixels
per clock, but does not have to dual texture engine like the
Viper II has.
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