on August 09, 2001
As expected, it was a breeze to install.
My old card, a Hercules 3D Prophet II MX, had detonators
installed as MX/MX400. Unfortunately it was not possible to
simply install this new card & keep the old drivers,
windows booted up to install them again for me for this new
card. However, the installation was still painless with the
latest uncustomised detonators.
For some reason the Abit customised
drivers would not work straight away, and required me to
install uncustomised detonators and then use the Abit
install program. You shouldn't want to use the drivers from
the CD though, seeing as they are quite old.
The Siluro operated flawlessly in AGP 4x
with fast writes, side band addressing and USWC memory
caching, and was even willing to run at an increased AGP bus
speed of 72 MHz, although it did get a bit hot.
As I mentioned earlier, the Siluro came
with WinDVD 2000, version 2.4. This is possibly one of the
best software DVD players around, with excellent image
quality and support for Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. A
quick trip into DVD genie revealed that by WinDVD had
straight away defaulted to GeForce MC decoding, which I
distinctly remember version 2.3 of WinDVD did not with my
old MX card. I was amazed by the image quality, which even
seemed to put my Hollywood+ to shame, and that really is an
achievement. To test it to the limits, I set my desktop to
1600x1200 in 32 bit colour. WinDVD playback had no apparent
frame rate loss in both windowed and full screen modes. I
don't know whether this is due to the new 2.4 version of the
software or the DVD features on the Siluro, but regardless,
congratulations go to Abit for shipping a great DVD solution
for those who are on a budget & don't want to pay out
any extra for a separate decoder.
There has been a lot of discussion as to
how much the extra 32 Mb or RAM & the increased core
clock adds to the frame rates of the card. Therefore I
decided to test the Siluro alongside a popular standard
GeForce 2 MX card, the 3D Prophet II MX from Hercules. As
usual I am using 3D Mark 2001 to test Direct3D performance
and VulpineGL to test OpenGL performance.
All latest drivers & any other
relevant system updates are installed. Unless noted
otherwise BIOS settings & others were set as shown in
the appropriate Tweaking
3D Mark 2001
Low quality settings: 640x480, 16 bit
colour, no FSAA, triple buffer, texture compression, 16 bit
zbuffer, hardware TnL
High quality settings:1600x1200, 32 bit
colour, 2x2 FSAA, triple Buffer, no texture compression, 24
bit Z Buffer, software TnL
Abit Siluro MX400
Hercules 3D Prophet II MX
Low quality 3D mark
High quality 3D mark
Unable to run test
3D Mark 2001 - FSAA performance hit
Low quality settings, as listed above.
Abit Siluro tested here only.