The major problem with the S3D is probably the drivers, otherwise it's awright I guess. The Banshee would probably be a better choice however. The TNT assumably isn't that good unless you tune the Celeron up a few MHz more...
I'm running a dual pentium pro 180Mhz, which for gaming is not all that super fast. And I just bought a Velocity 4400TNT. IT is beautiful. Screw S3. I'm scared of a company with so many porblems. You'd think they would have learned from their mistakes(i.e. virge)
Other cards may be faster, but the TnT is more than fast enough, the colors are clean and vivid, and tv out is beautiful.
bought cardexpert gx3 8mb agp savage 3d,
(sdram), tested under final reality, some
mapping error at the end of the test, (the
japanese girl's face shown up with some big
chunks of colorful square). Not very
impressive, 2D a little better than the
permedia II I had before. 3D results even
a little slower than the voodoo I had. And
does anybody know if this card support texture compression like the beast? If yes
then how do I activate it? Anybody got the
Hercules Beast, how much better is it than
the cardexpert gx3? Does it use sgram?
I'm running a Velocity TnT on a dual P Pro 180, fairl low end for gaming, and it smokes. All that talk about TnT not running good on low end systems is nonsense. It is fast. JediKnight in 1152x864, no lag at all.
Buy for the resolution and colors, because just about any new card will push enough frames. (anything over 24 is a waste of money, you cannot see it.) And your card will be obsolete and upgraded before you max it out, so go with visual quality, which S3 does not have. All the talk about compression and textures is crap if the final output is crap
smokingbear: Yeah, the GX3 has texture compression. You can force it on with a registry change if you want, but it really isn't necessary. Check out s3.dimension3d.com for lots of information on the registry settings and stuff like that (and get the latest drivers from gainward!).
Chanse: What are you talking about? The Savage3D image quality is amazing! Especially if a game supports 32-bit color, which the Voodoo2 can't do. And ESPECIALLY if it supports S3's texture compression, like the enhanced version of Unreal that's coming out in a few weeks.
Everything I read about the Savage 3d is great, but the only card Ive usedis the Beast, which was total crap, couldn't get it to work , took forever to get running right, It may be a powerful technology, with a lot of fancy compression words, and may be totally driver issues, but it's irrelevant, by the time they get it right, they will have a new card out , faster and cheaper. I think the market moves too fast to wait for driver "fixes". Plus Hercules is a crap company.
And on a side note, Unreal is crap too, it may have a powerful engine, but i have never been more disappointed in a game.
Personally I'm not big on 3dfx either. I have a Velocity Tnt and find it to be great. Fast, great visual quality. And it works out of the box, no driver revisions, no empty promises. Although it did include Forsaken(which i won't hold against them)
My advice: go for the card with the best image quality and resolution. As long as the MINIMUM framerate is good enough, it doesn't matter what the maximum is. The minimum framerate is tested using crusher.dm2. However with the vast majority of systems, this benchmark is CPU limited - ie the graphics card can punch out more but the CPU can't supply it with enough frames. On a K6-2 300 you can expect 16fps with both the TNT and Voodoo2. The average framerate will be in the 30's for both cards. My advice is to go with whatever looks the best (ie image quality and resolution). If you've got an AGP slot, you'll want to have the 3D card in it. a 2d/3d combo also means you don't need the pass-through cable
The celeron 300a posts a 27fps in the crusher.dm2 map with the riva tnt chipset board. massive.dm2 posts mid 30's with the demo1.dm2 posting near 40 fps in quake II. Almost any game you play (except mabey unreal and other quake II based games) in 3d will post faster frame rates than quake II frame rates (open gl scores of almost all video cards are slower than direct 3d scores). Also note that the above fps scores are at max resolution (past 1024x768) resolutions a dual voodoo2 setup cannot touch. You can expect the frame rates for the standard celeron to be slower (probably closer to 20fps). but it will still run all d3d games screaming fast and look the best too boot. Most games will post minimum frame rates past 24 fps (at the top resolution the card can go in 3d). You cant beat this, especially with dual voodooII's running about twice as much money as a single riva tnt. Not to mention you still need that good 2d card as well with the voodoo 2.
Ps... the riva's 2d performance is stunning as well!!!