Viper 550 in SiN...

As stated previously, the Viper 550's TNT graphics chip is no VoodooČ Killer when it comes to OpenGL and no functionality at all in Glide™, but for a 2D/3D solution, there is nothing available at this time on the market that can rival it - although the Rage 128 from ATI is sure to give the TNT a run for the money (especially where super7 users are concerned).  The TNT easily eeks past it's nearest competitors - S3's Savage3D & 3Dfx's Voodoo Banshee and blows away the MGA 200 graphics chip in every performance mark although you may have to give the image quality edge to the G200 or the Savage3D.  In Ritual's SiN, an OpenGL game that really pushes the graphics subsystem's properties, especially when running 3Finger's Rocket Demo Benchmark, the Viper 550 performs better than any other 2D/3D combo as seen below...

 

In Conclusion...

Update Dec. 6, 1998:  With the release yesterday of AGP drivers version 1.5 all previous lockup prblems with the TNT graphics chip seem to have disappeared.  Although only tested for the last eight hours or so all of the problems mentioned here appeard to have been cleared up so please disregard any mention of difficulties with the ALI chipset - thank you

While the Viper 550's TNT engine stutters a bit in OpenGL on Aladdin V based boards I still cannot not recommend this card.  It's excellent image quality and outstanding benchmark performance make this the current graphics card to beat. 

awardgold.gif (6926 bytes) I am sure that it won't be long before all of the bugs that can be worked out will be and I am just as sure that the 0.25 micron version will surpass this card's performance and will be out before you know it.   In the meantime, with prices falling,  the price/performance ratio is almost but not quite the equal of S3's Savage3D based card.  I understand from a few sources that Diamond's Tech Support for this product has improved greatly over the last few months if you've a mind to buy retail.

  Which is a great comfort to some as in it's early release I got a number of complaints about their apparent lack of knowledge about their own product.  In my humble opinion there is no reason to hesitate when forking over your hard earned cash for this product...

  December 4, 1998

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