Blaster Banshee Performance
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Being somewhat wary of super7 system incompatibilities, I find it is generally the safest and smartest way to proceed to install a new graphics card, is to look for and download the latest available drivers and BIOS' for the device from it's website.  In this case I snatched the v1.08 Blaster Banshee drivers from Creative's website which includes the BIOS v1.03 update.  The README file explained in simple terms the correct procedure for updating the BIOS which I accomplished before installing the new drivers.  These downloaded drivers also include the Blaster Control Display Properties applet which allows for some system tweaking...

Blastercontrol.gif (21310 bytes)

The applet lets you change some of Blaster Banshee's registry settings and also to overclock the Banshee chip itself.  It also allows you to disable synchronization of buffer swaps with the vertical refresh rate of your monitor.   While this can cause some tearing and screen anomalies, it is the best setting at which to test the expansion card's capabilities and so was used in all tests save for the 3D Winbench 99 tests. Other than that all tests were run at the factory default settings.

Blaster Banshee Test System Configuration

Mainboard(s) Super7 - Shuttle Hot-597
Celeron PGA370 - SOYO SY-6IZA
Chipset(s) Super7 - VIA MVP3
Celeron - Intel 440ZX
Processor(s)
Super7 - AMD K6-2 350MHz (3.5x100MHz)
Cyrix MII 333 (3.0x83MHz)
Intel P233MMX (3.5x66MHz)
Rise mP6 PR266 (2.0x100)
Celeron - Intel PPGA 370 400MHz
Memory 2x64MB Memory Man SEC
PC100 SDRAM DIMMs
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar
AC 36400 6.4G Ultra ATA/33
Operating System Windows 98

It was interesting to try the new version of Futuremark's 3DMark 99 MAX™ graphics card benchmarking application. I wholeheartedly recommend that anyone interested in graphics accelerator performance to stop over to their website and download the application.

A
M
D

K
6
2

3
5
0
M
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I
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P
G
A
3
7
0

4
0
0
M
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C
y
r
i
x

M
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3
3
3


 

I
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P
2
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3
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R
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s
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m
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6

P
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2
6
6

While I haven't had the time to determine exactly what this new applications benchmark scores actually mean, it won't be too long until Futuremark posts reference scores to compare them to. When that happens we'll all have a better idea of how the Banshee fairs now and against future technology.  These marks are posted simply as a future reference...

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