Alex "Sharky" Ross heeft zijn handen op de nieuwe Savage 4 Pro Xtreme gehad. De Xtreme versie is overigens gewoon een Savage 4 Pro kaart, alleen ze hebben de core en memory speed verbeterd. De kaart die ze getest hebben is de Diamond Stealth III S540 Xtreme met 32MB op 166MHz, en ook de core draait op 166MHz. Das toch wel effe 41 MegaHertjes meer dan voorheen. De preview vind je hier.
Current Savage4 owners backed by a fast processor will be used to playing at 800x600 resolution (those with a lower-end CPU will be playing at 640x480). The Xtreme's Quake 2 benchmarks show that a 1024x768x16 resolution is perfectly acceptable in terms of frame rate (although some way below a Voodoo3 2000). The jump from 800x600 to 1024x768 will be a welcome and noticeable one. More complex engines such as the Quake III 3 engine won't fair so well at 1024x768. This is largely due to the limitations of the Savage4 architecture using a 64-bit memory interface. When the GX4 comes out by the end of 1999 and the architecture begins using a 128-bit (or possibly 256?) memory interface this issue will probably be resolved. But for now the 'ceiling' for most Savage 4 Pro Xtreme users will be 800x600.
At either 'High Quality' or 'Normal' settings in Quake III: Arena, frame rates in the mid-to-high twenties weren't quite fast enough in 16-bit at 1024 x 768. A real hook and improvement with Quake III is the 32-bit support, which the Xtreme is able to cope with VERY well at 640x480 and acceptably at 800 x 600. With further driver improvements, which are certainly possible at this stage, frame rates might be improved upon by a few welcome notches, thus 'enabling' more acceptable play at 1024x768.