Ome Tom heeft zijn Kerstavond verzegeld met het online zetten van een review van de S3 Diamond Viper II gebaseerd op de Savage 2000 chipset. Tom vermoedt dat het kaartje best wel wat kracht in huis heeft, maar door de brakke drivers en D3D support hangt de performance ver onder GeForce niveau.
At this point in time, I can't give my blessing on purchasing a Viper II with so many other great cards out there. The Viper II is promising T&L and nice fill-rate performance but as we've seen already, the drivers are really holding it back. Does this mean the hardware isn't good? My answer is 'No' in terms of fill rate performance, 'possibly yes' if you are asking for T&L though. It does mean that the end product is going to come up short. We should not forget that it's easy to promise that 'future drivers will support' a feature. Once the customer has bought the product the manufacturer made its money. The extremely long delay of a decent OpenGL-ICD for Matrox' G200 should not be forgotten. Some people had to wait for almost a year. Do you want to wait a year until S3-Diamond will release drivers that enable T&L? I really hope S3 can get things pulled together for the Viper II card because it really does have the potential to be a contender. With refined drivers, the Viper II could possibly put some serious heat on the SDR GeForce. At $199 (USD), the Viper II is set at a decent price but doesn't currently offer enough for me to not justify spending a few more dollars to get an SDR GeForce. In a month or two this could change but until then, I'll stick with the reliable competition.