the xabre 400 ain't that bad.

EdipisReks

Platinum Member
Sep 30, 2000
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my geforce3 recently died, and instead of going and buying a new one right now (i have to spend my money on books for classes right at the moment) Mikhail was kind enough to lend me the ECS AG400 card in this review.

after fixing the textures (the drivers knock the textures down a couple of notches by default, but changing a single registry value fixes it) i only get about 6000 in 3dmark 2001 on a 2.4 gHz northwood (see my sig for full specs). the more important thing is that games run well. UT2k3 runs about as well as it did on my geforce3, though i have to run the Xabre in 16 bit color to get the same results. Jedi Knight2 runs much better on the Xabre than it did on the geforce (it flies with the extra high quality textures), and the other games i've played (everything from wing commander propecy to quake II to worms:armageddon) play fine without any obvious glitches. the only complaint is that some of the lighting in UT2k3 is fubared (this is caused by the game not detecting the Xabre's vertex shader properly, apparently), but i read somewhere that this is fixed in the retail version. all in all, not a bad card. i wish i had my geforce3 back, but other than losing about 3000 points in 3dmark2001 i can't really tell much of a difference. it's a much better card than i expected, and SIS seems to be putting out pretty regular driver updates. i think that this will hold me over for a couple months until i can afford a Radeon 9700PRO. strangely enough, though, despite the card having 3.3 NS ram i can't overclock it worth a damn. can't win everything, i guess.
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
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i do, the more compitition the beter, glad to hear it works well for you and keeps a good pace too.
 

NEVERwinter

Senior member
Dec 24, 2001
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yea.. i do.. since i'm really a tight-budget-gamer... ncie to see a lower-end card works good :D
 

Moishe

Member
Feb 27, 2002
108
2
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To be honest, I'm not suprised. SiS really isn't in the top spot, and never has been, but they always made quality stuff. I think people over-focus on 3dmark scores. I do understand why, but lets face it, until America's Army came out there wasn't a single game that i wanted to play that I couldn't play on my voodoo 5/PIII-500. I stopped stealing (pirating) games years ago, so now I don't have to "worry" about a game I don't own not running on my card...

Thanks for letting us know about the Xabre. we need reports from all fronts..
Mo
 

EdipisReks

Platinum Member
Sep 30, 2000
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i definitely agree that there is way too much emphasis on 3dmark scores. as long as games play well and look good, then the product is a success. i just wish that SIS had put a LOD slider in the drivers, as having to change a registry value is going to be too much for less tech savvy people. the card is plenty fast without modified textures and games look really bad without the registry mod.

i think that it would be really great if SIS could release a really really killer product sometime in the near future and put some hurting on ATi and nVidia. i really like both ATi's and nVidia's products, but a little more still competition is always good for consumers (though i must say that the graphics card situation right now is great for consumers anyway).
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
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sure, more the beter. i would even chear if lets say bitboys came out with a card, granted i would probably faint fist but when i came too i would be happy to have them around. ;)
 

DontTrip

Junior Member
Sep 24, 2002
4
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Just a quick question:

Should I get a Radeon 9000 Atlantis (ATI OEM, by Sapphire) for $69 or this card for $85? (by the way, the link to that Radeon 9000 is here. Newegg is an awesome online retailer)

I'm looking to upgrade my budget computer with a decent, cheap card, and both of these seem to fit the bill nicely.
 

hg321

Golden Member
Oct 21, 2000
1,318
1
81
I just got the 9000 for the wife's computer and it's a great card...cheap 2
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
69,414
4,791
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It really is amazing what you can get for cheap these days. I saw a SiS 315(if memory serves, it was 3 something) about a year ago and was surprised with it's performance. The Nforce's onboard video(GeForce 2 MX 200ish) is also very decent, or was when the NForce came out. Various cheap Radeons(8500LE--7200) also offer very decent performance for the price. Many of these cards don't perform too well when playing the latest games, but for those who play older games or certain types of games, they are all valid options to consider.
 

holdencommodore

Golden Member
Nov 3, 2000
1,061
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Yeah, the Xabre is quite good and gives the MX440 a great run for the money...... they need to work abit more on the drivers and the control panel though..... hopefully they are working on this.
It will be interesting to see how the new cards from Trident go as well......all this competition is great, I just wish PowerVR would get back in the game. It looks like Hercules aren't going to be releasing the Kyro 2 SE :( .

Cheers
 

EdipisReks

Platinum Member
Sep 30, 2000
2,722
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the "performance drivers" are quite a bit faster than the WHQL. i was expecting some major texture short cut, but i haven't noticed anything too out of the ordinary (i have "texturbo" set to zero with both drivers). the more i look at games, though, the more that i see that textures are slightly muted compared to other cards even when "texturbo" is turned to zero (this is with both the WHQL and the performance drivers). it's not something that really sticks out too much, and it certainly doesn't ruin games by any stretch of the imagination, but it is noticeable if you are looking. i haven't gone through all the reg settings yet, so i don't know if there is an unknown setting effecting the textures. well, regardless of that issue, i think the card is damn good. it will certainly tide me over until i can afford the 9700pro in a couple months.
 

rogue1979

Diamond Member
Mar 14, 2001
3,062
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I am glad the Xabre is even considered as competition, the more the better for all of us. But right now I would have to say the budget gaming crown goes to the Radeon 9000. I mean $66 for something that has pixel shaders and can play modern games at higher resolutions smoothly with excellent image quality is both amazing and very affordable.
 

EdipisReks

Platinum Member
Sep 30, 2000
2,722
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the Xabre also has pixel shaders, and in some situations it beats the 9000. the 9000 has better image quality, though, and if i had to pay i would probably get the 9000. my Xabre was free, however.
 

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