July '98 Graphics Accelerator Comparisonby Anand Lal Shimpi on July 20, 1998 5:34 PM EST
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At the top is the expensive Dual Voodoo2 SLI setup, closely followed by the Riva TNT and Savage3D. Out of the Savage3D and the Riva TNT, the TNT has more potential as it has yet to top out in terms of performance, however the Savage3D's advantage is its price which will give it a bit of a lead over the rest of the competition.
Matrox is happily coming in a close 4th place as their above average performance and rock-solid feature set make the G200 the choice for non-obsessed gamers with desires outside of playing Quake 2 at 60 fps. The i740, like the Riva 128 is on its way out of the picture, but courtesy of its sharp image quality and the Intel name it bears the i740's burial will take place long after the Riva 128 commences with its retirement. As an excellent Voodoo2 companion or simply an entry-level 3D solution, the i740 is obviously the most cost-effective graphics accelerator in this class today.
Finally there is the Voodoo2/2D card combination which, unlike the Savage3D, is available now. While it is considerably more expensive to take this route, the main point is that you can enjoy the benefits now and not have to wait any longer to play all of your favorite games. Just keep in mind that your Voodoo2 needs a companion, not a competitor, there is no point in going overboard with the card you'll be using alongside your Voodoo2 for 2D acceleration. A standard Matrox Millennium, or virtually any 2D card with a decent RAMDAC (230/250MHz) and support for a good range of Refresh Rates at higher resolutions for those of you with larger monitors, will do just fine.
So that's how the graphics world stacks up for now, an oddly shaped world as it may be, a sense of stability will return once the TNT and the Savage3D, among others, finally make their debut. Then the search continues for a newcomer to dethrone the best of the best, and so the cycle continues...don't you just love the computer hardware world? ;)