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Chaintech Desperado AGP-3F10

Date: 30th March 1999
by
Stinky

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camera.gif (15875 bytes)- The Good
- The Bad
- Test System Configuration
- Conclusion
- Rating

- Other Video Reviews

 


Well, Chaintech, at first instance I thought it was another fly-by-night Taiwan operation surfing on the booming computer electronics industry. But wow...I went to the website and boy, these guys sure win awards like we use up HDD Space.

Don't believe me? Well...go here, now I start to think maybe this card isn't as simple as I thought...

 

At First Glance

Nice looking box with a very well done illustration on the cover. Opening the box shows me a few items, namely;

  • The Desperado 3Dfx AGP card
  • The User Guide (In 8 languages)
  • The AGP card Driver Pack CD-ROM (Pretty good, get to it later)
  • Mediamatics DVDExpress Software DVD CD-ROM
  • Rage Software's Incoming (Now thats a game to really show you the power of 3D!)
 

System Requirements

  • PC with Pentium or Pentium II processor with AGP interface

  • VGA/Super VGA Monitor, supporting minimum 640x480 resolution

Chaintech Desperado AGP-3F10

Graphic Adapter
  • 3DFX Banshee
Interface
  • AGP 1.0 Compliant
Memory Configuration
  • 8MB or 16MB SGRAM
2D/3D Graphic Features
  • Using the Voodoo2 3D core graphics & video accelerator
  • Built-in 128-bit 2D engine
  • 128-bit memory interface, support up to 16MB memory size
  • Optimized for Pentium II
  • Integrated Voodoo2 pixel unit and single texture unit
  • H/W triangle setup capable of 4M tri/s
  • On-chip high speed texture cache unit
  • High precision 16-bit floating point Z-buffer
  • High-resolution 1600x1200 85 Hz with a 230MHz RAMDAC
Connectors
  • Feature connector
  • Standard VGA D-sub connector
Compatibility
  • VESA 2.0
  • VESA Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS)
  • DDC2 monitor communications support
Software Drivers
  • Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows NT4.0
  • Rage Incoming Game title
  • Software DVD

Pretty powerful looking specs eh? Well I got to test the 16MB version...

 

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The Good

A card for anyone's PC

Ok, installation was very smooth, I installed from a "fresh" Win98 installation so other types of installations may vary.

The card fits well and after PC boot up it wasn't detected by Win98, so the default 256 color VGA mode was employed. Now like I mentioned above, the driver CD-ROM..(wow what a nice piece that was), comes with all kinda goodies.

Very impressive, ok so I clicked on the "drivers" button and message box pops up...installing Win98 drivers for Chaintech Desperado AGP-3F10, installation needs to restart system, and after re-boot the card was in action, no fuss. And the best part, no extra little icon in my tray area (Saves memory and such) Very nice. I right clicked and changed the settings to 1024x768 in 32 bit color, resetted without restarting and the glich-free installation was completed. (Diamond should learn something from these guys)

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Another look at this "gold" colored graphics card (Nice big heatsink, needs a fan tho)

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The Bad

This card has inadvertently joined the masses of Asian made graphic cards, although it has shown that it does deliver the power and capabilities needed in today's computing world. No doubt in Singapore, Asian brands will never replace the prestige and desirability of American brands, but time will show that most so called generic brands nowadays can closely match the more recognised brands in both compatibility and performance.

Since software piracy is so rampant in Singapore, the single bundled game will have a lesser effect. But if this was the US, the consumer will demand more bundled software with the card.

The only disadvantage I see arising from Asian brands currently are the lack of capital as compared to the more established American brands. Lesser capital power behind research and development, driver programming and customer service.

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Test System Configuration

Processor(s) Intel Celeron 400A PPGA and
Intel Celeron 400A Slot 1
Ram 64MB PC100 Hyundai SDRAM
Motherboard Elitegroup P6BXT-A+ Mainboard (Supports PPGA and Slot 1)
HardDrive(s) Quantum Fireball TM 2.1GB
Operating System MS Windows 98 Build 4.10.1998
DirectX Version MS DirectX Version 6.1
Video Card(s) Chaintech Desperado AGP-3F10

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Conclusion

This card lives to its promise. Like all Banshees available in the market, it has Voodoo2 similiar capabilities which in today's gaming is widespread and needed. The Desperado is a very easy card to live with. With its 16MB (The tested sample) memory the card can boost high resolutions with 32bit color, clear images and sure fire compatibility thru the Banshee chip. Overall this is a good card to get if you wish to have the latest technology without paying the high prices of American brands.


PERIPHERAL RATING

Overall Rating (Out of a maximum of 5 Star)

Installation ****
Performance ****
Price ****
Software Bundle **
Material Quality ****
Overall Rating ***1/2

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Last updated March 30, 1999.

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