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Canopus Total 3D V128 PCI

Reviewed by Jackie Lee Choon Yau (05 June 98)

Video Card Specifications

Interface PCI 2.1
Chipset nVidia Riva 128
Ram 4 MB 100 Mhz SGRAM
Data Path 128 bit
RAMDAC 230 Mhz
TV-Output Present (800x600)
Video Playback MPEG-1, Indeo, & Cinepak
Supported Resolutions 640 x 480 - 1600 x 1200
Supported Refresh Rates 60 - 120 Hz

<Introduction> <The Good> <The Bad>
<Test System Configuration> <Conclusion> <Rating>

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This card comes in a beautifully packaged box as shown above. The card is accompanied by a comprehensive manual and a "Drivers and Applications" CD. The software bundle is rather handicapped with a few limited editions, demos and trial versions softwares.

The following is the attached software :

But the hardware is one of the best video cards I have come across. It provides a rather complete solution for the owner.Total3D 128V brings video into your PC.   Capture movies and photos, explore video conferencing, or display live video on your PC monitor. Check out Canopus Site for the 7 Things you could use this card to do for you.

Installation of the card is a breeze.No special precaution is needed. Installation is similar to any Video card. Drivers installation is very user friendly; cannot go wrong.

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The Good

First of all, this is another great product from Canopus putting the monopoly of Diamond Viper V330 to in end in the realm of Riva 128 Chip based video cards. This card has packed all its features into a small PCB about 15 cm x 10 cm.  The features of the cards could be summarised int to three areas:  Video In, TV Out, 2D/3D Speed.

Total3D V128 PCI PCB

Video In

This card can be used to capture video for multimedia presentations, exploring video conferencing (need a video camera) on the internet or you can use your video camera as a digital camera with its software.

VShot Photo Grabber

VShot Photo Grabber

Use the digital camera style interface to capture images up to a resolution of 1500x1125. Making it easy to take photos.

Total Cinema EX

Of course, a video card is nothing without proper software support. The Total Cinema EX with its remote control like interface can allow you to capture videoand supports playback of videoCD, audio CD, MPEG and AVI files and furthermore allow you to display live video and closed-captioning.

TV Out

This card comes with TV output feature. Simultaneous TV/Monitor display is possible and this card support both 640x320 and 800x600 desktop resolution. Making it more desirable than Diamond Viper V330 and STB Velocity 128. Automatic detection and boot-up of Windows onto the TV. Full-featured TV output easily controlled by the additional tabs in the display properties panel. A bit crowded to be strict.

Amazing 2D/3D Speed

Combining the RIVA 128 graphics engine, 4 MB of 100 Mhz SGRAM and a 230 Mhz integrated RAMDAC, this card provides extraordinary Windows Acceleration at a resolutions up to 1600x1200. Whether the playing of intensive 3D games or exploring a virtual world on the Internet or opening spreadsheets, Total3D V128 will provide you with the complete video solution.

The 3D Features are :

The benchmark results of this card could be found all over the world. But no review is completed without a few benchmarks. But this benchmarks below are performed under the Windows 98 Environment and with the installed DirectX Version 6 Beta to allow viewers with a peek at the performance of this card at future operation standards.

So here they are :

Canopus Total3D V128 PCI 4MB 100 Mhz SGRAM

Benchmarking Softwares Default Card @ 100 Mhz *Tweaked with Power Strip 2.21 @ 133 Mhz
Final Reality V1.01 2.68 2.73
Wintune97 Video Test / Mps 134 152
Wintune98 Online Video Test / Mps 64.26 67.29
Quake 2 Timedemo1 / fps 23.4 23.8
Quake 2 Timedemo2 / fps 22.6 22.9

Done @ 640 x 480 with OpenGL for Quake II V3.15 tests and @ 1024 x 768 for the rest of the other tests.

*To run it long term @ 133 Mhz will require a heat sink or combo fan/heatsink.

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The Bad

There isn't really any serious bad points about this card. One of them is that this features full card comes with a relatively high price tag of Singapore Dollars $ 335. This is more expensive than either Diamond Viper V330 or STB Velocity 128. Another bad point is that the drivers (Version 1.1) provided default by the CD has no OpenGL capabilities and PAL support for VShot. However, this can be corrected and patched with the latest revision V1.20.08 of drivers and latest Bios V1.54B at Canopus Site.

The last bad part is that this card offers little for overclockers to tweak it any further. As it can be seen that even by raising the memory speed to 133 Mhz has not significantly enhanced the 3D capabilities enough to off set the bad effects from heat on the Riva 128 Chip.

*To run it long term @ 133 Mhz will require a heat sink or combo fan/heatsink.

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Test System Configuration

Processor(s) AMD K6 266 Mhz .25 micron Chip
Overlocked Configuration 300 Mhz (4.0 x 75.0 Mhz)
Ram 64 MB Mitsubishi SDRAMS Dimms
Motherboard AOpen AP5T Ver 3.4 V1.70j
HardDrive(s) Quantum 3.2GB ST
Operating System MS Windows 98 Build 4.10.1998
DirectX Version MS DirectX Version 6 Beta
Other software used PowerStrip Version 2.21
Video Card(s) Canopus Total3D 128V PCI
Video Card Bios V 1.54B NTSC
Video Card Drivers V 1.20.08

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Overall,this card is definately a good buy consider it's features and it is a Riva 128 based card. If you are looking for a good Riva 128 chip with 800 x 600 TV Output for your Big TV, Canopus Total3D V128 is the card for you.


Overall Rating (Out of a maximum of 5 Star)

Installation *****
Performance ****
Price ***
Software Bundle ***
Material Quality *****
Overall Rating ****

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