Singapore Hardware Zone!

ASUS AGP-V2740TV Intel i740 Review

Date: 11th October 98
by Samuel Setoh Kok Hong

ASUS AGP-V2740TV Intel i740

- The Good
- The Bad
- Test System Configuration
- Conclusion
- Rating

- Other video cards reviews

Intel's release of the i740 2D/3D chipset has really dealt a big blow to other major competitors mainly nVidia Riva 128 and 128ZX, with its low pricing and equal or yet even superior performance. The first chipset to ever support 2x AGP, with resolutions of up to 1600 x 1200 and refresh rates of 160 max. This card might seem as if it lacks behind in terms of features when compared to that of a Riva128ZX or even the Riva 128, but its performance is something not to be overlooked. The packaging is traditional ASUS style packaging, and very informative. All you need to know about the card are listed all over the box. The PCB is a traditional ASUS favourite orange colour PCB compared to others which are traditionally green. Quality is never to be doubted when it's from ASUS. A huge heatsink is nicely fitted on the graphics processor to dissipate the tremendous heat of the i740 chipset. The card is being tagged as "PAL" version, but when I look at the PCB, I saw this little jumper that allows the swap between PAL and NTSC, and that made me wonder if there's actually any difference between the "NTSC" and "PAL" version.

Installation can never get easier with this as Windows 98 easily detected the card and prompted for the drivers. Follow the instructions closely in the manual and you are set to run it with no hassle at all.

The goodies in the package are as follows.

  • ASUS AGP-V2740TV accelerator card
  • Installation manual
  • 1x S-VHS Cable
  • 1x Composite Cable
  • ASUS Driver and Utility CD w/ Live2740 Video Capturing Software and VCD player
  • Full version of the game, Incoming

 

Video Card Specifications

Interface AGP 2x
Chipset Intel i740
Ram 8 MB Hyundai SDRAM -10
Data Path 64-bit
RAMDAC 205 MHz
Video Input / TV Output Composite / S-Video
Video Acceleration MPEG-I, MPEG-II, Indeo
Supported Resolutions 640 x 480 - 1600 x 1200
Supported Refresh Rates 44 (interlaced) - 160 Hz (non-interlaced)

The Good

The AGP-V2740TV with its added TV in/out feature is among one of the few i740 based cards locally available to be equipped with it. It allows the simultaneous display of both TV and monitor, unlike many others in the market which only allows a choice of one. The TV-out function adopts a high quality 5-line flicker filter and compensation technology, and allows for crystal clean TV-output as well as super high quality TV Encoder for flicker-free images. It supports up to a max of 800 x 600 desktop resolution mode for TV output. The Video-In function on the other hand can capture up to 30fps at 320x240 mode and supports a resolution of up to 640x480, with a hardware overlay for Live Video Display.

Its 3D performance is considered reasonably fast, and comparable to the Riva 128/ZX but still lacks behind the Real Starfighter. The graphics quality showed improvements over that of the Riva 128/ZX, with better Edge Anti-Aliasing techniques. Even though the image quality overall, looked superior to that of the Riva family of chipsets, there is still some breaking up in the sky in the game Incoming, which is probably a deficiency in the Gouraud Shading and Bilinear Filtering.

The Benchmarks

BenchMarks on the ASUS AGP-V2740TV in Windows 98 with DirectX-6 update. OpenGL-ICD is also installed.

ASUS AGP-V2740TV w/ 8mb SDRAM

Benchmarking Softwares 640x480 800x600
WinTune 98 Direct3D 17.739* -
WinTune 98 OpenGL 8.844* -
WinTune 97 2D 51
Quake 2 Timedemo1 w/ OpenGL ICD 36.8 28.3
Wizmark 3.0 38405.2 --
Incoming 50.33 32.34

All test were conducted using the default drivers for both D3D and OpenGL provided for in the package as they were the only drivers available.

Quake II version 3.17 was used for testing.


The Bad

The original drivers provided for by ASUS does not include an OpenGL ICD for the i740 chipset, and this is not good for gamers of Quake II. ASUS still has not firmed up a set of OpenGL ICD for the V2740TV card, as i could not locate any newer version on the website. However you can download the original Intel Reference Drivers for the Intel i740 chipset version 2.1 and above for the OpenGL which worked fine in the games used for testing.

Another point to note is the resolution supported for Video-In Still Image capturing is that the resolution for PAL is 800x600, and only 640x480 for NTSC mode. In addition the speed of Video-In capturing is not really meant for professional use, as it supports a max of 640x480 and only up to 30fps for the 320x240 resolution.

Test System Configuration

Processor(s) INTEL Pentium II 233 ( o/c to 266MHz )
Ram 64MB PC-100 Texas Instrument SDRAM
Motherboard Chaintech BX Pentium II Mainboard
HardDrive(s) IBM Deskstar8, 8.4GB
Operating System MS Windows 98 Build 4.10.1998
DirectX Version MS DirectX Version 6
Video Card(s) ASUS AGP-V2740TV
Video Card Drivers Version 1.50 and OpenGL ICD from Intel Version 3.0

Conclusion

Priced at around $188, this baby could be slightly overpriced for normal users who do not need the TV Out/Video In functions, as a lower priced basic i740 card would suffice without much speed compromised. If you are more tuned towards video editing, or if you are using the computer for playing VCDs/DVDs for output to TV, this card may be the best option for you. Definitely worth paying the additional 50 - 60 bucks more for the added Video functions rather than purchasing some expensive parallel port video output/input devices like the Dazzle that cost over 300 to 400 bucks. Especially great for D.I.Y systems as this add a whole great number of functions, and thus added value for a low cost. In terms of performance, this baby has really quite a punch in 3D cum 2D speed, giving you enough power to run even the most taxing 3D games at a smooth 30+ fps, with above average image quality.


VIDEO CARD RATING

Overall Rating (Out of a maximum of 5 Star)

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

Back to top

No part of the above is to be reproduced, copied or
modified without the permission of the WebMaster.
Copyright 1998, Singapore Hardware Zone. All rights reserved.
Last updated November 21, 1998.

Comments or suggestions, please direct to us, and check out how you can
advertise with us and target your products and service to computer buyers.