Creative 3D Blaster Banshee - Part 4

Image Quality
2D Image:
Like I mentioned before, my Windows looked much more vibrant and sharp using the Banshee. Compared to my Viper V330 which had a slight blurry look, the text IS crisp and black. Colours somehow just looked prettier, the blue is bluer, the green is greener. Heh!

Resolution Max Refresh Rates (Hz)

Colour Depth (Bits per Pixel)

640X480 60, 75, 85, 100, 120 8, 16, 24, 32
800X600 60, 75, 85, 100, 120 8, 16, 24, 32
1024X768 60, 70, 75, 85, 100, 120 8, 16, 24, 32
1152X864 60, 75, 85, 100 8, 16, 24, 32
1280X1024 60, 75, 85, 100 8, 16, 24, 32
1600X1200 60, 65, 70, 75, 85 8, 16, 24, 32
1792X1344 60, 72 8, 16, 24, 32
1856X1392 60 8, 16, 24, 32
1920X1400 60 8, 16, 24, 32

3D Image Quality: The Banshee features the same wide support for APIs like OpenGL, Direct3D as well as Glide, so you'll not miss out on a single title available this season or the last. Quake II, Unreal and Shogo were all highly playable and the image quality was <ahem> similar to that of the V2. I must however point out that Quake II and Shogo looked crispier when I saw them running on a TNT powered system.

Unreal
at 800x600
Jane's WWII Fighters
at 800x600

Games rendered by the Banshee still suffers from the same overly filtered textures that's still evident of the Voodoo & Voodoo2 cards. Of course, we cannot put down the VoodooX cards as MOST games still looked excellent, especially those with native support for Glide. It is only because new chips like the TNT and G200 have upped the mark in terms of graphic fidelity.

Rant (Again!?!): We simply can't just ignore the importance of Glide (though it should be getting less attention soon). People will argue with me to say that Gilide games are small in numbers compared to the collective figures of D3D games. That may be true, but in many cases, the small numbers written to take advantage of Glide ARE MOSTLY TOP HITS like Wing Commander Prophecy, Need for Speed III and FIFA '99. And they simply looked much better than their D3D counterparts.

Ok ok, after what I'd seen in Shogo, I must say that the time has come for Direct3D to take up a more important position in 3D games (but didn't Microsoft do the whole 3D engine for Monolith?! :P ). No doubt about it, the better D3D games are starting to be less discernable from Glide based games!

Conclusion
Finally the verdict - it's a very good buy considering that it is sold for only S$199 giving you excellent 2D and 3D performance. If you're on a budget and yet you want to own a great 3Dfx card to play your Glide games (and more!), the Banshees are the cards to buy. My only complain about the card was the lack of a cooling fan or heatsink for the scorching hot chip. Otherwise, what more could you ask for at this price?

 

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