This chip is presented by Diamond Ste alth III
S540 32 MBytes, AGP videocard.
- S3 Savage4 Pro+ chip, 125 MHz clock rate;
- 32 MBytes SDRAM memory in two Micron 8ns microchips, 125 MHz
clock rate, 64-bit bus;
- Peak speed of scene drawing in multitexturing mode is 125 megapixels/s
and 250 megatexels/s.
Tweaks up to 155/160 MHz (see
For the 20th of June, 2001 the latest drivers version
is JCG 3.05.
A lot was written about the quality of this videocard,
a lot of drivers FAQs are out to help set them, there are also some
tweaked drivers, supporting popular games, written by enthusiasts.
By the way, I'd advise to use these tweaked drivers instead of S3
references that are usually shipped along with cards. Tweaked drivers
give a stability effect in the work of these videocards. Before
getting good results in games you'd have to go through various lock
ups. Therefore, as an exclusion Savage4 was tested with tweaked
drivers that look like a cocktail made from different parts of the
references, and also there's an S3Tweak utility in addition. I'd
advise to every owner of this videocard to get this program and
tune your settings with it.
And speaking about comparatives I should mark that
versions don't differ much, but the JSG 3.05 latest drivers showed
good speed results, thus it can be recommended. And namely this
version took part in usability coefficients calculating.
And, in general, cards based on Savage4/Savage2000
are in the decline nowadays as no one releases new drivers for them,
and thus the technical support is getting worse and worse. We'll
continue to review new 'cocktails' from old drivers, but it's clear
that the reliability of this cards on new platforms has to be supported
by completely new drivers, that is unlikely. Thus we are forced
to put these articles into archives.
I advise you to read about S3TC influence on speed
and perfomance, because S3TC realization in OpenGL is important
nowadays, and it shows good results.
In addition, S3 Metal API worked bad. For example,
Unreal (S3 Metal) locked up immediately in spite of the S3Metal
driver version (and everything worked on KT133 platform). The same
version worked stable on both platforms in Unreal Tournament (though
having some artefacts). For normal play with API S3 Metal Vsync
should be turned on, because if not, there would be a huge lag.
We should say that a number of opinions about the
speed of this chip can be equal to the number of the cards based
on it. Somebody after a week of tuning was able to get better results
in some specified games and somebody wouldn't. Don't blame people
that bought this card due to lack of the experience and are not
able to set it right. Not everybody can continuously get the card
working as it should do. And you should pay attention to the fact
that due to this chipset's low price many Chinese manufacturers
produced many boards of different quality, their stability can vary
All problems mentioned above might occur due to
S3's bad attitude to writing drivers. Since newly organized S3 Graphics,
created on the base of VIA's S3 department, has refused to support
Savage4/2000, the only our hope is continuously reducing number
of enthusiasts. Because of bad drivers there are problems with video
quality. Here are some of them.
Unreal Tournament is the best in working and stability,
especially with S3TC (S3 Metal) support. Still there are some bugs:
And No One Lives Forever has some textures missing:
Other screenshots are below, you can compare them
to the reference ones taken on NVIDIA GeForce3.
|Games / Cards
- Unreal Tournament
- No One Lives Forever
- Serious Sam
- Colin McRAE Rally2
- American McGee's Alice
- Mercedec Benz Truck Racing
- F.A.K.K. 2
- Need For Speed V (Porshe 2000)
- Real MYST
- Blade of Darkness
- 3DMark2001: Game1
- 3DMark2001: Game2
- 3DMark2001: Game3
- 3DMark2001: Game4
- 3DMark2001: Dot3
- 3DMark2001: EMBM
- 3DMark2001: Vertex Shaders
- 3DMark2001: Pixel Shaders
- Black & White
OpenGL trilinear filtering doesn't work in spite
of multitexturing settings. But there's an effective trilinear
approximation that "cheats" Quake3. E.g. with "r_colorMIPLevel
1" the game shows the absense of trilinear filtering any
way, but the borders between MIP-levels are being slightly smoothed:
To the left is a shot with bilinear filtering
on, to the right - the one with trilinear approximation:
But still this is not complete trilinear filtering
thus there are some artefacts in game dynamics.
2D quality is fair enough. At 1024x768 resolution
you can notice as scene "soaps" so to say. Pay attention
to the fact that 2D quality of such cards strongly depends on
the manufacturer and the exact card.
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