iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra 256MB Video Card Review

[ Part 1 ]



  1. Test results: Quake3 ARENA
  2. Test results: Serious Sam: The Second Encounter
  3. Test results: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  4. Test results: Code Creatures DEMO
  5. Test results: Unreal Tournament 2003
  6. Test results: AquaMark3
  7. Test results: RightMark 3D
  8. Test results: Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness
  9. Test results: Half-Life2 (Beta)
  10. Test results: HALO
  11. Test results: Unreal II
  12. Summary on the test results
  13. 3D quality: anisotropic, bilinear and trilinear filtering
  14. 3D quality in general
  15. Conclusion


3D graphics, game tests

For estimation of the performance in 3D games we used: 

  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein (MultiPlayer) (id Software/Activision) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Checkpoint-demo, test settings - maximum, S3TC OFF, the configurations can be downloaded from here

  • Serious Sam: The Second Encounter v.1.05 (Croteam/GodGames) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Grand Cathedral demo, test settings: quality, S3TC OFF 

  • Quake3 Arena v.1.17 (id Software/Activision) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Quaver, test settings - maximum: detailing level - High, texture detailing level - #4, S3TC OFF, smoothness of curves is much increased through variables r_subdivisions "1" and r_lodCurveError "30000" (at default r_lodCurveError is 250 !), the configurations can be downloaded from here

  • Unreal Tournament 2003 v.2225 (Digital Extreme/Epic Games) - Direct3D, Vertex Shaders, Hardware T&L, Dot3, cube texturing, default quality 

  • Code Creatures Benchmark Pro (CodeCult) test demonstrates operation of cards in the DirectX 8.1, Shaders, HW T&L. 
  • Unreal II: The Awakening (Legend Ent./Epic Games) - Direct3D, Vertex Shaders, Hardware T&L, Dot3, cube texturing, default quality
  • RightMark 3D v.0.4  (one of the game scenes) - DirectX 8.1, Dot3, cube texturing, shadow buffers, vertex and pixel shaders (1.1, 1.4). 

  • Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness v.49 (Core Design/Eldos Software) - DirectX 9.0, three recorded demo. Highest quality, Depth of Fields PS20 off. Test settings are here.

  • HALO: Combat Evolved (Microsoft) - Direct3D, Vertex/Pixel Shaders 1.1/2.0, Hardware T&L, highest quality

  • Half-Life2 (Valve/Sierra) - DirectX 9.0, two different recorded demo (ixbt07 and coast). Tests carried out with anisotropy enabled, and with AA and anisotropy enabled.


If you need the demo benchmarks please email me. 

Quake3 Arena, Quaver


Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Grand Cathedral

Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Multiplayer), Checkpoint



Code Creatures


Unreal Tournament 2003




RightMark 3D


TR:AoD, paris5_4


Half-Life2 (beta), ixbt0703






Unreal II



Summary on the test results

Obviously, XGI's card looks very poor! It falls behind even middle-end FX 5700 Ultra and RADEON 9600 XT, especially in shader applications.

Even without renaming EXE files of the games it's clear that there are optimizations and cheats for certain applications, since in Splinter Cell Volari got a second wind and even wins somewhere. However, the rendering quality... but we will speak a bit later about it. 

3D graphics quality

Before we estimate general rendering quality let's see how anisotropy, bilinear and trilinear filtering affect it. 


Quality is estimated in the RightMark3D, in Pixel Filling test.

Remember that Volari supports only 4x degree of the anisotropic filtering.

GeForce FX 5900 Ultra RADEON 9800 PRO Volari Duo V8 Ultra



As you can see, Volari demonstrates awful bilinear filtering, while the trilinear one is ok.

ANISOTROPIC and angle of inclination GeForce FX 5900 Ultra RADEON 9800 PRO Volari Duo V8 Ultra
ANISOTROPIC without Trilinear
ANISO 8xQ/16xQ/4x, 0 degrees

ANISO 8xQ/16xQ/4x, 30 degrees

ANISO 8xQ/16xQ/4x, 45 degrees

ANISO 8xQ/16xQ/4x, 60 degrees

ANISOTROPIC with Trilinear
ANISO 8xQ/16xQ/4x, 0 degrees

ANISO 8xQ/16xQ/4x, 30 degrees

ANISO 8xQ/16xQ/4x, 45 degrees

ANISO 8xQ/16xQ/4x, 60 degrees


3D graphics quality in general

Originally the test tools included the Far Cry demo version which revealed the beauty of shader technologies.

Below you will see why we removed it from the performance tests.

GeForce FX 5900 Ultra RADEON 9800 PRO Volari Duo V8 Ultra
3DMark03, Game1

3DMark03, Game2

3DMark03, Game3

3DMark03, Game4




Volari's rendering quality is not that good. Does it make sense to use cheats and look for ways to change quality when the performance level is low anyway? - I think not :-(.

GeForce FX 5900 Ultra RADEON 9800 PRO Volari Duo V8 Ultra
Far Cry, Example 1, No ANIS, No AA

Far Cry, Example 2, No ANIS, No AA

Far Cry, Example 3, No ANIS, No AA

Far Cry, Example 4, No ANIS, No AA

Far Cry, Example 5, No ANIS, No AA

Far Cry, Example 6, No ANIS, No AA

Only this card considers that events in the game take place at the moonless night. Well, the demo version was released a short time ago, and they didn't have enough time to bring in new cheats. Plus, it's clear that they do not collaborate with the game developers. 


The Club3D Volari Duo V8 Ultra is still a raw product. How could they release such a card? The drivers are unsteady and need a lot of work, and the architecture itself does not realize its capabilities. Although the fillrate shows that both chips work it looks as if we had a uniprocessor card in the real applications. Even one chip with 8 pipelines and clocked at 330 MHz must look much better! Maybe the second chip is spare? If the first one burns the second could replace it, is it so? But what for does the card have all those internal buses? :)

The card's beautiful appearance hides so many bugs that it's impossible for the drivers to correct them. Probably, it's the chip developers or driver makers that should be blamed. Even 50% of the card's potential is not realized. We hope that new XGI's products will be more completed. 

  1. This products doesn't cost even $150 from the performance standpoint;
  2. This products doesn't cost even $50 regarding compatibility and stability of operation. 
  3. No prospects for performance growth as the main problems is hidden in the accelerator's architecture.
  4. Probably, XGI got income only from selling samples of such cards to reviewers because they hardly shared their samples but they are always ready to sell them ;-)
  5. Judging by the number of companies (1-2 at most) that went with this product Volari will be "very popular".
  6. I feel very sorry for Club3D which got into a mess with this product...

We can recommend this card only for hunters for hardware rarities and curious samples. The company's slogan seems to be like this: "why to pay three times less for the speed if there's such a lame dual-chip card".

After the article went live we received information about numerous video cards makers' intention to introduce dual-chip Volari Duo V8 Ultra products priced below $200. In case it happens, there will be rather illusive hope for XGI to gain popularity among users.

Moreover, on the 11th of February a new Reactor driver version (1.02.05) was released. The fresh drivers correct some bugs in certain games and benchmarks. Unfortunately, issues with FarCry were not resolved at this time.  

Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)
  Alexander Medvedev (unclesam@ixbt.com

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

Article navigation:

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.