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STB Velocity 128 Graphics Card (AGP Version)

By Robert Stinnett

Quick Highlights:

128-bit graphics accelerator with integrated Digital Video Engine and accelerated 3-D, texture map and shading functions.
4MB SGRAM
True Color DAC, max 16.7M colors 1024x768, 65k colors at 1280x1024
Refresh rates up to 160mhz
DDC-2B support for plug-n-play monitors

System Requirements:

Pentium or Higher CPU
One AGP slot (for AGP version, PCI versions also available)
IRQ 9 Free

Overview

The first thing you are probably thinking is: A graphics card with 4mb? Get real. However, unlike in so many computer applications on the market today, memory does not matter in the case of the Velocity 128.

Based on the nVidia Riva 128 chipset, this card has been hailed as one of the best available for gamers and general-use by several magazines, including PC Magazine and Gamer’s World. What really sets it apart from most others is its 128-bit performance. Many of the current off-the-shelf adapters and accelerators today still operate at 64-bits. And oh what a difference a bit can make, or in this case 128 of them.

If you are one of the lucky few, like myself, to have a DVD-ROM drive installed then you may find yourself looking for a compatible card. The Velocity 128 is one of the few I have used that actually work in conjunction and support my DVD-ROM drive.

Basing my unofficial benchmarks by playing Acclaim’s newest release, Forsaken, the Velocity 128 produced graphics that many of my friends with comparable Diamond & voodoo cards could not believe. Frame rate was close to 66.9fps in 800x600 mode-16 bit color mode. No matter how much action was taking place on the scream, the game continued to produce very high-quality graphics and texturing. Even during the heat of battle, frame rate stayed at a respectable 44-46fps.

Using the MDK Benchmark utility that is including in "BOOT" magazines suite, DirectX performance testing measured a healthy 130.

The only compatibility problem I’ve run into so far is Final Reality has not been able to function correctly. A general protection fault seems to follow shortly after launching. However, I’ve spoken with others who have the Velocity 128 installed and this seems to be an isolated problem. In any fashion, a true measure of an adapters capabilities is game play.



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