The Bad

If not installed with the utmost attention paid to removing previous video drivers and maintaining a clean installation, the initial setup of the Velocity 128 can turn into any user's worst nightmare.  The test system the Velocity 128 was installed in was purposely equipped with a Matrox Millennium II beforehand to simulate a real world upgrade (although an upgrade from a Millennium II to a Velocity 128 would be a questionable one ;)...).  The first time the Velocity 128 was installed none of the Millennium II drivers were removed, an honest mistake most users make when upgrading a peripheral such as a video card.  However the V128 didn't react as expected, instead of being an obedient little video card and installing over the Millennium II, the V128 insisted that there was something wrong with the V128 adapter itself and would not properly install over the Millennium II.  The Velocity 128 managed to keep itself in the horrid 640 x 480 x 16 color setting which was its default until the system was restarted into safe mode and the Millennium II drivers were removed.   Upon rebooting the Velocity 128 drivers were re-installed without much hassle.  

The above scenario can be expected from some video cards, however it usually isn't too common of most graphics accelerators I've dealt with that seamlessly install over previous drivers even though it is a bad practice to clutter your system with un-used drivers.  While installing nVIDIA's Alpha drivers the same situation reappeared, something which quickly became an annoying factor in the overall "ease of use" of the STB Velocity 128.  Configuring the drivers took a few boots into safe mode and a bit of tweaking to get the adapter to properly configure itself (gotta love that Plug 'n Play) at the test resolution of 1024 x 768, and for the first couple of resolution switches afterwards corrections and alterations had to be made in Safe Mode in order to ensure that the Velocity 128 would work with the new drivers.

The Velocity 128 isn't the world's most friendly video accelerator, but in real life most users don't switch constantly through ten or twenty resolution/color depth settings on the fly so the operation of the V128 shouldn't be that big of a problem.  STB's drivers aren't as fast as Diamond's new V330 drivers in 2D Windows acceleration, making the STB take a back seat to the Diamond V330 in the Graphics Winbench tests.  For the most part STB did a fine job with the Velocity 128...we'll just have to wait for the retail AGP version to be released to make the final judgement on the product.


Drivers & Bundled Software

STB Vision 98 Desktop Configuration utility (OEM - no games bundle)


Incompatibilities

  • The STB Velocity 128's drivers seem to have problems installing over previous video card drivers, be sure to remove any and all instances of 3rd party video adapter drivers before installing the STB Velocity 128.

  • The STB Velocity 128 doesn't seem to have problems coping with the 75, 83, and 100MHz bus speeds like Diamond's Viper V330...no problems here.


The Test

Test Configuration

Processor(s): Intel Pentium II 300 (512KB ECC)
Motherboard: AOpen AX6L LX Based Pentium II Motherboard
RAM: 1 x 64MB Corsair SDRAM DIMM (w/ Serial Presence Detect)
Hard Drive(s): Western Digital Caviar AC21600H
Video Card(s): STB Velocity 128 (4MB SGRAM - AGP)

 

WinBench 98 Version 1.1 Direct Draw Results in Million Pixels/Sec
Test STB Velocity 128 (AGP)
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 640 x 480 239
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 800 x 600 232
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 1024 x 768 243
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 1152 x 864 227
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 1280 x 1024 233
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 1600 x 1200 No Result
DirectDraw/Animate Color Depth, 8 bit 239
DirectDraw/Animate Color Depth, 16 bit 194
DirectDraw/Animate Color Depth, 24 bit No Result
DirectDraw/Animate Color Depth, 32 bit 98
DirectDraw/Animate BltFast 239
DirectDraw/Animate Blt 239
DirectDraw/Animate Solid 258
DirectDraw/Animate Transparent 258
DirectDraw/Animate Full Screen 243
DirectDraw/Animate Windowed 14.6
DirectDraw/Animate Clipped 15.5
DirectDraw/Animate Memory, Source in video, Work area in video 239
DirectDraw/Animate Memory, Source in system, Work area in video 41.7
DirectDraw/Animate Memory, Source in video, Work area in system 84.6
DirectDraw/Animate Memory, Source in system, Work area in system 84.8
DirectDraw/Animate Blt size, 256 pixels 53.2
DirectDraw/Animate Blt size, 1024 pixels 118
DirectDraw/Animate Blt size, 4096 pixels 238
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 2.0x, 8 bit 52.9
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 1.7x, 8 bit 47.3
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, Transparent, 1.7x, 8 bit 46.6
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 1.7x, 16 bit 71.3
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 1.7x, 24 bit No Result
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 1.7x, 32 bit 47.8
DirectDraw/Fill Color Depth, 8 bit color 1420
DirectDraw/Fill Color Depth, 16 bit color 679
DirectDraw/Fill Color Depth, 24 bit color No Result
DirectDraw/Fill Color Depth, 32 bit color 262

The Direct Draw performance of the STB Velocity 128, for the most part is on par with Diamond's Viper V330, no real performance difference here.

Index The Test (cont)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now