The Test

Test Configuration

Processor(s): Intel Pentium II 300 (512KB ECC)
Intel Pentium MMX - 233
AMD K6/233
Cyrix 6x86MX-PR2/200+
Motherboard: AOpen AX6L LX Based Pentium II Motherboard
FIC PA-2012 VP3 Based Socket-7 Motherboard
RAM: 1 x 64MB Corsair SDRAM DIMM (w/ SPD)
Hard Drive(s): Western Digital Caviar AC21600H
Video Card(s): Creative Labs Graphics Blaster EXXTREME (4MB SGRAM)


WinBench 98 Direct Draw Results in Million Pixels/Sec
Test Creative Labs Graphics Blaster EXXTREME (PCI)
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 640 x 480 100
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 800 x 600 98
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 1024 x 768 102
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 1152 x 864 No Result
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 1280 x 1024 99.9
DirectDraw/Animate Screen Size, 1600 x 1200 101
DirectDraw/Animate Color Depth, 8 bit 100
DirectDraw/Animate Color Depth, 16 bit 80.4
DirectDraw/Animate Color Depth, 24 bit No Result
DirectDraw/Animate Color Depth, 32 bit 48.1
DirectDraw/Animate BltFast 100
DirectDraw/Animate Blt 100
DirectDraw/Animate Solid 139
DirectDraw/Animate Transparent 76.4
DirectDraw/Animate Full Screen 77.6
DirectDraw/Animate Windowed 58.1
DirectDraw/Animate Clipped 60.8
DirectDraw/Animate Memory, Source in video, Work area in video 100
DirectDraw/Animate Memory, Source in system, Work area in video 70.3
DirectDraw/Animate Memory, Source in video, Work area in system 79.1
DirectDraw/Animate Memory, Source in system, Work area in system 76.6
DirectDraw/Animate Blt size, 256 pixels 33.4
DirectDraw/Animate Blt size, 1024 pixels 91.3
DirectDraw/Animate Blt size, 4096 pixels 99.3
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 2.0x, 8 bit 78.2
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 1.7x, 8 bit 77.6
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, Transparent, 1.7x, 8 bit 78
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 1.7x, 16 bit 71.1
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 1.7x, 24 bit No Result
DirectDraw/Animate Stretch, Solid, 1.7x, 32 bit 48
DirectDraw/Fill Color Depth, 8 bit color 1050
DirectDraw/Fill Color Depth, 16 bit color 873
DirectDraw/Fill Color Depth, 24 bit color No Result
DirectDraw/Fill Color Depth, 32 bit color 341

The Riva 128 chipset still holds its ground in most of the DirectDraw performance tests, excluding the DirectDraw/Animate tests in which the Permedia 2 chipset from 3DLabs truly excels.  Memory intensive tasks also perform quite well on the Graphics Blaster EXXTREME due to its 83MHz clocked SGRAM. 

WinBench 98 Graphics Winmark Results
Video Card Creative Labs Graphics Blaster EXXTREME (PCI)
Resolution Business Graphics Winmark 98 High End Graphics Winmark 98
800 x 600 x 8 bit Color (256 Colors) 147 No Result
800 x 600 x 16 bit Color (65K Colors) 139 No Result
800 x 600 x 24 bit Color (16.7M Colors) Not Supported Not Supported
800 x 600 x 32 bit Color (4B Colors) 114 No Result
1024 x 768 x 8 bit Color (256 Colors) 144 173
1024 x 768 x 16 bit Color (65K Colors) 133 164
1024 x 768 x 24 bit Color (16.7M Colors) Not Supported Not Supported

2D performance of the Permedia 2 chipset used in the Graphics Blaster EXXTREME?  Not too bad at all, considering this card is aimed mostly at competing with 3D only solutions

Winstone 97 Results
Video Card Graphics Blaster EXXTREME (PCI)
Processor Business Winstone 97 High End Winstone 97
Intel Pentium II - 300 66.8 30.8
Intel Pentium MMX - 233 49.9 21.0
AMD K6/233 54.0 22.0
Cyrix 6x86MX-PR2/200+ (166/66) 53.0 20.4

Again we see the processor scalability of the Graphics Blaster the speed of the processor increases so does the performance of the Graphics Blaster EXXTREME.  This is accented by its excellent 2D performance shown here by the Business and High End Winstone 97 scores.

Supported 3D Features
Feature Graphics Blaster EXXTREME (PCI)
3D Quality/Fog Vertex Capable
3D Quality/Fog Table Capable
3D Quality/Specular Highlights Capable
3D Quality/Color Key Transparency Capable
3D Quality/Alpha Transparency Incapable
3D Quality/Linear Capable
3D Quality/Mipmap Linear Capable
3D Quality/Dithering Capable
3D Quality/Perspective Correction Capable
3D Quality/Fog Vertex and Color Key Capable
3D Quality/Fog Vertex and Alpha Capable


Accelerated Quake 2 Frame Rates
Processor TIMEDEMO Frame Rate (higher is better)
DEMO1 @ 640 x 480 DEMO2 @ 640 x 480
Intel Pentium II - 300 13.0 fps 12.0 fps
Intel Pentium MMX - 233 Failed Failed
AMD K6/233 Failed Failed
Cyrix 6x86MX-PR2/200 (166/66) Failed Failed

Hopefully the next revision of Creative Labs' Graphics Blaster EXXTREME drivers will function properly with Socket-7 AGP systems and Quake 2...we'll just have to wait and see.


The Final Decision

Approaching a level of image quality almost unheard of by the current level of 3D accelerators, the Permedia 2 based Graphics Blaster EXXTREME offers the user quality over this case, quality over performance.   With its DirectDraw performance lagging behind most Riva 128 accelerators, and its Quake "gaming" performance falling behind that of Voodoo accelerators you must make the final decision...quality, or performance?



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