SiS have done very
well with the Xabre600 videocard. On average it's faster then it's main competition the
GeForce MX440-8X, and where the Xabre600 does lose it's a driver
issue. Newer drivers should be able to unlock the Xabre600's full potential.
take over the mainstream videocard market from the aging 8XAGP Xabre400, the Xabre600 videocard
should be quite affordable, most likely costing less than 140 CDN ($100 USD).
Even though SiS still have some work to do with their drivers, we're glad that we didn't see any image
abnormalities while testing the Xabre600. When we reviewed the ECS Xabre400 we did encounter the odd image abnormality during testing.
SIS have introduced a slew of
new Xmart Technologies, and of those XmartDrive is probably the most intriguing because it slows
down the GPU when working with 2D applications. This saves energy,
cuts down on heat production and should prolong the lifespan of the videocard
in the longrun. The new Xminator-II drivers work quite well; bringing D3D Performance
vs. Quality, OpenGL Texture Quality, Disable V-Sync, and Force 16-bit Z Format
options to the table which were otherwise absent with the Xminator-I drivers.
Performance of the Xabre600 itself on
average was very good for its class. There were a few benchmarks
where the Xabre600 produced slightly lower than expected results, namely UT2003 and Comanche 4, however I would
hazard a guess and say this is most likely due to driver issues.
Since the Xabre600's Vertexlizer Engine is CPU dependant
performance will greatly depend on
the computers speed. While this also means that performance can increase as
you upgrade your computer over time, it would be well worth it
to use at least a 1.8GHz or 2.0GHz Pentium 4 processor with the Xabre600.
Bottom line? The SiS Xabre600 is a great mainstream 8XAGP
videocard that has a ton of potential for the budget-minded gamer. It is
DirectX 8.1 compatible so it is more future proof then the GeForce4 MX440-8X, uses
Pixel Shader 1.3, and is fully 8XAGP compliant of course. With
quad 3D pipes and a 300MHz Core / 300MHz memory clock the Xabre600
has a lot going for it compared to its main rivals the
MX440-8X and Radeon 9000 Pro. Hopefully SiS can get the Xabre600 out
to the retail markets quickly, and without any of the importing issues they faced in the past.
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