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XGI Volari V8 Reference Card Review

XGI Volari V8 Reference Card Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: It's quite amazing to realize the extent to which Nvidia and ATI dominate the mainstream computer graphics market.
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: XGI Jul 15 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > XGI Volari V8

Overclocking The Volari V8

XGI provides an overclocking utility with its driver suite, and it was the first thing we used to try and push the V8 a little further. Unfortunately, the overclocking options max out at a mere 325/325MHz for GPU and memory speeds respectively, so we could not push it too far. The Volari V8 was rock solid at these timings however, and they provided a noticeable speed boost at no cost.

Switching to the latest version of Powerstrip removed the timing restrictions, and we managed to stretch the V8 out to 360/330MHz stable, which averages out to a 15% overclock, not too bad. The memory was certainly the limiting factor here, as pushing it much over 330MHz caused considerable artifacts in 3DMark03, and even on the desktop. You can see the results of the overclock in our benchmark section below.

As a side note, the 'V-Drive' function included with the overclocking utility seemed to have absolutely no effect on the performance or overclockability of the card. It was doing something though, as we noticed one instance where the system was started with the 'v-drive' enabled but no other overclocking settings and quickly showed artifacts both on the desktop and in 3DMark03. Disabling the setting and restarting the PC cleared this up, so the 'V-Drive' was definitely to blame. Incidently, we were testing with the new, non-WHQL certified 1.04.52 driver when this happened.

Overall, the V8 was quite receptive to overclocking. Models with higher-spec, better-cooled memory should respond even more. In general though, the use and operation of the Volari V8 videocard was completely trouble free. The drivers installed, uninstalled and behaved themselves as well as you would expect from a professional graphics company. On the desktop, the transition to the Volari card was smooth, and the V8 provided an excellent and stable image. No problems here.

Likewise, the software and configuration thereof was easily accomplished and hassle free as we detailed above.

Where we did experience some issues was with the image quality and performance in some gaming benchmarks. For one thing, 3DMark2001 would not run, period. We tried several timings and both the WHQL and latest drivers, but the benchmark halted with an error every time. This was a worrying sign.

IQ Screenshots

Benchmarking XGI against Nvidia and ATI

Let's take a look at how the Volari V8 reference card fared in our standard suite of benchmarks. We used the 1.02 WHQL drivers throughout. Keep in mind that the ATI and Nvidia cards we compare the XGI Volari V8 against here are slightly higher-performance than the Volari V8's target market, according to XGI. Also note that 3DMark2001 would not run. As we said, this was a troubling issue as 3Dmark2001 is one of the most compatible 3D benchmarks out there. Let's see how the card fared with the other benchmarks in the test suite.

PCStats Test System Specs:
Processor:

Intel Pentium 4 3.0C

Clock Speed: 15 x 200 MHz = 3.0 GHz
Motherboards:

Gigabyte 8KNXP, i875P

Videocard:

XGI Volari V8 Reference Card
Gigabyte Radeon 9600 Pro
Albatron FX5700 Ultra

Memory:

2x 256MB Corsair TwinX 3200LL

Hard Drive: 40GB WD Special Ed
CDROM: NEC 52x CD-ROM
PowerSupply: Vantec Stealth 470W
Software Setup

WindowsXP Build 2600
Intel INF 5.02.1012
Catalyst 3.9
Detonator 53.03

Workstation Benchmarks

3DMark03
CodeCreatures
AquaMark2.3
AquaMark3
Gun Metal 2
X2 The Threat
UT2003

AA and AF Tests
X2 The Threat
UT2003

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: XGI Volari V8
 Pg 1.  XGI Volari V8 Reference Card Review
 Pg 2.  XGI Drivers & Software
 Pg 3.  — Overclocking The Volari V8
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: 3Dmark03, Codecreatures
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Aquamark3, Gun Metal2
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: X2 The Threat, Aquamark2.3
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: X2 The Threat, UT2003

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