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XGI Volari 8300 Reference Videocard Review
XGI Volari 8300 Reference Videocard Review - PCSTATS
The Volari 8300 a native PCI Express GPU, and it's intended to compete in the entry level market with a handful of home theatre PC oriented capabilities that should make it stand out.
 77% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: XGI Tech Dec 15 2005   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > XGI Tech Volari 8300

XGI's TrueVideo Engine

XGI's TrueVideo engine supports analog LCD, digital LCD as well as conventional CRT monitors. The maximum resolution analog LCD and CRT monitors support is 2048x1536. Digital LCD resolution support maxes out at 1600x1200 which is something large LCD users have to keep in mind. One of the Volari 8300's strongest suits is its ability to support multiple displays at the same time. In fact it is possible to connect up to three displays (two computer monitors and a television) at the same time. The only limitation is when two CRT monitors are hooked up to the Volari 8300, the RAMDACs cannot handle another video output (because CRT's require a higher refresh rate than LCD monitors). Users of dual digital LCD monitors can however connect the television at the same time.

TV output is one of the XGI Volari 8300's specialties, and the card supports HDTV video outputs 720P and 1080i. Of course, the Volari 8300 can also connect to conventional televisions through S-Video/Composite output cables. In that situation, the resolution will go as high as 1024x768 in both NTSC and PAL, as long as the TV itself supports it.

XGI is particularly proud of the Volari 8300's video output features, and these are easily the little GPU's best strengths. The Volari 8300 supports video overlay, bus master video capture and MPEGII transport stream capture. The Volari 8300 uses XGI's third generation advanced de-interlacing techniques as well as a 'five field based motion and edge adaptive de-interlacing' process. Edge enhancement improvement is supported, and is 7x2 pixel window based. XGI was a bit vague on the specifics of how the Volari 8300 works aside from listing official specs, unfortunately.

Looking at the reference snowboard, we can see that standard de-interlacing makes the picture quite fuzzy. XGI's de-interlacing on the other hand improves definition of the snowboard and it stands out from the background better.

Looking at XGI's edge smoothing picture it is clear that the lines are clearly defined, just look at the edge between the snow and the sky. With XGI's edge smoothing, the line is much sharper and there is a clear separation between the two.

TrueVideo in action

To illustrate TrueVideo in action, XGI bundled a DVD copy of the last episode of Friends with its XGI Volari 8300 reference card for the purposes of this review. There are a variety of scenes from the DVD which illustrate different aspects of TrueVideo at work. All video shots were recorded via PowerDVD 6's internal capturing ability with hardware de-interlacing enabled.

Looking at the picture frame in the picture on the left, the colours are still quite vibrant and TrueVideo's colour gamma correction does a good job. The foosball table image is particularly impressive since Joey and Chandler are moving quite quickly in the area. The metal bars have clearly defined edges, and the foosball characters do not simply blend into the background.

The difference between software and hardware de-interlacing is dramatic, and this is one area where XGI's TrueVideo really shines. On the left, the actors' shoulder is not well defined and the vertical dark line in the background blends into its surroundings. With the image on the right, the body is clearly defined and the image quality improved. The details in the navy blue shirt are also more pronounced and clear.

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Contents of Article: XGI Tech Volari 8300
 Pg 1.  XGI Volari 8300 Reference Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — XGI's TrueVideo Engine
 Pg 3.  XGI Reactor Drivers
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: 3DMark03, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, FarCry
 Pg 5.  A good card for 2D work?

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