Diamond S80 Video Card Review

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Diamond S80 Video Card Review - Page 4

Diamond Multimedia's Stealth S80
A legend returns to the graphics market

By Robert Maloney
February 15th, 2003

Performances Comparisons With Novalogic's Comanche 4
The Performance Battlefield

Novalogic's Comanche 4 Demo is probably the oldest of the tests in our current suite of benchmarks.  This benchmark uses DX8 class pixel and vertex shaders to produce some of the realistic visuals used throughout the demo.  Unlike the previous tests, this benchmark is heavily influenced by CPU and system memory performance, especially at lower resolutions.  Usually, when the resolution is raised and AA and Anisotropic filtering are enabled, the performance of most video cards tends to slow down quite a bit, however, we won't need to do so here with these two samples. 

At 1024x768, we find that the 5200 Ultra is putting up a respectable 41.71 frames per second.  Nothing to write home about, but not too far off the mark with some of the more powerful video cards we've tested.  The Stealth S80 could only muster up just shy of 24 fames - which is one of the lowest scores we have seen in this benchmark without AA applied.

Benchmarks / Comparison With Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
New Game, Better Effects, Old Engine

We also ran through a batch of timedemos with the OpenGL game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.  Wolfenstein: ET is a free, standalone multiplayer game that is based on the original Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which was released a few years back. It uses a modified Quake3 engine yet exhibits plenty of CPU scaling and platform variation, which also makes it a good benchmarking tool.  We created a custom demo and used the built-in timedemo feature to check each card's frame rate.  The tests below were run at 1024x768 and 1280x1024, with and without 2 samples of anti-aliasing.

As we've seen in past reviews, Wolfenstein just seems to run better on GeForce powered cards, but in these two tests the 5200 Ultra outpaced the Diamond Stealth S80 by 200-300%.  In a battle of value-minded cards, we really would have to give the edge to the 5200 Ultra over a 9200SE based on these results. The best thing we can say here is that we saw a minimal loss of performance with the 9200SE, usually a single frame or less per second, when using 2XAA.   

Overclocking & The Conclusion  

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