3D Accelerator Card Reviews

Diamond Stealth II S220

Diamonds new low cost card with the name 'Stealth II' is supposed to continue the successful days of the 'Stealth Video' 2 years ago, before it was replaced by the Matrox Millennium. The Stealth II is using Rendition's Verite 2100 chip and it will only be available as PCI solution. It's the cheapest of all the new Diamond display adapters, but that doesn't mean that its performance is bad.

People, who can remember products with Rendition's Verite 1000 chip, know that Rendition can offer a pretty good 3D engine. Although Direct3D wasn't the strength of the Verite 1000, the special Verite 1000 portation of Quake, called VQuake, could show how powerful the Verite engine really was. The quality of the Verite 1000 was also quite high and certainly competitive to 3Dfx's Voodoo.

The new Verite 2000 family from Rendition is still using the idea of the Verite 1000 and will deliver a lot of power to applicatins written for this engine, but the Direct3D performance of the new chip family has vastly improved. Even though the drivers of the Stealth II are still in its early stages, it can almost reach the Direct3D performance of the Diamond Monster3D in a Pentium II 300 system. However, used in a weaker socket 7 system, it shows that it's the number two after the cards with NVidia's RIVA 128 chip. This makes it very interesting for people that have only weaker systems and who don't have a huge budget. The 3D quality of the Stealth II is very high, it even supports tri-linear texture filtering.

A look at the 2D performance of the Stealth II shows that business applications are not its strength, and NT users should certainly look at a different graphic card than the Stealth II. Under Windows 95 it's not that much slower than the former standard card Matrox Millennium, which again shows that a gamer with a small budget may well be interested in this card.

The Stealth II is certainly not the right display adapter for high end freaks, because it's 2D performance is too poor and the 3D performance is also not able to cut the custard. People who want to go for AGP solutions will also have to choose a different product. However, there's quite a lot of people with Socket 7 systems out there, who want to play Direct3D games at a high visual quality for low cost. These people should have a close look at the Diamond Stealth II.

The Diamond Stealth II comes with 4 MB SGRAM and cannot be upgraded to more memory.

3D Image Quality

Motoracer: The Diamond Stealth looks fine in Motoracer, no complaints.

Final Reality: Almost perfect image, smooth cross, defined exhausts, but not cloud visible.