Preview of 3Dfx Voodoo Banshee, S3 Savage3D and NVIDIA RIVA TNT


First of all I would like to remind you that this is a PREview, not a review of final products. TNT is at very early stage, but all the other chips will certainly go through several improvements as well.

What we can say now though is that Savage3D did certainly NOT live up to the claims of 'Voodoo2 performance at S3 prices'. As a matter of fact Savage3D is not by far as fast as Voodoo2, it's not as fast as Voodoo Banshee and Voodoo Banshee is selling for almost the same price as Savage3D. Savage3D will be an interesting competitor to Matrox' G200, since those two seem pretty close to each other, also in terms of 3D quality. G200 has an edge with its larger local memory support of 16 MB though.

The real winner of this test is still a dual Voodoo2 in SLI mode. I estimate that nothing will come close to it until 3Dfx will release their next Voodoo3 (?) chip.

Voodoo Banshee shows that it may have been underestimated by many people, even including me. The 3D performance in current games is excellent and unless multi-texturing (e.g. needed by Voodoo2/Banshee for bump mapping) is used, Banshee is faster or at least as fast as single Voodoo2. Banshee also offers a very good 2D and DOS game performance and offers an in the integrated 2D/3D world unique Glide support. These are excellent reasons why Banshee will most certainly be very successful. Ultimate gamers will get two Voodoo2 cards, gamers with the eye on the budget can't go wrong by getting Banshee.

RIVA TNT may be a great chip, it may be too late or not performing good enough. It's a matter of fact that this chip looks very very promising, but at the current moment in time it's impossible to say where it should be placed once it's out. It is certainly the only chip that could be a serious competitor to Banshee, but only time will tell if it will.