I asked for opinions on the Tseng ET4000 W32, Cirrus accelerators, and
S3 based cards a week or two ago. I got a few answers, so here's a
short summary of the responses in my own words. No flames, please -
these are not ascertained facts, just what I've been told. Corrections
The owners of all cards were happy with their choice.
I didn't hear too much about the Actix cards, but someone suggested
the STB PowerGraph line which is somewhat cheaper.
The S3 based cards are very fast in their accelerated modes, but
usually rather slow under normal VGA modes (I am looking at the 805
chips; the 928's are faster and can use some memory, but those cards
are about $200 more expensive.)
The ET4000 W32 is a bit
faster than S3's in some respects, a bit slower in some bitmap
operations - but accelerated drivers are still just appearing. It's
also very fast in normal VGA modes.
The Cirrus cards are apparently the slowest, but they are also cheap
and have good support.
ET4000 W32: - works with Linux and XFree 1.3 as a normal but very fast
ET4000; accelerated modes aren't supported yet
and it isn't known when they will be.
- is very fast in DOS and accelerated modes (windoze)
- some games (e.g. Underworld.. 'just a couple'
according to somebody
selling one =) pass the BIOS and have problems
with this card. At least one game maker is releasing
patches to fix this
- some versions have had too slow memory -> problems
with color palette etc.
- Tseng is coming out with a W32i chip set;
should fix a bug with main memory (if there
is more than 16 MB, at least some W32's reboot
the machine) and enable the use of 2 or even
4 MB of video memory.
- The W32 costs about $140. (At least one user
was very happy with the model sold by KC Computers.
See biz.* for ads.)
- rather fast when accelerated; accelerated mode will
very probably be supported under XFree 2.0
- expandable to 2 MB memory (there are non-expandable
ones out there - make sure you know what you're
- The prices are around $120 (1 MB)
- S3 805 based; max 1 MB memory
- price $140 (VLB version)
- fast under XS3, will be supported by XFree 2.0
- good windoze support
Personally, I'll probably get an STB, unless the Tseng ET4000 W32i
comes out RSN.
Erik Bunn // DiscworldRingworldCerebusSandmanC&HBrazilWandaXpilotRaceDrivin'
'Pour encourjay lays ortras.'
-- (Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)