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"2D performance fell quite a bit short of RIVA based cards... 3D performance was excellent for a board of this price."

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2D/3D Graphics Accelerators

Diamond Stealth II S220 4mb PCI

Diamondís value-oriented Rendition V2100 board is targeted to the demanding game player with a limited budget. While it proved capable of handing complex 3D titles, users looking for fast 2D and high refresh rates will want to look elsewhere.

Stealth II S220 As with their other boards, Diamondís massive box is mostly empty. In this case the only included items are the board, a brief installation guide and two CDís. The first CD contains drivers, while the second has Direct3D game demos - four playable and two "watch only". The Stealth II carries 4mb SGRAM on board as well as a flash bios - good features for a board at this price level.

DOS users will be pleased to see VESA support, but refresh rates are fixed at the lowest possible - and for 800x600 thatís 56Hz. DOS text mode was unacceptably slow, taking several seconds to do a simple directory listing. SVGA performance was adequate tough not impressive - Quake DOS scores were the lowest posted while Duke Nukem 3D played very well.

Stealth II - Settings Installation under Windows 95 was uneventful. Diamondís drivers are intuitive and offer good features for a value priced product. The picture produced was bright and sharp, but users with high-end 17" and larger monitors may be disappointed with the low refresh rates produced by the slow 170MHz RAMDAC and color depth limits. 1024x768 true color has a maximum of 75Hz refresh, while 1600x1200 can only be used with 256-colors at 60Hz.

Stealth II - Settings 2D performance fell quite a bit short of RIVA based cards. Both Winstone and Winbench results were among the lowest recorded. Itís enough for everyday web browsing and word processing tasks, but anyone with CorelDRAW or true-color photo-editing needs will be tapping their fingers during screen refreshes.

The Stealth II supports MPEG smoothing at most resolutions and color depths. Playback was very smooth although blurrier than other boards, particularly the FireGL. Strangely, video was not smoothed at 1024x768 true color but worked fine at high color (16-bit) and 800x600 true color.

Stealth II - Jedi Knight 3D performance was excellent for a board at this price level. Winbench 3D scores were just behind RIVA boards though fell sharply at 800x600. Some Direct3D features were missing in the drivers tested, such as transparencies in Jedi Knight, but overall performance was quite good. Any missing features will have been worked out by the time you read this. The included games wonít give you much to try out your new board - with only four demos and no full versions, youíll want to spend the money you saved on the hardware to get some real 3D software.

Diamondís Stealth II S220 is an excellent card for the money and provided some of the best 640x480 performance under Direct3D tests. Gamers looking for that extra 5 fps or professional 2D users with high resolution and refresh rate needs would be better served by a different Diamond product.

Product & Company Information

  COMPANY: Diamond Multimedia
  PRODUCT: Stealth II S220 4mb SGRAM PCI
  WEB SITE: www.diamondmm.com
  PHONE: 1-800-4-MULTIMEDIA
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