"The Winner 2000/Office was one of only two boards reviewed to include both video input and output connectors... itís 230MHz RAMDAC also produced the highest refresh rates of any board reviewed."
STB Velocity 128 4mb PCI
STBís board proved appealing for both business users and gamers alike, with excellent graphics performance and the most comprehensive drivers of the pack.
The Velocityís large box is of the same design as Diamondís, but in this case itís mostly full. A complicated cardboard holder keeps the hardware in place, surrounded by anti-static foam. A large bubble pack contains a nice software bundle and brief printed instructions. The board is well built, although some users may be disappointed to find a non-flash upgradable BIOS. While STB claims this isnít really necessary, it still would have provided piece of mind. 4mb of fast SGRAM is on-board, as are video out ports for composite and S-Video signals.
When you purchase a Velocity 128 you also get a very nice software bundle with three full-version games: Moto Racer, FIFA Soccer 98 and the two-CD Interstate í76. You also get an installation CD that also contains Simply 3D, WIRL, VRCreator and MPEG playback software.
Installation instructions for Windows 95 are printed on the large cardboard CD holder, as are technical support telephone numbers and a board diagram. The installation program sets everything up in one step including DirectX 5, should it not already be installed.
STBís Vision 98 utilities are truly impressive. They integrate completely with the Display Properties control panel applet and provide an intuitive, icon-based interface for display settings and system information. Thereís more features and windows than you can shake a stick at, including desktop zoom, a birds-eye view feature, virtual desktops, multiple desktops and user profile settings and numerous shortcut keys and other setup options.
Thereís a great monitor setup utility from which you can either choose to use your monitorís DCC Plug-n-Play information for refresh rates or set up minimums and maximums yourself. An "expert" option allows you to set refresh rates for all resolutions and color depths without actually having to switch to them - a real time saver. A separate window for TV Out lets you select from various flicker-reducing options, though you canít use both a monitor and TV at once. The only controls we wish it had was for custom screen size (for display sizing) and finer refresh rate graduations. With those these drivers would be next to perfect.
2D performance was the second best of the group, virtually tied with the Elsa Victory Erazor. Winstone 98 tests were only 2.3 percent lower than the Viper 330, indistinguishable to the naked eye. Refresh rates, while lower than the other RIVA boards, should be more than adequate for most users needs.
STBís 3D performance was excellent. Jedi Knight scores were the top posted, and visual quality was superb. 3D Winmark 98 scores while typical for a RIVA card are still amongst the most impressive. Game compatibility proved good, though there were some minor Direct3D glitches in the drivers we tested. By the time you read this any remaining bugs should be worked out.
STBís Velocity 128 is a solidly built card with excellent drivers and a standout lifetime warranty. Users looking for top game performance while not sacrificing business productivity will want to give this board serious consideration.