XGI Technology Volari 8300
With our most recent information we have attained from XGI Technology prior to writing this article, it shows the XGI Volari 8300 (XG47) being compared directly to an ATI Radeon X300SE. The card used in testing offered a 300MHz frequency for both the core and the DDR memory that had a 128MB 64-bit interface. Looking at XGI's in-house Windows testing, it was benchmarked on a system with an Intel i945G Chipset, Pentium 4 3.6GHz CPU (dual-core), and 1GB of DDR2-667. In the Futuremark 3DMark 2003 and 3DMark 2005 testing, along with World of Warcraft and Serious Sam: Second Edition, the XG47 pulled a marginal lead over the X300SE. If the Volari 8300 indeed is performing like an ATI X300SE, its performance would also be comparable to that of a NVIDIA GeForce 6200 with Turbo Cache. Of course, the true performance under Linux will likely tell an entirely different story. Unfortunately, our XGI Volari 8300 samples haven't yet arrived here in the United States from its Taiwan voyage but we should be receiving them shortly and we'll be reporting our in-house results under Linux after its arrival.
On the topic of drivers, below is an output from a Windows XP system with a Volari 8300 installed and their development drivers. The product is identified as a XGI Volari 8300 v3.01.114.D. The installed video BIOS is CX 7.5(24.00)00 while the driver version is 220.127.116.1110 and a build date of 9-24-2005 (September 24).
While on the topic of drivers, Jeryuan Yan had stated that Volari 8300 supported Linux drivers would be released in December of this year, but we have since received information from XGI hinting that it may be released early. This upcoming XGI Linux driver release, dubbed v3.0.20 appears to have been completed on November 04, 2005. Presently, these drivers support 2D acceleration, video (YV12, YUY2), HW Cursor, single device support (CRT, DVI, LCD, TV), and OpenGL acceleration. At this time all that is supported by the XGI 8300 drivers are Quake 3, Doom 3, SPECViewPerf, and various OpenGL samples. On the plus side, these drivers do finally support the Linux 2.6 kernel and Xorg 6.8.1. However, the only distributions supported by XGI’s drivers are SuSE 9.0 and Red Hat 9.0 along with FedoraCore1, FedoraCore2, and FedoraCore3. The known issues with these latest drivers is poor 2D performance acceleration, suffering OpenGL performance in Doom 3 and SPECViewPerf, and Doom 3 while running at 1024 x 768 will randomly crash.
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