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Creative Labs Annihilator Pro


Since Quake3 is being used by most reviewers for benchmarking (and obviously from my remarks above, I like Quake3), I'm using it here, the retail version, in this review to provide some common ground for comparisons.

Test System: PIII 500E overclocked to 667Mhz and 775Mhz on a Soyo SY-6VBA 133 motherboard with 128MB of Corsair PC133 RAM

Note: The Soyo SY-6VBA 133 motherboard uses a VIA Apollo Pro 133 chipset. The motherboard uses an AGP clock divider of 1/2 on the FSB speeds of 133Mhz to 155Mhz that we ran the PIII 500E at during this test. This kept the Annihilator Pro within a reasonable bus rate while the system was operating at with the overclocked PIII 500E.

Most of us when we consider buying a new video card want to know just how much more performance we will get for all the money we spend on the card. The Annihilator Pro delivers some really impressive Quake 3 FPS numbers, but at almost 3 times the cost when compared to the Voodoo3 2000 used as a comparison in this review. In comparing the Annihilator Pro to the Voodoo3 2000, we ran a Pentium III 500E overclocked at 667Mhz. When we compare the default memory clock rates between the Annihilator Pro and the Voodoo3 2000, we see a performance gain of 24.1 fps at 640x480 a 41.6% increase. We see the largest fps jump at the 1024x768 resolution with a 37.9 fps difference. We see the largest percentage increase at 1280x1024 with a 131.4% increase. The chart below also lists the Voodoo3 2000 overclocked to 163Mhz.

The Voodoo3 2000 doesn't support 32 bit color, so the 32 bit Quake III benchmarks were done with the Pentium III 500E overclocked at 667Mhz, 720Mhz, and 750Mhz settings to show the effect of the CPU with the Annihilator Pro. At the higher resolutions of 1600x1200 and 1280x1024, increasing the CPU speed has no effect as the Annihilator Pro becomes the limiting factor at those resolutions. There is a 1.1 fps increase going from 667Mhz to 775Mhz at 1024x768. The fps differences are larger at the 800x600 and 640x480 resolutions as the Annihilator Pro is able to send the CPU all it can handle.

As mentioned earlier, the Creative Lab drivers provide you with a slider to overclock the memory, but do not provide one for the core. I limited the overclocking of the Annihilator Pro to using the supplied Creative Labs drivers. I have had no problems at all that I can attribute to the Creative Labs Annihilator Pro while running it at the max allowed with those drivers(330Mhz). I got about a 1 fps boost at the 1280x1024 and 1024x768 resolutions in 16 bit color under Quake III. Oh well, every little bit helps when it comes to Quake III, eh? The overclocking gave larger increases at the 32 bit color settings. There I got a 4 to 5 fps increase at the 1280x1024 and 1024x768 resolutions. (Note: The Pentium III 500E CPU is running at 775Mhz for these two charts.)

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