Dual-chip XGI graphics card, cheats dissected

— 11:22 AM on January 26, 2004

The guys at Driverheaven have done a nice job with their XGI Volari V8 Duo review, a look at the dual-chip card that has some old Voodoo2 owners starry-eyed. The Driverheaven reviewer has his B.S. detector set to maximum, and the thing is throwing up alarms left and right. Among the problems they discovered was this gem:

Another disturbing issue was the quality of image outputted through the card when compared to the screencaptures we took. On several occasions we attempted to capture bugs onscreen (e.g. DVD quality or Unreal Tournaments many issue) and the captured image was significantly improved over the realtime image. It also appears that as well as the quality of screenshots improving from the ingame image, the following few frames suffer performance reduction on the Volari as a result.
Lovely. So they are detecting screen captures and throwing out higher quality images. X-bit labs saw a number of similar problems.

We had a conversation with the XGI folks recently, and we are hoping for a review unit soon, so we can draw our own conclusions about this product. However, the subject of driver optimizations was discussed, and I'd sum up their policy as "We will cheat at will, but if we get complaints from users or the press, then we will make changes." This sounds like a much more honest version of the functional policy at NVIDIA, but then the Taiwanese seem to have much to learn about duplicity. We would prefer, of course, that XGI learn something about the value of making honestly good products instead. Perhaps there's still time to right this ship, although the optimization-free Volari Duo results don't appear to hold much promise.

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