A Brief History

In a frantic effort to make a come back after a series of dismal attempts at over hyping the ViRGE chipset, S3 decided it was time for a change. Shortly after the former Operation 3Dfx's April fools announcement of a killer 3 inch S3 chipset capable of 1600x1200 Quake2 rendering at well over 100fps, S3 announced their real next generation product, the S3 Savage 3D. Whether or not Operation 3Dfx's announcement inspired S3 or not is a different story, but it was real, S3 had announced a new product which wasn't even remotely based on the ViRGE chipset design. Being the first 0.25 micron based 3D accelerator released, the Savage3D boasts a 100-125 million tri-linear filtered pixel/sec fill-rate (depending on clock speed), new Microsoft endorsed texture compression method, 32bit rendering and more... the Savage3D was sure to please.

Why didn't it? First of all, the driver support and the quality of the S3 Savage3D boards was a major concern. Also, most of the boards used poor S3 reference drivers and came with low quality SDRAM which restricted clock speed of the chipset. How can I tell? Well, the Savage3D board barely gets hot at all, and yet the boards could only run at 110mhz reliably. Anything above this speed would lead to excessive image tearing, missing polygons, and eventually a crash. This isn't to say that textures weren't missing during normal operations, but that was due to the poor drivers.

The Hercules Terminator BEAST Supercharged

Running at 120mhz and backed up by constant driver updates, the Hercules Terminator BEAST Supercharged is sure to please. After all, Hercules, being the first chipset manufacturer to release a Savage3D based solution should have enough experience with the board by now... Does the BEAST please though? Find out...

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