Diamond Viper 770 Review
Amid the flurry of TNT2 cards now hitting store shelves, it's easy to forget that Diamond is directly responsible for starting the whole TNT2 craze with their Viper V770 video card.
Nvidia, the manufacturer of the TNT2 chipset, took a lot of flak for pre-announcing their original TNT in 1998. The TNT was supposed to clock in at a hefty 125mhz according to company documentation, but shipping parts fell well short of that goal. In response to the resulting backlash, not a peep was heard about the TNT2 from Nvidia. The silence was truly deafening.
All that changed in late March of this year. Diamond suddenly appeared out of nowhere, making the rounds at several popular hardware web sites with a prerelease Viper V770 card. And not just any TNT2 card, either: this one was clocked at the astronomical rate of 175mhz core, and 200mhz memory. As you might expect, such a hot rod card absolutely cleaned up in the benchmarks. The card also managed to sway quite a few gamers who were convinced that 3dfx would have the fastest 3D card available with the Vooodoo 3. Up to that point, the only vendor to even mention such high clock rates was 3dfx. And 3dfx certainly has a history of being the fastest 3D card over the past couple years, so it was only natural to assume that trend would continue.
Fast forward to late May. The first retail V770 cards are only now shipping. Although several brands of TNT2 cards are currently available from small vendors, Diamond is the first major vendor to hit store shelves, at least in my area. So how does the shipping Viper compare with the version that was showcased a few months earlier? Read on.