Click for ThunderBolt Upgrades!
Click for ThunderBolt Upgrades!


A Click shows your site support to my
Sponsors
Accelerate Your Mac! logo
Link to IXMicro
IXMicro ProRez Graphics Card Review
Review date: 5/23/98
Blazing 2D speed, great software bundle but lackluster 3D
Intro | 2D Performance  | 3D Performance | Game Performance  | Movie Playback | Features | Summary
Introduction

After several delays, the IXMicro ProRez cards are finally starting to ship to retailers. The good news is the card is just as fast in 2D operations as the more expensive Ultimate Rez (they use the same graphics engine) and provides performance that is unmatched by any card I've tested in the $500 and under price range. The card also comes standard with 8MB of SGRAM, up to twice that of cards normally in this price range. The downside is that it has the same lackluster 3D as the Ultimate Rez and with no 16-Bit RAVE support. The software bundle is impressive, including Bryce 2, Expression™ , Kai's Photo Soap, Colorific, Web Painter™ SE, Hip Clips, WorldView™ 2.0, Charts SE, and DesignWorkshop Lite™. That's quite a bonus for a product with a street price of under $300.

Always keep in mind that I use a 180mhz 604E system for these tests, and performance would be higher with a faster CPU. However the key point to remember is I'm showing relative performance , since all comparison scores with other cards were run on the same system.

Due to my wife's recent illness, I've not spent a lot of time with the card, but have run several 2D, 3D and game applications and benchmarks to help gauge performance. I'll also summarize the pros and cons of the ProRez to help you decide if it is the right card for your particular needs.

As with my other recent video card reviews, a PowerTower Pro 180 (180 Mhz 604E CPU) was used for all tests. Better performance could have been obtained with a faster CPU/System. Using the PTP180 also allows accurate comparisons with other cards tested on the same system (the ATI Rage Pro 3D and VR, MacTell Vision 3D and Vision 3D Pro II, MacPicasso 540/3D Overdrive, Nexus GA and Ultimate Rez).

I used the initial ProRez driver release on the supplied CD for all tests. The ProRez supplied for review was a shrink-wrapped, full retail version. Tests were run at 1024x768, thousands colors and 1152x870, millions colors. Full-screen movie playback tests were run at 1024x768, thousands colors.


I rate graphics cards on a scale of 1-10 in each of the following categories:

  1. 2D Performance: MacBench Graphics and Pub tests at 1024x768, thousands colors and general observations from normal applications and games use.
  2. 3D Performance: RaveBench, Walker, Infini-D 4.01, Ray Dream Studio 5.
  3. Game Performance: Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Rave Quake.
  4. Movie Playback: Scaling a 320x240 movie to 1024x768 (full screen) in Macbench tests.
  5. Software Controls: Software Controls features/ease of use.
  6. Hardware Design/Features: Hardware specifications/features.
  7. Price/Performance: Value for the money, all things considered.

The Summary page shows the totals and an overall evaluation of the product.


Test System:
The base system used for test was a PowerComputing PowerTower Pro 180, running OS 8.1 with the standard array of Quicktime 2.5 and Quickdraw 3D 1.5.3, PC exchange, Connectix's Speed Doubler 8.1. Disk cache was set to 512K, Virtual Memory was off. Installed Ram was 128MB, and all other PCI slots were empty.

The cards were tested in the bottom PCI slot.

I make some comparisons here to reviews of more expensive cards, for more detail on those products see my reviews of the Ultimate Rez, Nexus GA, Twin Turbo, Imagine 128 and of the MacPicasso 540/3DO video cards.

 

Feedback

I welcome comments about this review and/or the product. For pricing or availability questions, contact IXMicro or their authorized dealers.


You can follow my preferred path through the review by continuing to the next page, or use the links below to jump to a specific page.


Index of IXMicro ProRez Graphics Card Review

Intro | 2D Performance  | 3D Performance | Game Performance  | Movie Playback | Features | Summary

- or -
Back to WWW.XLR8YOURMAC.COM


Copyright © Mike, 1998.

No part of this sites content or images are to be reproduced or distributed in any form without written permission. All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.

Users of the web site must read and are bound by the terms and conditions of use.