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OAK WARP 5 (PCI)
 
 
 
Manufacturer: Oak tech. (EVAL)
Chipset: Oak WaRP 5 209a
RAM: 4megs 35ns EDO
RAMDAC: 170mhz
Price:  ??? 
Vendor: ???
 
 

PROS: 

Good 3D acceleration , excellent image quality , 2D/3D solution. Low cost (if it will be released !) 
  

CONS: 

Not as fast as leading 3D accelerators , such as RIVA. 2D not impressive. 
  

RATING: 

8/10 

IMAGE QUALITY:  

 

(note ,JPG compression somewhat degrades image)

      Before I begin the review , I would like to say that there isn't much of a chance for the Warp 5 to ever be released into the market. Oak has decided to abandon their 3D graphic and audio departments. See http://www.oaktech.com/pressrel/q298.html. It is not quite clear what will happen with the Oak Warp 5 chip , however Jon Peddie Associates (www.jpa.com) have an interesting suggestion. Anyway , on to the review... 

      The first thing that struck me when I opened the card board box containing the Warp 5 was the heat sink attached to the chipset. (I wish nVidia  could have thought of this) It was nice to know that Oak realized that their chip runs exceptionally hot and requires this cheap addition. Installing the board was a breeze , as it should be , insert the card , turn on the computer , win95 does the rest. (Plug & Pray at its best :) 
      When it comes to raw speed , the Warp 5 lags a little behind the competition (namely 3Dfx and nVidia). In Turok demo , the Warp 5 draws 13.1 stunning 800x600 frames in a second , compared to the 19.6 of the RIVA. Since the Warp 5 only supports Direct3D (another weakness) , I could not compare Quake frame rates. (If you know where to find a D3D Wrapper , please e-mail me!)  However , when it comes to image quality , the Warp 5 is king. In my opinion , the Warp 5's image quality makes even the Voodoo weep! The advanced tri-linear filtering and excellent anti-alaising remove pixelation and jaggies completely. The Warp 5 also implements many innovative techniques in order to achieve its brilliant image quality. The Warp 5 renders the screen tile by tile , like the PowerVR , eliminating the need for a large Z-buffer and allows the Warp 5 to use a 24bit Z-Buffer. Also , the Warp 5 stores sub-pixel values on chip , which explains its awesome anti-alaising. (I believe the Warp 5 does per-pixel MIP mapping like the 3dfx , but i'm not sure) The innovative architecture of the Warp 5 is double sided. The FreeZe algorithm conserves memory and frees up bandwidth , at the expense of being different. The problem with this Z-buffer approach is that software cannot manipulate the FreeZe Z-buffer as it can a normal Z-buffer. This may be one of the reasons which companies did not wish to adopt the Warp 5 , though Metabyte (www.metabyte.com) did originally plan on manufacturing the Warp 5 based Wicked 3D. 
      All in all , the Warp 5 is a good card. Even though its 2D and 3D speed aren't up to par with the latest accelerators , the Warp 5 holds its ground with stunning image quality. Unfortunately , we may never see the benefits of the Warp 5 come into play... 
 
--Rage 

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