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Review: Performance VGA Adapter


December 8, 1999
Web posted at: 10:14 a.m. EST (1514 GMT)

By John Robinson
CNN Interactive Senior Associate Editor

(CNN) -- Dreamcast owners looking to get the highest amount of graphical detail out of their system can look no further. A VGA adapter from Performance allows you to hook your Dreamcast up to a computer monitor to display high-resolution graphics that aren't possible on a television screen.

The VGA adapter connects to your Dreamcast through the same port as the regular video cable and to your monitor with a standard VGA cable. A pass through feature allows you to connect the VGA adapter back to your computer so you can use your PC as you normally would when the Dreamcast is off. An extra VGA cable is included so you can connect the box back to the monitor input on your computer.


Stereo input and output jacks are built into the box to use with your PC's external speakers. The VGA adapter also has standard composite audio and video outputs as well as an S-Video output so you can leave the box connected to a standard television. It is, however, very doubtful you will ever want to use the TV again because the resolution and color brilliance on a VGA monitor is so much better than even the highest quality television.

A switch on the back of the VGA adapter allows you to switch between your PC, Dreamcast and television outputs. The box will automatically switch your monitor back to PC if you turn off the Dreamcast.

All of the games tested worked flawlessly including the ones that did not have documented support for the device. In 'Ready 2 Rumble', the boxers look absolutely amazing and details that aren't very noticeable using a television really jump out at you. For instance, did you know that Afro Thunder has a gold tooth?

'NBA 2K,' 'Rippin' Riders' and 'Sega Rally 2 work well and provided a greater level of detail in the foreground objects, such as cars and players. The background textures also benefit from the increased resolution and are so sharp that you may even start to notice graphical flaws you couldn't ordinarily see on a standard TV.

The Performance VGA adapter is a useful product for anyone interested in seeing Dreamcast games at the maximum available resolution. If you own a good-sized computer monitor (17" or better) and a Dreamcast console, then this item should be on the top of your list of must-haves.

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