The point of testing the newest 3D-accelerator, probably will live forever … ..
…for the simple reason that these glands all coming and coming, and of categories "gold" Yes exotic" they have long been moved to the section of passion as needed". Because game manufacturers, spurred on by our new-fangled grunt with you "who needs it — the software version!"Soon simply cease to produce anything without the support board 30 locomotives.
At this time in our networks (papa, do you hear?) To drag a dead man named "Terminator"One raspaltsovannyh not load banner for the new Russian one piece of metal that match your password "Obsidian"And the very vigorous and skilful arrangement of the famous family "Canopus". Inspection of all.
How We Tested
Subjects accelerators installed in the system with motherboard ASUS P2B, 128 megabytes of memory SDRAM (8-ns), HDD Quantum Fireball SE 8.4 and ViewSonic’s RT770. Accelerators Obsidian S-12 of AGP and Pure3D II were tested with the video card Matrox Millennium II 4Mb PCI.
Before test run disconnected synchronization VSYNC and sets a minimum frame rate of the monitor (60
Hz). Test results accelerator Terminator Beast included in VSYNC synchronization obtained at the highest frequency of the monitor (85 Hz).
All tests were carried out on a pan-European version of Windows 95 OSR 2.1 with installed DirectX 6.0.
$ 125 2D / 3D S3 Savage3D
Fee incredibly surprised incompleteness and dampness drivers … But — in order.
First, the 2D. Unfortunately, Hercules known ability "Pokhabov" even good RAMDAC (circuit converts the digital description of the pixels in the analog signal monitor), and S3 is nice inability to make decent RAMDAC. Finally, S3 and Hercules found each other! I could not hold back tears when he saw Windows on Terminator Beast in 1024×768 85Hz High Color and sobbed, looking at True Color. The picture was fuzzy and blurred. Smaller fonts are difficult to read. Here it is, the corrupting influence of Millennium II! Well I can not just pay such outrageous attitude to the eyes of the user can not. If the diagonal of your monitor more than 15 inches, and in the breaks between games, you sometimes run "serious" application, forget about Terminator Beast. New eyes, you will not be able to buy.
Now 3D. Damp, very damp! A number of games have been observed impossibly strange artifacts, and a few tests, the system simply crashed. Perhaps, Beast clashed with the motherboard (there are reports that some popular boards on VC it does not work at all). Supports AGP-texturing is implemented ugly. Beast distort texture sent over AGP, regardless of permission or prohibition avtokompressii textures (see. More on that below).
Savage3D rendering support True Color, but Incoming — the only game that failed to start in True Color, — hang at this color depth resolution 800×600. The 640×480 True Color game worked fine. When multipass rendering in High Color at the Beast appeared rather unpleasant moire. In addition, the board noticeable quality problems mipmeppinga.
The speed in Direct3D-nrpax Beast is between the G200 and the Voodoo 2. The result is not bad, but it is not all right. The fact is that to get the best results (ie, to achieve the ultimate load-ZD accelerator), we try to disable synchronization VSYNC. This allows you to remove restrictions on the maximum fps in the game (otherwise fps can not exceed the frame rate of the monitor). Disabling synchronization VSYNC leads to an unpleasant effect called at "tearing" (Image "breaks" vertically). Nevertheless, many gamers — putting up with this effect, just to get maximum fps. (For example, the majority of owners Voodoo Graphics played GLQuake when disabled synchronization VSYNC. So, Beast allows you to disable synchronization VSYNC, but playing it is absolutely impossible (because of the flashing images). Therefore, the results obtained when synchronization is disabled, are only theoretical interest. The actual data (with an enabled synchronization) are placed in the column VSYNC ON.
Out of hand written and driver OpenGL. Mediocre image quality in Quake combined with outrageously low fps. This is probably still the drivers! However, the utility Direct3D Wrapper (translates requests into calls to OpenGL Direct3D), supplied with the G200, is faster.
And this despite the fact that the G200 is inferior Savage performance. S3, it seems, had to make a serious effort to write such a slow OpenGL-drivers. The only thing that pleases them is the lack of the infamous flashing pictures when you disable synchronization VSYNC.
S3 especially actively promoted Savage3D ability to work with compressed textures (technology S3TC). Support for this technology is built in DirectX 6 so written for this API, the game can be supplied directly with compressed textures. If ZD accelerator does not support S3TC (and nobody except the S3, is not expressed support for this technology in its chips), the DirectX itself unpack compressed textures using the CPU. S3 is not too lazy to develop a special level of Quake 2, containing vast amounts of textures and showing the charm of S3TC. Large-has put the texture is definitely good. The only pity is that the Beast really can not speed up even a simple Quake 2. By the way, its texture compression algorithms are other manufacturers of 3D-accelerators. 3Dfx, for example by embedding the like even in Voodoo Graphics. Undoubtedly, texture compression — bonus. However, like any other bonus, it is justified only during normal operation of all other systems. It is foolish to rely on texture compression for errors in the AGP-texturing.
In short, Terminator Beast leaves the impression rather not regulated product. Probably, most of the problems will be fixed in the new driver. However, the quality 2D-image can hardly be improved by pure software. Beast is difficult to recommend to anyone. Is that the owners of Pentium II with 14-inch monitor (is not it, a typical configuration!). And, if you really want … I’d rather G200 (worth as much) in any situation.
Canopus RigeZO II
Price $ 265
Type 3D accelerator
Chipset 3Dfx Voodoo 2
Type of memory installed EDO, not 25
The amount of the video buffer / texture buffer (MB) 4/8
Type of external RAMDAC 130 MHz
Type of PCI bus
Use the version of drivers Direct3D 2.17
Use the version of Glide 2.53 drivers
Support for DirectX 5/6 have OpenGL support mini-port GLQuake / Quake 2
This is a small American company famous for releasing RigeZD — the best of 3D-accelerator chipset Voodoo Graphics. Canopus posted on Pure3D additional 2 MB of texture memory and a video output, allowing you to connect a TV.
The board was out of competition. Reluctance to stop completely natural, and the emergence of Pure3D II (accelerator Voodoo 2) expected by all.
Naturally, the Canopus, unlike most manufacturers accelerators Voodoo 2, did not use the reference design, and developed his own. Perenosbolshey of the memory and RAMDAC on the reverse side of the board have reduced its length Pure3D II shorter than other cards in the Voodoo 2 and occupies half instead of full-size 2/3 slot PCI. This alone can make Pure3D II only correct choice for owners "seniors" Motherboard (Do not install long boards PCI).
Of course, RigeZD II is equipped with video output. Ironically, many gamers have not had time to get a 21-inch monitor, but the TV with a diagonal of 21" (or more) have almost any building. Of course, the TV screen can not compete with the monitor in the permit. The picture is somewhat blurred. However, playing the 21-inch television is more fun than on the monitor 15". Using the television receiver, standing near the PC, — one more reason to buy RigeZO II.
The board is equipped with a small fan blowing from three chips Voodoo 2. Radiator there, and the rest are non-refrigerated chips. Frankly, I expected more from Canopus care of cooling the wards. However, it is better than nothing (other manufacturers on the Voodoo 2 cards do without coolers). The best cooling allowed RigeZO II stably operate at a frequency of 95 MHz. Let me remind you that the Diamond Monster3D II and Creative 3D Blaster Voodoo 2 lived in the same conditions is only 92 MHz. But at 100 MHz RigeZO II is unstable.
A few words about the software. Pure3D II comes with two handy utilities. The first allows you to change the gamma correction, without leaving the game (you can assign a key combination to increase / decrease the contrast). In principle, it is quite convenient: you can, for example, to rapidly increase the contrast, hitting one of the many dark rooms Quake 2.
The second is similar to the toolbar Microsoft Oifice. It is also possible to make links to your favorite games. And for each of them, you can specify the configuration RigeZO II.
In short, RigeZO II comes with a fairly convenient "software"Although nothing extraordinary in these program notes there.
Outcome. Of course, RigeZO II — the best 3D-accelerator chipset Voodoo 2. Our selection! However, the difference between it and its competitors is not sufficient to unequivocally recommend Pure3D II all. If you want to play Quake on a television screen and are willing to pay a little more Voodoo 2 — buy Pure3D II. Gamers do not need to video output, you should pay attention to RigeZO II LX (devoid of analogue video output Pure3D or competitors’ products.
Quantum3D Obsidian S-12 AGPQuantum3D — perhaps the only company that produces professional ZD accelerators based on Voodoo Graphics and Voodoo 2. In those halcyon days when a Voodoo 2 and especially about SLI is still nothing was known, Quantum3D already let Obsidian 100SB — single-board (!) SLI-based accelerators Voodoo Graphics. "Toys" distributed only among developers and ordinary gamers had drool and dream of Super Voodoo, running at 800×600.
After the appearance of Voodoo 2 Quantum3D decided to become closer to the people and announced two lines of accelerators based on this chipset, aimed at non-professional use. Series "S" — Standard accelerators (if the term is generally applied to products Quantum3D) Voodoo 2 tire PCI (S-12 PCI) and AGP (S-12AGP), equipped with 12 MBytes memory and output to the TV. Series "X" — The pride of the company — single-board Voodoo 2 SLI. Separately to emphasize that, contrary to popular belief board Series "X" It exists only in versions for the bus PCI. They set an arbitrator circuit PCI (PCI bridge), "separating" one slot between the two PCI-devices (Voodoo chipset 2). AGP bus was originally designed to work with only one device. Therefore, the scheme AGP bridge, seems impossible in principle. At least at the time the company Quantum3D spent a lot of effort to search for such chips, but later gave it up.
So, Quantum3D produces only one Voodoo 2 to AGP — S-12 AG R. It’s what we decided to investigate. First of all we were interested in whether the effect of setting Voodoo 2 with a faster bus. Now it should be noted that Voodoo 2 AGP only works with both the 66 MHz PCI (PCI standard operates at half the frequency — 33 MHz). No additional data transmission modes and the more texturing of system RAM (DIME function) are not used.
After inspecting the board, I realized that it set entirely in a standard ATX big tower will not succeed. The fact that the daughter board to the output jack on the TV rested against the Pentium II. As it turned out, S-12 AGP is designed for installation in the housing size NLX. For installation in the ATX I had to disconnect the daughter board, refusing to enter the TV.
S-12 AGP slightly (maximum gap — 3,6 fps) overtook RigeZO II during all tests. Given the inability of S-12 AGP to work in SLI, a rather high price and problems with the installation of the board, it is difficult to imagine its potential buyer. Perhaps it may be of interest only to owners of powerful workstations with professional ZD-accelerators on PCI (eg FireGL 4000).