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February 24, 1998

Verite and Linux sections updated
Hellblast has updated the Verite section with some more information, and Platon has put more stuff up on Quake2 for Linux.

February 20, 1998

Point Release performance
With the release of the Quake2 Point Release, it appears that Quake2's video performance has shot up another 5-10 frames per second when running in an OpenGL mode, 3Dfx most notably. Re-run some timedemo tests and see what happens!

First Voodoo2 board available today
As stated here, Creative Labs is due to start shipping their 3d Blaster Voodoo2 boards today, in 8 megabyte and 12 megabyte versions. Today is the beginning of the Voodoo2 distribution war, look forward to seeing MANY companies releasing their Voodoo2-based boards soon.

February 19, 1998

More drivers
Matrox has released new drivers for the M3D, once again, you can get them off the drivers section.

New drivers
New StealthII drivers for Windows95 have been released, along with 3d Blaster PCI drivers. You can get them in the drivers section.

February 16, 1998

8Mb vs. 12Mb Voodoo2
John Carmack updated his .plan describing the differences about 8 vs. 12 megabyte Voodoo2 boards. Here it is:

8 mb or 12 mb voodoo 2? An 8mb v2 has 2 mb of texture memory on each TMU. That is not as general as the current 6mb v1 cards that have 4 mb of texture memory on a single TMU. To use the multitexture capability, textures are restricted to being on one or the other TMU (simplifying a bit here). There is some benefit over only having 2 mb of memory, but it isn't double. You will see more texture swapping in quake on an 8mb voodoo 2 than you would on a 6mb voodoo 1. However, the texture swapping is several times faster, so it isn't necessarily all that bad. If you use the 8 bit palettized textures, there will probably not be any noticable speed improvement with a 12 mb voodoo 2 vs an 8 mb one. The situation that would most stress it would be an active deathmatch that had players using every skin. You might see a difference there. A game that uses multitexture and 16 bit textures for everything will stress a 4/2/2 voodoo layout. Several of the Quake engine licensees are using full 16 bit textures, and should perform better on a 4/4/4 card. The differences probably won't show as significant on timedemo numbers, but they will be felt as little one frame hitches here and there.

February 13, 1998

New drivers
Rendition has released a new miniGL driver for the v1000 and v2x00 series chipsets, you can get it here.
There are new Permedia2 drivers for Windows95 systems, they are here.

Intel's i740 chip
If you didn't know yet, Intel will be releasing a 2d/3d chip for video boards soon, dubbed the i740. The plans for this chip are going to focus more on visual quality than that of speed. However, this chip is sure to be fast, since it will be designed to run on Pentium2 systems off the AGP bandwidth. You can read the product overview of the chip here, and the chips specfications here.
Now Intel is jumping on the 3d accelerator bandwagon, 1998 is sure to be a good year for the video board market. :)

February 12, 1998

New Hercules Thriller 3D drivers
There are new Herclues Thriller 3D drivers for Windows95 on the drivers section.

S3 Virge
People continue to mail me asking if their S3 Virge chip can run OpenGL in Quake2. No, it can't. In WindowsNT it could be possible to, if you had a board with 8 megabytes of video memory. There is an S3 wrapper out which will run GLQuake, but its performance is not play-worthy. A maximum of 5fps is achieved. Here are the chipsets that run Quake2 in OpenGL at an acceptible performance:
3Dfx Voodoo/Voodoo Rush/Voodoo2

PowerVR PCX2

nVidia Riva 128

Rendition v2100/v2200

3dLabs Glint/Permedia2

ATI Rage Pro under WindowsNT

There are more out there, of course, but these are the most popular ones that people use. Basically, if there are drivers for your board/chipset on the drivers page, you can run some form of GLQuake2. If they're not, then you're probably out of luck.

Riva 128 Beta OpenGL ICD for Win95 benchmark
Here's a benchmark in GLQuake2 on a Pentium2 266MHz system with 64Mb SDRAM and the STB Velocity AGP board, which uses the Riva 128 chipset.
640x480: 56.6 fps
800x600: 48.3 fps
Thanks to Cambo for sending it in.

More Permedia2 stuff
For those people who are having problems with their Permedia2 board, this site has information on Permedia2. Thanks to Dan Wright for pointing it out.

February 11, 1998

Q&A with John Carmack
It started with just a couple of questions about Permedia2 and turned into a small email conversation about OpenGL ICD's, chipsets, and GLQuake2. Here's the email discussion I had with John Carmack of Id Software - he talks about the Permedia2 'bugs', OpenGL ICD's for Windows95, and his perception on the nVidia drivers.

Reports range from 'big textures' (i guess they mean what d_mipcap did for Quake1) to no textures at all, even Quake2 crashing. [I'm talking about the Permedia2 chipset] They also complain about no colored lighting, and I've explained to them that colored lighting isn't supported in the drivers for their board, and that 3dLabs won't implement it. Is this true?

Its not a matter of "won't", but "can't". The chip doesn't have src*dst blending modes.

The other problems are 100% 3dlabs driver's fault.

Is the Permedia2 chipset a recommended technology to use in Quake2 for OpenGL, or does it just work but not very well?

Its not a great game card because of it's limited fill rate and lack of blending modes.

At this moment, if you want to do any full opengl (not minidriver) work in win-95, you have no choice but to use 3dlabs hardware. When rendition gets their win95 ICD done, there will be no valid reccomendation for a permedia II, though.

Rendition, are you making a reference towards the V2200 chipset?


And what about nVidia's ICD, their new beta drivers do run Qe4, along with the Quake engine games in OpenGL. I know Quake2's OpenGL performance with the Riva 128 chipset is pretty good, not quite 3Dfx standard, but VERY acceptable. However, I did test the ICD on a Pentium2 300MHz system with an AGP Riva card, so my results might be better just because of the system I tested them on.

Nvidia's ICD will be very fast, but they only have 4mb of framebuffer memory, so you can't do 3D at high resolution. They also have some slight rendering quality issues.

John Carmack

As you can see, Mr. Carmack mentioned that the Permedia2 'bugs' are due to 3dLab's drivers, not Quake2. From what he said, it doesn't look like the Permedia2 problems will be fixed either.

Many thanks to OpenGL.org for posting us on their site. This is indeed a great honor. We will now have a permanent link to them.

Creative Labs to ship Voodoo2 boards soon
Creative Labs will be shipping the 3D Blaster Voodoo2 on February 20. There will be two versions, an 8Mb version for $229 and a 12Mb version for $299. This board will be the first available Voodoo2-based chipset product to the public. Go here for all the news, and to order one (or two:).

News Archive