September'2001 3Digest - Single VSA-100 (3dfx Voodoo4
This chip is presented by 3dfx Voodoo4 4500 32
MBytes, AGP videocard.
- 3dfx VSA 100 chip, 166 MHz clock rate;
- 32 MBytes SDRAM memory in four Hyundai 6ns microchips, 166
MHz clock rate, 128-bit bus;
- Peak speed of scene drawing in multitexturing mode is 166 megapixels/sec
and 333 megatexels/sec.
Overclocks to 188/188 MHz (see
For the 20th of September'2001 the latest drivers
version from OmegaDrive is 1.02a and from Iceman is 1.07.01.
To all appearances there will not be any drivers
support from ex-3dfx from now on. This verifies the moral death
of the whole Voodoo3/4/5 line. The analysis of tweaked drivers from
various enthusiasts has shown the absense of anything new, except
for just few.
Due to the fact that these cards cost less than
$120 now, new drivers were tested on PIII-600 MHz testbed instead
of PIII-1000 MHz, below are some screenshots to estimate previous
And here are latest drivers results:
Speaking about drivers from x-3dfx, I shall mark
that they turned out to be rather good and sometimes even more productive
than 1.07.00 from 3dfx, therefore we used them for calculating usability
coefficients. But WickedGL 3.00 mini-driver wasn't good.
There's some criticism about 3D quality. It shows
up on both single and several chip variants. Voodoo4 4500 lacks
only hardware FSAA due to a single chip. There's 2x FSAA support
in drivers for this videocard, but it can remain undemanded due
to low speed of the card.
You can compare screenshots taken on this card
with reference ones taken on NVIDIA GeForce3.
|Games / Cards
|3dfx Voodoo4 4500
|Games / Cards
|3dfx Voodoo4 4500
- 1. Quake3
- 2. Unreal
- 3. Unreal Tournament
- 4. No One Lives Forever
- 5. Serious Sam
- 6. Colin McRAE Rally2
- 7. American McGee's Alice
- 8. Mercedes Benz Truck Racing
- 9. Sacrifice
- 10. F.A.K.K. 2
- 11. Need For Speed V (Porshe 2000)
- 12. Real MYST
- 13. Blade of Darkness
- 14. Giants
- 15. 3DMark2001: Game1
- 16. 3DMark2001: Game2
- 17. 3DMark2001: Game3
- 18. 3DMark2001: Game4
- 19. 3DMark2001: Dot3
- 20. 3DMark2001: EMBM
- 21. 3DMark2001: Vertex Shaders
- 22. 3DMark2001: Pixel Shaders
- 23. Black & White
- 24. Undying
- 25. Anachronox
- 26. Max Payne
I must note the fact of absence of true trilinear
filtering, that was officially confirmed by 3dfx. In the articles
about 3dfx Voodoo3 2000/3000, I have already noted that trilinear
filtering has disappeared in drivers from 3dfx.
You can see a proof of this in Quake3 with the
help of r_colorMIPLevels "1":
NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS shot is to the left, 3dfx Voodoo5
5500 - to the right, Voodoo4 4500 produces the same.
So we must state that 3dfx Voodoo4-5 cards don't
support trilinear and anisotropic filtering. But there are some
positive moments like the appearance of correct approximation in
1.07.02 version from Iceman. It doesn't differ much from real trilinear
filtering, and doesn't cause perfomance falloffs.
Let's take a look at LOD Bias settings. It is set
to 0 by default. Let's observe what happens after setting it to
boundary (-2,+2) and to medium (-1,+1) positions.
LOD Bias = -2
LOD Bias = -1
LOD Bias = 0
LOD Bias = 1
LOD Bias = 2
As you can see, the best is something about -0.5.
But you'll have to do such operations for every other game and that's
not good. In addition, it's hard to get a good detail level along
with good scene geometry on Voodoo4-5. Here's GeForce2 with LOD
Bias set by default:
Above is Unreal (Direct3D) on NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS
with trilinear filtering enabled. Below is the same but with Glide
on 3dfx Voodoo4 4500 with default settings:
LOD Bias is lowered and it spoils the floor. It
changes to better only with LOD Bias +2, but this spoils walls:
To the left is 3dfx Voodoo4 4500, to the right -
NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS.
Picture quality of 3dfx Voodoo4 4500 is good enough
though this card works bad with some new games.
I want to note that there's a hidden feature in
1.04.01 drivers (and newer) concerning HSR (Hidden Surface Remove)
technology that deletes some hidden surfaces in the game to free
the GPU, but as there's no hardware support for this feature, this
is done by the drivers and CPU.
This feature seems to work (unlike Voodoo3), but
how? Here are some diagrams of perfomance boost in percentage with
HSR set to various levels:
See that boost? It rules. But don't hurry to switch
this feature on. Let's look at quality with HSR enabled:
I shall say that only Conservative level is good
enough, higher levels spoil the picture. But even 27% boost is very
good. Still HSR works only with OpenGL, i.e. Unreal has no reaction
for it and Direct3D has no such feature at all.
2D quality is just perfect, and it stands on NVIDIA
GeForce2 level. You can observe a very clear picture in 1600x1200
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