Graphic Chips Review April 98

3D Quality

Now the frame rate alone doesn't really tell us the real deal. What's also required is a good 3D quality to go with a good frame rate. If you want to have a look at screen shots before you read my own opinion about it, please look here:

Screen Shots Of RAGE's Incoming

Please take a close look at two areas, the smoke cloud over the cooling towers and chimneys and the sky in the background. If the smoke isn't displayed properly, you can either see a strange rastering or colors other than the white that it should be. If you can see a lot of banding of the background sky you can see that the rendering wasn't done very well.

You cannot see each detail due to the fact that these pictures are JPEGs, hence compressed. If you want to see the real deal, you will have to download the uncompressed BMP file to see all details.

Matrox G200

It's pretty obvious when you look at the all the pictures, the G200 shows by far the best quality in Incoming. If you have a look at the BMP file you won't see any banding of the sky at all, the clouds will be white and hardly rastered at all. The trick with the smooth sky is due to the 32 bit rendering of the G200, which then is converted to 16 bit color by dithering. Rendering in 16 bit in the first place cannot offer such a good result. Unfortunately does this version of Incoming not support anti-aliasing, so that the G200 can't show its abilities here. You can see the ugly saw like appearance of the chimneys due to the lack of this feature.

3Dfx Voodoo2

The days when 3Dfx was the leader in 3D quality are over. In some games the i740 is already looking better than Voodoo2, now the G200 doesn't only offer a better 3d quality, it also offers competitive frame rates. Back to the picture: The rendering of the sky is done pretty well, however the smoke clouds can't really impress me.

  • JeanLuc
    I love reading these old articles especially by Mr Toms Hardware himself Thomas Pabst.

    Look at the comments made in the conclusion, both Nvidia and ATI are getting owned by 3DFX and even more owned by 3DFX's SLI technology. How times have changed, no more 3DFX, ATI actually produce decent video cards and games running at 1680x1050 rather then a 800x600.