I finally found a use for the Virge DX. I honestly thought I would never actually use it, outside of benchmarking. But no, there’s a real reason to put it in the PC now: it’s the only graphics card I have which doesn’t create jerky scrolling in Commander Keen. I’m amazed.
After all, why else would anyone want to use a Virge? Although, for all its framerate woes, compatibility was actually somewhat decent. I’ll let these captures speak for themselves. All native resolution… I’m afraid. Pixel-doubling them seemed to show the dithering in an even worse light than it already was on my screen, so I kept them at their original resolution. You may need glasses.
Turok, as one of the granddaddies of Direct3D benchmarks, deserves a few more screenshots.
Terracide has a specific S3 setting. A nice surprise, since the regular D3D was slow as molassa.
DOS games coded for the specific S3 API tend to fare a little better, but just slightly (photos resized to 640×480).
S3 eventually made other accelerators, including the decent Savage line. But those won’t work with the S3 API, even the Trio3D has trouble with many titles (I only managed to make Croc run). So it’s a Virge or nothing.
But hey, all of the above becomes meaningless if you consider the smooth scrolling in Commander Keen. I had forgotten how good it looked. So, let’s raise a glass to S3, if just this once.