Busy Edition

With the unexpected news that I’m starting my job again next week, I’ve been in a bit of a hurry and haven’t had much time to write about my findings on the GPU front. Though in this case, GPU is a bit of an exaggeration.

Look at the 3D glasses port. I wonder how many of those were sold.

See, I received two cards in the last week, and I’ve had time to test them before I even knew about the job situation. Good for me. One is the Diamond FireGL 1000 Pro you can see above, a Permedia 2 chip. I wasn’t expecting much to begin with, and I wasn’t disappointed. 

For a card aimed mostly at the professional market, I guess it was fine, but the lack of blended color lights is a bummer. Quake 2 in monochrome lighting just doesn’t look the same – though I know a few people who would rather play it that way. Granted, they would have to get past the sub-20 FPS even in 640×480.

I’ll spare you the trouble I had to go through to find suitable drivers. They aren’t joking when they say Ati’s drivers used to suck.

The other card is this Radeon VE, or Radeon 7000, same thing really. See, it was marketed as a Radeon, but with its very gimped architecture (half the TMUs  and no vertex shader), it’s really more like Ati grabbed a Rage 128, overclocked it like hell, added one extra TMU and called it a day.

The higher clock alone makes sure it will always be faster than a Rage 128 (perhaps not the MAXX though…) but the extra TMU might not be all that useful. At the very least, 3DMark never goes past double results in multi texturing. Newer drivers give better results in tests, but don’t allow you to disable Vsync, so I used older ones. Fun times.

I still have a TNT2 coming, and my big comparison post received some updates thanks to some interesting findings about various cards. So maybe I’ll post an update eventually. If I can find the time between one customer and the other. 

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