TBH while the Virge is useful for DOS stuff, I remember it as being pretty awful for OpenGL or DirectX stuff. The original VGA Decelerator. 😀
I don't think it even had OpenGL support. I had a Virge GX2 in my second PC ever (Pentium II 266MHz) and when using Direct3D it was either slower than software rendering or about the same speed but worse image quality. Awesome 2D performance though.
And the GX2 is the top of range Virge.
Huh, I never thought of the ViRGE as being a good 2D card. Everyone just talked about it at the time as "the 3D decelerator" and generally being a piece of crap when you could instead spend your money on a 3dfx card, maybe with a Matrox for 2D if you could afford it.
Meanwhile, I noticed something similar with the GeForce FX line around here - a series generally panned for being late to market with awful DX9/Shader Model 2.0 performance while ATI curbstomped them the whole time with the Radeon 9700/9800, which only served to make the succeeding GeForce 6 Series all the more impressive. (Hey, I would've hated to be the guy who spent $500 on a Radeon 9800 XT the moment before the GeForce 6800 Ultra showed up and wiped the floor with it at the same price while boasting DX9c/Shader Model 3.0 support on top!)
But here, the FX cards are revered for DX8/SM1.4 and OpenGL performance and compatibility alongside being the last line of cards with hardware paletted texture support. The notion is that if you need DX9/SM 2.0 performance, you're going to step up to later, faster cards anyway, possibly even DX10/SM 4.0-era stuff.
It's remarkable what qualities people find in much-maligned hardware years after the fact.