Image Quality of various old video cards (Quake 3 comparison)

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

Image Quality of various old video cards (Quake 3 comparison)

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2017-4-20 @ 20:18

Derailed from this topic.


Both GeForce and Radeon have some picture quality issues btw.
For example here's how Quake 3 sky looks on a VSA100 (Voodoo 4) card in True color (picture for reference):
voodoo 4 quake 3 sky.jpg


And here's how Quake 3 sky is rendered on any GeForce before G80 family:
geforce quake 3 sky.jpg


As far as I remember, this problem is less pronounced on a Radeon cards of that era but probably still there.
Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2017-4-22 @ 14:13, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby Tetrium » 2017-4-20 @ 20:35

dexvx wrote:I think you guys are way too ahead in terms of GPU.

Pentium-3 800 FCPA was released Dec 1999.
Radeon 8500 was released Oct 2001.
Radeon DDR (original R100) was released April 2000. So that would be the "most" period correct GPU. But due to its relative rarity, one could go for the much cheaper Radeon 7500 (RV200) or Radeon 7200 DDR (rebrand). The most irritating thing is actually finding a DDR version, since it sometimes wasn't explicit on the board. Avoid the Radeon 7000/VE DDR, as it is 64bit wide memory (so the same as 128bit SDR). If you're buying on eBay or locally, you can tell by searching the text on the memory.

Well, even though you are kinda correct about the period-correctness, many people did upgrade their graphics card after a year or 2. CPU upgrades were done less frequently as the top CPUs for any given socket tended to remain high-priced for a looong time and graphics cards tended to become much cheaper more quickly, and be more available.
Personally I don't take period-correctness too literally, in the end I want to use the system and if a 9200 works just as well, so personally I wouldn't really mind if a "less popular" card was being used while still being somewhat period correct.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-4-20 @ 20:56

the problem with the sky could be fixed afaik.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2017-4-21 @ 01:36

It's not S3TC bug and this problem is not exclusive to Quake 3 sky.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby swaaye » 2017-4-21 @ 04:24

GeForce cards prior to GeForce 4 have 16-bit DXT1 processing and they didn't dither it very well.

http://www.techspot.com/reviews/hardwar ... er-3.shtml
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2017-4-21 @ 06:23

The Serpent Rider wrote:Both GeForce and Radeon have some picture quality issues btw.
For example here's how Quake 3 sky looks on a VSA100 (Voodoo 4) card in True color (picture for reference):


Maybe it's my monitor or my eyes, but I can't really tell a difference :blush:

What about the PowerVR Kyro II? I find the image it delivers really nice and crisp. And it does SSAA and AF as well for those older games.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby appiah4 » 2017-4-21 @ 06:25

PhilsComputerLab wrote:
The Serpent Rider wrote:Both GeForce and Radeon have some picture quality issues btw.
For example here's how Quake 3 sky looks on a VSA100 (Voodoo 4) card in True color (picture for reference):


Maybe it's my monitor or my eyes, but I can't really tell a difference :blush:

What about the PowerVR Kyro II? I find the image it delivers really nice and crisp. And it does SSAA and AF as well for those older games.


There is very significant banding in the nV shot.

As for the aforementioned ATI filtering issues, I have no idea where these rumours originate from I ran an R200 for years and never ran into the OpenGL filtering bug mentioned - was everyone else just using bilinear filtering? I just set it on 4x Aniso and everything looked fine with zero performance hit. Regardless, this was probably a bug from the dark days of ATI drivers that are long gone. The issue, from forum searches, seems to have been around in 2003-2004, and went away afterwards. Latest Catalyst drivers for the 8500 are Catalyst 6.11 and I have them set up on my Celeron 1300, I have no texture filtering issues in OpenGL games I have installed..
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1992:MB457|U5SX486-33|8MB|TVGA9000B|ES688FC/DreamS2
1996:S1573S|P233MMX|64MB|Mystique220/Voodoo2SLI|CT4500
1998:6P2BX2|PIII450|256MB|Voodoo3|MX300
2000:GA-6OXT|C1300|512MB|R8500|SB0100
JOAT:GX110LP|PIII733|256MB|G450|CT4520/32M|YMF-719B/DreamX3M
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2017-4-21 @ 06:30

appiah4 wrote:There is very significant banding in the nV shot.


:lol: I'm getting old / ignorance is bliss?
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby spiroyster » 2017-4-21 @ 10:15

PhilsComputerLab wrote:
appiah4 wrote:There is very significant banding in the nV shot.


:lol: I'm getting old / ignorance is bliss?

You're not alone here o.0

There is significant banding on both these screen shots. imo the Voodoo4 is only 'marginally' better.

One noticable difference is the aliasing pattern on the Voodoo banding is much smoother and natural than the sharp linear artifacts in the banding of the Geforce. This can be seen by applying various edge filters to the screen shots. Although the angle and position seem similar on both shots, the texture transforms are completely different so its hard to compare directly.

FPS of the Voodoo :exclamation: ? What happended there then?

FWIW. Back int day, I had a Rage128 Pro with my P3/800. I can't remember it ever being a limiting factor with any of the games I played or wanted to play back then. Rose-tinting filter might be present of course. :dead:
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2017-4-21 @ 10:21

Yea, and fragging at 100 FPS, who looks at the clouds? :lol:

From a historical perspective it is interesting how initially 3dfx was all about speed, but later did a 180 and became the advocate for image quality with their T-Buffer and SSAA and all of that.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby spiroyster » 2017-4-21 @ 10:39

PhilsComputerLab wrote:Yea, and fragging at 100 FPS, who looks at the clouds? :lol:

Campers and spectators! :dead:

[EDIT:] removed the running comentary of the inner workings of my mind.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby falloutboy » 2017-4-21 @ 10:53

Back then when Quake 3 had texture compression enabled by default.
3dfx in 16-bit vs 32-bit of the competition. (WickedGL driver improves performance for the Voodoo5)
Credits for the screenshots go to Mr. Lolman from http://www.forum-3dcenter.org

3dfxvsatvsnvidia4xogl57fj.jpg


3dfxvsnvidia4xogl31bb.jpg
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-4-21 @ 11:14

Despite 16Bit, 3dfx RULES!
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby falloutboy » 2017-4-21 @ 12:47

The Serpent Rider wrote:blocky color transitions
It's not S3TC bug and this problem it's not exclusive to Quake 3 sky.

Yes, blocky color transitions can be seen in System Shock 2 looking closer to a wall. Tested with Geforce3 Ti 200 & GeforceFX 5900XT. It does not happen on Voodoo3 & Radeon 9700 Pro.
I also have seen it in Max Payne 2, but only on a single wall. In most games I haven't noticed anything, but I don't have much experience with older Geforce cards (went from Voodoo 3 3000 to Radeon 9700 Pro back in the day).
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2017-4-21 @ 15:48

swaaye wrote:GeForce cards prior to GeForce 4 have 16-bit DXT1 processing and they didn't dither it very well.

Both screenshots were taken without texture compression. You can double check it on any GeForce 1-7. On DX10 and newer cards like GeForce 8800 you'll get Voodoo 4-5 quality.

PhilsComputerLab wrote:What about the PowerVR Kyro II? I find the image it delivers really nice and crisp.

Same as GeForce cards (bad):
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Kyro II quake 3 sky.jpg
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby swaaye » 2017-4-21 @ 19:26

The Serpent Rider wrote:
swaaye wrote:GeForce cards prior to GeForce 4 have 16-bit DXT1 processing and they didn't dither it very well.

Both screenshots were taken without texture compression. You can double check it on any GeForce 1-7. On DX10 and newer cards like GeForce 8800 you'll get Voodoo 4-5 quality.

Sorry. Whenever I see the Quake 3 sky I immediately start thinking the DXT1 problem.

I'd like to see what the actual texture image looks like.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2017-4-21 @ 19:33

I'll take a few VGA captures in Quake III.
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2017-4-21 @ 19:40

So this is with a GeForce2 GTS and 45.23 driver.

To my eyes these look nicer than the screenshots posted?
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2017-4-21 @ 19:50

1600 x 1200
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Re: What Radeon card for a 800 P3?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2017-4-21 @ 20:07

swaaye wrote:I'd like to see what the actual texture image looks like.

That would require software rendering, with linear texture filtering no less. VSA100 or modern GPU are pretty much as close as you can get to the reference.

PhilsComputerLab wrote:To my eyes these look nicer than the screenshots posted?

Not really, blocky pattern is still there:
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