S3 Trio 3D 4MB AGP

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S3 Trio 3D 4MB AGP

Postby 3dprophet » 2018-9-12 @ 15:14

Hi Retro Hardware Enthusiasts,

I wanted to get more information on the S3 Trio 3D 4MB AGP video card. What 3D games can this card run comfortably or was meant to run when it was released?

I remember having this card in our family computer in 1998-2000 when I was growing up. I never got any 3D games to work with it and I wanted a Voodoo 3 card badly. I remember trying the Need for Speed 4 demo in 3D acceleration mode, the game would load, work like a slideshow for 5 seconds, and the PC would freeze. Other games froze on the menu when using 3D mode or the mouse cursor was very slow and it froze after loading the game. At the time I concluded it's a 2D card only, however now that I think about it, it was rendering NFS4 in glorious 3D for 5 seconds before it froze so that can't be. I'm guessing with only 4MB the card was running out of VRAM? Sadly I don't have the system/card anymore but I am curious what was happening to make the PC freeze. Once I upgraded the card to a Hercules 3D Prophet 4000XT everything worked fine. That is until the thermal paste failed on that card and it started overheating/artifacting.
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Re: S3 Trio 3D 4MB AGP

Postby gerwin » 2018-9-12 @ 15:58

Generally the 3D acceleration of the S3 Virge/Trio 3D was a practical failure. There is way more coverage and info on the S3 Virge in that regard, I think you can lookup reviews of that Virge chipset and just take that as reference for the capabilities of your card, since Virge and Trio 3D do not differ much.
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Re: S3 Trio 3D 4MB AGP

Postby weldum » 2018-9-12 @ 16:09

the problem with that card (and most, if not all of the early cards until the voodoo) is that it doesn't support many features that would become essential in 3d rendering, or the hardware acted as if it was broken, and the driver support was bad aswell as the api support.

here it is a review of the card:

http://vintage3d.org/trio3d.php#sthash.Zn37SxjL.dpbs
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Re: S3 Trio 3D 4MB AGP

Postby 3dprophet » 2018-9-12 @ 20:17

A few games were compatible with the Virge when it was released.

From what I've read so far the Trio 3D was badly outdated when it was released and lacked compatibility with old S3D titles that supported the Virge.

So there is no games that were made compatible with the Trio 3D? That is pretty depressing. A lot of people call the Virge the worst accelerator of all time, however the Trio 3D seems worse to me.
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Re: S3 Trio 3D 4MB AGP

Postby AtTheGates » 2018-9-13 @ 09:05

I have a 4MB Virge GX PCI. It's much slower when running with a Pentium III 450Mhz than a 4MB Permedia 2 is when running with a Pentium 1 133Mhz. Also the drivers suck, and there's no OpenGL support.
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Re: S3 Trio 3D 4MB AGP

Postby AtTheGates » 2018-9-13 @ 09:09

weldum wrote:the problem with that card (and most, if not all of the early cards until the voodoo) is that it doesn't support many features that would become essential in 3d rendering, or the hardware acted as if it was broken, and the driver support was bad aswell as the api support.

here it is a review of the card:

http://vintage3d.org/trio3d.php#sthash.Zn37SxjL.dpbs


The biggest issue as pretty much always with S3 is drivers. They're buggy. Same from the ViRGE to the Savage 2000 (although the Savage 2000 actually had very decent performance).
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