S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

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S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby feipoa » 2019-10-06 @ 10:52

I have a socket 4 system setup with a Pentium Overdrive 133. I'm using an S3 card, the VirgeGX. A Dell Nitro 3D with VGABIOS v1.3.

At 320x200 in DOS, the quake timedemo scores is 28.3 fps
At 320x200 in Windows, the S3 GLquake timedemo score is 12.7 fps
At 400x300 = 10.6 fps (using the noted autoexec.cfg setting)
At 640x480 = 7.1 fps (using the noted autoexec.cfg settings)
At 640x480 = 6.6 fps (default settings)

I'm using the the miniGL wrapper for S3 which requires DirectX 6.1. I have installed DirectX 6.1. With the following recommendations,
Code: Select all
To increase performance add the following to autoexec.cfg in your quake directory:
gl_texturemode "GL_NEAREST" - Turns off BiLinear filtering
gl_fullbright "1" - Turns off lighting
gl_picmip "1" - Blurs textures

I only get about 0.5 fps more.

Am I doing something wrong? Why would there be an S3 Quake minigl if it is slower than software mode?

For some reason, the option for 640x480 isn't available in software mode (DOS and Windows) for the Virge GX graphics card I'm using. Not sure w hy. Univbe 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3 were of no use. 5.2 made the modes appear, but the screen goes black, then grey, then flickers, and nothing happens at 640x480.
Last edited by feipoa on 2019-10-09 @ 22:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby leileilol » 2019-10-06 @ 23:33

feipoa wrote: Why would there be an S3 Quake minigl if it is slower than software mode?

Don't underestimate the early marketing behind bilinear filtering...
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-10-07 @ 00:24

I think lightmaps are killing it more. For example Blood 2 runs somewhat playable at 400x300 with filtering, but without lightmaps.
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby Matth79 » 2019-10-07 @ 00:27

Wasn't the Virge notorious as a 3D decelerator?
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-10-07 @ 00:35

Depends. Virge DX/GX can actually accelerate, but you had to sacrifice all the bells and whistles like filtering, high resolution, etc. 3Dfx Voodoo 1 set just the bar too high for any budget card.
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-10-07 @ 01:53

So this guy here is running GLQuake on a P3 1ghz with Win98 and his S3 Virge GX is at 400x300:

https://youtu.be/llYTUPUEPBE?t=805

He doesn't do a benchmark or anything but it seems playable.

But yes, not sure why you would choose this over a software renderer - like WinQuake.
Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby leileilol » 2019-10-07 @ 03:46

Not every CPU is a Pentium that can take advantage of the 2x span routines. :) In better context, this would make more sense in a trashy lower-end Cyrix6x86 system that'd likely suffer with a Virge in '97...
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby feipoa » 2019-10-07 @ 08:23

BinaryDemon wrote:So this guy here is running GLQuake on a P3 1ghz with Win98 and his S3 Virge GX is at 400x300:

https://youtu.be/llYTUPUEPBE?t=805

He doesn't do a benchmark or anything but it seems playable.

But yes, not sure why you would choose this over a software renderer - like WinQuake.

Very interesting video. This guy was really dedicated to seeing what the Virge GX could do in 3D. There was a consistent them in the video though, along the lines of "I had to disable a lot of detail", running it at 400x300, and, the take away message for me was the comment that Quake 2, with the S3 Virge GX and a 1 GHz Pentium, plays about the same as a Pentium 166 in software mode. This card seems like a fairly impressive decelerator. Anyone here actually use it for 3D "acceleration" back in the day?
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby Putas » 2019-10-09 @ 16:54

feipoa wrote:Am I doing something wrong?


CPU too weak or some software issue. With strong CPU Virge /GX does 7+ fps in first demo- with image quality features on and at 640x480.

It is really not a decelerator compared with processors of it's time.
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby feipoa » 2019-10-09 @ 22:39

Sorry, I typed the 400x300 value incorrectly. I found my note from the trash. It should be,

S3D GLQuake
640x480 = 6.6 fps (default settings)
640x480 = 7.1 fps (using the noted autoexec.cfg settings)
400x300 = 10.6 fps (using the noted autoexec.cfg setting)

I will edit the original post. Still looks like a decellerator card to me compared to software mode.
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby Putas » 2019-10-10 @ 03:22

Ok, that is expected result. The lack of difference between quality and resolution settings points at the CPU starvation. That kind of setup having the conundrum of fast software renderer or slow but nice hardware one.

Virge, the unfortunate.
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby feipoa » 2019-10-10 @ 03:50

lol, Virge - best when paired with a Voodoo!
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Re: S3D GLQuake - any real value in it?

Postby Phido » 2019-10-12 @ 02:15

There were multiple driver versions, some drivers are much *MUCH* faster than others. There were also a whole bag of tweaks.
They worked a lot better on faster S3 versions. The very last S3 cards would play older games quite well.
There are 3 directx to opengl wrappers. DX5 had no filtering, DX6 had filtering and the best was the techland one, but that required more CPU.

I was able to get Quake, Quake2 and Q3Areana playing on a S3 Virge GX/2 AGP.
Some games the S3 Virge was tolerable. Incoming on a later Virge GX2 or Trio3D with SGRAM was quite playable at lower resolutions.

The card had its flaws. But it was generally pretty cheap from lesser name OEMs. If you could find one fitted with good memory, a memory overclock was possible.

Think of it as a slower Matrox Mystique. For earlier Directx 5 and earlier games, and 1994/5 games.
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