PowerVR Fun Thread

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

Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Tuxality » 2018-6-22 @ 07:57

It's time to revive some of the PowerVR fun in this thread, I've got some new (I hope so?) PowerVR trivia for ya. :D Did you know that SGL2 wasn't the last iteration of PowerSGL API? It seems that SGL4 existed for the PowerVR SGX535 based Intel GMA 500 GPU as a native API on "Wintel" platforms, screenshot of exported functions in the attachment.

As for now I haven't got time to disasm, but it seems that the API might be slightly similar to SGL2 (excluding more complex shader related stuff, VBOs etc), which is cool as SGL2 was a major and well-done cleanup after that first SGL mess.

How cool is that? :) Tried to find any references to SGL4 on the net, but to no avail.

BTW, @lei keep working on PVR filter as lately I've made giant progress in that PCX2 reverse-engineering project :)
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SGL4 in all its glory!
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby F2bnp » 2018-6-22 @ 08:06

Wow, I had no idea, that's awesome!

Also, cool to hear about the progress, I was wondering if you were still working on this. :happy: I wish you the best of luck!
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby mcobit » 2018-6-22 @ 08:43

I had an PCX 2 Card back in the day.
Got it with a P2 233 MHz and a SIS 9xx 2D card.
Originally I wanted a VooDoo but the shop talked me into the PowerVR card as it was a bit cheaper.

I really have good memories about playing Quake2, Unreal, Tomb Raider etc. with it.
Later gave it away and bought a TNT2 Card when Direct 3D titles became more prominent and almost no new game had native sgl support anymore.

Still want to get one again but prices are very high in Germany right now.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Myloch » 2018-6-24 @ 13:02

mcobit wrote:Still want to get one again but prices are very high.

True story bro. (not only in germany)
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Davros » 2018-6-24 @ 21:19

Bio Hazard Power VR PC CD-Rom
EUR 130.00
EDIT: Active Ebay Link removed
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby leileilol » 2018-6-25 @ 05:09

They weren't high when I started making my videos.

They weren't also high in their original release either ;) They were budget cards to the core. I'm guessing the whole Dreamcast fandom baggage is what keeps it high like it's a "beta" dreamcast GPU (wrong) or something
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby PCMG3 » 2018-6-25 @ 13:24

1234567
Last edited by PCMG3 on 2018-7-01 @ 13:10, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby subhuman@xgtx » 2018-6-26 @ 00:13

PCMG3 wrote:I wonder if anybody on earth still owns full version :blush:


Wow! Rare findings.

Could you please upload a copy of the driver floppy disk? I have the same card but cannot find any drivers for Win98
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby vlask » 2018-7-05 @ 16:03

Hello, right now recording some footage of Videologic Neon 250 review for Rare Graphics Cards series on my youtube. Need finally return that borrowed card to owner....
So far i have recorded these games
GLQuake
Quake 3 Arena demo
Unreal (D3D and PowerSGL)
AVP Gold
3DMark 99
Expendable
Incoming
Half-Life - no fps - fraps not working, console commands too - probably too old version (game of the year)
Will try UT demo....

Do you have any tips what game try and show - preferably with Powersgl and demo available, or do you want to see any game how good neon 250 is in it?

All tests so far done at 800x600x32bit if possible.....
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Putas » 2018-7-05 @ 21:11

Anything outside of those notorious tests is welcome.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Tuxality » 2018-7-05 @ 21:35

vlask wrote:Do you have any tips what game try and show - preferably with Powersgl and demo available, or do you want to see any game how good neon 250 is in it?


It might not be the material for your video, but while you are at it - can you check if Moon Racer runs on Neon250? Link to demo is available here at vogons: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=33483#p279818

Additionally, this time for the video, you can run Turok Dinosaur Hunter, there is only one video on the net and it has some glitches i.e. somewhat incorrect alpha applied to the foliage in-game. It goes up to 1024x768 so you can compare Neon250 to the PCX2 quality and performance-wise.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby silikone » 2018-7-08 @ 23:49

leileilol wrote:They weren't high when I started making my videos.

They weren't also high in their original release either ;) They were budget cards to the core. I'm guessing the whole Dreamcast fandom baggage is what keeps it high like it's a "beta" dreamcast GPU (wrong) or something

Is this Dreamcast fanbase as deluded as I have been led to believe? Wouldn't surprise me, as it does take a.. certain kind of person to cling on to something that died a horrible death. There are certainly no shortages of comparisons with the PS2, a few going so far as to say that the PS2 has categorically inferior hardware. There's also this article, which does seem to be mostly factual, but a subtle hint of Sega bias does seem to manifest (or my own Nvidia bias is in effect here). I also have my doubts about those polygon counts that Le Mans allegedly pushes. The high number appears to stem from a journalistic article, but upon perusing technical discussions of the Dreamcast on various forums, there does seem to be a bunch of substantiated objections to this claim.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Rawit » 2018-7-09 @ 06:56

leileilol wrote:They weren't high when I started making my videos.

They weren't also high in their original release either ;) They were budget cards to the core. I'm guessing the whole Dreamcast fandom baggage is what keeps it high like it's a "beta" dreamcast GPU (wrong) or something


The fact that the Matrox M3D CD and the Sega Dreamcast Dev kit contain the same hardware demo's (the mask with light sources, PowerVR logo, etc) doesn't help either. Just because it's visually similar people assume it's the same hardware.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Scali » 2018-7-09 @ 10:13

silikone wrote:Is this Dreamcast fanbase as deluded as I have been led to believe? Wouldn't surprise me, as it does take a.. certain kind of person to cling on to something that died a horrible death.


That depends, does it not?
I mean, Betamax also died a horrible death, but it wasn't a bad product.
I think the same goes for the DreamCast. It was a decent machine in its own right, and it certainly had some good games. Its timing was just a bit unfortunate, as well as the choice for the media they used. The later Xbox and PS2 basically did everything better.

silikone wrote:I also have my doubts about those polygon counts that Le Mans allegedly pushes. The high number appears to stem from a journalistic article, but upon perusing technical discussions of the Dreamcast on various forums, there does seem to be a bunch of substantiated objections to this claim.


Well, the PowerVR chip is unique in its deferred rendering approach, so while I have not looked into the details of this particular case, there are certainly scenarios where a PowerVR chip can be an incredible deal faster than a conventional immediate rasterizer.
That PVR chip does give the DreamCast a certain unique charm. I would not be one to claim the DreamCast is a better machine than an Xbox or PS2... but my personal interests in graphics and rendering technologies do make the DreamCast my personal favourite, because of its quirkiness, and its unique solutions to certain problems (I also love the Commodore Amiga for basically the same reason, even though that also died a horrible death commercially). I suppose that is why I follow this thread.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby yawetaG » 2018-7-09 @ 18:52

silikone wrote:
leileilol wrote:They weren't high when I started making my videos.

They weren't also high in their original release either ;) They were budget cards to the core. I'm guessing the whole Dreamcast fandom baggage is what keeps it high like it's a "beta" dreamcast GPU (wrong) or something

Is this Dreamcast fanbase as deluded as I have been led to believe? Wouldn't surprise me, as it does take a.. certain kind of person to cling on to something that died a horrible death. There are certainly no shortages of comparisons with the PS2, a few going so far as to say that the PS2 has categorically inferior hardware.


The Sega fandom has certain quirks that it likely shares with other fandoms, and some fans tend to put their favourite system(s) on a pedestal that is above everything else - "Console Wars" is a term with a reason :wink: . This leads to some ideas that are quite...peculiar at times (and often factually wrong, incorrectly remembered, and/or plainly impossible).

For an example, see the Sega Saturn anti-copy system that according to some uses a special numerical code printed on the CD that the laser shines through to read (that's not how a CD drive works...). Probably it just uses part of the CD data track that is out-of-bounds on most normal CD drives.

There unfortunately also is one very vocal fan of things Sega that keeps making detailed "technical" articles on Sega games that are quite a load of nonsense - making inferences based on very little data, claiming he knows exactly how a game was programmed despite never having seen the source code, pointing out "bugs" in games that according to official documents are actually features, saying he has access to rare unreleased stuff that is known to not exist in the condition he claims it's in, etc. There's a thread somewhere on the old Gamefaqs forums that exposes him as a hack :lol: . Unfortunately his associated meltdown was apparently deleted... You'll recognize his articles quite easily, and they are best read with a sack of salt ready.

There's also this article, which does seem to be mostly factual, but a subtle hint of Sega bias does seem to manifest (or my own Nvidia bias is in effect here). I also have my doubts about those polygon counts that Le Mans allegedly pushes. The high number appears to stem from a journalistic article, but upon perusing technical discussions of the Dreamcast on various forums, there does seem to be a bunch of substantiated objections to this claim.


The problem with journalistic articles is that they sometimes are based on pre-releases that never see release in the form shown in the article. So the claims may be based on what the developers were aiming at at the time, while the actual game might not have those features.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby vlask » 2018-7-15 @ 11:05

Tuxality wrote:It might not be the material for your video, but while you are at it - can you check if Moon Racer runs on Neon250? Link to demo is available here at vogons: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=33483#p279818


Sadly not working, missing SGL.dll file. In Windows is present, copied it to the game directory. No change. Might try oldest driver...

Tuxality wrote:Additionally, this time for the video, you can run Turok Dinosaur Hunter, there is only one video on the net and it has some glitches i.e. somewhat incorrect alpha applied to the foliage in-game. It goes up to 1024x768 so you can compare Neon250 to the PCX2 quality and performance-wise.


Have only demo, it works, but with same alpha errors.....Dunno reason. No option in game or drivers to change it.....
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Stiletto » 2018-7-16 @ 13:20

yawetaG wrote:There unfortunately also is one very vocal fan of things Sega that keeps making detailed "technical" articles on Sega games that are quite a load of nonsense - making inferences based on very little data, claiming he knows exactly how a game was programmed despite never having seen the source code, pointing out "bugs" in games that according to official documents are actually features, saying he has access to rare unreleased stuff that is known to not exist in the condition he claims it's in, etc. There's a thread somewhere on the old Gamefaqs forums that exposes him as a hack :lol: . Unfortunately his associated meltdown was apparently deleted... You'll recognize his articles quite easily, and they are best read with a sack of salt ready.


Hahaha I know exactly who you're talking about - though not the username exactly, though he does change it depending on the forum he's on from time to time. He's been around on the Internet for decades now. Not surprised he's still "at it" at all. :lol:
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Tuxality » 2018-7-17 @ 05:18

vlask wrote:Sadly not working, missing SGL.dll file. In Windows is present, copied it to the game directory. No change. Might try oldest driver...


Thank you for checking this one! Heh, it seems that they didn't even bother to implement the higher level SGL part (as other non-SGLDirect demos doesn't work either) that's why it fails that way, it is unable to poll interface from other PVR DLLs while in DllMain. I really doubt older driver will expose this interface to SGL, which is only a wrapper on top of PVR libraries.

vlask wrote:Have only demo, it works, but with same alpha errors.....Dunno reason. No option in game or drivers to change it.....


Yeah, it's weird... nonetheless, thanks for checking. It seems that Neon250 sucks more than I thought.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby vlask » 2018-7-22 @ 16:20

Turok alpha errors solved. Game needs to be set Mipmaping to normal instead of everything. Then errors dissappear. Wanted to do comparsion in 1024x768 against PCX2 (Matrox M3D), but Matrox is crashing at 1024 resolution at driver error. 800x600 works fine. Does it need 2d card with 4MB of memory or 1024 is not possible at PCX2?

Edit: just tried 4MB millenium card and turok works, so it really need 4MB 2D card....

Also make Unreal work will be hell, crashing all the time at startup.....

Edit no2 - Unreal needed patch 221. Patch 220b was unable to run (on Neon 250 it worked), patch 224 lost support....
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby leileilol » 2018-11-07 @ 23:58

I went through the trouble to play the PC3DEngine demos which apparently requires japanese Windows and a PC 3DEngine2 driver to work. Rolfee's apparently also the NEC PowerVR mascot :D
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