How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

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How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby appiah4 » 2017-11-28 @ 14:09

Take a Coppermine 1GHz. At what point does a faster GPU become a diminishing return? Would early DX7 level hardware like a Radeon 7000/GeForce256 hit the CPU bottleneck for say 1999/2000 games or would it scale beyond into the late DX7 (Radeon 7500/GF2) or DX8 (Radoen 8500/GF3/GF4) class hardware? At what point would more modern drivers become a liability?
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby firage » 2017-11-28 @ 14:41

It's underequipped for DX9 games, 2002 stuff will already push it hard. I think you can go almost as far as 98SE compatibility permits, at least up to FX5900U level, with the graphics card.

As a rule, newer cards won't slow a CPU down, and you can keep the CPU capped framerate while weighing the GPU down with increased resolutions and additional AA/AF filtering. D3D backwards compatibility issues do start showing up with DX8+ hardware and newer driver versions.

UT99, with the right settings, will already murder a GPU regardless of CPU:
(source http://alt.3dcenter.org/artikel/voodoo5 ... ndex22.php)
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby swaaye » 2017-11-28 @ 17:38

I've seen some tests here that show Geforce FX may have more driver overhead than older cards. And another test recently across driver versions that showed drivers newer than 4x.xx series are slower too. On a P3.
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=57151

But really the answer here depends heavily on resolution. If you have a 1920x1200 monitor, a 6800 GT/Ultra is needed for even some 2001 games to keep it all silky smooth.
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2017-11-30 @ 19:20

If crazy resolutions with MSAA and AF are out of the question - GeForce 4 Ti.
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby appiah4 » 2017-11-30 @ 20:01

Honestly, what I'm aiming for is Quake 3 1024x768x32 60fps, so I dropped in a Radeon 9250. The OCD in me keeps screaming it's not contemporary, but the practical side of me says anything slower than a GeForce 256 would be too slow for 32-bit anyway. So I guess, a better question would be, what card do you pair your higher end Coppermine systems with? I have a P3-700 with a Voodoo 3 and it's great for 16-bit gaming, but at 1GHz I want to build something that can do 32-bit comfortably.
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-11-30 @ 21:32

appiah4 wrote:Honestly, what I'm aiming for is Quake 3 1024x768x32 60fps, so I dropped in a Radeon 9250. The OCD in me keeps screaming it's not contemporary, but the practical side of me says anything slower than a GeForce 256 would be too slow for 32-bit anyway. So I guess, a better question would be, what card do you pair your higher end Coppermine systems with? I have a P3-700 with a Voodoo 3 and it's great for 16-bit gaming, but at 1GHz I want to build something that can do 32-bit comfortably.

In those days I had a Visiontek Geforce 2 GTS 32MB paired with my Slot A Athlon 750. My brother had a Slot 1 Pentium III 733Mhz I believe, and he paired that with a Gainward Geforce 2 Ti (or Pro?) 64MB Golden Sample. So, something in that range would be "contemporary". I'd say anything from a Geforce 2 MX to a Geforce 4 Ti would be a good match, depending on what you want to run on it. Consistently high frame rates and higher quality settings would make me lean toward getting a Geforce 4 Ti 4200 or better. A cheap option would probably be a Geforce 4 MX 440 or 460 (one that you can verify as having 128bit DDR), as those perform decently compared to a Geforce 2 Pro, Ti or Ultra, while costing less and being more efficient (probably fanless). Beware, there are many 64bit or SDR models out there, and those won't be so great.

Here's a review with some relevant benchmarks:
https://www.anandtech.com/show/875/9

Also, a Radeon 9250 may have a high number, but it is much slower than an 8500, 8500LE or 9100 due to having half the vertex and texture units, and possibly even 64bit memory. It probably isn't much different than a Geforce 2 MX or maybe Geforce 2 GTS in older titles.
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby emosun » 2017-12-01 @ 01:12

If you have dual cpu's such as a dual socket 370 or slot 1 , then dx9 cards will scale ok. No higher than the radeon x series and geforce 7000 series.

Even with a single 1ghz pentium 3 I would say dx9 is not off the table. Provided your application supports high gpu usage and low cpu usage which is common in screen savers and gpu demos. and or 2d games which may run on dx9 as a requirement but not have high cpu usage.

around the 1ghz mark you aren't going to have any issues with the gpu driver sort of "robbing" cpu performance away vs a dx8 card. So yeah even with a pentium 3 dx9 is an option
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby idspispopd » 2017-12-01 @ 11:15

appiah4 wrote:Honestly, what I'm aiming for is Quake 3 1024x768x32 60fps, so I dropped in a Radeon 9250. The OCD in me keeps screaming it's not contemporary, but the practical side of me says anything slower than a GeForce 256 would be too slow for 32-bit anyway. So I guess, a better question would be, what card do you pair your higher end Coppermine systems with? I have a P3-700 with a Voodoo 3 and it's great for 16-bit gaming, but at 1GHz I want to build something that can do 32-bit comfortably.

Good guess with the GF256:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vga ... 453-4.html
Quake 3 Demo001 is benchmarked at 1024x768x32 for different GPUs (Athlon XP, though)
GF256 SDR is pretty close to 60fps, DDR is 74fps.
Even a Radeon 9250 with 64 bit memory should be faster than the SDR, a 128 bit card should be faster than the DDR. (Two times the fill rate, higher memory bandwidth and better efficiency.)
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby appiah4 » 2017-12-01 @ 12:47

Great, I am using a 128-bit 9250 PCI, I'll do the benches once I have the OS installed. I will probably test the system with G450, Radeon 7000 and Radeon 9250 and see how fast each of them will be. I have a bunch of other PCI VGA cards such as Virge, i740, G200, Savage3D, Savage4 but I doubt any of them would be even close to how fast even the G450 is.
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Re: How far do video cards scale on a Coppermine system?

Postby idspispopd » 2017-12-04 @ 10:37

All of the cards/chips you mention don't have hardware T&L except the Radeon 9250, so for Quake 3 it should be the fastest even at lower resolutions.
Radeon 7000 should be faster than Matrox G450.
The other cards are better suited for much slower CPUs, with the possible exception to run the first Unreal with the MeTaL renderer on a savage cards. Unreal likes a faster CPU, but I suppose even a Savage 4 will bottleneck the game at 640x480 and a PIII 500.
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