Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

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Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-04 @ 02:56

Hey guys, I am piecing together a computer that I would like to specialize in early 3D/proprietary APIs. I have a voodoo 1 of course, and I can find a S3 Virge GX without much issue. I am thinking about maybe adding in a rage pro to my setup, so those three alone gives me support for glide, S3D, and ATI. Something else I would really like to experiment with is power VR. They don't driver their own display, so it should be able to slide right in along side my Voodoo 1 as a dedicated accelerator. Neat!

Trouble is, I cannot find even one listing for any power VR cards on ebay. I have found the vogons wiki and the products list on Wikipedia. There are three vendors/AIBs - Compaq under the "midas" branding, Apacolypse 3D, and Matrox M3D. All of my searches are coming up empty. Searching PowerVR, NEC PowerVR, PCX2, and similar also turns up nothing.

I have no idea how expensive these cards are, so they might be out of my price range anyway. I was hoping someone could help me refine my search terms, and just to satisfy my curiosity, give me some indication of how much I would have to pay for one if I can find it.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby kolderman » 2019-8-04 @ 03:09

There is a ukrainian seller who sells off huge amounts of various cards for cheap, and I occasionally see them pop up there. They don't go for that much, as while rare, 3d before voodoo1 basically sucks balls.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby vetz » 2019-8-04 @ 10:52

Back in 2012 you could get an M3D for 30 USD, but boy how things have changed. I still have a ebay search up for PowerVR stuff, but its becoming rarer and rarer.

My tip is to search for it on Taobao (China) and Yahoo Auctions Japan. Use a forwarding service to have it shipped to you.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-05 @ 16:24

vetz wrote:Back in 2012 you could get an M3D for 30 USD, but boy how things have changed. I still have a ebay search up for PowerVR stuff, but its becoming rarer and rarer.

My tip is to search for it on Taobao (China) and Yahoo Auctions Japan. Use a forwarding service to have it shipped to you.


Hm.. never used a forwarding service before. I'll check it out, thanks. In the mean time I have set up a saved search on ebay. I'll just have to be patient on this one I guess.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-05 @ 23:37

Some luck, I found a NEC branded PC 3DEngine on yahoo auctions japan for 200$. Too rich for a historical oddity, but now I have another lead.

Haven't checked Taobao. They make you sign up in chinese to do any searches, so I thinking I won't even bother.

Searching on ebay for the same branding is coming up empty so I'll have to keep waiting for something to pop up in my price range.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby vetz » 2019-8-06 @ 09:50

mothergoose729 wrote:Haven't checked Taobao. They make you sign up in chinese to do any searches, so I thinking I won't even bother.

They've changed the way the search works just recently. I was able to find an API search, but I couldn't find any PowerVR cards, so don't think any is available.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby Slot1 » 2019-8-06 @ 19:30

I don't think there are any PowerVR cards there, however I was able to grab somewhat rare version of Voodoo Banshee on there recently for under $30 shipped. Maybe try searching on some local classifieds.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby Scali » 2019-8-06 @ 19:40

mothergoose729 wrote:Apacolypse 3D


That's 'Apocalypse', and that is actually the name of the series of cards (they have a 3D, 3Dx and 5D version).
The brand is VideoLogic (the parent company which was later renamed to Imagination Technologies).
So perhaps some more luck with that search term added.

(I have a PCX2 card myself, which is a VideoLogic Apocalypse 3Dx, which I bought new back in the day, for peanuts, as a local shop was getting rid of old stock).
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-8-06 @ 20:09

I tried a powervr based card back when they were new.
It got returned to the store a couple days later.
Yes, it was that bad.

I don't think I have one in my current collection either.
Prices have gone crazy and the only way I would probably
get one is if it came with other cards that I was buying anyway.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-06 @ 21:16

For those curious, scroll to the bottom to see some games running in powerVR:

https://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/PowerVR

There are probably only five or six games that run best in powerVR, and some of them are Japanese. I just think it's cool, and I want it.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby Unknown_K » 2019-8-06 @ 21:21

My first Powervr card was a Matrox M3D I purchased for $100 at Bestbuy back when they would give refunds on things you purchased new that had a price drop in 30 days or something like that (I had purchased an expensive CDR drive and got $100 back and of course promptly spent it). The card was good for not needing a passthough cable and for the most part played fine with the other video cards in the box, you just selected the D3D driver to be used and off you went. The game bundle RAN fine, but early drivers were a bit buggy and I think they fixed some of that. I didn't use it that much since I went 3DFX Voodoo crazy and also went with an AGP TNT1 STB card (which by the way also had garbage drivers out of the box).

Second card I got was the popular Hercules 3D Prophet Kyro 2 card and worked well with a Athlon XP until I had to get T&L in hardware and upgraded to a Radeon 9000.

I still have both of those cards sitting in a drawer.

After the Kyro II the only PowerVR chips used were in cell phones.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-8-06 @ 21:54

I do have a Kyro II card that I got in a lot with a bunch of other cards.

There is one on eBay right now for an absurd price. They seem to show up a bit more often than the older PowerVR based cards.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-06 @ 22:08

cyclone3d wrote:I do have a Kyro II card that I got in a lot with a bunch of other cards.

There is one on eBay right now for an absurd price. They seem to show up a bit more often than the older PowerVR based cards.


The Kyro II are incompatible with the PowerVR API I believe. Also for my case, I have a spot picked out for AGP and PCI already. I wouldn't get the powerVR if I had to give up something else.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby spiroyster » 2019-8-06 @ 23:28

mothergoose729 wrote:
cyclone3d wrote:I do have a Kyro II card that I got in a lot with a bunch of other cards.

There is one on eBay right now for an absurd price. They seem to show up a bit more often than the older PowerVR based cards.


The Kyro II are incompatible with the PowerVR API I believe. Also for my case, I have a spot picked out for AGP and PCI already. I wouldn't get the powerVR if I had to give up something else.

The Kyro is still PowerVR (series 3 to be precise). SGL is the API which the PCX and earlier chipsets support and was dropped for the Kyro and later. There is also the elusive Neon250 which supports SGL (came after PCX, but good luck getting one of those o.0).

You have more chance getting a PCX2 (m3D/Apocalypse3Dx) rather than PCX1 (Apocalypse3D). It's better though, clocked higher and supports bilinear texture filtering.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby aaronkatrini » 2019-8-11 @ 11:48

@mothergoose729
How are your soldering skills and where are you located?
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-11 @ 14:35

aaronkatrini wrote:@mothergoose729
How are your soldering skills and where are you located?


Hey aaronkatrini, consider me intrigued.. I haven't done more than a couple cap replacements, but I do own an iron and I have used it :D. I am in the USA.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby aaronkatrini » 2019-8-11 @ 16:32

mothergoose729 wrote:
aaronkatrini wrote:@mothergoose729
How are your soldering skills and where are you located?


Hey aaronkatrini, consider me intrigued.. I haven't done more than a couple cap replacements, but I do own an iron and I have used it :D. I am in the USA.


I have a Hercules PowerVR Kyro "1" (3d prophet 4000xt) bought on eBay on a bundle with other parts. Long story short the card had bulging caps and I managed to get them off with my cheap soldering iron, bought compatible caps but never had the courage to solder them. I have no interest in the card, if you want you can have it with the caps included just for shipping cost. (shipping from Italy)
However, im currently visiting my parents and left the card home and cannot get it shipped to you until mid September.
Hit me up with a PM in about one month if you´re still interested!
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-11 @ 22:26

aaronkatrini wrote:
mothergoose729 wrote:
aaronkatrini wrote:@mothergoose729
How are your soldering skills and where are you located?


Hey aaronkatrini, consider me intrigued.. I haven't done more than a couple cap replacements, but I do own an iron and I have used it :D. I am in the USA.


I have a Hercules PowerVR Kyro "1" (3d prophet 4000xt) bought on eBay on a bundle with other parts. Long story short the card had bulging caps and I managed to get them off with my cheap soldering iron, bought compatible caps but never had the courage to solder them. I have no interest in the card, if you want you can have it with the caps included just for shipping cost. (shipping from Italy)
However, im currently visiting my parents and left the card home and cannot get it shipped to you until mid September.
Hit me up with a PM in about one month if you´re still interested!


Thank you for the offer, but I am actually looking for the earlier 3d accelerator models. From my understanding the kyro and kyro II do not support the powerVR api in games like the earlier PCX1 and PCX2.
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby leileilol » 2019-8-11 @ 22:46

That's true. Kyro's pretty much ImgTec's attempt at a pure D3D6/OpenGL card without any SGL support in drivers (all of KYRO's tech demos are Direct3D, and only a couple are GL). There's some SGL residue in some of the driver dialogs, but that's pretty much it. The hardware itself is similarly architectured to the other cards (ISP/TSP, tiles, 24to16 dither, blocky filtering etc).
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: Interested in PowerVR... can't find squat on ebay

Postby Scali » 2019-8-12 @ 08:37

Yea, Kyro is basically 'worst of both worlds'... It doesn't support PowerSGL, so you can't run the games that are specifically patched for PCX1/2.
And because of its unique rendering approach, it doesn't work all that well in D3D/OGL games either. These games generally assume that the z-buffer is a phyiscal buffer in video memory, which is non-volatile. This leads to weird z-fighting issues and other depth bugs. because PowerVR hardware doesn't use a physical buffer in memory unless you specifically tell it to.
It uses the BeginScene() and EndScene() calls to determine how long the z-information needs to be relevant. In most cases, it can remain in-tile only. Most software does not use BeginScene() and EndScene() properly, because it basically doesn't do anything on immediate mode rendering hardware.
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