VOGONS


First post, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Hi,

I'd like to ask your opinion on why the Power VR PCX cards were the only ones that choosed the PCI usage solution to send the output to the VGA cards and taking benefit of the quality of the main vga card itself, insted of all the other mostly bad solutions like the pass-through cables or the feature connector cables that ended always up with bad image quality or difficult compatibilities with drivers, resolutions, color depth etc..
Of all the other add-on card that needed the vga to work I remember only the M3D/PCX cards to solve that problem while the 3dfx cards, decoderd cards, encoder cards etc.. all had those analog solution that was seriously limited in quality and soon in lifetime once LCD became the standard and basically destroyed these cable analog solutions without having the CRT input "tollerance" anymore.
What's your opinion? And how did actually worked that solution?
Thanks

Reply 1 of 4, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Because pass-through is most simple and compatible solution to the problem, while PowerVR approach only creates more problems.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 2 of 4, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-07-30, 11:52:

Because pass-through is most simple and compatible solution to the problem, while PowerVR approach only creates more problems.

I understand the easier concept of just composing two analog signal into one, but I don't remember many or any problems with the PowerVR above cards. Drivers installed always easily, 3D games ran every times. Maybe I was lucky every test I did but sure were more the times I had problems with the feature connector. Some cards did work only with a single specific brand video card.
Instead I always found the PowerVR solution to just work and the better the main vga was, the better the final quality was.

Reply 3 of 4, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Check DOS compatibility matrix. Quite a lot of cards struggle to render good frame rate with PCX. It's also quite possible there were some problems with specific motherboard chipsets, which were not documented well, due to obscurity of PCX accelerators. And let's not forget about infamously horrible driver overhead.

Innovative approach, but at that time it would have worked good only in closed ecosystem like Apple or game consoles.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 4 of 4, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-07-30, 12:38:

Check DOS compatibility matrix. Quite a lot of cards struggle to render good frame rate with PCX. It's also quite possible there were some problems with specific motherboard chipsets, which were not documented well, due to obscurity of PCX accelerators. And let's not forget about infamously horrible driver overhead.

Innovative approach, but at that time it would have worked good only in closed ecosystem like Apple or game consoles.

I understand. I never thought into the overhead of its driver, actually I found them to be mostly stable but it was difficult to say how good the card was accelerating cause the few games supported. But the idea of the digital signal to the main vga without loosing any details and actually benefit (for example) of the great vga DAC of the Matrox cards of those times, still sounds like a great idea and what I wish other cards should have done like the Hollywood+ MPEG2 decoder and similar ones.
I suppose is the one of the only solution ever make in this way. But the external analog cable was a nightmare itself on the other cards.. it depended on so many variables..