PowerVR Fun Thread

Discussion about old PC hardware and Retro PCs

Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby SquallStrife » 2012-1-12 @ 21:13

If one wanted to buy a PowerVR card (say, to try out the enhanced MechWarrior 2 version), would this be OK?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/160711938569

I would probably chuck it into my Tualatin box, to replace the somewhat age-inappropriate GeForce FX 5600 card that's in there now.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby sliderider » 2012-1-12 @ 22:07

SquallStrife wrote:If one wanted to buy a PowerVR card (say, to try out the enhanced MechWarrior 2 version), would this be OK?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/160711938569

I would probably chuck it into my Tualatin box, to replace the somewhat age-inappropriate GeForce FX 5600 card that's in there now.


That's a Kyro. I don't think those are compatible with games written for PCX and PCX2.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby leileilol » 2012-1-12 @ 22:19

kyro can't run mw2 pvr, Kyro has no support for the SGL apis
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby SquallStrife » 2012-1-12 @ 23:19

Cool, thanks guys, you saved me a bunch of heartache. :)
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby leileilol » 2012-1-13 @ 02:47

Think of Kyro as a "PowerVR makes a Riva TNT2 "
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby leileilol » 2012-1-14 @ 04:52

Red Faction doesn't work on PowerVR by the way, works on v3 though
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby leileilol » 2012-3-13 @ 16:00

I'm working on a fixpack for Q3 that makes it look a bit better on PCX2

unfortunately it's not the elegant gl wrapper solution i'd like but it's something.

basically it just
- gives subtractive/additive textures an alpha channel for blending
- removes alpha channel from tga walls so they don't become unintentionally transparent
- adjusts polyoffset of marks

Also, a video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1DLQ09k7HU






i should mention techland pvr minigl doesn't work on jk2 or sof2 :(
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Putas » 2012-3-13 @ 17:58

Oh wow, but is there any PCX2 owner waiting to play Q3 on it?
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby kool kitty89 » 2012-3-14 @ 08:18

swaaye wrote:
leileilol wrote:don't buy into the lame delusional hype Dreamcast fans tell you about this 'great' PowerVR chipset (same chipset used in DC, but in card form and arrived way too late).

Well compared to its predecessors, Dreamcast is mind blowing. :D 480p, VGA out, >30fps in lots of games.... Compared to N64 and PS1 = hearty laughter.

There is a lot of info over on Beyond3D about the old PowerVR hardware. There is at least one PowerVR engineer that hangs out there. The Neon 250 (PowerVR 250) and the DC (PowerVR CLX) are similar, but the DC has a number of significant advantages.

Plus, there's always the advantage of developing software for a fixed platform (much more specific optimization potential and more possibilities for specialized APIs/drivers).
That said, it's rather surprising that even several of the "quick and dirty" DirectX or OpenGL based conversions using Windows CE also turned out pretty decent on the Dreamcast. (not close to the better optimized counterparts, but still decent, especially given all the driver problems seen on PCs)

Kind of makes you wonder how the ViRGE might have fared on a console with similar support. ;) (or, for that matter, if 3DFX had never managed to popularize Glide, and users got stuck with industry standard APIs only -ora handful of cases like BRender)
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby NitroX infinity » 2012-3-14 @ 09:52

My first post here, thought I'd share some images of my PowerVR collection;
(thumbnails, click for larger)

Matrox M3D PCX2
Image

PowerVR Neon250
Image

Pixel Perfect Kyro II PCI
Image

Yes, I am the nutjob who bought that Neon250 that was on eBay. I'm passionate about my 2 main collections; 3dfx and other pre-directx9 3d-capable videocards. On the way for my PowerVR collection are a PCX1 and what I have been told is it's predecessor; a Midas3. Still missing are a 32MiB PCI Kyro II and the Kyro II SE.

Check out my full PowerVR collection here; http://nitrox-infinity.tweakblogs.net/b ... wervr.html
And http://nitrox-infinity.tweakblogs.net/blog/cat/2099 for even more brands
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Putas » 2012-3-14 @ 12:45

I envy you for Tasmania 3D even more then for Neon 250. Nice Mpact too. Can you do some tests?
I thought Midas 3 was codename for PCX1. If it is earlier product then it should be dual chip card? When you get it run some benches pretty please.
Not sure if Kyro II SE was ever finished/ got out.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby F2bnp » 2012-3-14 @ 13:08

Awesome! Ever done any tests on the Neon 250?
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Concupiscence » 2012-3-14 @ 13:21

F2bnp wrote:Awesome! Ever done any tests on the Neon 250?


I think I've generally heard that it's like an early version of the Kyro, with driver support dropped quite a while ago. From personal experience I'll assert that Half-Life 2 was playable on a Kyro II, though pretty resoundingly ugly.

Putas wrote:Not sure if Kyro II SE was ever finished/ got out.


I think there was early silicon, but to the best of my knowledge nothing more than an engineering sample or two ever made it into the wild.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby NitroX infinity » 2012-3-14 @ 13:31

I will be doing tests/benchmarks in the future, need to get all the processors and games first to test on/with.

Midas3 has 3 chips on the board, don't know if they're all part of the same chipset though. Will check when I get them.

As for Kyro II SE, it does exist, just in very small numbers. A bunch of years ago I saw a picture of it with a Hercules 3D Prophet 4800 box. It's in the hands of a collector, just can't seem to remember which one or where I saw it.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Putas » 2012-3-14 @ 14:40

NitroX infinity wrote:Midas3 has 3 chips on the board, don't know if they're all part of the same chipset though

PowerVR was scalable, it can be one ISP with two TSPs combined. I was not aware such hardware existed outside of arcades.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby G1nX » 2012-3-19 @ 18:16

Putas wrote:
NitroX infinity wrote:Midas3 has 3 chips on the board, don't know if they're all part of the same chipset though

PowerVR was scalable, it can be one ISP with two TSPs combined. I was not aware such hardware existed outside of arcades.


Hi all,

Just thought I'd share some details about the Midas3 board.
It was marketed in small number by Compaq as they needed a graphics solution before the one chip design of PCX1 was finished and Voodoo1 was also not widely available.
A few years back I found this board:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51/img3123x.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/15/img3126u.jpg/

And searched for details about it and this is what I came up with:
"That's a Midas 3 card, which pre-dates PCX1. It was shipped with some Compaq machines. The chip to the top left is the ISP (polygon/hidden surface processor), top right, TSP (texturing and shading), and the bottom is the PCI bridge. The original plan was for an arcade system with multiple ISPs, hence separate chips.
These all got merged (with additional improvements) to become PCX1. "

"PowerVR has been adopted as the advanced 3D graphics accelerator by some of the world's leading PC suppliers, including Compaq Computers, the largest PC manufacturer worldwide, with the Presario 8000 range"
"NEC's ISP and TSP for arcade systems are fully scalable. Designers can boost systems performance using multiple ISP chips, multiple CPUs and/or higher performance CPUs.
The TSP and ISP are packaged in plastic 352-pin perimeter ball grid array “BGA” redirects here
NEC's single-chip PCX1 is slated for sampling in Q2 `96 and volume in Q3 `96.The devices are packaged in 208-pin, plastic quad flat packs (PQFPs). "
Here are some links explaining things in more detail:
http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=11170
http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/3d-graphics ... werVR.html

240111-001 ASSY POWER VR 3D 3 CHIP
240113-001 SPS-BD GRHCS 3D V1 NOT AVAIL FOR REPLMNT
The description for the replacement card makes me think these got replaced in the Compaq portfolio by the Diamond Monster3D Voodoo Graphics card and the fact that I have Compaq badged V1 in my collection.

Cheers,
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Putas » 2012-3-20 @ 21:34

Thanks, I stand corrected. That is like biggest PCI bridge ever.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby leileilol » 2012-3-22 @ 00:52

I've been editing the id tech3 renderer source lately frigging around, I came up with an 'alphahack' shader command which I can give or take away alpha channels from a texture on load. Much easier than manually editing texture files themselves :P

ideally i'd want it to just parse all the blendfunc add's and such to the alphahacks but they all come after the map command where the texture is loaded, and shaders are written sequentially...

To debug it on non powervr hardware, I simply forced alpha blending in the GL state.
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby swaaye » 2012-3-22 @ 01:27

leileilol - when you get that PowerVR Quake3 fix all smooth and refined, you should have it posted on BluesNews. I want to see the response to that. "A little late is better than never!" :D
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Re: PowerVR Fun Thread

Postby Harekiet » 2012-3-22 @ 07:10

Like that'll ever be finished :)
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