Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby Stiletto » 2016-3-22 @ 16:34

"Lord Nightmare" brought my attention to this 3D accelerator card for the mid-late 90's Mac:
http://www.forcedperfect.net/hardware/c ... raw3dcard/
http://appletechlab.jp/blog-entry-926.html

Supposedly shipped November 1995.

also known as "White Magic" Board.

This could use some additional research.

We don't know what the 3D "core" is inside the custom Texas Instruments ASICs, whether it's off the shelf, custom for Apple, or licensed 3dlabs or S3 or Rendition Verite or 3dfx Voodoo or some other mid/late 90s dead end 3d accellerator?

Whatever it is, it did bilinear interpolation and fog/alpha and some sort of non-nearest filtering.

It's not a stock PC accelerator since those were all native PCI - this seems to use a PCI bridge chip.

At one point Texas Instruments manufactured 3dlabs Permedia chips on behalf of 3dlabs. Alliance Semiconductor RAM could imply Alliance AT3D, but Alliance was making RAM for all sorts of vendors...

Or like I said it could be based off no existing technology and custom designed for Apple.

Most parts seem to be manufactured 1994.

Well, at this point I'm just spitballing ideas. :)

[EDIT] More discussion:
https://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthr ... rator-Card

At the moment current thought is that they're full-custom chips for Apple.

[EDIT]Interesting feature:
  • A single card accelerates 3D rendering to all frame buffers in the system.
  • Hardware rendering performance can be doubled simply by installing a second card.
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby Stiletto » 2016-3-22 @ 17:03

Image
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby mrau » 2016-3-22 @ 17:16

texas instruments, but cant find specifics; there were many of these it seems and they probably just take data from RAM and spit out the product into RAM again, which may be slow;
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby Stiletto » 2016-3-22 @ 17:20

mrau wrote:texas instruments, but cant find specifics; there were many of these it seems and they probably just take data from RAM and spit out the product into RAM again, which may be slow;


I'm a little less concerned with the TI chip and more concerned with the chip above it which displays no logo aside from a (C) 1994 Apple. :)

Anyhow, as of now I'm getting the story straight from Bitsavers so will write up a little more when I can. ;)

Anyhow, VGAMuseum guys you may want to look into acquiring this one, seems relatively rare (though of course not PC compatible per se - PCI bus yeah, but no drivers...)
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby swaaye » 2016-3-22 @ 19:12

Interesting. I've been messing with my PowerMac 7500 lately and just last night tried MechWarrior 2 QD3D edition. It runs but has rendering errors on the PCI Radeon that I have. I wonder just what card would run it correctly.

I also wonder how many cards supported this QuickDraw 3D thing. Wikipedia makes the API sound painful like D3D 3 / D3D retained mode.
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby Stiletto » 2016-3-22 @ 19:45

swaaye wrote:Interesting.


I figured you guys would like this. ;)

swaaye wrote:I also wonder how many cards supported this QuickDraw 3D thing. Wikipedia makes the API sound painful like D3D 3 / D3D retained mode.


Dunno. I was listmaking back in my 3D API research days but I don't think I got very far.
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby Stiletto » 2016-3-23 @ 22:41

More:
Whatever the Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card is, it's something that works in quads. Supposedly, QuickDraw3D / RAVE is all quads. And it can do true perspective rather than affine perspective. That might narrow the field down, i.e. not 3dfx. Something similar to nVidia NV-1 perhaps, or based off the flightsim-type hardware that the likes of Sega was using in Sega Model 1/2 arcade hardware.

According to our friend at Bitsavers, "the guys that did ( the Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card later left and ) went to nVidia as I recall. Apple had a lot of stuff in the 'multimedia' ASIC space that never shipped."
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby vlask » 2016-3-24 @ 17:29

Stiletto wrote:Anyhow, VGAMuseum guys you may want to look into acquiring this one, seems relatively rare (though of course not PC compatible per se - PCI bus yeah, but no drivers...)


Nice one, but id like collecting cards which i can test in mine PC - sold all 3 apples i had.... And also buying only cheap cards, thats why im still missing PCX1/2, NV1.... With cards like these is no fun for me.

Been thinking about adding Apple tree into graphics tree, but history of apple is full of custom made chips with no names and next to zero info. Thats why Apple is only one maker missing there. Lately got one tip from some guy, but still think that doing Apple cards lineup will be very hard task.
Not only mine graphics cards collection at http://www.vgamuseum.info
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby Stiletto » 2016-3-24 @ 17:57

vlask wrote:Been thinking about adding Apple tree into graphics tree, but history of apple is full of custom made chips with no names and next to zero info. Thats why Apple is only one maker missing there. Lately got one tip from some guy, but still think that doing Apple cards lineup will be very hard task.


Bitsavers dropped a whole bunch of knowledge on me in a chat channel the other day. If you want to go down this road, let me know - we can probably help provide you with some information. :)
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby vlask » 2016-3-25 @ 11:32

Stiletto wrote:
Bitsavers dropped a whole bunch of knowledge on me in a chat channel the other day. If you want to go down this road, let me know - we can probably help provide you with some information. :)


Well need some direct info already filtered to same as i have in tree (name of chip, max mem size, year). For example got some basic info in email from one guy - hes talking about codenames i never heard nor i will be able to assign them to numbers on chips. They used same chips in many different models, but with no good names - only numbers, thats why is too hard to identify them. Heres part of that email....

Almost all of Apple's pre-1997 video cards are based on unaccelerated frame buffer chips, designed in-house by Apple. They all pretty much work the same way, too, and they're either based on the "Toby" frame buffer controller (the original Macintosh II Video Card and its High-Resolution variant; 8-bit only), the "JMFB" (the 4*8 and 8*24; 4-, 8-, or 24-bit), or the Direct-Access Frame Buffer (practically all Quadras; I understand the high-performance video cards for the original Power Macs are similar). The PowerSurge used a PCI-based DAFB variant called "CONTROL", hung off of an AGP-like interface called "CHAOS". I think it had hardware cursor support and not much else.

The only accelerated card produced by Apple in the NuBus era was the (fairly rare) Video Card 8*24GC, which included an AMD 29k RISC CPU for QuickDraw acceleration. Apple was rumored to be working on a second accelerated in-house video chipset for the never-released Power Mac x700 range, but it was cancelled in favor of the ATI Rage II for what was released as the Power Mac G3.
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby swaaye » 2016-3-25 @ 19:12

I've been trying to find info on just what the onboard graphics of the 7500 is and I figured it was dumb frame buffer. There don't seem to be any extensions or drivers for it. It does have its own discrete video RAM though. I guess for better high resolution and high color performance.

When the Radeon drivers aren't installed, that card behaves like the onboard graphics. Including high resolution and color depth support without drivers.
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby DandumontP » 2016-11-04 @ 13:54

I have found a card, and tested on a Power Mac G3 B&W.

I have really tested one game : Havoc (and it's better with card than with the Rage 128) : http://www.journaldulapin.com/2016/11/0 ... quickdraw/

It works great on Mac OS 9, but many games will not launch, because there is only 512 KB RAM on the card
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby RaVeN-05 » 2017-8-19 @ 00:19

sorry for bumping, if you still have video card maybe you can make Video of them?

http://www.pangeasoft.net/nano/files.html this game is mac only uses quickdraw3d (official site)

also look on their website it seems many games utilize API http://www.pangeasoft.net/

another game is WaterRace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy2bn7iOMvs
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby DandumontP » 2017-9-02 @ 21:08

It will not work with these games, because there is only 512 KB of video RAM. Actually, i can only launch Havoc with the card. Nanosaur need a 4 MB card (eventyally a 2 MB card with the iMac special version)
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby RaVeN-05 » 2017-9-02 @ 22:10

Maybe you know something about emulators? There is any emulator that support QuickDraw3D? Or any plans on devs todo it
I understand correctly?:
there is 3 video cards for apple: applle 1994, Ati rage 3d, 3dfx?
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Re: Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator Card

Postby DandumontP » 2017-9-03 @ 16:49

QuickDraw (RAVE) is supported with many graphics card.

3dfx (from Voodoo to Voodoo 5), ATi Rage IIc, Pro, 128, Radeon, etc, many cards from Nvidia under Mac OS 9 and even with Permedia 3 cards.

But it's not the bette choice with 3dfx (Glide is better) and many games support also software rendering or OpenGL (not common).
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