I had acquired a 3D Labs Permedia 2 some time ago, but I never got around to trying it out until now. It's not the greatest card out there, yet oddly enough, it does claim to support paletted textures with the appropriate driver settings checked. This piqued my interest so I decided to run it through the usual tests. I used this rig for testing all the cards. All tests were performed under Windows 98SE with DirectX 9.0c. No unofficial service packs or any third-party hacks were used.
Graphics cards tested:
- 3D Labs Permedia 2 using reference drivers v4.10.01.2105-0366
- Nvidia GeForce2 MX400 using Nvidia reference drivers v12.41 WHQL
- 3DFX Voodoo3 2000, using 3DFX reference drivers v1.07.00
Note: all driver settings were left at their default values except for Permedia 2's Final Fantasy support check which was turned on:
- Final Fantasy VIII Demo - you can download the free demo from here
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire - retail CD version with the latest official patch 1.1 applied
Final Fantasy VIII configuration program
With the aforementioned driver setting enabled, Permedia 2 passes the palletted textures check in the Final Fantasy 8 config program. For reference, if that driver setting is disabled, the check will fail on this card.
Final Fantasy VIII options menu
To access this screen, start a new game, then press "D" to open the menu, move the cursor to "Config" using the arrow keys, and finally press "X" to open it. As before, with the relevant driver setting enabled, the Permedia 2 properly renders the FF8 in-game menu. For reference, if that driver setting is disabled, the menu will not render correctly on this card.
Shadows of the Empire Mission 2: Escape from Echo base
I normally use Thief 2 for testing table fog, but it wouldn't run properly on the Permedia 2. The card is likely too old for that game. Instead, I'm using Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. As you can see, Permedia 2 doesn't support table fog and even has some other rendering errors in this game. I wouldn't recommend this card for any serious gaming, as it's old and quite slow, but I did find it interesting that 3D Labs actually included a Final Fantasy compatibility check in their official drivers.