VOGONS


First post, by slai50

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Is it worth tracking down and paying the high price for a voodoo graphics card in order to play Diablo 2 in glide? Does it look that much better than Diablo 2 in directdraw or direct3d?

Reply 2 of 16, by Joseph_Joestar

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Having recently replayed Diablo 2 in Glide mode on my Voodoo3, I can say that it does look a bit nicer. The colors appear slightly more vibrant and lighting effects pop a bit more. It's not a huge difference compared to D3D though. You do get better performance in Glide mode, especially on period correct hardware.

That said, I wouldn't buy a Voodoo card just for that, especially at the current prices. AFAIK, there are ways to play the game on a modern system using a Glide wrapper, but I have no personal experience with that.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
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Reply 3 of 16, by DrAnthony

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Blizzard has patched up Diablo II quite well over the years on a technical level. Almost all of the effects are replicated in the D3D renderer and there's basically no hassles when running on a modern PC (aside from scaling issues stemming from the low resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio). There's also nothing stopping you from running the current version on period hardware either, so I'd place this near the bottom of the list of reasons to get a Voodoo. That said, there have been massive game play changes over the years so I'd understand why you might be interested in older versions that don't really have these additions.

Reply 5 of 16, by TheMLGladiator

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I would highly recommend using a glide wrapper if you want the game to run and look the best. Some things don't display correctly with the D3D renderer, and the DDraw renderer has been deprecated and doesn't support the perspective mode. This thread has some more info: Diablo II and Glide wrappers: what's the point?. Sven's Glide Wrapper worked best on my system running Windows XP, and seemed to outperform both D3D and DDraw.

Reply 6 of 16, by swaaye

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I beat the first four acts on Voodoo2 12MB SLI and Voodoo3 2000 a month ago. Voodoo2 seems to run out of texture memory and drops to about 10 fps sometimes. Act 3 swamps were the worst areas. Voodoo3 doesn't have that problem.

I also tried D2DX. D2DX is a form of Glide wrapper with various enhancements. It's stunning to play the game in high-resolution widescreen with motion-predicted high framerate. I also got DSOAL to restore the EAX sound effects. This setup worked flawlessly on both an old ASUS G73JH notebook with Mobility Radeon 5870 and a desktop with GTX 1080.

As to D3D vs Glide on old hardware, I was curious about it too because I hadn't tried it in ages. I had a Matrox G400 Max in that machine with the Voodoo cards. The most obvious difference with D3D was the ground appeared to not be texture filtered as with Glide. So it was sharper in appearance but more aliased as well. It's actually hard to say which way is better looking. But in general the D3D mode for old hardware is pretty weak because of limitations they had to work with for D3D 6 compared to Glide. There will be more stuttering and processing overhead due to how textures are processed for D3D from what I understand.

I found some info regarding this in the readme for Sven Labusch's Glide3 to OpenGL wrapper:
https://d2.lc/glide-readme.txt

1. the Direct3d-mode of Diablo2 creates far less textures than the Glide-mode, so the Direct3d-engine has to reload the textures […]
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1. the Direct3d-mode of Diablo2 creates far less textures than the Glide-mode, so the Direct3d-engine has to reload the textures more often.
The overhead for [texture] administration in DirectX is enormous, compared to OpenGL or Glide. So OpenGL and Glide have their advantages when using dynamic textures. And here's the key: Diablo2 has so much textures, that they won't fit on any graphiccard, so nearly all of the textures have to be loaded dynamically. And in this point Direct3D fails totally: the dynamic loading of textures is damn slow (in OpenGL its average).

I want to mention, that you don't have to make hasty reproaches at Blizzard's programmers:
if you turn back time and look at the technical state of the art, as it was, when the game had been programmed, you had the problem, that you had to economize the few resources which were available. With this in mind, the Direct3d-engine of Diablo2 uses as much performance as is reachable with DirectX6. But that's not much, or "state of the art" has changed, so that it could be more if you write a whole new engine..... and switch to OpenGL .... or the graphiccard-manufacturer release REAL Glide-device-driver.

Reply 7 of 16, by slai50

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Yes I was planning on playing Diablo 2 on period correct hardware. I bought new sealed diablo 2 and the expansion about 5 years and totally forgot about them until I was going through my stuff last week. Can't wait to play them using a CRT. Was never a big PC gamer growing up but now want to see what I missed out on during all those years.

Reply 8 of 16, by chinny22

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I agree with everyone!

If your also interested in other games that really benifit from Glide then it makes sence to try it out as you have the card anyway.
But if your buying the card JUST for Diablo 2 then your paying a lot of money for marginal difference

Reply 9 of 16, by The Serpent Rider

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In general, if you don't care about aesthetics much, glide wrapper is better option even on retro PC. Although D3D is hardly an issue on hardware far exceeding minimal specs.

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Reply 10 of 16, by dr.zeissler

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Re: Windows games that look better using Glide

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Reply 11 of 16, by svfn

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Hmm interesting I thought V2 SLI could handle Diablo II with ease.

Seconding D2DX, I had always used the old glide wrapper, but D2DX with higher FPS is a very noticeable difference, it also looks more crisp than the old wrapper which now looks blurry to me. Some prefer the more stable ddraw in OpenGL mode with shaders, by using cnc-ddraw with SGD2FreeRes you can get widescreen / ultrawide resolutions.

I would say glide for Diablo 2 is worth it, I do prefer it over ddraw/Direct3D, if you can find a reasonably priced V3, if not glide wrappers are good enough.

swaaye wrote on 2021-09-06, 20:13:

I beat the first four acts on Voodoo2 12MB SLI and Voodoo3 2000 a month ago. Voodoo2 seems to run out of texture memory and drops to about 10 fps sometimes. Act 3 swamps were the worst areas. Voodoo3 doesn't have that problem.

I also tried D2DX. D2DX is a form of Glide wrapper with various enhancements. It's stunning to play the game in high-resolution widescreen with motion-predicted high framerate. I also got DSOAL to restore the EAX sound effects. This setup worked flawlessly on both an old ASUS G73JH notebook with Mobility Radeon 5870 and a desktop with GTX 1080.

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Reply 12 of 16, by dr.zeissler

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V2-SLI 24MB vs. V3 16MB...in terms of "vram-issuse on textures" that's interesting.

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Reply 13 of 16, by Joseph_Joestar

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2021-09-07, 11:14:

V2-SLI 24MB vs. V3 16MB...in terms of "vram-issuse on textures" that's interesting.

From the Vogons wiki:

Following the same principle as the Voodoo1 there are three independent 64-bit RAM buses, one for the frame buffer processor and one for each TMU. While 4 MB RAM are available for the frame buffer, the textures have to be copied into the RAM of both TMUs. So even though there are technically 4 or 8 MB of texture memory on a card effectively there are only 2 or 4 MB available for textures. With SLI this amount does not grow, instead the textures will be copied two more times.

The iconic Voodoo2 SLI setup holds nostalgic value for some people. Voodoo2 SLI is viable for almost all Glide games, and has the advantage over Voodoo 3 that it can play more Glide games originally only designed for Voodoo1, with necessary environment variable configuration. Weak points include occasional slight stutter in texture intensive games due to texture trashing and possible image quality problems resulting from the passthrough design.

Maybe that has something to do with it.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
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PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 15 of 16, by dr.zeissler

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Interesting read about the V2-SLI! thx!

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Reply 16 of 16, by BitWrangler

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slai50 wrote on 2021-09-07, 15:47:

Is a voodoo banshee powerful enough to run Diablo 2 in glide mode without slow down or do I need to get a voodoo 3?

It's my understanding that it does at least as good as V2 unless multitexturing is involved. If where V2 does texture thrash it's just large amount of single textures, then it will do better and approach low clocked V3 performance, due to sharing better memory arrangements with V3. In general, sorta between the two apart from worst case scenario where it has to do two passes with single TMU then it's like 75% as fast as V2 or something.

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