VOGONS


First post, by feipoa

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I try to diversify the graphic cards in my systems and thought I found a system matching an ATI Radeon 7000. I have this Dell Dimension V400C system which contains a 400 MHz Mendocino slot 1 Celeron. The system has an onboard AGP 2x ATI Rage Turbo Pro, but it is pretty lousy. For expansion, there is no AGP port, so PCI/ISA only. After reading some posts on Vogons about the Radeon 7000 and Matrox G400 series, I decided that a Mendocino Celeron was good enough for a Radeon 7000. I ran some benchmarks briefly (sound on), with

GLQuake = 77 fps
Quake 2 = 27 fps

For this particular test, I was running a Mendocino 300A at 450 MHz w/ 100 MHz FSB. [Note that to trick a Dell/Gateway system to use 100 Mhz, tape over the B21 pin on the Celeron's SEPP cartridge.] I thought the Quake 2 score was rather slow, even though I was running 1280x960. I then put in a Radeon 9250 and got double the frame rate in Quake 2.

GLQuake = 86 fps
Quake 2 = 50 fps

I thought the Radeon 7000 was fast enough for a Celeron 400, is this not the case? And if not, what system is then suitable for a Radeon 7000 (R100)? I recall reading that the the R100 doesn't have functional T&L and I am guessing this is why the Quake 2 score is so slow. Besides cost, why would anyone use a PCI Radeon 7000, in any system, over a Radeon 9250?

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Reply 2 of 40, by The Serpent Rider

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That's mainly due to strange Quake 2 behaviour with Vsync.

Besides cost, why would anyone use a PCI Radeon 7000, in any system, over a Radeon 9250?

Probably early drivers with some features, which later were removed.

I recall reading that the the R100 doesn't have functional T&L

No, Radeon 7000 has functional T&L which is properly detected by software. It could have been disabled in early drivers though.

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Reply 3 of 40, by feipoa

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I was using the latest driver provided on the AMD website. 3DMark2001SE only shows a software T&L option for this card.

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Reply 4 of 40, by zyga64

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2021-10-08, 10:52:

No, Radeon 7000 has functional T&L which is properly detected by software. It could have been disabled in early drivers though.

Until now, I was convinced that only original Radeon (7200) and Radeon 7500 had T&L which 7000 lacks.
Wikipedia states the same: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R100_series#RV100
I remember that on my Pentium !!! 733 (back in time), Radeon 7000 was noticeably slower than Geforce 2MX.

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Reply 5 of 40, by RandomStranger

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feipoa wrote on 2021-10-08, 12:19:

I was using the latest driver provided on the AMD website. 3DMark2001SE only shows a software T&L option for this card.

I never use the latest driver on AMDs website for retro hardware. Generally for ATI cards the newer driver the better, but there is a point when a driver too new also becomes a hindrance. For an R(V)100 card I'd try something like a version from around 2002. Generally 2 years was enough time for ATI to iron out the issues, but not enough to mess it up again.

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Reply 7 of 40, by Jasin Natael

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I remember using a PCI Radeon 7000 back in the day in what I THINK was a Duron 700 system. I seemed to be satisfied with it as it was marginally faster than the MX200 I was using before that.
It isn't a spectacular performer but I don't think a Mendocino is going to show it in it's best light.
I would try a PIII

Reply 8 of 40, by The Serpent Rider

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Ok, booted up Radeon 7000 PCI once again on my Athlon XP 3000+ KT333 setup, Catalyst 3.8, Windows 98 SE.

3DMark 2000 is reporting active hardware TnL and chooses it by default. MDK2 also drops FPS when I set hardware TnL, which may sound strange, but it actually indicates that it's working.
Everest is listing the chip as RV100, but PCB was made in 2002.

EDIT:
Also tested High Polygon Count in 3DMark2000 on CPU downclocked to 1300 Mhz.

Software TnL - 303 KTriangles/s
Hardware TnL - 629 KTriangles/s

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Reply 9 of 40, by Standard Def Steve

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2021-10-08, 16:48:
Ok, booted up Radeon 7000 PCI once again on my Athlon XP 3000+ KT333 setup, Catalyst 3.8, Windows 98 SE. […]
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Ok, booted up Radeon 7000 PCI once again on my Athlon XP 3000+ KT333 setup, Catalyst 3.8, Windows 98 SE.

3DMark 2000 is reporting active hardware TnL and chooses it by default. MDK2 also drops FPS when I set hardware TnL, which may sound strange, but it actually indicates that it's working.
Everest is listing the chip as RV100, but PCB was made in 2002.

EDIT:
Also tested High Polygon Count in 3DMark2000 on CPU downclocked to 1300 Mhz.

Software TnL - 303 KTriangles/s
Hardware TnL - 629 KTriangles/s

Depending on which driver I use, 3DMark2000 sometimes reports that my Voodoo3 3500 has hardware T&L, so I wouldn't put too much stock in 3DMark's ability to differentiate between true HW support and some form of SIMD-accelerated T&L.

At least in the case of my V3, I believe that the drivers which report hardware T&L on are just using SSE or 3DNow to accelerate T&L operations. However, I've never actually used my V3 with a Pentium II (to see if the driver stops reporting hardware T&L), so I could definitely be wrong. 😀

Last edited by Standard Def Steve on 2021-10-08, 18:23. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 10 of 40, by The Serpent Rider

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Ok, booted up in Win2k with special Catalyst 6.4 driver for pre-R300 cards and 3DMark does not report hardware TnL. Buuuut MDK2 demo can still work with TnL and I get FPS lowered, so it's working.

And yeah, I also get 27fps in Quake 2. On Athlon 1300 Mhz. Even Quake 3 Demo is faster and scores 32fps on Normal preset. Buuuuut after vertical sync is disabled in control panel my Quake 2 score is raised to "healthy" 36.6 fps at 640x480 32-bit color. So as I said before, Quake 2 has problems with vsync.

So it looks something like this:

Windows 9x - TnL is working in D3D and OGL applications.
Windows NT - for some reason TnL is active only in OGL applications.

Active TnL actually explains overall low frame rate in Quake games, because PCI bus significantly lowers geometry output.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2021-10-08, 18:19. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 11 of 40, by havli

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I think Radeon 7000 PCI might be ok for Celeron 400. The PCI version of R7000 is so bad compared to the AGP one that even slow system like this will push it close to the limit.

In my tests R7000 PCI is comparable to the original Riva TNT.

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Reply 12 of 40, by The Serpent Rider

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In my tests R7000 PCI is comparable to the original Riva TNT.

Only in certain OGL games. Not to mention almost free 32-bit color and trilinear filtering on RV100 side.
That said, Radeon SDR PCI is significantly faster. But it also obliterates GeForce 4 MX PCI in Quake games.

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Reply 13 of 40, by havli

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Well, I see garbage performance in all games. http://hw-museum.cz/article/2/benchmark-vga-1 … 2011-edition-/1
I still remember when I bought R7000 PCI as an upgrade to V3 PCI many years ago. It was a huge surprise it performed so poorly.

Basically, any non-3dfx PCI videocard I got my hands on was very bad in general. Maybe Riva TNT PCI was acceptable... but anything after that just meh.

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Reply 14 of 40, by feipoa

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The Serpent Rider, thank you for testing and confirming things. Do all games with the Radeon 7000 have slower performance when T&L is working? If so, what is the benefit of using hardware T&L over software T&L?

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Reply 15 of 40, by The Serpent Rider

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On Celeron 450 it probably can boost performance. Also worth experimenting with PCI bus speed, which could improve performance too.

EDIT:
Final piece of the puzzle would be testing Radeon 7000 AGP, but without GART driver aka PCI 66 Mhz mode. Unfortunately I don't have one.

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Reply 16 of 40, by feipoa

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I don't have Radeon 7000 AGP either.

Unfortunately, the motherboard is a Dell. There are no PCI bus speed settings to alter.

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Reply 17 of 40, by matze79

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Is your Radeon 7000 a SDR Version ?

Maybe it has Radeon VE GPU, then its cost cut 7000 without T&L and 64bit Memory

I used Radeon 7000 Mac Edition flashed to PCI in my K6-2
https://youtu.be/Gk4aRKEYTQo
but yeah this is slow CPU soo..

In my P3 the Performance was much better, and i couldnt complain about anything, it ran Q3 at 1280..

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Reply 18 of 40, by feipoa

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The box says it is DDR. I'd have to check GPU-Z to confirm. It is only 32 MB though, so I guess that is where they cut the cost.

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Reply 19 of 40, by The Serpent Rider

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Maybe it has Radeon VE GPU, then its cost cut 7000 without T&L and 64bit Memory

Radeon 7000 is rebranded Radeon VE. Also Radeon VE SDR officially does not exist in ATI lineup and was sold only by opportunistic third-party companies.

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