Monster 3DII Performance

You will be absolutely astounded at the way that 3D games look after this upgrade.   Never one for action games, all of a sudden, I find it difficult to stop (I even snapped at a few family members when they interrupted my concentration).   On a side note, the few games I did possess were kind of on the sleepy side, like Riven, Lighthouse, etc.  It was only when we decided to start this website that I went out and purchased QuakeII - primarily as a benchmarking tool.   Trying the game out I discovered to my shame that I was unable to get more than about 10 seconds into it before getting creamed and wanting to get some screen shots I was forced to enlist the aid of my wife, who is rather intimidated by computers, and hates action games (she used to look down her nose at her nieces and nephews who loved Mortal Kombat).  I spent the next 2 1/2 hrs. waiting for her to finish or get tired of playing.  And that was before VoodooČ.  Now I don't dare let her start unless I intend to skip a meal or two.  But enough of this silliness. 

Quake II provides an established benchmark for both 3D quality and processor power and since it is recognized by the majority of technophiles we will use it to put the new card through its paces...

System Configuration

Mainboard FIC VA-503+
Processor AMD K6-2 300MHz
Graphics Adapter Viper 330 AGP
Memory 64MB PC100
OS Windows 98

(Note: The above specifications cost $552.00 over my original pre-Super7 configuration - A Pentium 200MMx that would have been lucky to push 12.5 fps out of QuakeII in using OpenGL default drivers.)  I ran the tests (both demo1 and massive1) against my installed Viper 330 before using the Monster 3DII.  The Monster 3DII ran under the original drivers that accompanied the card, 3Dfx's latest reference drivers, and just for fun (and to the shame of the PII 300MHz owners out there) the 3DNow! optimized drivers with the following results...

As you can see the Viper 330 under its default drivers posted perfectly respectable frame rates considering that it has only a 4MB framebuffer (and AGP 1 compliance in DMA mode).  The Monster 3DII (at its default settings) not only greatly increased the frame rate but gave the images an allover smoother finished appearance.  Although I had expected frame rates significantly higher than what I got (I had heard boasts of 45-48fps) I was extremely pleased with the overall effect when actually playing the game with the sound cranked and the joystick enabled.  The systems new response to the action of the joystick alone was worth the money.
Downloading and installing 3Dfx's latest reference drivers is a snap and adjusting the configuration is similar to the default drivers that came with the card...

Although it doesn't provide for tweaking with the same depth as Diamonds drivers as you ca see both above and in the advanced section below...

These new drivers as you can see result in a minor performance gain in OpenGL (a few fps).  They really shine under DirectX6 and the frame rates in games like Forsaken show a marked improvement but I won't get into that right now...

Performance II ]


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