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Comparison Tests: Rage128 PRO vs Rage128
By Mike
Published: 2/5/2000

3D Game Performance
Intro | Game Performance | Benchmarks/Apps Tests

Most G4/AGP system owners looking to upgrade to the Rage128 Pro are probably most concerned with the performance gain with 3D Games, which has been somewhat of a sore point with the Rage128 in the past, at least at resolutions over 640x480. The good news is the Pro does deliver noticeable gains over the previous card - the bad news is that it's still to slow for 1024x768 mode 3D games in most cases. In Quake3 for instance even the cursor was very sluggish on the intro screens at higher resolutions, especially in 32Bit mode. 32Bit mode is needed to avoid the very poor image quality in 16Bit mode - the 'buzzing bees' effect I mentioned in my OpenGL update to the iMacDV SE review (see apps/game test review page for image samples) and Mac 3D Card Round Up article last fall.

32Bit OpenGL mode looked great in Quake 3 and was playable (at least solo) at 640x480 with the default test settings (dynamic lighting, lightmap, etc.). However I noticed even the cursor in the main game screens was very sluggish at 1024x768, 32Bit mode. However even 32Bit mode, RAVE games like Unreal and Unreal Tournament showed banding (dithering rings) in flares/light halos and fog. In both Unreal and UT, 32Bit mode also seemed to be prone to 'pauses', or a lack of fluid movement in some parts of the timedemo tests.

Game Settings: Rather than fill this already table-heavy page further - I used the same game settings as shown in all my Video card reviews with these games and also listed on the Entry Page of the Mac Game/Video Card Performance (FPS) database. The information on how to run these tests is noted in the FAQ's Game topic area.

The tables below show the average frames-per-second for both cards at 640x480 and 1024x768. In some games where possible, I've also listed the minimum and maximum framerates reported during the tests. In all cases the % gain for the Pro card is shown.


Quake3 Arena Tests

Demo 1 framerates in the retail version of Quake3 Arena which had the beta point release patch applied. Dynamic lighting and lightmap settings were used (the default settings for Quake 3 - only resolution and color depth was changed). All results are in frames-per-second, higher is better.

Quake3 Arena 16Bit 640x480 1024x768
Rage128 AGP 36.40 20.40
Rage128 PRO AGP 38.90 25.60
Gain % 7% 25%


The same tests were run in 32Bit mode.

Quake3 Arena 32Bit 640x480 1024x768
Rage128 AGP 32.50 15.30
Rage128 PRO AGP 36.80 20.30
Gain % 13% 33%



Quake 1 RAVE Tests

Quake 1 RAVE version 1.09 was used to test framerates in this least demanding of the Mac 3D first-person games. As with all my video card/game tests with Quake1, the "Flames", "Shadows", and "Filtering" options were enabled. As noted previously, remember you have to exit and restart Quake1 to have resolution changes take effect.

Quake1 Rave Timedemo 1 640x480 1024x768
Rage128 AGP 64.00 27.90
Rage128 PRO AGP 83.70 37.30
Gain % 31% 34%



Quake 2 Timedemo 1 Tests

Quake 2 tests were run using the same settings I normally do for all video card reviews. (No 8 Bit Textures, no Vsync, High detail textures, low audio/CD audio disabled). All results are in frames-per-second, higher is better.

Quake 2 OpenGL Demo 1 640x480 1024x768
Rage128 AGP 55.30 23.00
Rage128 PRO AGP 67.60 32.30
Gain % 22% 40%



Unreal 16Bit & 32Bit Tests

The standard Unreal castle flyby 3rd loop average test was used. For consistency, I used the Unreal.ini files noted on the game FPS database Entry page and used in all my video card review/game tests. (For 32Bit mode tests, the ini file had the 'colorbytes' variable set to 4 vs 2.) All results are in frames-per-second, higher is better. Since the Unreal timedemo stats reports min, max and average framerates, all are listed below.

Unreal 16Bit 640x480 AVG FPS 1024x768 AVG FPS 640x480 MIN FPS 1024x768 MIN FPS 640x480 MAX FPS 1024x768 MAX FPS
Rage128 AGP 42.17 22.90 17.65 10.7 83.87 38.5
Rage128 PRO AGP 49.50 30.20 19.2 13.21 110.93 53.66
Gain % 17% 32% 9% 23% 32% 39%

The same tests were run in 32Bit mode.

Unreal 32Bit 640x480 AVG FPS 1024x768 AVG FPS 640x480 MIN FPS 1024x768 MIN FPS 640x480 MAX FPS 1024x768 MAX FPS
Rage128 AGP 41.25 22.00 17.3 10.18 83.3 36.95
Rage128 PRO AGP 49.39 29.24 19.6 12.81 105.22 51.05
Gain % 20% 33% 13% 26% 26% 38%



Unreal Tournament 16Bit & 32Bit Tests

The 'cityintro' timedemo was run in Unreal Tournament full version with the 405 update applied. All settings were at their defaults (high detail, low audio) except the min desired framerate was set to 30 (not 20 as the default). All results are in frames-per-second, higher is better. Since the UT's timedemo stats reports min, max and average framerates, all are listed below.

Unreal Tournament 16Bit 640x480 AVG FPS 1024x768 AVG FPS 640x480 MIN FPS 1024x768 MIN FPS 640x480 MAX FPS 1024x768 MAX FPS
Rage128 AGP 33.37 20.86 16.67 12.44 78.28 43.68
Rage128 PRO AGP 39.20 25.57 21.9 13.08 84.25 54.54
Gain % 17% 23% 31% 5% 8% 25%

The same tests were run in 32Bit mode:

Unreal Tournament 32Bit 640x480 AVG FPS 1024x768 AVG FPS 640x480 MIN FPS 1024x768 MIN FPS 640x480 MAX FPS 1024x768 MAX FPS
Rage128 AGP 31.29 16.67 16.36 10.58 65.72 32.87
Rage128 PRO AGP 35.25 21.77 19.6 13.58 79.01 41.24
Gain % 13% 31% 20% 28% 20% 25%


32Bit mode in Unreal and UT especially seemed sluggish and still had the dithering/banding evident in flares and fog at least in the Castle Flyby and Cityintro areas. Remember these tests were run in high quality mode so reducing the game's texture and detail settings would show better performance.

Related Links: For over 1,200 (and growing) records of Mac Game/Video card performance with most every system and video card - search my Mac Game/Video Card FPS database. For other graphics card reviews and articles, see the www.xlr8yourmac.com video cards page.


The next page of this review covers tests in MacBench 5.0, RaveBench, Photoshop 5.5 scrolling and a QT Movie playback.


Index of Rage128 vs Rage128 PRO Comparison

Intro | Game Performance | Benchmarks/Apps Tests

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