MacTell Vision 3D Pro II Video Card Review (1998) Game Performance Intro | 2D Performance | 3D Performance | Game Performance | Movie Playback | Features | Summary Game Performance
Game performance in general was good in standard 2D games like Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior, where the speed was as fast as any card I've tested. These games typically run in 256 colors, and the framerate in Duke Nukem usually stayed in the high 20's to 40+ fps. Like the MacPicasso card, I had problems in games like Rave Quake and Rave Mechwarrior. Korea (the latest version of F/A-18 Hornet) ran fine with excellent image quality on the static screens, but transparencies and other effects (i.e. transparent smoke) were missing compared to the 3Dfx version. In Korea this could be that the non-3Dfx version does not support transpariences/fog, or that the Rave drivers for the card do not support it, I'm not sure. Since the card is fairly new, I have high hopes for improved Rave drivers in the future.
Prior to the test, I reinstalled both Rave Quake and Rave Mechwarrior to make sure I was starting clean so to speak. Specific problems seen are noted below and were common to all non-ATI cards I've tested so far.
Just like on the 3D Overdrive the walls and floors had a rainbow/kaleidoscope effect but I finally found the solution, at least for this card - turn off shadows in the video options page. Without the lighting effects Rave Quake looked a lot worse than it does on the ATI cards and didn't run as fast. I was using the latest version of Rave Quake 1.08.5 with 50 MB of RAM allocated to it. Previous versions would not attempt to run if an ATI card was not detected, so trying an older version is not an option. For reference, it ran the timedemo demo 1 test at 15.7 fps on the PTP 180 (shadows on). (I could play the standard version of quake, but it left something to be desired - namely speed at higher resolutions, but I'd didn't try running the game in 256 color mode.)
Once again I could not get Mechwarrior to run properly, as the game seemed to always stall after the "dropzone" screen (the screen would go black and I was forced to restart). The usual trick of hitting the escape key did not help. I even reinstalled the game using the "recommended install" option but that did not change the results. I was beginning to think Rave Mechwarrior only ran on the 3Dfx cards (since it is only available in the Power3D card bundle), but then I remembered I ran the game fine on the ATI Rage Pro card during the Power3D review many months ago.
Shadow Warrior 3Dfx:
The standard version of Shadow Warrior played fine, even in 1024x768 mode. However it doesn't look a lot better than lower resolutions since the textures are low res (evident when you get close to walls, and on sprites).
At resolutions as high as 800x600, the game was still playable, but after seeing the 3Dfx version the opaque smoke and explosions were turn-offs. The control panels and other details looked great and razor sharp however.
I'm beginning to worry about how universal Rave games really are as this is the 2nd card I've tested with problems in Rave Quake, but since it's the first release to provide "universal" Rave card support, I hope these issues will be resolved in the future via game or card driver updates. Based on Rave Quake behavior, it seems there is no support for all the features of the T2R chip at this time.
Until Formac or the game developers take advantage of the transparency, fog and other features of the Vision 3D Pro II's Ticket 2 Ride engine, I have to rate Game performance a 7.
For the target market of this card, game performance is probably not a factor. I still think with proper game and/or driver support, it could be a superb game card.
The next tests I ran dealt with movie playback.
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