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MacTell Vision 3D Pro II Video Card Review (1998)
Movie Playback Performance
Intro | 2D Performance  | 3D Performance | Game Performance  | Movie Playback | Features | Summary
Movie Playback Performance

I played several Quicktime and MPEG movies (from the VillageTronic MPEG and MOV CD samples) at up to full screen resolution at 1024x768, thousands colors. Image quality was very good, and speed was fine. With an earlier driver version and my Toshiba 32X cdrom, I did see very short duration (a fraction of a second) pauses on regular intervals, like some sort of polling or interrupt was happening during the playback. However with the stock NEC 8X cdrom movies were smooth.

I used the 3D Overdrive CDROM movies (3D "fly-bys" of Village Tronic products) as they were the only MPEG movie samples I had on hand. I ran the same movie in both MPEG (13MB) and Quicktime (34MB) formats - images were very good even when scaled to 1024x768.

For this review I also ran the MacBench movie tests (the "maximum framerate" ones) at 1152x870, millions colors as a stress test , for comparison with identical tests I'd done with the Nexus GA and Imagine 128 video cards ( I have not run the test with the Ultimate Rez yet). There was one oddity in running the "uncompressed" video tests - it seemed to lock up and returned a very low score (this didn't happen with the 32X cdrom drive, which I thought was very odd). I don't think that is an indication of the card's performance as the other tests were fine. Uncompressed video is also not a common format.

I noted that using a faster CDROM would increase the scores, but I swapped out the 32X cdrom for the original 8X NEC cdrom used during tests of the other cards to ensure a level playing field. Here are the MacBench comparison results:

MacBench movie tests
MacBench Movie Maximum Framerate tests (8X CDrom used)

I did not consider the odd problem with uncompressed video in Macbench a issue, as there were no problems seen in normal use. Since the image quality was excellent in both MPEG and Quicktime movies, and I scaled them to full screen and they still were smooth - I rated movie playback a 9.

The chip has an excellent reputation as the best MPEG playback engine on the market.

The next page has details on the software controls and hardware features.

Index of Vision 3D Pro II Video Card Review Pages

Intro | 2D Performance  | 3D Performance | Game Performance  | Movie Playback | Features | Summary

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