#9's Imagine 128 Series 2 vs. IXMicro's Twin Turbo M8
- 3D Test Results
By Mike, Published: 8/17/1997
|3D Graphics Performance Testing|
Both these cards are good 2d performers, but neither card was especially impressive as far
as 3D performance, at least in my opinion. The hardware accelerated 3D option of the Imagine's Hawkeye
control panel did improve performance by a huge amount in Gerbils (in addition to doubling the viewing
window size) but only slightly accelerated speeds in the more demanding Walker v1.1 tests (usually by
about 2fps in the most complex areas). It seems that the high polygon counts in the Walker test scenes
choked even the Imagine's hardware 3D engine. In the less demanding Gerbils test the Imagine's hardware
assist resulted in up to 70% faster frame rates even in a 2x larger window.
Walker 1.1 Test:
Walker v1.1 3D tests: 1024x768, 16-bit color, 75hz vertical refresh
In some areas of the Walker tests where little or no polygon's were displayed (literally blank areas) the hardware assist of the Imagine card would cause the fps rate to immediately jump to over 100fps, but for the main test areas the performance gain was minimal (20% or so) with the QD3D hardware acceleration enabled.
The Twin Turbo did a respectable job with the Walker tests, considering it had no specific 3d hardware support, and was about 25% faster in the Gerbils test than the built-in video. However for 3D performance, the edge again goes to the Imagine 128.
3D performance alone would not be a reason to purchase either of these cards, but then that's not their target market. In many cases the Imagine's hardware assist does provides visible gains in speed, at the loss of texture mapping capability.
I look forward to seeing future versions of IXMicro's 128/3D card and Number Nine's "Revolution 3D" - both of which promise much better 3d performance in addition to improved feature sets ( texture mapping, etc.). From what I hear - the Radius 3D and Newer RenderPix $2000+ cards may have trouble selling into the market when these cards arrive.
For simple 3d tasks with objects consisting of several hundred polygons these cards do a respectable job of providing fast feedback. I noticed literally no difference between the cards in Infini-D 4.0 with simpler scenes and models. I doubt that many users could actually detect the difference in these cards in most common 3D applications, although if you can live without texture mapping in your previews, the hardware assisted 3D of the Imagine 128 would be a plus on larger models.
As is true of most graphic applications, your amount of Ram, cache, processor type and speed play a large role in overall performance. In most cases for 3D applications you could argue it's the largest factor overall. (I intended to test the stock 8500/120 with these cards vs. a 8500/200 with only the built-in video to get a real idea of this impact, but due to delays I probably will have to return the cards before this can be done.)
3D Tests Winner: Imagine 128
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