What retro activity did you get up to today?

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by adz, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    A bit like the Nvidia Riva 128 and Riva TNT, as well as the S3 Savage, the ATI Rage Pro was a very basic 3D card. Not many folks were big on this at the time due to a combination of performance as well as the fact that Glide was the dominant API at the time, with the Voodoo cards dominating the gamers market.

    Ironically the ATI cards were some of the best to look at via VGA. ATI didn't add a bunch of video filter capacitor/resistor combinations to their output like Nvidia and others did, which meant their picture was crystal clear. If you were a business or pro-3D user, ATI was the ducks nuts for image quality. (edit: worth mentioning that a few of us used to mod Nvidia cards to remove these filters, and improve the image quality, which was visually rewarding).

    Around that time, I ran the IT department for a very large architecture firm (the Australian arm of the world's largest, in fact). We ran all-Dell hardware with all-ATI cards (Rage Pro for low end desktops, Fire for high end workstations) as a preference for a professional 2D and 3D design applications. Again, gamers we all a tizz over Voodoo, but professional users were really loving ATI at the time. Nvidia was still quite young at the time, and didn't really start to forge ahead until gaming-level OpenGL and DirectX started to pick up, and Voodoo's long term bet on Glide failed (and they were eventually acquired by Nvidia, like many 3D companies and staff - most of SGI's engineers ended up there, as did a bunch of old school Pixar/Renderman guys).
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  2. philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    That lines up with what I read about ATI. Hugely popular with OEMs because they made sure to "tick all the boxes" so to speak.

    Gaming performance is actually quite decent, not as fast as 3dfx and Nvidia, but very solid.
     
  3. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Certainly not terrible. But again, remember that gamers of every generation of hardware generally want the fastest they can get for the lowest dollars. As such, the good old ATI Rage Pro wasn't as popular as the dominant Voodoo hardware.

    And again, keep in mind the popularity at the time of Glide. DirectX and OpenGL didn't gain PC-gamer popularity for a little while after that, by which time the Rage series had retired, and ATI had moved on to the Radeon series.

    I find it fascinating to look back on the psychology of hardware buying audiences, with a decade or more of space that allows for better objectivity. I had my own preferences back then, of course, but looking back now you get a better clarity of where the market was headed without the emotional investment of personal preferences. Sometimes you see patterns that were good, and sometimes you see obvious flaws. Either way, it's always interesting to compare the science and the marketing, and see who won the day. (The same can be said for any technology trends - there's a "VHS vs Betamax" story in every generation of hardware).
     
  4. philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    The multimedia capabilities of the Rage 128 Pro are very impressive. It has this Rage Theatre chip and offers S-Video output as well as composite input.

    It also has DVD acceleration, will have to test this with some slower processors to see how good that works. Had to make my own DVD as I looked around and couldn't find a single DVD movie...

    The S-Video output seems of good quality and the driver has a few options for tweaking the output.
     
  5. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    When I look back at my reasoning it was pretty simple - I often had a particular game in mind when I was in the market for a new gfx card, so would pour over reviews and get whatever card promised the most frames for my meagre funds. Brand wasn’t a concern until I owned a radeon 4870X2, which was a hot, expensive, PSU killing monster that was more trouble than it was worth. Since then I’ve been strictly Nvidia and anti SLI / Crossfire.
     
  6. shane41

    shane41 Member

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  7. Draxx

    Draxx Member

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  8. philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    Got around to testing the AGP BFG 7800 GS OC card I got a few weeks ago.

    It works, but I had to use a slightly newer driver to get full performance. The previous driver had some issues, really slow performance. Using 101.09 now.

    Got to re-bench all the 754 and 478 CPUs, but what can you do...

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  9. Shaunv

    Shaunv Member

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    Just got up to the final boss on this today, enjoyed Earthbound so much after i played it i decided the visit the roots of the series :thumbup:

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    For those playing at home yes this is my prized AGB-001 GBA with AGS-101 screen :D
     
  10. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Nice!

    I bought a AGS-101 GBA SP recently... Paid way too much, but the screen is great. :D
     
  11. qwertylesh

    qwertylesh Member

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  12. shane41

    shane41 Member

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  13. philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    Finally opened my NIB ZALMAN cooler :D

    What a BEAST. 1 Kg of copper awesomeness.

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  14. qwertylesh

    qwertylesh Member

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    I have the same cooler installed in a spare 775 system, theyre very awesome. If I can find the 478 parts for it, i'll be putting it into my arcade unit :)
     
  15. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Yep I have the copper monster in my 775 machine too - I have the 'ac' version also but half aluminium / half copper just doesn't seem as awesome somehow.

    Mine's pretty loud when up full speed, I run it at about 60% but it seems to keep my 3.4GHz Cedar Mill cool enough.
     
  16. Shaunv

    Shaunv Member

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    Yeah they aren't cheap these days! Used to be able to pick them up for sub 100 in Australia for one in good nic. Those days are long gone haha
     
  17. jeremybh1

    jeremybh1 Member

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    Nothing like a lease ending to make you face your hoarding tendancies. That aside I have been working hard to create .dsk disk images of unarchived Apple II software.
    Posted elsewhere but I wanted to share:
    Here:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IKtuaFVRgHuNKsnBK-ssmAXnG6YJEdI1quO2aRQ8oJI/edit?usp=sharing
    is a spreadsheet containing 69 titles of floppy disk software for the Apple II that I received from John Hill. I have sent it to 4am via twitter as a Google sheet where he replied with the disks he’d like after we have a play in Sydney.

    Can I ask if anyone else has educational software? Particularly those published in Australia (Jacaranda Software, Ashton Tate NSW)
    I hope you enjoy seeing the details. Manual scans to follow later this year. Need to buy a Scan Snap - feel free to reply if you know of a cheap place to buy
     
  18. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    :lol: Win at all cost ebay mentality. 939 in link above sold $133.75AU

    Pushing 85EUR BUY IT NOW haha, hope you guys have some stashed. :eek:
     
  19. philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    Putting Cannula's S3 Savage4 through its paces. It's an A-Trend card. Latest S3 drivers work fine.

    Sat down and took me a while to get the propriety S3 MeTaL API to work in Unreal, but it was worth it, the S3 demo maps with S3TC support are really something to look at.

    S3 let others licence this technology and pretty much all following cards supported this texture compression, a win for everyone.

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  20. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    I have a little bit of a soft spot for the Savage4 having owned one back in the day. I brought one as a "stop gap" to replace my Rendition V2100 which at the time was getting long in the tooth. I was a bit of a Rendition fan back then having had the V1000 previously which was my very first introduction to 3D accelerated gaming, so I was hanging out for the V3000 (vapourware) and then the V4400 (much hyped vapourware especially after Micron acquired Rendition). Once it was clear Rendition was dead and buried and I felt the need to upgrade it was onto the GeForce 256.

    The Savage4 was a fantastic budget card which made it a no brainer as a "stop gap" solution, but it was by no means a world beater. S3TC looked....well....unreal..:lol: Best feature by far on that card. The quality of the textures as you can see in the screenshots above just blew you away, something these days we take for granted as being the norm.

    In some ways I feel blessed that I got to see PC's develop from early text / monochrome / CGA graphics right through to seeing the emergence of 3D accelerated gaming. The early 3D accelerator era in itself was a wonderful experience in my opinion. Seeing the technology for the very first time was mind blowing, the competition that was created by having so many vendors each with their own strenghts and weaknesses, Rendition, 3Dfx, ATI, S3, SGL, Matrox, Nvidia. It was also a bit of a nightmare with their being so many proprietary API's and limited support for OpenGL. For all Microsoft's perceived failings as a company, Direct3D was a blessing for what was a pretty messy affair at times.

    These day's I find it pretty hard to get excited over the current generations of 3D accelerators. It all seems like pretty much the same to me, just faster. :(
     

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