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Upgrade the Video Card?

Posted on 1998-05-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have a couple of questions...
First of all I want to upgrade my video card.  I have a 1MB S3 Trio 64V+.  Should I simply buy more Video RAM from Compaq or whoever, or should I simply buy a new video card?
The next question is...
If I were to get a 3D Accelator (I am thinking about getting the Diamond Multimedia Monster 3D 1 or 2), would I still need to get a new video card, or will that add the VRAM that I need?
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Question by:Hawkeye062297
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larbel earned 110 total points
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Depends on your needs, if you are satisfy with your 2D performance and resolution. you can just buy a Monster3D I or II for 3D gaming.  However, adding a 3Dfx card doesn't add more video ram to your 2D card.  Only with games that are made for 3Dfx or D3D you will see any differences.  The Voodoo II card are really intended for newer system, you will need a PII 266 in order to use the full potential of the Voodoo II.  I think you should consider Voodoo Rush card, which is a 2D/3D card, although it's know to have minor compatible issue with some games, but I think in your case is the best chose.
Larbel
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by:Hawkeye062297
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OK, here's the thing.  I originally had a 133, 16 MB RAM, but I have upgraded everything, and I now have a 200 Mhz Pentium Overdrive with MMX, and 48 MB RAM.

My main concern is that my newer games are not working well (e.g. NHL 98) with my 1 MB Card.

Most of my games are by EASports and their games are only compatible with "3-D Accelators using the 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics or Voodoo Rush chipset."

Would it be too much of a problem to buy both a new video card and the Monster 3D?  Or should I just buy more VRAM and the Monster 3D?  Or should I just buy the Voodoo 3D/2D?  What would be the best thing to do (not considering price)?
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by:larbel
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Buy another video and Monster3D if price is not a factor!  S3 chipset graphic card is known for compaitability problem!  Buy a 4Mb card and a Monster3D, and you'll be pleased with any current games.
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by:avi_shava
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VOODOO rush?!!!! This thing is slow!!!
If the 2d perfromance (and ram) of your system is enough for you, take a voodoo 1 , because there is no big perfromance gain from voodoo 1 -> 2 on your such cpu. If you think that you will upgrade your cpu in the next time, voodoo2 may be a better investment.

If you want more 2d perfromance and/or ram, you have 2 major options: 1. take 2d/3d combo card, and froget about the voodoo, or 2. Take a decent 2d card + voodoo card. I think that if you want to buy a 2d/3d combo, you should buy the diamond viper 330 4mb or stb velocity 128 8mb. They both based on riva128, and give you FAST 3d. Also, unlike the voodoo 1, they will clock much higher (perfrom better) when you upgrade your cpu (about 100% perfromance increase from pentium 200mmx to pentium 2 300, unlike the voodoo 1, which won't clock much higher than on pentium 200mmx). The voodoo 2 will also clock as high as the riva128, maybe better, but at much higher cost...

Look at your options and decide...

You can contact me via email (Avi_Shava@bigfoot.com) or ICQ 5533016

Avi Shava
Avi_Shava@bigfoot.com

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by:Hawkeye062297
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Thank you so much.  (especially about that s3 thing).
One last thing...
Since I can't get both a new card and the Monster 3D, I need to know which option is better:
1) Monster 3D and add more Video RAM
2) Get a 2D/3D Card.

Because of the s3 problem, would it just be better to go with option 2?
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by:larbel
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You might run in problem using S3 chipset card with Monster3D, but there's a patch to fix it on www.3dfx.com, I've also seen prolbem with S3 chipset card and some apps.  But then, there's always patches.  Avi_shava is right, Voodoo Rush is slow, but ONLY when compares to Voodoo.  Anyway, chose 1 would be better, but since your S3 card has only 1Mb, chances are, you might only be able to add another 1Mb.  Even with a 2Mb card and Monster3D, you should see some decent FPS and good graphic.
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by:avi_shava
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I think the second option (take a 2d/3d combo).
If you have a system with a pentium - level cpu, it will be a little slower, but if you have a pentium-2 level (or you will upgrade to it), it will be much faster.

Take the stb velocity 128 with 8mb if you need the 8mb for higher resolutions + bit depths, or a cheap diamond viper 330 (~100$), or another riva 128 based card (all this card are based on this chip) with 4mb. They all cost about 100$, and about the same performance (1% more, 1% less). Also, Buy OEM!!!, and save a lot of money by this.
 
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by:larbel
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Avi_shava
If you refer back to a comment posted earlier by Hawkeye, you will see that Hawkeye's concern is to run EA games that supports 3Dfx or Rush...


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by:avi_shava
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Most of the new games support d3d or opengl, as from start or as a patch, and I don't think there are new games developed only for glide, so I don't think this should be big concern.
(glide, if anyone don't know, is the api of the voodoo series - voodoo graphics, rush and voodoo2.)
If you really want to use glide games, I believe you should get a decent 2d card (such as tseng et6000), plus voodoo1. This will give you a solution that cost about 180$, while a good 2d/3d combo such as diamond viper 330 is sub-100$. Even the stb velocity 128 8mb is cheaper, even when it support much higher resolutions than the previous solution. So I believe that you should buy a diamond viper or another card based on riva 128 (or 128zx, if you think that you will need the higher resolutions, which does not apply if you are not a real graphics professional). The only minus of this card is the lack of glide support.

And just for your question above, if you don't think about price, than the best thing is to buy the Diamond firegl 1000 8mb sgram (~180$) and two voodoo 2 with 12mb each, and use sli, (each about 300$), but I think its too expensive...

Anyway, I belive that you should replace your s3 with something more faster and with more ram.

Avi Shava
Avi_Shava@bigfoot.com
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by:larbel
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No offence, but do you think that Riva 128 can compare with 3Dfx graphic and speed wise?  You can go with higher resolutions with a 2d/3d combo card, but I think to most 3d game player, FPS is the key word.

If money is not a concen, I think you should wait for Matrox G200 AGP, (of couse then you would have to replace the motherboard as well) and add a pair of Voodoo2.  There's just no PCI card can have better graphic & speed than 3Dfx, period.
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by:avi_shava
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Thats NOT true. riva 128 cards are faster than voodoo graphics (not voodoo 2), When your system have a good fpu (pentium 2). at the pentium 233 mmx level, they are about the same speed, but at higher cpus, there is no doubt at all. At pentium 2 400mhz riva 128 based cards  have ~75fps at quake2, when voodoo1 fastest speed (at pentium 2 233 it reaches its max) is about 30fps. Its fps is not so bad even at pentium 200 mmx, when the voodoo 1 have about 5-6 fps more. But if you have pentium 2 or think of upgrading for it, Riva 128 IS the choice.
At this system, is is true that the voodoo graphics + decent 2d card will be about 5fps higher at quake2, but I think that even if you don't think of upgrading the riva128 is better, as it costs ~100$, and a decent 2d card (much slower than the riva 128, which reaches the 2d speed of matrux millinuem 2) plus voodoo 1, that costs 180$. You pay almost TWICE the price for about 5 fps now. Also, when you will upgrade to pentium 2, with the voodoo solution you will have about the same fps, and with riva 128 your fps will rise a lot.

Of course you can buy a good 2d card (let's say matrux millinium 2, which is at the 2d speed of the riva 128) + voodoo 2 card. This solution will be faster now, and it will go faster when you will upgrade the cpu, but the cost - ~250$ for voodoo2, and ~100$ for the matrux millinuem 2 = 350$ !!! I think it will be wiser to buy a riva 128 card at 100$, and invest the other 250$ at better cpu - After all, Riva 128 card with pentium 2 266 is faster than pentium 200 with vooodoo 2.

It is all a matter of the money you want to invest. I believe that the riva 128 will give you much better money/performance ratio than the voodoo 1 and voodoo 2.

Avi Shava
Avi_Shava@bigfoot.com
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by:larbel
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We're talking about Hawkeye's system here right?  I'm not sure if you're aware of it, most EA games let you choose 3Dfx or no 3Dfx and that's it.  When no 3Dfx, it will use DirectDraw, which means no Perspective-correct texture, Bi-linear and texture filtering, Anti-aliasing, etc...  True that maybe Riva 128 is a better all around card, but with P200MMX OD, you're better off with voodoo.  There are just too many games out there with just native 3Dfx support.
If we're talking about PII, Riva is still not the best chose, I740 2X AGP can blow away Riva 128 AGP and not to mention the upcoming G200 from Matrox.
If Hawkeye is planning to upgrade his CPU in near future, buy a Voodoo II and add more ram, he can then save the Voodoo II and buy AGP display card.  If he won't upgrade in near future, buying a Voodoo I and add ram would be enough.  If he buy a Riva 128 PCI now, he would eventaully still have to buy a AGP if he plans to upgrade!  That's not exactly what I call saving!
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by:larbel
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Take a look at these...

http://www.tomshardware.com/inc2scrnsht.html
Quoted from Tom's hardware guide when reviewing the Incoming graphic comparison: "The ugliest in this comparison is definitely NVIDIA's RIVA. not only that the clouds look like rainbows and the banding of the horizon is horrible, but the green lines of the HUD are extremely blurry as well. RIVA may be pretty fast amongst its competitors, but the image quality is pretty much the poorest around nowadays. Please don't forget that the RIVA ZX offers the same quality as RIVA 128."

http://www.tomshardware.com/q2scrnsht.html
Quoted from Tom's hardware guide when reviewing the Quake2 graphic comparison: "Mister Ugly is again NVIDIA's RIVA chip. At least it can deliver pretty decent frame rates, but please what do you think of the tower walls, the corridors and the ladder ? Doesn't it look horrible compared to the i740 picture?"
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by:avi_shava
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larbel,
There are some things that I disagree with you:
1.  About Riva 128 image quality, there is one problem - The gamma correction, that is very easily corrected using a simple program (idgamma). It is also can be corrected at the riva 128 tab at the display properties. The problem is that tom is checking the cards with no tweaks and no other programs that correct such problems.

2. "If we're talking about PII, Riva is still not the best chose, I740 2X AGP can blow away Riva 128 AGP and not to mention the upcoming G200 from Matrox. " - The riva 128 is much faster than the I740, and cheaper. And if you think about future cards - You can't compare a card from this generation to a card from the next generation... If you want a fair comparison, than compare the tnt to the G200. Its like comparing pentium 2 processor to pentium mmx processor - these are another leagues. When the G200 will be available, The TNT will be available too. Then you will be able to compare them.

3. "If he buy  a Riva 128 PCI now, he would eventaully still have to buy a AGP if he plans to upgrade!  That's not exactly what I call saving!" - I am sorry if this offend you, but this sentence shows your knowledge about computer hardware. PCI display cards work perfectly on P-II systems. Also, the architecture of the riva 128 allow it to use system's memory even at non-agp systems, or at agp-systems with a pci card. So there won't be a big difference If he will still use his pci card on his p-II.

And there are some that I agree with you:
1. Of course glide only games will work better on any voodoo than on a riva card. Glide is an api that ONLY 3dfx cards support. So you can't expect riva 128 to be better on something it doesn't support.....
2. Voodoo 2 is faster than riva 128 on any system. I agree with this, but riva 128 price/performance ratio is MUCH MUCH MUCH higher.

Avi Shava
Avi_Shava@bigfoot.com





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by:larbel
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I don't believe this...

For the Disagree part:
1.  Are you saying you can use gamma correction to correct image quality??!!  FYI, Gamma correction = RGB correction, all it does is change the color ratio, what's it got to do with image quality?????

2.  Riva 128 maybe performs better in 3D when compare to I740 but also uglier, and in 2D, I740 kick it's butt.  And oh, aren't you the one that's comparing Riva 128 to Voodoo I??  So are they in the same league??

3.  FYI, I'm currently running a PII 333 with a Mystique 220 PCI/Monster3D II 12Mb at home waiting for the G200 AGP upgarde which is due out in June, and a PII 400 with I740 at work, Please don't put words in my month...   I know PCI card can work perfectly fine in PII box.  System's memory is not the only thing AGP has to offer, but BUS SPEED!  PCI is becoming the hold back for PII systems in 3D.  Please note the word EVENTUALLY in my comment, if you want software DVD, and better 3D performance, AGP is a must EVENTUALLY!

And for the agree part:
1.  That's what I'm trying to say, HAWKEYE WANTS TO PLAY EASPORTS GAMES that only supports Glide!!!!!!!!!!!!  Why would he want a Riva 128 in the first place??????????
2.  Agreed, but again it's PCI & AGP, he can save a PCI 3D addon card and reuse it in a PII, but a PCI display card, he EVENTUALLY would want a upgrade to AGP....

Avi Shava, I'm not saying Riva 128 is a bad card or anything, it's just that on Hawkeye's requirements, he wants to play 3Dfx games, that's all I'm trying to say.  I'm not about to start a flame war here, so please, just let Hawkeye decide, OK?


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by:Hawkeye062297
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I definitely learned a lot from this... and I think I have decided what I am going to do.
Thank you both, larbel and avi shava, you have both been a big help.  However, I give ADVANTAGE: LARBEL.

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by:Hawkeye062297
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Adjusted points to 110
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