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The Video Three
by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson

  • Matrox G400
  • TNT2 Ultra
  • Voodoo 3 3000

Frame Rates: F4 and Combat Flight Simulator

I tested Falcon 4 in both Glide and Direct3d on the V3 3000, but I am only reporting the Glide figures. Direct3d numbers were about 25% lower.

I also tested both fixed cockpit view and no cockpit view in Falcon 4. However, for the purposes of reporting I averaged these two numbers for the 800x600 frame rate figure.

Chart 1
Falcon4 at 800x600

TNT2 Ultra scored much higher in Falcon 4.0, almost 40% faster when I tested at 1024x768. Undoubtedly there is some speed yet to gain for the G400 with later driver revisions, but this difference is too great to be gained by more efficient drivers alone. Matrox has found some issue relative to performance in the driver, and we may see a huge gain when the problem is solved. At the moment it looks like excessive CPU dependence, but Matrox maintains that this is not the case. It will be interesting to see how the G400 MAX fares in Falcon 4 with a new driver.

Click to continue


Chart 2
CFS at 1024x768

On the other hand the G400 shines in Combat Flight Simulator, leaving the TNT2 Ultra in the dust at almost 50% faster. In fact, at 1280 x 1024 the G400 scored 25 fps compared to TNT2s 22 fps at 1024x768. (Overclocking the TNT2 from 150 to 170 evened the score to 25 fps, but still at the lower resolution.)

Voodoo 3 remains a solid performer, in spite of its feature limitations. Even where the advantage of Glide is lost (under Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator), the V3 3000 continues to score on a par with the G400. The G400 MAX, however, is likely to be the new star of the show in D3d, at least in some cases.

Image Quality

I haven't commented on image quality, and since simulation gamers still don't have the power to spare for running in 32 bit mode, the 16 bit limitation of Voodoo3 isn't much of an issue. But it is worth mentioning that while Glide on Voodoo3 looks very good, non Glide games on V3 look terrible. MiG Alley, for example, or Combat Flight Simulator looks much better on the G400 or TNT2.

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Last Updated June 26th, 1999

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