- Introduction

- Specifications (1)

- Specifications (2)

- The Yield

- The controlers

- Conclusion

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Miguel Tarazona "Skaug"

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Hardware for the summer - autumn 1999


The Specifications (1)


Riva TNT2

3Dfx Voodoo 3




3500 TV





Triangles for the second (peak)

9 Millions


8 Millions

7 Millions

6 Millions

Píxels per second

300 Millions


333 Millions

286 Millions

Memory transference

2,9 GB/seg


2,9 GB/seg


Speed of the processor

180 MHz

175 MHz

150 MHz

125 MHz

200 MHz

183 MHz

166 MHz

143 MHz

Speed of the memory

220 MHz

200 MHz

183 MHz

150 MHz

200 MHz

183 MHz

166 MHz

143 MHz


300 MHz

350 MHz

350 MHz

300 MHz

Maximum resolution




32 MB / 16 MB SDRAM


Quality Image


Color depth in the render

32 bits

16 bits

Maximum texture size (píxels)





Version PCI



Version AGP

4x / 2x


We might leave this nice table and impress our readership with the numbers. Nevertheless, I prefer to tell what each of the information means.

As for the million triangles per second, the more process, obviously it will be better. It is necessary to bear in mind that the objects represented in the computer are formed by triangles meshes, with what to major capacity, the objects will have a major realism. The TNT2 is the winner in this paragraph.

As for the pixels per second, as soon as the triangles were calculated, there is that "to paint them" with the wished textures (brick, meat, metal, crystal...). All the more pixels per second let's be able to do, so much better. In this case he conquers the Voodoo 3; nevertheless, although it is capable of "doing" more rapid, as he calculates the triangles more slowly, it does not go so far as to be able to do at the most rapid speed, with what the global yield is better in the TNT2.

The speed of the RAMDAC allows to know the refreshments that it is possible to obtain to certain resolutions. Major all that is, better refreshments we will obtain, with what the weariness of the sight will be minor. Nevertheless this refreshment almost always (for always not saying) is limited by the quality of the monitor, and both cards overcome fully the possibilities of the monitors of up to 200.000 pts, with what it is not a decisive element.

Nevertheless, yes that there are decisive the characteristics of the quality of image. Although both processors work internally to 32 bits (they realize all his calculations with a quality of color of 32 bits, this is, with 232 = 4.295 million colors), the TNT2 allows to represent the image with this quality, while the Voodoo3 transforms these 32 bits in 16 to represent them on the screen. This minor number of colors does not mean that the image quality is bad by no means, but it does not become so good as in the TNT2. It is necessary to bear in mind that the games begin supporting 32 bits for pixel of color (the Quake 3 is a sample of it), also, the graphic design programs in 3D (as 3DS MAX, or Caligari Truespace) they obtain a better quality with 32 color bits.

And, in my opinion, big mistake of the Voodoo3: the absence of support for top textures to 256x256 points. This limits enormously the possibilities of the cards, since soon games will begin appearing with textures of 640x480 points or more, to obtain a major realism, especially in the soils of the stages. This is possible thanks to the use of the system AGP, which allows several "Gentle" of traffic between the principal memory of the computer and that of the graphic card, avoiding to have to have enormous quantities of graphic memory in the card.

Really the use of the bus AGP (especially with the review 2x and even more with 4x) accelerates the images representation 3D texturadas. And here there is the second big mistake of the Voodoo3, the support AGP that it possesses limits itself practically to the physical connection with the motherboard, since the architecture is practically the same one that if it was PCI, and there does not use the bus AGP but a proper system of communication with the memory, trusting that do not use any more than 16 MB of textures for game level.

The TNT2, nevertheless, is the whole example of how using the technology AGP, in addition to it allows mapear enormous textures what, along with his 32 color bits, redounds to a top image quality.


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