John Carmack rates the 3D cards


— 12:24 AM on May 18, 2000

The ponytail-enhanced creator of the Quake engine updated his .plan file today with the lowdown on the next-gen video cards hitting the shelves. Here's his take on NVIDIA's newest:

The DDR GeForce is the reining champ of 3D cards. Of the shipping boards, it is basically better than everyone at every aspect of 3D graphics, and pioneered some features that are going to be very important: signed pixel math, dot product blending, and cubic environment maps.

The GeForce2 is just a speed bumped GeForce with a few tweaks, but that's not a bad thing. Nvidia will have far and away the tightest drivers for quite some time, and that often means more than a lot of new features in the real world.

..and on 3dfx's new Voodoos:
The saving grace of the voodoo5 is the scalability. Because it only uses SDR ram, a dual chip Voodoo5 isn't all that much faster than some other single chip cards, but the quad chip card has over twice the pixel fill rate of the nearest competitor. That is a huge increment. Voodoo5 6000 should win every benchmark that becomes fill rate limited.

I haven't been able to honestly recommend a voodoo3 to people for a long time, unless they had a favorite glide game or wanted early linux Xfree 4.0 3D support. Now (well, soon), a Voodoo5 6000 should make all of today's games look better than any other card. You can get over twice as many pixel samples, and have them jittered and blended together for anti-aliasing.

There's quite a bit more there, including his take on the new ATI Radeon, so read the whole thing if you're interested.
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