New Voodoo3 Drivers for better image quality

New Voodoo3 Drivers for better image quality - Page 1

 

 


Today Brian Burke of 3dfx gave Hot Hardware an exclusive inside scoop on new drivers that will soon be released for the Voodoo3! We've got the goods here first! Take it away Brian!

The week of July 19th, 3dfx will be releasing a new set of drivers for the Voodoo3. Besides the usual bug fixes, we have added some user control image quality techniques to the 3dfx Tweak page in Windows properties. The increase in our already industry leading image quality is dramatic. Attached, you will find some screen shots from the new driver using the new Alpha-blending option along with an explanation of how it works. You can also see the new properties page at www.voodooextreme.com.

"Alpha-Blending" 101

Alpha-Blending: Alpha-blending is the most common and one of the most important methods of blending 3D accelerated games. It is used primarily to create visual effects like transparency (water or glass), translucency (artifacts that partially obscure objects, such as smoke, clouds or explosions), lensflare and reflections. By optimizing the Alpha-blending settings and employing a new Alpha-blending technique, we're allowing users to select the image characteristics that most closely meet their idea of how games should appear. 3dfx has added three new settings under the Alpha-blending switch: Automatic, Sharper and Smoother: AUTOMATIC: Setting this mode allows the driver to determine when to use our new alpha-blending technique and when not to. This is the Default mode. SHARPER: This option turns off the alpha-blending technique, which results in a sharper image with minor dithering that looks like a "screen door" effect. SMOOTHER: This option activates the new alpha-blending technique, which results in a smooth, dither-free image with no screen door effect.

Here shown, are some screenshots that illustrate the difference in the settings. These four shots were taken using Hypersnap in a game titled Heretic II running under OpenGL.

The first is of a Diamond Viper 770 based on the TNT2 chipset in 16-bit mode.

Please click all images for full 640X480 JPG Shots.

Right click here to download the BMP.

Notice the screen-door effect above the fire.

Next is a similar shot using the Voodoo3 3000 with alpha blending set for Sharper.

Right click here to download the BMP.

We see a slight screen-door effect, too.

The next image shows the Voodoo3 in 16-bit mode and Alpha blending set for Smoother.

Right click here to download the BMP.

The screen-door effect has virtually disappeared.

Finally, compare that to the Diamond Viper 770 in 32-bit, which reveals only a subtle difference that would be extremely hard to distinguish in game play, but results in a significant loss in frame rate.

Right click here to download the BMP.

 


Please click all images for full 640X480 JPG Shots

The next set of images are from Quake3. The first is of a Diamond Viper 770 based on the TNT2 chipset in 16-bit mode.

Right click here to download the BMP.

Notice the screen-door effect in the explosion.

Next is a similar shot using the Voodoo3 3000 with alpha blending set for sharper.

Right click here to download the BMP.

This reveals the same effect to a lesser degree.

The next image shows the Voodoo3 in 16-bit mode and Alpha blending set for Smoother.

Right click here to download the BMP.

Again, the effect has virtually disappeared.

Finally, compare that to the Diamond Viper 770 in 32-bit mode, which reveals only a subtle difference that would be extremely hard to distinguish in game play, but results in a significant loss in frame rate.

Right click here to download the BMP.

 


A picture is worth a thousand words isn't it? !! Wow these new drivers look great! Stay tuned for the release!



-Davo

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