View Full Version : 3D cards and the QIII engine

01-13-2002, 06:20 AM
I need some advice from the tech heads out there.

Which, in your opinion, is the best 3D card to run the QIII engine ?

Has any 1 out there got a GeForce 3 card and how does QIII run with it ?

If u had an un-limited amount of cash, which 3D card would u buy and why ?

I only ask 'cause I have a substancial amount of cash and a need to purchase a new 3D card, my Voodoo 5500 is getting a bit tired.

I'm looking at 2 possiblities here - The Elsa Gladiac 920 and The Radeon 8500, please help me spend this obscene amount of money :)

Millions o' Monkeys
01-13-2002, 06:34 AM
qauke 3 runs beutifully on almost any 32 meg card so it dosnt really matter.
BUT i would reccomend the radeon 8500 or a geforce 3 ti

01-13-2002, 09:14 AM
Both the GeForce 3 and the Radeon are good cards for Quake 3 engined games. Been playing the Medal of Honor single player demo which is using a very similar game engine to what Jedi Outcast will use. The Readme states that they recomend a 64 meg videocard to run max detail settings! The max detail settings make a difference and are well worth the added video memory. I have a 64 meg Geforce 3 ti 200 and all my Opengl games look and run great in 32bit color.

01-13-2002, 10:26 AM
My GeForce 3 runs it beautifully.

01-13-2002, 10:34 AM
Elsa Gladiac 920 is too hefty, if you ask me. Instead, you might wanna check out Leadtek Titanium 500 TD(quite soon they are also going to publish TI200-TDH [GeForce3 Ti200] that has 128MB ram), because few reviews said it has best image quality of all GeForce 3 Ti cards and it has also much more reasonable price. I'm waiting for GeForce 4 though...

01-13-2002, 10:54 AM
how much is Geforce 3?

I have a Compaq Presario 600 Mhz Celeron with an Intel 810e Chipset, and it doesn't have AGP, but it has like 2 open PCI slots. Would a Geforce 3 run on my computer? and if so, how would i install it?

Darth Simpson
01-13-2002, 01:01 PM
Rogue15, a GeForce 3 card requires an AGP slot. To my knowledge there are no PCI versions of this card.

A GeForce 3 Ti 200 is around $150-200 I believe. A GeForce 3 Ti 500 is $300+.

01-13-2002, 01:39 PM
what about geforce 2?

01-13-2002, 01:45 PM
Ok, I have a situation here.... My system currently is PIII 550 mhz, 640 mb RAM, and a 32 mb Nvidia TNT 2 Viper card. This summer I'll be building my dream system for college next year, and I'll put the most current video card in it. But right now, I want to able to play JO when it comes out with good performance. What I need is a fairly inexpensive card 100-150 dollars that will suite the game and the other graphics intensive games out there now. I don't want to spend more than that since I'll be spending a **** load on a card towards the end of the summer for my new computer. Any suggestions would be great.

01-13-2002, 04:07 PM
Rogue I believe that a GeForce 2 is available in PCI but they're a little bit more expensive, if u're gonna go for 1 then I would recomend the Creative version. If u don't wanna spend that kind of cash then the Hercules Prophet is a very nice budget card, it lacks the bells and whistles of the Nvidia chip set but runs quite nicely at high resolutions.

So the Elsa 920 is too hefty and the Radeon is, as yet un-tested.

So any GeForce 3 Ti 500 card should allow me to view these ' retina shattering effects'.

Well there goes £300, thanks Guys :)

The Seeker
01-13-2002, 04:51 PM
I'm looking into the 64MB GeForce MX400 AGP Viceo Cad. ONl sale for $80 bucks this week at Best Buy. Is that one a good one?

01-13-2002, 05:58 PM
Rogue15, there are several GeForce2 cards available in PCI form. If memory serves me correctly, they are all on the lower end of the market, usually the MX and GTS versions.

pinkpanther718, the card for you is the Kyro2. Dirt cheap and better performance than the GeForce2 MX. I reckon you'd get a decent enough framerate in medium graphics settings in Outcast if you put this card into your current rig.

Check out what <A HREF="http://www.hardocp.com/reviews/vidcards/hercules/3dprophet4500/">[H]ard|OCP had to say about this card</A> and then look at <A HREF="http://www.pricewatch.com/1/37/3592-1.htm">this Pricewatch page</A> to see up-to-date street prices for the card. I think you'll be quite surprised.

The only problem with it is that it doesn't support Hardware T&L, so it will be slow in games which use it. However, JK II doesn't, so as an interim upgrade, you'd be hard put to find better bang for you buck.

01-13-2002, 08:21 PM
Thank you very much for that info about the Kyro II chipset. My only questions are, will that measure up to the GeForce II which I believe by now should be in that same price range. And secondly, what exactly is t and l, and which games use it extensively?

Sherack Nhar
01-13-2002, 09:55 PM
Huh, the Quake 3 engine does support T&L... but since having a T&L card is facultative, the framerate difference isn't substantial.

T&L, pinkpanther, is the short name for Transform and Lighting. It's a new way to process 3D graphics (especially in the lighting department) and it is becoming more and more popular. The difference is not in the visuals, but rather in the framerate. There is quite a few game that supports it extensively right now (from the top of my head: Q3, Mechwarrior 4, and every other DX8 games, I think). It should be noted that the upcoming Star Wars Galaxies will require a T&L card to run the brand new 3D engine. It's a first for MMORPGs...

01-13-2002, 10:56 PM
So basically T&L = better frame rate on games that support it? If so, I definately want a card that implements it. Any good lower priced cards that have this feature? Do any of the GeForce 2s, or lower end GeForce 3s have T&L?

01-13-2002, 11:55 PM
Well, as I said before, i have only a PIII 550 mhz, so I don't have much performance as far as CPU goes. I have been reading up on cards for a while tonight, I've pretty much discounted that Kyro II by now, since it doesnt have the T&R and also because it didn't match up to some other cards in its price range. I have a question about ATI Radeon cards, since they are the ones I am looking at the most right now. How do they perform on low and high resolutions? I really want something that performs well on both, but more preferably low res, since I am more a performance guy than a visual prettyness guy. Secondly, what kind of differences would you see between 32 mb of DDR RAM and 64 mb of SD RAM? Those two cards are very simalarly priced, and I am steering towards the 64 MB SD RAM version, but should I opt for the DDR, even though its less RAM total?
Thanks for all the help folks.

01-14-2002, 03:33 PM
I recently purchased a PNY Verto GeForce 2 MX400 PCI w/ 64mb. It runs EF at full graphics and is probably the best PCI card available AND it has T&L support, but most important of all, it comes with a lifetime warranty from PNY. Furthermore, the total price AFTER shipping was $93 from www.enpc.com. I should also mention that i'm running this card on a PIII 600Mhz and 190 mb RAM, which definantly helps.

01-14-2002, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by Sherack Nhar
Huh, the Quake 3 engine does support T&L... but since having a T&L card is facultative, the framerate difference isn't substantial.

Sorry, I'd got my facts wrong. Q3 does support Hardware T&L, but with the spec of machine we're talking about here, and bearing in mind this is an interim upgrade I wouldn't worry too much about it at this point. Certainly, if you're planning a major upgrade in the summer anyway, I wouldn't make Hardware T&L a major motivating factor in your choice of card right now.

Also, don't bother with anything faster than a GeForce2 MX or a Kyro II in that spec of machine, it simply won't take advantage of it.

Having said that, an alternative approach to take would be to blow a whole lot of money on a GeForce3 Ti500 right now, knowing that your machine won't use it as it is, but simply because you will then be able to put the card in your new machine in the summer knowing you'll get top performance. This would avoid the unpleasantness of having to part with two lots of cash for basically the same thing. Just a thought...

01-14-2002, 08:08 PM
While you made some real good points, from what Ive read, the ATI cards are excellent. For about the same price I can get either the Radeon with 32 mb DDR, or the one with 64 SD..... I still am wondering which I should go for? Also, can anyone reccomend any really good up to date video card review sites? Gamespot is so out of date, as is Cnet.
Thanks for the help guys.

01-14-2002, 08:47 PM
Check these sites out:

01-15-2002, 01:08 AM
If you have a fast proccessor then get a GeForce 3 Ti 500, it's the best card out there, or wait for the GeForce 4 to come out. If you have a lower end proccessor just spend that substantial amout of cash and get a new motherboard and proccessor.

01-15-2002, 10:00 AM
I have a Radeon 7200 64mb card....is this good enough?

01-15-2002, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by pinkpanther718
While you made some real good points, from what Ive read, the ATI cards are excellent. For about the same price I can get either the Radeon with 32 mb DDR, or the one with 64 SD.....

Yes they are, but there's no point having a super-fast graphics card in a setup where the CPU is too slow to feed geometry and vertex calculations to the card.

Put simply: the video card simply draws the picture on your screen. To do so, the CPU must first tell the card what to draw and where. In your PC, by the time you've put in a reasonable graphics board (GeForce2/Kyro II 32Mb SDRam, or that class of card) you would see virtually no framerate increases if you were to upgrade the card further, because your CPU is the limiting factor.

Your machine would probably be no faster with the latest GeForce3 Ti500 in it than with a 32Mb GeForce2 MX. There is only so much a video card can do to increase performance.

The way I see it, you have two paths you could go down: a) buy the cheapest card you can lay your hands on on the grounds that whatever you buy will be faster than your TNT2, or b) say "sod it" and do a major graphics upgrade now, to save yourself the trouble of forking out twice. My own preferred approach to upgrading is "do it properly or not at all".

Whatever you buy, I'll say this now, so you won't be disappointed: don't expect big performance increases. As I said above, upgrading your graphics system will only make so much difference. You mentioned too that you're not much of a visuals guy, and are more of a performance guy. I should also warn you, bearing this in mind, that a graphics upgrade has greatest impact in the higher resolutions, and that if you want to increase performance in lower resolutions, the CPU is a far better component to upgrade. If you want, I can explain the resons for this in more detail.

I hope I'm not making you think "Christ, is it really worth upgrading if it's this complicated?", but I do feel that if someone asks for advice about upgrading, you should tell them as much as possible about the potential rewards and benefits (or lack thereof) as no-one should spend substantial sums of money like this without first being made aware of the possible pitfalls.

Hope that made sense. :)

01-16-2002, 09:59 AM
I'll put in my two cents.

If you are going to buy a card and hold on to it fro a while I would reccomend you get a directx 8 card.

Right now your only choices would be the Radeon 8500, GF3, GF3ti500, and GF3ti200.

If you upgrade cards often just get like a GF2ti or Radeon 7500.

01-16-2002, 01:54 PM
Thank you very much for all your input Ed. That made a lot of sense actually. What I might do is wait until JK comes out, see how it runs on my system, and go from there. See how people are doing with it, with their various setups, and then make a descision then. The main reason I want a T and L card is due to the fact that quite a few games are going to be supporting it, this spring i believe, and spring-summer is a big gamming time for me, what with school out and all. I'm gooing to do some more pricing, then try and play it easy til JK II comes out. BTW, if anyone can still help me with the question I asked earlier about SD vs DDR? Would it be wiser to go with 64 mb SD on board RAM or 32 mb DDR?

01-16-2002, 06:45 PM
That's okay, hope the input helped. I think you're very wise to hold off for the release of JK II before making a decision. You can chat to people on these forums and hear first-hand how well the game performs on different setups, and you'll even be able to find out whether there are compatability problems or driver issues with certain cards.

As to DDR vs SDRam, I really can't tell you without knowing more about the cards in question. It depends on stuff like how fast the RAM is clocked at on each board, etc. and it will vary a fair bit between different games as well. Games which need to cache large textures might perform better with the extra 32MB RAM, whereas older games with smaller texture sizes will probably get more performance out of the extra speed afforded by the DDR RAM. My advice is not to take the on-paper specs too seriously, but instead to take a look at some benchmarks to see how the cards stack up in real-world tests.

Nob Akimoto
01-16-2002, 07:01 PM

Why the overly complex blahblah scare the crap out of a non-techy stuff?

It's pretty easy to see how JO will perform just by looking at other Q3TA based engines.

A good comparasion would be to check RTCW performance(which probably is the most similar on the market in terms of detail level and engine revisions.)

DDR SDRAM nowadays is ALWAYS perferrable to standard single data rate, simply because the cards have a massive lack of bandwidth.

01-17-2002, 12:16 AM
I have a geforce 3 and I was pumping out a steady 90fps with everything on and at 1600-1200 res on Elite Force.

I have a g4 733 if that makes a difference.


01-17-2002, 01:00 PM
Nob Akimoto, nobody's trying to scare anybody... I already said I hope I'm not making anyone think twice about upgrading. I just feel it's much fairer on the guy to warn him of the limited benefits of putting a fast video card in a low-end machine, than to just say "oh yeah, buy a GeForce3 coz they're excellent". Everyday I read forums where I see people advising others to part with huge sums of cash for video cards or other components which are wildly disproportionate to the rest of their systems. Contrary to popular belief, upgrading isn't just a case of "stick in the fastest thing you can afford", and people constantly waste money by following this approach. As I said before, I don't mean to confuse anyone, and if I'm doing so, I'm sorry.

At the end of the day, as I said above, the only way to really find out how well different cards perform is to chat to people with similar setups to yourself and to look at some real-world benchmarks. Forget marketing hype and just look at the figures provided for you by experts who test hardware for a living.

<A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com">Tom's Hardware Guide</A> has some brilliant articles on budget cards, including <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic/01q2/010530/index.html">a round-up of the six best MX and MX400 cards on the market</A>, <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic/01q2/010625/index.html">a review of Gainward's GeForce2 MX400</A> and <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic/01q2/010425/index.html">a look at the Hercules Prophet 4500 Kyro II card</A>.

In addition, <A HREF="http://firingsquad.gamers.com">Firing Squad</A> has some excellent <A HREF="http://firingsquad.gamers.com/guides/">guides</A>, including some on how to choose components. In light of what I was saying above about the CPU possibly being a better component to upgrade than your graphics card, you might well want to check out the one entitled <A HREF="http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/fillratevscpu/default.asp">"Fillrate vs CPU"</A>, which explains everything you wanted to know about whether the CPU or graphics card is the better bet to upgrade. There are other guides which talk about Anti-Aliasing, Hardware T&L, etc. Everything is explained clearly and precisely, with plenty of graphs showing benchmark scores, and the articles don't assume a huge amount of technical knowledge on the part of the reader.

All I'm saying is, if you're going to part with your hard-earned cash, be sure to check out reviews from several different sites, read up on the benchmarks, and you can't go too far wrong. :)

Nob Akimoto
01-17-2002, 01:24 PM
Personally I've found THG to be a lot less user friendly and if anything a little too elitist/overbearing for my tastes. The quality of their articles have if anything plummeted over the last year and a half.

Most mainstream sites really don't help.

The most conchise upgrade option list I've seen was at Ace's with their XP Upgrade article.

It involved both switching vidcards, motherboards, just CPU's, and the whole nine yards.

I'm quite aware that there's a difference between the phallic performance symbol, and actual gains, but there also is a limit to saying "NO! Compare first!"

It certainly doesn't help matters when there's garbage like Anand's cut and pasted from articles books.

01-17-2002, 01:32 PM
A 32Mb Geforce 2 will run JK2 fine. When JK2 comes out Im going to geta GeForce 3 Ti and about a 21inch monitor.......even though my Geforce 2 runs max payne max graphics, so JK2 wont have any problems :)

01-17-2002, 07:41 PM
That's an excellent article, there, Akimoto. A great starting point for anyone looking to upgrade a system, and I recommend anyone reading this thread who's thinking of buying new hardware to give it a read first.

It's particularly good at explaining how important it is to balance the system and have components which work well together:

Yes, video cards are becoming more and more important for the gamer. Our benchmarks make it clear, however, that simply slapping in a faster video card does not always give you a good result...

...CPU power is still very important for 3D gamers. Remember if your video card slows down your frame rate, you can simply reduce the resolution and color depth, and still enjoy your favorite game. However, it much more difficult to solve a CPU power problem, because the best game designers develop games with high AI and superb physics. Most gamers can live with a little bit less eye candy, but good AI and realistic physics are the bare necessities of a good gaming experience...

Thanks for the link. :)


Also, while I personally like the Tom's Hardware Guide articles, I have to agree with you that they may not be to everyone's tastes.

01-18-2002, 02:45 PM
NOB........me old m8 :)

It's good to see yer moving into JKII. Yer prolly reading this going, who is this guy ?

Well.........a long time ago, a leader of a small but good XWA clan based in the UK asked how u install the NCA patch and missions.........Yes it was me :)

Just wanted to say thanx, again for making XWA that little bit more fun and welcome to JKII country.

Thank you all fer yer advice and help on this subject, I have ordered my Geforce 3 Ti500 and look forward to kicking ass.

01-23-2002, 01:58 AM
GeForce 3 + Quake 3 = eye-boggling.. I can run it at 1280x960 and pull 60fps no problem. Main thing to consider is your processor speed. To fully utilize the GF3 really should have at least a 1GHz cpu.

01-23-2002, 04:28 PM
geforce...geforce...geforce..blah...blah...blah! forget the geforce..get a radeon 8500. if you can't afford a retail 8500 then get a 8500 OEM! instead of being clocked at 275/275 like the retail, they are clocked at 230/230. download powerstrip and overclock it to 240/240. it runs great!!! they are even coming out with new drivers soon that will kill the gf3! i play rtcw on my 750 MHz machine and i never go below 20 fps on multiplayer. that is all i play anyway. the trueform make the charactes look AMAZING! the best part is.....you can pick one up for 150$ at pricewatch.com!!!!! that is a great deal man. you should go pick one up. i love mine and the drivers continue to make the card better and better

radeon owns geforce !!!! :)

01-23-2002, 05:34 PM
I agree with you waazzuupp :)
The ATI radeon 8500 is equal to or better then the geforce 3 and has better specifications although some areas the geforce 3 is better than the ATi radeon 8500 if you want to find a review/ test/ comparision of the two graphics cards and more guys check out
They have bench marks running both cards and more from what remember.
Please correct me if i am wrong.