Welcome to my 3rd part of the Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 demonstration in Amiga. This part will be far more entertaining than the previous two. This time I will show you the real power of the G3 together with Voodoo card. Both CPU including memory an GPU cards utilize PCI bus so they can communicate much faster (theoretical max 132 MB/s) then Zorro3 trhough buster (13,5 MB/s).
Unfortunately I couldnt use my own Voodoo4 for the demonstration videos because I recetly borrowed it to my friend for emergency case. So I made the demonstration videos on my spare Voodoo3 and I could compare it with conclusion that the Voodoo3 and Voodoo4 are providing similar performance and in some tests Voodoo4 is slightly better.
There are few games and demos which utilize hardware accelerated graphics. Lets start with well known benchmark for Warp3D – GearsPPC.
This benchmark provides 3 options selected by numeric keys:
 = Silver gear (spinning of the detailed 3D gears model)
 = Gold gear (less detailed 3D model then silver one = faster)
 = Both gears (most complex test)
[F] = realtime framerate calculation
Next I will demonstrate two demos by Encore group Sulaco and By Night. Both demos are very nice (music, graphics, execution, design) and most what is most important in this case – well coded – so they run flawlessly on accelerated gfx board equipped Amiga.
|Name of the demo||FPS per each scene|
|By Night (Voodoo3)||32||31||31||22||29||25||49||30||32|
|By Night (Voodoo4)||34||32||32||29||31||27||50||31||32|
Lets move on games. Several well known ported games and some origin games utilize graphics acceleration. First game I would mention is Quake, actually BlitzQuake which has been recently optimized and development is still in progress. Sonnet developer modified WarpOS version 5.6 which is very stable and allows to play Quake mods like Omicron (multiplayer/bot), Malice (total conversion), Hypnotic, QuakeRally, etc… Benchmark used for this game is timedemo demo1 in 320×200 and 640×480. Results below the video:
|BlitzQuake 320x200x16||84,7 fps|
|BlitzQuake 640x480x16||47,3 fps|
|BlitzQuake 800x600x16 (see update at the end of article)||29,0 fps|
What a surprise – next in line is Quake2 – well known title released when PC 3D accelerated era just begun and this game was one of first games to take full advantage of this technology. Official Amiga port made by Hyperion works very stable on any Amiga with graphics card based on Permedia2 or Voodoo chipset. Running this game on Sonnet moves the gameplay to another level. Recorded video shows slightly less framerate on Voodoo3 in comparison what I used to see on my Voodoo4. I will check it later, but still 30 fps is good enough.
|timedemo 1 demomap demo1.dm2|
|Quake2 640x480x16 (Voodoo3)||29,6 fps (strange! should be more, will check it later…)|
|Quake2 640x480x16 (Voodoo4)||43,6 fps (tested about month ago)|
Lets change a genre and check game called Wipeout 2097. This one was probably the first PowerPC+Warp3D commercial game ever released for Amiga and it was running quite well even on the low-end Blizzards PPC. Wipeout is not just a port PC game. Amiga version features many new options released only for this platform such as changing view distance (clipping), fogging, gamma correction, filtering options, level of details, etc… which can be changed real-time during the gameplay with F1-F10 keys. My problem in that time was lack of graphics board so I could just test the game on my friends Amiga equipped with BVision PPC. Then I forgot about the game completely because I preferred first person shooters and realtime strategy games. Anyway now Wipeout is ported to Sonnet and I think I will give it a try this time because the game runs really very smoothly 30-50 fps.
Heretic 2 is the last game I will demonstrate today. As I mentioned in my previous article part2 I used to play this game on very low-end Blizzard PPC with AGA in SW rendering in about 10-15 fps which would be today absolutely beyond imagination. But hey I was happy in that days and my only problem were the bosses at the end of every level who used lot of magic what took the framerate down to 5 fps. Then it was quite challenging ;o) Anyway with Sonnet version I enjoy absolutely different game. I can even focus on a nice level design, meeting with bosses does not mean framerate handicap now and I can imagine with Sonnet I wouldn’t be so much easily hunted victim in deathmatches.
Maybe you are missing some major game title here and you are right. Games like ADescent, Descent Freespace, Payback, Shogo either does not work well on my setup or they are still not well optimized. Also only few “early” Warp3D demoscene productions work fine (I mean these were mostly programmed during the Permedia2 only era). But things are slowly and surely moving forward and sonnet library has been already updated more then 200 times and author keeps going. One day we may have all PowerUP and WarpOS stuff compatible with Sonnet Crescendo G3/G4 cards just like our Blizzards and Cyberstorms PPC.
OK this is the end for today part. If you think this is all what Sonnet on Amiga can offer you, then you are wrong. What to look forward in 4h episode – you will see emulators in action and some other stuff. Stay tuned stay Powered ;o)
Some of you were disapointed I did not test higher resolutions then 640×480. Honestly 1024×768 is very unstable with Warp3D and even sometimes 800×600 does graphical glitches (at least on my configuration, cannot say this about others). Anyway I tested 800×600 with BlitzQuake (timerefresh = 57 fps, timedemo demo1 = 29 fps) and Heretic2 (timerefresh = 35 fps).