Sonnet hacking project went into a new phase. Hedeon the author of this project developed a new powerpc.library that replaces sonnet.library which means patched software and drivers are NOT needed anymore. It means any classic system with WarpOS will be working with Sonnet card if you replace just one library.
Because my OS was full of patched libraries, drivers and binaries directly for sonnet.library I decided to make new OS from scratch, installed WarpOS, Mediator, P96, Warp3D and replaced powerpc.library. All went fine and I have full functional G3 in my classic Amiga.
Part4 will focus on comparison between two Amiga setups:
- Amiga 4000T, Cyberstorm PPC 604e/333 + 060/50 + 128 MB, CyberVision PPC
- Amiga 4000, Cyberstorm MK3 060/50 + 128 MB, Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3/500 + 128 MB, Voodoo4 4500
Both setups run the same software, same version of WarpOS and Warp3D. But they have different PowerPC model, different graphics card (Voodoo vs Permedia2), different graphics drivers (Picasso96 vs CybergraphX), different CPU accelerator connection (FastCPU slot vs PCI slot) and different RAM type (DRAM vs SDRAM). I will show not just the games and their framerates, but I will also compare setups in software rendering, video encoding, math and memory tests. PowerPC 604e is very powerful and unique procesor. G3 (PowerPC 750) came up after 604e, but surprisingly its not direct successor of 604e but its next generation of 603e (604e was dead end). So in my case I will not compare two related generations of PowerPC, but it does not matter (comparison between 603e with G3 may come later).
OK lets start with WhichAmiga summary of both systems:
Moving to first tests. Syspeed software will show us some basic PowerPC benchmarks (MIPS, MFLOPS and memory performance). Here is the result:
UltimatePPC is small benchmark showing math calculations (smaller = better):
Next comparison I made is video decoding. I began with AMP2 which is the best WarpOS MPEG2 player for Amiga. Testing file is in 360p (640×360).
AMP2 clearly showed Cyberstorm PPC is not able to play 360p mpeg2 smoothly and G3 rules here completely without single frame skipped.
When moved to powerpc.library good surprise was FroggerNG that started to work. So for me it was finally opportunity to check how MPEG4 xvid works and how fast it is. For testing purposed I converted one demoscene video into xvid in two resolutions 240p (428×240) and 360p (640×360). I tested videos in 24bit fullscreen, started with the bigger video in 360p and then 240p so you can see how it should run smoothly.
240p xvid video is fine for both as both have 0% skipped frames. Playing 360p xvid then showed big difference between both Amigas. Both couldnt run it smoothly, but G3 won the fight quite obviously. What I also noticed was the quality of the picture, Picasso96 screens looks way better then on CybergraphX and what I like also is the Picasso96 shows even 240p video stretched to fullscreen. So G3 on Picasso96 is the winner again.
Lets move to Warp3D benchmarking now. I will start with classic Warp3D demo called GearsPPC. This one has 3 performance modes as shown in the table below:
Next Warp3D testing was done with two demos made by Encore demoscene group (Sulaco and By Night). I run both demos in fullscreen 640x480x16bit.
You were probably mostly interested in real games comparison. I have 3 games tested for this purpose: Quake, Quake2, Heretic2. All 3 games were tested in software rendering mode and also in hardware (in case of Quake, I used from different ports Quake WOS and BlitzQuake 5.7).
Quake WOS is very well done WarpOS port. This software rendering only game was tested in two resolutions 320×240 and 640×480.
BlitzQuake is currently still developped Quake port with hardware rendering. I tested the latest version 5.7 in three resolutions 320×240, 640×480 and 800×600.
Quake2 from Hyperion is very good port supporting software and hardware. Tests were done on both rendering modes and in resolutions 320×240 and 640×480.
As you can see Quake2 on Sonnet in 640×480 is even faster then BlitzQuake.
Last game for performance comparison is Heretic2. Again its a very good Hyperion port supporting software and hardware rendering. This game uses enhanced Quake2 engine and its the most performance hungry game engine I tested in this article. I was testing Demo version (unpatched = blending problems on Permedia) and I am not sure if that is also problem of the games demo version, but timedemo command seems to be buggy here. Instead of faster move, it shakes during the timedemo play. Anyway the FPS result is fine. At the end of the demo you can see the demo play without timedemo enabled to see how smooth is the gameplay on both configurations.
Conclusion? Guys I love G3 in my Amiga and I wish someone will compile QUAKE 3 ARENA for WarpOS.