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Geforce 3 Ti 500 report


I'm a bit late but I hope you enjoy my review of the Hercules 3D Prophet III Titanium 500 GeForce Ti 500. I won't go so much into it's features, as so many other reviews have done that. The two most important issues I will discuss in this article is Quincunx AA and Polygon Throughput. I have tested this card in many games and applications, and some of them with issues I have brought up.

Hardware and overclocking


Windows XP Pro
Asus P2B-DS (bios 1013 beta 5)
2x P3 800
Hercules Game Theater XP (drivers 4.10)


In an averagely ventilated case, I got it stable without any artifacts at
CORE: 240
RAM: 551

Driver issues

Lightwave 3D

OpenGL preview pane in modeler has artifacts and when moving wireframe viewpanes it flickers. This is fixed with drivers 23.11 and later. In Lightwave scene editor everything is fine. On another issue, complex objects are choppy when rotated and moved in the OpenGL viewpane. I don't know if this is because of the drivers or Lightwave 3D itself.

Quake 3

There was an "exit or change resolution and color depth hangs computer" issue. My workaround was to play in the resolution and color depth of my desktop, so Quake 3 don't change resolutions when I quit. With latest drivers (27.70, 28.32, 28.90) this issue is fixed.

Starship Troopers

It hangs in the menu with big black borders at top and bottom, but this is fixed with nVidia 1.1 patch. This is in Windows XP, as always.


Quake 3

I tested with these settings:

No marks on walls
Ejecting brass on
32bit color
32bit textures
Texture size max
Geometric detail max
Trilinear filtering
2x FSAA (multisampled)
(all other settings are at default)

With these settings I get 87FPS in demo four.dm_66 (pointrelease 1.30), which confirms my belief that we have more than enough fillrate power here.

3d Mark 2001

In this version of 3D Mark we have a High Polygon Count test that really "pushes" the current PC (and future if you take the GeForce 4 Ti 4600) hardware. What I mean by "push" is that both tests where choppy on this GeForce 3 Ti 500.

no Antialiasing, no Anisotropic Filtering and 1024@32 (default) resulted in 5115,
Compare at MadOnion GamersHQ

As you see from the results, the fillrate of this card is more than enough. We actually don't really need anymore fillrate! However, the Polygon Performance was very low, I only got 18.8Million Triangles/sec. That is expected when the theoretical Polygon Performance of this card is 31MTriangles/s, but also very dissapointing as the Playstation 2 which is a year older can do 60MTriangles/s.

I might seem as a a PS2 fan as I bring it forward and it's specs, but I am not (I'd rather have an X-Box). I push this issue because I want DOA3 level of graphics on the PC platform.

I found some strange values while testing different drivers:

Driver  1 light  8 lights
  21.83    18.7      3.7
  22.80    18.7      3.7
  23.11    18.1      3.7
  27.00     9.6      6.0
  27.10    10.3     10.5
  27.20     9.6      6.0
  27.70     9.5      6.0
  28.32    10.7      6.1 (WHQL certified)
  28.80    10.7      6.1
  28.90    10.6      6.1

This was with no Antialiasing or Anisotropic filtering, only 1024@32bit. The 27.10 drivers are very interesting, as they perform 10.5MTriangles/sec with 8 lights! But on the other hand after 23.11 performance takes a nose-dive with 50%, and the drivers only performans a measily 10MTriangles/sec. Very bad, when are we to see nice detailed 3D graphics on the PC when manufactorers decrease the performance?

3d Mark 2000

I ran the demo in 1024@32 bit with 4xMSAA, and it was smooth as a babys butt. Both edges and framerate. Not a skip, not a stutter, nothing. smooth smooth smooth. Kudos to nVidia for smooth drivers and powerful chip (except T&L performance of course, but 3D Mark 2000 don't push that part of the graphics card very much).

no AA and 1024@16 (default) resulted in 6107
no compare because I haven't been able to submit the results. The low score is expected with the Pentium 3 800MHz processor.



Very neat, and very smooth (not like a babys butt but pretty good) at 1024x32bit and 4xMSAA. Pictures will open in a new window so you can read along while they load.

As you can see in image #2, the edges are smooth but the textures are swimming and are imgelated. This is because Multi-Sampled AA is only antialiasing the edges, not the whole picture as Super-Sampled AA do. Therefore, speed is better (fillrate wise) but texture quality is lower. This could be improved with Anisotropic Filtering, but I couldn't enable it for Direct3D. Furthermore, only the background, or "cubemap" is fractiled (you can't see the tree behind the chameleons foot).

Heavy Metal FAKK 2

This game I used to capture the difference between the AA methods that the GeForce 3 offers. Let's take a look at Quincunx antialiasing:

As you see, it is making things rather blurry. I say that is a bad thing because we want better rendering quality when we buy a new graphics card, and this is doing just the oposite. Yes the edges are smooth, but wouldn't you rather play at 2xMSAA at a little higher resolution than this blurry option?

Some say just enable Anisotropic Filtering and it will be okay. Let's try that then:

Here we see a front wall gets blurred, but what about the ground?

Still blurring, albeit harder to notice in this example.

Another example. If you want the pictures click here (12MB).

2D Quality and TV out

2D Quality

In my resolution and freshrate of 1152 and 100Hz it's as good as my G400 MAX, very vibrant colors and sharp text. I can't tell the difference. Slightly noticably better than my old Elsa Gladiac Geforce 2 GTS, both in colors and sharpnes.

There are no 2D glitches in Windows XP with most latest drivers.

TV Out

Just as good as my Elsa Gladiac, maybe a little better? More flicker filtering options though, which results in a sharper and less blurred picture if you turn it a little down on 100Hz TVs. TV out drivers for my Elsa Gladiac (it uses philips 7102 TV encoder) was very unstable, but this card is stable. However there are graphics glitches with both rollcage 1 and 2, so there is still work to be done.

This was in windows 98 SE, as Rollcage 1 don't work and Rollcage 2 is choppy in windows XP.

More on the Quality, I found both my Elsa Gladiac and this card much better than my Matrox G400 MAX, so I guess G400's strong side isn't TV out.

So far I have been unable to resize the TV out picture using TV tool, but I hope it will be remedied soon. However I can make the picture fill the entire screen by choosing PAL (my TV does both NTSC and PAL) and fullscreen with TV Tool, works great for movies, but not for games. When will it be fixed? I fear maybe never.


Quincunx Blurry

What where they thinking? Blurrying down the image just to get the edges, no thanks I'd rather play at higher resolution and get much crisper textures and long-range detail. I am glad Quincunx ended with the GeForce 3.

Low T&L Performance

This is bad, the GeForce 3 Ti 500 was as expensive as a Playstation2 when I bought it but it's T&L power is 1/3rd of it. 18.8M versus 60M. I am aware the 60M is only theoretical and 3D objects polygons share vertices but still this is too low. If manufactorers keep ignoring T&L power, we will not see DOA3/Project Gotham level of detail in a long time.

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