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View Full Version : G400 Gaming: W2k vs. NT4?



MikeMD
15th November 2000, 19:14
I got a G400 (SH, 32MB, OEM SDRAM model) some months back. I knew that the G400 wasn't a high-end gaming card, but was attracted by the supposed TNT2-level performance and for support in other OS's (BeOS in particular). I don't play 3D games much, but like to play an occasional game of Quake or Quake 3. Getting into Quake 3 recently, I am underwhelmed by the performance (timedemos for demo001 in the upper 20 fps range, depending on settings). By setting Quake 3 to run at 640x480 with most of the settings low to medium, I get it to be playable (around 30 fps). The rest of the primary machine specs follow:

Dual PII 450MHz
SuperMicro DBE motherboard (BX chipset)
192MB RAM

What I want to know is simple: how much would upgrading to Windows 2000 improve OpenGL gaming performance?

One of the moderators on Matrox's forums said that the W2k OpenGL ICD was the same as for NT4, but someone with similar machine specs (PIII instead of PII) said he got 50ish frame rates under W2k. I know the G400 is supposed to perform better with faster CPUs, but upgrading HW isn't really an option at this time. However, I intend to upgrade to W2k eventually (or Whistler if I wait too long). Should I upgrade sooner rather than later?

dZeus
16th November 2000, 01:38
I think your G400 is very limited by your CPUs.

On my system (P3-933), I get 88fps (timedemo demo001) in 640x480 with the 'normal' presets selected in q3a.

Oh, and I am running Win2k, but I doubt that Win2k gives higher framerates than Win9x on a G400 (yet). That would require even more driver optimizations for 2k.

[This message has been edited by dZeus (edited 16 November 2000).]

Gurm
16th November 2000, 05:43
Plus win2k is just faster overall, and you can run Q3 in SMP mode... which I'm not sure you can do in NT4.

- Gurm

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Pace
16th November 2000, 15:43
Have you tried enabling SMP in NT Mike? (r_smp 1 I think)

Paul.

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DosFreak
16th November 2000, 16:20
NT4 & NT5 Opengl are the same. D3D is a different story however. NT4 only has DX3 officially. You can hack in DX5 & 6 but your graphics card drivers don't support those higher DX'S. NT5 comes with DX7 and you can update to DX8.

MikeMD
21st November 2000, 07:44
Originally posted by Pace:
Have you tried enabling SMP in NT Mike? (r_smp 1 I think)

Paul.



Sorry for the late reply, my dial-up ISP service has been down since late last week. Grrr. Finally had to dig up my Murc forum password at home and post from my work connection.

Anyway, yes, I tried r_smp and it gave me a 4 fps boost (31.2 to 35.2 fps). Not a big numerical difference, but it definitely felt smoother. In fact, it felt pretty good. Unfortunately, the textures were corrupted a bit. :-(

Anyone know if the W2k drivers work ok (i.e. no texture corruption or other problems) with r_smp?

The moderators in Matrox's forums have said they their driver guys are supposedly working on adding support for SMP systems (though not actual multi-thread drivers). Is this the kind of stuff they might be working on?