the new Formac
ProFormance 3 compare to the Orion RAGE 128 and 3Dfx
First Posted 9/15/99.
© 1999 Rob Art Morgan, editor of BARE FEATS
First, some 2D tests...
bar means fastest in each test)
Next, some 3D tests...
(orange bar means
fastest in each test)
It's significant to
note that both the Orion and ProFormance are capable of running in
32 bit mode in UNREAL without any significant speed penalty.
Voodoo2 & 3 are limited to 16 bit. Ironically, the Voodoo
boards make the game look better in 16 bit than the NON-Voodoo
cards do in 32 bit.
Wow! I was amazed at the 2D speed of the ProFormance,
especially in a "bus-speed-challenged" Power Mac 7500. The 3D
speed was impressive, too. I can't wait to see what it does with
OpenGL, once they release those drivers.
Related ProFormance 3 vs
If those prove stable, it
could replace the ATI RAGE 128 as the "best all around" graphics
board. Here's a thought: How about a ProFormance 3 coupled with a
Voodoo2 board since they can share the same monitor?
Test Configurations &
MicroConversions Game Wizard
3Dfx 2000 PCI
Formac ProFormance 3
- The test computer was a Power Mac
7500 with an Interex XLR8 CarrierZIF running a 400MHz G3 ZIF.
Photoshop scrolling test was
run using 4.0.1
DEMO (120MB App size), a 30MB
test document, and a stop watch. Results were rounded to the
nearest half second. The scroll
test was done at 400% zoom; scroll arrow held down while scrolling
from top to bottom
- For the WordPerfect
3.5.3 scrolling test, I
created a 120 page document containing the sentence "The Quick
Brown Fox Jumped Over The Lazy Dogs" repeated over and over in
paragraphs of 8 sentences each in 14 point Times font. Using a
stopwatch, I timed how long it took to scroll from the beginning
to the end of the document while holding the mouse button down
with cursor over the scrolling arrow. (Font smoothing was turned
off. If it's on, it will take you 50% longer to scroll through a
- MacBench 5.0 Publishing Graphics
test was done with the display set to 1152 x 870 x
5.0 is one of the few
benchmark applications that closely simulates "real world" usage.
You need the CD-ROM to run the Graphics tests. It only costs $5 to
- I particularly enjoy using
3D to test since it exercises
all subsystems of the Macintosh. The test used was the Castle
Flyby that comes up at startup. I set the Fullscreen Viewport to
800 x 600 by editing the "unreal.ini" document. Note the Voodoo
boards don't support 32 bit. Ironically, the Voodoo 16 bit screen
quality blows away the others in 32 bit mode. To get the average
and minimum frames per second with version 2.x.x of Unreal, you
press "~" and enter "TIMEDEMO 1." Then press "~" to open up the
full screen again. It begins the fly sequence at the castle
entrance. (Get the latest latest
UNREAL Beta from Westlake's
is not as interesting and taxing to the Macs as it used to be.
Quake 2 would be better if I had OpenGL drivers for the
Proformance 2. The "frames per second" ratings were obtained by
starting up the game, pressing the "~" key, then entering
"TIMEDEMO DEMO1" followed by RETURN and another "~" once the demo
started. The average frame rate is displayed at the bottom of the
screen at the end of the demo. Game Resolution was set to 800 x
600. Other options were set to Flames ON, Filtering ON, Shadows
ON, Skip Lines OFF, Double Pixels OFF.
2 was run in 800 x 600 mode.
For Voodoo2 and Voodoo3 to work in OpenGL mode, it requires a
special version of the "ref_gl.lib" from Mesa3DGraphics
in the Quake 2 folder. It also requires a document called
"Mesa3DGraphicsLibQuake2" (version 3.1b8 or later) to be placed in
the Quake 2 folder.
A big THANK YOU
for the use of the ProFormance 3
for the use of the
Orion RAGE 128
for use of the Voodoo3 card $85.
for the use of the CarrierZIF G3/400.
for best prices on these and other products.
Or go see more Speed
© 1999 Rob Art Morgan, editor of
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