System Benchmarks Using Quake 2


Pentium Pro 200 w 256k cache
SuperMicro P6DNF motherboard
128 MB RAM
Diamond Stealth 2000 3D graphics card (4MB)
Diamond Monster I 3D accelerator (4 MB)
Creative Labs 3D Blaster Voodoo2 (12 MB)


Windows ‘95 OSR2
Windows NT 4.0 w/SP3
3Dfx Gold Drivers (RC3)
Updated miniGL driver
Quake 2 v 3.14 - 225 meg install
All settings default except sound disabled.

On the following charts, I’ve graphed the performance of Quake 2 on my system, using software only, the Monster 3D, and the Voodoo2. The only things that I’ve disabled for my benchmarks are sound and vsync, to remove the possiblity that sounds loading up, or the refresh rate of the monitor might affect the benchmarks. I’ve even set my system BIOS back to its default values to emulate a more ‘average’ system..

I am considering overclocking my system to 233 or 250, and will update these tables accordingly if I do so, keeping both the old scores, and the new as well. One other little item of note, the Ppro 200 runs at about the equivalent of a PII 233, so if you’ve got a plain Pentium 200 and these settings seem higher than yours, this is probably why.


I’ve included seperate results for both Demo1, Demo2, and Massive1, to give you an idea of the levels of performance you can expect at different levels of CPU load. While the Voodoo2 is less dependant on the processor as the Voodoo1 was, its performance is still linked to how fast the CPU can pre-process the geometry before sending it on to the 3Dfx chip for rendering.

While I may not have a super hot machine anymore, you can see that even with what I have, the frame rate never drops below about 34, which in my opinion is pretty damn smooth (about 4x faster than software, and about 2x faster than the Voodoo1). I expect frame rates to jump approx another 20% if I overclock my system to 233.

3Dfx will be producing new Glide drivers in mid year that will support a process known as 'strips and fans'. Without getting into gory detail, this should provide a tremendous performance boost.

Notice the frame rates for the Voodoo1 between NT and 95. For some reason, the Voodoo1 ran slightly faster under ‘95. I ran these tests several times, so I’ll take the results to be accurate. My only explanation is that the 95 Glide drivers must be better optimized than the NT drivers. However in software mode and on the Voodoo2, NT posts slightly higher frame rates than 95 at the same resolution, every time, in some cases, on the order of 10%.

I have tested other accelerated 3D games that I own, but unfortunately, haven't found a way to either display their frame rate, or to run the programs through a consistent scripted process (ala timedemo) to give you accurate and consistent frame rate readings. All I can say is that, visually, all of the games and demos that I have run, run much better than they did under either software (duh!), or the Voodoo1. The playable CD Forsaken demo did run fairly consistently on the Voodoo2 at 70-75 frames per second at 640x480 will all graphics options turned on.

Compatibiltiy Issues

While some problems have surfaced with the Voodoo2 regarding compatibility (notice I said Voodoo2, not Creative Labs, all the compatibility issues would crop up with *any* Voodoo2 board, since they're software/driver related), others have gone away. I never was able to run Longbow 2 properly with the Voodoo1, it kept mapping MFD’s to the surrounding landscape (this is a known driver issue with EA/Janes). After installing the Voodoo2, all the graphic glitches and such went away in LB2, go figure...

Hopefully, all the driver related issues should be cleared up in a couple of weeks (or even by the time you read this), as 3Dfx and most of the game companies affected are putting in major efforts to smooth out compatibility issues.

You can get all the latest compatibility news at Operation 3.D.F.X.'s Voodoo2 FAQ.

I must commend all of the folks at both 3Dfx and Creative Labs for putting in such hard work through nights and weekends updating both the software, and us via the web and newsgroups to make sure that we have the best damned gaming experience that we can. I only hope that Diamond finally gets their act together, stops their silly mud slinging, and gets behind the ball to give its customers the same wonderful service that Creative Labs has.

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