3D Labs CT6610 Driver
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3D Labs CT6610 Driver
Permedia 2 3Dlabs can be proud 3D Labs CT6610 be among first gaming texture mapping 3d accelerator to the PC. However Gaming Glint was not very useful and did not gain the company any valuable 3D Labs CT6610. Next chip Permedia started only with OpenGL and other drivers for professional applications. Still their owners were among the lucky few of the time who could enjoy accelerated GlQuake.
When second generation Permedia arrived to the market in the fall of with support for both Direct3D and OpenGL, gamers were watching. It was quite an advanced chip with significantly higher per clock performance than first Permedia.
It kept high quality, high resolution output qualities of professional boards, and seemed further proof for the time. The card Nothing much to get excited about, Permedia 2 boards look simple, cost efficient.
Creative Labs 3D Labs CT6610 avoided first Permedia, but they came back to 3Dlabs for the second. Either my card is unlucky or Creative pushed this one to the max.
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From CT's 83 MHz 3D Labs CT6610 cannot gain more than two megahertz without running into artifacts. That's 3D Labs CT6610 there aren't overclocking results. Under the heatsink you would find Texas Instruments logo as well and the chip is also known under their codename as TVP The alliance continued, Permedia 2 integrates TI's MHz DAC technology with x32 bit texture lookup table supporting four and eight bit paletted textures.
Last generic Permedia 2 driver version from April is used. Even professional FireGL card doesn't look dangerous.
Clocks are a bit relaxed at 80 MHz. Pipeline queue, sideband addressing and direct texturing from system memory are supported. Triangle setup engine claims MFLOPS just like Delta, but unless it has separate clock domain it had to be redesigned for halved per 3D Labs CT6610 performance.
3Dlabs Permedia 2 review
3D Labs CT6610 pipeline itself is a mere evolution of first Permedia, again using 3d units as superset of 2d functions. Host accessible is also output FIFO 32 bits wide.
Smooth vertex shading in 16 bit color depth requires manually enabled "free" dithering. To my surprise Gouraud shading remained two cycle operation like with first Permedia, but geometry performance remains respectable.
Creative Labs Ct6610 Pci 3D Labs Permedia 2V Graphics Card
Subpixel precision can be selectively adjusted per polygon or even disabled to speed up rendering. Texture address 3D Labs CT6610 also properly handles perspective correction, however there is an option for less accurate division to avoid speed impact. In 3D Labs CT6610 case the correction is faster and more precise than with first Permedia. Addresses are then passed to texture read unit for fetching needed texels. Texturing unit is backed by cache sufficiently speeding up bilinear and even trilinear filtering, but mip mapping can still be 3D Labs CT6610 costly.
Four texture formats of 15 and 16 bit RGB A are supported, true color textures were for some reason disabled.
Additional LUT formats are available for 2d rendering as well. Fog unit applies linear interpolation per vertex with value calculated by host function and can reject 3D Labs CT6610 fogged fragments from plotting. Blending unit supports various logical functions, unfortunately additive texture blending needed in many advanced games is still unavailable.
Newly implemented optimization can skip frame buffer reads of pixels covered by 3D Labs CT6610 with alpha value of one.
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In the end dithering can adjust colors into final format and I did not always like what 3D Labs CT6610 stage does. Memory controller looks the same, but buffers in local memory now do not have to be allocated continously. Permedia 2 not only offers various masks like scissor, chroma and color component tests, but whole pipeline can be skipped and host can use direct access to local buffer for custom programs.
Texture colors in X often show excessive banding and dithering would only add annoying pattern to the mess. Specification 3D Labs CT6610 fillrate is halved when Z-buffering is used, but I checked it and doubt Z-buffer is the culprit here. In fact depth buffering can improve performance as one would expect from pipeline rejecting pixels failing hidden surface tests.
CT6610 Creative Labs Permedia 2 Graphic 3d PCI Card
There is no way depth buffering would eat half 3D Labs CT6610 memory bandwidth so what is the reason why Permedia stays behind the expected performance of highly parallel architecture? While it should have allowed single cycle 3d pixel performance I could not get significantly above results of two cycle-like speed no matter how many features were disabled, 3D Labs CT6610 shading included.
This riddle remains to be solved. However these figures do not take into account any following expensive operation depth test can save, like texture mapping.