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Fastest NuBus Video Card for 68k Macs?

TylerEss

Well-known member
Actually, although scrticly OT, the video on the 840av is blooming stonkingly quick too
I'd cry if an accelerated video chip that sits right next to the CPU bus wasn't stonkingly fast. :)

+1 it rocks.

 

Unknown_K

Well-known member
840AV video does rock, except for its low VRAM. Quadras in general should have had 4MB VRAM as an option and hardware that could keep the data flowing at those high refresh/video settings.

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
This is a great thread for the Peripherals Forum and needs to be continued and expanded upon, IMHO. I'll be posting some links to the other VidCard threads that we have scattered about the barracks. Discussion about, and pics of, Cosmo's recently acquired Radius Le Mans GT has pushed me back into recurring VidCard OCD Mode once more.

Jeff, if you could get this ball rolling again I, and the rest of the gang, would greatly appreciate it! [;)] ]'>

Meanwhile, any additional information about the LeMans GT or the Radius/SuperMac Thunder II series would also be much appreciated.

Practical experience of comrades with the NuBus VidCards introduced at the time of the Quadra to x100 PPC transition, especially Drivers and OS compatibilities, would be most enlightening. I've been trying to piece together available information from the Compatibility/Resolution Matrices compiled by gamba and the LowEndMac Video Card Articles. So far I've come up with a lot more questions than answers.

Areas to research for compilation of an updated/expanded VidCard Information Matrix:

1) A VidCard TimeLine overlay for a CPU Timeline (SCSI Card, Video Capture Card, Sound Card, etc. along with PDS Card overlays for same would really rock)

1) Refresh Rate availability at all resolutions of NuBus Video Cards would be most helpful, especially so for determining 60Hz LCD compatibility.

2) NuBus Block Transfer capability would be another important row to to populate, especially for Radius Rocket performance. Additional applications for NBBT?

From applefritter: nubus video compatible with G3 upgrades in...

From MacGurus: PDS Video Card Adapter

I'll add more as thoughts arise, suggestions more than welcome! :approve:

 

olePigeon

Well-known member
In my list of coveted video cards are:

Villagetronic MacPicasso 340

Sonnet Crescendo Sonata Pro 24

SuperMac Thunder II GX 1600

Radius Thunder IV GX 1600

RasterOps Horizon 24

I believe the Sonnet card is just a rebadged Villagetronic.

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Yep, just read that somewhere in my searching today and someone mentioned it recently in another thread.

There was an interesting bit in the section of the Radius Q&A about the Apple Hardware Test always reporting VRAM as bad on any second source Video Card. It also suggested using a different testing utility than Apple's(?) for Video Performance, which is weighted toward functions other than those leading people to have payed more for a High End Video Card than they would have spent for the target Mac.

That's probably the same utility that shows MoBo Video performance besting those same High End Video Cards. MoBo Video never stretched resolutions for 24bit Color and MuscleCards aren't optimized for the tasks the standard utilities run at lower resolutions and lower color depths.

 

ClassicHasClass

Well-known member
For all its compatibility gaffes, though, the GC is still an awesome video card if you can run it. I hoard them for my '030 systems.

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
I take it you're hoarding the Apple Display Card 8•24GC for you '030s? I'd like to get one and try it with an Apple Display Card 8•24 in my IIfx.

It's interesting that LEM tested these cards under 7.5.5, when 7.5.1 is spec'd by the Radius Q&A as the last NuBus OS unpolluted by PCI support, making it the best OS for running NuBus Cards in your '030 toys, Quadras or the x100 series. That's what I'm running on my IIfx. I wonder how much that tweak would have affected NuBus VidCard performance in their reviews?

I'll be downgrading the 7.5.5 install on my Radius 81/110 to 7.5.1 at the highest, depending on the high end limit of VideoVision Studio's requirements.

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Those are interesting IC packages, I haven't found a single one of my PCI VidCards yet that uses them and none of my NuBus Cards have them on board. I know I've seen them before, maybe as RAM packaging instead of VRAM. I'll keep looking . . . and start searching when I get a chance.

I've finally gotten a 17GB U160 up as and formatted as a second or third HDD on the 81/110's internal SCSI bus. If I can find the bloody media that came with my full 7.5 package I'll be set for benchmarking some Card/OS combinations on the Radius and the IIfx. I'll use the same HDDs as the boot drive for both.

Maybe I should I repartition the U160 for installing both operating systems for the benchmarking? [}:)] ]'>

 

trag

Well-known member
Jeff, if you could get this ball rolling again I, and the rest of the gang, would greatly appreciate it! [;)] ]'>
I really don't have much to add other than:

Radius didn't buy E-Machines as stated at the bottom of the article. I can't believe that I wrote that paragraph, as I've always known better. Oh well, I've had brain farts on more obvious stuff too.

SuperMac bought E-Machines. Then, a year or so later, Radius bought SuperMac.

The statements about the Radius Thunder IV GX and Villagetronic 340 come from extensive testing that Kaye Yum and I did back in the mid - late 90s. However, I don't think that either one of us had a Radius LeMans GT to try. That card does look an awful like it has the same components as a Thunder 24/GT.

Kaye and I also found that the PDS video (VRAM card, not AV card) on the x100 series NuBus Power Macs is faster than those two NuBus cards for functions that require high frame rates.

So, the NuBus cards were faster for many business-like operations where QuickDraw acceleration could be a benefit, with the Radius winning some operations, and the Villagetronic winning others. But the X100 VRAM card beats everything in Marathon frame rates.

I think we did most of our testing with MacBench 4 or 5. It has a really huge suite of graphics tests.

In my list of coveted video cards are:
Villagetronic MacPicasso 340

Sonnet Crescendo Sonata Pro 24

SuperMac Thunder II GX 1600

Radius Thunder IV GX 1600

RasterOps Horizon 24

I believe the Sonnet card is just a rebadged Villagetronic.
Yep, what you said. The first two are the same card, I think. Unless the Sonnet card was the 320 instead of the 340, but it was definitely a Villagetronic card under Sonnet's name.

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Framerates, schramerates! [}:)] ]'> I'm in the habit of employing NuBus VidCards for the highest 16 and 24bit resolutions I can get when I'm using Illustrator as a CAD package for the CAM part of my vinyl graphics cutting setup.

When you say "VRAM Card," are you saying the PDS Card disables/enhances MoBo Video? :?:

edit: WHEW!!!!! :beige: Got home for lunch and tested this, I've got extended desktop, the MoBo's putting out 16" @ 8bit and I haven't tried anything but my universal adapter cable on the PDS card yet, so that's stuck at 640x480x24bit for the nonce. Maybe I can get higher capacity VRAM cards for the MoBo Video? Dunno, but MacPortrait 16"@8bit will be fine for the Menu Bar and palettes on the upended ViewSonic G810 on the right side when I'm running a 1600x1200x24bit workspace on the Front-n-Centered PrecisionView 2150. [:D] ]'>

Ya just gotta love the Radius 81/110's DA-19 Video Out Connector.

 

trag

Well-known member
When you say "VRAM Card," are you saying the PDS Card disables/enhances MoBo Video? :?:
The VRAM card doesn't affect Logic Board video at all.

The X100 NuBus PowerMacs all shipped with two monitor outputs.

One was the logic board video, which uses main system RAM for it's VRAM, is very limited in resolutions, is slow, and slows down the whole system because of RAM access conflicts.

The other output was either the A/V card or the HPV card (what I called VRAM card earlier).

The A/V card provided some video in/out capability and was kind of sucky performance-wise. It shipped in the NuBus PowerMacs with the "AV" suffix.

The HPV card, which shipped in the non-AV PowerMacs was basically just a fast frame-buffer, but it sits on in the PDS slot of the Mac, and it's really, really fast.

The HPV card that shipped with the 8100, the Radius NuBus machines, and the Power Computing Power 80/100/120 machines, has 2 MB of VRAM soldered down and has sockets for another 2 MB of VRAM. 4 MB of VRAM will give you a pretty nice range of resolutions and color depth.

The HPV card in the 7100 and 6100 only had 1 MB of VRAM soldered down and was expandable to 2 MB. It's much less nice.

Of course, by this time, when you find a 6100/7100/8100 or clone, there's no telling which HPV card will be installed. The cards have had loads of time in which to move around.

Oh, one interesting bit about the Power Computing version of the HPV card. It was just like Apple's 2/4 MB version, expect it had connectors for both Macintosh and VGA style monitors. There was a little switch on the card for choosing the active connector. So, if you find an HPV card with two monitor connectors, it is one of the Power Computing cards. And no, you can't use both connectors at once.

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Interesting, one of mine is empty and the other one has 4 256k VRAM SIMMs, limiting it to 16"@24bit and 16bit fot 19" & 21" resolutions.

Looks like I'll be looking for VRAM SIMMS! :D

 

CelGen

Well-known member
8/24GC's supposedly had an an exclusive speed boost when used in the IIfx. If you can find and afford one you should go with that. I've been using a RasterOps 8/24 XLi and it's been a good fast performer for the IIfx under 7.1.

The Thunder IV's are horribly overhyped.

 

NJRoadfan

Well-known member
Looking thru my pile of Nubus I found two video cards. First one is a SuperMac Thunder II 1152 with GX DSP addon and the other is a Radius Precision Color 8-24X (256k 8-bit version since it has open VRAM slots). I can tell you the Radius card doesn't get along with A/UX when it was installed in my IIci.

 

volvo242gt

Well-known member
Got the Spectrum 8/24 PDQ+ that was in my ci in the fx. It's at least as fast as the VampireVid on the ci's motherboard. When said card was in the ci, it was mind numbingly slow. Nothing's changed, except for the case, power supply, RAM, and motherboard between the two computers' configurations when I switched.

-J

 
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