PC 3D Graphics Accelerators FAQ

v 1.2
19 March 1996

WARNING: These pages are out of date!

We are working on new ones, which will be posted in the next few weeks. We are radically changing the layout, to provide concise information and rely heavily on pointers to email, web and phone contacts at the companies.


I am in the process of creating a new system for maintaining this FAQ. If it is up, you can go here to have a look and give me feedback.

Please bear with us.


Changes and additions to <bm AT cs.columbia.edu>

This document provides a partial -- and not comprehensive -- list of 3D graphics accelerators for PCs. In particular, I am interested in PCI-based accelerators. You can help make it more comprehensive by sending me additional information and/or updates. This information is abstracted and condensed from the posts of many different contributors. No guarantees are made regarding its accuracy.

The original motivation for this document came from a list of accelerators compiled by Chris Hinch, Management Information Systems, Dunedin City Council, PO Box 5045, Dunedin, New Zealand (chris@dcc.govt.nz)

Here are some 3D accelerator related Web sites:

If you have or know of a 3D accelerator related site, please email it to me.


Contents of Part 1

Contents of Part 2


The original motivation for compiling this list was to compare the features of various 3D graphics accelerators becoming available for microcomputers. In particular, I am interested in PCI-based cards which support OpenGL under Windows NT, Linux, Solaris x86 (none yet!), etc. and support stereo head mounted displays. (In fact, of the currently available boards, only one qualifies. See if you can figure out which one.)

Information which falls in that category will obviously be more complete. Other information will be included if someone sends it to me, but I won't be actively researching it myself. As such, there is little or no information right now about 3D accelerators for high-end machines such as those produced by SGI, Sun, HP, DEC, etc, except as the ones listed may also work in those machines.


I haven't seen or used many of these cards, and all figures are the manufacturers own, as near as I can verify. I am not promoting any one card or company over any other. Any anecdotes, speed comparisons, etc., that I collect will be included on a purely informational level. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Of course, I will not include anything I do not believe or know to be false.

No representation is made as to the accuracy of these figures/technical specs. If you are going to buy/bet the farm/otherwise invest in one of these products, CONTACT THE MANUFACTURER first and make sure that what you want is what you'll get!!!


All trademarks etc are copyright of their respective owners etc. etc.

Furthermore, many of these boards are not yet available, so you should find out delivery dates before getting your heart set on any given one.

Section I: Frequently Asked Questions

[return to index]

Q01) Are there any 3D graphics accelerators for PCs?

I'm glad you asked. There are quite a few, with more coming out all the time. See the rest of this document for more information.

(Ok, it's a stupid question, but I needed something in the FAQ section)

Q02) How does the performance of these cards compare to graphics workstations such as those produced by SGI, Sun, DEC, etc?

This question is difficult to answer because there are so many factors affecting the overall 3D performance on a PC. Most importantly, while many of the boards listed below have impressive numbers in terms of maximum number of polygons/second, most only accelerate rendering. What this means is that you are still bounded by the speed at which your processor can transform a 3D data stream to a 2D perspective with lighting and material effects and then ship these numbers over the bus to the graphics card. So, the processor, processor speed, bus type and speed, software design, etc., all effect the final throughput. Thus, a board may perform differently on two different machines that have the same "specs" (ie. 90Mhz Pentium, PCI bus) if the bus was designed differently, or if there are other cards on the bus taking up bandwidth.

What is really needed is a set of comprehensive benchmarks that give some more realistic numbers about the various combinations of hardware. The NCGA (National Computer Graphics Association) GPC (Graphics Performance Committee) (comprised of the major vendors along with UNC and SDSC) is an organization primarily concerned with developing benchmark standards and performance characterizations for graphics hardware.

Check out


for information about the GPC activities.

Unfortunately, the GPC Quarterly is about US$200/year, which is beyond my budget. Thus, to get their benchmark results, you'll have to talk to them. However, the benchmarking tool they use to measure OpenGL performance, called Viewperf, is available for free. From the README that comes with Viewperf:

    What is this Thing Called 'Viewperf'
    Rob Putney, OPC Vice Chairman
    Viewperf is a portable OpenGL performance benchmark program 
    written in C. It was developed by IBM.  Viewperf provides a vast amount of 
    flexibility in benchmarking OpenGL performance.  At the current time, 
    the program runs on most implementations of UNIX, Windows NT, and OS/2.
    The OpenGL Performance Characterization (OPC) Committee has endorsed 
    Viewperf as its first OpenGL benchmark and results 
    were first published using it in 4Q94 version of The GPC Quarterly.
    OPC member companies have ported the Viewperf code to their operating
    system and window environments.  The OPC Committee maintains a single
    source code version of the Viewperf code that is available to the 

In future versions of this FAQ, performance measurements will be added in another section at the end. Stay tuned. If you have any measurements using Viewperf, please send them to me (bm AT cs.columbia.edu)

Viewperf can currently be obtained from


If that directory does not work, try looking on the OpenGL home page at
which should contain a pointer to ViewPerf.

Q03) What are all the features, anyway?

Many of the features discussed in the 3D graphics card brochures may not be meaningful to people not already familiar with 3D graphics. Z-buffering, quadratic texture mapping, gouraud shading, fog, etc., are new to many people. However, in the interest of time and space, I am not going to discuss them here. For a comprehensive introduction, refer to a 3D graphics textbook, such as "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice" by Foley, van Dam, Feiner and Hughes.

Section II: 3D Chipsets available now or in the near future.

There are numerous 3D chipsets being worked on, but these 2 happen to be the ones I have detailed information both on the chips and on boards built using them. If I get more information on other chips, I will include them here.

[return to index]

CS01) 3DLabs GLINT 300SX

First, a comment about the GLINT 300SX chip, which I will make because it was not clear to me when I first read their specs. They mention texture mapping acceleration, but on the 300SX texture maps are held in host memory and per pixel information is sent to the chip which performs the necessary interpolations and applications. For the upcoming 300TX, the texture maps are held in local memory on the graphics card (the "localbuffer") and the host just sends per vertex information to the chip which performs all the texture mapping calculations.

Information on the 300SX can be obtained from the 3DLabs home page at

or by sending email to info@3Dlabs.com.

The technical specs below were copied directly from the page


GLINT 300SX Overview

The GLINT 300SX high performance graphics processor combines workstation class 3D graphics acceleration and state-of-the-art 2D performance in a single chip.

GLINT is capable of processing 300,000 shaded, depth buffered and anti-aliased polygons/second. The chip provides complete 32-bit color, 2D and 3D acceleration, an on-chip PCI-compliant local bus interface and integrated LUT-DAC control, making a complete graphics subsystem possible with minimal chip count.

All the rendering operations of OpenGL are accelerated by the GLINT 300SX, including Gouraud shading, depth buffering, anti-aliasing, alpha blending, and texture mapping.





GLINT 300SX Graphics Architecture

The GLINT 300SX delivers 3D and GUI rendering functionality to improve the performance and quality of graphics applications and APIs.

The unique hyper-pipelined architecture and 112-bit memory datapath ensure that multiple rendering operations can be combined with no performance penalty - allowing a Gouraud shaded polygon to be processed just as fast when depth buffering, dithering and anti-aliasing are enabled.


The 64/32-bit framebuffer controller directly interfaces to VRAM or DRAM framebuffers and supports a wide range of pixel depths, resolutions and memory sizes - enabling systems to be tuned to meet specific price/performance targets.


The localbuffer holds optional off-screen information for each pixel including; depth (Z) values, stencil data, arbitrary window clip planes, plus a control field for fast window clearing. The format for each field is user defined, up to a maximum of 48 bits.


An internal timing generator and VRAM transfer controller are incorporated into the GLINT 300SX processor. Advanced systems requiring overlays, stereo, interlace or very large framebuffers can be supported using an external timing generator.


The GLINT 300SX's on-chip shared framebuffer interface is a fully integrated implementation of S3's interface, allowing GLINT to use video and multimedia co-processors, or for the GLINT to be used as a 3D coprocessor to an S3 device.


The GLINT 300SX is the first of a family of GLINT graphics processors that are designed to meet the demands of the graphics designer. The GLINT300TX, is a second generation pin compatible processor that enhances the SX's texture capabilities - supporting local texture storage and pixel address generation for all OpenGL texturing modes.

NOTICE: 3Dlabs reserves the right to change the above specifications without notice.

From looking at the various boards, it appears that typical performance quotes are in the following range:

[return to index]

CS02) Lockheed Martin Real3D

Information on the Lockheed Martin Read3D chipset was obtained from their WWW server at the following URL:


Check there for more information, or call 1-800-393-7730, or send email to real3d@mmc.com.

The following is taken from a press release found at that site:

The REAL3D(tm) chipset is based on real-time computer image generation technology that gives a combination of dynamic response and realism previously available only on dedicated graphics workstations and high end custom image generators.

The first product will be the R3D/100 graphics accelerator. Key performance attributes of the new chip set include an embedded 100 MFLOPS geometry processor, pixel write rates of up to 33 million pixels per second, up to 750,000 polygons per second, line processing up to 1.5 million per second, and provides up to 192 color texture maps (128 x 128 mipmapped) in real-time.

The new product is an outgrowth of Lockheed Martin's proprietary computer graphics technology previously used in high performance military simulation, engineering research and training applications first developed for astronaut training and military flight simulators.

The chip set provides faster processing through its patented hardware design which incorporates geometry processing, rasterization and texture mapping. The R3D/100 embedded floating point geometry processor removes significant processing burden from the host CPU. The patented texture processor applies color mipmapped texture to polygons in true 3D corrected perspective.

Designed as a true polygon processor with texture processing and scaleable texture memory from the outset, the R3D/100 chip set includes dedicated hardware acceleration of mipmapped texturing that provides continuous high fidelity image quality. This chip set simulates spotlights, fog and realistic curved surfaces. Additionally, improved image quality is provided with multi-pass anti-aliasing.

The R3D/100 chip set directly interfaces with Microsoft 3D/DDI and supports all 3D/DDI-compliant APIs, such as OpenGL(tm) and comes with device driver software and a device driver kit.

[return to index]

CS03) S-MOS SPC1500 3D Graphics Geometry Processor

S-MOS Systems is offering the industry's first commercially available single chip 3D geometry accelerator for the PC marketplace.

The SPC1500 will work together with any 3D rendering processors to accelerate 3D graphics up to 300K+ lighted triangles per second.

Why is geometry processing acceleration important?
Rendering processors alone, even on Pentium class machines, can not deliver true workstation class performance. This is because even the fastest CPUs today are quickly overcome by the amount of algorithmic processing necessary to transform a 3D data stream to a 2D perspective with lighting and material effects.

The SPC1500 integrates a 150Mflop dual floating point engine, an on-chip DMA processor, on-chip ROM to store the algorithm instruction set, and an on-chip RAM cache to store customer instructions in a single 223 pin PGA package.

Easy integration
S-MOS Systems provides a complete design package for the system integrator and board vendor.....

PCI Reference Designs
S-MOS Systems provides reference designs and evaluation kits showing the capabilities of the SPC1500 running OpenGL on the WindowsNT platform. Full technical manuals, electronic gerber files, and applications notes are available.

WindowsNT and OS/2 Support
S-MOS Systems provides OpenGL compliant software and system utilities for the WindowsNT platform. This software supports any rendering board (2D or 3D) that supports 3D DDI. It will also supports direct data transfer to the leading 3D rendering board vendors.

MacOS Support
S-MOS Systems will will support software drivers and system utilities for Quickdraw3D.

An Acrobat version of the SPC1500 Datasheet is available via their page at


For more information contact Giri Venkat, Product Marketing Engineer, S-MOS Systems (E-Mail: venkat@smos.com).

CS04) ARTIST Graphics 3GA Graphics Processor

The 3GA is a 2D and 3D graphics coprocessor with a fast VGA core which means that boards designed around the 3GA will not only run the next generation of software, but will run the software programs of today faster than ever before. Bus support for PCI, ISA, and MicroChannel means that the 3GA is one of the most flexible graphics chips available, as well as the most powerful.

The 3GA's features include built-in Windows acceleration, 2D and 3D lines, flat-shading, Gouraud-shading, and texture-mapping. Initial benchmarks show that the 3GA is significantly faster than the S3 968 Windows accelerator.

Technical information about the chip design is also available, and if you have Acrobat, you can view the full 24 page datasheet.

Information on the 3GA can be obtained from the ARTIST Graphics home page at


The technical specs below were copied directly from that page.


High performance 3D graphics processor Powerful 2D GUI accelerator Display controller Video interface Flexible local memory Single chip accelerator Software drivers

System Overview

A graphics system designed around the 3GA graphics accelerator requires only VRAM, a video DAC, clock generator, and a small number of external buffers. The 3GA graphics accelerator supports a 64 bit wide data path to its local memory array and contains interfaces to an external clock generator, DAC, and ROM BIOS.


Estimated performance, based on 8 bits per pixel, 10 pixel lines, 50 pixel triangles, 90 MHz Pentium CPU, PCI bus.

2D lines........................................1,600,000 lines/second
3D lines (shades, Z-buffered).....................280,000 lines/second
2D texture mapped triangles........................75,000 triangles/second
3D texture mapped triangles (Z-buffered)...........65,000 triangles/second
3D Gouraud shaded triangles (Z-buffered)..........110,000 triangles/second
Screen-to-screen BitBLTs.......................80,000,000 pixels/second
Memory-to-screen BitBLTs (color expanding)....245,000,000 pixels/second
Fill rate...................................1,100,000,000 pixels/second

You can contact the ARTIST Sales Team on the Web, or by phone at:

   Tel: (800) 627 8478
        (612) 631 7800
   Fax: (612) 631 7802
or by sending email to sales@artgraphics.com

There is OpenGL support under NT.

[return to index]

CS05) NVidia/SGS-THOMSON NV1/STG-2000 Multimedia Accelerators

The information I currently have is from the press releases on the NVIDIA Home page at

NVIDIA Corporation and SGS-THOMSON, today announced the introduction of the NV1 and STG2000 Multimedia Accelerators. The first complete multimedia accelerators, the NV1 and STG2000 represent the culmination of a strategic partnership that began over a year ago. The technology will deliver powerful multimedia capabilities exceeding that of next generation game consoles, while preserving the versatility of the personal computer. Available now, they are single-chip Multimedia Accelerators that delivers the power of real-time photorealistic 3D graphics, full-motion video and special effects, and concurrent high-fidelity audio for interactive multimedia.

They feature stunning 3D graphics capabilities with texture-mapping, lighting effects, and a special feature called video texturing. This unique feature allows developers to texture a 3D object with full- motion video, creating new levels of realism never before possible in a PC application. In addition, they deliver concurrent high-fidelity wave-table audio, full-motion video acceleration, world-class GUI acceleration, enhanced digital game port, and an internal synchronization timer for multimedia.

Market coverage will be provided by two versions of the multimedia accelerator. NVIDIA will market and sell the NV1 (VRAM version) while SGS-THOMSON will market and sell the STG2000 (DRAM version). Both products are available with PCI and VL bus interfaces. The NV1 or STG2000 allow leading-edge adapter card and PC OEMs to offer a multimedia sub-system with dazzling 3D, wave-table audio, GUI acceleration, enhanced game port performance, and video acceleration -- on a single-card with a street price of around $200.

Information Contacts:

Bruce Brough, PR Contact
NVIDIA Corporation
Tel : (408) 438-0204
Fax : (408) 438-0204

J.P. Rossomme, PR Contact
Tel : (617)259-2534
Fax : (617)259-9423

There are no current plans to do an NT driver, or OpenGL, although some third parties have expressed interest. They don't think consumers will be running applications on OpenGL or NT. The chips does not support texture memory. They do forward texture mapping: specify the control points (4 for bilinear, 9 for quadratic surface), specify the subdivision of the texture, then write texels. As you write each texel the chip computes its location on-screen, optionally computes a blend value for it, and it shows up on-screen.

I'm not sure, but it doesn't not appear to have a Z-buffer, either.

[return to index]

CS06) Rendition Vérité

The information I currently have is from the Rendition home page at

Rendition's first product, the Vérité(tm), is a single chip 3D graphics engine, GUI accelerator, digital video accelerator and VGA engine for the personal computer market designed for add-in graphics cards and OEM motherboard implementation.

Advanced Rendering Features
The Vérité(tm) supports texture mapping with correct perspective, bilinear filtering, z-buffering, alpha blending, fog, and other advanced rendering features. These features will enable game developers to deliver the most engaging, realistic interactive entertainment to date.

Sustainable High Performance
Design decisions were made with input of many game developers to ensure a real performance advantage.

Embedded RISC Core
The Vérité(tm) employs a unique architecture, which combines a fully programmable RISC core with a hard-wired pixel pipeline.

Optimized Memory Controller
In the cost-sensitive markets which Rendition will compete, it is imperative to focus on total solution cost for the OEM customer. It uses low cost EDO DRAM.

Support for Two Dimensional GUI and Multimedia Acceleration
The Vérité(tm) also provides conventional Windows acceleration, and incorporates all control logic required for a standard graphics card. For acceleration of digital video playback, e.g. MPEG and Indeo, the Vérité(tm) provides YUV-to-RGB color space conversion and image scaling with bilinear interpolation for smooth full-screen full-motion video playback.

VGA Compatibility
All of this advanced functionality will be of little value if users cannot run their older applications. For this reason, Rendition has incorporated a VGA-compatible core into the Vérité(tm).

[return to index]

CS07) Chromatic Research Mpact

The information I currently have is from the Mpact home page at

The Mpact media engine offers the complete multimedia solution for your PC. For more information, go to their home page for complete technical specs and white papers.

Contact Information:
Chromatic Research, Inc.
800A East Middlefield Road
Mountain View, CA 94043-4030
email: info@mpact.com

[return to index]

CS08) 3DLabs Permedia

The information I currently have is from the 3DLabs home page at

See section CS01 (3DLabs GLINT 300SX) for more pointers to 3DLabs.

PERMEDIA is a high performance graphics processor that balances high quality 3D texturing and graphics performance with leading edge Windows, Video and SVGA acceleration. Based on a proven low-cost and scaleable architecture, PERMEDIA pervasive 3D and multimedia applications, including: games, animation, authoring, web browsing, design, visualization, publishing and general multimedia applications.

PERMEDIA sets the standard for 3D and multimedia acceleration, making it the ideal solution to meet the increasingly pervasive need for balanced 3D and multimedia acceleration - and all in a single, low cost PCI device.

Pervasive 3D & Multimedia Features

[return to index]

CS09) 3Dfx Voodoo

The information in this section was taken from various press releases about the Voodoo Graphics chipset. I have no contact information for 3Dfx, and no email to 3dfx.com has yielded a response.

3Dfx Interactive, Inc. has released information on Voodoo Graphics™, a 3D graphics accelerator specifically designed for 3D entertainment applications in the coin-operated/arcade and home consumer markets. Designed to enable a new class of realistic and highly interactive 3D games, Voodoo Graphics offers expanded capabilities above and beyond the basic 3D functionality that will be found in commodity Windows and multimedia accelerators. Major consumer and coin-op OEMs and developers have announced support for the chipset.

3Dfx Interactive has announced that Orchid Technology and FMI Graphics Products, a business unit of Fujitsu Microelectronics, Inc. have signed OEM agreements to develop consumer 3D game boards based on Voodoo Graphics.

In addition to elementary 3D functionality, including perspective correct polygons with point sampled texture mapping, Z- and double-buffering, Gouraud shading capabilities and standard VGA resolution, 3Dfx Interactive has also included level-of-detail (LOD) MIP mapping, bi-linear and advanced filtering and SVGA resolution support. In addition, the chipset delivers realistic imagery through sub-pixel correction, alpha blending, and anti-aliasing. Most importantly however, unlike other multimedia accelerators that suffer significant performance degradation when available 3D features are used, Voodoo Graphics was designed to simultaneously offer all of these features at real-time frame rates.

Voodoo Graphics also support per-pixel effects such as fog, translucency, and transparency, texture compositing, a variety of lighting techniques, texture morphing, animated textures, and reflection mapping.

The Voodoo Graphics chipset supports full screen games under popular PC operating systems including Microsoft Windows 95, MS DOS, and Microsoft Windows 3.1 using 3D APIs including Microsoft's Direct3D, DirectDraw, 3D-DDI, and Reality Lab 2.0, as well as Intel's 3DR. The chipset also supports embedded operating systems for coin-op/arcade platforms. Development environments supported by the chipset include MS DOS, WindowsNT, Windows95, and Silicon Graphics' IRIX. Important development tools and APIs supported by Voodoo Graphics include Silicon Graphics' IRIS GL and OpenGL, AutoDesk's 3D Studio, MultiGen's GameGen, and Gemini Technology's OpenGVS.

Packaged in a two-chip set, the Voodoo Graphics architecture is a PCI Bus 2.1 compliant device that operates transparently with existing VGA and Windows accelerators via analog pass through or shared frame buffer implementations on Intel or RISC-based PCI platforms. The Voodoo Graphics chipset is priced at less than $75 in 20,000 piece quantities. On perspective correct, texture mapped, Z-buffered, filtered, LOD MIP mapped, fogged, alpha blended, 50-pixel triangles Voodoo Graphics delivers more than 45 megapixels per second fill rate and over 350,000 triangles per second polygon rates on a Pentium 90. The first chip, pixelfx, is the primary graphics controller and contains interfaces to the PCI bus and companion texture processing unit, texelfx. The 3Dfx Interactive pixelfx graphics controller is packaged in a 240-pin PQFP. texelfx, the advanced texture processing unit, is packaged in a 208-pin PQFP.

For more information, contact:
3Dfx Interactive, Inc.

[return to index]

CS10) TriTech Pyramid3D TR25201

The information in the section was taken from the TriTech Microelectronics International homepage at

The Pyramid3D family of 3D accelerator devices is designed for acceleration of games, 3D applications and user interfaces. It offers full compatibility with the new 3D standards (including Direct3D for Windows 95) and old applications (built-in VGA support). In addition, Pyramid3D delivers the performance you would expect from a serious 3D solution. It can render 800 000 z-buffered, textured, and Gouraud shaded 25 pixel triangles per second. In addition to speed, the architecture also provides a wide range of features, some of which have never been implemented in hardware before.

Pyramid3D Highlights:

The family currently consists of TR25201 and TR25202. They are similar except that only the TR25201 version contains the geometry engine. Both are highly integrated single chip solutions for 3D graphics acceleration on the PC. They combine high rendering quality and speed with an architecture that makes building PCI based 3D Accelerator boards both easy and cost-effective.






Video refresh

Physical Characteristics



Pyramid3D engineering samples will be available in summer 1996. Developer kits will be made available along with the engineering samples.

For more information, contact:
Kok Chin Chang, Product Manager Graphics Prodcuts, kcchang@tmi.com.sg.

[return to index]

CS11) VideoLogic PowerVR

This information was taken from VideoLogic's home page at

PowerVR was developed jointly by VideoLogic and NEC. The system is fully scalable, allowing multiple chips to be ganged together giving a linear increase in speed as chips are added. It can be used in a wide range of 3D applications and entertainment markets from games consoles, through PCs, right up to high-end arcade machines. This also allows content producers to target a range of different platforms without redesigning their titles.

PowerVR’s core 3D rendering algorithm is infinite plane (surface) based. This approach allows the system to efficiently cater for polygons, polygon meshes, infinite planes, and convex objects. Its polygon object rendering allows the use of conventional, industry-standard APIs such as Microsoft’s® Direct3D™, and the ability to directly process infinite planes and convex objects allows PowerVR to provide advanced features such as full shadows and searchlights in real-time. In addition to support for industry-standard APIs, PowerVR has its own high-level object oriented API, called PowerVR SGL, that provides full access to all the capabilities of the PowerVR hardware.

The chipsets used in the PowerVR are the NEC ISP (Image Synthesis Processor), TSP (Texture and Shading Processor) and MC (Memory Controller). A single chip version, the PCX1 (PC Processor), has one ISP and one TSP on a single chip, and is designed for low cost home markets.


NEC ISP: Image Synthesis Processor

NEC TSP: Texture & Shading Processor

NEC MC: Memory Controller

NEC PCX1: PC Processor


For more information, contact:
NEC Electronics Literature Hotline
(800) 366 9782 phone
(800) 729 9288 fax

Press Contacts in the USA

Lili McGirr, VideoLogic, 415 875 0606, lili@videologic.com.

Joany Winkler, NEC Electronics Inc., (415) 965 6495, jwinkler@el.nec.com.

Press Contacts in the UK

Patrick Jubb, VideoLogic, 01923 260 511, patrick@videologic.com.

Sue Walder, NEC Electronic UK Ltd, 01908 837 238, walders@euk.nec.co.uk.

[return to index]

Section III: Boards using Chips in Section II

The descriptions of the boards in this section will attempt to give information not common to all boards based on the chips in Section II.

[return to index]

CS12) 3DLabs GLINTdelta

The information in this section was taken from a press release provided by Dave Baldwin (dave_baldwin@3dlabs.com.)

The GLINT Delta is 3DLabs 3D Geometry Pipeline Processor. It accelerates GLINT or PERMEDIA-based Graphics Boards up to three times by off-loading up to 70% of the 3D geometry processing load into a hard-wired 100MFlop processor that delivers 1 Million polygons/second for under $50.

3DLabs claims that when used on a high-performance PC, using a Pentium Pro processor, GLINT Delta-based designs have been measured to deliver over 750K polygons per second via OpenGL. For intensive 3D graphics applications, GLINT Delta significantly improves overall system performance by freeing the CPU from demanding 3D pipeline calculations -- providing more processor time for application level processing.

The Delta is implemented as a PCI bridge with full PCI master capability. It acts as a front-end processor to GLINT or PERMEDIA and processes the setup calculations for 3D primitives such as lines and polygons. GLINT Delta's advanced design includes support for texture-mapping, anti-aliasing and 16, 24 or 32 bit Z buffering - all with high-precision, sub-pixel accuracy. GLINT Delta's processing throughput is up to 1 million texture-mapped, Z-buffered polygons per second. GLINT Delta supports full byte-swapping and is compatible with PC or Macintosh systems.

GLINT Delta provides a glueless, single-chip geometry solution for GLINT 300SX or PERMEDIA. GLINT Delta also supports multiple GLINT rendering processors -- also without glue logic -- for high-end desktop, arcade and VR applications seeking unmatched rendering performance. The combination of GLINT Delta and two GLINT rendering processors enables board vendors to provide dual- GLINT 3D acceleration on a single PCI board, seamlessly combined with full Windows performance and functionality.

PERMEDIA does not require GLINT Delta to provide class-leading performance, however the ability to combine the two devices in a low-cost designs enables board vendors to provide a wide-range of price/performance options at performance levels far beyond other 3D chip offerings.

GLINT Delta is software compatible with the GLINT and PERMEDIA families, and 3Dlabs' extensive range of software drivers is already available for GLINT Delta-based boards. These drivers include: Windows NT, Windows 95, OpenGL on Windows NT, OpenGL on Windows 95, Heidi from Autodesk, Direct3D from Microsoft, CGL from Creative and QuickDraw 3D and QuickDraw 3D RAVE from Apple. The drivers for Windows NT and OpenGL are available on Intel, Alpha, MIPS and PowerPC processors.

Contact Info
3Dlabs Inc.
Neil Trevett,

[return to index]

GLINT01) Omnicomp 3DEMON


3DEMON 3-D Graphics Accelerator for PCI Local Bus Technical Brief

The 3DEMON provides workstation class 3-D graphics and high performance 2-D acceleration using the GLINT (tm) 300SX 3-D processor from 3Dlabs.

Frame buffer:

Local buffer:

3DEMON Model SX44

3DEMON Model SX48

Software Compatibility

Hardware Compatibility


Steve Gillaspy
Omnicomp Graphics Corp.
1734 W. Sam Houston Pkwy N.
Houston, TX. 77043
Phone: 713-464-2990
Fax: 713-827-7540
email: omnicmp@phoenix.phoenix.net

COMMENTS: From Chris Hinch (chris@dcc.govt.nz):

These guys are brilliant - they are responsive, and have been really helpful in my own research, often pointing me in the direction of other people and companies who can help, as well as showing a solid technical understanding of my requirements and making recommendations based on that understanding.

Here's some pricing information, as of Thursday, 30 March 1995.

List            US$2,170
Educational     US$1,995
Quantity 1-9    US$1,845
Quantity 10-24  US$1,715
Quantity 25-99  US$1,605

List            US$2,590
Educational     US$2,380
Quantity 1-9    US$2,200
Quantity 10-24  US$2,045
Quantity 25-99  US$1,915
[return to index]

GLINT02) Fujitsu Sapphire 2SX

The Sapphire 2SX from Fujitsu Microelectronics, Inc. integrates GLINT 300SX technology with a 4MB framebuffer and a 4 MB localbuffer. The Sapphire 2SX provides full 32-bit true color at 1024 x 768 resolution (maximum is 1600 x 1200).

Fujitsu Microelectronics has developed a proprietary technology called PixelBus which offers unprecedented multi-channel capabilities. PixelBus allows you to link multiple Sapphire cards together to get increased speed. PixelBus also supports a synchronized output mode for panoramic and CAVE display systems.

Highly optimized drivers for OpenGL, Windows NT, Autocad and 3D Studio are currently available and many others are under development. The Sapphire 2SX is compatible with Intel and DEC Alpha processors. Support for other processors is under development

For more information contact:

Hiten Patel
Tel: (408) 922-9770
Fax: (408) 922-9857
E-mail: hpatel@fmi.fujitsu.com
3545 North First Street, MS 255, San Jose, CA 9513l

[return to index]



Based on the S3-Vision968 and 3Dlabs' GLINT 300SX. Has a 250Mhz RAMDAC with built-in digital video acceleration provided by the S3 chip. Includes a DCI driver. Comes with optimized Windows 3.X/NT/'95, OpenGL and OS/2 drivers and utilities. Includes drivers for multi-screen support as well as Display List Drivers for MicroStation and AutoCAD DOS/Windows for R12/R13/LT.

3D features are similar to all GLINT 300SX cards.



Joy Li
ELSA Inc. Graphics Corp.
2041 Mission College Blvd.
Suite 165
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone: 800-272-3572
Phone: 408-565-9669
Fax: 408-565-9650
email: joyl@elsa-usa.mhs.compuserve.com

[return to index]

GLINT04) Omnicomp 3Demon VR

(was Media Labs Inc. 3DMedia)

Formerly the Media Labs Inc. 3DMedia. The name changed when Media Labs was aquired by Omnicomp. The former 3DMedia SR (which I'll call the 3Dmedia VR (SR?)) is a true high performance 3D accelerator based on the 3DLabs GLINT 300SX chip.

The 3Demon VR (formerly the 3DMedia SX) provides the same features as the SR, plus additional features such as genlocking to eliminate annoying scrolling bars due to magnetic interference between two monitors in a dual-headed configuration. Furthermore, in provides an on-board studio quality encoder which outputs video in NTSC, PAL or S-Video formats.

3Demon VR (SR?)

3D Acceleration:

Flexible output:

Optimized Bandwidth

Product Specification:

3Demon VR

All of the features described above, plus:

More flexible output:

Phase locking:

Product Specification additions:

Use the contact information for the 3Demon above. The former Contact Information:
Media Labs, Inc.
806 Winbern Ste 1
Houston, TX 77002
Tel: (713) 942-0670
Fax: (713) 784-5144

From Blair MacIntyre:

The SX is available now, the SR is not. The pricing is as follows (as of Feb 1, 95):
3Demon VR44:					Quantity	Price
	4M VRAM, 4M DRAM, Encoder, Linelock	1-99		US$1895
						100-999		US$1795
						1000+		CALL
3Demon VR48:
	4M VRAM, 8M DRAM, Encoder, Linelock	1-99		US$2295
						100-999		US$2195
						1000+		CALL

3Demon VR (SR?):				Quantity	Price
	4M VRAM, 4M DRAM			1-99		US$1595
						100-999		US$1495
						1000+		CALL
3Demon VR (SR8?):
	4M VRAM, 8M DRAM			1-99		US$1995
						100-999		US$1895
						1000+		CALL
One year warranty.
[return to index]


(Preliminary Product Information, as of Feb. 95)


Hardware - 3D Acceleration

Hardware - 2D Acceleration

Software & Miscelleanous

Video Modes

Resolution Color depth (bit/pixel) Line Frequency (KHz) Refresh Rate (Hz)
---------- ----------------------- -------------------- -----------------
640 x 480        8, 16, 32             31,5 - 52,5        60 - 100
800 x 600        8, 16, 32             37,9  - 64,0       60 - 100
1024 x 768       8, 16, 32             48,4- 80,9         60 - 100
1280 x 1024      8, 16, (32)           64,0 - 100,0       60 - 95 (75)
1600 x 1200      8, 16                 74,5 - 84,6        60 - 68

Available now in Europe.


[return to index]

GLINT06) Force Inc. 3DE-300SX

The 3DE-300SX from Force Inc. combines the GLINT 300SX with 4 Mbytes of VRAM and up to 8 Mbytes of DRAM. Both IBM PC-AT Japanese DOS/V and NEC PC98 are supported plus Windows NT 3.5, OpenGL and RenderWare 1.4.

Available now in Japan. For more detailed information, please contact:

Kenyu Uema, Manabu Igarashi or Tatsuya Takagi
Tel: +81 3 3490 1172
Fax: +81 3 3490 2277
6-15-9-2F, NishiGotanda Shinagawa-ku,Tokyo 141, Japan

[return to index]

GLINT07) Densan PCI-300SX

The PCI-300SX is a GLINT based PCI card including 4 Mbytes of VRAM framebuffer, 8 Mbytes of DRAM localbuffer, 64-bit IBM RGB525 RAMDAC and VGA pass thru implementation. Optimized drivers are provided for Windows NT 3.5 and OpenGL.

The Densan PCI-300SX now shipping as part of NEC RISCstation 2200.

For more detailed information, please contact:

Tetsuya Kawamoto or Zhang Yuanli
Tel: +81 3 3329 3871
Fax: +81 3 3329 9266
5-42-1, Kamikitazawa Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo, Japan

[return to index]

GLINT08) Creative Labs' 3D Blaster

The information in this section is taken from the Creative Lab's page at:

and from the 3DLabs Press release at:

The VL-bus version of the 3D Blaster is based on a custom GLINT chip, which is basically a scaled-down 300SX. The PCI version will supposedly be initially based on the Rendition Vérité chipset, with a. possibility that later versions will be based on the 3DLabs Permedia chip. Time will tell.






Standard Memory supports these common resolutions and others:




The VL-bus version of 3D Blaster will be available in November, 1995, at an estimated street price of about $349. A PCI version of 3D Blaster will be available in the first quarter of 1996.

COMMENT: Apparently, the VL version of the 3D Blaster will probably not support OpenGL, but the PCI version should.


Theresa Pulido                Lisa Kimura
Creative Labs, Inc.           Copithorne & Bellows
(408) 428-6600, ext. 6416     (415) 284-5200, ext. 209
[return to index]

GLINT09) Microstep AGC-3D

MicroStep, Inc., a California based company, specializes in the design and manufacture of high performance computer graphics and imaging controllers. Within 10 years, the company has developed a full line of graphics products, including the world's highest resolution display controller.

AGC-3D is the first of MicroStep's 3D graphics accelerator family. Based on the GLINT 300SX chip from 3Dlabs, AGC-3D delivers workstation class performance for all 2D and 3D rendering operations, including Gouraud shading, anti-aliasing, depth buffering, alpha blending and texture mapping assistance.

AGC-3D incorporate 4MB of VRAM for display memory, 4/8MB of DRAM for Z-buffering, stencil, etc., and PCI local bus. The supported display modes include 1280x1024x16, 1152x900x24 and 1024x768x16 double buffering, etc.

Availability: Q3, 1995

For more information contact:

Ping Hu
Tel: (818) 964 5048
Fax: (818) 964 6278
17800 Castleton Street, Suite 135, City of Industry, CA 91748.

[return to index]

R3D01) Lockheed Martin R3D/100

Based on the R3D/100 chipset described above. No other information available.

email: real3d@mmc.com
voice: 800-393-7730
fax: 407-826-3358

From Chris Hinch (chris@dcc.govt.nz):

Contact these people and ask for the glossy brochure - WOW!!!! (ok, so I'm not being objective...I like poring over glossy brochures as much as the next person...*grin*)

Their staff were also really helpful and responsive.

Apparently, application notes will be available in August of this year, with sample chipsets and reference boards available in November. Production quantities will be available in the first quarter of 1996. Price for the reference board is in the US$2,800 area.

[return to index]

ARTIST01) ARTIST Graphics 2000 Series

These graphics boards have been specifically designed to accelerate PC CAD programs. They contain the 3GA chipset:


This high speed, high power graphics controller accelerates all graphic intensive programs including Windows and OS/2. See the 2000 Pro for details.

ARTIST 2000 Pro

This card is the ARTIST 2000 bundled with high-speed CAD drivers and graphical application software designed to accelerate CAD development. Supports PCI, VL and ISA buses.

The ARTIST 2000 Pro is available with two and four MB of VRAM. The processor, memory and DAC were carefully selected and integrated with GT Express Professional, ARTIST's CAD utility software, to create the ideal controller for the CAD marketplace. You get ARTIST's legendary quality at a remarkably competitive price, backed by a five-year warranty.

ARTIST 2000 Twin Pro

This card has dual monitor outputs each with resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 and refresh rates up to 85 Hz, allowing a total displayed image of up to 3200 x 1200 spread across two adjacent monitors. Supports PCI and ISA buses. The ARTIST 2000 TwinPro comes with 4 MB of VRAM. Its processor, memory and DAC were carefully selected and integrated with GT Express Professional, ARTIST's CAD utility software, to create the ideal controller for the CAD marketplace. You get ARTIST's legendary quality at a remarkably competitive price, backed by a five-year warranty.

Technical Data

      Video Bandwidth:  to 250 MHz

 Horizontal Scan Rate:  31.5 - 106 KHz

         Video Output:  Analog RGB video output, separate horizontal and
	                vertical sync, 15 pin D-sub connector

       Maximum Colors:  True color

        Color Palette:  16.7 million

       Supported GUIs:  Windows 3.1, Windows NT, OS/2 2.1, OS/2 Warp,
                        Windows 95

   Supported Software:  Includes high performance drivers for Windows,
                        including Command View; AutoCAD for DOS and Windows
		        with Flexicon 30

    Technical Support:  End user assistance available through telephone,
                        mail, FAX, E-mail, BBS or World Wide Web

             Warranty:  Five-year limited warranty
Model	        Resolution	Colors	        Frequency
ARTIST 2000 Pro	1600 x 1280	256	        60 - 80 Hz	
2 MB VRAM	1600 x 1200	256	        60 - 85 Hz	
	        1280 x 1024	256	        60 - 120 Hz	
	        1152 x 870	256/6KK	        60 - 150 Hz	
	        1024 x 768	256/65K	        60 - 200 Hz	
	         800 x 600	256/65K/16.7M	60 - 300 Hz
	         640 x 480	256/65K/16.7M	60 - 500 Hz

ARTIST 2000 Pro	1600 x 1280	256/65,000	60 - 80 Hz	
4 MB VRAM	1600 x 1200	256/65,000	60 - 85 Hz	
	        1280 x 1024	256/65,000	60 - 120 Hz	
	        1152 x 870	256/16.7M	60 - 150 Hz	
	        1024 x 768	256/16.7M	60 - 200 Hz	
	         800 x 600	256/65 /16.7M	60 - 300 Hz
	         640 x 480	256/65K/16.7M	60 - 500 Hz

ARTIST 2000	1600 x 1280	256	        60 - 80 Hz	 
TwinPro	        1600 x 1200	256	        60 - 85 Hz	 
4 MB VRAM	1280 x 1024	256	        60 - 120 Hz	 
	        1152 x 870	256/65K	        60 - 150 Hz	 
	        1024 x 768	256/65K	        60 - 200 Hz	 
	         800 x 600	256/65K/16.7M	60 - 300 Hz 
	         640 x 480	256/65K/16.7M	60 - 500 Hz 


Board Model     VRAM    Bus      Max. Resolution        Retail Price

ARTIST 2000     2 MB    PCI      1280 x 1024 @ 75 Hz    $395

ARTIST 2000i    2 MB    PCI      1600 x 1280 @ 80 Hz    $595
                2 MB    ISA      1600 x 1200 @ 85 Hz    $595

ARTIST 2000i    4 MB    PCI      1800 x 1440 @ 70 Hz    $895
                4 MB    ISA      1800 x 1350 @ 75 Hz    $895

ARTIST 2000i    4 MB    PCI      1600 x 1200 @ 85 Hz    $1095
TwinPro                 ISA      1600 x 1200 @ 85 Hz    $1095

[return to index]

NVIDIA01) Diamond Edge 3D Accelerators

The information on these boards were obtained from Diamond Multimedia Systems home page at

They contain the NVidia/SGS-THOMSON NV1/STG-2000 chipset.

The boards are PCI-based and sport a digital gameport for precise joystick control, as well as two video gameports that allow specialized, multi-player versions of Sega Saturn titles, such as the arcade hit Virtua Fighter Remix, to be played on Windows 95 PCs. It is expected to be initially shipped in late October at consumer prices starting from $249 - $299.

With Diamond Edge 3D accelerators, game developers can support resolutions as high as 1024x768 with 65,000 colors while still achieving fast, realistic action. In the past, this type of technology was available only to engineers and designers with prices topping $2,000.

The 3D functions of the Diamond Edge 3D were designed specifically for the consumer multimedia market where the primary application is interactive entertainment. Traditionally, 3D graphics were created by drawing large numbers of successive polygons using the CPU, which resulted in a tradeoff between detailed graphics and speed of interactivity. With the Diamond Edge 3D, the hardware engine accelerates polygon rendering of real-time, texture-mapped 3D images at the highest possible frame rates without unduly slowing the CPU. In addition, the Diamond Edge 3D can create realistic 3D graphics by using nine control points to create a curved surface, called quadratic texture mapping (QTM).

Features of the Diamond Edge 3D engine include fast polygon rendering, texture-mapping for photo-realism, quadratic texture-mapping for perspective correction and rendering of curved surfaces, as well as special effects including diffused lighting, specular highlights, reflection mapping and alpha blending for fog, smoke and transparency.

High Performance 2D Acceleration

The Diamond Edge 3D delivers fast 2D Windows acceleration at resolutions as high as 1280x1024, color depths to 1 billion and refresh rates of up to 120Hz.

The DRAM version of the Diamond Edge 3D, based on SGS Thomson's STG2000 multimedia accelerator chip, is available for PCI-bus in 1MB upgradable to 2MB (the Diamond Edge 3D 2120XL) or 2MB standard (the Diamond Edge 3D 2200XL.) The VRAM configuration, based on NVIDIA Corp.'s NV1 multimedia accelerator chip, is available for PCI in 2MB upgradable to 4MB (the Diamond Edge 3D 3240XL) or 4MB standard (the Diamond Edge 3D 3400XL.) Both chips are based on NVIDIA's NV1 technology. Diamond estimates pricing for the 2000 series to start at $249 to $299 and for the 3000 series to start at $399 to $449.

How to Contact Diamond Multimedia

There are many ways to reach Diamond for sales support, technical assistance, driver updates and general information:
The Main Phone Number is  408-325-7000; Fax:  408-325-7070
Product Support Voice:  408-325-7100; Product Support Fax:  408-325-7171
24-Hour Fax On Demand Service: 1-800-380-0030
America OnLine (Keyword: DIAMOND)
CompuServe (GO DMNDONLINE or GO GRAPHBVEN) [75300,3673]
Microsoft Network:  GOTO DIAMONDONLINE
Internet Web Site: http://www.diamondmm.com
FTP Site:  ftp.diamondmm.com
For information on Diamond products: 1-800-468-5846  
BBS numbers at 408-325-7080 (to 14.4K baud) or 408-325-7175 (to 28.8K baud)

[return to index]

NVIDIA02) Jazz Multimedia 3D Magic

The information in this section was taken from the Jazz Multimedia 3D Magic Press release.

The 3D Magic multimedia accelerators are based on the NVidia/SGS-THOMSON NV1/STG-2000 chipset. 3D Magic doubles as a Windows 95 graphics accelerator, provides wavetable music synthesis and MPEG playback acceleration, on one card.

The PCI product line sports a digital gameport for precise control as well as two Sega gameports that allow specialized, multi-player versions of Sega Saturn titles, to be played on Windows 95 PC's. Jazz will offer 1MB and 2MB DRAM versions and 2MB and 4MB VRAM versions. It includes built-in SRS™ 3D sound and the availability of a Jazz Output to TV Projection Card option.

There are two DRAM versions of 3-D Magic, based on SGS THOMSON'S STG2000 multimedia accelerator chip, with 1MB and 2MB of of DRAM. Two VRAM configurations, based on nVIDIA Corp's NV1 multimedia accelerator chip, are also available for PCI in 2MB and 4MB versions.

As an option, 3D Magic also provides a Jazz Output to TV Projection Card with capabilities up to 16.7 million colors in composite and S-Video. It allows 3D game titles to be played on TV's and big-screens for total family entertainment and game play.

A high-fidelity hardware wavetable audio engine is integrated into 3D Magic. 3D Magic uses the computer's main memory to hold wavetable samples.

Contact Information:
Jazz Multimedia corporate headquarters are located at 1040 Richard Avenue, Santa Clara, California 95050, telephone: 408-727-8900; fax: 408-727-9092. Corporate contact is Michael Yang, 408-727-8900, Ext. 21.

[return to index]

NVIDIA03) Genoa Stratos 3D

The information in this section was taken from Genoa Systems home page at:

The Stratos 3D is Genoa’s PC gaming accelerator. Based on the NVidia/SGS-THOMSON NV1/STG-2000 chipset, the Stratos 3D delivers true three dimensional imaging for the latest video games. There is also a Sega Saturn game port supporting up to two players for such games as “Virtua Fighter™ Remix.”

3D Sound

The Stratos 3D offers a complete “3Dx3D” experience using Surround Sound™ technology from SRS® with Wavetable synthesis. All game sound effects, CD music and digital audio files are spatially referenced to envelope the listener in a three dimensional sound environment!


The Stratos 3D delivers vivid 2D graphics acceleration with enhanced full motion digital video playback, providing complete multimedia support for Microsoft® Windows and Windows 95™. Entertainment, reference and educational CD titles also come alive through the Stratos 3D!

Product Features

Highlights Video Playback Features 3D Sound

Hardware Configuration

GENITRONtm; Technology Physical Properties *Joystick adapter cable included Interfaces and Compatibility SEGA Game Support

System Requirements


Display Mode Tables (UNDER CONSTRUCTION!)

Resolution16/256 colors65,000 colors16.8 Million colors

Resolution16/256 colors65,000 colors16.8 Million colors

NOTE: actual display modes available to user will depend on the monitor capability

For more information please contact:
Genoa Marketing (jbrunoli@genoasys.com)

[return to index]