Canopus PURE3D II 12 MB

Canopus PURE3D II 12MB
Reviewed by Jackie Lee (28 June 98)

Video Card Specifications

Model PURE3D II Voodo2
Interface PCI 2.0/2.1 Compliant
Memory Configuration 12MB EDO DRAM (256K x 24)
Supported API 3Dfx Glide,DIRECT X 3D,Open GL
3D Features: Perspective Correct Texture mapping
Bi-Linear and advanced texture filtering
MIP Mapping(LOD)
Anti-Aliasing Hardware Triangle Setup engine
Fog table Linear/Exponential
Standard Features: PCI 2.0/2.1 Compliant
4MB Frame buffer,8MB Texture memory
Support SLI (Scan-Line Interleave)
Package Includes PURE3D II card
Quake II Reckoning CD / Boot Demo CD
SLI/VGA Cables
User Guide
Driver CD
Manufactured Made In USA

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Introduction

Canopus has released another of its famous product. Will the PURE3D II beat all the rest of its competitors like the Total3D 128V? Anyway, this Voodoo 2 based card is one of my personal favorite. The card is quite well design using high quality PCB board.With 24 Silicon Magic 256k memory of 100MHz 25ns EDO DRAM code as F9808 SM81C256K16CJ-25 on both sides. Until now you might have noticed that the layout of the Voodoo2 based cards are about the same. But this $498 baby is no average performer, it is slightly faster than the Magic3D Plus. The package comes with the standard user manual, Installation CD and a game demos CD.

Installation

Installation of the card was easy. The PCB sits nicely in between my network card and my Total3D 128V. The plug and play installation of card and the software is a piece of cake. For all the experienced DIY people, you would surely like this card. Take a look at the card below :

Front View

The Good

Running it on my K6 300 Mhz processor makes it jumped about 80% over my Total 3D 128V card.The enhancement of picture quality and faster frame rates are very evident and noticeable when running this 12MB board.Canopus has also lived up to its name by using the very high quality 25 pieces of Silicon Magic 100MHz 25ns EDO DRAM

The Voodoo 2 card is currently the most powerful card in the consumer 3D arena.Heating problem is not too much of a problem since the fan is provided. But it's always advisable to leave a slot gap between others PCI periperhals. Quake II Mission Pack : The Reckoning is also the added bonus in the package. (But Quake II is required for this mission pack add-on).

Its ability to overclock to 100 Mhz is another plus points over its competitors. (Click on "Advance") This is made possible again by the fan cooler on board.  There is another interesting point to this board. There is a LED that lit up (green) when it is active. In this case, you know exactly whether your effects are "Voodoo2ed" or not. The green light could be observed through the composite video connector. After installation, there is also an additional Canopus Quick control dialog and a launch bar. For your information, The Fan Cool cost you S$ 35 @ Interactive Media, Sim Lim Square. (Wow! Expensive Fan!)

Fan Cool

Canopus QuickControl

Benchmark Results

Canopus PURE3D II 12MB

Benchmarking Software Voodoo 2 + Riva 128
Final Reality V1.01 2.65
Wintune97 Video Test / Mps 133
Wintune98 Online Video Test / Mps 63.68
Quake 2 Timedemo1 / fps 39.3
Quake 2 Timedemo2 / fps 36.2
3D Winbench WinMark 567

Done @ 640 x 480 with OpenGL for Quake II V3.15 tests and @ 1024 x 768 for the rest of the other tests.

The Bad

There isn't any serious problems with this card. The fact that voodoo2 cards are highly dependent of CPU processors still holds with this card. The relatively heavier price tag is a good hindering factor to get this Voodoo2 card. The awkward position of the SLI connector is probably the only fault I can find on this PCB. This position will require the user to use a longer SLI cable (luckily provided) and thus contributing to the cramp in the casing.

The last bad point about this card is the fact that when you inserted this card into one of the PCI slots, you will not be able to inserted another card into the direct neighbour of it. (However, you can choose to squeeze it in.....but it is not recommended.)

SLI Test

We are fortunate to receive two cards from our sponsors. Thus, we are able to do a SLI test with the Total3D 128V. The results were rather disappointing but somehow anticipated.(High CPU Dependency). Anyway, here are the results

Test System Configuration

Processor(s) AMD K6 266 Mhz .25 micron Chip
Overclocked Configuration 300 Mhz (4.0 x 75.0 Mhz)
Ram 64 MB Mitsubishi SDRAMS Dimms
Motherboard AOpen AP5T Ver 3.4 V1.70
HardDrive(s) Quantum 3.2GB ST
Operating System MS Windows 98 Build 4.10.1998
DirectX Version MS DirectX Version 6 Beta
Other software used 3Dfx OpenGL Beta 2
Video Card(s) Canopus Total3D 128V PCI

02 x PURE3D II   12 MB

Video Card Bios V 1.54B NTSC (Canopus)
Video Card Drivers V 1.20.08 (Canopus)

FxMemMap VxD Version: 4.10.01.0015

WinGlide 2.x Driver Version: 2.51

DosGlide 2.x Driver Version: 2.51

Direct3D Driver Version: 4.10.01.0094-2.16

Direct3D 32-bit DLL Version: 4.10.01.0094-2.16

Direct3D 16-bit DLL Version: 4.10.01.0094-2.16

Benchmark Results

02 x Canopus PURE3D II 12MB (SLI) + Total3D

Benchmarking Software 640 x 480 1024 x 768
Quake 2 Timedemo1 / fps 40.1 40.0
Quake 2 Timedemo2 / fps 36.9 36.7

It can be observed that the advantages of SLI is not fully harvested from even a K6 300 Mhz overclocked system. There is only a 0.5 fps increase from another Voodoo2 card. (Certainly not worth for two in my case.) The slight negligible decrease from the 640 x 480 framerates from the 1024 x 768 framerates show that the Voodoo2 Chips are actually waiting for the CPU. One can draw a conclusion here about SLI on my system : Due to the antense CPU dependency, the adding of another Voodoo2 card will not be efficient if you have a relatively weaker system. The recommendation here is that if you do not have at least a Intel Pentium II 300 or equivalent system, please invest in something else.

 

Screenshots of Quake II and Forsaken under SLI (02 x Voodoo 2)

Click on the Thumbnails to enlarge

Quake II

            

Forsaken

           

Conclusion

Overall,if you are looking for one of the best quality Voodoo2, this will be your best candidate.The overall 3D WinMark score are no more than 5% difference from others reference card based Voodoo2. If you have a Pentium II 300 and above and if you are going for a voodoo2 card, I would really recommend that you get this Canopus card. You won't regret you did.

For any enquiry or comment , email to :  jackie1@singa.pore.net

PURE3D II RATING

Overall Drive Rating (Out of Maximum 5 Star)

Installation *****
Performance *****
Price ***
Games Compatible Test *****
3D Features List ****
Material Quality (Card) ****1/2
Overall Rating ****

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Specifications
Specified Memory size: 12MB 25ns EDO DRAM
Specified Manufacturer: CANOPUS (USA)
Canopus PURE3D II 12 MB
Estimated Price: S$ 498

 

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