by April 1, 2000 0 comments

The Permedia 3 Create! from
3Dlabs is positioned as a graphics card, but can also be used for gaming.
The card is not available in India, so we ordered it directly from the
source. It’s an AGP card with 32 MB of on-board video RAM and built around
an integrated 300 MHz RAMDAC. A fast RAMDAC ensures higher refresh rates at
any screen resolution. The card can drive resolutions of up to 2,048×1,536
dpi in 32-bit color, which is quite high. This is, of course, achievable
only if your monitor supports such high resolutions. We were able to check
its resolutions from 640×480 dpi to 1,280×1,024 dpi in 16-bit true colors.

Overall, the Permedia 3
Create! didn’t perform as well as the GeForce. This is because the
graphics card market is evolving at a very fast pace today. The GeForce was
launched around six months after the Permedia, which is sufficient time for
technologies to change completely. The GeForce has 350 MHz RAMDAC, and
supports AGP 2x with fast writes, which makes it perform much faster.

We used Indy 3D benchmarks to
test the card’s graphics performance. This checks out the card’s frame
rates for various graphics applications, and uses the OpenGL capabilities of
the card. The card gave 16.4 fps for animation and a good 39.4 fps in the
simulation tests. The GeForce, on the other hand, was way ahead in both,
scoring 36 fps and 100 fps for animation and simulation tests respectively.

The Permedia scored 11 fps in
MCAD 40–a technical design tool–while the GeForce (which costs
approximately double) gave 38 fps. It couldn’t do very well in the
high-end design application–MCAD 150. The score was 3 fps as compared to
GeForce’s 12 fps. The card did pretty well in high-end business
applications though, and scored 29.3 units in the High-end Winstone 99
benchmark. This uses applications like FrontPage, SoundForge, Microstation
Graphics, etc, to test the graphics capabilities of the card. So, we found
the card to be useful for high-end graphics designers, but not very good for
intensive engineering design applications.

Permedia 3 Create!

3D graphics card. $ 289

Features: AGP card with 32 MB
onboard RAM; 300 MHz RAMDAC.

Pros: Can be optimized as per
application; good for high-end business applications.

Cons: Didn’t perform too well
in high-end engineering design applications.

Source: Not available in India.
Can be ordered online from www.3dlabs.com. An order can also be sent
to ExxactPat@aol.com.

The card is an average
performer when it comes to gaming. The GeForce superseded it by almost 100
percent in 3D Winbench 99 scores, which tests a card for its DirectX API
support. It scrounged 527 3D Winmarks, while the GeForce scored 998.

We also ran 3DMark99 Max,
another gaming benchmark, and this time, the scores for both were nearly
equal. This means that the type of performance you get from the card depends
on the game you’re playing.

The card is shipped with
Cyberlink PowerDVD—a utility for hardware accelerated DVD playback—and
Colorific utility for color calibration and matching. Another advantage is
that you can optimize the card for the application you’re using it for.
The 3D control panel allows you to select the application that you want to
optimize the card for.

The card’s Website lists a
price of $289 for the card, which amounts to about Rs 13,000. For this kind
of a price, the card is a good buy.

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