3dfx Driver Build 1.04.01: Increased Performance and Hidden Surface Removal (HSR) for the Voodoo4 and Voodoo5by Matthew Witheiler on December 14, 2000 1:55 AM EST
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Voodoo5 5500 - MDK2 Performance
Typically we associate more recent drivers with increased performance, as we observed in Quake III Arena. Unfortunately, manufacturers often times sacrifice speed in one game to make another faster. This seems to be the case in the Voodoo5 5500's 1.04.01 drivers: although we saw Quake III Arena scores increase by a noticeable amount, MDK2 scores actually decrease with the newer drivers. Although the difference is very small, going only 4% slower with the more recent drivers, it is still disappointing to see the Voodoo5 5500 decrease in MDK2 performance.
We also notice again that the Voodoo5 5500 is severely lacking when it comes to MDK2 performance, as the card falls behind the GeForce2 GTS by a full 184%. This is most likely due to the intense stress that MDK2 places on a card's T&L engine, if available. Since the VSA-100 chip does not possess any T&L section, the Voodoo5 5500 is not able to match the speed of NVIDIA's "second generation T&L."
Once again we find that the Voodoo5 5500 looses speed in MDK2 with the latest drivers. The performance loss is extremely small, just .7 FPS or 2%, however it is still present. The Voodoo5 5500 takes back seat again to the GeForce2 GTS regardless of drivers, with the GTS performing 160% faster. Once again, this can be attributed to the Voodoo5 5500's lack of a T&L engine.
Finally, at 1600x1200x32, we see that it does not make a difference which drivers you use in MDK2. Unlike the previous resolutions, MDK2 is finally faster with the latest Voodoo5 5500 drivers, with a speed increase of a nearly unmeasurable .1 FPS. The high resolution is beginning to put stress on the GeForce2 GTS, allowing the Voodoo5 5500 to catch-up to some extent. Here, the card performs 'only' 60% slower than the GeForce2 GTS.