60

Early high-performance 3D accelerators such as the Voodoo Graphics have limited framebuffer resolutions (640×480 for most Voodoo Graphics configurations, 800×600 for the Voodoo2 in non-SLI) and colour depths (16-bit with dithering), which make them unsuitable for 2D — in the second half of the nineties, 1024×768 was a requirement at least in computer ...


45

Unreal Megademo, Future Crew, 1992 possibly? Certainly has all the elements you mention.


45

Like all games from that era, cheating and tables. Two 256 byte tables and logarithms gave a 10x speed boost on multiply and divide on Commodore 64 at least. Matrix operations using addition only for fixed known rotation rates. Lazy evaluation. Only convex shapes making hidden line removal simpler and hidden line removal meaning only half the vertices ...


40

The Epson MX-80, upon which many other printers were based, had nine round pins which were vertically spaced at 1/72" intervals. On such printers, the print head could generally move at two speeds, one twice the other. At high speed, a printer could place dots at 120dpi resolution, but could not strike two adjacent dots. At low speed, the resolution was ...


29

VGA was introduced in 1987 with IBM's PS/2 line. NEC and VESA developed SuperVGA in 1988, but at the time it used the old and slow 8/16-bit ISA bus. Improving video performance was a top priority at NEC to help sell its high-end displays as well as its own PC systems. By 1991, video performance had become a real bottleneck in most PC systems. (316) ...


29

First, it may be good to know that the MX-80 did not feature a bitmap mode for graphics, but only 64 symbols. The MX-80 also used 7 bit encoding, so no room for 8 bit graphic data. It was the MX-80 Type II that included it. So while the name is used simply as MX-80, it's always the MX-80 Type II we're talking. Second, Just because some printer looked alike, ...


26

All of the classic 3D screensavers (3D Maze, 3D Pipes, 3D Flying Objects, 3D Text, and 3D Flower Box) used OpenGL instead of DirectX. This was a virtual necessity for two reasons: (1) the original version of Windows 95 didn't ship with any version of DirectX, and (2) the Direct3D API required hardware acceleration that most PCs of the time wouldn't have had....


23

The pixels are not exactly square, the actual aspect ratio depends on the TV system. For PAL-B, the pixel aspect ratio is 0.937:1, the pixels are a bit higher than they are wide. For NTSC, the ratio is 0.75:1. At this ratio it can be clearly seen that the cursor block is definitely higher than wide.


23

TL;DR; Typical dpi of dot matrix printers available in the 1980s Horizontal: 60, 72, 80, 90, 120, 240 and 360 dpi Vertical: 72 dpi for 8/9 pin and 120 dpi for 12/24 pin printers. Multiples thereof by printing a line twice. The Long Read: However, it's difficult to determine exactly where the individual pixels of the monochrome image lie... Which of ...


21

You can find it at https://files.scene.org/search/?q=unreal The file you want is /demos/groups/future_crew/demos/unreal11.zip - the latest version. There are many other fantastic demos worth checking out, available there as well! It is an official archive. If you like Unreal, then you'll love its sequel, Second Reality! You can also find recordings of ...


20

Splitting the screen on an X coordinate is more involved since you'd naturally end up with some garbage at the instant you changed from one to the other. But since the copper can be instructed to WAIT accurately, the garbage would be very predictable. If you covered that with a hardware sprite, you could have two vertical views, which is exactly what you get ...


16

The Nintendo 64 not only has full-perspective texturing, it can afford bilinear filtering — for each output pixel the PS1 samples the input texture exactly once. The N64 samples it four times and linearly interpolates according to how close it is to each (in two dimensions, hence bilinear). The Saturn has a couple of tricks up its sleeve: the primitive is ...


16

In standard bitmap mode the C64 outputs 320 pixels in 40µs. The visible portion of a line is ~52µs; in 60Hz regions ~240 lines are considered 'visible', but in PAL regions it's ~288 lines. So if there were no borders, there'd be around 52/40*320 = 416 pixels across the visible portion of a line. Given that each line is 4/3rds as wide as a hypothetical ...


16

I think that this was part of the larger trend of IBM losing the leadership of the “PC”, especially after the PS/2 and the MCA debacle (although the PS/2 line did introduce many new features which became de facto PC standards). Looking at graphics specifically, after the VGA, IBM developed the 8514/A and then the XGA. For most consumers these had several ...


15

Many PC pinball games use Mode X, notably Pinball Fantasies, Pinball Illusions and Epic Pinball. Nerdly Pleasures also has a comprehensive post on games using “unofficial” resolutions, which includes a number of other games which support 320×240: Quake, Earthworm Jim, The Lost Vikings, Norse by Norse West, and Scorched Earth. On Moby Games, such games are ...


15

There can not be an EGA emulator for many reasons. Emulating CGA works, because in graphics mode, Hercules has a 64k frame buffer at address B0000h - BFFFFh, and for a single page, only 32k from address B0000h is displayed. The CGA has a 16k frame buffer at B8000h - BBFFFh, which fits inside the frame buffer provided by the Hercules card. Therefore what ...


14

Yes, there were, even though AF became available rather late in the day for DOS games (1996). However AF was never successful or even really relevant. In the nineties, supporting graphics resolutions beyond those defined by VGA was complex; see Fractint’s source code for evidence of that. Some programs had driver interfaces (notably, AutoCAD and Windows), ...


14

There would be no technical reason to not use all nine pins, but it doesn't really help either. Remember that the computer speaks to it using 8-bit bytes. Sending 9-bit wide data requires buffering and/or other relatively expensive processing to do the 9-to-8 conversion and back. The upside would be that printing 9 pixels wide would be 12.5% faster than 8 ...


13

On paper, based on the fill rate only, all the high-end graphics adapters available on PC in 1999 were at least as powerful as the Dreamcast’s PowerVR2: the CLX2 in the Dreamcast ran at 100MHz, with one operation/pixel/texture per clock, and memory bandwidth of 0.8GB/s; the PMX1 (PC-compatible PowerVR2) ran at 125MHz, again with one operation per clock, and ...


11

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (called Super Famicom in Asia) is mostly TMS9918-like. However, the CPU's integrated memory controller has its own counterpart to Amiga COPPER, called HDMA (horizontal blanking direct memory access). HDMA can reprogram PPU registers during hblank based on up to eight lists stored in work RAM. Each HDMA channel has ...


11

EscP2 language did specify a 9-pin mode: ESC ^ but it was not very efficient, a whole byte was needed just to send the 9th pixel. Epson reference manual


10

In the case of the PowerVR PCX1 and PXC2 devices (as in e.g. the Matrox 'm3D' and Videologic 'Apocalyse3D/3Dx') there was never any intention to directly support the 2D operations (e.g. blitting/rectangle filling/ bit map caching) required for the Windows system. Since these devices could write directly to the 2D card's framebuffer memory, via the burst ...


10

Probably because it was the only way to get 100% compatibility with the old software library, which was required while most PS2 titles weren't developped yet. Noone wants to buy a machine without games, and noone wants to upgrade and lose the ability to play old games. Note like console makers have a "all or nothing" way of handling the compability. For ...


9

Vector and raster graphics pose different challenges. Raster displays require the ability to very quickly generate a stream of pixels at a continuous rate. Unless one is willing to place severe limits on the number of objects per horizontal line and use separate circuitry for each such object (something many early video game systems in fact did) this will ...


9

As a condensed answer: On a 9-pin printer (the cheaper kind), the physical pins might make a dot approximately one point (1/72") in diameter. The dots could be placed at 120dpi density and 1/240" precision horizontally, and (by three-pass printing) at 1/216" density and precision vertically. Graphics printing normally used only 8 of the pins; the ninth ...


9

Your second and third points are disadvantages from the user’s perspective. Looking at things from the manufacturers’ perspective, SLI has one significant advantage: it raises the maximum number of graphics cards in a single system, which automatically raises the market’s ability to envision buying more graphics cards. SLI started with 3dfx, where it was ...


8

I recently posted a disassembly of the Apple II version, which is substantially similar to the C64 and BBC Micro implementations. One of the things I focused on was the way meshes were stored and rendered. For each "hull definition" there are three tables: Vertices: 9-bit X/Y/Z coordinates, 5-bit level-of-detail value, 1-4 faces Edges: two vertex indices, ...


7

I don't think the list is very long. The history starts with the Atari 2600, which was firmly derived from older discrete logic but added a microprocessor primarily for raster racing: doing so is the only means to draw a 2d frame — it's not a clever way to get more from the system, it's the intended use of the system. That was consolidated as a dedicated ...


7

Problem Here is a picture (to scale) of how memory is being used in units of "pages" (256 bytes) on the Apple 2. 000000001111111111111111 2222222222222222 3 ... ... 9 89ABCDEF0123456789ABCDEF 0123456789ABCDEF 0 ... ... 6 +------------------------+----------------+--------------+ |Basic:::::::::::::::::::|::: HGR | | |Program::...


7

With only a 250W power supply you may be pushing the limit with two video cards, but it's hard to be sure. Neither of the video cards you're planning on using are particularly power hungry. I suspect nether comes with a fan, and the GeForce2 MX may not even have a heat sink. The PCI connector can only supply 25W and I believe the AGP 1.0 interface had the ...


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