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Old 06-30-1999, 02:45 AM   #1
eutectic
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Default Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Well I finally got my TNT2. I removed the G200 drivers and card, put my new card in and prayed the Lord that it would work.

Me hits the power switch, installs da drivers and keeps his fingers crossed....

Drivers installed fine in less than 2 minutes.. Ah! But will it work?... On the desktop lies an icon that says "SinEd"... Do I dare double-click it?...

Menatally prepared for the worst, I dare (WTF... here goes nothing).

Blabla.. def files loading... Hey! Whaddaya know?... No ding!... Do I dare hope? I load a map, everything appears to be fine (hope rising). I immediately go to the 3D screen (of course) and try hitting the movement keys... WOW!! It's fast...

Now for the real test... Select texture trilinear mode and enlarge the 3D view to full-screen... HOLY COW!! ... I'm moving around as fast as if I would be in the game!! No wait!! Faster! WOOHOO!! Thank You Lord!

Now SinEd... 800 x 600: re-played the first 4 maps of the original game. Not a single crash!! I TRIED to make it crash by going into God mode and use nothing but a ton of explosions (which would ALWAYS make my Voodoo2 crash at some point). Not this guy!

OK, let's get serious now: 1024 x 768, 16 bit color, trilinear textures, shadows on, all the works... Still rock stable AND fast PLUS equisitely good looking. Man! After 2 years of 640 x 480 Voodoo2 fudge, I'm the happiest guy in the world

Just a few things: it's dark and I have to use excessive desktop gamma correction to make the game's bright enough to look right. But the desktop is washed out. Hope to find a way to make both look good without having to set Gamma each time I want to start Sin.

The other thing is: strangely, after playing Sin for a while, SinEd "dings" again and the 3d view is slow again (???) Reboot the system maybe?... Hmmm, same thing. There's a few things I have to figure out here.

So Joker, The only thing I can think of about the problems you have with your Viper770 is maybe like I said, it's not a reference design which maybe make the drivers very different from the Nvidia reference drivers. Also, if you have a Pentium w/socket7 system instead of a Pentium2/slot1 system, this might be the cause also. I read somewhere that socket7 systems can be troublesome with the TNT2 chip in some cases.

If that's not the case, then it's the card IMO. If you can, I suggest you exchange your Viper770 for a Guillemot Xentor32 (which is what I got) or a Hercules Dynamite32 if you can spare the price difference. Even a Creative Blaster TNT2 ultra would do fine cause it's also a "reference design". But the Guillemot is better and less expensive than the Creative (and Diamond too).

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Old 06-30-1999, 10:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Yes indeed, I bet you are one happy man. I would be too!

The apartment building I live in has a Virgin records store, Circuit City and 12 screen Movie theatre right downstairs. Needless to say I am never lacking in entertainment or exposure to hardware software.

Virgin Records typically has 4 computers set up running the latest games, and of course all four computers have 3D cards to show off the pretty graphics. Periodically I will go down there to check out the games, so I have seen how beautiful Sin looks in full glorious 3D.

It also gives me the opportunity to play other FPS as well: Halflife, Unreal, Aliens vs Predator, etc... KingPin should be there any day (although I heard it sucks). Each of those games has their strong points, but none impress me as much as Sin, in looks or gameplay. It's just amazing how much of a difference 3D accel makes.

*sigh*, it would be nice to have hardware acceleration for laptops. I have read about one such laptop (can't remember the manufacturer) that boasts onboard 3D accel, but I doubt it is as fully featured as TNT2.

Oh well, I guess I shouldn't expect portability AND power, too.
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Old 06-30-1999, 11:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

"The other thing is: strangely, after playing Sin for a while, SinEd "dings" again and the 3d view is slow again (???) Reboot the system maybe?"

Yep, get used to rebooting until the drivers mature more. I had to wait a loooong time to get drivers that would allow me to even open SinED after playing SiN. Also, stay away from OpenGL screen savers too.

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Old 06-30-1999, 11:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

I got my viper770 ultra !
and it really rocks just what eutectic said.
i hope diamond drivers will be updated because the gamma settings for evey game rules

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Old 06-30-1999, 12:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Yeah I have the OpenGL error running Sin in Sined as well..it's definatly not slower once I get it to run again though. (This is a TNT btw, not TNT 2, but they basically have the same opengl driver)

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Old 06-30-1999, 07:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

minesonitswayminesonitswayminesonitswayminesonitsw ay.

Contstructive, maybe not.
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Old 07-02-1999, 02:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Yeah, I have a couple desktop machines too, I just haven't been able to convince my wife that a 3D card will make Microsoft Word run faster (j/k). I almost convinced her we needed a 13 gig HD... man those are getting inexpensive.

Since we are moving AGAIN (back to the west coast), maybe this will spurr another growth in our LAN... 3D cards all around. At least I know what card to look at now.
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Old 07-02-1999, 03:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Joker:

So you mean that the starting SinEd once, let it crash but don't close it, start it a second time and close everything doesn't work for you?...

The only time SinEd opened without the GL error in mycase is right after I instaled the card for the first time (dammed if I know why). After that, I always got the GL crash error but with the above procedure works (just like before I had a TNT2 card in fact).

If that's doesn't work for you, I still think you should try uninstalling the Diamond drivers and install the Nvidia reference drivers just to see what happens. You DL it from their home page:

www.nvidia.com

Afterwards, if nothing works, you can always re-install your Diamond drivers.

Diamond makes good hardware. It's their customer support policy that sucks IMO. That's why I'm reluctant to buy Diamond products unless there's no satisfactory equivalent in other brands (like the MX200 and MX300 sound cards for example).

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Old 07-02-1999, 06:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

*ahem*
will 768 Meg memory and a P3 500 Mhz be okie dokie, blokie ?

Next time I post my specs, shoot me
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Old 07-03-1999, 01:43 AM   #10
eutectic
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

WHOA! With that kinda engine under the hood, you gonna be one happy puppy with a TNT2 Ranger

What flavor are you getting BTW? Hercules, Diamond, Guillemot ... ? Just curious here.

Man, I hope I can get my hands on a replacement with a proper VGA output chip so I can do away with this blue text and washed out colors problem. I gotta phone these guys again and let them know they probably ran into a bad batch of chips and have a whole production batch of bad cards on the retail "matrix" already.

I have a hunch there might have to be a major recall for those. I mean the blue is really apparent and it bugs the hell out of me.

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Old 07-03-1999, 01:45 AM   #11
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Ok, a few things happened since. A bit more feedback here. BTW, thanks to everyone for their input on this thread. Didn't hear from Joker yet tho...

BlindTypist:

Yeah ,definitly, getting 3D accel on a laptop is a problem. I knew you had a laptop but I thought you also had a desktop machine.
It's really too bad because since the TNT2 came out, the TNT's came down in price a LOT and have become an exceptional value in terms of price/peformance ratio.

Korrupt:

Yes, I stay away from any kind of fancy screen savers, OpenGL or not. I use the good ol' stars in space thing. The last thing I want is memory hungry apps running in the background. Since one isn't around when the SS runs, why have anything fancy? I once had big problems with those "After Dark" funnies so I know better

Outsider:

Let us know how Sin and Sined runs on your machine. I'm curious to find out whether Joker's problem is related to his card or not (he has a Viper770 too).

And I found the Xentor also has an option where you can set custom gamma settings and recal them with a quick tray icon. Works fine for me. Just didn't know about it 2 days ago

Hex:

Yeah, this is true. I don't know why this happened in the first few attempts but it works fine now and provided I can start SinEd, the 3D view runs like a bat outta hell every time. The only thing I find disappointing is that you can't run Sin and Sined at the same time which is sooo useful when making maps, compiling and testing. Now I'll have to restart Sined every time.

One solution is to run Sin in software mode while building maps in SinEd but... when you've been spoiled by HW 3D rendering for years, it's hard to to go back to SW even for just tests

One strange thing tho: when you run the 2nd session of SinEd, then I start closing the OK windows, and it will generate new OK windows infinitely. If I try to close everything with the ctrl-alt-del "end task", it will close but trying to restart SinEd after that make my whole machine freeze.

So I absolutely have to close the OK windows manually. I found that by moving one of the OK windows on the screen before hitting OK makes it possible to do this but I get a lot more of those "OK" dialogs than before. This makes closing SinEd a real pain.

Ranger:

I think you'll like it Of course, speed depends also a lot on the kind of CPU and memory you have. I have a P2-400/128Mb ram
and the game runs fast (and looks beautiful) even when I run it at 1024 x 768, 16 bit color and trilinear filtering for textures.

Oh, and BTW, sv_showbboxes and sv_showentnums work perfectly with TNT2

I made myself a small .cfg file which runs 6 different demos (some of the walkthroughs made by Lithium and LeftE) in a loop. I started it before I went to bed and let it run all night (at the settings above). The next morning, it was still running happily as ever.

If anybody wants this .cfg file, I can either email it to you or somehow make it available for download. I highly recommend you run it soon after you buy your card to spot any lock-up problems due to heat or a "weak" TNT2 chip. Also good for the "adventurers" out there who intend on overclocking their card.

As for the Xentor32, I have a small problem with of a strange nature: the text in the windows menus and text files or web pages which should be black comes out a dark purple hue instead. And the colors are generally washed out. I exchanged the card 2 days ago and nothing's changed. I made a few tests and I suspect that the VGA output chip on the card might be the problem (a bad batch of chips maybe). Doesn't affect 3D accel and Sin still looks OK but not as good as I would like.

So if you intend to buy a Guillemot, maybe you want to hold it off for a few days till I sort this out with tech support. If you already got the card and have this same problem, I suggest you exchange until you get a good one. And if anybody out there has this same problem, please get in touch with me.

eutectic@ritualistic.com

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Old 07-03-1999, 01:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Sorry have been tied up with my business. Work work work....

Well I downloaded the new drivers for my Viper 770 and it did not help with using sinister and SinEd crashes with that OpenGL error in the begining. I know you guys have talked about that before but I can't seem to find the answer to correct it searching.

I am in the computer hardware business and I use Diamond mainly because of the renound support by software makers, well except for SinEd. The Card works great, never liked reference drivers even when I owned a STB 4400 AGP, had way too many problems and framerate in SIN was a joke.

I use a P3/500 and run with 256MB SDRAM, about to take that to 512MB just because SDRAM is at it low, not going much lower.
Anyone out there wanting to upgrade start looking around and grabing it up, about another 2 months then it will go back to the high shortage prices.

My next step is to put in the Ultra series card, but that price is also about to drop, so no point now. When I do it will be interesting to see how much faster it really is in real life senarios than the boughtoff benchmarks say. I have a nice path that I have followed. Monster 2, STB 4400 AGP, VooDoo 3 3000, TNT2 Viper 770, next the Viper Ultra 770. My borther has the ATI Rage Fury. Sorry but that card stinks! All I hear from him every time a game comes out, I need a patch.. ha ha

Well back to work..



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Old 07-03-1999, 05:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Went for the 32m Herc Dyna TNT2 Ultra in the end, as for your blue prob. I had the same trouble with an old ATI card (different league I know but similar problem).
Ended up having 2 replacements for it before convincing them it didn't want to work on my machine.
Have you tried the card on any other rig, may be something else @ fault.
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Old 07-03-1999, 11:14 PM   #14
eutectic
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Yeah, actually just this afternoon, I borrowed my sister's monitor (a plain Princeton 15") for a couple of hours and hooked it up to my box since I wasn't totally sure the card was responsible for the problem.

To my great joy and satisfaction, the image turned out perfect (absolutely gorgeous in fact) on her monitor. So now, I'm almost sure the problem is my monitor and not the card.

Got a Mag DX17F which I've had for 4 years now. And it's got a LOT of mileage. Been using it almost every day since. So the picture tube is probably running out of breath. You see, it's been overdriven by a boosted VGA signal from my Cybex Commander switchbox during all that time.

But there's also another possibility: maybe the amplitude of the VGA signal at the output of the Guillemot is a little bit under average which might cause it to be incompatible with some monitors.

Reinstalling my Matrox G200 and bypassing my Cybex switchbox will give me the definite answer.

When I run the signal through the Cybex, the VGA signal is re-amplified by the electronics inside to compensate for the extra VGA cable length. This makes the blue text problem disappear but I lose in picture sharpness and clarity because of the induced noise from the extra amplifier stage.

So you went for the Ferrari huh?... Good for you man! Only normal considering the kind of box you have. Just be careful not to catch any speeding tickets

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Old 07-04-1999, 09:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

its the Ferrari ?

Well I didn't really clock all the benchmarks on all the cards, only the Herc and about 3 others. It was joint first but I dont usually swear by benchmarks anyway, I'm a hands on kinda guy. Cool, hope you sort your problem, sounds very,er....technical
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Old 07-04-1999, 04:25 PM   #16
eutectic
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Yeah, the Hercules won the honors among all the TNT2 Ultra cards in all the major hardware review sites: AnandTech, Sharky Extreme, etc..

Actually, it tied with the Guillemot at Sharky. Peformance wise, the Herc has an edge and comes with an overclocking utility.

Value wise, the Guillemot is the best: almost as fast as the Herc but a lot cheaper.
And the software bundle is nice too: Kingpin and Xing SoftDVD player.

About the problem, I did solve it. It was the monitor after all. The picture tube is dying, that's what makes the black text seems dark blue and the colors look washed out. Nothing wrong with my card, thank God.

So I can recommend the Guillemot without hesitation. It's both faster and cheaper than its Creative and Diamond counterparts. And the picture quality is second to none ...on a healthy monitor that is

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Old 07-05-1999, 03:57 AM   #17
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

huh, just got back to home from london with new Diamond viper v770 tnt2 card...
i just instaled it and i got sined running
(like usual closing it 2 times etc etc)
but then i get these problems.. the screens wont display right and colors dont work properly etc etc.. i am just downloading reference drivers from nvidia and i will post that will it working after that....
hope for the best eh


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Old 07-05-1999, 04:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

damn download it braked up after while :P well anywayz i reinstaled diamond drivers
(xe700402) and now i can run sined perfectly without any of those problems i mentioned earlier (execpt the close the windows start) now i can join the happy crew too


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Old 07-06-1999, 01:48 AM   #19
eutectic
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Default Re: Joker: TNT2 - Preliminary feeback & results

Hey! Cool Tatu!

Welcome to the club and thanks for the feedback. Just one question: when you start Sin, is it darker than usual? Do you have to apply gamma correction to get a normal brightness?

Does your display properties panel offer custom color settings you can save and recall quickly?

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