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R300 Open-Source Gallium3D Driver Sees New Optimization For Two Decade Old ATI GPUs

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  • R300 Open-Source Gallium3D Driver Sees New Optimization For Two Decade Old ATI GPUs

    Phoronix: R300 Open-Source Gallium3D Driver Sees New Optimization For Two Decade Old ATI GPUs

    Thanks to being open-source, the Mesa R300 Gallium3D driver that is used for supporting OpenGL on the ATI Radeon 9500/9600/9700/9800 series up through the Radeon X1000 "R500" series has seen a new set of performance optimization work twenty years after the R300 GPUs first shipped...

    https://www.phoronix.com/news/R300g-Faster-In-2022

  • #2
    I have a few of those old cards laying around. I might have to put something together and test them out. I wonder what version of OpenGL is supported?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dukenukemx View Post
      I wonder what version of OpenGL is supported?
      Per https://xorg.freedesktop.org/wiki/RadeonFeature/ should be OpenGL 2.1.

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      • #4
        I still remember these! They were amazing for the time, and you can do a LOT with "just" GL 2.1.

        It's the lack of bandwidth that hurts these old cards, not the limits on program length or a handful of late features. This is the generation that made per-pixel lighting with DNSE materials practical, and they still had plenty of shader capacity left to burn for any postproc. They'd still be viable for a lot of games to this day, conceptually.

        The real problem is finding a mobo that has a working AGP slot. Even the most pack-ish of rats will have a hard time managing that.

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        • #5
          arQon there are also pci-e version of these cards. I have a x1300 SE unused for example.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by arQon View Post
            I still remember these! They were amazing for the time, and you can do a LOT with "just" GL 2.1.
            ...
            The real problem is finding a mobo that has a working AGP slot. Even the most pack-ish of rats will have a hard time managing that.
            Open GL 2.1 ist the least problem, max resolution and VGA port are the real problems as well as PCI or AGP slots. For building retro systems (playing Quake 2 with a tube screen!) its totally fine, if you don't mind little noisy fans.

            The hardware is easily found in the trash, just look around when people clean up their attic or garage.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Anux View Post
              max resolution and VGA port are the real problems
              My x1300 SE card have also DVI, and I don't remember the max resolution, but honestly I use vga on my hd 5450 (that is the most powerfull card that I own).

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              • #8
                Was it this era that AGP and PCI-E had bridges? And to facilitate PCE-E, the AGP cards were bridged to support the slot, but it affected performance?
                Hi

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kenren View Post
                  My x1300 SE card have also DVI, and I don't remember the max resolution, but honestly I use vga on my hd 5450 (that is the most powerfull card that I own).
                  5450 is r600 (much newer, but look at the other article for improvments there).
                  I meant that if you try to use those cards (r300) in modern systems and with modern monitors you have a bad time. Even DVI is really rare these days and also capped at 1920 × 1200 with older single link connectors.

                  When I switched from a CRT to a TFT somewhere around 2012 I was impressed how clear and sharp the image was but as soon as I started gaming it looked worse. Turns out my CRT wasn't the sharpest at 1280 * 1024 and therfore applyed real time anti aliasing To get the same smooth image on a TFT I had to use atleast 4x AA and that was too much for my GPU (5750 at that time).

                  If you have a modern system with integrated GPU there is almost no reason to use such an old card. If you have a retro system than I'm really curious what those optimizations can do.

                  Originally posted by stiiixy View Post
                  Was it this era that AGP and PCI-E had bridges? And to facilitate PCE-E, the AGP cards were bridged to support the slot, but it affected performance?
                  Yes that was around the X7** X8** times.
                  Last edited by Anux; 22 August 2022, 08:49 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stiiixy View Post
                    Was it this era that AGP and PCI-E had bridges?
                    The early r3xx chips were AGP only. Later r3xx and all r4xx and r5xx cards were PCIe native with a PCIe to AGP bridge for AGP/PCI board designs (AGP is really just PCI for the most part).

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