In the Forums...
Posted: October 29, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen
Glide Splash Screen is the 3dfx Glide logo that comes on when you play a glide-based game. Itís cool at the start but gets annoying afterwards and just wastes time. Whatever tickles your fancy.
Legacy Texture Compression enables the card to accept legacy texture compression techniques and port them to FXT1 compression. It will improve performance because now you can have older games load compressed textures instead of bloated ones into local memory. I suggest Enabled for peak performance.
Alpha blending here is the same thing as in Direct3D.
3D Filter Quality here is the same thing as in Direct3D.
MIP Map Dithering will cause the hardware to blend between pairs of MIP map levels to produce a full continuum of texture levels. This can result in much smoother texturing. However, this can also decrease performance because dithered MIP Maps cannot be multi-textured. I recommend leaving this disabled if youíre already having performance problems (e.g. low frame rates). If you can play everything well with it enabled, then leave it as is. Try to see what the game is like with it off and on. If thereís no noticeable visual difference in the games you play, turn it off for improved performance.
Triple Buffering will allocate a third frame buffer. This frame buffer can increase performance by enabling the hardware to render at the same time that the 3D application performs other tasks. However, the additional frame buffer required for this uses up video memory that could otherwise be used for storing textures. Enabling Triple Buffering could hurt the performance of your 3D applications that use a lot of textures. But since the Voodoo5 5500 already has more than adequate RAM (64MB), I think leaving this enabled would be the best choice.
Rendering color-depth determines the number of colors available for rendering the 3D graphics. 16 bits per-pixel, or 16bpp, produces a maximum palette of 65,536 colors, which can result in color banding or other visual anomalies in some cases. 32 bits per-pixel, or 32bpp, can produce a palette with many millions of colors available for rendering, resulting in smoother color gradients and shading without color bands or other color-related artifacts. Setting this option to "Force 32bpp Rendering" causes older Glide applications to render using 32bpp even though they were not originally designed to support 32bpp rendering under Glide, which can result in improved image quality over 16bpp rendering. I recommend leaving this option at "Forced" because it does improve overall image quality. Turn it off if you tend to play above 1024x768 for improved performance in 16bit native games.
Maximum Buffered Frames allows you to limit the number of pending swap buffers to 0, 1, 2, or 3. A higher number of pending swap buffers can slow the system's response to input as all of the pending swap buffers are processed before the system proceeds to the next operation. Higher swaps leads to potentially higher frame rates, but at the same time increasing latency (waiting for the card to draw the frame). I recommend choosing 1 or 2 for best performance without much latency.
Anti-Aliasing here is the same thing as in Direct3D.
Thatís basically it for all optimization options in the drivers. You can further optimize things such as colors to improve your visual experience. And you definitely have to optimize in-game options to further enhance image quality or improve game performance.