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DomainMaster

Getting D3D To Run On A SLOWER SYSTEM

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I have a 150mhz comp without a 3D graphics card. I''ve been messing around with D3D trying to get it to run when it does run it is extremely slow. Is there a way to make it run a little faster, like dropping the screen resolution, lowering the color format to 16-bit, running in full screen mode. Please post your suggestions.

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My only suggestion would be to simply upgrade the PC. Direct3D may be fast, but it can''t perform miracles. There are some things you simply won''t be able to acheive on a system with that configuration.

The only other things I can suggest are running in 320x200 and keeping the polygon count as low as possible. Even so, without a 3D graphic card, your code''ll execute as fast as a slug on salt...

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yes u cant do much,
though to contradict the above poster.
disable textures use lighting + use move triangles
dont expect more than 5fps though.

disabling any perpixel stuff (like textures is very important if u dont have a 3dcard)
per vertex stuff (lighting + more vertices) can be done on the cpu (then again it is a 150mhz cpu so dont expect to much)

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I use a P-150 for testing purposes and D3D is dog slow...

How to make it faster?


Software rendering,,,as in write your own polygon rendering routines...D3D is ment for hardware acceleration, Microsoft stopped working on the software rendering side years ago when they first got it working...they never really optimised it (prefering to let the advanceing processer speed hide this fact).

The game Quake was released back when the P-150 processer "was the best you could get"...and on a P-150 in 640 X 480 mode you could get around 20 frames per second...in 320 X 240 you could get well over twice that...now granted that the graphics were 8-bit paletted stuff...but it shows that by even working with the speed limitations of the processer, an enjoyable fully 3D game can still be made.


Another thing to keep in mind is the OS...the DOS basied ones Win 95/98 can run apps much faster on such CPUs then the later OS can (it''s even doubtfull that a P-150 could support XP).

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If you''re able to, you might consider adding an inexpensive Voodoo or Voodoo II graphics card (eBay has lots). You''ll notice a significant performance increase, you''ll be able to use 640x480 with hardware acceleration, as well as other cool 3D features of the day such as texture filtering, lighting, and fog.

It sounds like you''re trying to learn 3D programming, but I doubt your enthusiasm will go far without some form of video acceleration for your projects; otherwise your efforts will seem fruitless.

Alternatives to spending the $$ on a video accelerator:
- "Trick" double buffering: rendering your screens at 320x240, then stretch-blitting them to the front-buffer at 640x480. Looks a little jagged, but might give you a performance boost.
- Lowering your texture resolutions to between 8x8 and 128x128. Less texture transfers are a good thing on older cards.
- Using an older D3D interface (i.e. D3D 5), since the software rendering might be a little faster (though less feature-rich).
- Stick with 16 bit color. You won''t get great performance from 24 or 32 bit color, and 8 bit palettized might be a nightmare.
- Avoid such things like alpha blending, texture filtering, etc, as these are expensive calculations on a CPU. Or use alternatives: stippled alpha, smaller-textures with repeating, etc.

Good luck!




MatrixCubed
http://MatrixCubed.cjb.net

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