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3dfx Voodoo 4/5 Tweak guide

Direct3D Options

This section contains settings that you can use to tweak display options for games/applications that use Direct3D for rendering.

Screen Capture Toggle Key. This setting can be used to bind a key to capturing screenshots with the Voodoo 4/5 in Direct3D rendering modes. If you wish to use this ensure that the key selected doesn't not interfere with the keyboard controls used in the application/game in question.

Screen Capture Limit. This setting is used to set a limit on the Maximum number of frames to capture when the Screen Capture Toggle Key is hit. I'd recommend setting this to 1.

Screen Capture Destination. This setting can be used to select the location of where any screen captures are to be saved. By default this is in the directory of the Application/Game being used.

3D Filter Quality. Using this setting you can further improve image quality. The display image can be filtered by averaging pixel values. Selecting High (uses 2 adjacent horizontal pixels from a line & the 2 pixels on the line below (a 2x2 box filter) to create 1 output pixel) will result in more pixels being averaged, resulting in a sharper image. Selecting Normal will average less pixels than High (uses 4 adjacent samples on a line (a 4x1 linear filter) to create 1 output pixel), resulting in a smoother, more blurred image. Selecting Automatic will allow the program to use filtering as needed. I’d recommend setting this to High. This setting is ignored when using a 32-bit colour depth.

3D Stereo Glasses. This setting can be used to enable driver level support for 3D Stereo glasses, such as the Elsa’s 3D Revelator. Should you wish to use 3D Stereo glasses then set this to Enable (Reboot Required) (Then shut down, connect the glasses & reboot). If you have no intention of using such glasses then leave this set to Disable (Reboot Required).

AA Demo Key. Those of you out there who want to see the difference FSAA makes will be interested in this setting, with it you can simply switch FSAA on or off for an immediate change in visual quality, although performance will NOT improve if you’re thinking you can use this during graphically intensive parts of a game.

Simply choose a key for the toggle to be bound to. When in a game where you have X2, X4 or X8 (Voodoo 5 6000 only) FSAA selected hitting this key will toggle FSAA on/off. Select Disable if you don’t intend to use it.

Alpha Blending. This setting can be used to enable/disable dither subtraction on the Destination colour during Alpha-Blending. When dither subtraction is enabled, the dither matrix used to convert 24-bit colour to 16-bit colour is subtracted from the destination colour before applying the alpha-blending algorithm. Setting this to Automatic will allow the application in question to use dither subtraction as necessary. Setting it to Sharper will enable dither subtraction, resulting in a sharper image. Setting it to Smoother will disable dither subtraction, resulting in a smoother image. I’d recommend setting this to Sharper. This setting is ignored when using a 32-bit colour depth.

NOTE – Setting 3D Filter Quality to High & Alpha Blending to Sharper will enable the use of a special post filter which results in effectively 22-bit colour. This will provide optimal image quality with the Voodoo 4/5 in 16-bit colour depth modes.

Anti-Aliasing. See 3dfx Features section for further information.

Geometry Assist. This setting allows those of you with fairly new processors (Pentium 3, Athlon or newer) to take advantage of optimized geometry processing paths on such new CPU’s. This can improve performance &/or visual quality in many Direct3D supporting applications/games. If you have a Pentium 3/Athlon or newer select Enable (Reboot required) to enable Geometry Assist in Direct3D. If your processor is pre-Pentium 3/Athlon, e.g. Pentium 2 or K6-2 this option will not be visible.

Select Disable (Reboot required) to disable Geometry Assist in Direct3D. You should only select this option if any of your Direct3D accelerated programs/games become unstable as a result of using Enable.

Level of Detail Bias. Using this setting you can make textures appear sharper or blurrier. This is quite useful & can enhance texture quality greatly. The performance hit when using this is negligible also. Valid ranges for this are –2 to 2. Don’t set it higher than 0 though as image quality will be worse (blurred) & there is no useful performance gain.

Here’s what the LOD bias does. LOD bias modifies the calculation of texture level of detail parameter LOD. Often a texture is oversampled or filtered such that the texture is band limited at lower frequencies in one or more dimensions. The result is that texture-mapped primitives appear excessively blurry. LOD bias provides biases in the LOD calculation to compensate for under or over sampled texture images. Mipmapped textures can be made to appear sharper or blurrier by supplying a negative or positive bias respectively. You should set the setting based on what Anti-Aliasing setting you use. With Anti-Aliasing set to 4 Sample set this to –1.5, at 2 Sample set this to –0.75 & at Fastest Performance set this to 0.

Maximum Buffered Frames. This setting allows you to limit the amount of pending swap buffers. Setting this too High can hinder your system's response to input (Game Controller’s or other devices) as all of the pending swap buffers are processed before the system proceeds to the next operation. However a Higher amount of swap buffers can also lead to higher frame rates, but at the same time increasing latency (waiting for the card to draw the frame). I’d recommend leaving this set to 1 or 2 personally.

MIP map Dithering. Using this setting you can enable smooth transitions between textures (more specifically, between mip-map levels). This will result in improved image quality, although potentially reduce performance as dithered mip-maps can’t be multi-textured. I’d recommend setting this to Enable unless you really need to increase performance, in which case set it to Disable.

Z-buffer Optimization. This setting can be used to enable an extension that optimizes the use of the Z-buffer. Performance can be improved when set to Enable. Try setting this to Disable if you encounter problems running certain Direct3D games/applications.


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