kyro II card announced by hercules - kyroII announced by PowerVR
guillemot/hercules announced a new graphic card based on a faster kyro chip. the new chip is said to have 175mhz chip and memory clock. it would be released in mid of april. the chip will not have a tnl unit but it will have fsaa and bump mapping and 8xmultitexturing.
Originally posted by fat beat: guillemot/hercules announced a new graphic card based on a faster kyro chip. the new chip is said to have 175mhz chip and memory clock. it would be released in mid of april. the chip will not have a tnl unit but it will have fsaa and bump mapping and 8xmultitexturing.
Thats cool...but they're a little late to the party. If the Kyro had originally had these specs back at release, it would have been something. Unfortunately, I'll be willing to bet it barely bests a GF2 GTS, so unless they intro Kyro II boards for under $150 they won't sell.
Big news! Those of you pining away for the good old days of competition in the video card market may have a reason to cheer-- Hercules just announced their Kyro II based video card, the 3D Prophet 4500. There will be two versions, a 64mb card for ~$150, and a 32mb card for ~$80. Both cards have 128-bit SDR memory and the core chip running at 175mz.
Details on the Kyro II chip haven't really been released, but from what I gather this is pretty much just a die shrink of the older chip, allowing increased clock rate. If you'd like to know the pros and cons of this tile-based renderer, I highly recommend two technical writeups on the original Kyro card: Reactor Critical analysis, and Kert Chian analysis. Performance, even at a modest 115mhz, is respectable. It's on par with a GeForce SDR in most cases. And due to the specifics of how tile-based rendering works, its 16-bit image quality is nothing short of amazing. I mean it! Check out this page for a great example. But don't start celebrating yet. There also significant downsides, including a massive performance hit for trilinear and anisotropic filtering, weaknesses in multipass rendering, and of course no DX8 or T&L support.
Still, the most important question: how will raising the clock some 50% affect performance, given the unusual tiler architecture? Luckily for us, Rivastation posted some benchmarks from the card. No telling if they're accurate, but they look in the ballpark to me. Supposedly these numbers are from this chip.de article but I can't find them there for the life of me. All benchmarks were performed on a P3 1ghz running Quake 3.
Definitely respectable numbers. However, there is some conflicting evidence. This quickie preview at cdmag mentioned real-world 1024x768x32bpp Quake 3 results of around 54fps, which is considerably lower than the numbers reported above. Regardless, this is another solid contender for the mainstream 3D video market alongside the Radeon DDR. Can't argue with competition!
I think the Kyro2 has a bright future. Perhaps its current form isn't feature intensive, but future revisions could make this one outstanding card. For the time being, lack of DX8 feature support isn't a great concern, especially if you're into upgrading your video card every 6 months anyway. What it does present is a cost-effective, reliable solution with solid image quality. It's square in GF2 performance territory using less expensive parts, they really are breaking innovative ground here. The K2 may represent a serious threat to current video card thinking. It's neat to see the TBR K2 remove the need for expensive DDR memory or T&L. The Kyro makers may be treading on very new territory. They are threatening the very purpose of T&L. Because of it's design and performance, the Kyro2 runs the risk of reducing T&L to a mere patch for cards that require the feature to compensate for poor bandwidth. Without T&L, the Kyro out-performs many T&L enabled cards. If the trend continues, T&L could become unnecessary as CPU speeds continue to increase and TBR cards like the Kyro continue to increase speed beyond current methods employed by most video board manufacturers. The latest CPU's are on the brink of processing T&L faster then the latest Geforce cards, similar to what happened with the first generation Geforce256 boards. The entire concept is bound to offend Nvidia romantics and I'm sure they'll lash out about it's shortcomings. But what the card does offer is a new way of approaching 3D graphics and resolving the bandwidth problem all other cards have had to contend with. It appears we may be at a technological revolution. It's an exciting time to be a gamer!
Personally I find it very interesting because of the price/performance, and the image quality in 16 bit. Yeah, I know that Real Men (TM) run in 32 bit only, blah, blah, blah, but it's nice to have some spare bandwidth without losing much image quality.
It looks like it should have more than enough muscle for at least a year of gaming, and the price is very good.
Not sure if I'll be tossing the Voodoo 5 for a Kyro yet, though...
Moraelin -- the proud member of the Idiots' Guild
Originally posted by Secrom: -> V
Apparently, without T&L it lacks performance, if you look at MDK2 benchmark results in Anandtech's review. I would have liked to see benches WITHOUT T&L however, to see the perf gain/loss...
True Secrom. But 70+ FPS at 1024X768 in 32-bit is nothing to sneeze at. MDK2 can be cited for T&L, but it isn't too graphically intensive so there isn't a lot of hidden pixels that are rendered, coupled with T&L traditional cards will probably excel as they do in that benchmark. But as games get more complex and polygon intensive, TBR will become a more important feature... this is evident by the newer release SSam (review those benchmarks for example). At that point, T&L and DDR memory become "patches" for cards that have bandwidth problems, such cards need both T&L and DDR just to keep up with a TBR card like the Kyro2. It's amazing to see a humble 175 MHz chip on SDR and software T&L compete so well overall with screamers like the GeForce, all for $200 less. I hope it shakes Nvidia some. This is going to help competition a lot.
isn't QuakeIII T+L compatible too? and the KyroII is hot on the heals of GF2 Pro in that, beating GeForce on its home turf is not easy. I remember hearing that the orrigionaly Kyro was good in Deus Ex as well, big levels, loads of hidden tectures to remove.
Am I strange in that I think of "how much performance will I lose jumping from 16 to 32 bit" rather than (as Anandtech seem to) thinking "how much will I gain by dropping back to 16bit"? if you look at it my way round you see that the Kyro is increadible, it can render twice the bit depth with almost no performance loss!
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