Although it may not seem like it to some of the younger generation, we've come a long way in the past 10 years. Google, iPods, HDTV, Bluray etc. I wanted to share with you some interesting tidbits from PC past by taking a look at some old magazines found stashed away deep in the corners of the OverclockersClub.com vault.
HomePC: March 1998 headline: Ultimate Gaming! It's all in the 3D cards.
The first thing I see when I open this issue is a massive desktop PC, complete with gigantic speakers and a CRT that looks like it weighs 50 lbs. Skipping ahead to the main article, I'm greeted with: "New 3D video accelerators and sound cards can add mind-blowing realism to your games". Sounds great, right? Let's take a look.
The writer tells us about how he can hear enemies from behind in the game Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II because he just installed a new 3D sound card. Awesome, but what caught my eye was the test machine he was using. A HP Pavilion 7350P with a 166Mhz Pentium MMX CPU, 32 MB of RAM and a 2D/3D S3 ViRGE graphics card. Yikes. The various highlights of the article include: "What is a dedicated 3D video accelerator for?" and "Will 3D video acceleration improve performance on a 200-MHz PC as well as on a 100-MHz system?". We all know the answers to those questions, so no need to go into detail. Overall the author does a great job at explaining what was at the time, new and powerful technology.
In closing, I'd like to share the specs of a 3D Card you might have expected to see on the store shelves:
A 3Dfx Voodoo graphics video processor on a Diamond Monster 3D board would have featured 2MB of frame buffering memory and 2MB of texture memory. The APIs supported were Direct3D, Glide and OpenGL. Games included: Descent II, EF2000, Hyperblade, MechWarrior2, VR Soccer and Whiplash. (6 games!) Pros: Excellent performance & generous software bundle. Cons: Only 2MB texture memory. And the price? $179.
What will the future bring? We'll have to wait for 2018 to see. Thats it for this edition of: Technology of yesteryear: 1998.