3dfx has also recently announced their own form of texture compression
dubbed FXT1, what exactly does texture compression do? And why
is it important?
general, texture compression is a method of reducing the amount
of data necessary to store high-resolution texture map images.
FXT1 is a high quality texture compression algorithm which has
little, if any, loss in visual quality when compared to the
original texture map image.
3D content creators can use FXT1 texture compression as it allows
them to use more and higher resolution textures in their content,
without incurring the performance bottlenecks associated with
uncompressed textures. When too many textures are required to
render a given scene and they cannot be transferred efficiently
from memory, a bandwidth bottleneck occurs which dramatically
limits the fill rate performance of the 3D accelerator.
FXT1 texture compression algorithm works by breaking each texture
down into multiple 4x4 or 4x8 texel blocks. For each texel block,
one of four compression algorithms is applied, with the specific
algorithm chosen to yield the best possible visual quality for
that specific texel block. In the case of 4x4 blocks, 64 bits
are required to store the texel block, while for 4x8 blocks
128 bits are required to store the block. Regardless of the
texel block size used, an effective 4 bit-per-texel storage
requirement is realized. As a result, FXT1 texture compression
yields an effective 8:1 compression ratio when compressing 32-bit
texture artwork. The FXT1 compressed texture is then stored
in memory, and is automatically decompressed by the 3D hardware
accelerator when that specific compressed texture is needed
Is 3dfx finally going to offer full AGP 4x support in their
next generation product? Would it be useful?
have not announced the specs for next product, and I will get
killed if I let the cat out of the bag this close to Comdex.
We have heard the cries of our fans. They want 4x AGP, 32-bit
support, and large texture support.
Now letís talk about Glide. It seems that both OpenGL and Direct3D
have garnered sufficient enhancements and support that there's
no real reason to go with the Glide API anymore. What do you
see for the future of the Glide API, do we still need it?
are talking about that right now and will come to a decision