Jitesh's Domain

Game Designer. Producer. Gamer.


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GPU’s in my life. 17 years+

Pentium MMX 166MHz. Matrox Manipulation Extensions. MultiMedia Extensions. What have you. Neither is correct though. That’s another story and is completely out of the scope here. This article is about GPUs. Yes. The meat. The bones. The love. Raw processing power in drawing tris/s and accelerating games by lowering burden on CPUs.

My first foray into gaming like a crazy addict on PC started with my first purchase (above). Of course, I ain’t counting playing games for countless hours on classic x86 (286, 386, 486 and Pentium Class 1) in my school/ cousin’s/ friend’s place. My personal relationship with computers started in my home with Pentium 166 MHz MMX. During that time, 1996 I did not have a dedicated 3D-accelerator (so it was called then). What was available for me was on-board Cirrus Logic (if I remember it correctly). It had a mightly 1MB of memory size. Yes. That is 0.1% of Video RAM that is currently installed in my PC.

For me, getting into graphics accelerators started when Quake II arrived. I was having super-fun playing the game in software mode. But, then I came across OpenGL setting for the game. Well, that was it. I turned it on and somehow got it working in Quake II. Immediately, the graphics smoothed out, green filter all over the screen and the game portrayed a fun ride with approx 2-5 FPS (or I think so). That was it. I had to buy myself a new graphics card. That’s when I started researching and knowing more about accelerators available in market.

Let’s begin with my first purchase. It was the year of enlightenment, 1998.

Disclaimer: All the years associated with GPUs in my blog is “Year of purchase

1. Diamond Viper V330 [1998]

RIVA 128 GPU

This card immediately boosted my performance in games from almost-nothingness to spectacular (by standards of ’98). Major boost was with the increase in memory size to 4MB.

2. Asus AGP-V7700 Nvidia GeForce GTS 32MB [2000]

GeForce2 GTS 32MB 2

The major selling point of this card was Transform & Lighting (T&L). It was all woohoo at the moment. I absolutely loved this graphics card. Particularly, this card blew Giants: Citizen Kabuto. One of the first games that used this card to the limit.

3. Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 SE [2003]

To this day, I still consider this card to be a filler. Getting this was more of a mistake. I was supposed to get 9600, SE was a real low when it came to performance. Very unsatisfactory. Mainly, as it had a measly 64-bit memory bus. It just couldn’t handle games of that generation well.

4. Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT [2005]

Nvidia Geforce 6600GT GPU 2009-01-27

After the love that was GeForce 2 GTS, 6600 GT blew me again. This is one of the most famous cards of the decade. I am pretty sure countless PC gamers had an affair with this video card by Nvidia. Effective memory clock frequency of 1000 MHz! DDR all the way! Yeah!

5. Sapphire ATI Radeon x1950 Pro [2007]

x1950 Pro

x1950 Pro

This was another of my favorite GPU. It faithfully allowed hordes of games to run smoothly at pretty high settings. Plus, it boasted a killer 44.2GB/s memory bandwidth. Yes!

6. Palit AMD Radeon 4870 Dual Sonic Edition [2009]

Palit 4870 Dual Sonic Ed. 1024MB

Palit 4870 Dual Sonic Ed. 1024MB

It has been 4.5 years now since I bought this card. I must say, this has been one of the best performer. Ever. Even after 4 years, this card performs admirably in current gen games like Metro: Last Light and Far Cry 3. Most games are still playable at 1080p. Love it. Guess, I’ll wait for awhile before I upgrade next. The time has not yet come. 4870 still rocks and has enough juice to satisfy me. At least for a while. 

6. Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 280x Dual-X OC Edition [2013]

Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 280x Dual-X OC (UEFI)

Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 280x Dual-X OC (UEFI)

And… I finally gave in to this marvelous new GPU from AMD. R9 280x is a notch above everyone in competition and very close to mighty Nvidia Geforce GTX 770! For the price, this is certainly one of the best value. 3D performance in current-gen games is mindblowing! Not sure how this might handle 4K resolutions… but that is for next year!

I thought of making some interesting analysis (high level) on specifications of all these cards that I owned.

Just shows how the chipsets have evolved since 17 years (or more closely 13 years). Presented here in graph format. I’ve considered some of the major criteria that defines a GPU at a high level. Let’s begin!

Transistor Count

Increase in the count of Transistors on chip

Increase in the count of Transistors on chip

Memory Size

Increase in (raw) Memory Size (technology not taken into account here)

Increase in (raw) Memory Size (technology not taken into account here)

Memory Bus

Memory Bus size

Memory Bus size

Memory Bandwidth

Rise in Memory bandwidth through the years

Rise in Memory bandwidth through the years

Core Clock

Increase in Core processing clock frequency

Increase in Core processing clock frequency

Memory Clock

Increase in Memory clock frequency

Increase in Memory clock frequency

Fabrication

Decrease in the Fabrication process

Decrease in the Fabrication process

 

That’s about it folks. For now. Might post some mid-level details soon.

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Currently Playing – The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

The name intrigued me. Van Helsing. Adventures? Incredible Adventures? That too for $15? Well, I bought this game to experience and relive classic ARPGs like Diablo. I mean the first one. The one which I consider is better than two and way ahead of 3.

Adventuring Party? Marvelous reference!

I haven’t played a lot of this game yet. I’m just level 8 and my companion, Lady Katarina is 7. She’s like my pet Ghost. I mean like the pet you have in Torchlight II.

Dolby flame surround.

Dolby flame surround.

Characters in this game are very likable and display a peculiar sense of humor. Okay, I wanted to write more about this game… but guess I’ll do that next time. Soon. I’ll go back to hacking, slashing and having some more fun while the rain drops outside. Good times.

 

 


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A new Short Review – Planescape: Torment

Symbol of Torment - by foolecho - deviantart

Symbol of Torment – by foolecho – deviantart

My short review of Planescape: Torment is posted! Finally! Yeah –> Enlighten me!

Feel free to comment, shoot feedback and talk in rules of three.

Let me share some super-exciting details about some of the voice-actors cast in this game:

  • The Nameless OneMichael T. Weiss –> check out The Pretender (Jarod)
  • NordomDan Castellaneta –> check out The Simpsons (Homer Simpson ++)
  • Dak’konMitch Pileggi –> check out The X-Files (Skinner)

Apart from the aforementioned, I’ll name some of the others as (just for fun):

  • Q
  • Naomi Hunter
  • Morning Train
  • Raphael
  • Legacy of Kain

Cheers.


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Currently Playing – Super Hexagon

Finally! It gives me immense pleasure to say that I have beaten the final level of Super Hexagon!!!

My best timing

My best timing

 

And, mind you all… this was no easy task. I have clocked approximately 50 hours in the game! Of course, this doesn’t mean that others do not possess higher scores than mine! There are thousands of better players 😉

I do have a secret to finishing the game. Brace for the truth. At least, the truth as I see it. Idea is, to be as calm and patient as possible while playing Super Hexagon. Experiencing uber-trip with mindnumbing frenetic-action is a given while playing the game. However, what is actually needed is “mind devoid of thoughts”. Remember what Morpheus was talking about? Well, guess it was all for something like this.

It goes without saying… this game is genius design by Terry Cavanagh. Hats off to him! The whole feeling of gameplay is supported by an extremely addictive soundtrack done by Chipzel.

 


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Les Misérables (2012) – Hugh the carrier!

I finally watched Les Misérables today! I must say, it is a very beautifully made movie. Definitely, the best movie of 2012. Stellar cast delivers stellar performances.

What am I doing, this is not a review! I felt like writing about a very interesting aspect presented in the movie… and that is:

Hugh Jackman – as the Load bearer. Throughout the movie, he is shown to lift, carry and transpose one thing/ person from A to B. Well, there is deep meaning here.

*SPOILERS WARNING*

  • Hugh Jackman lifts and carries the flag. – This is his first role as a Load bearer.

    • Why? –> To obey a direct command, to honor, act with his place as a slave/ prisoner
    • Consequence –> Utter hate and distrust in the eyes of Javert
  • Lifts a fallen carriage bar to save on old man. – Second role as a Load bearer

    • Why? –> Every moment he makes sure to save any soul in need that surround him, he doesn’t believe in inequality and remembers his own place
    • Consequence –> Subtle memory recall of Hugh’s true self by Javert
  • Lifts and carries Fantine (Anne Hathaway) – Third role as a Load bearer

    • Why? –> To help the lady who has fallen from grace, for he must right everything and help her save Cosette, live with the guilt of not helping Fantine earlier.
    • Consequence –> Leads his journey forward and establises a strong quest
  • Lifts and carries young Cosette – Fourth role as a Load bearer

    • Why? –> Fulfilling his promise to Fantine, mercy and kindness
    • Consequence –> Understands what love is.
  • Lifts and carries Marius (Eddie) – Fifth role as a Load bearer

    • Why? –> To save and bring Cosette’s love at any cost
    • Consequence –> Causes Javert to realize life, Reunites Cosette with Marius, understands love is to be shared
  • Lifts and carries himself – Sixth role as a Load bearer

    • Why? –> Does not want to live/ face Cosette with his past as an escaped prisoner
    • Consequence –> Frees himself and returns to lost souls in heaven

The last and sixth role is true metaphorical in presentation.


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Currently Playing – Eador: Masters of the Broken World

I finally started playing Eador: Masters of the Broken world yesterday! I had pre-ordered this on off steam and got Eador: Genesis free. My love of fantasy, role-playing games and strategy has brought me to this one. Plus, being a fan of Heroes of Might and Magic series since years, I wanted to check what this game was all about.

I am already few hours into this game and started fighting bandits, goblins, orcs and shit. I’m loving this game right now and believe it captures the beautiful era of HoMM with thrilling adventures :] And, that makes me happy. Love the graphics, hex combat and game design. Coming from a small studio, this game is pure marvel.

My Hero (Unseen) reached level 4 and my first building in provinces is everyone’s beloved granary. Yes. Food and income. Isn’t that what we all care about? Food, money and games?

Well, I’ll keep posting more about this game as my hours sink in. Till then, enjoy some of my screen captures. Fantasy calls me.

World view

World view

Hero details

Hero details

Construction view (basic)

Construction view (basic)