The Holy Grail of gaming


In the days of 3D acceleration conception, the king, 3dfx considered the Holy Grail of gaming to be 30 fps. By the time the Voodoo 4 and 5 was coming out, the sunset days of the once pioneer, they declared that speed is irrelevant, it would be about maintaining 30 fps and adding more detail until such time that graphics is photorealistic.

nVidia, never able to touch 3dfx superior graphics quality, killed them with speed! They sold the idea that faster is better and gamers bought it by the truck load! The original Geforce and Geforce 2 were speed demons. By the time that 3dfx was ready to answer, the creditors were knocking and the money wells were dry…

During the past week I bought a new monitor, a Samsung T260. That in itself is a blog entry worthy; I will have to write a review about it some time. The panel is a 25.5” beauty with a native resolution of resolution of 1900×1200. Absolutely stunning, makes the heart of a true geek, like myself, beat fast!

I have been test driving it this weekend by loading some old classics like Doom 3 and cranking that resolution to 1600×1200, long considered by myself as my dream resolution to game. (At that resolution, who needs anti-aliasing?) I have notice two things about gaming at this size and resolution: The level of immersion, and that the Holy Grail of 3dfx is holding true!

Sitting in front of this monitor, the game is all that your see…it is your world. Total immersion. I am sure that if I had the money to go even bigger, the effect would be even better, but suffice to say, it is pretty awesome as it is right now.

There is a cost to all this beauty. At this resolution, my almost 3 year old Geforce 8800GT is working hard. By Christmas, I am pretty sure that it will be replaced by a DirectX 11 capable card, able to game at 1900×1200 without breaking a sweat.

It also got me thinking, 3dfx was right… You see, with the Geforce 8800 GT working hard and at times struggling, I now have to compromise, no longer all settings to max as I could do before at 1280×1024…now I have to give up something to run the game smoothly. In the end, it is about 30 fps. At that point the game is smooth, giving me maximum immersion and game, below that and immersion is gone and instead you see a hole in your budget that that new graphics card is going to make.

The king might be dead, but 3dfx’s Holy Grail still hold true today! 30 fps and as much detail as possible, until such time that we go photorealistic…little consolation to the now liquidated and bought 3dfx, but worthy of remembrance.

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