Imagination Technologies / STMicro PowerVR Series 3: KYROby Michael Andrawes on June 7, 2000 11:27 AM EST
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As we have seen in the past, slow 640x480 number are usually a product of poor drivers. This is one reason why the KYRO scores relatively low in this case. In addition, the card's lack of T&L support cripples its performance slightly at such a low resolution. Expect this score to jump up with final drivers.
The one thing that we immediately notice when looking at the KYRO's scores is that the performance difference between 16-bit color and 32-bit color is nearly zero. In the case of the GeForce 2 GTS, the performance drops by 5% when switching from 16-bit color to 32-bit color. The KYRO, on the other hand, looses only 1.3 FPS for a 2% decrease in speed. The tile based rendering power of the KYRO is obviously starting to show how it can work. This small performance difference between 16-bit and 32-bit color is a result of two things. As previously noted, the Tile Rendering architecture of the KYRO reduces memory bandwidth requirements greatly. Further, each tile is rendered internally in 32-bit color, regardless of the external frame buffer's color depth.
The second item that results in the equivalent scores between 16-bit and 32-bit color is the KYRO's internal true color system. Since the card is basically rendering each frame in 32-bit color mode and then scaling the image down, almost the same amount of work is necessary to do 16-bit compared to 32-bit. Both of these items combine to form the similar 16-bit and 32-bit color scores we see through the remainder of the benchmarks on the KYRO.
Now we can truly begin to see where the KYRO falls in terms of performance. Although when in 16-bit color the card is easily tramped by the GeForce 256 DDR, keep in mind that the internal true color system produces better looking 16-bit images. On the other hand, switching to 32-bit color will only cost you 4.2 FPS and will place the KYRO 7.1 FPS behind both the 32 MB and 64 MB DDR GeForce cards, a mere 12.5% slower. The card easily beats the 32 MB SDR GeForce, showing that not all SDR RAM combinations are that bad.