PowerVR

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Series 1

Midas

OEM

PCX-1

PCX-2

Matrox m3D (PCX-2 Chipset)


1997 and it's bilinear filtered and MiniGL drivers for this are in the 1.0.x.x version range. Supports Direct3D 3, and its own API, SGL.

A seal swimming quickly in polluted water in a sinus pattern was used to demonstrate this card. Bundled games typically are Ultim@te Race.

Something about infinite planes and dummied-out 24-bit rendering.

Something about Crime Cities' MiniGL driver to get newer games ""working""

Series 2

PowerVR SG

Announced early 1998 and never released, however some games were tooled to support it (Half-Life) which suggests a prototypical existence in 1998.

MiniGL drivers for this are in the 1.1.x.x version range.

Neon250

Released in late 1999, something about dreamcast, "still" no support for OpenGL, supports SGL2 API which almost no games used, and it's rare!!!

MiniGL drivers for this are in the 1.2.x.x version range.

Series 3

Kyro 1

3D Prophet 4000XT

The original Kyro was released in 2000 and dropped support for the PowerVR SGL and SGL2 APIs. Basically it is a 'false DirectX 7' card that supports just DirectX 6 features. Its low core and memory clock frequencies and lack of hardware T&L support crippled its performance against its main competitors (namely the GeForce2 MX), but thanks to its tile-based deferred rendering architecture it performed decently in games that had a lot of overdraw. Although it lacked hardware T&L it was still fairly feature rich compared to other DirectX 6 graphics chips - with texture compression (S3TC), environment-mapped bump mapping (EMBM), ordered-grid super-sampling anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering (up to level 2x) support. While its anisotropic filtering quality was on par with that of the GeForce 256 / GeForce 2 series, it incurred a very large performance decrease when enabled.

The tiled rendering was also a drawback to supporting more modern graphic features that rely on rendering-to-texture and framebuffers.

Unsurprising for it's KYRO name (Cairo, Egypt), many tech demos to showcase this card take place in ancient Egypt.

Kyro 2

3D Prophet 4500

Released in 2001. Essentially the Kyro 2 is just a Kyro with higher core and memory clock frequencies. Most of the marketing were about features the older series had, including tiled rendering, full sorting, internal true color rendering, etc. The emphasis on hidden surface removal was supposed to be the feature to make up for the lack of HW T&L. It also does not support cubic environment mapping. In games that don't make heavy use of hardware T&L, the Kyro 2 can perform well against the GeForce 2 GTS. But, like everything that isn't Nvidia and ATI, it deprecated quickly for its lack of hardware T&L and its lateness to the market.

Also oddly enough,the Kyro 2 does not support AGP 4x out of the box, but that can be remedied through a hardware mod (link).

Likewise with the original Kyro, it has no support for the SGL or SGL2 API.

Kyro 2 SE

Announced in 2002 but cancelled at the last minute. Only one known card was ever produced - Hercules' 3D Prophet 4800. Supposedly it introduced a hardware T&L implementation (advertised as EnT&L or "Enhanced T&L"), but it ended up just being a software hack, much in the way 3dfx's "Geometry Assist" feature functioned in their Voodoo3/4/5 drivers. Regardless, it would have easily been swallowed up by the competition from NVIDIA and ATI at the time.

Video captures

PCX-2

Kyro

Related links