Epic's Unreal Web Page Game Patches - G200 vs. m3D - Sites

Unreal's performance can and should be tweaked to get a better experience ... I've posted a page including my suggestions for setting up Unreal, including some recommendations for PowerVR users. If you're running Unreal on a PowerVR card, you'll want to change the default options. See what you think...

I've removed the beta G200 Direct3D patch for Unreal, now that Direct3D support is built in to the game (from 2.18). If you happen to have the same combination of video cards as me (a Millennium G200 and an m3D), you may be interested in the benchmarks I've posted running the two cards head-to-head in Unreal below. Unreal is the only reason I've kept the m3D in my machine - even with version 2.20, I just can't get the G200 running the game properly.

Patch 225f sees the return of A3D sound support, but still no PowerVR ... check the release notes in the Info link for full details. Note that you'll need version 2.14 of a3dapi.dll for the A3D support.

Note that the patch (224v) didn't support A3D sound - either version 1.0 or 2.0 - or the PowerVR. In my opinion, this is a major reason not to bother with the patch.

Note also that the previous patch - build 220 - prevents you from using your old saved games. There is a workaround for this problem, though, which I'm quoting straight from Don Ramirez - posted below.

Unreal Patches

File Date Description Info Size
Epic 14.07.00 Patch to take Unreal up to version '226 Final'. The File link includes a few download locations - pick your favourite. This includes the latest Direct3D and sound code from Unreal Tournament. Check the Info link for the release notes. Epic 7,497Kb
unrealpatch225f.exe 06.06.99 Patch to take Unreal up to 'build 225f'. Check the Info link for the release notes before installing this version. Epic 7,168Kb
UnrealPatch224v.exep 02.05.99 Patch to take Unreal up to 'build 224v'. Check the Info link for the release notes before installing this version. Epic 7,039Kb
UnrealBeta220.zip 13.12.98 Patch to take Unreal up to 'beta build 220'. Check the Info link for the long list of changes. Note that this patch takes a long time to install - about 15 minutes. Epic 6,423Kb
unrealbeta219.zip 03.11.98 Patch to take Unreal up to 'beta build 219'. Slight tweaks for the Internet play changes for 2.18; it's also compatible with servers running 2.18. Check the Info link for details. Epic 2,166Kb
unrealbeta218.zip 25.10.98 Patch to take Unreal up to 'beta build 218'. Internet play should be much better for modem connections with this release (but servers must be running 2.18 too); an 'alpha-test' Direct3D patch is also included. Check the Info link for details on setting up your Internet gameplay. Epic 2,163Kb

Using old saved games after patching Unreal to build 220

Quoted directly from Don Ramirez, snagged from Blue's News:

Unreal - G200 versus m3D

Well, I decided to bite the bullet and run my m3D against the G200 now that we have a single version of Unreal which supports both. Now, this is the first Direct3D support to be built in to the game, and it'll most likely improve, but it's also possible that Unreal's OpenGL support, with the OpenGL ICD from Matrox that we're still waiting for, will offer better performance than Direct3D. The results below are for the m3D through PowerSGL, and the G200 through DirectX. Both tests have the same set of unreal.ini settings for the renderers. System configuration for the tests:

Each of the tests were run after a clean boot, using timedemo02, for a couple of passes of the flyby. Here are the frames-per-second (FPS) results:

Video Card Resolution Min FPS Average Max FPS Comment
m3D (PowerSGL) 640x480 21.33 35.10 64.00 Unreal configured as described here.
G200 (Direct3D) " 12.80 24.39 57.11 Registry tweaks for Unreal D3D off.
G200 (Direct3D) " 11.89 21.69 32.00 Registry tweaks for Unreal D3D on.
m3D (PowerSGL) 800x600 15.75 25.12 32.00 Unreal configured as described here.
G200 (Direct3D) " 10.67 19.02 32.00 Registry tweaks for Unreal D3D off.
G200 (Direct3D) " 9.14 15.67 29.09 Registry tweaks for Unreal D3D on.

So - it's close, but until the Direct3D support in Unreal is improved, or Matrox release the OpenGL ICD (and it works with Unreal's OpenGL support !), the m3D wins out. Basically, G200 Direct3D Unreal suffers from a low minimum FPS - I think it's this factor that's the real decider, because this is what the system approaches when there's a lot going on in the game.

Now, I realise that frame rates aren't everything - and I'd have to say that in all the configurations I tested, the m3D looks 'smoother', the transitions from frame to frame were cleaner. On the other hand, the G200 has a more vibrant colour display, and supports the fog ... which looks very cool. Hopefully, support for Unreal under the G200 can only get better ... although if the PowerVR Series 2 hits the shelves before that, I'll have the best of both worlds !

Some Unreal Web Sites

PlanetUnreal From the makers of PlanetQuake.
UnrealNation One of the biggest and the best.
Blue's News Yep ... Blue's News does it all. Major Unreal stories rather than an in-depth Unreal site.