3Dlabs is about to release the first of its Wildcat II range to be made available separately. The Wildcat II 5000 will be released later this month, with a street price that the company estimates as “less than $1,400 (£1,000)”. Previously all of the range of high-end graphics have only been available as part of complete workstations from system builders.
The new card support resolutions up to 1,920-x-1,200 with full OpenGL 1.2 extension support. Output to monitors is via digital (DVI) or analog (D-Sub) connectors.
The 5000 uses the same technology as the recently-released 5110. The main difference is that while the 5110 requires a motherboard with an AGP Pro slot, the 5000 works with the more usual AGP 4X. It includes a programmable geometry accelerator that offloads calculations from the computer’s processor. This boosts performance and allows the card to deliver application-specific effects tuning. It also includes a rasterizaton engine that can produce a sustained 8.5 million 3D triangles per second with a peak 166 Mpixels/sec trilinear fill rate.
The card includes 80MB of memory overall – a 32MB frame buffer, a 32MB texture memory and 16MB Direct Burst memory. This is backed up by hardware-accelerated 3D volumetric textures and true, multisampled scene-mode antialiasing. The 5000 is certified for most high-end 3D applications including 3DS Max, Maya, XSI and LightWave.