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Version Alpha 4.1
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  Submitted by: Wildman

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About nVidia 3D Driver:

nVidia 3D add-on Alpha 4.1 with Mesa 3.4.2 README (R5 and Max)

This is the alpha 4.1 release of the nVidia 3D add-on driver including Mesa 3.4.2 library for BeOS R5 and Max edition. This driver requires 2D driver 0.80 in order to work (otherwise your system will hang). Make sure you let the 2D driver use it's default DMA mode for acceleration: it's preset in nv.settings. If you used the Alpha 1 3D add-on you need to update the nv.settings file as that one used PIO mode! Reboot after installing the 2D driver: only after a reboot will the new driver be in effect and can 3D applications be used successfully.

Status since Alpha 3.5:

Alpha 4.x versions use Mesa 3.4.2 again. Alpha 4.0 contains numerous bugfixes compared to all older versions. Alpha 4.1 is, on top of that, the fastest version upto now:
on a P4@2.8Ghz with NV18, GeForce4-MX440 the teapot now spins at 800fps using default settings;
on the same system Quake2 timedemo1 runs at 140fps in 640x480x16 fullscreen mode using default settings;
on that same system using a NV15, GeForce2 Ti, Quake2 timedemo1 runs at 150fps: NV15 is currently the fastest supported card.
The driver still only works on NV04 (TNT1) upto/including NV18 (GeForce 4 MX). Although I spent a lot of time to overcome this, that didn't happen yet.
The driver is still slow compared to Windows and Linux closed-source drivers. This is partly because we're using such an old version of Mesa, and partly because of lacking info on enabling some nice features (like compressed Z-buffering and a higher level GPU interface).
The driver still only supports one 3D app at a time, and only works 'completely' in 16- and 32bit desktops.
Still, this driver outperforms the original UtahGLX driver a lot (both speed and quality wise), and gives us some interesting options on BeOS. So enjoy it if you can. :-)
Added features (require reboots to take effect currently):
Force retrace synced swapbuffer execution: enable this option via the driver's nv.settings file option: force_sync true. This option is nice to use, it improves output quality considerably (removes tearing), although it slows the fps down;
Force GPU speed: enable and set this option via the driver's nv.settings file option: gpu_clk. The number is the clock frequency in Mhz. Personally, I wouldn't use this one though: it's dangerous if used incorrectly while currently not improving speed much;
Force RAM speed: enable and set this option via the driver's nv.settings file option: ram_clk. The number is the clock frequency in Mhz. Although I recommend not using this option either, it potentially speeds up rendering some more, since currently RAM access is the biggest bottleneck in the hardware for us. Still: dangerous option.
Note please: the 'primary' nv.setting is not compatible with the 3D add-on currently. Therefore you shouldn't enable it when you want to use accelerated 3D.

I want to thank BeOS Mr.X explicitly for his help and extensive testing during development of Alpha 4. Without him this release would have contained a lot less bug-fixes. So, thanks Mr.X!!

(Mr. X is a real 'BeOS-based' hardcore gamer I'd say! :-)

Fixes for Alpha 4.1:

3D speed is (much) higher now depending on the card you use (thanks to improvements in the 2D driver):
TNT cards run at the same speed as Alpha 4.0 did;
TNT2 style cards run at upto 104% of the previous release;
Most supported GeForce style cards now run at upto 140%;
GeForce2Ti cards now run at upto 200% speed compared to Alpha 4.0.
Fixed lacking synchronisation between GPU and driver managing textures: this (at least) fixes texturing errors on setups that require texture deletion/loading on-the-fly during rendering because of (relative) low graphics memory;
Driver now reports info about the graphicscard in use, along with the driver's own version number.
Fixes for Alpha 4:

Quake 2 now renders the gamescores, texts, crosshair, etc. correctly: driver now calls _mesa_swapbuffers() to let Mesa finish all rendering before Swapbuffers() is executed;
Quake 2's 'menu_playerconfig'/multiplayer setup (for example) was fixed by (re)enabling support for partly erasing color and Z-buffers;
Fixed texture filtering: engine nolonger hangs while using GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR. The driver programmed the engine incorrectly when switching back from textured drawing to 'untextured' drawing (selecting the next higher filtering 'level' instead of selecting 'no filtering');
Partly rendering lines and triangles (scissoring) was (re)enabled: this seems to fix rendering slowness during 'observe' mode in Quake 2 when you are outside of a map;
The driver incorrectly programmed fog colorspaces into the engine (forgot a color-component). Now fixed;
Fixed programming of openGL context colorspaces: the BGLview constructor in the software driver incorrectly used a 'zero-define' (BGL_RGB) to determine colorspace info. Also added modifying the context colorspace setting upon modeswitches. This fixes (among others) 'grabbing' the teapot;
Removed old 'fake-bitmap' code: resized output is now 'in sync' trhoughout the driver. This (at least) fixes some rendering faults during software rendering mode (fault looked like lost h_sync on a analog TVset);
Added extra wait_for_engine_idle function for all software interface routines accessing color- and Z-buffers. This makes grabbing the teapot work 'smooth' even in high-res modes (among others);
Added 'workaround' for backface culling (Mesa internal roundoff!?!) errors. Now rendering triangles that are 'nearly&

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