Time to Quake
Breaking Benchmark Systems
After checking in at the front desk, I did a quick circle around the S3 lobby where the entire event was being held. After finding out where all the systems were, I went straight to the Athlon 600 benchmark machines to grab a few Quake 3 numbers.
I sat down and immediately launched Quake 3. I changed the settings to "fastest" and upped the resolution to 640x480, my playing resolution, and the lowest Quake3 setting we report in all our video card benchmarks. After the vid_restart, I typed "timedemo 1" into the console, and then "demo q3demo1." The system crashed, and fell back to the frozen desktop with the familiar 640 resolution and extra high gamma settings we often see whenever Quake 3 crashes. Unable to unlock or reboot the system from the keyboard, I furtively moved to the next Athlon test system instead of venturing under the table to hit the frozen system's reset button.
I managed to crash the second system with the same 640 fastest settings, and I decided to check out what the boys at Futuremark were doing before I managed to break all the benchmark systems. As I mentioned before, I can't reveal anything about Futuremark's new software, but I will say that I'm looking forward to using it.
After the Futuremark demonstration, I went to the other side of the room where the Quake 3 Athlon 600 machines were setup. The machines were running on a special Savage2000 level designed to show off S3 Texture Compression (S3TC). Texture compression is a great technology that allows game developers to use larger, high detail textures. Hopefully, we will finally see a good number of games supporting texture compression now that almost all the major video card manufacturers are supporting some sort of texture compression.
S3 had a small Quake 3 "Fragfest" FFA tournament, on the special S3 map. I managed to win, edging out "?" by a single frag. I won a $200 gift certificate to the Sharper Image. I also received a 1on1 challenge from S3's Quake ringer, Dustin, DustmaN from clan OwN. I accepted of course. After encountering a few configuration problems on the systems in the lobby, we got the okay to go upstairs to play our match. Once again Quake 3 gets FiringSquad in behind the scenes. =)