VideoLogic Announces Ultimate 3D Graphics and Audio Combo - Apocalypse 5D Sonic

VideoLogic, the international PC multimedia and 3D graphics company, has today launched the first combination graphics card offering 2D/3D graphics acceleration and PCI-based audio acceleration on a single card. Apocalypse 5D Sonic is targeted at the power PC gamer and delivers the ultimate 3D gaming experience in sound and vision.

Apocalypse 5D Sonic is a single slot, plug and play PCI card that combines high-end 3D performance, from the PowerVR-based NEC PCX2 processor, powerful DOS and Windows 95 2D performance using Tseng Labs' new ET6100 graphics controller, and the very latest in PCI-based audio acceleration with the Maestro-1 audio signal processor from ESS Technology Inc., the world's largest PC audio semiconductor supplier.

The Apocalypse 5D Sonic is armed with PCI-based audio acceleration for DirectSound and DirectSound3D, true hi-fi quality sound, 64 channel audio stream capability and a 64 voice MIDI wavetable synthesizer.

"There is an overwhelming demand from gamers and games developers to keep pushing the boundaries of reality in PC gaming," said Kevin Dale, director of sales and marketing for VideoLogic. "Apocalypse 5D Sonic creates the ultimate gaming experience for the home PC user, by stimulating the senses of both sight and sound."

Apocalypse 5D Sonic comes bundled with 5 3D accelerated games, including Tomb RaiderTM (OEM version), WipeOut 2097TM , Ultim@te RaceTM (new 3 track), TerracideTM (OEM version) and MechWarrior 2TM . In addition, the card also comes bundled with three new audio applications - Midisoft Studio 4.0 Lite, ESS Audio Rack and Mix-Man's 3-Mix, trial versions of leading internet phone software, including CUSeeMe Enhanced, Vocaltec, InternetPhone, VDOPhone and a full version of NetMeeting 2.0 from Microsoft, as well as £100 worth of NewSoft (formerly known as Prolab) multimedia software. Apocalypse 5D Sonic has driver support for Direct X and Windows 95.

Apocalypse 5D Sonic is sampling now to PC OEMs and Systems Integrators and is available in DeceMBer from VideoLogic's existing network of computer distributors, resellers and retailers. The complete Apocalypse 5D Sonic pack will have an RRP of £189.00 for the 6MB version (4MB SDRAM texture memory and 2MB MDRAM frame buffer memory) with an expected street price of £175.00 and an RRP of £209.00 for the 8MB version (4MB SDRAM and 4MB MDRAM) with an expected street price of £195.00. Recommended system requirements for Apocalypse 5D Sonic is a Pentium 166, with 32MB of RAM.Apocalypse 5D Sonic - 3D Performance/Features

The Apocalypse 5D Sonic integrates the second generation PowerVR based PCX2 processor from NEC. The NEC PCX2 delivers significantly improved 3D rendering performance, supports higher display resolutions and has a substantially improved 3D image quality, through the inclusion of bilinear and adaptive bilinear texture filtering, over the original PCX1 processor.

The card is supplied with 4MB of high performance SDRAM texture memory and 2MB of MDRAM frame buffer memory, upgradable to 4MB on board. Due to the PowerVR architecture, additional z-buffer memory is not required as 32 bit accurate z-buffer functions are carried out on chip in real time.

Apocalypse 5D Sonic - DOS and DirectDraw 2D Performance

The new ET6100 from Tseng Labs is a high performance 128-bit graphics controller, with integrated multimedia accelerator. The ET6100 is an enhanced version of the award winning ET6000 device and is faster in DOS and Windows 95. The controller also comes with an improved 175MHz VGA-compatible 24 bit LUT-DAC to support additional high resolution modes. The ET6100 is capable of supporting resolutions to 1600x1200 and up to 16.8 million colours, and is optimised to support modes such as 1280x1024, 16-bit at 75Hz and 1024x768, 24-bit at 85Hz.

The use of MDRAM enables the ET6100 to achieve higher data throughputs than both VRAM and WRAM alternatives - pushing 800MB/sec at peak and 500MB/sec sustained (VRAM achieves only 400MB/sec sustained). The ET6100 also features an integrated multimedia processor with bi-linear (X and Y) interpolation enabling smoother, accelerated full screen digital video playback and the board supports multiple video windows under DirectDraw and DirectVideo at up to 30 fps.

Apocalypse 5D Sonic - PCI and 3D Accelerated Audio

As a PCI-based audio accelerator, Apocalypse 5D Sonic is capable of handling multiple streams of high quality audio, for improved sound quality and realism. Using PCI, Apocalypse 5D Sonic makes significantly lower demand on the CPU than ISA-based solutions and has an audio bandwidth 25 times faster than ISA. As a result, games running under PCI audio are more responsive and play at higher frame rates than ISA based sound.

Apocalypse 5D Sonic exceeds the Microsoft PC97/98 specification and supports DirectSound and DirectSound3D (Direct X 5.0) under Windows 95 for the emerging set of audio enhanced games. The card has full support for the SoundBlaster and DOS standards, running all DOS based games without the need for an additional ISA sound card.

Using the Maestro-1 audio signal processor from ESS Technology, the Apocalypse 5D Sonic has a 64 channel audio steam processor, a 64 voice General MIDI wavetable synthesizer and 2 speaker 3D sound virtualisation. A 2MB Wavetable sample file is stored in system memory and samples transferred over the PCI bus, removing both complexity and cost from the card itself.

For the latest crop of Windows 95 3D accelerated games, Apocalypse 5D Sonic delivers 3D positional sound virtualisation with Qsound. Through Qsound, sounds can be accurately positioned at any point in space, in x,y and z directions, around the listener. In addition, Apocalypse 5D Sonic has a dedicated accelerated gameport under Windows 95 for improved and more responsive joystick performance.