Sega Model 3

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Wazza
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Re: Sega Model 3

Post#21 » Mon May 23, 2022 11:01 pm

There are model 3 games on dreamcast already. But they were built using the source code and assets from Sega themselves. Yes the PVR has the capability to run the games. But does it have the raw power to emulate the games? NO

cloofoofoo
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Re: Sega Model 3

Post#22 » Mon May 23, 2022 11:48 pm

Ro Magnus Larsson wrote:Bart Trzynadlowsky, the creator of Supermodel emulator was talking with me and I asked him about both systems in the possibility to port M3 to Dreamcast, he 's saying to me this in his Youtube channel:

-I think PowerVR was indeed more powerful than Model 3, and certainly more flexible. Maybe there is some metric that Model 3 excelled at but unless someone shows me otherwise, the public specs (wherever they come from) indicate the Dreamcast's PowerVR exceeds Model 3 performance in vertex transforms and fill rates.

Would be nice to run a synthetic benchmark someday once I can more easily transfer my own custom Model 3 programs onto the boards.

In the 90's, graphics progress was extremely rapid. Every piece of 3D hardware was obsolete within months! The Pro-1000 occupied an entire motherboard-sized board. It was therefore not a true "GPU" because it consisted of multiple large custom chips. PowerVR was a single chip, if I remember correctly, and therefore a true GPU and an example of the powerful implications of Moore's Law.

(...) in the how the two system naturally want to manage assets. E.g., on Model 3, the renderer has access to a huge amount of VROM whereas meshes need to be explicitly loaded in from disk on Dreamcast.
-I would expect that Dreamcast's dynamic lighting capabilities were far better than Real3D. For example, how would one do lightmaps on Real3D? I presume something like it was possible on Dreamcast. I was thinking the other day whether Quake could be ported to Model 3. It could easily handle the geometry but what about the dynamic lights?

-The hot air ripples on the desert stage are interesting because they're so ridiculously cheap and easy to do on tile generator hardware, which has a per-line scroll mode. But if all you have are textured polygons or a frame buffer to draw to directly, the effect becomes much more complicated to pull off.

-I'd love to see a synthetic benchmark constructed for Model 3 and Dreamcast Smile It is within the realm of feasibility because I have gotten code running on Model 3. Just need a better mechanism to transfer it than burning EPROMs lol.

RAM and ROM: RAM and ROM re only one part of the issue. Model 3 games have access to all of their ROM immediately and the CPU (and graphics processor) can read from it directly. A big part of the porting effort is reorganizing the games so that they can be broken up into chunks that can be loaded infrequently from disc into Dreamcast RAM. For example, in a fighting game like VF3, you can read in the level geometry and opponent character model between stages. It might be trickier with something like Sega Rally 2 where on the Model 3, the replay at the end of the championship race can go through all the levels without any loading time (maybe the levels were small enough that this was true on Dreamcast too, I don’t know). But the bigger issue is that emulation has ~10x the overhead of a port. Supermodel doesn’t translate Model 3 code, it interprets each instruction one by one. It takes more than 10 instructions (ballpark estimate) for Supermodel to execute a single instruction of the emulated PowerPC CPU. On top of that, Model 3 graphics hardware works differently than PC 3D hardware or Dreamcast, so there is considerable overhead parsing and preparing the 3D vertex data for rendering and making sure the graphics hardware renders it in a way that matches Model 3 behavior.
When porting a game, the graphics code would be completely rewritten to work directly with the target system.

May 2022


Hate to break it to you but the dreamcast was meant to be cheaper if slightly faster solution to model 3. Unfortunately the dreamcast has a few drawbacks that despite being faster on paper in practice the model 3 outpaces it. The dreamcast can trade blows with step 1 and step 1.5. Step 2 and up completely outpaces the dreamcast.

Lets look at step 1.5/1.0 games. Virtua fighter 3 tb is quite close to the model 3. Very small difference in polygon count while heavy difference in clothing physics. Overall not too bad.

Step 2 - sega rally 2 runs half the framerate and massive reduction to geometry. Fighting vipers 2 pretty much halves the character polygon count, guts the stage detail to the point of overhaul and completely gets rid of signature stage eye catchers all the while losing light sources. Virtua striker 2 sports massive reduction to geometry with very aggressive lod of soccer players.

Alot of these ports use dreamcast optimized libraries known as noami libraries. Even then cant cope with the differences in hardware well enough. Just saying that model 3 freaking streams everything in final format from its rom to its gpu at will, at massive speeds gives it a huge huge advantage over the dreamcast that probably leads to all these downgrade to cope with having to stuff the ram with assets AND having no built in tnl.

Youre crazy to think dc can emulate it.

panzer86
shadow
Posts: 13

Re: Sega Model 3

Post#23 » Tue Jun 14, 2022 1:31 pm

SolidSonicTH wrote:
Ian Micheal wrote:No

Raincloud.

Has anyone ported it?

Gabbyjay
undertow
Posts: 34

Re: Sega Model 3

Post#24 » Wed Sep 14, 2022 6:17 am

RoMagnusLarsson wrote:Sega Model 3 (1996): Processor 66Mhz / Audio RAM 1Mb / Vídeo 8Mb RAM 66Mhz.
Sega Dreamcast (1999): Processor 200Mhz / Audio RAM 2Mb / Video RAM 8Mb 100Mhz :ugeek:


1) Completely different CPU architectures (PowerPC and SH-4) with different instruction sets and different numbers of instructions-per-clock, so clockrate alone means jack shit.
2) Model 3 Step 1.5 and Step 2 had CPU-clockrate increased to 100 MHz and 166 MHz, respectively. Similar for the (V)RAM-clockrates.
3) (V-)RAM-bandwith is a product of bus-interface width and it's clockrate, so what's the use of stating the clockrate without the bus width? Model 3 has way more bandwidth available in total.
4) Model 3/Real3D-pro is a complex architecture where always multiple chips and busses work together! Picking one of them and disregarding the others does not work here, it's not the same division into CPU-GPU-RAM-VRAM as in later systems!
5) You don't seem to understand your own quotes.
The Real3D Pro-1000 is a system that takes up a hole PCB (one of several stacked PCBs in Model 3). You posted a quote stating this yourself: "The Pro-1000 occupied an entire motherboard-sized board. It was therefore not a true "GPU" because it consisted of multiple large custom chips." But now you just took a few of the components on it and forgot about the rest. It does not work this way.
6) You completely ignore that Model 3 was an MROM-based architecture, which was one of its main advantages.
Thus, it had VASTLY more main-, video- and sound-memory - and bandwidth - available than the DC. This is especially important since we all know that Dreamcast's capabilities in displaying polygons are mostly limited by available memory.
Last edited by Gabbyjay on Wed Sep 14, 2022 11:51 am, edited 21 times in total.

Roz
fire
Posts: 76

Re: Sega Model 3

Post#25 » Wed Sep 14, 2022 7:15 am

I want play Gunblade NY in Dreamcast!

Gabbyjay
undertow
Posts: 34

Re: Sega Model 3

Post#26 » Wed Sep 14, 2022 7:26 am

cloofoofoo wrote:The dreamcast can trade blows with step 1 and step 1.5. Step 2 and up completely outpaces the dreamcast.


I would agree with that assessment.

Although even Model 3 Step-1 has advantages over Dreamcast.
Dreamcast is newer technology-wise, so some of it's effects offer more flexibility (lighting, shadows, fog), it's got more transparency-levels, TC and the like. It uses triangles instead of Model 3's quads, which makes things a lot easier and less expensive.
Also, it's games ran at a slightly higher resolution (640x480 compared to M3's 496x384).

But Model 3 Step-1's ROM-architecture offers vastly more raw horsepower. Those were over $20.000 expensive beasts!
Also, when comparing (theoretical) polygon-performance, people should always consider that Model 3's specs on this always include shading, texturing, illumination, z-buffering, transparency, anti-aliasing and the like.
Dreamcast's numbers do not (disregarding z-buffering, of course) and are limited by available memory anyway, if you want to still have some space for VQ-compressed textures.

I especially like the anti-aliasing-part on Model 3.
No Dreamcast-game used real anti-aliasing, I know only of a handful using the partial 2xSSAA (which works only horizontally) and that's about it (don't confuse the flicker-fixer on interlace displays with AA). Model 3 has it's own edge-AA-solution, which works similar to MSAA.

cloofoofoo wrote:Lets look at step 1.5/1.0 games. Virtua fighter 3 tb is quite close to the model 3. Very small difference in polygon count while heavy difference in clothing physics. Overall not too bad.


I have to agree.
VF3 on the DC does not deserve the bad reputation it had back then, you have to look closely to see the differences (textures suffered a bit, too, and there's more aliasing). You surely got the arcade-experience at home!
On the other hand, people often say VF3 on the DC was only a launch-title and could be better... true, but they ignore VF3 was a launch title for the much more complicated Model-3-architecture as well. Also, VF3 came two and a half years earlier in the arcades, a long time in the 3D-graphics-industry, so understanding of 3D-game engines in general and also the development of game engine assets and human resources moved on, too.
Still a questionable policy that one of Sega's top-arcade-hits did not enjoy top priority by porting them Sega-internally, but Genki did a very good job in the end nonetheless.

cloofoofoo wrote:Step 2 - sega rally 2 runs half the framerate and massive reduction to geometry.


Or unstable 60fps depending on the version... textures suffered a lot as well, as did draw-distance.
SR2 on DC ran at WinCE which always introduced a little overhead, but could not match the arcade-version anyway, which ran at Step 2, which was vastly more powerful than earlier M3-revisions.

Still much, much closer to the arcade then SR1 was on the Saturn!
But while the Saturn-game was praised into the sky for being faithful to the arcade, SR2 on the DC was stomped on... I still don't get it.

cloofoofoo wrote:just saying that model 3 freaking streams everything in final format from its rom to its gpu at will, at massive speeds gives it a huge huge advantage over the Dreamcast that probably leads to all these downgrade to cope with having to stuff the ram with assets AND having no built in tnl.


I agree. People often do not realize how different M3s hardware was to later setups. Just comparing the specs they know, disregarding the specs they don't understand and then treating both systems as if it were the same architecture just does not do it justice. :)

cloofoofoo wrote:Youre crazy to think dc can emulate it.


Well, the thread opener asked if those games could be ported, which is a different situation of course.
We will never know how well that would work out and how real ports of those games would look on DC, unfortunately.

But Model 3-emulation on Dreamcast?
No way in hell... you would have measure the speed of the game in frames per year. : D

cloofoofoo
Animated Violence
Posts: 497

Re: Sega Model 3

Post#27 » Sat Sep 17, 2022 12:37 pm

Gabbyjay wrote:
cloofoofoo wrote:The dreamcast can trade blows with step 1 and step 1.5. Step 2 and up completely outpaces the dreamcast.


I would agree with that assessment.

Although even Model 3 Step-1 has advantages over Dreamcast.
Dreamcast is newer technology-wise, so some of it's effects offer more flexibility (lighting, shadows, fog), it's got more transparency-levels, TC and the like. It uses triangles instead of Model 3's quads, which makes things a lot easier and less expensive.
Also, it's games ran at a slightly higher resolution (640x480 compared to M3's 496x384).

But Model 3 Step-1's ROM-architecture offers vastly more raw horsepower. Those were over $20.000 expensive beasts!
Also, when comparing (theoretical) polygon-performance, people should always consider that Model 3's specs on this always include shading, texturing, illumination, z-buffering, transparency, anti-aliasing and the like.
Dreamcast's numbers do not (disregarding z-buffering, of course) and are limited by available memory anyway, if you want to still have some space for VQ-compressed textures.

I especially like the anti-aliasing-part on Model 3.
No Dreamcast-game used real anti-aliasing, I know only of a handful using the partial 2xSSAA (which works only horizontally) and that's about it (don't confuse the flicker-fixer on interlace displays with AA). Model 3 has it's own edge-AA-solution, which works similar to MSAA.

cloofoofoo wrote:Lets look at step 1.5/1.0 games. Virtua fighter 3 tb is quite close to the model 3. Very small difference in polygon count while heavy difference in clothing physics. Overall not too bad.


I have to agree.
VF3 on the DC does not deserve the bad reputation it had back then, you have to look closely to see the differences (textures suffered a bit, too, and there's more aliasing). You surely got the arcade-experience at home!
On the other hand, people often say VF3 on the DC was only a launch-title and could be better... true, but they ignore VF3 was a launch title for the much more complicated Model-3-architecture as well. Also, VF3 came two and a half years earlier in the arcades, a long time in the 3D-graphics-industry, so understanding of 3D-game engines in general and also the development of game engine assets and human resources moved on, too.
Still a questionable policy that one of Sega's top-arcade-hits did not enjoy top priority by porting them Sega-internally, but Genki did a very good job in the end nonetheless.

cloofoofoo wrote:Step 2 - sega rally 2 runs half the framerate and massive reduction to geometry.


Or unstable 60fps depending on the version... textures suffered a lot as well, as did draw-distance.
SR2 on DC ran at WinCE which always introduced a little overhead, but could not match the arcade-version anyway, which ran at Step 2, which was vastly more powerful than earlier M3-revisions.

Still much, much closer to the arcade then SR1 was on the Saturn!
But while the Saturn-game was praised into the sky for being faithful to the arcade, SR2 on the DC was stomped on... I still don't get it.

cloofoofoo wrote:just saying that model 3 freaking streams everything in final format from its rom to its gpu at will, at massive speeds gives it a huge huge advantage over the Dreamcast that probably leads to all these downgrade to cope with having to stuff the ram with assets AND having no built in tnl.


I agree. People often do not realize how different M3s hardware was to later setups. Just comparing the specs they know, disregarding the specs they don't understand and then treating both systems as if it were the same architecture just does not do it justice. :)

cloofoofoo wrote:Youre crazy to think dc can emulate it.


Well, the thread opener asked if those games could be ported, which is a different situation of course.
We will never know how well that would work out and how real ports of those games would look on DC, unfortunately.

But Model 3-emulation on Dreamcast?
No way in hell... you would have measure the speed of the game in frames per year. : D


Theres probably something more it to be honest, i wouldnt be surprised if it was being able to pull assets directly to the gpu from its "vrom" the decided factor why the dc couldnt keep up, second guess would be lighting performance ( though thats debatable since the dead or alive 2 debug shows 2 to 3 lights be default) .

So ive been doing some model extracting and virtua fighter 3 characters around 4,000 triangles and stages up to 7,000 triangles. Even if the model 3 version is nore detailed its probably not more than 10% to 30% more polygons. And if you quad that up its very under the rated 1 mpps model 3 is rated( thats to be expected ) . In contrast dead or alive 2 does around 8000 to 10,000 triangles per character and up to 18,000 per stage. And thats with 2 to 3 lights( 1 directional light per character) . Mind you it uses the same naomi lib format as virtua fighter 3 dreamcast version. And its probably far more detailed than even the model 3 version. It just makes you wonder what goes on under the hood difference wise for such disparity when porting from model 3 to dc, when dc best example shows it should be superior.

Another example is fighting vipers 2 ( step 2) , on dc the characters are around 2,500 triangles and the stages around 3,000 to 4,000 triangles. Far worse than even virtua fighter 3 dc like 2 years ealier. The downgrade was huge, more than it rationally should have been. The only thing that comes to mind is an interview the lead of fv2 said that the skyscraper stage wouldn't have been possible with step 1. I wonder if maybe streaming from vrom is faster in step 2 to the point they could abuse it like that, thats the only thing that makes sense.

Gabbyjay
undertow
Posts: 34

Re: Sega Model 3

Post#28 » Sat Sep 17, 2022 12:44 pm

Dont forget that DoA 2 was released in the year 2000 on the dreamcast, thats 4 years after VF3 in the arcades.

cloofoofoo
Animated Violence
Posts: 497

Re: Sega Model 3

Post#29 » Sat Sep 17, 2022 12:47 pm

Gabbyjay wrote:Dont forget that DoA 2 was released in the year 2000 on the dreamcast, thats 4 years after VF3 in the arcades.

Doa2 was shown off early 1999, meaning they were probably working on it since early 1998 using am2 noami lib tools. Its way less than 4 yrs difference , probably 2 if that. And it shows that convertions could have been close to 1:1 but then again they seem to perform better than the tools creators.

Not to mention fighting vipers 2 was done 2001, they should have been much better by then not worse.

Gabbyjay
undertow
Posts: 34

Re: Sega Model 3

Post#30 » Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:37 am

cloofoofoo wrote:
Gabbyjay wrote:Dont forget that DoA 2 was released in the year 2000 on the dreamcast, thats 4 years after VF3 in the arcades.
Doa2 was shown off early 1999, meaning they were probably working on it since early 1998


They did not start working on VF3 in 1996, but way earlier, too. ;)
There are several years between those two games, that is a long time in the evolution of 3D engines, and it shows, as VF3 already looked a bit outdated compared to some other fighting games. VF3 was fossil by then.
Also, Model 3 was a much, much more complex and way more proprietary hardware then the Dreamcast, which used more common components, triangles instead of quads, it used a hardware architecture which was standard by then and for all these reasons was much easier to develop games for. So you get your results quicker and thus less expensive. Or better results with the same amount of time and money. This is a quite important factor, as you can see since it led to Sega dropping the Model-3 platform and shifting to Naomi.

People always say "VF3 was a launch title on the DC and so it does not count when you compare DC and Model 3", and then they use much, much newer games as a proof that DC is as powerful, if not more powerful hardware.
But that's not a fair comparison, since as I have said, VF3 was ALSO the first game for it's arcade-hardware and was rushed as well (since Sega and Namco put an enormous amount of pressure at each other at that time and the arcade-industry was a fast-living business). Time does not stand still if you compare it to games that came out much later. Time moves on and so did the whole computer graphics software industry. People learned to do things differently and more efficient, people learned from each other, the standards in the industry were raised and while a game like VF3 may have impressed people in '96, in 2000 it was a different story, so there was even more effort needed. Also, as developers have more time to learn about a specific hardware, they get better results, too.

it shows that convertions could have been close to 1:1


Well... Model 3 was a more powerful hardware and in the case of Model 3 Step 2, the gap was substantial.
But I agree that in the case of the old VF3 or FV2, it could have been done for sure (minus the anti aliasing).

Scud Race would have been a great release for the DC. Maybe not 1:1 arcade quality, but it would still have looked great. (I never bought that "car license"-story... get other licenses or use renamed and a bit redesigned cars as RR does, and that's it.)
Daytona 2... I think several compromises would have to be made, but it still would have been great to see it on the DC back then, too.

I mean... what's the point?
Even if a game on a $300 gaming system is not quite 1:1 with $20.000 arcade-experiences, what's the deal... it is what it is, and as such if you look at it for what it is, it can still be great.
Sega Rally on the Saturn was miles behind the arcade, but does that make it's graphics any worse? They were still impressive on a home system back then and I still enjoyed the hell out of it.

Dreamcast was powerful and it's a shame Sega did not use so many of it's brands. :(

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