NuBus Video Cards

RasterOps 24Sx

Physical Specs and Compatibility

The RasterOps 24Sx is a 12" NuBus card compatible with 68K-based Macs running up to Mac OS 7.5.1.

Hands On: Chris Lawson

This card seems about on par with the 24XLi card, which is to say it's no speed demon - but it's not bad, either. It has four slots for RAM expansion; these appear to be for either GWorld memory or a RAM disk, but putting 1 MB or 4 MB on the card seems to make no difference at all in the amount of RAM available.

The RAM disk option crashed my IIcx in the middle of boot whether in 24-bit or 32-bit addressing mode, and I was unable to find any prefs to reset to fix the problem. Removing the Accelerator control panel worked, but then I couldn't turn the RAM disk off, because the CP has to be installed at boot in order to work. Zapping PRAM did nothing. I had to pull the four 256K SIMMs (yes, I tried two identical sets to make sure a bad SIMM wasn't the problem) and boot without them in order to reset the RAM Disk preference to nil.

Setting the GWorld memory to 4 MB (the amount available with 4 256K SIMMs installed) made for a screen full of strange artifacts, so I didn't bother testing with any GWorld RAM installed. This might be a problem with the card itself, however.

The following video benchmarks were obtained at 640 x 480 resolution using Speedometer 4.02:

computer            1-bit   4-bit   8-bit
IIcx, "Toby"        0.252     n/a   0.248
IIcx, 24Sx, off     0.265   0.233   0.209
IIcx, 24Sx, on      0.284   0.297   0.313
IIcx, 8•24 GC, on   0.421     n/a   0.422

The "Toby" card is Apple's unaccelerated Macintosh II Video Card. The 24Sx was tested with acceleration off and on. Performance improved with acceleration enabled at all settings. It is 7% faster at 1-bit, 27% faster at 4-bit, and 50% faster at 8-bit. Unaccelerated performance lags behind Apple's "Toby" card at the 8-bit setting.

The Apple 8•24GC is shown for comparison. It outperforms the 24Sx at both tested settings.

Performance is not great, even with acceleration on, but it is noticeably faster with the acceleration on than with it off. Me? I'll stick with a card that doesn't require $70 software, thanks.

Acceleration/Resolution/Color Support

The card provides standard QuickDraw acceleration and supports the following resolution/color combinations:

  • 640 x 480 up to 24-bit

Software

RasterOps video card drivers can be downloaded from the Mac Driver Museum, where ShrinkWrap disk images are available for RasterOps Graphics Install v3.2 and v3.3, MoviePak, MoviePak2, and VideoTime.

Other Notes

Has three jumper sets on the card: JP1 (single pair of pins), JP2 (three pins) and JP3 (three pins). JP2 and JP3 together are used for setting the resolution. If anyone has a listing of the settings, let me know. I know 640 x 480 can be set by putting jumpers on the rightmost pins in each set. JP1 doesn't seem to do anything.

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