NuBus Video Cards

RasterOps 24XLi

Physical Specs and Compatibility

The RasterOps 24XLi is a 12" NuBus card compatible with 68K- and PowerPC-based Macs.

Hands On: Dan Knight

I've tested a RasterOps 24XLi in a Mac IIfx, a IIci with cache card, a IIcx, and a Quadra 650. All were running System 7.5.5 on an external Quantum Fireball 2.1 GB hard drive. I was only able to use the 1152 x 870 setting with my ViewSonic V95 monitor; this may be due to the Mac-to-VGA adapter in use. Accelerated tests were run with version 3.3.1 of the RasterOps drivers.

The following video benchmarks were obtained at 1152 x 870 resolution, which does not support 24-bit video, using Speedometer 4.02:

computer            1-bit   8-bit
IIcx, "Toby"        0.252   0.248
IIcx, 24XLi         0.245   0.242
IIci, int. video    0.467   0.461
IIci, 24XLi         0.381   0.382
IIfx, "Toby"        0.454   0.447
IIfx, no driver     0.416   0.420
IIfx, accelerated   0.453   0.450
Quadra 650, int.    1.340   1.341
Quadra 650, "Toby"  0.839   0.840
Quadra 650, unac.   0.722   0.719
Quadra 650, 24XLi   0.776   0.779

Frankly, performance was disappointing. The IIcx with an unaccelerated Macintosh II Video Card outperformed the RasterOps 24XLi with acceleration enabled. The difference on both the IIfx and the Quadra with the accelerated drivers only boosted performance 7-9% -- putting it on par with the "Toby" card, which has no acceleration. In fact, performance was quite a bit slower than the Quadra 650's onboard video or the "Toby" card in the Quadra.

One nice feature of the 24XLi is extra onboard memory, which can be used for GWorld (don't ask) or as a RAM Disk. I thought that was worth a test, but the Speedometer rating for the RAM Disk was lower than for the hard drive when tested with a 1024K disk cache. When I reduced the disk cache to 96K (which I would never do in real life), RAM Disk performance was a bit over twice that of the Fireball hard drive. Your mileage will vary depending on your computer, hard drive, version of the Mac OS, and size of the disk cache.

In the end, I'm very disappointed with this card. I'm sticking with Apple's 8•24GC in my IIfx; it's about two-thirds faster than the RasterOps 24XLi.

Acceleration/Resolution/Color Support

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

  • 640 x 480 up to 24-bit
  • 832 x 624 up to 24-bit
  • 1024 x 768 (60 or 75 Hz) up to 24-bit
  • 1152 x 870 up to 24-bit


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 four SIMM slots for GWorld or RAM Disk expansion (with software).

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