Looking for some Retro help with a P166MHz system.

tarxsix

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whats your SB irq/dma and i/o? did you set that in the SB drivers and autoexec.bat file? And are you pointing blood to the SB irq/dma and i/o in it config/setup app?

Also blood is a very demanding game, those FPS are within line of what one would expact from a system like that. If I recall a its takes a P4 to get good FPS at higher screen resolution in blood. Heck dosbox can't even get 60fps on my x79 system with blood at 1600x1200
That is all done by the CTCM program by Creative.
And nothing on this system is running over 640x480.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I'm using my original copy of DOS Blood. It should not be using the GPU at all. It's all processed by the CPU. And again, it use to run better using the same hardware.
It is an erroneous assumption that just because you're not running a 3D game, that the video card doesn't matter. Not all 2D video cards were created equal, there were many terrible ones that were essentially dumb frame buffers that had the host CPU literally do everything. There were also some really good ones that had hardware accelerated drawing functions that drastically sped up graphics processing.

The Build engine uses VESA modes for rendering to the screen, and there were quite a few video chips that had poor/terrible/non-existent VESA support, Matrox being one of them. I have several Matrox cards which run Build engine games HORRIBLY, and will crash if you get too close to a transparent object on the screen.

Many of the more advanced 2D video cards had things like wider memory buses, faster memory, faster bus connections (VLB or PCI) and accelerated drawing functions like hardware blitter, block transfers, shape drawing, transparency, page flipping and sprites. These could result in huge gains in performance over a crappy entry level dumb frame buffer device. Transparency and blitter were two of the biggest performance gains. If the CPU had to blitter a masked texture over a solid background, or especially transparency, it would tank performance. Good 2D video chips that did this in hardware resulted in buttery smooth frame rates.
 

tarxsix

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The GPU is still used as a frame buffer card more or less. It has to draw the lines/pixels on the screen still.

Drop CTCM and use the older sb16 drivers such as these,
http://www.vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=35&menustate=45,38
Also be sure to set the environment variables in the autoexec.bat file EG: SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6
That is assuming for SB16 is at A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6, the SB drivers should set that on its own. Your also need to set the same setting within the games setup app. Don't bother wiht the auto/detect option, they don't always work. And try setting all IRQ's and DMAs to pnp in the bios, recerving them tends to not always work.

Also make sure there are not any resource conflicts, its not unheard of for a devcoe to nab the RIQ, DMA or IO range under one OS but not the other.


yeah those FPS sound about right for that setup. Blood was the crissis of its day. you need a PII system to get over 30ps
You don't have to go to a 3rd parity site for SB drivers. Creative still hosts all their legacy drivers and CTCM is part of the DOS driver package used to set resources for their PnP cards. It works fine. The CT4170 has known issues with Build games and 16 bit DMA. This card uses I5 D1 H3.
 

tarxsix

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It is an erroneous assumption that just because you're not running a 3D game, that the video card doesn't matter. Not all 2D video cards were created equal, there were many terrible ones that were essentially dumb frame buffers that had the host CPU literally do everything. There were also some really good ones that had hardware accelerated drawing functions that drastically sped up graphics processing.

The Build engine uses VESA modes for rendering to the screen, and there were quite a few video chips that had poor/terrible/non-existent VESA support, Matrox being one of them. I have several Matrox cards which run Build engine games HORRIBLY, and will crash if you get too close to a transparent object on the screen.

Many of the more advanced 2D video cards had things like wider memory buses, faster memory, faster bus connections (VLB or PCI) and accelerated drawing functions like hardware blitter, block transfers, shape drawing, transparency, page flipping and sprites. These could result in huge gains in performance over a crappy entry level dumb frame buffer device. Transparency and blitter were two of the biggest performance gains. If the CPU had to blitter a masked texture over a solid background, or especially transparency, it would tank performance. Good 2D video chips that did this in hardware resulted in buttery smooth frame rates.
True but as I said it ran fine on this hardware before. Is there a good 2D PCI card still going for cheap on eBay you can recommend?
 

tarxsix

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True but as I said it ran fine on this hardware before. Is there a good 2D PCI card still going for cheap on eBay you can recommend?
Oh, someone did inform me that "the 6326 AGP model (no data available for PCI) is marked as incapable of running build engine at high resolution in MS-DOS at all". But I can play Blood in DOS. Was playing it last night and going to play more tonight.
 

GiGaBiTe

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True but as I said it ran fine on this hardware before. Is there a good 2D PCI card still going for cheap on eBay you can recommend?

Found a PCI Geforce FX 5200 for $15 on ebay that apparently supports Windows 95.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/133829332005?hash=item1f28d98c25:g:nngAAOSwR-hg~cu4

Driver:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/133829332005?hash=item1f28d98c25:g:nngAAOSwR-hg~cu4

If you want something more period correct, an ATI Rage series card would also be pretty cheap, just stay away from the Rage XL, it's a cut down Rage core with no 2D or 3D acceleration designed for servers. Nvidia TNT2 cards are cheap, but only the AGP versions, people want stupid money for the PCI variants.

Here are a few other options -

Radeon 9250:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/114894616448?hash=item1ac040b780:g:r~cAAOSwFhFg8g8O

TNT2 16mb:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/234091922286?epid=1700471687&hash=item3680f7436e:g:2I0AAOSw~0Rg8beD

Geforce FX 5500 or Geforce 4 MX 4000:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/294138489907?hash=item447c052c33:g:8~sAAOSwGY9gglXr

S3 Trio64V+:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/194157988314?hash=item2d34b7c9da:g:7GQAAOSwpP9Y6-YA
 

tarxsix

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Found a PCI Geforce FX 5200 for $15 on ebay that apparently supports Windows 95.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/133829332005?hash=item1f28d98c25:g:nngAAOSwR-hg~cu4

Driver:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/133829332005?hash=item1f28d98c25:g:nngAAOSwR-hg~cu4

If you want something more period correct, an ATI Rage series card would also be pretty cheap, just stay away from the Rage XL, it's a cut down Rage core with no 2D or 3D acceleration designed for servers. Nvidia TNT2 cards are cheap, but only the AGP versions, people want stupid money for the PCI variants.

Here are a few other options -

Radeon 9250:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/114894616448?hash=item1ac040b780:g:r~cAAOSwFhFg8g8O

TNT2 16mb:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/234091922286?epid=1700471687&hash=item3680f7436e:g:2I0AAOSw~0Rg8beD

Geforce FX 5500 or Geforce 4 MX 4000:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/294138489907?hash=item447c052c33:g:8~sAAOSwGY9gglXr

S3 Trio64V+:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/194157988314?hash=item2d34b7c9da:g:7GQAAOSwpP9Y6-YA
I definitely don't want to get anything over 4MB as I have a TNT 16MB in my 98 system but as I already have the Voodoo maybe something less. Do you know if a ATI Rage Wonder MACH 64 1MB is good?
 

GiGaBiTe

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I definitely don't want to get anything over 4MB as I have a TNT 16MB in my 98 system but as I already have the Voodoo maybe something less. Do you know if a ATI Rage Wonder MACH 64 1MB is good?

Limiting yourself by video card memory doesn't make any sense. 4mb is just barely adequate for Windows 95, any lower than that and you start losing display modes and bit depth.

1mb is probably going to start having problems with later DOS games. The Mach 64 wasn't a terrible card, but 1mb of VRAM really isn't enough.
 

tarxsix

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Limiting yourself by video card memory doesn't make any sense. 4mb is just barely adequate for Windows 95, any lower than that and you start losing display modes and bit depth.

1mb is probably going to start having problems with later DOS games. The Mach 64 wasn't a terrible card, but 1mb of VRAM really isn't enough.
For 4MB I see these two listed:

S3 VIRGE DX 86C375​

ATI Rage II+​


OH, I found this comparing the 2, the Virge seems to be the winner for 2D DOS:
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=34658
 

Denpepe

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I used to have a matrox card for general desktop/2D games use back in the day think they were considered as beeing pretty good, ran build games pretty well if memory serves.
 
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The best chipset for DOS gaming was the Tseng ET6000, but the Matrox Mystique/Millennium was surprisingly good at that too. S3 Vision 968 was also very decent (Diamond Stealth 64 Video or #9 Motion 771).
 

GiGaBiTe

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I used to have a matrox card for general desktop/2D games use back in the day think they were considered as beeing pretty good, ran build games pretty well if memory serves.

I had a Matrox G200 that was horrible in Build games. It'd choke on transparent sprites/walls, and crash with a granular page fault if you got too close to them. Sometimes the screen would get badly corrupted instead though, and it'd turn into an LSD party.

Also have a couple of MGA Millennium II cards that are also very buggy with Build engine games.
 

tarxsix

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I ordered the S3 Virge. Gonna take a few weeks to get here but I'll post results after I test it out.
 

tarxsix

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What you state about the ET6000 is very true. The voodoo3 and rivia/tnt's were also good, but more of a windows 3d card like the Mystique/Millennium .

oh yes the famed 3d deccelerator card. If your not going to be using 3d you should be ok at 640x480. Witch core does the card you bought have?
The seller was nice enough to post these screenshots :D
eBayS3VirgeDetails1.jpg
eBayS3VirgeDetails2.jpg
 

lopoetve

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What you state about the ET6000 is very true. The voodoo3 and rivia/tnt's were also good, but more of a windows 3d card like the Mystique/Millennium .

oh yes the famed 3d deccelerator card. If your not going to be using 3d you should be ok at 640x480. Witch core does the card you bought have?
ViRGE was a great 2d card; they were one of the better pairs for Voodoo 1 / PowerVR cards :p Just REALLY sucked at 3d.
 
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Halon

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AustinW's right. The Virge cards were essentially die-shrunk revisions of the S3 Trio chip, down to being electrically compatible with them for the convenience of OEMs hoping to add a nominal 3D accelerator to systems with as little effort as possible. All of the Virges had reliably solid VESA VBE 1.2 and VGA support. With a TSR - say, SciTech Display Doctor/UniVBE - they were capable of just about kind of MS-DOS 2D gaming you could hope to get up to. They are not quite on par with the Tseng Labs ET6000 in raw speed, but they're also an order of magnitude cheaper and easier to find. It would probably be a perceptible upgrade over an SiS 6326.
 

lopoetve

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AustinW's right. The Virge cards were essentially die-shrunk revisions of the S3 Trio chip, down to being electrically compatible with them for the convenience of OEMs hoping to add a nominal 3D accelerator to systems with as little effort as possible. All of the Virges had reliably solid VESA VBE 1.2 and VGA support. With a TSR - say, SciTech Display Doctor/UniVBE - they were capable of just about kind of MS-DOS 2D gaming you could hope to get up to. They are not quite on par with the Tseng Labs ET6000 in raw speed, but they're also an order of magnitude cheaper and easier to find. It would probably be a perceptible upgrade over an SiS 6326.
And to my point - they were easy to find back then (vs the Tseng Labs especially; this was the early days at best of the internet), gave good 2d performance, and played well with, well, everything else you'd add in - as long as you didn't need 3d out of it. EVERY store had a ViRGE or three there to pick up.

It was a great card. It wasn't the best card. It wasn't an amazing card. It was great if you used it for what it really should be used for, and unlike some of the competition (the Rendition cards, for instance), worked pretty much perfectly for what you needed it to do. I had something like 50 of the things pass through my hands at various points - if you considered them a 2d VGA card, they were perfect. Add on the 3d accelerator of your choice (before the TNT came out and really did both at once - even the Riva 128 had various driver bugs early on, although the dos side worked fine) and you were golden. Sure, you could get more out of another card, but damn were they cheap and ubiquitous.
 

Halon

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And to my point - they were easy to find back then (vs the Tseng Labs especially; this was the early days at best of the internet), gave good 2d performance, and played well with, well, everything else you'd add in - as long as you didn't need 3d out of it. EVERY store had a ViRGE or three there to pick up.

It was a great card. It wasn't the best card. It wasn't an amazing card. It was great if you used it for what it really should be used for, and unlike some of the competition (the Rendition cards, for instance), worked pretty much perfectly for what you needed it to do. I had something like 50 of the things pass through my hands at various points - if you considered them a 2d VGA card, they were perfect. Add on the 3d accelerator of your choice (before the TNT came out and really did both at once - even the Riva 128 had various driver bugs early on, although the dos side worked fine) and you were golden. Sure, you could get more out of another card, but damn were they cheap and ubiquitous.
This is all spot on. I'm trying to remember specific gotchas for cards of that era, now.
  • The Renditions had solid VESA support but for some reason I forgot long before my children were born the RISC CPU driving them effectively had to perform VGA emulation, which bottlenecked video performance for DOS games. It was really weird seeing an Athlon 500 with a V1000E not hit 35 fps in Doom.
  • ATi's kit was decently fast but I seem to remember them having more VESA issues than the ViRGEs. TSRs came to the rescue pretty well here. For whatever it's worth AMD hardware as recent as Radeon HD 5000 kit had unbroken, functional VESA 2.0 support, and that may have extended to newer hardware too.
  • I never ran into the 2D problems with Matrox cards other people here reported, aside from a few title-specific glitches. Updating to the latest BIOS made a positive difference for Matrox hardware.
  • SiS and Trident were bottom feeders of the time. TSRs could make the most of a cruddy situation, but you really did get what you paid for. If I had to characterize the difference I'd say Trident was cheap by only offering minimal, basic functionality, and SiS overpromised and half-assed its execution.
  • 3Dfx's 2D for the Banshee through VSA parts was really fast, though some of the more outré VESA modes like 400x300 and 512x384 had odd glitches.
  • I don't have clear memories of playing with Nvidia hardware prior to the original TNT, but the VESA and VGA support were both fast and consistent. Some time after the GeForce2 they changed something about their VESA implementation, as it still worked correctly but speed was roughly halved. The wonks over at Vogons determined that post-Fermi cards have effectively broken VESA support, though by 2015 that was all but a moot point.
I'm certain there are others I'm forgetting, but it's been many years.
 

lopoetve

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This is all spot on. I'm trying to remember specific gotchas for cards of that era, now.
  • The Renditions had solid VESA support but for some reason I forgot long before my children were born the RISC CPU driving them effectively had to perform VGA emulation, which bottlenecked video performance for DOS games. It was really weird seeing an Athlon 500 with a V1000E not hit 35 fps in Doom.
  • ATi's kit was decently fast but I seem to remember them having more VESA issues than the ViRGEs. TSRs came to the rescue pretty well here. For whatever it's worth AMD hardware as recent as Radeon HD 5000 kit had unbroken, functional VESA 2.0 support, and that may have extended to newer hardware too.
  • I never ran into the 2D problems with Matrox cards other people here reported, aside from a few title-specific glitches. Updating to the latest BIOS made a positive difference for Matrox hardware.
  • SiS and Trident were bottom feeders of the time. TSRs could make the most of a cruddy situation, but you really did get what you paid for. If I had to characterize the difference I'd say Trident was cheap by only offering minimal, basic functionality, and SiS overpromised and half-assed its execution.
  • 3Dfx's 2D for the Banshee through VSA parts was really fast, though some of the more outré VESA modes like 400x300 and 512x384 had odd glitches.
  • I don't have clear memories of playing with Nvidia hardware prior to the original TNT, but the VESA and VGA support were both fast and consistent. Some time after the GeForce2 they changed something about their VESA implementation, as it still worked correctly but speed was roughly halved. The wonks over at Vogons determined that post-Fermi cards have effectively broken VESA support, though by 2015 that was all but a moot point.
I'm certain there are others I'm forgetting, but it's been many years.
So I had almost all of them at one point - I made a hobby of "trying every video card" for a while, and then selling them on Ebay :p Kinda "retro gaming" before it was really retro, and mostly as they exited the market so I could get them super cheap and see what I thought vs what PC Gamer thought (pre-internet!).

Rendition - had the V1000 and the V2100... My first 3d accelerator. SO true. VESA worked great, but there were even windows 98 titles that would run at 10 FPS because they were "VGA" and Rendition thought that no one would run old stuff anymore. SO bad. But Speedy3D and RRedline stuff was amazing at the time, and vQuake? Holy crap. Just... yes please. I remember when Mechwarrior Mercenaries added 3d accelerator support! I remember doom running poorly, so I fired it up on an old 486. Made me feel dirty.

ATI - Yep. They had the best quality and color too, but weird things didn't work, and almost ~no one~ supported their specialty APIs... also remember issues with pairing them with 3dFX cards, so you either had to pick one or the other at times, depending on the system.

Matrox was great at 2d. Agreed. Only did a couple of those, mostly for CAD systems I was building for people.

Also agreed on SiS and Trident. Especially SiS... So many bad memories of those cards, and their sound cards.

Cirrus Logic (you forgot them) made good, solid S3-ish level 2d cards, paired well with 3Dfx and with PowerVR too, but were harder to find over time as they exited the market. Their 3d accelerator was garbage too (Laguna3d) - had one for... a week? Eww.

3Dfx Banshee was good for what it was, as was the Voodoo3 line. Used a Banshee for years in a secondary system till a family member threw it away (asshole) - K6-2 300! I also had a Rush, which I didn't mind as much (secondary system). It worked, 2d was ok, 3d was ok, just expensive for what it was, and not as fast as it should have been, but as a secondary kit? Good enough! Never tried the oddball VESA modes on it - it ran windows and a few games for my sister, and let me do LAN Half Life. Goal achieved.

NVidia - I had an NV1 for a week, just like the Laguna. I count it only because almost no one else did. I don't remember anything but "garbage... just... garbage." Don't even remember what I tried to run on it! The 128 was great, especially paired with a 3Dfx card, but had some driver issues early on (as did the TNT, but I remember fighting more with safe mode and manual installs on the 128 - I also had an OEM TNT, so that was part of that fight). 2d worked great. 3d worked great. Paired worked great. That was the ~end~ of separate 2d only cards really. I do remember having the GeForce 256 and being disappointed - I had a TNT2 Ultra, and the GeForce felt slower! I ended up with a Radeon DDR at some point after that - it gets blurry. Then eventually a GeForce3, which... I loved that card. Still miss that system.
 
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Halon

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Cirrus Logic (you forgot them) made good, solid S3-ish level 2d cards, paired well with 3Dfx and with PowerVR too, but were harder to find over time as they exited the market. Their 3d accelerator was garbage too (Laguna3d) - had one for... a week? Eww.

NVidia - I had an NV1 for a week, just like the Laguna. I count it only because almost no one else did. I don't remember anything but "garbage... just... garbage." Don't even remember what I tried to run on it! The 128 was great, especially paired with a 3Dfx card, but had some driver issues early on (as did the TNT, but I remember fighting more with safe mode and manual installs on the 128 - I also had an OEM TNT, so that was part of that fight). 2d worked great. 3d worked great. Paired worked great. That was the ~end~ of separate 2d only cards really. I do remember having the GeForce 256 and being disappointed - I had a TNT2 Ultra, and the GeForce felt slower! I ended up with a Radeon DDR at some point after that - it gets blurry. Then eventually a GeForce3, which... I loved that card. Still miss that system.
I actually did think about Cirrus Logic for a second, but didn't know what to say about 'em and left them out. :) As you say, they made reasonably good 2D cards but evaporated as the market moved toward 3D. The Laguna3D itself amounted to a lackluster S3 Virge-alike. You're the first person I've heard mention that in a long, long time. They did go out with more dignity than Alliance, though... the ProMotion aT3D is undeniably the most broken 3D accelerator I have ever seen.

The NV1 was a bizarre attempt to leverage the Saturn's graphics architecture for the PC market. As it rendered quadrilaterals rather than triangles as its primitives, its days were numbered from the start. I never got to play with a RIVA 128(ZX), but the consensus was that outside of some blending mode and polygon gapping issues, it was a reliably capable DirectX 5.0 card. Around 1998 I remember seeing Heretic II running on a TNT feeding a huge 1600x1200 CRT at full resolution in 32-bit color, and even though the framerate crawled I was gobsmacked by how clear it all looked. I can't explain the Geforce feeling slower than a TNT2 Ultra - would guess driver teething issues in the early days were a real source of frustration. Those days were a lot of fun!
 
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lopoetve

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Oh they were! Playing with each one, the demos, the funky implementations... It was an entertaining time, and every year seemed to bring a ton of new "toys" to play with or dream about. So much change so fast.

Heh, I remember having the NV1, but just don't remember anything ~about it~ other than hating it.

Oh! I also had a Number Nine Ticket to Ride. Didn't mind that card - wasn't the fastest, but I got it cheap and it worked well for a bit. Then the company died.

Kept wondering where I'd seen the Alliance logo - the Rush had the 2d chip from them!
 
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Oh they were! Playing with each one, the demos, the funky implementations... It was an entertaining time, and every year seemed to bring a ton of new "toys" to play with or dream about. So much change so fast.

Heh, I remember having the NV1, but just don't remember anything ~about it~ other than hating it.

Oh! I also had a Number Nine Ticket to Ride. Didn't mind that card - wasn't the fastest, but I got it cheap and it worked well for a bit. Then the company died.

Kept wondering where I'd seen the Alliance logo - the Rush had the 2d chip from them!

I had the Number Nine T2R4 (Revolution IV) - I never used it to game though since I had SLI Voodoo2's. I just checked to see that it worked, and IIRC it got around 20 fps in Unreal at 800x600 with nice rendering quality. It was also good for very sharp text on my Diamondtron 19," even better than the Millennium II it replaced. I missed that sharpness when I upgraded to a TNT2 Ultra.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Heh, I remember having the NV1, but just don't remember anything ~about it~ other than hating it.

You weren't alone in hating it, it was widely panned because it was incredibly expensive and compatible with basically nothing. There were a grand total of 7 games that supported the card, and all of them were ports from the Sega Saturn, owing to the fact the Saturn used a very similar rendering method using quadratic texture mapping versus polygons. The announcement of Direct 3D from Microsoft ended the NV1 due to them having virtually nothing in common. Nvidia did eventually release very poor and buggy D3D drivers, but performance was terrible due to it mostly being software emulation running on the host CPU.

The only thing the NV1 had going for it is that it allowed Sega Saturn emulation, something Nvidia was keen on using as a selling point because the card supported Saturn controllers. So if you had the expensive additional daughter card, you could turn your PC into a janky Sega Saturn emulator.
 

tarxsix

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...WELP... I put in the S3 card and booted up DOS... and I was blinded. In the black spaces there were angled flowing scanlines and static and everything was just very bright. So I looked it up and find out that the S3 cards are known for a Brightness Bug. Reading about it it seemed like 90%+ of them have the issue. Found a .com file someone crated to fix the bug but it did not work. Oh Well... The card has VESA 1.2 nativity so first went to test run Blood as is. And I got a whole 13FPS in the graveyard! S3 has a program to upgrade to 2.0, so got that installed. And this is where I was very disappointed. After all the talk about how a good 2D card would improve performance. The SIS card gave me 17-20FPS in the graveyard and the S3 card maybe got me 1 more FPS some of the time... And it had the Brightness Bug! Oh well... I guess having the S3 card on hand for any games that were not compatible with the SIS would be good.
 

tarxsix

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So I put the SIS back in. One thing I had not tried is the UniVBE. Getting this to work in DOS took me a few hours. I don't have much DOS experience remember. But after finally getting it working I started up Blood. The first logo would play but then everything would glitch out. There would be nothing in 80% of the middle of the screen and a bar of corrupted pixels on the top and bottom. I tried turning off UniVBE features but could not get Blood to run with any combo. So I REMed the driver out of Autoexec.bat, if there is a game that can use it I can just re-enable it. Note UniVBE specs for the SIS card listed it as having VESA 2.0. That's it for DOS/Win 3.1 on this system.
 
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tarxsix

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I tried out VniVBE with Windows 95 too but had the same kind of corruption on Windows boot once the graphics kicked in. Had to uninstall it to get Windows working again. Besides that I upgraded the Voodoo/Glide drivers as I had the release versions installed. I tried upgrading the SIS drivers but when I did Windows would always say the card was not properly installed and the image was much more blurry. The SIS card I got was NOS so it came with the driver CD and it's a 1999 release of the card so they are not old drivers anyway. And when I installed the 1.29b drivers back the image is so much clearer with them. I just noticed that on that driver CD there are are drivers for many other cards too. I should upload the CD to Archive org and Vogons.
 

tarxsix

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This is now the end of troubleshooting this system. It still has a issue here and there like the sound card 16bit DMA and may have games not compatible with the SIS but I got the S3 card now and can just not use 16bit DMA. Besides that I am very happy with this system and to finally have DOS 6.22/ WIN 3.1 and Win 95 working. It took a good amount of work to do so!
Final specs:
SL27K (Intel Pentium MMX 166 MHz)
MICROSTAR MS-5187 VER:1
32MB 10NS 3.3V PC100 RAM
Sound Blaster CT4170 (SB 16)
SIS 6326 4MB (PCI)
Diamond Monster 3D (Voodoo 4MB)
 
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GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
1,937
Almost sounds like the S3 card has bad VRAM. Not really an easy way to test it though, besides removing and replacing the chips.

Fast SOJ EDO RAM is hard to come by these days unless you scavenge it from another card.
 

HeadRusch

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
1,508
Depending on how that card was used and stored, you could very easily have degrading electronics on that board....its drying out, like all our crap is, over time....solders, that PCB its mounted to, the chips themselves...all slowly off-gassing, who knows how many times it's been zapped by static. You cleaned the contacts with ISO just in case, right? I've got an Apple II+ in the closet that worked 10 years ago but today....something is going to pop eventually and then I imagine its an expensive bespoke affair to get it repaired, re-capped, whatever is necessary. #terrified

I applaud OP for this trip down memory lane but why are we doing this? :) Windows 98 has those dos boxes to get everything running through them, no? Props for playing Blood, the Phantasm reference in Level 1 sold me...that was always the most quirky but one of the most fun BUILD engine games. I can't tell you how many work hours I ruined at my first job when I installed Duke3d and Shadow Warrior for LAN play on our companies 3 new Pentium 120mhz pc's, had to convince the boss we really needed the upgraded video cards at the time...."Because...uhhh...well look, the frame-buffer on these cards is superior due to the higher levels of integrated...ehhhh.....ram solenoids which will ultimately configure out....uhhhh......look it'll make email quicker. What's email? *sigh*.....listen just sign this Purchase Order here ok?"
 
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Halon

Gawd
Joined
Aug 13, 2004
Messages
658
This is now the end of troubleshooting this system. It still has a issue here and there like the sound card 16bit DMA and may have games not compatible with the SIS but I got the S3 card now and can just not use 16bit DMA. Besides that I am very happy with this system and to finally have DOS 6.22/ WIN 3.1 and Win 95 working. It took a good amount of work to do so!
Final specs:
SL27K (Intel Pentium MMX 166 MHz)
MICROSTAR MS-5187 VER:1
32MB 10NS 3.3V PC100 RAM
Sound Blaster CT4170 (SB 16)
SIS 6326 4MB (PCI)
Diamond Monster 3D (Voodoo 4MB)
By and large that is a perfectly solid DOS machine. One thing that can help troubleshooting these issues that wasn’t possible 20 years ago is taking a quick cell phone video of what you’re seeing and uploading it to YouTube. But way to research - this stuff wasn’t easy then either.
 

tarxsix

n00b
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
57
Depending on how that card was used and stored, you could very easily have degrading electronics on that board....its drying out, like all our crap is, over time....solders, that PCB its mounted to, the chips themselves...all slowly off-gassing, who knows how many times it's been zapped by static. You cleaned the contacts with ISO just in case, right? I've got an Apple II+ in the closet that worked 10 years ago but today....something is going to pop eventually and then I imagine its an expensive bespoke affair to get it repaired, re-capped, whatever is necessary. #terrified

I applaud OP for this trip down memory lane but why are we doing this? :) Windows 98 has those dos boxes to get everything running through them, no? Props for playing Blood, the Phantasm reference in Level 1 sold me...that was always the most quirky but one of the most fun BUILD engine games. I can't tell you how many work hours I ruined at my first job when I installed Duke3d and Shadow Warrior for LAN play on our companies 3 new Pentium 120mhz pc's, had to convince the boss we really needed the upgraded video cards at the time...."Because...uhhh...well look, the frame-buffer on these cards is superior due to the higher levels of integrated...ehhhh.....ram solenoids which will ultimately configure out....uhhhh......look it'll make email quicker. What's email? *sigh*.....listen just sign this Purchase Order here ok?"
If you read into it they had this same brightness bug when they were released. 20+ years ago. Post I was reading from that time were describing the same thing I was seeing.
I don't use Win 98 on this system because I have my original 98 system. A Pentium 500MHz and TNT.
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
261
If you want a 'good' S3 card without the black level problems, buy a Diamond branded one. I keep a few of the Stealth 3D 2000 Pro 4MB cards around and they really work well in systems like yours. Also if you want a very snappy and fast DOS card if you can find one, look for an Ark Logic ARK2000PV based card. I have one and it's very fast and compatible, better then S3. It's a beast in my Dell Pentium 100 system, fastest card I've ever tested in it.
 

tarxsix

n00b
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
57
If you want a 'good' S3 card without the black level problems, buy a Diamond branded one. I keep a few of the Stealth 3D 2000 Pro 4MB cards around and they really work well in systems like yours. Also if you want a very snappy and fast DOS card if you can find one, look for an Ark Logic ARK2000PV based card. I have one and it's very fast and compatible, better then S3. It's a beast in my Dell Pentium 100 system, fastest card I've ever tested in it.
I'll keep an eye out :D
 

tarxsix

n00b
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
57
Quake is showing up everywhere with the remaster coming out and that reminded me I tried running Quake on this system with just the SiS card. And you could count the FPS on one hand! So planned to play it on my 98 system. But! Now I have the Voodoo in there. So installed Quake and in 640x480 Vanilla and WinQuake got about 12FPS but GLQuake got a nice 27+FPS! So going to play it on this system :happy:
 
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