VOGONS


First post, by Svenne

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'Sup fellow vogoners!
I just wanted to share a new build that I've been working on for a while. It's a neat little Win9x rig, built for games such as Carmageddon II and the like.
I've put off posting about it for a while, mainly because I wanted to get system updates and such sorted out.

The specs are as follows:

CPU: Intel Pentium II (Deschutes) 400MHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-6BXE Rev. 2.0 (I think, at least)
Graphics card: 3dfx Voodoo3 3000 AGP
Sound card: ESS ES1868F AudioDrive ISA
RAM: 256Mb (2x128) PC100 SDRAM
Hard drive: Maxtor DiamondMax8 40Gb (capped at 32 because I haven't bothered to update the mobo BIOS yet)
Network card: Realtek RTL8185
ODD: TSSCorp CD reader/(re)writer (52x/32x/52x)
FDD: Generic 1.44Mb 3.5 inch drive

Unfortuneately I don't have any benchmark results or pictures to share yet.

However, since everything I build seems to malfunction, there are a few annoying issues:

  • Need for speed III won't run in Glide mode, even with the approporiate patch installed. It just gives me an error message with the following contents:
    Exception caught!
    EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION: read attempted @0xFFFFFFFF
    CS=00000167 DS=0000016F ES=0000016F FS=000029AF GS=00000000
    EDI=0009D1EC ESI=1007B9A0 EAX=00000000 EBX=00000001 ECX=1007BDB8 EDX=00000000
    Eip=10013DD3 Ebp=00000000 Esp=00B7F9D4 SS=0000016F
    At first I thought this was caused by the 3rd-party video driver I was using (AmigaMerlin 2.9), but the same thing happens with the official 3dfx driver (1.07)
  • There's weird crackling sound artifacts in Carmageddon II. It's rather annoying, to say the least.
  • Speaking of the sound, I can't get sound effects to work in Tyrian 2000. FM music works fine, but when the setup tries to initialize the sound effect the computer just hardlocks. Is there maybe something wrong with the sound card?

I'd appreciate any help I can get, and general opinions on the build.

Intel C2D 2.8 GHz @ 3.0 GHz | ASUS P5KPL | ASUS GTS250 1 GB | 4GB DDR2-800 | 500 GB SATA | Win 7 Pro/Ubuntu 9.10

Reply 1 of 6, by ratfink

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Presumably you've tried things like:

- using a driver cleaner and/or ensuring all 3dfx/voodoo/glide files are removed before installing other graphics card drivers
- checking for resource conflicts
- removing the NIC and/or sound card
- reinstalling windows from scratch

BX boards are popular here, Voodoo 3 is a nice card, and that es1868 gets a good writeup round here too. Think there are some issues with bx boards and voodoo 1's, not v3's though. I have had problems with some nics on some boards.

Lockups on accessing sound effects sounds like a sound card resource not set right - eg. game set to use 220/1/5 when the sound blaster is on 240/3/7 etc.

Reply 2 of 6, by RogueTrip2012

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On NFSIII Make sure you have the voodoo 3 patch and then set the registry thrash driver to "voodoo2". I'm also running a modified voodoo2a.dll driver of 2000.10.23.1736 which is said to be pretty fast.

> W98SE . P3 1.4S . 512MB . Q.FX3K . SB Live! . 64GB SSD
>WXP/W8.1 . AMD 960T . 8GB . GTX285 . SB X-Fi . 128GB SSD
> Win X . i7 4790k . 16GB . GTX1070TI . 256GB SSD

Reply 3 of 6, by AdamP

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Svenne wrote:

Speaking of the sound, I can't get sound effects to work in Tyrian 2000. FM music works fine, but when the setup tries to initialize the sound effect the computer just hardlocks. Is there maybe something wrong with the sound card?

Are you playing the DOS version or the Windows version? If you're playing the DOS version, which sound driver are you using? If the game doesn't have an ESS Audiodrive driver, you should be using the Sound Blaster Pro driver. Either that or you've got a IRQ or DMA conflict.

Reply 4 of 6, by Svenne

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ratfink wrote:

Presumably you've tried things like:

- using a driver cleaner and/or ensuring all 3dfx/voodoo/glide files are removed before installing other graphics card drivers
- checking for resource conflicts

Done that, didn't work.

ratfink wrote:

- removing the NIC and/or sound card

I had quite some trouble fitting the NIC, as the backplate is too thick; I'm afraid I might break something if I try to remove it.

ratfink wrote:

- reinstalling windows from scratch

Haven't had time to do this, as it's a rather lengthy and tedious process. However, since easter break begins today I'll give it a shot if nothing else works.

ratfink wrote:

Lockups on accessing sound effects sounds like a sound card resource not set right - eg. game set to use 220/1/5 when the sound blaster is on 240/3/7 etc.

I've already checked that, and everything seems to be fine.

RogueTrip2012 wrote:

On NFSIII Make sure you have the voodoo 3 patch and then set the registry thrash driver to "voodoo2". I'm also running a modified voodoo2a.dll driver of 2000.10.23.1736 which is said to be pretty fast.

Registry thrash driver? Unfortuneately I have never heard of that one. Would you mind giving me a bit more info please?

Intel C2D 2.8 GHz @ 3.0 GHz | ASUS P5KPL | ASUS GTS250 1 GB | 4GB DDR2-800 | 500 GB SATA | Win 7 Pro/Ubuntu 9.10

Reply 5 of 6, by Stull

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Svenne wrote:
  • There's weird crackling sound artifacts in Carmageddon II. It's rather annoying, to say the least.

In my experience this is "normal" as it has always happened to me. Sound will work for a little bit, then most effects will stop, and you'll be left with crackling? I wish I knew the cause.

Reply 6 of 6, by Svenne

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Sorry about the massive necropost, but I just wanted to share some updates.

* Need for Speed 3 now works in Glide mode. Turns out I just forgot to copy a file. Oops!
* I also re-installed the sound drivers, and now the popping in Carmageddon 2 is gone, and sound now works in Jazz Jackrabbit.
* I checked the CD Audio cable, and found out it was wired incorrectly. Luckily I had a spare which I installed, and now CD music works, except for in C2.

I'll update the OP and add some benchmark results soon. Pictures won't be coming until I get a better case.

However, I still have some questions I'd like to have answered:
* How fast should I expect this machine to be? I play NFS 3 maxed out at 1024x768x16, and when I drive through dust clouds, the framerate drops to a crawl. I also get stuttering issues in Carmageddon 2. Am I expecting too much from this build?
* Even though sound in DOS somewhat works, I get crackling sounds in Tyrian 2000. It frankly sounds like crap. I've checked the resource settings, and they seem to be alright.
* I'm also not too fond of the cloned OPL chip; while it sounds okay in some games, the differences become very noticeable in games that depend on FM synthesis for sound effects. Stunts is a good example of this.

I also want to add a wavetable card, specifically a DB50XG/DB60XG, but the cheapest ones I can find are $20 + shipping. Since there are several Yamaha YMF724's with SB-Link connectors for much less, would it be better to just get one of these + an SB-Link cable instead?

Speaking of SB-Link cables, does anyone know where I can buy one, or alternatively, how I can make one?

I'm also thinking about upgrading the CPU to something a bit faster; I've heard that Carmageddon 2 is quite taxing on the CPU, and I thought getting a faster one might improve performance. I can't find any cheap and fast slot 1 P3's, but there are several cheap slockets around, and I have a 1,2 GHz Tualatin Celeron which I think either has an adapter board or is pin modded (it's mounted on an Apollo Pro133A-based board, which I don't think is compatible with Tualatin CPU's). Would a slocket work with one of these adapters?

I'd also like to thank you guys for the advice you've given so far. This forum is awesome!

Intel C2D 2.8 GHz @ 3.0 GHz | ASUS P5KPL | ASUS GTS250 1 GB | 4GB DDR2-800 | 500 GB SATA | Win 7 Pro/Ubuntu 9.10