VOGONS


First post, by bergqvistjl

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

OK so now that I've ordered most of the parts that I don't already have, I can go into more detail about the Win98 box I'm building. Essentially it's just a vehicle for my 3D cards I have as well as the associated games, but I'm beefing up the CPU as best I cant without making things unstable (Win98 crashes far less with a PIII than an AMD CPU), so as to compensate for the lack of power in the GPUs for some of my newer Win98 Games.
Motherboard
Jetway 993AN V1.4
CPU
Intel PIII 1400/512/133 Tualatin SL6BY
RAM
512MB
Graphics Card - AGP
QDI Vision-1 Rendition V2200
Graphics Card - PCI
3DFX Creative 3D Blaster Voodoo2
Optical Drive
Sony DDU1615 DVD-ROM
Floppy Disk Drive
Sony MPF920 3.5" - I'd like to get a 5.25" drive too but I think finding a relatively modern one with a black fascia to match the rest of it would be rare...
Hard Disk
40GB IDE
Network Card
Intel PRO/1000 GT
Sound Card
SoundBlaster AWE64 Gold ISA - Better compatibility in DOS
Case
Antec VSK-4000E - I'm fed up with beige 🤣
Monitor
Tatung TM3401 - a lovely 12 - 14" colour monitor, native res of 640x480 but does 800x600 too at a push. It's a fantastic display as it's small size means it pixellates older games less. I will weep when it dies :'(

What do you all think? The games i've got to run on it include:

IndyCar Racing II/CART Racing - the Rendition version
Nascar Racing II + Expansion, with the 3DFX Patch
Grand Prix Legends
F1 Racing Simulation
A bunch of classic LucasArts Games
Wing Commander IV DVD version

Since i'm still waiting for the Case, Mobo, CPU & Disk Drives I can't go ahead with much, but does anyone know if you can get an audio front-panel that will connect up to the AWE 64 Gold - or does it not support that? A Creative one would be nice if they ever made them.

Update:
Well the Mobo & CPU are still to arrive but here's the finished front anyway:

IMG_20150605_183157.jpg
Filename
IMG_20150605_183157.jpg
File size
1.54 MiB
Views
911 views
File comment
Windows 98 PC - Front View
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Last edited by bergqvistjl on 2015-06-06, 14:30. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 1 of 16, by mockingbird

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
bergqvistjl wrote:

Tatung TM3401 - a lovely 12 - 14" colour monitor, native res of 640x480 but does 800x600 too at a push. It's a fantastic display as it's small size means it pixellates older games less. I will weep when it dies :'(

If you're really intent on keeping the thing alive, you should be able to have it repaired. I've been looking at a few vintage television repairs of the 60s and it seems to me that the tubes themselves can last and last. It's the power circuitry, and in your case the power and logic circuitry which would go first.

What made you choose the Rendition as the primary VGA card?

Just one thing: Many people overlook capacitor aging when they build these retro systems. Make sure your motherboard has good, reputable capacitors and that you're using a quality PSU, or else you will have stability issues.

jw0vu3.png
(Decommissioned:)
7ivtic.png

Reply 2 of 16, by bergqvistjl

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
mockingbird wrote:
If you're really intent on keeping the thing alive, you should be able to have it repaired. I've been looking at a few vintage […]
Show full quote
bergqvistjl wrote:

Tatung TM3401 - a lovely 12 - 14" colour monitor, native res of 640x480 but does 800x600 too at a push. It's a fantastic display as it's small size means it pixellates older games less. I will weep when it dies :'(

If you're really intent on keeping the thing alive, you should be able to have it repaired. I've been looking at a few vintage television repairs of the 60s and it seems to me that the tubes themselves can last and last. It's the power circuitry, and in your case the power and logic circuitry which would go first.

What made you choose the Rendition as the primary VGA card?

Just one thing: Many people overlook capacitor aging when they build these retro systems. Make sure your motherboard has good, reputable capacitors and that you're using a quality PSU, or else you will have stability issues.

I think actually it's the 3DFX one that's the primary card to be honest, at least that's what the monitor connects to anyway. There's a 2nd connector on the 3DFX card which connects up to the rendition. So whenever i'm using the rendition card's capabilities it's piped through to the 3DFX card to be outputted to the monitor.

Reply 3 of 16, by obobskivich

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
bergqvistjl wrote:

I think actually it's the 3DFX one that's the primary card to be honest, at least that's what the monitor connects to anyway. There's a 2nd connector on the 3DFX card which connects up to the rendition. So whenever i'm using the rendition card's capabilities it's piped through to the 3DFX card to be outputted to the monitor.

The Voodoo2 will be bypassed (using its built-in pass-thru) whenever it isn't running in 3D. It has no 2D capabilities. All of that will come from the Rendition card. The Rendition card will be recognized by the system as the primary 3D adapter, and only VGA/2D adapter - the 3dfx card is a "3d accelerator" by contrast (and will only show up for supported applications as a secondary 3D adapter). Admittedly I don't know much about the Rendition card, so it may or may not be special in some way - commonly 3dfx V2s are/were paired up with cards like TNT2 or G400.

Reply 4 of 16, by matze79

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Über PC not Uber 😀

Uber is no german word.

Nice VGA Card, i always wanted a Rendition 😀

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 5 of 16, by bergqvistjl

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
matze79 wrote:

Über PC not Uber 😀

Uber is no german word.

Nice VGA Card, i always wanted a Rendition 😀

I just happened by chance to find it on ebay a few years ago for around £20. Last time i looked there was a guy from america selling more of the same model.

If i can find an identical 3dfx card to the one I already have, I would like to SLI them actually. Does anyone know what the most powerful/highest factory specs Voodoo2 card ever released was?

Reply 6 of 16, by bergqvistjl

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
bergqvistjl wrote:
matze79 wrote:

Über PC not Uber 😀

Uber is no german word.

Nice VGA Card, i always wanted a Rendition 😀

I just happened by chance to find it on ebay a few years ago for around £20. Last time i looked there was a guy from america selling more of the same model.

If i can find an identical 3dfx card to the one I already have, I would like to SLI them actually. Does anyone know what the most powerful/highest factory specs Voodoo2 card ever released was?

OK i've answered my own question and it's apparently this: http://tdfx.de/ger/obsidian2_sbi.shtml Although I don't see where you'd connect your 2D graphics card to?

Reply 7 of 16, by idspispopd

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

The Rendition card is nice for its Speedy3D/RRedline acceleration in some games. It does have some disadvantages, though (there are somewhat faster and especially more stable cards for Windows, Win9x 3D acceleration only, slow in DOS unless you use VESA modes or you use the speed-up utility when the game doesn't use Mode-X).
My build is somewhat similar the moment (GA-6VTXE, Celeron 1.0A@1.33GHz, same Rendition card). Win9x is somewhat unstable at the moment, this seems to be related to the video driver. Sub Culture runs fine in Rendition mode, though. VQuake only runs from Windows. Don't know what's up, maybe the CPU is too fast, I will try to underclock it next.

Reply 8 of 16, by ahendricks18

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Nice! I found a windows 98 amd athlon today and it has similar specs. It needs a good cleaning, but it works. About the monitors, I would look for a spare old one. The recycling plants around here have them by the dozen. And most of them work great! I also found a Tandy 1000 Ex and the windows 98 I mentioned there. Also keep an eye out on your local Craigslist. Happy gaming!

Main: AMD FX 6300 six core 3.5ghz (OC 4ghz)
16gb DDR3, Nvidia Geforce GT740 4gb Gfx card, running Win7 Ultimate x64
Linux: AMD Athlon 64 4000+, 1.5GB DDR, Nvidia Quadro FX1700 running Debian Jessie 8.4.0

Reply 9 of 16, by obobskivich

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
bergqvistjl wrote:

OK i've answered my own question and it's apparently this: http://tdfx.de/ger/obsidian2_sbi.shtml Although I don't see where you'd connect your 2D graphics card to?

The Obsidian is Voodoo2 SLI on a card - it uses a proprietary "medusa cable" (in your link, scroll down to Das Medusa Kabel) to handle the analog connections (it looks sort of similar to the original ATi CrossFire cables, if you're familiar with those at all - it's a Y-cable that has both input and output). Voodoo2 SLI with a pair of 12MB cards would achieve similar results, but take two PCI slots as opposed to one (depending on your case, it may also fit better, as Obsidian2 are relatively long cards).

Reply 10 of 16, by bergqvistjl

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
obobskivich wrote:
bergqvistjl wrote:

OK i've answered my own question and it's apparently this: http://tdfx.de/ger/obsidian2_sbi.shtml Although I don't see where you'd connect your 2D graphics card to?

The Obsidian is Voodoo2 SLI on a card - it uses a proprietary "medusa cable" (in your link, scroll down to Das Medusa Kabel) to handle the analog connections (it looks sort of similar to the original ATi CrossFire cables, if you're familiar with those at all - it's a Y-cable that has both input and output). Voodoo2 SLI with a pair of 12MB cards would achieve similar results, but take two PCI slots as opposed to one (depending on your case, it may also fit better, as Obsidian2 are relatively long cards).

Ahh thank you, that makes sense. I'm slightly miffed to discover my single Creative Voodoo2 is the 8MB one, not the 12MB one.

Reply 11 of 16, by obobskivich

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
bergqvistjl wrote:

Ahh thank you, that makes sense. I'm slightly miffed to discover my single Creative Voodoo2 is the 8MB one, not the 12MB one.

That is one of the obnoxious things about the Creative Voodoo2s - the 8MB and 12MB variants seem to have the same model number. Performance-wise it isn't anything I'd worry about unless you're after high resolutions (1024x768). More here: 8mb V2 vs 12mb

Reply 12 of 16, by bergqvistjl

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Well the Mobo & CPU are still to arrive but here's the finished front anyway:

IMG_20150605_183157.jpg
Filename
IMG_20150605_183157.jpg
File size
1.54 MiB
Views
973 views
File comment
Windows 98 PC - Front View
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 13 of 16, by dr.zeissler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Using a 12" to 14" inch Monitor is not a good choice, either for 640x480 nor for 800x600.
Using a 12" CRT like IBM1213 is REALLY good for 320x200, but that is not what you want to play.
Using a 15" TFT with 1024x768 is really nice for Win9x and 3dfx Gaming. 640x480 looks really good
and if you have a V2-SLI or a V3 then you get 1024x768 in a really good quality (especially if you choose the V3)

By the way, any idea why the Voodoo3 does not work with Z (Dos) (Bitmap Brothers) in Hires?

Thx
Doc

by the way I do have an obsidian with a madness cable but currently using a voodoo3 instead.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 14 of 16, by bergqvistjl

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
dr.zeissler wrote:
Using a 12" to 14" inch Monitor is not a good choice, either for 640x480 nor for 800x600. Using a 12" CRT like IBM1213 is REALLY […]
Show full quote

Using a 12" to 14" inch Monitor is not a good choice, either for 640x480 nor for 800x600.
Using a 12" CRT like IBM1213 is REALLY good for 320x200, but that is not what you want to play.
Using a 15" TFT with 1024x768 is really nice for Win9x and 3dfx Gaming. 640x480 looks really good
and if you have a V2-SLI or a V3 then you get 1024x768 in a really good quality (especially if you choose the V3)

By the way, any idea why the Voodoo3 does not work with Z (Dos) (Bitmap Brothers) in Hires?

Thx
Doc

by the way I do have an obsidian with a madness cable but currently using a voodoo3 instead.

Why is a 12" - 14" CRT not good for 640x480 or 800x600? They look fine to me, far better than the 15" TFT's i've tried too...

tbh I think most of my dos games will be in 320x200 too. I haven't fully checked what each one displays.

Reply 15 of 16, by dr.zeissler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

In my opinion 640x480 and 800x600 are very good for Win3x, but 640x480 is not good for Win95 and higher. The Fonts in Win9x are too big for 640x480. With 800x600 it is fine, but 800x600 with such a small CRT-Monitor...

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 16 of 16, by bergqvistjl

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
dr.zeissler wrote:

In my opinion 640x480 and 800x600 are very good for Win3x, but 640x480 is not good for Win95 and higher. The Fonts in Win9x are too big for 640x480. With 800x600 it is fine, but 800x600 with such a small CRT-Monitor...

I disagree. They look fine on mine at both resolutions...