Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Showcase your Retro PC / Build logs.

Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2017-11-14 @ 08:58

I have added a Table of Contents to the initial post to allow for easier navigation through the thread, at least to the posts that contain the hardware configurations. I will update this (and expand with new sections and the respective links) as the thread grows in length.

Yesterday, I played The Dig for a few minutes and it seems to run fine! I tested with slightly increasing the CPU cycles to 22,500. The game runs smoothly, but occasionally, there is crackling audio. 20,000 really seems to be the sweet spot for running The Dig on this system. I also launched some of the other games to check whether their configuration files needed some updates but everything seems to work OK. Testing is of course far from being finished, and I don't even have any of Windows based games installed. I'm planning on doing some further testing on the weekend.
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2017-11-19 @ 09:15

One short update... I couldn't resist the temptation to purchase a new Intel 60GB SSD for a very good price... So, I tested the configuration with another SATA SSD using a converter (SATA 300 to IDE), and the CUBX-E correctly identified the test SSD and tried to boot. Then I put in the Intel SSD, after partitioning, formatting and preloading it under Windows 7, booted via floppy and installed Win98SE directly from the SSD. I spent an hour setting everything up again and now everything's running like nothing ever happened ;)
    retro1_post.JPG
    POST

This Intel SSD can't be compared to other SSDs I've seen, especially not newer ones with cheap plastic cases... This one has a solid aluminum case and overall a very high quality look & feel. And it is fast, really fast, especially compared to the Transcend IDE SSD. Great piece of hardware!

I have updated the hardware configuration posts of Retro 1 respectively.

Edit:
- Corrected typo
Last edited by voodoo5_6k on 2017-11-20 @ 09:22, edited 1 time in total.
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby Srandista » 2017-11-19 @ 20:49

voodoo5_6k wrote:This Intel SSD can't be compared to other SSDs I've seen, especially not newer ones with cheap plastic cases... This one has a solid aluminum case and overall a very high quality look & feel.

I know, what you're talking about! I have successor of your disk (Intel 530 180GB), and as you said, case it's aluminum and quite nice to feel and look at. My first SSD and still work like clockwork. Good ol' MLC disks...
My overkill "retro" PC - Pentium E6500K, 512MB/2GB RAM, Radeon 9500@9700 (Softmod), 80GB HDD, Win 98/XP
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2017-11-20 @ 08:30

Srandista wrote:I know, what you're talking about! I have successor of your disk (Intel 530 180GB), and as you said, case it's aluminum and quite nice to feel and look at. My first SSD and still work like clockwork. Good ol' MLC disks...

Oh yes! And the 5 year warranty isn't too bad either...

Now, all games are installed.
    retro1_desktop.jpg
    Retro 1 Desktop (Windows 98SE)

For DOSBox, I'll have to test the configurations to check whether everything's still working OK. The games do work flawlessly, I have played them countless times on a separate machine in DOSBox. That machine, however, is FAR more powerful than this one here. So, I'm basically verifying that the configurations yield the same result on Retro 1. For most games, I've already done that and adapted accordingly (e.g. the cycle setting for Full Throttle and The Dig, deactivating emulations not needed for the specific game etc.pp.).

The three Windows based adventure games are installed too and running without their CDs. I had minor issues with The Curse Of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango, both complaining about missing files or similar things. After double-checking everything I identified that the desktop shortcuts were missing entries in the field where you would specifiy the directory for running the executable. After populating this field with the respective game's directory, everything worked.

Basically, I'm about done with Retro 1. Again. Third time lucky... :cool:
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2017-12-01 @ 08:42

Another update, possibly the last one for Retro 1 for while. All that's left for it is testing all the games which means playing through them all. This'll obviously take a while...

I have found my English version of Windows 98SE and installed that on Retro 1. My other license will be used on Retro 2. Played around a little with the desktop icon configuration (horizontal and vertical distance) to have the shortcut names displayed in their entirety and the shortcut icons closer to the right and lower edges of the screen.

All drivers are installed and working, there are no resource conflicts or whatsoever. The Voodoo5 is running with 4x RGSSAA for Grim Fandango and Escape From Monkey Island. When I'm playing through those two games I'll capture screenshots to highlight the exceptional quality and superiority of the 3dfx FSAA implementation and the huge difference it makes for such low-res games (640x480). The only additional software/drivers needed for Retro 1 (on top of the Windows 98SE installation) were:
    - 3dfx Voodoo5 driver 1.04.00
    - Sound Blaster Live! driver, mixer, AudioHQ etc.
    - 7-Zip 9.20
    - ASUS Probe V2.23.04
    - DAEMON Tools 3.47 (for installing the Windows based games)
    - DOSBox 0.74
    - EIZO F520 inf files
    - V.Control
    - Windows Installer 2.0 (for DAEMON Tools 3.47)

Games currently installed (* DOSBox):
    - The Secret Of Monkey Island (EGA, English)*
    - The Secret Of Monkey Island (CD-ROM, English)*
    - Monkey Island 2 - LeChuck's Revenge (English)*
    - Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis (CD-ROM/Talkie, English)*
    - Day Of The Tentacle (CD-ROM/Talkie, English)*
    - Sam & Max - Hit The Road (CD-ROM/Talkie, English)*
    - Full Throttle (English)*
    - The Dig (English)*
    - The Curse Of Monkey Island (English)
    - Grim Fandango (English)
    - Escape From Monkey Island (English)

Screenshots:
    retro1_desktop.jpg
    Retro 1 Desktop (Windows 98SE)
    retro1_system_properties.jpg
    Retro 1 System Properties
    retro1_device_manager.jpg
    Retro 1 Device Manager
    retro1_installed_software.jpg
    Retro 1 Installed Software

Edit:
- Updated screenshots
Last edited by voodoo5_6k on 2018-2-06 @ 10:57, edited 1 time in total.
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby slivercr » 2017-12-15 @ 00:00

How's Retro1 behaving? And where are the promised pics? :lol:

Also, I've been meaning to ask you: why did you choose DOSBox over ScummVM to run the Scumm games? I mean, you'll be running on top of W98se anyways, wouldn't it be faster to use ScummVM?
Outrigger: OR840 / 2x P3 1000 / 2 GB RDRAM / QuForce FX 5800 / Win98 - Win2k
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2017-12-15 @ 08:00

slivercr wrote:How's Retro1 behaving? And where are the promised pics? :lol:

As of now, it works great, not a single issue occured. I'm currently playing through Grim Fandango (halfway through Year 2 at the moment) and looking for nice scenes for screenshots. I'll try to post a first round of screenshots on the weekend. Progress has been hampered a little as I've been sick a while but now I'm feeling much better. I'm trying to get a little more done here before the X-Mas break.

slivercr wrote:Also, I've been meaning to ask you: why did you choose DOSBox over ScummVM to run the Scumm games? I mean, you'll be running on top of W98se anyways, wouldn't it be faster to use ScummVM?

That is a very good question. The main reason for that, and you may very well call me crazy on that, is that I always hated how ScummVM replaced the original game's menu. Of course, ScummVM replaces them for a good reason (all the additional functionality like savegame screenshots and so on), but I missed those simple, barren, sometimes funny (DOTT's "How may I serve you?" comes to mind) menus. Full Throttle and The Dig have really nice menus with mouse support. And the menu of COMI contained a joke that's lost if you don't have the original menu (that's of course a reason for going with real Win9x instead of using ScummVM on a modern machine). And last but not least DOSBox allows to run the original Maniac Mansion on Ed's Computer in DOTT which is not possible via ScummVM if I remember that correctly. ScummVM would definitely be faster, but for those nostalgia based reasons I tried to get as close to the real DOS experience as possible (after having to admit that the real DOS experience is not possible on a single machine that should still be able to execute the Win9x based games).

What do you think about that? Does any of this stuff bother you, when running games through ScummVM? I started using VDM Sound when I wasn't able to run all those games on then brand new OS WinXP (without any SP). It was a little fiddly but worked OK for the most part. A little while later, I switched over to one of the first ScummVM releases and kept using and updating it happily for many years. But at some point, I wanted it to be more like how I remembered those games. I started setting everything up in DOSBox, bought a Roland UM-ONE Mk.II and never looked back :-)
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby slivercr » 2017-12-15 @ 21:30

voodoo5_6k wrote:That is a very good question. The main reason for that, and you may very well call me crazy on that, is that I always hated how ScummVM replaced the original game's menu. Of course, ScummVM replaces them for a good reason (all the additional functionality like savegame screenshots and so on), but I missed those simple, barren, sometimes funny (DOTT's "How may I serve you?" comes to mind) menus. Full Throttle and The Dig have really nice menus with mouse support. And the menu of COMI contained a joke that's lost if you don't have the original menu (that's of course a reason for going with real Win9x instead of using ScummVM on a modern machine). And last but not least DOSBox allows to run the original Maniac Mansion on Ed's Computer in DOTT which is not possible via ScummVM if I remember that correctly. ScummVM would definitely be faster, but for those nostalgia based reasons I tried to get as close to the real DOS experience as possible (after having to admit that the real DOS experience is not possible on a single machine that should still be able to execute the Win9x based games).

What do you think about that? Does any of this stuff bother you, when running games through ScummVM? I started using VDM Sound when I wasn't able to run all those games on then brand new OS WinXP (without any SP). It was a little fiddly but worked OK for the most part. A little while later, I switched over to one of the first ScummVM releases and kept using and updating it happily for many years. But at some point, I wanted it to be more like how I remembered those games. I started setting everything up in DOSBox, bought a Roland UM-ONE Mk.II and never looked back :-)


Glad to hear the machine is working fine!

Your reasons are not crazy at all. I mean, you built a whole machine to play these games so you actually GET to be picky about how you experience them. I was just genuinely curious, its been so long since I played these games outside ScummVM that I forgot the little details—maybe I should do a native installation soon and replay them? :-P

I'll be on the lookout for the pictures!
Outrigger: OR840 / 2x P3 1000 / 2 GB RDRAM / QuForce FX 5800 / Win98 - Win2k
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2017-12-16 @ 15:24

slivercr wrote:Glad to hear the machine is working fine!

Thanks a lot :-)

slivercr wrote:Your reasons are not crazy at all. I mean, you built a whole machine to play these games so you actually GET to be picky about how you experience them. I was just genuinely curious, its been so long since I played these games outside ScummVM that I forgot the little details—maybe I should do a native installation soon and replay them? :-P

I have to say that I didn't bother for so long... I was just happy, I could finally play those games again. I can't even recall when or why it started to bother me. But I'd say, whenever you plan to revisit those games, then give DOSBox a try. Combined with a CRT and the corresponding sound hardware it is really a very cool trip down nostalgia lane :-) If you ever do that I'd like to hear about your experience!

slivercr wrote:I'll be on the lookout for the pictures!

And I won't let you wait any longer :-) The first set of comparison shoots! I always took a set of three and combined them into a larger image, unaltered of course. I used savegames to have identical images (except for characters with running animation sequences, but it should be OK).

The game's native resolution is 640x480. Back in late 1998 when the game was released, usually your CRT would display this resolution fullscreen without any issues (not like today, when displays can only support a single resolution without image quality loss...). As I said, my screenshots are unaltered, you have to increase the zoom to at least 200% to have a realistic perspective. Looking at tiny details like the paperwork on the secretary's desk, Manny in the third image, or hands and necks as well as all the borders of the characters in general really show the impact of the 4x RGSSAA. Manny in the fourth image is also a very good overall example of how great the game looks with it. With 4x RGSSAA applied you will quickly forget that this games runs in a 640x480 resolution!

From left to right, the configuration is: 3D hardware acceleration on, 4x RGSSAA on | 3D hardware acceleration on, no FSAA | Software rendering
    1.png
    Grim Fandango - Year 1: El Marrow (Glottis)
    2.png
    Grim Fandango - Year 1: El Marrow (Eva)
    3.png
    Grim Fandango - Year 2: Rubacava (Outside Morgue/Jail)
    4.png
    Grim Fandango - Year 2: Rubacava (Outside Calavera Café)
    5.png
    Grim Fandango - Year 2: Rubacava (Maximino's Office)

Note: Software rendering (right part of each image) is what "Grim Fandango Remastered" calls the classic mode which is a one of the many flaws of it. By the way, don't waste any money on that, even if it's on sale. I regret every cent I wasted on it. You cannot enable 3D acceleration in the classic renderer of "Grim Fandango Remastered". As everybody who played the original game on a system with compatible 3D accelerator knows: That is just wrong, you could of course do that in 1998 already. But maybe, if they had included it, most of the buyers would have complained that the buggy new renderer doesn't look that much better at all? ;-)
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2017-12-19 @ 12:15

In addition to the full screenshots of the previous post I have prepared three special comparison shots before moving on with playing through the game. I have selected three details, and cropped each image to the exact same size. Then I arranged them again, like in the previous post (3D on, 4x RGSSAA on | 3D on, FSAA off | Software rendering). Then I created a version with 200% zoom and one with 400% zoom. Subsequently, everything got combined into a single image.

I think it is quite amazing what the 3dfx 4x RGSSAA adds to the game. And in motion it is even better. Back then, when my V5 was new, it made me play through many games again, just because I wanted to see them "enhanced" :) No other graphics card made me want to do something like that again, ever... To me, personally, this was an equally big jaw-dropper as was installing the Voodoo Graphics and launching a supported game for the first time a few years earlier :exclamation: This got me started on my "image quality crusade" ;)

Sometime in the future, I want to do this screenshot exercise again. But this time with my V5 6000 and her 8x RGSSAA :cool: I "only" have to find a driver that'll work with this game...

    paperwork_zoom.png
    Excerpt of screenshot #2
    manny_small_zoom.png
    Excerpt of screenshot #3
    manny_large_zoom.png
    Excerpt of screenshot #4
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby slivercr » 2017-12-26 @ 10:18

I like the results, I see now why you are so adamant in having this setup! Manny changes from a garbled mess into a recognizable face. I'm really getting in the mood to replay the Lucas Arts games now, I may install a couple soon...

Will you be keeping the computer as is, or do you still plan to use a Tualeron?
Outrigger: OR840 / 2x P3 1000 / 2 GB RDRAM / QuForce FX 5800 / Win98 - Win2k
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2017-12-27 @ 13:09

slivercr wrote:I like the results, I see now why you are so adamant in having this setup! Manny changes from a garbled mess into a recognizable face. I'm really getting in the mood to replay the Lucas Arts games now, I may install a couple soon...

If you decide to do so, have a lot of fun :-) I try to replay those once a year, but in the recent past I didn't have much time and this testing session for Retro 1 is actually the first time in almost five years that I touch those games to really play through them.

And thanks a lot for taking the time to look at the image quality comparisons! I'm glad I could work out the difference this greatest VSA-100 feature (T-Buffer) really makes, especially in lower resolutions. This was unmatched for almost a decade...

slivercr wrote:Will you be keeping the computer as is, or do you still plan to use a Tualeron?

Currently, I'm >99% sure that I'll keep it as-is. The P3 1.1 is fast enough to run The Dig without issues in DOSBox (as far as I have tested it, but I didn't play through the entire game yet). As I don't really need the additional performance, I don't see any benefit in tinkering with the system. In addition, mounting the heat sink clamp on the CUBX-E is a nightmare (there are several larger caps very close to the socket, exactly where you have to move the screwdriver to force the clip over the socket's retention lug). I would really hate to take it off again.

But I did make one other change yesterday. After I had finished Grim Fandango a few days ago, I started with The Secret Of Monkey Island (EGA). Shortly after the intro I discovered some sound effect issues. The open/close sound of doors was totally distorted and screechy. Other sound effects would play fine, like the rubber chicken. The same files and config has always worked fine on other machines. I now decided to uninstall the AWE64 Gold and replace it with my Live! 1024 (CT4760). After installing that card, everything worked fine. Strange issue. I'll update the system specifications and pictures once the editing function for older posts is back.
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2018-1-08 @ 07:48

It is time for another quick update. Retro 1 is running as intended, no (new) issues so far. I am almost through The Secret Of Monkey Island (EGA) and no further sound effect related issues arose. With the CT4760 everything just works. I still don't know why the CT4390 had this issue, but I don't intend to invest more time in investigating this as the CT4390 is not essential for using Retro 1.

Side note: On the weekend I installed my old copy of Star Wars - Behind The Magic on Retro 1 and enjoyed browsing through some of the vast contents. With Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. and the announcement of additional Star Wars movies I was afraid that this couldn't be a good thing. After reading the plot synopsis of Episode VII I was sure of this. Anyhow, I was talked into watching Episode VII while it was in cinemas. My personal opinion is that this is by far the worst movie I have ever seen. For me, as a consequence, Star Wars now solely consists of the original theatrical releases of Episodes IV - VI (which I luckily have) and nothing else. On a good day, I'll accept Episodes I - III. And of course several very good games, books etc. But that's about it. I won't even watch another single second of Disney's current and upcoming Star Wars abominations. Back to Star Wars - Behind The Magic. Because of all this, Star Wars - Behind The Magic really is great as an encyclopedia encompassing the original trilogy and some additional Expanded Universe stuff. For me, that's all that matters :)
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2018-1-13 @ 21:53

I have completed my playthrough of The Secret Of Monkey Island (EGA) today. Not a single issue. Seems like switching to the CT4760 solved whatever the issue was before... By the way, everybody not already using it should consider NewRisingSuns brilliant patch (for both Monkey Island 1 & 2) to combine Roland music with sound effects!

Next in line is The Dig which represents the most demanding game I'm running via DOSBox and therefore is the most hardware intensive task that'll be running on Retro 1 (or, in other words, the worst case scenario).
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2018-1-14 @ 16:01

I've played The Dig today for almost 2h. Everything seems to work, no stuttering in the video sequences, no audio issues. So far, The Dig seems to work just fine. If no issues occur during the playthrough, the 1.1 GHz Coppermine is powerful enough for what I'm intending to do with Retro 1 and I don't need to think about upgrading to an 1.4 GHz Tualatin Celeron but can finalize the build. I'm hoping to complete the playthrough before February.

I can then turn my attention towards one of the other systems waiting for their operating systems and games...
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2018-1-30 @ 11:37

It has been a while since the last update but unfortunately, I did not have much time left recently to work on my retro systems.

Anyhow, I have been playing The Dig for a while and managed to find a part of the game that seems to be quite resource demanding. It is where you have to move three glowing rods to certain positions to make a crystal glow again in order to activate energy for a part of the tram system. While moving a rod around the background music will begin stuttering after some time (until you release the mouse button and therefore kill the "rod-moving" sound effect). With less cycles (like on my 1.1GHz Coppermine) this happens pretty quickly (less than 30s).

I transferred the savegame to the system I built for DOSBox several years ago (Pentium G2030, semi-passively cooled, running Windows XP SP2) and tried to reproduce the issue. Starting with 20k cycles (equivalent to what is running on the 1.1GHz Coppermine), I could hear the same thing pretty fast, so it is reproducible. The more cycles I make available the longer it takes for the issue to occur, until it no longer occurs for as long as one would reasonably be holding a mouse button in this sequence of the game (this is with ~40k cycles, I tested with up to 100k cycles).

This is a very small sequence within the game, and I haven't encountered any other issues so far. However, if I were to decide to get rid of this issue, it would require a 100% increase in CPU cycles, at least. This cannot be achieved by upgrading to a 1.4GHz Tualatin Celeron (which only offers a ~27% increase in clock rate over the Coppermine)...

I tested running The Dig directly in Windows (I have a CD-ROM that contains a Windows executable). It works fine, but the scaler/filter they applied to upscale the image is unacceptable (and I didn't find a way to get rid of that)... So, no way around DOSBox.

I have not made a final decision yet, but if this issue keeps bugging me I'll have to reconfigure Retro 1 again. There is no way of getting this many CPU cycles out of the current system platform.
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2018-2-04 @ 18:43

I'm currently evaluating the following system, just for fun...
    retro1_testing1.JPG
    Test System

It is an Asrock 775i65G R3.0 with an E5800 @3.2GHz and 512MB Corsair DDR400 running Windows 98SE. Obviously, there are no ISA slots, so no MPU-401AT :( I'll be using a Roland Edirol UM-1 (USB MIDI Interface) which has Windows 98 drivers (already tested this on the current Retro 1). Windows 98SE is stable on this system, it ran 8 hrs. of Prime95 before I stopped the execution. Everything stayed cool and silent during that time, thanks to the Thermalright AXP-200 + TY-147A fan.

More on this soon...
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby slivercr » 2018-2-05 @ 16:30

voodoo5_6k wrote:...I have not made a final decision yet, but if this issue keeps bugging me I'll have to reconfigure Retro 1 again. There is no way of getting this many CPU cycles out of the current system platform.


What a bummer!

Maybe take a rest from this machine before deciding what to do? A lot of work has gone into it and it seems to be working mostly fine :) If you do go back to rework it: how would a P2-233 or so fare with the adventure games of Retro 1? It should be on par with the PPro you tried. Maybe you can test something of the like?

(The machine you are testing is a beast!)
Outrigger: OR840 / 2x P3 1000 / 2 GB RDRAM / QuForce FX 5800 / Win98 - Win2k
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Location: Groningen

Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2018-2-06 @ 08:58

slivercr wrote:Maybe take a rest from this machine before deciding what to do? A lot of work has gone into it and it seems to be working mostly fine :) If you do go back to rework it: how would a P2-233 or so fare with the adventure games of Retro 1? It should be on par with the PPro you tried. Maybe you can test something of the like?

Maybe I could really give it a go. I don't have a 233, but a couple of 450. The issue with the PPro was that once you turn off the cache it is too slow already. The P6 architecture (PPro, PII, PIII, Core, ...) is making heavy usage of its caches and is really crippled once it is turned off. This was kind of a showstopper for me and the reason for testing with the Pentium MMX. Yeah, like you said, maybe take a break and turn to something else first.

slivercr wrote:(The machine you are testing is a beast!)

Oh yes, totally overpowered :) If I were to use it, I could extend the DOSBox usage to more games, like Duke3D, Doom etc.
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Posts: 217
Joined: 2016-4-13 @ 06:52

Re: Reconfiguring my retro machines to remove OS redundancy…

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2018-2-09 @ 08:52

voodoo5_6k wrote:More on this soon...

I now have setup this machine almost completely. The only thing missing is the DOSBox config. I have to go through those config files and adapt them to the new MIDI settings on this machine. Apart from that, everything looks like it did on the 1.1GHz Coppermine. I have installed all the drivers and games, and yesterday added the Roland Edirol UM-1. Over the weekend I plan on briefly testing some of the games on this machine to see how they (and Windows 98SE) behave under real-life use, running on a machine that is "slightly" faster than things need to be.

Also, on a side note, I'm currently thinking about adding the X-Wing series to be tested on this system. DOSBox should now be powerful enough to run about any game that was released for DOS. Also, Dark Forces and Jedi Knight + Mysteries Of The Sith should be worthy additions. Maybe, I'll just change the system's intended use from "a selection of Lucasfilm/LucasArts adventure games" to "a selection of Lucasfilm/LucasArts games" (subtlety) ;)

I still haven't decided on the path forward with the Retro 1 slot. However, I'll post some more pictures and the specifications of this system later.
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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