VOGONS


First post, by Dosboxxer

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Hey Everyone! Just joined the forum and looking forward to spending time here talking all things DOS!

I've been gaming in DOS since the late 90s when I was young and the first game I think I ever played was Commander Keen 1! I was a NES kid then so being able to play a game on a computer was pretty memorable for me. By the time I was about 11ish my parents bought a brand new Pentium 120 with 16mb ram and a whole new world of gaming possibilities opened up for me! Most of the DOS stuff was over my head at this time as I mostly just used DOS programs through Win95 or 98. As I got a bit older I did dabble in DOS stuff but never really realized how awesome it was until I became an adult.

So like my title states, I did go ahead and buy a used IBM 300GL (Tower version) on eBay along with a SB16 ISA (CT2770) and a S3 Trio 64 2MB Expertcolour (DSP3364P) PCI Card. I was originally going to buy a Pentium 120 like I had as a kid but the prices are outrageous, and I was concerned about aging components and stuff so I wanted a happy medium and went with a Pentium II system.

Forgot to mention I also bought a IBM E74 Monitor! I have a high refresh LCD for my other system but kind of miss the old 4:3 retro monitors.

So this IBM Computer is running a Pentium II (400mhz) and has 80GB of space on the drive, it came pre-installed with Win98 and everything booted up and worked just fine. I installed both the Add-on cards and had no issues except finding drivers, but thankfully Vogons saved the day!

So the first thing I did was hit up Archive.org and hunt down the original IBM restore CDS for the 300GL. Once these were downloaded and burned onto a CD-rom I booted up into DOS and ran the lovely "Format C:" option and waited until the HD was wiped.

After this I popped the CD in and began to reinstall everything. After it was all said and done, everything worked pretty well except I found I had a few issues due to lack of drivers. So I went to Vogons and other sites and hunted down drivers for the Add-on cards I bought and installed them.

Once the drivers were installed I was able to use 16bit colour and hear sound! However looking at the device section it showed there were problems as I had two Video cards and two Sound cards installed. Well as it turns out, the motherboard has on-board stuff which I kind of knew from prior research while waiting for my stuff to deliver.

Going into the BIOS I was able to disable the onboard Sound which eliminated the onboard sound card, but I didn't find a way to disable onboard video. I basically just disabled that in the device manager and everything seems good.

I found a copy of the Yamaha S-YXG100Plus with 4Mb wavetables that I happily installed along with about 1gb of Midi files. Honestly It's kind of too bad I didn't keep the original installers that my mom paid for way back in the day when I convinced her to buy this via Dialup.

Once this was setup I updated the Win98 FE to SE via a Archive copy of the upgrade version. After this I installed the unofficial SP3 pack and then the USB drivers.

It's running! Everything works except DOS apps won't run in true DOS mode! Also I noticed that when I run DOS Apps in Win98 they show different Soundblaster device settings than what shows in the Diagnose app while running in DOS.

So I'm trying to get to the bottom of this which I figure is a driver conflict in Win98.

I'm also having a problem running Duke 3D Atomics Setup.exe program in True Dos mode. It just freezes my computer, but when I run it in Win98 it runs just fine.

Anyhow! Glad to be here and hope to hang around and contribute to this great place.

Cheers

My RetroRig: IBM 300gl, Pentium II 400, 192mb Ram, S3 Trio64 2mb, SB16 Value
Win98 SE 4.10.22222 A

Reply 1 of 7, by Dosboxxer

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Ok just updating.

I altered the MSDOS.SYS so now my computer boots into DOS mode rather than go to Win98. I managed to get my Soundblaster and Video card working! Duke3D is running at 800x600 and the SB16 is working great.

Now I'm just wondering if it's possible to increase the performance with VESA. When I use Univbe 6.7 it makes it so I can't run Duke3D in Vesa high res mode, but if I don't load it then it seems to run Duke3D at 800x600 .

I was kind of hoping if I ran Univbe it would increase the performance. Anyone got any ideas?

My RetroRig: IBM 300gl, Pentium II 400, 192mb Ram, S3 Trio64 2mb, SB16 Value
Win98 SE 4.10.22222 A

Reply 2 of 7, by chinny22

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If your using the PCI graphics card you've actually downgraded your video!
The onboard chip is also a 2MB S3 Trio but on the AGP bus. switching back to onboard will definitely give you a boost.

Duke3d in high res is very badly optimized, It'll be a struggle to get working smooth even on a P3 at the higher resolutions.
You can try S3Refresh and S3VBE tools, both can be found here.
https://ideafix.name/old/video/S3/Util/

You may want to upgrade to PCI ATI or Nivida card, won't help much in dos (The S3 is actually considered a very good dos chip) but will improve Windows games. Just check it's compatibility in dos first
https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/

Reply 3 of 7, by Dosboxxer

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-10-12, 12:20:

If your using the PCI graphics card you've actually downgraded your video!
The onboard chip is also a 2MB S3 Trio but on the AGP bus. switching back to onboard will definitely give you a boost.

Didn't know this! I swapped my card out and I'm testing it out now. Most of the build games seem to run pretty good at 640x480.

chinny22 wrote on 2020-10-12, 12:20:

Duke3d in high res is very badly optimized, It'll be a struggle to get working smooth even on a P3 at the higher resolutions.
You can try S3Refresh and S3VBE tools, both can be found here.
https://ideafix.name/old/video/S3/Util/

I've been running Univbe in my autoexec and it seems to help.

chinny22 wrote on 2020-10-12, 12:20:

You may want to upgrade to PCI ATI or Nivida card, won't help much in dos (The S3 is actually considered a very good dos chip) but will improve Windows games. Just check it's compatibility in dos first
https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/

I am thinking of finding a Diamond Multimedia Monster 3D II PCI 12 MB 3dfx Voodoo 2.

You know how well it runs in DOS?

I've heard good things about the voodoo cards in dos.

My RetroRig: IBM 300gl, Pentium II 400, 192mb Ram, S3 Trio64 2mb, SB16 Value
Win98 SE 4.10.22222 A

Reply 4 of 7, by foil_fresh

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Voodoo 1 and 2 are not 2D cards at all so you will still use your current card in DOS.

The voodoo banshee, voodoo 3 and onwards are 2d/3d cards and their performance in DOS is great. I think the AGP and PCI versions are both as good as each other (someone correct me if this is not right).

The voodoo 1 and 2 still play a few DOS games and they do look great, but they don't do it all; just 3d parts of the games that support that hardware (in Glide mode) like Tomb Raider and Screamer. Most of these games are 2d by default and then need a 3dfx voodoo patch to run in hardware 3d.

Pentium MMX 166MHz / Shuttle HOT591-p / S3 Virge DX / SB 16
Pentium II 266MHz / Lucky-Star 6ABX2V / Riva128 / AWE64 / YMF744
Pentium III 950 MHz / SY-7VBA / Geforce2 Pro 32MB / YMF744
Pentium IV 3.4GHz/ GA-8S655FX / Geforce 6800 GT / Audigy

Reply 5 of 7, by chinny22

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OP doesn't have an AGP slot so will be limited to PCI

Foil fresh is right, Voodoo1 and Voodoo 2 are add on card rather then a full on graphics card and will only benefit games that support glide.
For dos Voodoo 1 is easier to get up and running but bit of extra work voodoo2 can be made to work and have better performance.
Voodoo 2 DOS Glide compatibility matrix

Banshee, Voodoo 3 are full on graphics cards and have great dos compatibility which is what I think you have heard.
Problem is cost and availability with the PCI ones been more popular then AGP.

If your not worried about Glide games but want to improve Win9x I'd got for a PCI Nvidia card which is more common, cheaper and better D3D performance and also has great dos compatibility.

Reply 6 of 7, by Dosboxxer

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Alright here's a quick update!

I went a little nuts and hit up ebay and amazon for some old parts to play with and here's what I found.

- Retro Diamond Stealth III S540 Savage4 Pro 32MB PCI Graphics Card (NEW Oldstock) - I bought this thinking it might be all I need, I'm hoping DOS compatibility is good because this actually was pretty expensive. I watched a few reviews and saw the Pros and Cons. I read that the Drivers for it early on were pretty bad, but now the newer drivers have fixed most of the issues that bothered tons of people around the time it was released.

- AOPEN AW744L II - Yamaha XG YMF744 YMF724 OPL3 (NEW Oldstock) - I like the sound of the OPL3 and thought this was a good option considering it's basically new. DOS Compatibility is good as well!

- Gravis Game pad Pro#1. - I was playing Wolfenstein 3D on the SNES and thought how much it fun it would be to have a similar experience using a gamepad on the PC. I decided to get the original version with the gameports.
- Gravis Game Pad Pro #2 - Bought a second one in case i needed to do any repairs. Also this one came with a Box and CD.

- Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live 5.1 - Bought this for high quality 330 General Midi output and test how well it sounds in some DOS Games.

- Geforce MX4000 128mb PCI - This was cheap, and I'm not even sure if this will run or not in my system. Hopefully it runs!

- Diamond Radeon 9700 64MB VGA/DVI/TV Out PCI - Another Cheap card and again I'm not sure how this will work in the 300GL. If it does I think this will come in handy for sending the signal to my old CRY TV.

- Belkin Sport USB 2.0 PCI Card - Expensive but I made the order and hopefully it will ship soon.

Also on top of all that I found a local seller giving away a box of old stuff for $40!

Inside was the following

- Another Soundblaster Live 5.1 PCI Card - One of the reasons I jumped on this box of stuff.
- Soundblaster X-Fi Extreme Gamer with SPDIF PCI Card - This card is selling for $100 USED on amazon right now! Might be good for a future build.
- Maddog SC3000 Soundcard PCI Card - No idea what this is, but its being sold for under $20 on Ebay.
- AVerMedia AVerTV PVR 150 Plus PCI Card - TV Tuner card? It also only works under WinXP and up.
- Pegatron RV620_DVI PCIE Card - Some kind of OEM based Radeon, not sure beyond that.
- Bunch of assorted old cables
- A few LED case fans (Brushless)
- Intel CPU Cooler and Heatsink
- And a few other things

So I took the GL300 apart and stuck in one of the LED Case Fans so now it's got this glowing green light emitting from it which looks kind of cool. Better yet I think it will help keep the system cooler as well! I'm trying to find out if i can stick a Pentium III into this MOBO or not, and if so I will upgrade it.

My RetroRig: IBM 300gl, Pentium II 400, 192mb Ram, S3 Trio64 2mb, SB16 Value
Win98 SE 4.10.22222 A

Reply 7 of 7, by chinny22

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Savage4 is great in dos, on that side you wont be disappointed. Win9x performance is pretty average but you do have the option to try out S3TC in Quake3 and UT

MX4000 much better Win9x performance and pretty good match for your CPU, I'd probably switch to this once done playing with the Savage4.
It'll work fine (actually had a GF2 MX in my P2/400 back in the day which this card is based off)

Radeon 9700 was a great WinXP/DX9 card in it's day but better alternatives now. Not so great dos or Win9x compatibility. PCI cards are always useful for testing though.

X-Fi Extreme Gamer, wouldn't pay $100 for it but really good card for a WinXP build.

Maddog SC3000, Don't know this but looks to based off the C-Media CMI8738 chip. What's interesting about this is apparently it has dos support?
https://www.philscomputerlab.com/c-media-cmi8738.html

Pegatron RV620_DVI PCIE, That's a Radeon HD3450 Not very interesting in PCIe IMHO

Re CPU upgrade what's the exact model? I'm assuming a 6285 which is the Slot 1 version. Found 1 post where someone said they upgraded to a P3 500Mhz so would expect you can go upto a P3 600 Katmai