Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

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Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby kanyero » 2019-8-12 @ 22:16

Hi.

I'm trying to build a vintage computer for the last ms-dos and first win95 games.

Currently i have this computer:

cpu: k6 2-450
Mobo: HOT-591P chipset VIA MVP3
Ram 2x64 mb SDR (128 mb)
vga: S3 trio 64v or nvidia tnt2 m64
Sound:Sound blaster live 5.1
Hdd: 20 gb ide ata 100 hd.

But i have some doubts:

- What vga sould i choose between the two i have?
- What would be the recommended amount of ram for this computer? I've heard that too much ram could make the computer slower.

Next goal: sb awe ISA sound card :D

Thanks a lot

Pss: Could this computer be better for dos/win9x gaming?

P3 450 @ DTK PRM-0080i ZX 128 mb sdr ram ati 3d rage pro agp 2x and sound blaster audiopci es 1371/1373
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby Grzyb » 2019-8-12 @ 23:18

kanyero wrote:- What vga sould i choose between the two i have?

TNT2.
S3 Trio were very basic and uninteresting.

- What would be the recommended amount of ram for this computer? I've heard that too much ram could make the computer slower.

It only gets slower if you exceed the amount of RAM cachable with a given chipset, and the worst of Socket 7 chipsets cache up to 64 MB.
And that VIA thing probably isn't among the worst.

Edit:
Well, VIA MVP3 isn't among the best, either...
For K6 and K6-2 CPUs (not the K6-III and “+” models) the rule to know what RAM size is cacheable is quite “simple”:

VIA MVP3 with Write Back cache strategy set in BIOS

With 512 kB Level 2 Cache, 64 MB are cacheable
With 1024 kB Level 2 Cache, 128 MB are cacheable
With 2048 kB Level 2 Cache, 256 MB are cacheable

VIA MVP3 with Write Through cache strategy set in BIOS (2-3% slower system)

With 512 kB Level 2 Cache, 128 MB are cacheable
With 1024 kB Level 2 Cache, 256 MB are cacheable
With 2048k B Level 2 Cache, 512 MB are cacheable

Source: http://www.amd-k6.com/cacheable-ram-on- ... platforms/
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby weldum » 2019-8-13 @ 03:50

i'd say that you should use the tnt2
also, 128mb of ram is good enough but make sure which amount of l2 cache has your motherboard. 256 is far plenty for any possible gaming need on that machine
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby melbar » 2019-8-13 @ 04:46

Grzyb wrote:Edit:
Well, VIA MVP3 isn't among the best, either...
VIA MVP3 with Write Through cache strategy set in BIOS (2-3% slower system)

Source: http://www.amd-k6.com/cacheable-ram-on- ... platforms/

I know this link with the info of 2-3% slower systems with VIA MVP3 using Write Through cache strategy.

I've benched myself my VIA MVP3 system at 64Mb and 128Mb config. Taken the most known benchmarks from Phil's computerlab and also include different scenarios with cache disabling.
I've got mainly differences of 0,4% to 1,1%. Only PC Player benchmark shows a "high" impact on scenario L1 off /L2 on. Doesn't really make the point not to go with 128Mb and Write Through cache strategy.

Link: Impact of write-back or write-through cache
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby dionb » 2019-8-13 @ 06:57

kanyero wrote:Hi.

I'm trying to build a vintage computer for the last ms-dos and first win95 games.

Currently i have this computer:

cpu: k6 2-450
Mobo: HOT-591P chipset VIA MVP3
Ram 2x64 mb SDR (128 mb)
vga: S3 trio 64v or nvidia tnt2 m64
Sound:Sound blaster live 5.1
Hdd: 20 gb ide ata 100 hd.

But i have some doubts:

- What vga sould i choose between the two i have?
- What would be the recommended amount of ram for this computer? I've heard that too much ram could make the computer slower.

Next goal: sb awe ISA sound card :D

Tbh, I consider Creative in general and the AWE cards in particular overrated. For DOS, SBPro2 compatibility (which SB16/32/64 don't have) is more important, in Windows you can do most of the "AWE" stuff in software and things like A3D and EAX (which your SBLive can do) are more relevant.

I'd suggest to rather look for one of the 'better than original Creative' SBPro2 clones such as Aztech 2316/2320, ESS 688/1868 or Yamaha YMF719-based cards. Cheaper than an AWE and more useful. Keep the SBLive as well and you get best of both worlds: A3D, EAX (and SB16 compatibility in DOS) from the Live, SBPro2 and (in the case of Aztech or Yamaha) real OPL3 from the ISA card.
Pss: Could this computer be better for dos/win9x gaming?

P3 450 @ DTK PRM-0080i ZX 128 mb sdr ram ati 3d rage pro agp 2x and sound blaster audiopci es 1371/1373

Not in this configuration...

The CPU is a bit faster than the K6-2 450, which helps Windows performance, but the Rage Pro is inferior in Windows performance and DOS VESA compatibility to the TNT2, the ES137x card offers no benefits over the SBLive in either DOS or Windows and lacks hardware A3D/EAX.

However if you were to put the TNT2 M64, SBLive and ISA sound card in here, it would be a slightly better Windows platform. Only drawback is that you can't clock back as far for slower DOS performance as you can with the MVP3/K6-2 combination - but if you say 'last MSDOS games' I doubt that would be necessary anyway. It also doesnt have RAM caching limitations, so you can add as much RAM as you like without affecting performance (although don't go over 512MB, DOS & Win9x don't like that).
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby aigeek » 2019-8-13 @ 07:28

For AGP video card, I have tested many AGP 1X/2X compatible card, some of them is very recommendable such as Voodoo 3000, Geforce 256 DDR etc , and some cards is interesting and very fast, such as ATI Radeon 8500 (R200) is compatible with my SS7 MOBOPACK (ASUS P5A / GA-5AX / FIC PA-2013) unexpectedly. So try more than TNT2.

For MS-DOS 6.22, the max RAM with HIMEM.SYS can be handled is 64MB, and early DOS games or apps may need enable "memory hole on 15MB-16MB" to limited max RAM to 16MB for DOS. I install one 64MB SDRAM with -6ns CL2-2-2 to get best memory bandwidth.

I also find an old review for PA-2013 Rev2.0(2MB L2 version), it's said " The 2MB of L2 cache starts off by enabling the VIA MVP3 chipset's 508MB cacheable memory area, up from the 254MB of the 1MB version and the 127MB of the 512KB version" [ Link to https://www.anandtech.com/show/1]
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby dr_st » 2019-8-13 @ 07:36

dionb wrote:Tbh, I consider Creative in general and the AWE cards in particular overrated. For DOS, SBPro2 compatibility (which SB16/32/64 don't have) is more important, in Windows you can do most of the "AWE" stuff in software and things like A3D and EAX (which your SBLive can do) are more relevant.

I'd suggest to rather look for one of the 'better than original Creative' SBPro2 clones such as Aztech 2316/2320, ESS 688/1868 or Yamaha YMF719-based cards. Cheaper than an AWE and more useful. Keep the SBLive as well and you get best of both worlds: A3D, EAX (and SB16 compatibility in DOS) from the Live, SBPro2 and (in the case of Aztech or Yamaha) real OPL3 from the ISA card.
The SBPro2 vs SB16 argument seems to be an infinite one; I am not sure I would agree that perfect SBPro2 compatibility is more important than SB16 compatibility / AWE synth capabilities in DOS games. If anything, I would agree that a genuine OPL3 chip is preferred for authentic-sounding FM, and it's very hard to get on an AWE32 / impossible on AWE64. At least until the "AWE64 Legacy" dream project becomes reality. :)

SBLive's DOS compatibility is near useless - it doesn't always work and when it works it's rather limited. I wouldn't count on that. I do agree that as a Windows card it is more useful than an AWE64.

For several years my similar setup had an SB16 (later AWE64) ISA card + SBLive! PCI card. DOS would only run the ISA card, and in Windows I routed the SBLive! through the line-in of the SB16 to the same set of speakers (an alternative would be to use separate speakers or some kind of muxer). Eventually I stopped using the Live! though, once I realized that I use that system for DOS games 95% of the time.
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby chinny22 » 2019-8-13 @ 10:50

Dos graphics wise VESA support is more important then speed and early Nvidia chips are great at this, although the TNT may still bottleneck Win9x gaming, a cheap GF2 or GF4 MX would probably be a good match.
the TNT is still 100% better then Trio for Win9x.

RAM, dos isn't going to care, any penalty from going over cacheable limit will be hidden by the raw CPU speed. Go with what makes Win9x feel most responsive.

Sound wise is personal choice, go with what you want!
Only other sugestion is maybe a 3dfx card, but then do you get a Voodoo 1 for perfect for dos compatibility but bit limited in Win9x, or something like a Voodoo 3 for a single card solution and do a bunch of work around's for dos game compatibility but better suited for Win9x.
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby Deksor » 2019-8-13 @ 11:24

For a K6-2 I'd say 128MB is plenty. My pentium 2 450 runs with that amount and I never needed more. In 2001 they still sold cheap computers with half that amount :lol:
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby ShovelKnight » 2019-8-13 @ 11:34

From AnandTech's review of Shuttle HOT-591P...

"The 512KB of L2 cache on-board ensure that all memory up to the 128MB limit will remain completely cached, with all [uncached] memory above that limit (while remaining under the 256MB System Memory limit) accessed with a 10 - 15% decrease in performance."
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby dionb » 2019-8-13 @ 17:51

dr_st wrote:[...]

The SBPro2 vs SB16 argument seems to be an infinite one; I am not sure I would agree that perfect SBPro2 compatibility is more important than SB16 compatibility / AWE synth capabilities in DOS games. If anything, I would agree that a genuine OPL3 chip is preferred for authentic-sounding FM, and it's very hard to get on an AWE32 / impossible on AWE64. At least until the "AWE64 Legacy" dream project becomes reality. :)

SBLive's DOS compatibility is near useless - it doesn't always work and when it works it's rather limited. I wouldn't count on that. I do agree that as a Windows card it is more useful than an AWE64.

It's not all that bad - and that's the whole reason I recommend SBPro2 - with the Live he already has a (limited) SB16, so an SBPro2-compatbile card (minus real SBPro2 bugs) complements it rather than replacing it (as an SB16/32/64 would).
For several years my similar setup had an SB16 (later AWE64) ISA card + SBLive! PCI card. DOS would only run the ISA card, and in Windows I routed the SBLive! through the line-in of the SB16 to the same set of speakers (an alternative would be to use separate speakers or some kind of muxer). Eventually I stopped using the Live! though, once I realized that I use that system for DOS games 95% of the time.

What sort of games were you trying to play? I'd suspect that the later DOS games with Miles audio would run fine on the SBLive and it's the older stuff that wouldn't work.
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby kanyero » 2019-8-13 @ 18:04

Wow! thanks a lot for your answers. I will keep 128 mb and the TNT then.

I think i could have a geforce 2 mx somewhere, i thought it's worse than tnt 2 for dos gaming.

Maybe this computer would be used for DOS most part of the time, since i have a p4 that could work even better than this with win9x.

About the games: Super street fighter, worms, waky wheels, abuse, raptor, rise of the triad, jazz jazzrabit, screamer, one must fall. Most of them from the last years of Dos.

Thanks a lot.
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Re: Recomemded ram for a dos-win9x k6-2

Postby dionb » 2019-8-13 @ 20:52

kanyero wrote:Wow! thanks a lot for your answers. I will keep 128 mb and the TNT then.

I think i could have a geforce 2 mx somewhere, i thought it's worse than tnt 2 for dos gaming.

For DOS they are pretty identical - nVidia cards from that era (GF2MX and TNT2-M64 are only about 1.5 generations apart) were some of the most compatible DOS cards ever made. Under Windows the GF2MX would clearly be better.
Maybe this computer would be used for DOS most part of the time, since i have a p4 that could work even better than this with win9x.

About the games: Super street fighter, worms, waky wheels, abuse, raptor, rise of the triad, jazz jazzrabit, screamer, one must fall. Most of them from the last years of Dos.

Thanks a lot.

I run those with an old Virge VX, in fact back in the day I ran Worms and OMF on a P60 with S3 868 (predecessor of the Trio64) with no problems.
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