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CGA Compatibility Tester vs. VGA cards

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Reply 81 of 94, by carlostex

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Does anyone know if there's a mode switching utility for Cirrus Logic cards, like there is for Tseng, ATI, Trident and OTI cards? I haven't found anything i suspect that newer ISA Cirrus Logic can't switch to CGA mode which is really unfortunate.

Reply 82 of 94, by 5u3

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carlostex wrote:

Does anyone know if there's a mode switching utility for Cirrus Logic cards, like there is for Tseng, ATI, Trident and OTI cards? I haven't found anything i suspect that newer ISA Cirrus Logic can't switch to CGA mode which is really unfortunate.

AFAIK, newer CL cards don't have special CGA emulation.

I still take test results and software utilities posted here and will put them up to the top of the tread.

Reply 83 of 94, by carlostex

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5u3 wrote:

AFAIK, newer CL cards don't have special CGA emulation.

Not even the AcuMos chipsets that were later rebranded by CL?

There's also Realtek cards, which also i know litle about.

It seems that only Tseng, Western Digital, Trident and Oak have DOS utilities to change their graphics mode.

Reply 84 of 94, by MobyGamer

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I needed to add some monitor calibration tests to the CGA compatibility tester, so: Surprise! New version (v1.1) is available at http://www.oldskool.org/pc/cgacomp . Features added to the new release:

  • Composite modes and monitors now officially supported.
  • Added aspect ratio calibration pattern.
  • Added color uniformity/purity screens.
  • Added monitor linearity grids.
  • Replaced Robert Tyler picture with an amazing original piece from VileR.
  • Added Composite CGA identification screen originally seen in "8088 MPH".
  • Optimized code for size and overlay usage. Now runs on 128KB systems w/ DOS 3.x (I tested 3.1; bootable disk image available at same URL above). Tandy and PCjr still require 256KB, sorry.
  • Bugfixes (vertical refresh rate detection actually works now, whoops).

Much of this work was done because I'm going to start making videos of authentic CGA output, and needed a way to stress any capture/processing solutions I will be experimenting with.

Reply 85 of 94, by carlostex

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^Thank you for this!

carlostex wrote:

It seems that only Tseng, Western Digital, Trident and Oak have DOS utilities to change their graphics mode.

I have found the display mode utility for Realtek cards, and i also know that Chips and Technologies cards also had a switching utility which i could confirm by reading the manual. Unfortunately i haven't found the utility for the C&T cards yet.

Reply 87 of 94, by MobyGamer

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badmojo wrote:

Oh boy! Thanks! Time to break out my 286 and test my Trident again 😎

If your card can truly do a CGA 8x8 font properly, check out the VileR artwork by selecting the m6845 -> row reprogramming test. After the first pic, his new artwork is the second pic. It's truly amazing.

I think the aspect ratio pattern will surprise some people. Not a lot of people realize that a real IBM CGA 5153 monitor is not 4:3 square pixels; it's "squashed" vertically and is really 8:5.

Reply 88 of 94, by VileR

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MobyGamer wrote:

If your card can truly do a CGA 8x8 font properly, check out the VileR artwork by selecting the m6845 -> row reprogramming test. After the first pic, his new artwork is the second pic. It's truly amazing.

Thanks (for both the compliment and the advertisement). 😀

For anyone testing this in DOSBox, it'll fail the last test ("Composite: low-res graphics"). This may indeed be the same problem as with Bruce Lee (see DOSBox vs. real hardware) - the fix for BL (included in the Daum build) fixes this one as well. However, this time it thinks it's in text mode, which I just verified with the debugger.

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Reply 89 of 94, by MobyGamer

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New release of the CGA Compatibility Tester, in which Jim completely removes the aspect ratio test pattern and replaces it with something sensible. Here's what's new in v1.11:

  • Added convergence pattern.
    Changed Uniformity test to cycle through RGBI pins.
    Pressing "P" will now pause/unpause any color cycling.
    Re-tooled aspect ratio pattern for composite monitors only.
    Clarified descriptions for tests meant for a particular monitor.

It's usable as a monitor calibration tool too, BTW.

There is some ambiguity surrounding how an IBM 5153 monitor should be adjusted in terms of aspect ratio, so the primary reason for the new version was a new aspect ratio pattern meant for NTSC composite monitors (for which the aspect ratio is fully known).

Reply 90 of 94, by MobyGamer

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Another new release; you can grab it from http://www.oldskool.org/pc/cgacomp as usual. I'm gearing up for making captures of CGA from the real hardware, so I added some test plates and options that help if you are trying to do that (both with a capture solution as well as a videocamera.) Full list of new stuff:

  • Added video capture color and luminance test plates.
  • Added vertical/horizontal motion video capture torture test.
  • Added capture dropped frame and audio/video sync test.
  • Added IRGB pin and color text labels to the uniformity test.
  • Completely rewrote vertical refresh rate detection because I'm an idiot.
  • Added command-line options for batch usage.

Reply 91 of 94, by Jolaes76

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My belated thanks for updating the CGA tester, Trixter.
One question: what do the different CGA features weigh in comparison to each other ? I guess some are much more important than others when talking about CGA games.
I have a Trident 8900D in my XT clone (on a HP P1100 CRT) which has trouble with the double and strikeout cursor and start address reprogramming.
What will NOT work or produce garbage, which game/demo should I try ?

"Ita in vita ut in lusu alae pessima iactura arte corrigenda est."

Reply 92 of 94, by VileR

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If start address reprogramming doesn't behave, then games like Prohibition or Hexsider will probably screw up while scrolling.
I doubt that any game/demo out there depends on cursor behavior... but there's always a first 😉

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Reply 93 of 94, by Jolaes76

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Thanks!
...So that's why those dual-chip "Holy (C)Gr(A)il" Paradise cards are so expensive.

"Ita in vita ut in lusu alae pessima iactura arte corrigenda est."