VOGONS


First post, by feipoa

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Back in the time frame of 1993-1997, were there any 3D games which were considered playable on a 486 which benefited from a 3D-accelerated graphics card? If so, which games?

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 2 of 17, by Mau1wurf1977

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Hmm when I got my 3dfx Voodoo I had a Pentium 133. So a 486 might be be slightly too old.

My website with reviews, demos, drivers, tutorials and more...
My YouTube channel

Reply 3 of 17, by vetz

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
feipoa wrote:

Back in the time frame of 1993-1997, were there any 3D games which were considered playable on a 486 which benefited from a 3D-accelerated graphics card? If so, which games?

You have the 3D Blaster VLB games and also the Matrox games (Matrox Impression and Millennium).

The Diamond Edge 3D had recommandation for a Pentium CPU, but will also work in a 486. Same goes for the 3DFX Voodoo Graphics. It was certainly not designed with the 486 in mind, but several early games work fine

3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)
3D Acceleration Comparison Episodes

Reply 4 of 17, by konc

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Although some games may be playable on a loaded 486 with a 3d accelerator card (sorry, I have no idea which), this definitely wasn't what 3d cards had in mind/were targeting. So in my opinion this use case only has a "let's do this experiment and see what happens" value, something to play around and enjoy.

Reply 5 of 17, by RacoonRider

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
vetz wrote:
feipoa wrote:

Back in the time frame of 1993-1997, were there any 3D games which were considered playable on a 486 which benefited from a 3D-accelerated graphics card? If so, which games?

You have the 3D Blaster VLB games and also the Matrox games (Matrox Impression and Millennium).

Speaking of which, the first(?) gaming 3D accelerator, Matrox Athena, has a couple of rather weird games with exclusive support. Any idea if they run ok on a 486? Does anybody know how to get normal 2D performance with this card?

Reply 6 of 17, by gerwin

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
leileilol wrote:

Quake.
Playing GLQuake on a 486 takes the CPU pain of crunching up lightmap updates since it doesn't have to filter luxels

What bothers me with GLQuake is that it is a windows executable. While on a 486 (Cx5x86-100) the overhead of Windows 95 affects performance negatively. As I found with just playing MP3's and by running a 3D DOS game from within windows. Maybe it would improve if I added more then 16MB RAM.

--> ISA Soundcard Overview // Doom MBF 2.04 // SetMul

Reply 7 of 17, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

You could try porting GLQuake to Glide and then try porting that to DOS Glide 😜

actually easier said than done because you'd have to write a bunch of texture management shit, and with animated lightmaps this is where it gets to be a real pain. At least you'd save more memory by dropping the 15to8 table (used for generating new mipmaps) and having true paletted texture support, also covering alpha textures such as the menu graphics (which take plenty of vram when converted to 16-bit) and sprites.

What would also help is processing the lightmaps as vertex lighting, a couple engines have done this before (Darkplaces v1.05 and MHQuake6) which should make the game run much faster on Voodoo1 and have less bus congestion for it.

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 8 of 17, by vetz

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
RacoonRider wrote:

Speaking of which, the first(?) gaming 3D accelerator, Matrox Athena, has a couple of rather weird games with exclusive support. Any idea if they run ok on a 486? Does anybody know how to get normal 2D performance with this card?

I do actually own the Matrox Impression 3D Superpak disc and I've tested the games, or more shall we say techdemos on a 486 and a Pentium 100. Some demos and Spectre MGA I would recommend a quick 486 or Pentium, but Creep Clash and Sento do work fine on a 486 DX/4 100.

If we go to the 3D Blaster VLB it had recommended setup as a DX4-100, but not all games are really playable with this setup. NASCAR Racing excels and run better on the 3D Blaster than any other card. Rebel Moon also works fine.

Then again, these are rare and obscure 3D accelerators. I would rather install a 3DFX card for some Quake, Descent I/II, Whiplash, Battle Arena Toshinden gameplay. Most of the early games except Mechwarrior 2 works fine on a quick 486 with a 3DFX card.

3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)
3D Acceleration Comparison Episodes

Reply 9 of 17, by snorg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Others have already pointed this out, but 3D cards weren't widely available until I think '96 or '97 which is outside the 486s prime years. So while you could put one in a PCI based 486 with a high-end 486, the GPU would not be well matched to the CPU. It would be more a "just for giggles" type thing.

I think someone already mentioned there was a 3D VL bus card, can't think of the name and can't see the whole thread right now. I don't think there were any others. It is possible there may have been EISA cards specifically geared towards CAD but not at a consumer price point and I'm trying really hard and can't remember any specific models, so they were either really rare, really expensive or both. I imagine the same would go for MCA.

High-end 486 systems are a strange beast, they are right at the end of the DOS era and right at the beginning of the Win 95/98 era. I had a 486-133 or 120 around 1996-1997 and it was rougly equivalent to a P60 or P75.

While at the time it felt speedy I'm not sure I'd want to take it out on the web now, I'm pretty sure it would be unuseable with all the flash/shockwave & etc.

Reply 10 of 17, by smeezekitty

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

While at the time it felt speedy I'm not sure I'd want to take it out on the web now, I'm pretty sure it would be unuseable with all the flash/shockwave & etc.

Flash 9.0 runs on a 486. It runs old flash 8 content (amusingly more stable than flash 😎 but crashes with illegal instruction with flash 9 content.

BUT you do not by any means need flash to use most of the web. Opera 9 is reasonably usable on a fast 486

Reply 12 of 17, by smeezekitty

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
snorg wrote:

Haven't been brave enough to put it on the net yet, maybe I will give it a whack. When people say the web is unusable on a P II 300 that gives me pause.

They are full of it, not running enough RAM or using the wrong browser.

Reply 14 of 17, by feipoa

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Internet useability is straying from the topic quite a bit. I am trying to narrow in on a specific period of time and to establish some kind of 3D games list which work well on faster 486s (100 MHz+). For me, "well" = 23 fps+

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 15 of 17, by snorg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Sorry, didn't mean to derail the thread.

As far as games, GL Quake and Tomb Raider are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head that might run acceptably with a 3d accelerator. Someone else mentioned Descent I/II but I thought that used a software renderer. Other stuff I can think of from that time frame was more pseudo 3D using pre-rendered models or only used software rendering.

Reply 16 of 17, by SquallStrife

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
snorg wrote:

Sorry, didn't mean to derail the thread.

As far as games, GL Quake and Tomb Raider are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head that might run acceptably with a 3d accelerator. Someone else mentioned Descent I/II but I thought that used a software renderer. Other stuff I can think of from that time frame was more pseudo 3D using pre-rendered models or only used software rendering.

Rendition, NV1, Glide and S3D officially, I think. There were probably other unofficial versions too.

VogonsDrivers.com | Link | News Thread