VOGONS


Advice for a video card

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Reply 20 of 32, by kanecvr

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tayyare wrote:

Heh!.. Again "Matrox the magnificent" and "S3 the most Compatible" are head to head!.. 🤣

I lived through that PCI VGA era (1995-1997) and this is what I remember: Matrox (Millennium, Millennium II, Mystique, Mystique 220) was the best thing to have, but everybody around had their S3's instead. The problem there was the availability (i.e.: price). I had my S3's back in the time, and I always liked them. Never had a Matrox, because of the obvious price issues, but always dreamed about having one.

So, today, I go for Matrox cards first (if I can score one for a reasonable price) since retro computing is somehow realizing my childhood dreams, at the end. If not, I go for S3 cards, as happily as ever. This is only for PCI, though. When it comes to AGP, no S3 or Matrox for me.

Me too! I always wanted a Millennium but they were to expensive -> so for the money I kept my old cirrus logic and added a Voodoo card. Nowadays I snag Matrox cards as soon as I can find them at a good price. Just the other day I got me a G450 DualHead and next week I'm getting a Parhelia PCI. I also own a G100 and a G200 AGP + the afformentioned Millenium II. Still looking for a Mystique, Millennium I and Gxxx PCI. Don't really use them much since I favor S3 cards in my machines, but I love to have them and pop one in to play with every now and again.

The G450 32MB DualHead AGP was a bit of a dissapointment. On a K6-2 500 it scored very close to a Savage4 (matrox was a little faster in GL - 30.5 vs 32.1 in Q2 demo1 - and a tad slower in 3D Mark 99 - ~2420 for the Savage4 16MB and ~2260 for the G450). Can't wait to get my Pharellia and pit it against a S3 DeltaChrome!

swaaye wrote:

My favorite video card DOS info page. Tests some particularly quirky games.
http://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/

nice, but some of the querky-er games are missing from the tests - namely Supaplex (1991), Golden Axe (1990 PC release), Volfield (1989) and some others. Personally I use Supaplex and Duke3D as test software for video cards I want to use in DOS games. If a card can run Supaplex without scrolling problems / tearing, and it's fast enough for Duke3D (QVGA on a 486 / VGA on a Pentium) => choice for DOS machines.

Reply 21 of 32, by GXL750

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Back in those days my dad had a Matrox Milennium and the computer he gave me had this damned thing called a Voodoo Rush that combined an AT25 2d with a Voodoo 3d chipset. I remember really wanting his video card but also, I was way too spoiled and a little too young to realize just how good I had it having a Voodoo of any sort in early 1998. In mid 1999 he would take that machine from me (powered by a 166mhz Pentium) to give to my sister and set me up with a system that had a 440BX, overclocked Celeron 300A and a TNT2.

Reply 22 of 32, by elianda

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kanecvr wrote:

Again S3 Virge - Cheap - Easy to find - great compatibility / Matrox Millenium - harder to find and more expensive - unrivaled image quality.

You may have a look at my measurements posted here Graphics cards signal comparison, image quality

The Millenium is not unrivaled. Just check other cards from this time with external 220 MHz+ DAC. Like DSystems Papilio G1-4 or S3 Vision968 based cards with a high clocked DAC (ELSA Winner 2000 Pro, Diamond Stealth 64 Video, S3 Virge/VX)

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Reply 23 of 32, by PhilsComputerLab

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I think what kanecvr means, is that if you get a Matrox, you're guaranteed to getting a great, top of the league, image. With other cards you might need to hunt down a certain brand / model / version.

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Reply 24 of 32, by kanecvr

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philscomputerlab wrote:

I think what kanecvr means, is that if you get a Matrox, you're guaranteed to getting a great, top of the league, image. With other cards you might need to hunt down a certain brand / model / version.

Precisely. Most budget S3 cards have mediocre image quality. I have a Trio64 that is so horrid, it's hard to use. Colors are burned, black is rendered gray, like gamma has been churned up real high, and 800x600 is rather fuzzy. Can't remember the manufacturer, but it's a budget brand.

In contrast, my ELSA Victory (Virge DX 4MB) looks crisp and clear even at 1280x1024. So does my A-Open 3D Artist. The thing is - there are no cheap matrox cards (as far as I know) so buying any Matrox card will pretty much guaranty great image quality (except for some sparse cheap-ass Compaq made cards).

S3 cards (especially higher end chipsets) made by Diamond, ELSA, Number Nine and other reputable manufacturers are usually very, very good.

Reply 25 of 32, by swaaye

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kanecvr wrote:

S3 cards (especially higher end chipsets) made by Diamond, ELSA, Number Nine and other reputable manufacturers are usually very, very good.

I'd scratch Diamond off that list. They are rather mixed on their board quality. I've seen a few blurry products from them.

Reply 26 of 32, by Nahkri

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I have an stb nitro 3d and it has ok image quality,at low res but as soon as i increase resolution and refresh rates i get some horizontal lines on the screen.

Mb:JetWay 542C Ali Aladdin 5
Pr:Amd K6-3+:400MHZ @ 550 mhz
Ram:256mb
3D:Voodoo 3 3000 16MB
Sound:Turtle Beach-Montego A3dExtreme(Aureal Vortex 1)
Hdd:Maxtor Fireball Plus 8 40g,7200rpm,2mb cache
Os:Windows 98SE

Reply 27 of 32, by PhilsComputerLab

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IQ of Matrox and Voodoo 3 are very good. Get something newer, especially from Nvidia or ATI, and you got DVI options on many cards. Late Matrox cards also come with DVI which is nice.

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Reply 28 of 32, by Munx

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philscomputerlab wrote:

IQ of Matrox and Voodoo 3 are very good. Get something newer, especially from Nvidia or ATI, and you got DVI options on many cards. Late Matrox cards also come with DVI which is nice.

Thing is, the setup is using a k5 and a mobo w/o any AGP slots. I'd like to keep it at least somewhat era correct and the voodoo 1 is already pushing it. That's why I like the s3/millennium suggestions.

Also, I don't have any monitors that could use DVI, not my CRT or even the 1080p one that I'm using now with my GTX960 rig. That's what I get for buying 80 Euro monitors 🤣

My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 30 of 32, by Putas

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swaaye wrote:

Number Nine Imagine 128!

Not great for DOS so maybe not. 😀

Which configuration of the card was tested under DOS? You know, there are those with CL-GD5424 and "pure" ones.

Reply 31 of 32, by brostenen

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So many opinions on what GFX card from 96-97 are the best. It's like a soundcard thread here. 😁
Just to ask again. The cards to choose would be:

Low performance would be something like PCI cards with Cirrus Logic 5446 and 2mb or high quality branded S3-Trio64-V/X
High performance would be something like Matrox cards up untill G200

Those cards to choose, for a machine from the middle of the last half of the 90's (96 to 97)?
Possible paired with a V1/V2 (non-Sli)

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Those cakes make you sick....

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Reply 32 of 32, by swaaye

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Putas wrote:

Which configuration of the card was tested under DOS? You know, there are those with CL-GD5424 and "pure" ones.

I wasn't serious about the Imagine 128 suggestion. I have used a version with CL DOS chip. I don't think I've seen thorough DOS tests of an Imagine 128 of any sort .....