VOGONS


First post, by xjas

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It's often impossible to find info on which modern or semi-modern displays have good compatibility with oldschool VGA hacks/tweakmodes. The purpose of this thread/database is to test displays and share the results, in order to create a useful resource for people looking for this info.

Google searchbait: mode-x mode-y mode-q Michael Abrash VGA LCD CRT DOS 70Hz textmode fakemode 😉

Instructions:
Download the testing suite <-- I am looking for more permanent hosting for this
Burn it or copy its contents to a real DOS/VGA machine
Check out the readme and example/template.txt
Test your monitor
Share the results 😀
Extra credit: take a couple pics and post them too

This is not a definitive guide to every possible VGA mode. Recommendations of other stuff to try are welcome! (And feel free to add your own results even if the app/game/demo/whatever isn't specifically listed here.) For example it was suggested to include Sea of Robot Love by Orange as it sets a 50Hz mode on standard VGA. I will periodically update the testing suite if needed.

Note: please do not run this from DOSBox and submit your results! DOSBox includes its own scaler and doesn't run in the native VGA mode so you're not actually testing your monitor that way. This is probably obvious but I figured I'd better write it down anyway. DOSBox does offer a convenient way to compare what these programs are supposed to look like (except Copper) though.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 1 of 49, by xjas

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To start us off:

Monitor: Viewsonic VG150 (manufactured May 2001)
Native res: 1024x768
Scaling: Nearest neighbour or interpolated, switchable
Aspect ratio: 4:3, letterboxing not supported
Machine: Advantech P233MMX, FreeDOS 1.1
Video card: S3 Virge DX 4MB
UniVBE: no
Tested by: xjas

OVERALL COMPATIBILITY RATING:
11 / 14 - Good

  Application          P   F   CP  Notes
,-----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
| Ambience | | X | | |
| Luminati | | | X | Only shows half of every interlaced frame. |
| Timeless (56Hz) | X | | | |
| Timeless (60Hz) | X | | | |
| Dowhackado | X | | | |
| Kukoo2 | X | | | |
| Copper | | X | | Fails to sync during wobble effects. |
| | Occasionally gets stuck in glitched video |
| | mode which persists until manually reset. |
| Sunflower | X | | | Some vertical banding but otherwise looks |
| | good. I've seen worse. |
| Yo | X | | | |
| Impulse Tracker | X | | | |
| CubicPlayer 132x43 | X | | | |
| Tweak 256x256 | | | X | Displayed 200 lines, cropped bottom 56. |
| Tweak 360x480 | X | | | |
| Tweak 376x564 | X | | | |
| PAL-on-VGA | | X | | |
| NTSC-on-VGA | | X | | |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Other notes: |
| |
| |
`-----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

vg150-256x256.jpg
vg150-360x480.jpg
vg150-376x564-2.jpg

vg150-cp132x43.jpg
Cubic Player, 132x43 text mode

vg150-do.jpg
DoWhackaDo - odd green bar is caused by video card

vg150-kukoo2.jpg
Kukoo2 (384x564)

vg150-luminati1.jpg
Luminati

vg150-timeless.jpg
Timeless

vg150-sunflower1.jpg
vg150-sunflower2.jpg
Sunflower

Last edited by xjas on 2015-09-18, 05:57. Edited 1 time in total.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 2 of 49, by xjas

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Monitor: Curtis LCD2622
Native res: 1366x768
Scaling: interpolated
Aspect ratio: 16:9, pillarbox toggleable
Machine: Advantech P233MMX, FreeDOS 1.1
Video card: S3 Virge DX 4MB
UniVBE: no
Tested by: xjas

OVERALL COMPATIBILITY RATING:
5 / 14 - POOR

  Application          P   F   CP  Notes
,-----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
| Ambience | | X | | |
| Luminati | | X | | |
| Timeless (56Hz) | X | | | |
| Timeless (60Hz) | X | | | |
| Dowhackado | X | | | |
| Kukoo2 | | | X | Has some issues w/rapid color switching. |
| Copper | | X | | Won't show 70 Hz modes. |
| Sunflower | | X | | Only 480p screens work. |
| Yo | | X | | |
| Impulse Tracker | | X | | |
| CubicPlayer 132x43 | | X | | |
| Tweak 256x256 | | | X | Crops the top slightly |
| Tweak 360x480 | X | | | |
| Tweak 376x564 | | X | | |
| PAL-on-VGA | | X | | |
| NTSC-on-VGA | | X | | Loading 256NTSC.256 from Tweak16b works. |
`-----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

Other notes: does not seem to support 70 Hz modes AT ALL, including mode 13h and 720x400 text mode. Takes a long time (2s) to change resolutions. 240/480 (60Hz) modes are fine; textmode possible if 80x30 mode is set.

curtis1.jpg
Standard 400p/70Hz text mode doesn't work (all 70Hz modes give same result)

curtis2.jpg
80x30 480p/60Hz text mode tweak is possible. Monitor auto-crops for overscan which affects some VGA screens.

curtis3.jpg
Ambience showing standard stretch

curtis4.jpg
Ambience with 4:3 pillarboxing enabled

Note: you don't have to take as many photos as I'm doing here, I'm just showing some examples 😉

Last edited by xjas on 2015-09-18, 05:55. Edited 1 time in total.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 3 of 49, by xjas

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Monitor: EUC AGN PRO EP19AV
Native res: 1280x1024
Scaling: very sharp filter, minimal "pixel smear"
Aspect rto: 5:4
Inputs: VGA (used for testing), Composite, S-Video
Machine: Thinkpad 365ED
Video card: Chips & Technologies
UniVBE: no
Tested by: xjas

OVERALL COMPATIBILITY RATING:
15 / 14 - beyond amazing

  Application          P   F   CP  Notes
,-----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
| Ambience | | | X | Worked after down arrow (decrease refresh |
| Luminati | | | X | rate) pressed a few times. Seems to go out |
| of range around 87 Hz. |
| Timeless (56Hz) | X | | | |
| Timeless (60Hz) | X | | | |
| Dowhackado | X | | | |
| Kukoo2 | X | | | |
| Copper | X | | | THE WOBBLE WORKS. |
| Sunflower | X | | | |
| Yo | X | | | |
| Impulse Tracker | X | | | |
| CubicPlayer 132x43 | X | | | |
| Tweak 256x256 | X | | | Every single mode in 'Tweak16' works. Even |
| Tweak 360x480 | X | | | the notoriously difficult ones. |
| Tweak 376x564 | X | | | |
| PAL-on-VGA | X | | | Somewhat squashed, aspect ratio wrong. |
| NTSC-on-VGA | X | | | "" "" |
`-----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

Other notes:
EUC (not AOC) make monitors intended for the CCTV / security industry, so I imagine they're not overly common. I picked this one up from a local classified ad for all of ten bucks. I don't think I'd be exaggerating if I said this is the best LCD monitor for DOS applications I've ever seen. The slightly-dodgy-translated blurb from the official website says it all:

" Enhanced Video Signal (EVS) Input monitors provide the highest compatibility with CCTV equipment and enhanced video clarity. Unlike many flat panel monitors designed for the PC industry, EVS enabled monitors will not experience dropped signals as a result of video signal hunting. Dropped signals and poor composite video quality have made most flat panel monitors (designed for the PC industry) difficult and undesirable to use with multiplexers and digital recorders. [...] "

This thing is very quick when changing resolution / display modes. Naturally, while I did all the testing on VGA, composite & s-video modes work great as well. It's even useable with LCD shutter glasses (DIY SimulEyes clone) although with significant ghosting and your head must be held at 45 degree angle so that the polarization doesn't black out the screen.

agn_copper2.jpg
^^ This is pretty much the only photo I need bother posting. Everything that needs to be said is said right here. Nonetheless, here are some more pics...

agn_copper1.jpg
The beast in question.

agn_luminati.jpg
Both color interlaced frames showing in Luminati.

agn_do.jpg

agn_sunflow1.jpg
Beautiful fakemode presentation in Sunflower.

agn_tweak1.jpg
^^ O RLY?

agn_tweak2.jpg
Every single mode included in Tweak16b worked fine. ALL OF THEM.

agn_ntsc.jpg
agn_ntsc_sky.jpg
NTSC-on-VGA

agn_pal_jill.jpg
Jill in PAL-on-VGA. Aspect ratio in these modes was a bit wrong. You can probably adjust this out manually.

Last edited by xjas on 2015-09-16, 18:10. Edited 1 time in total.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 4 of 49, by Stiletto

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^^ I always figured CCTV-geared equipment like that would score well, but didn't know anyone who'd dropped the cash on one! Awesome! 😁

Instructions:
Download the testing suite <-- I am looking for more permanent hosting for this

... VOGONSDrivers maybe?

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 5 of 49, by wbc

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xjas wrote:

For example it was suggested to include Sea of Robot Love by Orange as it sets a 50Hz mode on standard VGA

Or xtal \ Complex, it also uses the same 50hz tweaked mode as in Orange intro.

by the way, I will test some monitors and post the results there, so thanks for test suite (although I already have some tweakmode test stuff, including my own 😉)

--wbcbz7

Reply 6 of 49, by jxhicks

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I'll definitely be trying out some monitors when I get home. I have been wanting to phase out my CRTs for various reasons, so this is quite helpful. Thanks a bunch.

Reply 7 of 49, by Skyscraper

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I recently found a place that sells tested "old" LCD monitors for 20kr = 2 euro each 😀. They have alot of brands in all sizes up to 20" but only 4:3 models with D-sub only input. I have a feeling I will hoard quite a few different LCDs if the 4 I already bought turns out to be in OKish shape, they are still at work but I will probably take them home later this week.

The ones I bought so far are 19" (IBM + 2x Samsung) 1280*1024 and a 20" (HP), probably 1280*1024 aswell but Im tempted to get a few 15" 1024*768 LCDs as I only have two of those in working condition.

Sometime™ I will try them out to see what kind of tweakmodes they support.

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 8 of 49, by Stiletto

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Skyscraper wrote:

I recently found a place that sells tested "old" LCD monitors for 20kr = 2 euro each 😀. They have alot of brands in all sizes up to 20" but only 4:3 models with D-sub only input.

Become their best friend, and convince them to include xjas's testing suite in their testing, tested only with a kick-ass Gona-approved graphics card, and making the results public? 😁

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 9 of 49, by Skyscraper

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Stiletto wrote:
Skyscraper wrote:

I recently found a place that sells tested "old" LCD monitors for 20kr = 2 euro each 😀. They have alot of brands in all sizes up to 20" but only 4:3 models with D-sub only input.

Become their best friend, and convince them to include xjas's testing suite in their testing, tested only with a kick-ass Gona-approved graphics card, and making the results public? 😁

Its one of those places where people who cant find a job are sent to so they can learn to ... I dont know... spend government money? I doubt their abilities go far beyond "shows picture or does not show picture", at least I get to buy cheap donated LCDs. Their "day centre" is located only a few hundred meters from my workplace 😀.

[short rant]

In Sweden we think we can "fix" everyone so they will become productive citizens when it would be much cheaper to just give them some welfare money.

[/short rant]

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 10 of 49, by alexanrs

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[off]
Beware the whole "just give them welfare money" situation... You risk creating a mass of people that rely on that far too much instead of making any effort to find a job (or a better one), becoming somewhat permanently a "dead weight" to the country's economy. I agree, though, that you shouldn't just give people pointless jobs. But that is a very complicated matter.
[/off]

Is a Voodoo3 a compatible enough card to run these tests? My S3-powered systems are stored, and I don't want to drag one of them out for testing unless I absolutely need to.

Reply 11 of 49, by xjas

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Use any video card you have! Even if it doesn't run Copper or Do perfectly, most of these testing programs are generally standard VGA. Chances are some of them will work. It's usually pretty easy to identify whether a glitch is caused by the monitor or the video card itself.

Also please keep politics & off topic discussion out of this thread, it's supposed to be a database!

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 12 of 49, by squareguy

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I am thinking about buying a brand new LED/LCD monitor. Anyone have info on these before I buy one and test it?

HP L1506x 15"

http://h30094.www3.hp.com/product/sku/10319679
http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetPDF.aspx/c04111026.pdf

Planar PLL1500M 15"

http://www.planar.com/products/desktop-touch- … -inch/pll1500m/
http://www.planar.com/media/434269/planar-pll … -user-guide.pdf

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE

Reply 13 of 49, by NJRoadfan

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Why is that HP monitor so expensive? Might as well get a cheapo LCD plus a XRGB-mini Framemeister for that! Kinda wish I had one right now to see how it handles VGA tweak modes or if it can even handle SVGA signals from its RGB port.

Anyway, both of those monitors explicitly state a 75Hz input limit so Tran's demos won't work. My HP LP2475w has so-so compatibility, it claims 85Hz max and Tran's demos do display, but with seizure inducing flashing since the ADC seems to be doing a hard cut down to 60fps.

Reply 14 of 49, by squareguy

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How about this guy? 17"

http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/surveillance-video/ep17lt.pdf

not sure gifference in the LT model

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE

Reply 15 of 49, by xjas

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^^ Looks like the LT model has BNC in & through ports (so you can daisy-chain them together) which mine doesn't have. Also the 17" is only 1024x768. Obviously I highly recommend it if you can score one for a decent price. Mine is hooked up to my MSX & to my G5 tower as a second head right now. It's brilliant.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 16 of 49, by xjas

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NJRoadfan wrote:

Anyway, both of those monitors explicitly state a 75Hz input limit so Tran's demos won't work. My HP LP2475w has so-so compatibility, it claims 85Hz max and Tran's demos do display, but with seizure inducing flashing since the ADC seems to be doing a hard cut down to 60fps.

The Viewsonic VG150 datasheet says max Fv=75Hz but mine works up to at least 87Hz. Sometimes they are needlessly conservative.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 17 of 49, by 5u3

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Here are the results of my Samsung 2443 from the other thread:

Monitor:    Samsung SyncMaster 2443
Native res: 1920x1200
Scaling: Interpolated
Aspect rto: 16:10 (aspect ratio can be switched between "Auto" and "Wide")
Machine: 486DX4, K6-3+, Athlon

Video card: Tseng ET4000, S3 Virge DX/GX, Voodoo 5, GeForce 4 Ti4600
UniVBE: none
Tested by: 5u3

OVERALL COMPATIBILITY RATING:
11.5/14 - Good

Application P F CP Notes
,-----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
| Ambience | | X | | Blank screen, message: "Not Optimum Mode" |
| Luminati | | X | | Blank screen, message: "Not Optimum Mode" |
| Timeless (56Hz) | X | | | |
| Timeless (60Hz) | X | | | |
| Dowhackado | X | | | |
| Kukoo2 | X | | | |
| Copper | | | X | No wobble effect, everything else fine |
| Sunflower | X | | | |
| Yo | X | | | |
| Impulse Tracker | X | | | Ugly scaling |
| CubicPlayer 132x43 | X | | | Ugly scaling |
| Tweak 256x256 | X | | | |
| Tweak 360x480 | X | | | |
| Tweak 376x564 | X | | | |
| PAL-on-VGA | | X | | |
| NTSC-on-VGA | | X | | |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Other notes: |
| |
| |
`-----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

Many 1920x1200 monitors from Samsung perform similar to this one. They usually have quick controls for auto adjustment, input selector and aspect ratio, so they are nice if you want to use the same monitor for both your retro and modern systems.

Reply 18 of 49, by squareguy

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@xjas

I found one new, open boxed for $125 including shipping. It is on its way.

BTW there is one more available

Gateway 2000 Case and 200-Watt PSU
Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III 450 CPU
Micron 384MB SDRAM (3x128)
Compaq Voodoo3 3500 TV Graphics Card
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card
Western Digital 7200-RPM, 8MB-Cache, 160GB Hard Drive
Windows 98 SE

Reply 19 of 49, by wbc

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Okay, now I will post my results for LG Flatron L1510S:

Monitor:    LG Flatron L1510S (manufactured April 2003)
Native res: 1024x768
Scaling: interpolated
Aspect rto: 4:3, letterboxing not supported
Machine: 1) P200MMX\FIC VA-502(VIA VPX)\128 MB SDRAM\AWE64 and
2) P200MMX\Zida 5STX(i430TX)\128 MB SDRAM\Vibra16
Video card: 1) Matrox Millennium 2 MB
2) S3 Trio64V2/DX 1MB
UniVBE: no
Tested by: wbcbz7

OVERALL COMPATIBILITY RATING:
8.5 / 14 - pretty bad

Application P F CP Notes
,-----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
| Ambience | | X | | out of sync even on lowest vertical rate |
| Luminati | | X | | out of sync even on lowest vertical rate |
| Timeless (56Hz) | X | | | |
| Timeless (60Hz) | X | | | |
| Dowhackado | | X | | tries to sync but blank screen |
| Kukoo2 | | X | | tries to sync but blank screen |
| Copper | | | X | no wobble and some glitches with matrox |
| | | | | (I'm sure that it's the card issues) |
| Sunflower | X | | | some vertical banding but looks nice |
| Yo | X | | | |
| Impulse Tracker | X | | | |
| CubicPlayer 132x43 | X | | | not perfect scaling |
| Tweak 256x256 | X | | | bottom 16 lines cropped |
| Tweak 360x480 | X | | | |
| Tweak 376x564 | | X | | out of sync |
| PAL-on-VGA | | X | | |
| NTSC-on-VGA | | X | | |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Other notes: |
| |
| NAID'95 Report | X | | | some little horizontal color banding |
| Xtal | | X | | out of sync |
| |
`-----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

and some photos (some of them are clickable!):

OCKIm.jpg
ugly scaling in Cubic Player

t4HcP.jpg
Timeless in 56Hz mode

LrqhO.jpg
iChaw.jpg
nice fakemode rendering in Sunflower (click on latter image and notice the vertical banding)

7hYrg.jpg
and a bonus: NAID'95 Report / Hornet, which uses 320x600 56Hz fakemode for displaying truecolor images (generally it should work as regular 800x600 56Hz, but I'm not absolutely sure)

--wbcbz7