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Doom on the 386 and 486DLC

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First post, by 386SX

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Hi,
I'd like to ask how well your 386 is running Doom first version and compared it to the Cyrix 486DLC with the cache enabled. For me I found the 486DLC permit to set the window to full screen with the health bar and still is smooth, but in low details. No way in high details. I got a 486DLC and 16Mb of fast 60ns ram plus the 256Kbyte of L2 and a Cirrus GD5429 ISA.
With the 386DX-40 I could never set full screen because it was already at its limit at 70% of screen window, low detail.
What about your experience with it?
Thanks
Bye

Reply 1 of 22, by jesolo

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My first PC was a Cyrix 486DLC-40.

I remember playing Doom 1 on it with my Tseng Labs ET4000 and, for the time, performance was acceptable (in some cases I had to set the detail level to low by pressing the F5 key). But, looking back now, you actually need at least a 486 DX2-66 to really enjoy the game.

Although I have run Doom 1 on a 386DX-40 myself, performance is quite poor and sluggish. I wouldn't recommend it.

Reply 2 of 22, by sd_entertainmnt

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Never was playable on my old 386 and on a 486dx 25 barely. When Oced to 33 ran quite tolerable without having to resort to low quality. Had a tseng VLB card but don't remember which.

Reply 3 of 22, by kixs

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I used to play it on 386DX-40 in a very small window. I also played Descent on that machine in a small window. How sad 😉

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Reply 5 of 22, by Anonymous Coward

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Too bad there was never a voodoo1 for VLB.

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Reply 6 of 22, by 386_junkie

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Anonymous Coward wrote:

Too bad there was never a voodoo1 for VLB.

... or a PCI to VLB converter!

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Reply 7 of 22, by m5215tx

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I have a 386DX 40 I just recently built with all top of the line components. I did install Doom but it's lags a little too much for me when playing it on the default screen size. It's a little better when shrink the screen size down a level. It's seems this game is better played on a 486DX 33 or better.

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Reply 8 of 22, by 386SX

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m5215tx wrote:

I have a 386DX 40 I just recently built with all top of the line components. I did install Doom but it's lags a little too much for me when playing it on the default screen size. It's a little better when shrink the screen size down a level. It's seems this game is better played on a 486DX 33 or better.

I'd say the 486DX2-66 maybe could be the right target for this game. But anyway I'm surprised by the Cyrix 486DLC with its cache, Doom begin to be playable at full screen in low res. Even Duke Nukem 3D start and is playable at low res even if obviously much more difficult for the cpu.

Reply 9 of 22, by jade_angel

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I've played it on a 486DLC and a 486DX-33, and it's playable but starts to chug badly in heavy fights, especially if the graphics card isn't especially solid. Seems to me the threshold for high detail is either a DX2-66 with VLB or PCI graphics, or a DX4-100 with ISA graphics!

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Reply 10 of 22, by 386SX

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jade_angel wrote:

I've played it on a 486DLC and a 486DX-33, and it's playable but starts to chug badly in heavy fights, especially if the graphics card isn't especially solid. Seems to me the threshold for high detail is either a DX2-66 with VLB or PCI graphics, or a DX4-100 with ISA graphics!

I agree with the DX2-66 cpu. I'm using the CL-GD5429 card on ISA and it's not bad. Too bad the 486DLC didn't have the usual amount of 486 L1 cache.

Reply 11 of 22, by galanopu

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This is your answer: It is definitely playable on 486DLC.
You just have to overclock and mod the hell out of it.
Then run DOOM at somewhat medium details.
And you will get a "smooth" 35FPS .

Here is my full Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDQsLDN9df8

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Reply 12 of 22, by 386SX

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I might remember this wrong but wasn't overclocking the DLC processor a risk for the internal cache? Anyway thanks for the answer, it has been a long time since I played with Doom on the 386DX again, unfortunately I don't have anymore that mainboard so the 386DX I've now has also a socket itself for a DLC but should need to disable the on board AMD cpu and this requires a bit of modding I'm not doing on the only 386 mainboard I've got to use the DLC cpu I still have.
In the past I read a lot about these mixed mainboards having both the soldered cpu and the cpu socket but ended not trying to use the socket at all risking the board. These might have been just manufacturing temporary revisions not intended for an external cpu at first.

Reply 13 of 22, by chinny22

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My first PC was a DX2/66 onboard VLB Mach64 Doom ran fine (but then been my 1st PC I didn't know any different)
Dad was a teacher and would bring the office PC's home for me to tidy up during the summer holidays, Mostly slower 486's but once he came back with a 386 something, that was the first time I had to reduce the screen size.

Reply 15 of 22, by AlexZ

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Doom is playable on 386DX/40 but is not a pleasant experience due to having to decrease window size and details. 3D shooters of that era were designed for 486DX2/66 - Doom, Heretic, Rise of the Triad. I would not consider ISA only 486 due to poor video performance and resulting poor gaming experience.

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Reply 16 of 22, by douglar

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galanopu wrote on 2022-05-09, 11:37:

Nice work. Any idea if it would be faster with a TI486drx2-66 or a TI486SXL? I know, hard to find.

Quake might get faster with a RapidCAD, maybe.

p.s. the fingernails might distract from the technology a bit.

Reply 17 of 22, by Anonymous Coward

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The DRx2 is out of the question, because clock doubling can't be disabled. Since those chips are pretty rare and usually don't work when overclocked, you're stuck with a 33MHz bus. Bus speed seems to make a big difference, especially on the Cyrix chips with only 1kb cache. The 40MHz DLC is barely slower than a DRx2-33/66 in stock configuration.
The TI486SXL should be a little faster than this DLC though. Those are known to overclock to 55MHz too.

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Reply 18 of 22, by ViTi95

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galanopu wrote on 2022-05-09, 11:37:
This is your answer: It is definitely playable on 486DLC. You just have to overclock and mod the hell out of it. Then run DOOM a […]
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This is your answer: It is definitely playable on 486DLC.
You just have to overclock and mod the hell out of it.
Then run DOOM at somewhat medium details.
And you will get a "smooth" 35FPS .

Here is my full Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDQsLDN9df8

Just insane, I wonder how much performance can be gained using FastDoom on that system.

Reply 19 of 22, by galanopu

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so...

1) Unfortunately I do not have a 486DRX2 or a 486SXL or a Rapidcad. All are very rare and / or too expensive.

2) I have seen some numbers from an overclocked 486DRX2 40/80 and it beats my DLC at 55 but only by a little.

3) I have recently tested the 486SXLC2 (16bit bus), I failed to overclock this past 42Mhz.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgXdiCPwGUA

4) To be fair, with an ISA bus at 18MHz+ it will be hard to find a sound card working, also with sound the performance will be lower.

5) FastDOOM, I have to test this at some point. This should be fully playable with sound.

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