VOGONS


SiS 6326 AGP great card!

Topic actions

First post, by theelf

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Hi, this holidays i have free time, and decide to build a Pentium 3 PC. I found a nice motherboard with ISA, PCI and AGP

I was looking for a graphic card that had good drivers for windows 3.1, windows 3.51, 4.0, OS/2, BeOS and very good DOS compatibility and VESA

I decide to buy a AGP S3, but looking in my card collection, i found a SiS 6326 that i did not use since 90s, because is not a card normally people recommend or talk about much

And i really found to be amazing card, windows 3.1 drivers are great, support acceleration and stable, same on 3.51/4, installed OS/2 4 drivers without problem, and BeOS the same. Tested too in 9x, and PowerStrip detect well, and let me do some custom resolutions, great for emulators

DOS compatibility looks great, i just tested a lot of games without problem, specially some like commander keen that give me problems on other cards, and Vesa support is great, XMen Children of the Atom for example

I just post this, because im really get a nice surprise with this card, i did not expect such great compatibility

Last edited by theelf on 2019-12-28, 23:16. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 1 of 52, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

As an AGP card, it's quite horrible and no amount of good DOS compatibility could redeem it.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 2 of 52, by theelf

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
The Serpent Rider wrote on 2019-12-28, 23:05:

As an AGP card, it's quite horrible and no amount of good DOS compatibility could redeem it.

mm... no

Thats why i posted this, to give a good information about this card

Reply 3 of 52, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

interesting info right there about compatibility and driver availability, thanks for sharing!
speed is not always the most important thing in retro-builds, personally I prefer something that works all the time than some speedy thing that I need to find ways to make it work... also pretty sure OP is not going for 3D acceleration anyways
I think I have the PCI version of 6326 will test it next time I want a 2d vga

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site
🎧 Orpheus soundcard site
Action Rewind site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 4 of 52, by aaronkatrini

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Interesting...
I have at least 2 AGP versions in my collection. But I never gave this card a chance since it is known to have poor performance in 3D.
And to me an AGP card that doesn´t do well 3d seems weird to say the least.

Might have to investigate further on 2d or Dos games. 😀

Reply 6 of 52, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I tested SIS6326AGP cards quite thoroughly. They aren't top DOS performers, in fact, they are somewhat gimped in pure VGA speed, and also have issues with some games. As 3D accelerators they are slightly faster than Virge DX/GX/GX2 and actually can do transparent effects right, but that's about it.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 7 of 52, by BSA Starfire

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I did a bunch of testing with 3 versions of the SiS 6326 recently, first the C3 revision that was built into my ECS socket 7 motherboard, this had 4MB VRAM and connected via internal AGP bus. Second a PCI 6326 H0 revision with 4MB VRAM and finally a PCI 6326 H0 Revision with 8MB VRAM. The C3 revision had a lot of issues in 3D games, but both the H0 revisions worked pretty well considering the price they were at the time, SiS made a great job of improving the cores for both performance and compatibility during the life of the chip and the 8MB version had clear advantages with 3D games of the era, I've not had the chance to try the Ho revision on a AGP card with 8MB VRAM but I expect that would be the best experience .
Thread is here: Games to play on a socket 7 machine with SiS 6326 graphics.

If you look at the Vintage3D website and follow that journey where many more of the revisions are tested (c1 to H0)you can see the progression more clearly.

Secondly I have a ACER V75M, this one has a SiS 530 chipset, this board is from a IBM Aptiva system, it has a AMD K6/2-450MHz CPU. years ago I tested this machine with Phil's DOS Benchmark package and it was incredibly fast in DOOM, another user here had similar experience at the time with the same chipset on another motherboard. It's still documented in the online spreadsheet.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lvF9n … wpNU/edit#gid=0
This will be my next project on looking into the 6326 architecture, this time in a similar manner with 3D games as I did with the ECS motherboard. I also own a PCChips M590 motherboard that also uses a 6326 so hopefully I'll have time to document this one too and compare.
The other thing I'll say is that on the ECS board's onboard adaptor and the 2 PCI cards I tried, the VGA output is really nice, much better than many of the other cards of that time(I'm looking at you S3 and Nvidia TNT!).

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 8 of 52, by ykot

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I have this card integrated as part of Xcell 2000 chipset (PC Chips M748LMRT motherboard) and subjectively its performance is quite disappointing - Windows 98/XP interface feels sluggish, VGA signal is somewhat noisy and different resolution support is minimal at best. I feel like some VLB graphics cards that I have are faster than this. So for me it's a waste of AGP slot, why wouldn't they connect this card to PCI or, better yet, ISA slot instead?

Reply 9 of 52, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I did have the card tested years ago and I remember that even if not really fast, compared to others similar early AGP 2D ("and 3D") cards was not bad at all from a low-end point of view obviously. I remember in the late 90's a friend could play Resident Evil in hw acceleration mode with that card while my S3 Trio3D could not. And the difference back then was like night and day. Also I think it had motion compensation for mpeg2 decoding right?
So I bought a Voodoo3 than considering my K6-2 350 was not a good idea for its price. I could easily have bought a cheap Voodoo1 or any Riva128 or whaveter other low end cards and be happy with that until the Duron 750 / Geforce 2 MX that I upgraded much later.

Reply 10 of 52, by hyoenmadan

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
ykot wrote on 2020-07-13, 14:59:

I have this card integrated as part of Xcell 2000 chipset (PC Chips M748LMRT motherboard) and subjectively its performance is quite disappointing - Windows 98/XP interface feels sluggish, VGA signal is somewhat noisy and different resolution support is minimal at best. I feel like some VLB graphics cards that I have are faster than this. So for me it's a waste of AGP slot, why wouldn't they connect this card to PCI or, better yet, ISA slot instead?

Your problem isn't the 6326 "IP core" (aka, igp), but the way the Xcel2000 chip uses it, and the shit mobo the M748LMRT has always been.
When the SiS chip is used by someone who put some effort in their design, then the chip doesn't perform that bad. Yes, isn't spectacular, but not bad as generally is potrayed. In many cases it can even beat S3s of the same specification, and ofc is a lot better than the Tridents, Chips and Neomagic crap that comes in many mobile devices, while generating not more heat than these.

Reply 11 of 52, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

So I bought a Voodoo3 than considering my K6-2 350 was not a good idea for its price.

How so? You can easily play games at 1024x768 on Voodoo 3 even with K6-2, which isn't possible for Voodoo 1 and not comfortable for Riva 128Zx.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 12 of 52, by ykot

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
hyoenmadan wrote on 2020-07-13, 17:10:

Your problem isn't the 6326 "IP core" (aka, igp), but the way the Xcel2000 chip uses it, and the shit mobo the M748LMRT has always been.
When the SiS chip is used by someone who put some effort in their design, then the chip doesn't perform that bad.

Although I agree that Xcell2000 isn't the best chipset out there, you can't do miracles to make a graphics chip perform things it can't do or have performance it can't reach. In Tom's Hardware review back in 1998, this graphics card appears to be at the very bottom of performance charts with almost half of performance of ATI Rage Pro, which I actually had back then in 1998 and still have in working condition right now. This was the reason of my comment that, subjectively, I'm quite disappointed with the integrated SiS 6326 that I have.

Reply 14 of 52, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Kind of necroing this thread to say that the 4MB PCI version (Miro CrystalDVD) of this card in my Cx 5x86 PC has amazingly good DOS compatibility, VBE 2.0 and very good drivers for both Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 - it's a very, very good PCI card for a high end PCI 486. It's not as fast as an MX86200 or ARK1000 but VBE2.0 and driver availability made me stick with it nonetheless.

How can I tell which revision of the silicon my card has, by the way?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 15 of 52, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I have a soft spot for them, as i) they seem to work in any AGP slot ever, if you're just trying to get video out of a board to see if it works, trusty POS 6326 card saves the day. ii) they're actually not too bad image quality compared to some that were all grunt and no refinement, iii) they stand in nice for rare DX5 cards, older stuff runs alright on it, I mean you can nitpick stuff, but you can nitpick how rage renders, how voodoo renders, how S3 almost manages to render, etc etc. and yah iv) they're not the worst choice for 2D dossy stuff or earlier windoze even.

If they'd had a release date just a couple of dozen months earlier, you'd have ppl drooling over them still. Other cards are like this, don't hate on the Rage XL, it was a Rage II that was born too late, don't hate on the X300 it was a 9500 that was born too late, don't hate on the GF4mx it was a GF2 that was born too late, etc etc.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 17 of 52, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-05-19, 21:14:

Right there on the IC itself, clearly marked in small font.

Cheers,

Ok, I was hoping I could see that with some software or something but that would be asking too much I guess. I'll check next time I open up the case.

I checked and it's a C1.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 18 of 52, by HangarAte2nds!

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
BitWrangler wrote on 2021-05-19, 21:02:

I have a soft spot for them, as i) they seem to work in any AGP slot ever, if you're just trying to get video out of a board to see if it works, trusty POS 6326 card saves the day. ii) they're actually not too bad image quality compared to some that were all grunt and no refinement, iii) they stand in nice for rare DX5 cards, older stuff runs alright on it, I mean you can nitpick stuff, but you can nitpick how rage renders, how voodoo renders, how S3 almost manages to render, etc etc. and yah iv) they're not the worst choice for 2D dossy stuff or earlier windoze even.

If they'd had a release date just a couple of dozen months earlier, you'd have ppl drooling over them still. Other cards are like this, don't hate on the Rage XL, it was a Rage II that was born too late, don't hate on the X300 it was a 9500 that was born too late, don't hate on the GF4mx it was a GF2 that was born too late, etc etc.

Luckily, here in Retro Land, we get to pick and choose which hardware we want that actually goes together instead of the mismatched garbage a lot of people played on back in the day.
I am getting ready to do a Pentium MMX build on an ASUS P5A MB. It has an AGP slot. I don't know why because you can't really put a CPU in there where you might actually utilize an AGP card! Or so I thought. Until I found the adorable little 6326 AGP in the bin at my local computer thrift store. It is basically an S3 Virge with AGP. People expect AGP to automatically be something special but this holdover from the PCI days is nothing to write home about compared to its contemporaries as a rewarmed PCI card. People complain that you can get better 2D DOS performance. But I am going to be running them on a Pentium MMX at 200 to 250 MHz so maybe the fact this card isn't great won't matter for DOS games. Maybe it will work out just fine. I am probably still going to be using setmul on some later DOS games I might play on this machine. I have multiple tools to get the job done so I am not trying to make a killer dos/95/98/XP/Vista rig. I just wanted something appropriate for my overclocked late DOS, early '98 gaming machine. And it is the sort of combo somebody short of funds might have thrown together in the late '90s. Why buy an AMD K6-II 450 or PII 233 when an overclocked MMX will work just about the same? The K6-II was weak and the PII still used a 66MHz bus speed. The P5A is a good board but it wasn't a particularly expensive board originally.
One other thing, looking up the memory chips, it seems to have 16Mb onboard. Is this a thing? I haven't fired it up yet so IDK for sure.
Ironically, in the same bin where I found this, the arguably weakest AGP GPU, I also found an HD3850, the last and most powerful AGP GPU. That is quite a spread in performance.
For me, the Geforce 4 MX 420 I have is just a good stand in for the Geforce 3 I had in my P4 in the early '00s. It allows me to pretty closely replicate the gaming experience I had in college. I use a slightly faster CPU these days but it is pretty close.
Although my GF3 was AGP, I didn't build that PC. I probably saw it twice in the 7 years I used that PC. So from a collecting and building standpoint, AGP is new to me. But I recently acquired 5 AGP motherboards. I am planning to turn one of them into an AGP GPU test rig with a C2D by which no AGP GPU can ever be bottlenecked. I can put a stop to all the quibbling once and for all.