VOGONS


First post, by user33331

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Hello
For Pentium 1 MMX gaming which one to choose ?:
- S3TRIO64V+ 2MB 1995-96.
- MATROX MILLENIUM II 4MB 1997.

If not playing Jack Jazzrabbit 1 or Commander Keens where Matrox is said to have "scrolling problems".
Hopefully Matrox plays other dos games well such as: destruction derby 1, duke nukem 3D, fatal racing, death rally, wacky wheels, street rod 2, c&c1, warcraft1, KKND1, GTA1, Carmageddon1...
(I know GTA1 recommends 2MB GPU memory. So 2MB S3Trio64v+ is problematic.)

People in forums says "Matrox's colors are more vivid and accurate" and "Matrox's image is better".
Very confused about Matroxes should someone use them or not ?
Are Matroxes only industrial cards ?

Reply 1 of 14, by Vynix

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Personnally, my P133 came with a S3 Trio64V2/DX, it just works by itself, though I think on some S3s you can add additional VRAM chips to increase the card's VRAM.

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Reply 2 of 14, by dionb

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DOS only: VESA compatiblity is key, S3 beats Matrox easily (although early nVidia and 3DFx are arguably even better).

Windows: RAMDAC and analog filter support for clarity at higher resolution is key. S3 depends on card vendor for filters and RAMDACs generally so-so, Matrox wins easily here.

Reply 3 of 14, by clueless1

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Honestly, the performance difference between the two (at least in DOS games) is maybe 5%. I'd go with the S3 for compatibility purposes even though it's slightly slower. I can tell you that the Millennium II has a different text font in DOS and some games just act weird when changing graphics modes. They end up working but there's something about the way the card handles graphic mode changes that's off-putting. And sometimes the graphic modes are way out of adjustment so you have to dig into your monitor settings to re-center. It's much more at home in Win9x and early Windows gaming IMO.

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OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
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Reply 4 of 14, by The Serpent Rider

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Honestly, the performance difference between the two (at least in DOS games) is maybe 5%

Actually there's a huge difference between them (in favor of Matrox), but to tap that potential, much powerful system is required. And yes, Matrox Millentium II is quirky for DOS.

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Reply 7 of 14, by dionb

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-01-29, 12:17:

Honestly, the performance difference between the two (at least in DOS games) is maybe 5%

Actually there's a huge difference between them (in favor of Matrox), but to tap that potential, much powerful system is required. And yes, Matrox Millentium II is quirky for DOS.

A huge difference in DOS? Unless a game specifically supports Matrox (and I believe none do) the card is just acting as a dumb frame buffer, bottlenecked by the PCI bus. No matter what CPU you throw at it, that's not going to change.

Reply 8 of 14, by The Serpent Rider

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the card is just acting as a dumb frame buffer, bottlenecked by the PCI bus

Yes, dumb faster frame buffer. PCI bus limit isn't a problem for high resolutions. Let's be real here: S3TRIO64V+ isn't a pinnacle of 2D performance.

No matter what CPU you throw at it, that's not going to change.

And Vlask benchmark results are just a myth.

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Reply 9 of 14, by clueless1

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dionb wrote on 2020-01-29, 16:49:
The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-01-29, 12:17:

Honestly, the performance difference between the two (at least in DOS games) is maybe 5%

Actually there's a huge difference between them (in favor of Matrox), but to tap that potential, much powerful system is required. And yes, Matrox Millentium II is quirky for DOS.

A huge difference in DOS? Unless a game specifically supports Matrox (and I believe none do) the card is just acting as a dumb frame buffer, bottlenecked by the PCI bus. No matter what CPU you throw at it, that's not going to change.

I measured a 20% difference between the Millennium II and the slowest S3 card in VGA on a 933Mhz P3. That went up to 30% in SVGA games. It does get more significant the faster the cpu, but I still wouldn't call it "huge". See: Re: 10-Way PCI Graphics Roundup - DOS
But on even a very fast system that was contemporary with DOS games, that difference is much lower. On a 200Mhz Pentium, I measured 4% in VGA and 10% in SVGA.

It's possible those differences become greater when you throw FASTVID/MTRRLFBE into the mix. But that gets into pretty rare territory. The OP is talking about a P1 MMX, and I doubt many people build fast Pentium 3s or Pentium 4s specific as DOS gaming systems.

edit: Even Vlask's benchmarks show a 30% difference between Mill2 PCI and S3Trio64 PCI (92 fps vs 71 fps). So I guess if 30% is the definition of huge...

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 10 of 14, by The Serpent Rider

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So I guess if 30% is the definition of huge..

Vlask setup isn't the fastest one, just convenient for ISA cards.

Even Vlask's benchmarks show a 30% difference between Mill2 PCI and S3Trio64 PCI (92 fps vs 71 fps).

67 vs 92 actually. And your experience might get even worse with a "noname" S3 Trio64V+.

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Reply 11 of 14, by dr.zeissler

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The early matrox cards have bios-patches and less problems than the later ones.

CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000

Reply 12 of 14, by mpe

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dionb wrote on 2020-01-29, 16:49:

A huge difference in DOS? Unless a game specifically supports Matrox (and I believe none do) the card is just acting as a dumb frame buffer, bottlenecked by the PCI bus. No matter what CPU you throw at it, that's not going to change.

Yes the bus (or better say host interface speed) is the most important factor for DOS performance.

However, there is still enough a space for differentiating chips in DOS.

Such as many DOS apps (think DOOM) use chained modes or bank flipping with their extensive use of VGA registers rather than direct framebuffer writes. Some chips are just more optimised at this than others and that's why the scores are not identical despite using the same bus and equivalent RAM chips.

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Reply 13 of 14, by aaronkatrini

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The question is why are you comparing these two cards?
If you have both, try them and then decide what works best for you.
If you're looking for purchase advice then you should consider other cards aswell. 😀

Reply 14 of 14, by clueless1

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-01-29, 19:14:
Vlask setup isn't the fastest one, just convenient for ISA cards. […]
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So I guess if 30% is the definition of huge..

Vlask setup isn't the fastest one, just convenient for ISA cards.

Even Vlask's benchmarks show a 30% difference between Mill2 PCI and S3Trio64 PCI (92 fps vs 71 fps).

67 vs 92 actually. And your experience might get even worse with a "noname" S3 Trio64V+.

Still, Vlask's charts can be misleading because the fast platform exaggerates the differences between cards as they'd perform on any normal DOS gaming system. I see lots of weirdness comparing his results to mine. For example, on my system:
-TNT2 M64 outperforms Voodoo3 2000 PCI
-ARK1000/2000 is only slightly slower than TNT2 M64 and faster than V3 2000.

His charts definitely have a place. It's neat to see how the chipsets perform with no restrictions and it's interesting to see how much headroom different chipsets have. But for the OP and most people building a DOS gaming system, they can get the wrong impression from looking at his results and expecting similar differences between graphic chipsets on their period-correct system.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks