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Improving Quake performance on POD83.

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First post, by Chadti99

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Hello,

I’ve recently put together a Socket 3 system with a Lucky Star SIS 496/497 board with 256KB 15ns cache and 32MB 60ns FPM ram. I’m also running a POD83 with write back enabled and a Tseng Labs 6000 PCI card.

Not expecting huge numbers but my Quake timedemo demo1 score is only 13.1 FPS and based off of other benchmarks I’ve seen I should be getting 16-17 at 83 MHz.

Ive also tried a Matrox Millennium 2064 PCI card which benched slightly slower at 12.9.

Any ideas what could be holding the system back? What cache and memory timings make the difference?

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Reply 2 of 67, by The Serpent Rider

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You need to set L2 Cache Tag bits to "7 bits" with Write Back cache policy. Also you need to set DRAM Write Cycle to "0 WS".

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Reply 3 of 67, by Chadti99

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-07-28, 13:51:

You need to set L2 Cache Tag bits to "7 bits" with Write Back cache policy. Also you need to set DRAM Write Cycle to "0 WS".

Thank you, I changed the write cycle to 0 and hit 16.1 and then changed the tag bit to 7 and hit 18.4! I would not of thought to change that last one, thanks so much!

Now to try the vrm mod to get this puppy running stable at 100MHz.

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Reply 9 of 67, by auron

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a constant 20fps really wouldn't be so bad, but the problem is things like fiends jumping into your face and sending the fps into single digits, making you lose input control. there was also showturtle 1 to remind players in another form that their machine wasn't quake ready...

Reply 10 of 67, by Munx

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Since it's running in software, there is no framebuffer to add latency. Add CRT running from an analog VGA signal, PS2 keyboard and mice...and 20fps back in the day feels smoother than 30fps today.

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Reply 11 of 67, by maxtherabbit

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Munx wrote on 2020-07-29, 11:46:

Since it's running in software, there is no framebuffer to add latency. Add CRT running from an analog VGA signal, PS2 keyboard and mice...and 20fps back in the day feels smoother than 30fps today.

latency != motion resolution but ok

Reply 12 of 67, by Joseph_Joestar

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Munx wrote on 2020-07-29, 11:46:

Add CRT running from an analog VGA signal, PS2 keyboard and mice...and 20fps back in the day feels smoother than 30fps today.

Nope.

I have all that and 20 FPS doesn't feel smooth at all. I would consider it somewhat playable, but nowhere near smooth.

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Reply 13 of 67, by The Serpent Rider

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Don't forget that's average frame rate on a fairly simple map.

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Reply 14 of 67, by amadeus777999

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Just try setting everything to max speed / min latency - at normal bus speeds this should not be a problem.
@Munx - there always needs to be a framebuffer - rasterization has to happen somewhere.

Reply 15 of 67, by Chadti99

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Had a friend perform the voltage mod and now I’m able to launch Quake at 100 MHz CPU speed. I’ve had to adjust some memory timings for stability, currently hitting 20fps. This is in version 1.08 with one tick away from full screen.

15 year old me would of been quite happy playing Quake at this speed. I had a 133mhz 5x86 at that time that I think would only hit 11-12fps on this demo.

Hoping I can find a couple more frames somewhere, just having fun with old hardware. Appreciate all the comments and replies.

Reply 17 of 67, by Chadti99

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-07-30, 03:23:

so you didn't realise any framerate gains from the overclock? probably because of relaxing the memory timings

Correct, I was able to pull off a timedemo at 22.6fps but it crashed shortly after. I’ve not seen stable operation at 100 MHz unfortunately, even with slower memory timings it will crash after a few minutes it seems. It could be a cooling issue or it could just be the luck of the die. Before the VRM mod I was unable to start Quake at 100 MHz so it’s some progress.

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