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Would you be interested in an x86-based alternative to the Raspberry Pi, optimized for retro gaming?

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Reply 20 of 201, by debs3759

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mrau wrote on 2021-06-19, 20:03:

vortex is expensive as are most integrated toys - i would not spend such amounts on this kind of stuff
i would personally just take a redone fx cpu;an ahci and hd audio driver for windows 98 would be required, i doubt other things would be in the way of some games
having amd expand the fx line some more, say 10-12 cores can be useful either way; not everyone is a ryzen geek and if your windows of choice does not use all cores - so what?

It's not always expensive. Depends what you buy, and where. My eBox 2300 (with vortex86, using a sis 550 core at 200 MHz) cost a whole $25. https://www.cpu-world.com/forum/viewtopic.php … hlight=vortex86

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Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 21 of 201, by Socket3

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-06-20, 00:10:

By the time you have all that, the board wouldn't be much smaller than already available motherboards.

That's partly true.

Several models could be developed - for example a raspberry pi sized board with no expansion slots and on board everything is possible, but some of us might want expansion slots (me). The design can be scaled up, to say matx and atx depending on the number of slots required - or - there could be one core module that holds the SoC and ports witch you could connect to a riser or backplane witch exposes isa/pci/agp to the user. Best of both worlds, and most cost effective solution.

Reply 22 of 201, by WDStudios

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Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-19, 11:15:

What you're proposing requires re-designing old hardware, adding a CPU and GPU on the same die, and fitting it to a new process. It is EXPENSIVE.

Why? The architecture has already been designed. Isn't that where the vast majority of the R&D costs go?

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-19, 11:15:

You can't just take a clawhammer core and a R350 GPU , die shrink them and then super glue them together.

Why not? That's exactly what AMD did when they made the first APU, except it was a K10 core and a Radeon HD 6000-series.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-19, 11:15:

The SOC will require a custom southbridge with appropriate I/O

Or just a die shrink of the SB400.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-19, 11:15:

The difference between 90nm and 7nm is so huge that just printing a clawhammer core on 7nm is unfeasible.

What does the transistor size have to do with the architecture?

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-19, 11:15:

Running win98 and DOS has nothing to do with mining. Neither the ClawHammer core (athlon64) or the R350 (radeon 9800) have enough floating point muscle to be of any use for miners. An SoC designed for retro games running real hardware not emulation will be SLOW. Going the other way, designing a highly parallel chip useful for mining, would make it useless for retro gaming, as it wouldn't even be x86 compatible and would require emulation, witch can be done using existing hardware, no need to design something new.

I was using bitcoin mining as an example of hardware designed for gaming being used for something other than gaming, not as an example of something that this specific product could be used for. I could have just as easily pointed to the PS3 supercomputer used for simulating black hole collisions.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-19, 11:15:

Really? Have you tried playing Jazz Jackrabbit on a fast machine? Or supaplex? Or Volfield? Or Commander Keen? Biomanace? The list goes on. Only SOME post 96 dos games will run well at any clock speed.

No, the VAST MAJORITY of DOS games measure only real time and don't assume that they're being run on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088. You can name a few exceptions? Good for you. They're still the exceptions.

digger wrote on 2021-06-19, 12:44:

The Geode SoC would have fitted the bill quote nicely.

Was there ever a Geode with Win98 compatibility AND graphics performance comparable to the Radeon 9800 XT?

digger wrote on 2021-06-19, 12:44:

Wouldn't an FPGA-based solution be a better way to go? Basically take the MiSTer port of the ao486 core and enhance it to add the features on your list that it still lacks?

I know that in order to run at the performance of a Pentium or better, and to provide 3D hardware acceleration, more powerful FPGAs will be required. Eventually those will become available and affordable though, just like how the DE10-nano FPGA made the MiSTer possible.

I don't think I'll be able to run Doom 3 on that.

digger wrote on 2021-06-19, 12:58:

With the exception of Glide compatibility, the weeCee by rasteri seems to check all the boxes on your list as well. 🙂

See Tiny Vortex86-based DOS gaming PC - weeCee

"Although the processor is 800MHz, the Vortex86 is much slower per clock than Intel processors"

I don't think I'll be able to run Doom 3 on that.

the3dfxdude wrote on 2021-06-19, 14:21:

Well, if your Intel, you can take a pentium core, their low end graphics core and sound, die shink and slap them together, and call it atom.

The Atom was a new design, not derived from the P5. And the earliest Atoms didn't have integrated graphics; they relied on the 945GC chipset for that. I'm not sure about the sound.

debs3759 wrote on 2021-06-19, 16:09:

Would something like Vortex86 do what you want? An example can be found at https://www.digikey.co.uk/product-detail/en/v … ource=findchips (although used units are much cheaper)

I have no idea. How many frames per second can the Vortex get in Doom 3 at maximum settings?

dionb wrote on 2021-06-19, 21:37:

Once the Pi was a huge success that changed, but it was how it got started. To replicate that you'd need surplus x86 retro-friendly SoC out there somewhere. Unless I missed something they don't exist which means you can't go down a similar route.

VIA is still making the EPIA-P910, which is compatible with WinXP. That's the closest thing I've been able to find to something that's currently being made and is compatible with Win98. However, I haven't looked around a whole lot.

cyclone3d wrote on 2021-06-20, 00:10:

By the time you have all that, the board wouldn't be much smaller than already available motherboards.

That depends entirely on the level of integration. Cram everything onto a single piece of silicon? Or multiple pieces of silicon but in a single "package" (as AMD's 64-core chips are)? Itty bitty board. Make them all separate pieces of silicon in separate packages? It'll probably be a mini-ITX board.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-20, 09:20:

Several models could be developed - for example a raspberry pi sized board with no expansion slots and on board everything is possible, but some of us might want expansion slots (me).

What could you possibly use an expansion slot for, that you can't use a USB port for and which isn't already provided by the SOC?

Since people like posting system specs:

LGA 2011
Core i7 Sandy Bridge @ 3.6 ghz
4 GB of RAM in quad-channel
Geforce GTX 780
1600 x 1200 monitor
Dual-booting WinXP Integral Edition and Win7 Pro 64-bit
-----
XP compatibility is the hill that I will die on.

Reply 23 of 201, by Deksor

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WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

Why? The architecture has already been designed. Isn't that where the vast majority of the R&D costs go?

You'd still need to make some edits to design for the new architecture I think. Also, producing chips in a small quantity for a niche is expensive. Nobody has remade a SID chip or an Amiga chipset because it'd be too expensive.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

Why not? That's exactly what AMD did when they made the first APU, except it was a K10 core and a Radeon HD 6000-series.

There's probably more technical details to it, it's not that easy.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

What does the transistor size have to do with the architecture?

Some architectural choices need to be made regarding the die size.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

No, the VAST MAJORITY of DOS games measure only real time and don't assume that they're being run on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088. You can name a few exceptions? Good for you. They're still the exceptions.

Any game made with turbo pascal will crash with a CPU that's too fast. It's not even an issue of a game tha assues of being run on a 4.77MHz 8088. It's just the compiler itself that had a glitch that nobody saw until it was too late.
Other games made optimizations that worked on period correct hardware, but is broken or glitchy on more modern hardware.
Some may seem to work at first glance, but in reality they don't work properly. Of course there are also games that age like fine wine, but that's mostly luck and good programming (and many games clearly aren't programmed well).

A good thing Windows brought was some standardization to prevent devs from reinventing the wheel everytime they want to make a game and make some wrong assumptions with the hardware (or era-limited ones). Not that it's perfect by any means, but it helped.

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Reply 24 of 201, by Socket3

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WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

Why? The architecture has already been designed. Isn't that where the vast majority of the R&D costs go?

R&D yes, but combining different existing components into a working SoC means engineers need to modify every part and integrate it into a new design witch is expensive and time consuming.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

Why not? That's exactly what AMD did when they made the first APU, except it was a K10 core and a Radeon HD 6000-series.

Far from it. All components need to be modified to work together. The modifications are extensive. I've already mentioned this. If you want to know more search for CPU design and fabrication.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

Or just a die shrink of the SB400.

A SB400 can't integrate all these components on a single chip. It's useless here.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

What does the transistor size have to do with the architecture?

Why, everything. A chip is designed to work on a certain manufacturing process. You can get away with minor changes to chip design when moving from one process to another if they are similar, say from 10nm down to 7nm, but not when going from 90nm to 7, the difference in scale is too big. Transistor spacing, heat generation and electrical interference are just some of the things that need to be accounted for when designing a chip for a certain process. A 90nm chip printed on 7nm will not work. The design needs to be completely overhauled - imagine re-drawing all those millions of transistors. And, the transistors themselfes are different so they will not work the same.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

No, the VAST MAJORITY of DOS games measure only real time and don't assume that they're being run on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088. You can name a few exceptions? Good for you. They're still the exceptions.

I get the feeling your knowledge of DOS games is very limited. The games I mentioned will not run on an XT. Jazz is requires at least a fast 386, and recommends a pentium 90. Supaplex is designed for a fast 386. Lots of early 90's games are speed sensitive to some extent, even if it's not immediately apparent when running the game. Some late 90's games are speed sensitive as well. Here's a partial list of speed sensitive games - not of them are XT era games: https://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/List_of_ … sensitive_games - that's 73 titles. There are in fact over 100 titles that are speed sensitive to one degree or another.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

Was there ever a Geode with Win98 compatibility AND graphics performance comparable to the Radeon 9800 XT?

The AMD geode is a CPU, not a GPU. It does not include graphics.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

I don't think I'll be able to run Doom 3 on that.

You can run doom 3 perfectly fine on a modern system under windows 10. It's really an XP era game, it doesn't exactly play well on win9x machines. Also the 9800xt is not fast enough to comfortably run Doom 3 at 1600x1200 / ultra - you need an x1950 / 7900GT for that. Last time I played Doom 3 and Quake 4 I settled on a Pentium D 940 with a 8800GTX (last year I think). I did try other builds but I was not happy with the performance.

WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:

What could you possibly use an expansion slot for, that you can't use a USB port for and which isn't already provided by the SOC?

Why to use hardware in our collection of course - like a Vortex 2 sound card or a Guillemot Maxi sound 64. One requires an ISA slot, the other PCI. And maybe I don't like the included R350 and want to use a 6800xt. Or need to put a Voodoo 2 in it for glide games. I'm sorry, but it was kind of a dumb question.

Reply 25 of 201, by cyclone3d

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Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-20, 09:20:
cyclone3d wrote on 2021-06-20, 00:10:

By the time you have all that, the board wouldn't be much smaller than already available motherboards.

That's partly true.

Several models could be developed - for example a raspberry pi sized board with no expansion slots and on board everything is possible, but some of us might want expansion slots (me). The design can be scaled up, to say matx and atx depending on the number of slots required - or - there could be one core module that holds the SoC and ports witch you could connect to a riser or backplane witch exposes isa/pci/agp to the user. Best of both worlds, and most cost effective solution.

If you ve got AGP, PCI and ISA, then you have a PIAGP setup. There are already backplanes for that but they are usually not very cheap.

Then there are the boards for SOCs but I am pretty sure there are none that ever supported AGP.

I do have one that has a VIA chipset with DOS support but I need to add the connections for audio on the backplane because they aren't included. If I remember correctly it is using an 800Mhz Celeron. I have another SOC that will work on that same board but I don't remember what the specifications are.

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Reply 26 of 201, by bZbZbZ

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WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:
Why? The architecture has already been designed. Isn't that where the vast majority of the R&D costs go? ... Why not? That's exa […]
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Why? The architecture has already been designed. Isn't that where the vast majority of the R&D costs go?
...
Why not? That's exactly what AMD did when they made the first APU, except it was a K10 core and a Radeon HD 6000-series.
...
Or just a die shrink of the SB400.
...
What does the transistor size have to do with the architecture?

What I think you're missing is that each architecture is DESIGNED FOR a specific manufacturing process. The original Athlon 64 (Sledgehammer / Clawhammer) was specifically designed for AMD (now GlobalFoundries) 130nm process. Subsequent die shrinks each required engineering rework to adapt the architecture for 90nm and eventually 65nm processes. The amount of engineering rework is dependent on how different the new manufacturing process is from the old one. Sometimes the new process is a relatively simple shrink of the old one. But sometimes it isn't. For example, GlobalFoundries 14nm FinFET and 12nm FinFET are similar to each other, but dramatically different from the prior 20nm process. And of course the manufacturing process at another foundry (eg TSMC 7nm) is extremely different. This is why shrinking Zen (14nm) to Zen+ (12nm) was relatively easy for AMD, compared to shrinking it to TSMC 7nm for Zen 2. AMD spent significant time and expense modifying the Vega graphics architecture to bring it from GloFo 14nm to TSMC 7nm (Radeon VII).

So what you're proposing sounds wonderful, but once you understand the technical aspects it's not easy. It would take significant engineering expense for AMD to make what you're after, and it's probably not worth their time/money. At least maybe until the retro community is much larger than it currently is, and when actual old Athlon 64 & Radeon 9800 become much more scarce.

Reply 27 of 201, by WDStudios

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Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-20, 15:04:

I get the feeling your knowledge of DOS games is very limited. The games I mentioned will not run on an XT. Jazz is requires at least a fast 386, and recommends a pentium 90. Supaplex is designed for a fast 386. Lots of early 90's games are speed sensitive to some extent, even if it's not immediately apparent when running the game. Some late 90's games are speed sensitive as well. Here's a partial list of speed sensitive games - not of them are XT era games: https://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/List_of_ … sensitive_games - that's 73 titles. There are in fact over 100 titles that are speed sensitive to one degree or another.

That list is garbage. I can tell because the Windows section includes Moo2 and Simcity 2000, both of which I've played on modern hardware (well... hardware from 2014) with no issues, patches, or workarounds whatsoever. The complaint about Simcity 200o is especially amusing because it boils down to "program works exactly as intended and I don't like that".

Even if we took that list as gospel, you're talking about 100 games out of... how many total that were made for DOS? Probably closer to 10,000? Still an extreme minority.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-20, 15:04:

You can run doom 3 perfectly fine on a modern system under windows 10.

Uh... no. It's on the list of programs that work with XP but not Vista. I think they fixed that with the Resurrection of Evil expansion, but RoE was kind of crap.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-20, 15:04:

Why to use hardware in our collection of course - like a Vortex 2 sound card or a Guillemot Maxi sound 64.

Why would you need either of those? Discrete sound cards in general were obsolete by the time either of those came out, with sound generally being integrated onto motherboards, and the SB400 southbridge includes 8-channel AC '97 audio.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-20, 15:04:

And maybe I don't like the included R350 and want to use a 6800xt.

IF I were to go in the direction of commissioning AMD to create a new SOC based on Radeon 9800 graphics, I'd definitely ask about whether or not the 9800 could be "scaled up" in some way to deliver performance more in line with cards from 2-3 generations later. I've heard that GPUs are like that but I'm fuzzy on the details.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-20, 15:04:

Or need to put a Voodoo 2 in it for glide games.

I've never seen a game that required Glide. The closest I've seen is Diablo II, which supports DirectX but ran better with Glide.

bZbZbZ wrote on 2021-06-20, 21:17:

Subsequent die shrinks each required engineering rework to adapt the architecture for 90nm and eventually 65nm processes. The amount of engineering rework is dependent on how different the new manufacturing process is from the old one. Sometimes the new process is a relatively simple shrink of the old one. But sometimes it isn't. For example, GlobalFoundries 14nm FinFET and 12nm FinFET are similar to each other, but dramatically different from the prior 20nm process. And of course the manufacturing process at another foundry (eg TSMC 7nm) is extremely different. This is why shrinking Zen (14nm) to Zen+ (12nm) was relatively easy for AMD, compared to shrinking it to TSMC 7nm for Zen 2. AMD spent significant time and expense modifying the Vega graphics architecture to bring it from GloFo 14nm to TSMC 7nm

Okay... since you're the second person to say this, I'll take your word for it.

It seems that hiring a developer to write Win98 drivers for currently made hardware would be the way to go.

Since people like posting system specs:

LGA 2011
Core i7 Sandy Bridge @ 3.6 ghz
4 GB of RAM in quad-channel
Geforce GTX 780
1600 x 1200 monitor
Dual-booting WinXP Integral Edition and Win7 Pro 64-bit
-----
XP compatibility is the hill that I will die on.

Reply 28 of 201, by digger

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WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 13:18:
Socket3 wrote on 2021-06-19, 11:15:

The difference between 90nm and 7nm is so huge that just printing a clawhammer core on 7nm is unfeasible.

What does the transistor size have to do with the architecture?

As Socket3 tried to explain to you, an older architecture that was designed for a 90nm process technology can't be fabbed at 7nm without making substantial modifications to the design first. And as technology improves, chip fabs get upgraded. The older the process technology, the fewer the chip fabs that can still manufacture it.

That's why the chip shortage has affected the automotive industry even more than it has the PC components industry. With the exception of Tesla, most car manufacturers use older chip designs, because they don't need the latest state of the art.

But even automotive chips are typically 65nm at the oldest. See https://www.eetasia.com/automotive-market-set … ecover-in-2021/

So good luck finding fabs with available manufacturing capacity for something even older than that, especially in the current market.

Reply 31 of 201, by Deksor

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WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-20, 21:33:

That list is garbage. I can tell because the Windows section includes Moo2 and Simcity 2000, both of which I've played on modern hardware (well... hardware from 2014) with no issues, patches, or workarounds whatsoever. The complaint about Simcity 200o is especially amusing because it boils down to "program works exactly as intended and I don't like that".

I don't think it's garbage, they just list all speed related problems.

If enabling African Swallow mode skips 5 years in one second, it's a problem.

Sometimes it's "playable enough" and a minor inconvenience, but not everyone may like that.

I can even say that this list is too short because there are games I know that have problems that aren't listed there.

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Reply 32 of 201, by Shreddoc

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With all due respect for the enterprising spirit, spearheading such a project would require an extremely high level of expertise.

I would not be interested in a retro PC gaming project run by a founder who had little respect for common aspects of the retro PC gaming community like variable speed DOS gaming, 3dfx/Glide, discrete hardware, sound cards. Those are all things I love. And frankly, already have, as befits the general Vogons demographic.

But ultimately money talks. If you can bring it to market cheaply and it's cool, then it'll get bought. If it's not, then that's a very expensive lesson isn't it?

Reply 33 of 201, by WDStudios

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-06-20, 23:24:

EAX or A3D

???

kolderman wrote on 2021-06-20, 23:32:

Win98 PCs are easy to make, and probably cheaper than this hypothetical device.

A vintage Radeon 9800XT alone goes for minimum $150 on eBay. Socket 939 motherboard? Another $50. CPU, RAM... suddenly you're waaaaay out of the price range that this hypothetical device would occupy.

Deksor wrote on 2021-06-20, 23:34:

If enabling African Swallow mode skips 5 years in one second, it's a problem.

No, that is literally how the game is intended to work. If you want something slower than "as fast as my computer can possibly run", but still fast, that's what Cheetah speed is for.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-06-21, 00:45:

With all due respect for the enterprising spirit, spearheading such a project would require an extremely high level of expertise.

And I know people who have that expertise.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-06-21, 00:45:

I would not be interested in a retro PC gaming project run by a founder who had little respect for common aspects of the retro PC gaming community like variable speed DOS gaming, 3dfx/Glide, discrete hardware, sound cards.

It's not a matter of respect. It's a matter of simplifying the design to keep the price tag under control and make the product viable both inside and outside of the retro gaming market. I'm sure you're familiar with the terms "feature creep" and "mission creep". They drive costs up, and normal people aren't going to spend $500+ on a retro gaming PC when they can get much more powerful hardware capable of playing much newer and more sophisticated games for the same price. Or how about "crippling overspecialization"? Non-gamers aren't going to pay extra for features that have no use whatsoever outside of retro gaming. This product would need to be as low-cost and general-purpose as possible while still meeting the demand for fresh hardware that can correctly run DOS and Win9x games at decent quality settings and frame rates.

It should definitely have an unlocked multiplier though, capable of scaling at least as far down as 200 mhz. That wouldn't complicate the design too much.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-06-21, 00:45:

If you can bring it to market cheaply

See? Now you're getting it 😀

Since people like posting system specs:

LGA 2011
Core i7 Sandy Bridge @ 3.6 ghz
4 GB of RAM in quad-channel
Geforce GTX 780
1600 x 1200 monitor
Dual-booting WinXP Integral Edition and Win7 Pro 64-bit
-----
XP compatibility is the hill that I will die on.

Reply 34 of 201, by bZbZbZ

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Shreddoc wrote on 2021-06-21, 00:45:

I would not be interested in a retro PC gaming project run by a founder who had little respect for common aspects of the retro PC gaming community

🤣... you said what we were all thinking.

WDStudios, why don't you pitch AMD on your great idea. I'm sure they have a lot to learn from you and the people you know with "expertise". I hope you're as good at electrical engineering as you are at convincing everyone on this forum to agree with your opinions.

Reply 35 of 201, by cyclone3d

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Really... when all the old hardware starts to die for good, then emulation / virtualization is what will be left.

As far as having to have old video cards, it should be possible to emulate some of the old stuff that has been gotten rid of such as table fog and palletized textures without too much trouble.

That way you don't have to worry about having the old hardware. With emulation / virtualization you can slow it down however much you need.

No need for custom hardware solutions at all.

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Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
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Reply 37 of 201, by WDStudios

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-06-21, 06:51:
Really... when all the old hardware starts to die for good, then emulation / virtualization is what will be left. […]
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Really... when all the old hardware starts to die for good, then emulation / virtualization is what will be left.

As far as having to have old video cards, it should be possible to emulate some of the old stuff that has been gotten rid of such as table fog and palletized textures without too much trouble.

That way you don't have to worry about having the old hardware. With emulation / virtualization you can slow it down however much you need.

No need for custom hardware solutions at all.

Unfortunately, emulation/virtualization is still horribly flawed. I tried playing Quake II, Far Cry, Doom 3, The Sims, and some other games in an XP virtual machine. Pretty much anything that wasn't based on the Quake III engine, or made for Windows 3.1, had severe problems.

Since people like posting system specs:

LGA 2011
Core i7 Sandy Bridge @ 3.6 ghz
4 GB of RAM in quad-channel
Geforce GTX 780
1600 x 1200 monitor
Dual-booting WinXP Integral Edition and Win7 Pro 64-bit
-----
XP compatibility is the hill that I will die on.

Reply 38 of 201, by Error 0x7CF

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WDStudios wrote on 2021-06-21, 07:12:

Unfortunately, emulation/virtualization is still horribly flawed. I tried playing Quake II, Far Cry, Doom 3, The Sims, and some other games in an XP virtual machine. Pretty much anything that wasn't based on the Quake III engine had severe problems.

Current virtual machine solutions (VMWare, Virtualbox, Virtual PC, etc) tend to focus more on having graphics that just barely work so they can run legacy non-gaming software. If later games are to be emulated, the solution would look something more like PCem, with emulations of actual sound and video cards (vs whatever a Virtualbox Graphics Adapter is supposed to be, and slightly crackly Virtualbox AC'97). PCem is still much too slow for things like Doom 3 or (imo) Quake II, but I imagine that will be remedied in time.

I would absolutely adore the product you describe, but I do not believe AMD would ever do it. There's just not enough market for it. For all the use cases but retro gaming, there are (arguably better) solutions already. For instance, I could see benefiting from something like this would be old industrial control equipment that still runs DOS, and that is already quite a well-served market by existing hardware, as well as a shrinking market as people try to get away from legacy crust. Things like that don't need the graphics and will be perfectly happy chunking along with a 486-based PC104 SBC with practically no graphics whatsoever for the next unforeseeable number of years.

Suppose AMD makes the chip you desire. Do they sell it on a board with an OS? They can't sell it with Linux since the 9800 is too old for drivers. They can't sell it with Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, or 8 since Microsoft would never permit it. They can't sell it with Windows 10 since it would be unbelievably slow, as well as probably lacking drivers. They could maybe sell it with ArcaOS since it's OS/2 and as such would still fly on an Athlon 64, but Arca Noae would have to agree to that, which is a big question mark. They could load on FreeDOS but then how do you use the Radeon? There is no definitive outcome where AMD sells a product that you take out of a box and plug in and play retro games, and a plug and play retro PC game box would be the only reason they would ever do something like this. Why would AMD create a chip they can't ship with any operating system? If you had a couple hundred million dollars knocking around I'm sure you could pay them to make it for you since at that point they wouldn't care what your intentions with the chip are after you bought it from them for your x86 SBC manufacturing company, but I don't believe they would ever do it themselves.

If you really want to do this, you will need to do it yourself, probably in a huge beefy FPGA, and then maybe fabricate your own chips later if you can make it work, keeping in mind that FPGAs probably wouldn't be able to get remotely near 2GHz, and that even if you got to the "new chip" stage you'd probably be working with a fabrication process that's about the same size as the Athlon 64 and Radeon 9800 were fabricated on to begin with. All the patents on the instruction sets in the Athlon 64 should be expired, so you could implement a sufficiently compatible AMD64 x86 core. Then, you have to figure out how to license or otherwise create your own 3D graphics core for the FPGA, performant and compatible enough for your seeming target of Doom III. You would be setting records all around if you pulled it off. All the while though, you have to be careful not to unknowingly step on any patent toes and get sued, or even get sued by Intel for no actual reason since they can't enforce their expired x86 patents anymore but I'm sure they might try.

Last edited by Error 0x7CF on 2021-06-21, 07:58. Edited 1 time in total.

Old precedes antique.

Reply 39 of 201, by Deksor

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental … udio_Extensions

As for a3d I don't have a Wikipedia page but it's a similar standard from another company. There's some demos online https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zJlYL6I6u-0

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit The retro web - Project's thread The Retro Web project - a stason.org/TH99 alternative