VOGONS


First post, by KLund1

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I have a untested diamond monster 3d ii. I need a 2d card to see if this working, right?
I have on-hand a Diamond Stealth 3d 2000, and Pro cards. Either of these would be over kill, right?
I also have a Viper v330 4Mb, and a Stealth II S220 4mb.
What would be the best combination of these cards for mid to late Dos gaming, and up to win 98se gaming? Oh this would be on a PIII 600mhz machine
Thanks

Reply 1 of 24, by TrashPanda

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The Viper would work fine, the Stealth 2000 would be also perfectly fine for DOS, S3 Virge based cards have great DOS compatibility but their direct 3d is garbage. Since this is also a Win98 machine the Viper 330 would be the best of both worlds its DOS compatibility is great and it'll be great for win98 direct3d/GL games that the Voodoo II cant cover.

If I'm being honest here I would start looking for a TnT2 based GPU (Viper 770) to pair with the Voodoo2 as that was a really common config back in the day and it would cover 99% of games you will likely want to play on this machine while providing excellent DOS and Windows compatibility.

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Reply 3 of 24, by RandomStranger

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Then V770 it is. I wouldn't expect any conflicts, but if there are and you can't work them out, you can always swap it out for the V330.

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Reply 4 of 24, by dionb

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Basically, no non-Voodoo card would cause conflicts. I don't see why you think the Stealth3D 2000 would be overkill, that's exactly the kind of card that would have been paired with a Voodoo 1, so I'd even say it's a bit anaemic for a V2.

The question is whether the VGA card only needs to do 2D, or also non-GLide 3D.

If 2D only, the only relevant criteria are amount of video memory for Windows desktop (1024x768@32b needs 4MB RAM...) and DOS VESA SVGA compatibility (S3, nVidia, 3dfx good; ATi and Matrox bad, as rule of thumb)
If 3D too for Direct3D and maybe plain OpenGL, you want the beefiest card you have. I run my Voodoo2s with a GeForce3Ti200, and many people use Gf4 or FX too. Note: here again, ATi is great for Windows 2D and 3D, but less good for the late DOS stuff you want.

With the cards you have... for 2D only it depends on how much video memory the S3 cards have. If 4MB, I'd choose one of them. If not, I'd probably go for the V330 with its Riva, but the Stealth II 220 would be fine too.
For 3D, none are great. The V330 with its Riva is probably the most powerful and most compatible (with Direct3D), but both S3 Virge and Rendition Verite offer their own proprietary 3D "acceleration" (S3 in particularl is notoriously slow, frequently slower than software rendering...) which you might want to play around with for a machine from this period.

Edit: hang on, in your OP you mention a Diamond Viper 330, later a 770. That's a big difference, nVidia Riva128 vs TNT2. If it's a 770 (i.e. TNT2), then that's clearly the best 3D card of the lot, the only one to actually beat the Voodoo in OpenGL and hands-down best in Direct3D. Which is it?

Reply 5 of 24, by ODwilly

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It looks like the Stealth 2000 pro is a 4mb late model Virge, so I would go with that card. You could definitely utilize a better AGP GPU, but honestly as long as the V2 meets your 3D needs it is a fantastic combo with the Virge.

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Reply 6 of 24, by TrashPanda

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ODwilly wrote on 2022-06-21, 07:45:

It looks like the Stealth 2000 pro is a 4mb late model Virge, so I would go with that card. You could definitely utilize a better AGP GPU, but honestly as long as the V2 meets your 3D needs it is a fantastic combo with the Virge.

The V330 is a better option here, especially for windows 98 games, considerably more powerful than the anemic Virge which is terrible for any kind of 3d gaming, the V330 also has far better driver support.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 7 of 24, by ODwilly

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-06-21, 07:47:
ODwilly wrote on 2022-06-21, 07:45:

It looks like the Stealth 2000 pro is a 4mb late model Virge, so I would go with that card. You could definitely utilize a better AGP GPU, but honestly as long as the V2 meets your 3D needs it is a fantastic combo with the Virge.

The V330 is a better option here, especially for windows 98 games, considerably more powerful than the anemic Virge which is terrible for any kind of 3d gaming, the V330 also has far better driver support.

With the weird S3 Virge versions of games and the Verite card and that nice Riva 128 Id say it is a nice selection of DOS cards 😀

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Reply 8 of 24, by Solo761

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It depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to use only 3D capabilities of Voodoo card then maybe 2D only card would be better with Voodoo. A bit less potential problems when making games use Voodoo card if there isn't any other 3D accelerator. Although in practice I haven't noticed any issues with two 3D accelerators.
And since you have P3 to go with it maybe it's not a bad idea to have some other, more modern when compared to Voodoo, 3D card.

On my S7 configuration I have PCI Ati Rage XL + Voodoo 1, on my SS7 configuration I have AGP Ati Rage 128 Pro + Voodoo 2. Works without problems on either combination. Although I think I'll swap Rage XL with some of Virge or Trio cards I have. Rage XL's 3D isn't all that great, plus S3 cards have less tearing in DOS games.

Reply 9 of 24, by leileilol

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Even though they were in use and I was using one of them then, in hindsight, i'd advise against S3 cards for the brightness problem.

Because when you turn down your monitor's brightness for the S3, the Voodoo2 will get even darker. Maybe the high default gamma was to compensate...

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Reply 10 of 24, by dionb

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leileilol wrote on 2022-06-21, 10:08:

Even though they were in use and I was using one of them then, in hindsight, i'd advise against S3 cards for the brightness problem.

Because when you turn down your monitor's brightness for the S3, the Voodoo2 will get even darker. Maybe the high default gamma was to compensate...

Not all S3 cards had that issue, iirc these Diamond ones were pretty decent.

Reply 11 of 24, by KLund1

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Wow, quite the interesting debate!
Seems like one should have several cards on hand for the particular game you want to run.
That is not a bog deal for me as I have an open case, and easy to swap cards when I want.
I am a little confused on some of the abbreviations used above
S3 -=?
Virge = ?
Monster 3d = Voodoo 2 II = V2 ?
Both of my stealth cards are 4mb

Seems to most votes is the Monster and S330 ? At least for the most general usage.

Reply 12 of 24, by Gmlb256

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leileilol wrote on 2022-06-21, 10:08:

Even though they were in use and I was using one of them then, in hindsight, i'd advise against S3 cards for the brightness problem.

Because when you turn down your monitor's brightness for the S3, the Voodoo2 will get even darker. Maybe the high default gamma was to compensate...

There is a workaround here.

BTW, from the collection of S3 video cards which I have, only the S3 Trio3D/2X (both the AGP and PCI versions) has that bug. It also depends on the manufacturer as the cards aren't created equally.

Reply 13 of 24, by Tetrium

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-06-21, 03:48:

The Viper would work fine, the Stealth 2000 would be also perfectly fine for DOS, S3 Virge based cards have great DOS compatibility but their direct 3d is garbage. Since this is also a Win98 machine the Viper 330 would be the best of both worlds its DOS compatibility is great and it'll be great for win98 direct3d/GL games that the Voodoo II cant cover.

If I'm being honest here I would start looking for a TnT2 based GPU (Viper 770) to pair with the Voodoo2 as that was a really common config back in the day and it would cover 99% of games you will likely want to play on this machine while providing excellent DOS and Windows compatibility.

Interesting...

I do remember back when the Viper V550 was the fastest NV gen of cards, Voodoo 2 already was out but when Viper V770 was out not many people in The Netherlands bought a Voodoo 2 alongside it. At most they'd bring it over from an older (now discarded) build but it didn't seem very common to get a new Voodoo 2 at the time.
Btw agreed on your recommendations, Viper V770 and S3 Virge based cards are a solid pick 🙂
I don't have any personal experience from V330 (even though I should have at least one of those), so can't say much about it from personal experience but it should be as you described. S3 Virge 3D is very rudimentary and not of much use in todays retrocomputing.
TNT1 (the Viper V550) should also work btw, but its 32 bit implementation was basically too slow for any game except looking at the eye candy while not moving or something 😋

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Reply 14 of 24, by TrashPanda

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I had a TnT2 with Voodoo2 and a lot of friends here also had the same setup, I guess it does depend on what was popular locally at that time, a lot also had the TNT2 M64 with a Voodoo2/Voodoo1 setup since it was a nice cheap way to cover most 3d games at the time, the Banshee was also popular.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 15 of 24, by Tetrium

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KLund1 wrote on 2022-06-21, 16:42:
Wow, quite the interesting debate! Seems like one should have several cards on hand for the particular game you want to run. T […]
Show full quote

Wow, quite the interesting debate!
Seems like one should have several cards on hand for the particular game you want to run.
That is not a bog deal for me as I have an open case, and easy to swap cards when I want.
I am a little confused on some of the abbreviations used above
S3 -=?
Virge = ?
Monster 3d = Voodoo 2 II = V2 ?
Both of my stealth cards are 4mb

Seems to most votes is the Monster and S330 ? At least for the most general usage.

S3 was a manufacturer that made graphics chips like S3 Trio and S3 Virge and is now seen as being very compatible with DOS but with relatively poor 3D capabilities (either very slow or it was buggy with the later S3 Savage chips).
Virge is one of the graphics chips made by S3.
Monster 3D was from top of my head the name of the Voodoo 1 made by card manufacturer Diamond Multimedia. Back then Diamond Multimedia was a popular manufacturer and definitely one of the better quality card manufacturers. Monster 3D II was the Diamond Multimedia Voodoo 2 and the ordinary Monster 3D (without the II/roman 2) was the Voodoo 1. Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2 are quite different actually and have different capabilities and sometimes different compatibilities, you will probably want to distinguish the 2 clearly.
Stealth was a brand name often used by Diamond Multimedia. I wouldn't be surprised if they had like perhaps 10 cards they named stealth-something 😋
Diamond Multimedia often used roman numerals in part of the model names, so a card like "Diamond Stealth II S220" is often written as "Diamond Stealth 2 S220" etc.
Again a matter of being very specific which exact model number the card has.
Stealth II S220 was another card made by Diamond Multimedia and was based around the Rendition 2100 and had 4MB of ram. Its DOS compatibility is, afaiui, not top notch (anyone feel free to correct me on this if this paints an incomplete pic)
Rendition 2100 cards back in the day were often coupled with Voodoo 1 cards here in The Netherlands.

But anyway, hope this little explanation will help you make things a bit more clear 🙂

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Reply 16 of 24, by Tetrium

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-06-22, 10:25:

I had a TnT2 with Voodoo2 and a lot of friends here also had the same setup, I guess it does depend on what was popular locally at that time, a lot also had the TNT2 M64 with a Voodoo2/Voodoo1 setup since it was a nice cheap way to cover most 3d games at the time, the Banshee was also popular.

I always enjoy reading little tidbits of information like this! 😀
Here in The Netherlands there were people staying with 3DFX, but they typically just bought a new Voodoo 3 graphics card instead of bringing over their 'old' Voodoo 2 cards.
Back then there wasn't really a second hand market like we have these days, so people tended to stick their old stuff in the attic and forgot about it till years later 😋
Voodoo 1, Voodoo 2 and Voodoo 3 were relatively popular here in The Netherlands. Banshee, Rush and Voodoo 4 and 5 were definitely much less common here.

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Reply 17 of 24, by TrashPanda

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-06-22, 10:36:
I always enjoy reading little tidbits of information like this! :) Here in The Netherlands there were people staying with 3DFX, […]
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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-06-22, 10:25:

I had a TnT2 with Voodoo2 and a lot of friends here also had the same setup, I guess it does depend on what was popular locally at that time, a lot also had the TNT2 M64 with a Voodoo2/Voodoo1 setup since it was a nice cheap way to cover most 3d games at the time, the Banshee was also popular.

I always enjoy reading little tidbits of information like this! 😀
Here in The Netherlands there were people staying with 3DFX, but they typically just bought a new Voodoo 3 graphics card instead of bringing over their 'old' Voodoo 2 cards.
Back then there wasn't really a second hand market like we have these days, so people tended to stick their old stuff in the attic and forgot about it till years later 😋
Voodoo 1, Voodoo 2 and Voodoo 3 were relatively popular here in The Netherlands. Banshee, Rush and Voodoo 4 and 5 were definitely much less common here.

Voodoo 3 was popular here too but hard to get locally and that drove the cost up, never saw anyone here who splashed out on a Voodoo 4 or 5 as they were pretty much priced out of the market for most people, even top end TnT2 Ultra cards were too expensive for many.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 18 of 24, by bloodem

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Rich bastards! 😁
My first PC (between 1998 - 2000) had a Pentium MMX 166 with a 2 MB S3 Trio (software mode FTW!).
In 2000 I upgraded to a K6-2 500 and a TNT2 M64. And, obviously, this second PC is the one that I remember more fondly, since it allowed me to basically play everything that (up until that point) I was playing only at my rich friends' houses. 🤣 Of course, one year later, I upgraded to a Thunderbird 1333 MHz and a GeForce 3 Ti 200 which, to this day, remains the single most amazing PC upgrade with the biggest jump in performance that I've ever had.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
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Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 19 of 24, by dionb

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KLund1 wrote on 2022-06-21, 16:42:
Wow, quite the interesting debate! Seems like one should have several cards on hand for the particular game you want to run. T […]
Show full quote

Wow, quite the interesting debate!
Seems like one should have several cards on hand for the particular game you want to run.
That is not a bog deal for me as I have an open case, and easy to swap cards when I want.
I am a little confused on some of the abbreviations used above
S3 -=?
Virge = ?

S3: VGA chip vendor.
Virge: mid 1990s VGA chip from S3 with (famously slow) 3D functions and a good 2D core. Used on the Diamond Stealth3D series.[/quote]

Monster 3d = Voodoo 2 II = V2 ?

Correct.

In general, it's the chip used on a card that determines features, compatibility and performance. Particularly with Voodoo2 cards there was very little difference between cards, and like nearly everyone else Diamond implemented 3DFx's reference design in the Monster3D II, so "V2" covers it - and makes clear that the points made apply to all Voodoo 2 cards, not just this specific one.

Exception: analog image quality is determined by the choice and quality of components on the specific card, not on the chip on it. So a lot of S3 Virge cards have bad/washed out image quality but it is possible (and if I recall correctly true) that this need not apply to the Diamon Stealth3D series.

Both of my stealth cards are 4mb

Good, then for 2D there really isn't going to be any difference between the options.

Note that your Diamond Stealh II S220 has a Rendition Verite V2100 chip on it, a slightly unusual early 2D+3D accelerator from the same time as the S3 Virge and Voodoo 1. This was the era of proprietary 3D standards, before the dominance of OpenGL and Direct3D - so a game supported specific chips. There were also much bigger differences in image quality between these chips and these could also differ between games. So yes, the "best" could indeed differ per game. Life was still fun in the mid 1990s 😉

Edit: I need to type faster (or not try to respond in between work calls), Tetrium beat me to this 😀

Seems to most votes is the Monster and S330 ? At least for the most general usage.

You're not helping yourself with abbreviations by being so inaccurate about the card you have...

You've now given the same card three names:
V330
V770
S330

The Diamond Viper V330 was a 1997 card with an nVidia Riva 128 chip on it. That makes it older than the V2
The Diamond Viper V770 was a 1999 card with an nVidia TNT2 chip on it. That makes it newer than the V2
I have no idea what the "S330" would be so I assume a typo.

Could you clarify exactly which one it is?

Assuming it to be the Diamond Viper V330, then you have a Riva 128. It has the best Direct3D compatibility, but with only 4MB RAM shared between 2D and 3D, it won't come close to V2 performance. As a 2D card, it's fine, but no better than the other two in DOS or Windows. What it doesn't give you is any earlier proprietary 3D stuff, which both the V2100 and Virge do do.

A good place to read up on this era:
https://vintage3d.org/index.php

Read the pages for the S3 Virge (for background) and Virge/DX (for the specific chip on your cards), Rendition Verite V2000 and nVidia Riva 128. Then look at Results for comparative benchmarks in different games- but again, it's not just about speed, rendering quality is at least as important in this era. Then take your pick. The site also has links to drivers, if you need them.