VOGONS


First post, by Brint

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Howdy folks,

I'm setting up a dual-boot 98/XP era box with slightly newer retro hardware than I'm used to (ASUS A7N266-VM with nForce chipset + Athlon XP 2000).

My question pertains to 5xxx series video cards - my options are (FX5500 256MB), (FX5600XT 128MB), or (FX5700 128MB), all about the same price tbh. What would give the broadest balance of support/performance/DX compatibility from this lot? The FX5700 is the most powerful, but is it my best bet? For late DOS era, entire Win98 era, early-mid XP era roughly. There is already a Voodoo 2 in here for Glide stuff

And driver-wise: I am using 45.23 on my other Win98 rig with a Ti 4200 - works great but I assume with any of the 5xxx cards I'll be on newer ForceWare instead? (9x.xx on the XP partition and 6x.xx on Win98...or something?) I did have a FX5600 when they were brand new, but I don't remember much about it, mists of time and all that.

Thanks in advance! Long time lurker, finally signed up to ask a specific question (hope this was the right area).

Reply 1 of 21, by SScorpio

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

All three should have the same capability, so the FX5700 might be the best choice if they are truly the same price.

What are you using for sound? I had issues with nForce and DOS audio, even through Win98se some stuff just didn't work. I swapped to a VIA board and everything immediately worked.

Reply 2 of 21, by Brint

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Cheers, yeah I'm certainly leaning towards the FX5700 because it's only $15 more haha.

I had issues with nForce and DOS audio, even through Win98se some stuff just didn't work.

Ahhh yes....nForce. I do remember having a litany of problems with those chipsets back in the day, even into the late XP/Phenom era....interested to see if I cop any issues this time around. My other beige boxes are VIA and SIS, zero problems with either of those on a range of cards.

As this board has no ISA, it's a choice between Vibra 128, Audigy 2 and Sound Blaster Live SB0100. Probs going with the Live for best mix of quality +compatibility I guess.

Even if the nForce proves to be a bastard (again), at least from an enthusiast standpoint I'll have a well-rounded selection of common chipsets from that era to mess around with 😀

Reply 3 of 21, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Brint wrote on 2022-07-18, 23:27:

My question pertains to 5xxx series video cards - my options are (FX5500 256MB), (FX5600XT 128MB), or (FX5700 128MB), all about the same price tbh.

Of the three, only the 5700 will be faster than your existing Ti4200, and not by much on that CPU. That is assuming it's a full 5700 and not an LE model which is much slower. Also, you likely won't be able to force install the 45.23 driver on a 5700 and will have to use one of the 5x.xx versions instead.

As this board has no ISA, it's a choice between Vibra 128, Audigy 2 and Sound Blaster Live SB0100.

The Vibra128 is the worst card among the lot by far. It only has software EAX and uses an extremely crappy FM synth emulation.

Of the remaining two, I would recommend the Audigy 2 for slightly cleaner output and the ability to turn stereo expand on/off via drivers. The Audigy also has EAX3 and EAX4 support, but those are largely irrelevant on a Win9x machine. Lastly, DOS compatibility likely won' be good on either card due to using an nForce chipset.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 4 of 21, by Brint

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Full 5700 and not LE apparently. TBH i'd prefer to just get another Ti 4200 as it's SO good, but getting pretty expensive. Thought I'd try out the last line of nVidia AGP cards instead.

The Vibra128 is the worst card among the lot by far

It is indeed a terrible card...rofl I didn't know it had emulated EAX though, classic. Agreed the Audigy 2 has a quality advantage, but my Live! has a Live Drive II front panel, which I foresee being rather persuasive for the final build.

Thanks for the advice, I shall see what annoyances the nForce has in store. I would not be surprised if I end up buying another Socket 462 board with VIA.

(I have a BX440 and Slot 1 P3 spare, which are operational but incompatible with the newer AGP afaik. I've got a gloriously slow PCI Banshee waiting for that eventual build...just wish I still had my old AGP 2x Voodoo 3)

Reply 5 of 21, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Brint wrote on 2022-07-19, 02:32:
Full 5700 and not LE apparently. TBH i'd prefer to just get another Ti 4200 as it's SO good, but getting pretty expensive. Thoug […]
Show full quote

Full 5700 and not LE apparently. TBH i'd prefer to just get another Ti 4200 as it's SO good, but getting pretty expensive. Thought I'd try out the last line of nVidia AGP cards instead.

The Vibra128 is the worst card among the lot by far

It is indeed a terrible card...rofl I didn't know it had emulated EAX though, classic. Agreed the Audigy 2 has a quality advantage, but my Live! has a Live Drive II front panel, which I foresee being rather persuasive for the final build.

Thanks for the advice, I shall see what annoyances the nForce has in store. I would not be surprised if I end up buying another Socket 462 board with VIA.

(I have a BX440 and Slot 1 P3 spare, which are operational but incompatible with the newer AGP afaik. I've got a gloriously slow PCI Banshee waiting for that eventual build...just wish I still had my old AGP 2x Voodoo 3)

The Geforce FX series supports 3.3v AGP and is compatible with 440BX boards .

EDIT: DOS Audio with an NForce board is pretty much a lost cause. The best you can hope for is FM sound with some PCI sound cards in some games . Digital wave will not work.

Reply 6 of 21, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Brint wrote on 2022-07-19, 02:32:

Full 5700 and not LE apparently. TBH i'd prefer to just get another Ti 4200 as it's SO good, but getting pretty expensive.

A 5900XT would offer a more noticeable performance boost, if you can get one cheap. But sadly, their prices are on the rise nowadays too. That said, a Ti4200 is plenty powerful for Win9x gaming, but a 5900XT would have the edge when using AA and AF.

Agreed the Audigy 2 has a quality advantage, but my Live! has a Live Drive II front panel, which I foresee being rather persuasive for the final build.

I like the extra inputs/outputs that a LiveDrive provides as well. One question, are you planning on using a surround speaker setup or just plain stereo? If you're going with 4.1 or 5.1 speakers, you'll run into an annoying issue with SBLive cards where they automatically expand stereo sources (e.g. DOS games) to all speakers. This sounds pretty bad to my ears.

Thanks for the advice, I shall see what annoyances the nForce has in store. I would not be surprised if I end up buying another Socket 462 board with VIA.

Be advised that some VIA chipsets may have issues with SBLive cards. I have never experienced this myself, despite using an SB0100 on a KT133A chipset, but many people have reported problems on such a setup. It's possible that later BIOS updates and newer 4-in-1 chipset drivers alleviate this somewhat.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 7 of 21, by Brint

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

One question, are you planning on using a surround speaker setup or just plain stereo?

Just stereo bookshelf monitors, keeping the retro setup simple these days (although I miss the old 4.1 Altec Lansings + mind-blowage of Half-Life EAX, good times)

Be advised that some VIA chipsets may have issues with SBLive cards

Cheers, noted. I've used Audigy 2 and AWE64 on my VIA board with no probs. It just occurred to me I haven't used the SBLive in decades, I'll see how it goes I guess.

The Geforce FX series supports 3.3v AGP and is compatible with 440BX boards .

Huh....woah I didn't even consider it. Just assumed it was all incompatible beyond that initial AGP standard. A quick google and yep, it looks like folks are running FX 5950 Ultras on their 440BXs, which kinda blows my mind.

I have a ABit BX6, used it to overclock the flying snot out of a Celeron 333a in the late 90s.

EDIT: DOS Audio with an NForce board is pretty much a lost cause.

Yeah...now that the 440BX route could be workable, I might end up relegating the nForce to a heathen XP-only build with a glorious ATI 9800 or something rofl.

Cheers for the solid info folks.

Reply 8 of 21, by happycube

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Looks like Vibra128 is a late devolution of the Ensoniq AudioPCI - if you want to go that way you might as well get an Ensoniq version.

For Win98 either the 5700 or 5600XT iff 45.23 can be talked into unofficially running on it.

Reply 9 of 21, by RandomStranger

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

My experience with the 5700 driverwise: Re: GeForce FX driver testing on an Intel 440EX summary and report

With the 5600XT you can use 45.23, but the 5700 is not supported.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 10 of 21, by SScorpio

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

If you're heart is set on using the Live Drive, an Audigy 1 had the same pin out and will work with a SB Live Drive, the Audigy 2 has a different connector. An official Audigy Live Drive just adds FireWire, and connects to an internal port on the card.

Socket 754 board aren't too expensive yet, and Athlon 64s run Win98 really well while giving full DOS sound compatibility with a VIA board.

IMO, XP is just to slow now days after patches. Core 2 or higher unlock it's full potential.

Reply 11 of 21, by Brint

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

an Audigy 1 had the same pin out and will work with a SB Live Drive,

Huh...interesting, I didn't know that either, although I did kinda suspect as much when eyeballing them. Definitely giving that a go then! I do happen to have a loose Audigy 1 (SB0090?) in the parts bin.

My experience with the 5700 driverwise: Re: GeForce FX driver testing on an Intel 440EX summary and report

Holy heck, cheers for the info gold mine - including that Thrash DLL for poor old NFS:HS, a game which will absolutely be installed on this machine.

Looks like I'll be following your lead and sticking with 56.64 on the FX5700.

Reply 12 of 21, by Ydee

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
SScorpio wrote on 2022-07-19, 04:26:

Socket 754 board aren't too expensive yet, and Athlon 64s run Win98 really well while giving full DOS sound compatibility with a VIA board.

+1
And, even on nForce chipsets, at least the substitute works in the form of SB16 emulation on Live! and Audigy cards. Sure, it's not much, but it plays and talks.

Reply 13 of 21, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Ydee wrote on 2022-07-19, 07:57:
SScorpio wrote on 2022-07-19, 04:26:

Socket 754 board aren't too expensive yet, and Athlon 64s run Win98 really well while giving full DOS sound compatibility with a VIA board.

+1
And, even on nForce chipsets, at least the substitute works in the form of SB16 emulation on Live! and Audigy cards. Sure, it's not much, but it plays and talks.

Are you certain of this ? I read that even the Live!/Audigy NMI based TSR solution for SB16 emulation does not work on Nforce .

Reply 14 of 21, by SScorpio

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
darry wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:37:

Are you certain of this ? I read that even the Live!/Audigy NMI based TSR solution for SB16 emulation does not work on Nforce .

They definitely have issues. I can't quite remember the specifics, but I had an Nforce 754 board with an SB Live 5.1. I tested SB16, OPL, and MPU401 from within Windows 98se. And while the games didn't error when I set up the Ports, IRQs, etc. But I didn't playback for at least a few of those. With a VIA board, all of them work fine.

Reply 15 of 21, by Ydee

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
darry wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:37:
Ydee wrote on 2022-07-19, 07:57:
SScorpio wrote on 2022-07-19, 04:26:

Socket 754 board aren't too expensive yet, and Athlon 64s run Win98 really well while giving full DOS sound compatibility with a VIA board.

+1
And, even on nForce chipsets, at least the substitute works in the form of SB16 emulation on Live! and Audigy cards. Sure, it's not much, but it plays and talks.

Are you certain of this ? I read that even the Live!/Audigy NMI based TSR solution for SB16 emulation does not work on Nforce .

I've also read that nForce chipsets can't be used for DOS games, but personally I have tested on nForce3 with Audigy that emulation of SB16 in Doom, Blood or Duke 3D games works without problems (both FX and sound) at least when running from a Windows environment.
Of course, I don't expect it to work 100% and with every DOS game (impossible), but for the ones I play, that's really enough, and I have a build with Turion as a dual boot with W98SE/WXP. VIA K8T800-890 will be the best choice in terms of DOS sound compatibility at s.754, but I don't have that and I'm not looking for that, I wanted to use just my "useless" MSI K8N.

Reply 16 of 21, by AlexZ

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I would not recommend newer than 45.23 drivers with Windows 98. For me it is the last driver with good Windows 98 game compatibility.

I would also agree with socket 754 being a very good choice for Windows 98 rig, much better than Socket A. Get stocked on them while they are still ridiculously cheap. The main issue of a shared Windows 98/XP rig is vastly different memory requirements. For Windows 98 you want max 512MB RAM, while for Windows XP it can be great to have 1GB RAM.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 512MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 17 of 21, by Ydee

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
AlexZ wrote on 2022-07-24, 12:30:

The main issue of a shared Windows 98/XP rig is vastly different memory requirements. For Windows 98 you want max 512MB RAM, while for Windows XP it can be great to have 1GB RAM.

This can be easily solved with PATCHMEM by R.Loew or manual editing by Config.sys and System.ini.

Reply 18 of 21, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Ydee wrote on 2022-07-24, 08:37:
darry wrote on 2022-07-19, 14:37:
Ydee wrote on 2022-07-19, 07:57:

+1
And, even on nForce chipsets, at least the substitute works in the form of SB16 emulation on Live! and Audigy cards. Sure, it's not much, but it plays and talks.

Are you certain of this ? I read that even the Live!/Audigy NMI based TSR solution for SB16 emulation does not work on Nforce .

I've also read that nForce chipsets can't be used for DOS games, but personally I have tested on nForce3 with Audigy that emulation of SB16 in Doom, Blood or Duke 3D games works without problems (both FX and sound) at least when running from a Windows environment.
Of course, I don't expect it to work 100% and with every DOS game (impossible), but for the ones I play, that's really enough, and I have a build with Turion as a dual boot with W98SE/WXP. VIA K8T800-890 will be the best choice in terms of DOS sound compatibility at s.754, but I don't have that and I'm not looking for that, I wanted to use just my "useless" MSI K8N.

Thank you for the info . nForce isn't really my thing these days as I like my Windows 9x builds to have good DOS audio capability and I'm also not a fan of Live!/Audigy SB16 emulation in general. For XP, I prefer much newer platforms .
This info will be of benefit to others, however.

Reply 19 of 21, by SScorpio

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
AlexZ wrote on 2022-07-24, 12:30:

I would also agree with socket 754 being a very good choice for Windows 98 rig, much better than Socket A. Get stocked on them while they are still ridiculously cheap. The main issue of a shared Windows 98/XP rig is vastly different memory requirements. For Windows 98 you want max 512MB RAM, while for Windows XP it can be great to have 1GB RAM.

With the ability to under-clock Athon 64s are great for 98. There is a small gap from a Pentium 233MMX to an Athlon 64 at a 5x multiplier. But a Pentium 2/3 is really the only good choice to go there, and they have gotten really expensive. Thankfully there aren't many games that have speed issues, so some people might not run into the issue. And you could always run them slower on the original Pentium as a last resort. But they are still very cheap, and will likely be the next thing to have the price start getting jacked up as they are approaching 20 years old. But being able to max out any late-era Super VGA DOS game as well as handle any Win9X game makes them a great choice. Get a GeForce 4 or FX and you are pretty much set. Even though the FX has bad D3D9 support, it's good enough to support Glide wrappers, so you can skip an expensive Voodoo card.

I recommend against them for XP though. Sure they can run it, but Core 2 and early i series CPUs are so much more powerful and are sometimes even less expensive. I personally stick to AGP for 98, so having a different PCI-E system for XP opens up a wide array of very fast and cheap GPUs that are able to run Crysis. 😁 I'm not a fan of Socket 939 there either, price wise they were great for their time. Now you can get much more power for the same price and similar system limitations.