Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-3-30 @ 22:50

Hi guys,

Recently I have built and configured this pc that's now finished:

h500c a.jpg


h500c b.jpg


Some of its specifications:

- Soltek SL65FV+ S370 motherboard (VIA Apollo Pro 133), recapped
- Intel Pentium III 866 MHz CPU
- 512 MB PC133 RAM
- NVIDIA Quadro4 380XGL AGP graphics card
- Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI sound card
- Windows 98 SE with SP3
- NVIDIA Detonator 43.45

I have built this pc for the purpose of playing old 2000'ish games. One of my all time favorites is NFS Porsche 2000 (Unleashed in U.S.). That has to be one of the best racing games of all time, because of the level of depth and details that it has. It really is more a simulator, like GT6, than an ordinary racing game like NFS Underground. I have spent way too many hours as a teenager playing NFS Porsche (liked cars as a kid, still do). Back in the day I got frustrated eventually, because the game failed to load the main menu after a certain amount of hours playing it. I bought another copy of the game and even that newer copy had the same problem. In the end I sold the games together with some other games. Luckily recently I got some opportunities to buy pretty much everything that I once had back :blush:

So far I have figured out that NFS Porsche does not work with DirectX 9. Currently I play the game using (besides patch 3.5) the above setup, DirectX 7.0a from the original CD-ROM and NVIDIA Detonator 43.45, which seems to be the oldest one I could find that supports the Quadro4 380XGL (which I believe is a professional and slightly better Geforce4 MX440). According to Phil's computer lab old games seem to perform better with more period correct graphics cards and drivers, so there you go. My configuration works 'ok' at 1280x1024p with all details maximized. I write 'ok', because in some scenes, mainly when a lot of cars in fast moving action are on the screen, the frame rate does decrease to lower than 30fps. I now have a couple questions:

- Can upgrading to DirectX 8.2 improve the frame rate?
- Is it possible that my CPU and/or GPU is the bottleneck?

I'm planning to build more PIII pc's soon and have newer parts like a GF4 Ti4200, Ti4600, GF5 FX5900XT, GF6 6200, 6600GT and some Tualatin motherboards and CPU's over here. Any ideas about what would be optimal for this game?
Last edited by SpectriaForce on 2018-3-31 @ 22:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2018-3-30 @ 23:20

Nice build! I love Porsche Unleashed as well! I remember playing it quite a bit back then with an old Thrustmaster Nascar (non force feedback) wheel. My favorite cars to race were actually the early 356 and then the 944 since they were slower and tended not to spin out so much. This was one of the few times I really enjoyed playing a game with a manual transmission (if you can call it that with an up\down toggle shifter).

I'm not 100% sure of my PC specs when I played that game the most, but it was either my Gateway with a 400Mhz P2 + Voodoo 3, Athlon 750 Slot A + Geforce 2 GTS or maybe an Athlon TBird 1333 + Ti 4600.

It seems like it should run fine on your system, and DirectX 7.0a is a good version for Windows 98SE and pre-2002 games. To be honest, I'm not really convinced that any service packs or updates beyond the standard 98SE installation are required for retro gaming... the OS had to have gotten more bloated and some of the unofficial additions to the recent service packs could cause problems (though I can't personally name anything specific).

I'd try the 28.32 nvidia drivers since those were a bit earlier and more likely to be built with your setup in mind.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby brostenen » 2018-3-31 @ 00:57

I had the best results, using dx7a. And one of the following cards: TNT2-Ultra, Matrox-g400-max and Voodoo3-3500. Shure V3-300, normal g400 and TNT2-Pro will cut it. Though fastest card before things begin to make gfx gliches (like how green the burnout smoke is) are GF2 cards. The best result was TNT2-Ultra, and a beefy CPU. (Like AthlonXP 2400)
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby RogueTrip2012 » 2018-3-31 @ 04:03

Porsche 2k starts under DX9 for me. Is there something missing using DX9 for you? I have not played much of nfs5 though but have beat NFS3/4/UG1/UG2/Carbon/MW...

I believe NFS 3/4/5 could benefit with EAX soundcard (Soundblaster live!/ audigy). Don't know how your Via chipset would like them though.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby derSammler » 2018-3-31 @ 07:53

RogueTrip2012 wrote:Porsche 2k starts under DX9 for me.

Same here. Tested it once on my P4 with a GF2 GTS and DirectX 9. Worked fine, but I have to admit that I don't like it and deinstalled it in the meantime. High Stakes was as good as the NFS series ever got, imo.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-3-31 @ 20:03

Ozzuneoj wrote:I'd try the 28.32 nvidia drivers since those were a bit earlier and more likely to be built with your setup in mind.


They don't support my Quadro4 380XGL (at least not to my best knowledge).
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-3-31 @ 20:07

brostenen wrote:I had the best results, using dx7a. And one of the following cards: TNT2-Ultra, Matrox-g400-max and Voodoo3-3500. Shure V3-300, normal g400 and TNT2-Pro will cut it. Though fastest card before things begin to make gfx gliches (like how green the burnout smoke is) are GF2 cards. The best result was TNT2-Ultra, and a beefy CPU. (Like AthlonXP 2400)


What was the resolution, color depth and detail settings? I have everything 'maxed out' :blush: but my setup struggles in more demanding action scenes, such as the track Schwarzwald with many cars, smoke, lights, detailed textures etc.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-3-31 @ 20:12

RogueTrip2012 wrote:Porsche 2k starts under DX9 for me. Is there something missing using DX9 for you? I have not played much of nfs5 though but have beat NFS3/4/UG1/UG2/Carbon/MW...

I believe NFS 3/4/5 could benefit with EAX soundcard (Soundblaster live!/ audigy). Don't know how your Via chipset would like them though.


I am not 100% confident DX9 is a problem, it could also be the newer Forceware driver. I can't just install DX9 with the old Detonator driver and try it out, because when it doesn't work, I will need to reinstall everything (once DirectX is upgraded, you can't just downgrade).

Anyway, so far DX7a seems to work fine, but I wonder whether DX8.x can improve graphics performance.

I have some SB Lives over here, but my goal was to first build a relatively low end pc and see what it can do. So far I'm really happy with the Ensoniq AudioPCI, it's a good sound card, at least when connected to an external amplifier and some good stereo speakers.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby brostenen » 2018-3-31 @ 20:35

SpectriaForce wrote:
brostenen wrote:I had the best results, using dx7a. And one of the following cards: TNT2-Ultra, Matrox-g400-max and Voodoo3-3500. Shure V3-300, normal g400 and TNT2-Pro will cut it. Though fastest card before things begin to make gfx gliches (like how green the burnout smoke is) are GF2 cards. The best result was TNT2-Ultra, and a beefy CPU. (Like AthlonXP 2400)


What was the resolution, color depth and detail settings? I have everything 'maxed out' :blush: but my setup struggles in more demanding action scenes, such as the track Schwarzwald with many cars, smoke, lights, detailed textures etc.


I ran the resolution at 800x600, and everything else maxed out. Though only with one extra opponents. (old habit from when I played against a friend on lan, back in 2000/01) This however was on my AthlonXP 2400 setup, that I had at that time, running purely on those three brand of cards. You know. G400-Max, V3-3500 and TNT2-Ultra. I suspect the game demands a lot of CPU power, yet want's a DX6/DX7 card for best image quality. I don't know if any of those cards are DX6 only cards, yet they run perfect in NFS-Porche with DX7 installed on the system. Regarding the green tinted smoke, then it is the most difficult to get grey. Some DX7 cards still have a slight green tint to the grey smoke. GF2 cards still deliver nearly perfect results. Voodoo 4 and 5 are perhaps the newest cards that still deliver a 100% perfect result. Just do as I did, and use a generous amount of CPU horse power, if you want the best machine for this game only.

EDIT:
For the record, then I use DX7 only for any Win98se setup. Drivers that I use are everything from version/series 2x and up to 4x.
Then I do some quick benchmarks on each hardware setup, and run with the one that delivers the best result.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby Atom Ant » 2018-3-31 @ 20:48

Best car game ever! The game where i could enjoy every car, they are so realistic. Some cars are real challange to drive, while others are easier to handle. But even the most difficult ones could be learned how to drive. No car games like that since. Maybe the GTA IV, which gives some driving enjoyment / physics. It is also teaching the history from 1950 to 2000, which really unique thing. Awesome tuning options, trading, repairing cars... Old rare cars cheap in the beginning, than they going to increase their value, fantastic.
However I would reccommend 3dfx instead Nvidia to maximalize graphics quality. It was a 3dfx game and it is running in the prettiest quality from Voodoo 3 and up. I remember i said it is ahead of competition by 2 years if not 3 in terms of graphics. I never understood how could Nvidia destroy 3dfx... Later i played also with some more modern GPU, like geforce 4 ti 4600, even Radeon 9700pro. I realized quality was not the same than with my old Voodoo 3 2000. Since I have a dedicated Voodoo 5 5500 AGP machine just for this game :).

Update:
It actually did not had big CPU need. A Celeron 700MHz was perfectly enough with overclocked Voodoo 3 2000 for 1024x768. With Voodoo 5, even an obsolate 300MHz Pentium II was smooth.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-3-31 @ 22:45

Well I have just tested some settings:

- Setting (lowering) the resolution to 1024x768p with 32-bit colors increases frame rate and gets rid of green tire smoke
- Enabling AA and AF in the NVIDIA detonator driver significantly decreases frame rate but man those textures look gorgeous :blush:
- Everything 'maxed out' (so that means 1280x1024p, 16-bit colors *there's no 32-bit colors on that resolution*, car detail=high, car lighting=high, world rendering quality=very high, view distance=very high, headlights=vertex, lens flare=on, sky rendering=high, AA=4x, AF=2x and texture sharpening=enabled) means that the frame rate decreases to about 15fps I guess (are there any fps counters for this game?), which makes the game just playable on my setup, but of course it's way too slow.

I don't think this game can run anywhere near at 'maxed out settings' using something like a regular TNT2, not even on a GF2 Ti or Ultra. This game has to be well ahead of its time, which is exactly what I have always believed :cool: I look forward to testing this game with some more horsepower :wink:
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-3-31 @ 23:27

Atom Ant wrote:Best car game ever! The game where i could enjoy every car, they are so realistic. Some cars are real challange to drive, while others are easier to handle. But even the most difficult ones could be learned how to drive. No car games like that since. Maybe the GTA IV, which gives some driving enjoyment / physics. It is also teaching the history from 1950 to 2000, which really unique thing. Awesome tuning options, trading, repairing cars... Old rare cars cheap in the beginning, than they going to increase their value, fantastic.
However I would reccommend 3dfx instead Nvidia to maximalize graphics quality. It was a 3dfx game and it is running in the prettiest quality from Voodoo 3 and up. I remember i said it is ahead of competition by 2 years if not 3 in terms of graphics. I never understood how could Nvidia destroy 3dfx... Later i played also with some more modern GPU, like geforce 4 ti 4600, even Radeon 9700pro. I realized quality was not the same than with my old Voodoo 3 2000. Since I have a dedicated Voodoo 5 5500 AGP machine just for this game :).

Update:
It actually did not had big CPU need. A Celeron 700MHz was perfectly enough with overclocked Voodoo 3 2000 for 1024x768. With Voodoo 5, even an obsolate 300MHz Pentium II was smooth.


I would say that Gran Turismo 6 comes closest to the (driving simulator) experience of NFS Porsche, but that's a PS3 game.. The handling of the cars is very realistic. The tail happy early Porsche 911 models behave like you would expect and a front engine car with gearbox in the rear like the 944 behaves very neutral with a little bit of understeer. Excellent!

I'm still waiting for a new pc driving simulator, but all new race games are true race games, without much realism and often unrealistic handling (I drive real cars, so I know how cars handle and many race games just s*ck in that).

I have two different big box versions of this game (EU Porsche 2000) and both say I need Direct3D, which is a Microsoft API. It doesn't mention Glide or Voodoo support. To my best knowledge Glide wasn't really a big thing anymore by the year 2000 (sorry Voodoo fanboys out there..).
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby Mike V8 » 2018-4-01 @ 00:25

I did some benchmarks and discovered that in order to run this game maxed out 1600x1200/32 you need at least GeForce2 GTS, for 1024x768/32 you're good to go with GeForce256.

Also the game is quite CPU intensive in the beginning of the race (as you start last in most cases), dropping fps to 10-20's for Pentium III 500 Katmai, as you leave your opponents behind fps settles down in 50-60s
600MHz Coppermine Pentium III will be a good start for this game.

The game is pretty picky to the drivers. I tested under Windows 2000 Professional. Detonator from 8.05 to 23.11 are good, anything newer would reduce performance and limit you in 32-bit resolutions over 1024x768

I also tried the game under Windows 98 with Voodoo2 SLI. It runs okay in medium but obviously the graphics is too complex even for two Voodoos.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby Atom Ant » 2018-4-01 @ 05:06

Spectriaforce:
Exactly, but i do not know about GT6. I tried GT4 and GT5 on PS and they were far from driving experiences from NFS 5. GT6 was more simulation? After this Porsche Unleashed, I was waiting for each new episode of NFS and all dissappointed me unfortunately.
It is a directX game and up to Directx 7 a Voodoo 3 and hihger had better picture in games than a not 3dfx card. Especially true for this game, there were difference in color and every fine details. With Voodoo 5 you can max out in 1600x with AA enabled 4x. Also the AA was smoothest by 3dfx.

MikeV8,
Yepp, no such a driver problems with 3dfx... Try with V5 and you will be suprised the game do not even has cpu need :). I think in the collage we pulled a geforce 256 for a Voodoo 5. Only because of this game. All the mates were suprised how beautiful and smooth it become and that machine had the 300mhz p2 cpu. We did not played 1600 (the monitor did not support), but 1024 everything on maximum.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby brostenen » 2018-4-01 @ 08:10

Regarding the CPU demand. It is linked to the render of each opponents visible. Once they are lost in the rear mirror, then things smooth up. Try braking in the middle of the lap, and wait for them to show up. Then things will slow down again. Then try removing any opponents, and you will see that things are all smooth. Well... Depending on the hardware being used. :-D

Yup... GF2-GTS/Pro/Ultra might be the perfect card for that sweetspot of performance versus image quality.

I never run with more than two opponents my self. On a K6-3 system, I ran with one opponent and in 640x480-16bit. That was on both V3 and TNT2.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby brostenen » 2018-4-01 @ 08:15

Atom Ant wrote:Spectriaforce:
Exactly, but i do not know about GT6. I tried GT4 and GT5 on PS and they were far from driving experiences from NFS 5. GT6 was more simulation? After this Porsche Unleashed, I was waiting for each new episode of NFS and all dissappointed me unfortunately.
It is a directX game and up to Directx 7 a Voodoo 3 and hihger had better picture in games than a not 3dfx card. Especially true for this game, there were difference in color and every fine details. With Voodoo 5 you can max out in 1600x with AA enabled 4x. Also the AA was smoothest by 3dfx.

MikeV8,
Yepp, no such a driver problems with 3dfx... Try with V5 and you will be suprised the game do not even has cpu need :). I think in the collage we pulled a geforce 256 for a Voodoo 5. Only because of this game. All the mates were suprised how beautiful and smooth it become and that machine had the 300mhz p2 cpu. We did not played 1600 (the monitor did not support), but 1024 everything on maximum.


Gran Turismo is simulation (as well as that XBOX equivelant), NFS Porche are an simulation/arcade mix.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby Atom Ant » 2018-4-01 @ 10:52

brostenen wrote:Gran Turismo is simulation (as well as that XBOX equivelant), NFS Porche are an simulation/arcade mix.


I do not know of GT6 or Xbox equivelant, but GT4 and GT5 is arcade. Ohh, and somebody remember for Hard Truck 2? That was an another good simulator, but we drove Trucks...
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-4-01 @ 12:41

Mike V8 wrote:I did some benchmarks and discovered that in order to run this game maxed out 1600x1200/32 you need at least GeForce2 GTS, for 1024x768/32 you're good to go with GeForce256.

Also the game is quite CPU intensive in the beginning of the race (as you start last in most cases), dropping fps to 10-20's for Pentium III 500 Katmai, as you leave your opponents behind fps settles down in 50-60s
600MHz Coppermine Pentium III will be a good start for this game.

The game is pretty picky to the drivers. I tested under Windows 2000 Professional. Detonator from 8.05 to 23.11 are good, anything newer would reduce performance and limit you in 32-bit resolutions over 1024x768

I also tried the game under Windows 98 with Voodoo2 SLI. It runs okay in medium but obviously the graphics is too new even for two Voodoos.


In my NFS Porsche 2000 I don’t have a setting for 1600x1200p with 32-bit colors. Perhaps that’s because I use a 1280x1024p screen. So I can’t test that setting. 1600x1200 screens must have been very unusual back in the year 2000.

What program do you use for benchmarking?

I think that in evolution mode you get a good idea of how demanding this game really is, because you always race against 6 (or 7?) opponents and get to see every track and drive in every car. The fast cars test the graphics card to the extremes.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-4-01 @ 12:51

Atom Ant wrote:Spectriaforce:
Exactly, but i do not know about GT6. I tried GT4 and GT5 on PS and they were far from driving experiences from NFS 5. GT6 was more simulation? After this Porsche Unleashed, I was waiting for each new episode of NFS and all dissappointed me unfortunately.
It is a directX game and up to Directx 7 a Voodoo 3 and hihger had better picture in games than a not 3dfx card. Especially true for this game, there were difference in color and every fine details. With Voodoo 5 you can max out in 1600x with AA enabled 4x. Also the AA was smoothest by 3dfx.

MikeV8,
Yepp, no such a driver problems with 3dfx... Try with V5 and you will be suprised the game do not even has cpu need :). I think in the collage we pulled a geforce 256 for a Voodoo 5. Only because of this game. All the mates were suprised how beautiful and smooth it become and that machine had the 300mhz p2 cpu. We did not played 1600 (the monitor did not support), but 1024 everything on maximum.


GT6 is very similar to GT4 and GT5, but with updated graphics, tracks, cars and dashboard view.

I don’t have a Voodoo 5. So far I assume that a GF4 Ti 4600 is needed to play this game with everything on & maxed out. I’ll need to test it though. I really cannot believe a GF2 Ultra is enough (which is only a little bit better than a GF4 MX440) when you see that frame rate significantly decreases when multiple cars in fast moving action are on the screen.
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Re: Best hardware for Need For Speed Porsche 2000 / Unleashed

Postby Atom Ant » 2018-4-01 @ 13:30

It is a year 2000 game, so a Geforce 2 Ultra is perfectly fine for speed vise. Geforce 4 ti 4600 is for more modern games, like for NFS 6, GTA 3 and for the Return to the castle Wolfeinstein. However go ahead and test it and you will see what is the best for you.
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Intel PR440FX - Pentium Pro 200MHz 512K, Matrox Millenium I 4MB, Creative 3D Blaster Voodoo II 12MB SLI, 128MB EDO RAM, Creative Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold, 4x Creative CD reader, Windows 95...
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