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EISA Graphics / Video Cards

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Reply 80 of 108, by dogchainx

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At some point I'll do a comparison of this, along side its ISA sister Orchid card (I think I have an Orchid et4000ax isa...maybe its a Diamond).

I also have a 2MB version of the Compaq Qvision EISA card. 1280/E I think its called.

:edit I also have TWO Mach32 EISA cards as well. Forgot about those...So, in a few months I hope to have another comparison of three different EISA's i have, as well as some ISA and VLB versions of the cards, since I do have a VLB of the ET4000 (w32i though i think) and Mach32 VLB.

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Reply 81 of 108, by 386_junkie

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dogchainx wrote:

At some point I'll do a comparison of this, along side its ISA sister Orchid card (I think I have an Orchid et4000ax isa...maybe its a Diamond).

I also have a 2MB version of the Compaq Qvision EISA card. 1280/E I think its called.

:edit I also have TWO Mach32 EISA cards as well. Forgot about those...So, in a few months I hope to have another comparison of three different EISA's i have, as well as some ISA and VLB versions of the cards, since I do have a VLB of the ET4000 (w32i though i think) and Mach32 VLB.

Good to hear... I think it's great everyone chipping in together and share benchmarking. Once you have... I look forward to your findings.

If it is of interest, I did some benchmarking a while back: - EISA Graphics card benchmark results ... I have plans to revisit this project, especially now that I have another card or two in the collection.

You have two Mach 32's! It is good to have backup I suppose. I'm curious as I've not seen you mention, but will you have an ELSA card in the mix? I know there are two different variations of EISA card from them... the Winner 1000 turned out quite decent performance from my findings.

Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

EISA Graphic Cards ¦ EISA Graphic Card Benchmarks

Reply 82 of 108, by dogchainx

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386_junkie wrote:
Good to hear... I think it's great everyone chipping in together and share benchmarking. Once you have... I look forward to your […]
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dogchainx wrote:

At some point I'll do a comparison of this, along side its ISA sister Orchid card (I think I have an Orchid et4000ax isa...maybe its a Diamond).

I also have a 2MB version of the Compaq Qvision EISA card. 1280/E I think its called.

:edit I also have TWO Mach32 EISA cards as well. Forgot about those...So, in a few months I hope to have another comparison of three different EISA's i have, as well as some ISA and VLB versions of the cards, since I do have a VLB of the ET4000 (w32i though i think) and Mach32 VLB.

Good to hear... I think it's great everyone chipping in together and share benchmarking. Once you have... I look forward to your findings.

If it is of interest, I did some benchmarking a while back: - EISA Graphics card benchmark results ... I have plans to revisit this project, especially now that I have another card or two in the collection.

You have two Mach 32's! It is good to have backup I suppose. I'm curious as I've not seen you mention, but will you have an ELSA card in the mix? I know there are two different variations of EISA card from them... the Winner 1000 turned out quite decent performance from my findings.

Elsa Winner 1000 and 2000 (never seen one for sale) are just too $$$$$$$$$ for my tastes. The Mach32s were by far just absolute luck....one was on forsale website half way across the world and the other a misnamed Ebay auction. And the ET4000ax...well...I really can't remember where I got it. It was a long time ago. The Compaq QVision 1280/E was just a fluke too, as it was just listed as the part number on ebay.

I have ELSA on my saved ebay search, but I seriously doubt I'll want to pay through the nose for another unicorn.

386DX-40MHz-8MB-540MB+428MB+Speedstar64@2MB+SoundBlaster Pro+MT-32/MKII
486DX2-66Mhz-16MB-4.3GB+SpeedStar64 VLB DRAM 2MB+AWE32/SB16+SCB-55
MY BLOG RETRO PC BLOG: https://bitbyted.wordpress.com/

Reply 83 of 108, by 386_junkie

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dogchainx wrote:

Elsa Winner 1000 and 2000 (never seen one for sale) are just too $$$$$$$$$ for my tastes. The Mach32s were by far just absolute luck....one was on forsale website half way across the world and the other a misnamed Ebay auction. And the ET4000ax...well...I really can't remember where I got it. It was a long time ago. The Compaq QVision 1280/E was just a fluke too, as it was just listed as the part number on ebay.

I have ELSA on my saved ebay search, but I seriously doubt I'll want to pay through the nose for another unicorn.

Yeah i've got lucky on some misnamed auctions in the past. Two of the best were a boxed 2MB Trio 64 VLB and the STB Nitro ISA... both for around $5. Couldn't believe it at the time and surprised they were not noticed. Still, that ET4000AX is awesome... a unicorn in itself.

I managed to find the ELSA card you're talking about... it looks not too bad, but you're right, trying to limit the number of unicorns I bid for these days, spent quite a bit recently... though will see how it goes.

Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

EISA Graphic Cards ¦ EISA Graphic Card Benchmarks

Reply 84 of 108, by dogchainx

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386_junkie wrote:
dogchainx wrote:

Elsa Winner 1000 and 2000 (never seen one for sale) are just too $$$$$$$$$ for my tastes. The Mach32s were by far just absolute luck....one was on forsale website half way across the world and the other a misnamed Ebay auction. And the ET4000ax...well...I really can't remember where I got it. It was a long time ago. The Compaq QVision 1280/E was just a fluke too, as it was just listed as the part number on ebay.

I have ELSA on my saved ebay search, but I seriously doubt I'll want to pay through the nose for another unicorn.

Yeah i've got lucky on some misnamed auctions in the past. Two of the best were a boxed 2MB Trio 64 VLB and the STB Nitro ISA... both for around $5. Couldn't believe it at the time and surprised they were not noticed. Still, that ET4000AX is awesome... a unicorn in itself.

I managed to find the ELSA card you're talking about... it looks not too bad, but you're right, trying to limit the number of unicorns I bid for these days, spent quite a bit recently... though will see how it goes.

That's AWESOME! From what I gather, ELSA was big in Europe (Germany mostly??) and not much in the states. So there's a better chance of scoring one from there (lucky bastards).

We'll have to combine benchmarks (improvement %) once I get moved into my house.

386DX-40MHz-8MB-540MB+428MB+Speedstar64@2MB+SoundBlaster Pro+MT-32/MKII
486DX2-66Mhz-16MB-4.3GB+SpeedStar64 VLB DRAM 2MB+AWE32/SB16+SCB-55
MY BLOG RETRO PC BLOG: https://bitbyted.wordpress.com/

Reply 85 of 108, by eisapc

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dogchainx wrote:

That's AWESOME! From what I gather, ELSA was big in Europe (Germany mostly??) and not much in the states. So there's a better chance of scoring one from there (lucky bastards).

Right, ELSA was one of the three big german graphic card manufaturers, SPEA and MIRO being the other two.
All three were big in professional graphic boards for CAD and shut down their business after the market was flooded with cheap windows accelerators.
I was lucky to grab a box of engineering samples from them shortly before their bancruptcy.

Reply 86 of 108, by Madowax

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dogchainx wrote on 2019-04-24, 13:46:

Elsa Winner 1000 and 2000 (never seen one for sale) are just too $$$$$$$$$ for my tastes. The Mach32s were by far just absolute luck....one was on forsale website half way across the world and the other a misnamed Ebay auction. And the ET4000ax...well...I really can't remember where I got it. It was a long time ago. The Compaq QVision 1280/E was just a fluke too, as it was just listed as the part number on ebay.

I have ELSA on my saved ebay search, but I seriously doubt I'll want to pay through the nose for another unicorn.

I have both the Winner(s), I use them on my Intel Xpress XBASE8TE8F (original INTEL DESKSIDE, the server version Xpress mainboard) with the 486DX-50 CPU Module, the WINER 2000 with its 170 Mhz RAMDAC has a superb Video Quality and its acceleration is very nice under windows 3.11, super snappy even at 1024*768*32bpp. Under dos is good but I can't test it at full speed using the 486dx-50 cpu module and unfortunately I don't have a pentium cpu module for the Xpress system. I overclocked the dx-50 @66 once and the winner 2000 gained a lot, I replaced the dx-50 with a dx2-66 @80 mhz and it was even faster, so I guess the top results are to be measured with a pentium cpu module, even better if you got one of the latest XPRESS mobo revision with the MECA v3.0 INTEL EISA CHIPSET which supports FAST EISA.

Reply 87 of 108, by Anonymous Coward

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I once had a Winner 2000. I imported it from Germany around 2005. Even back then it cost me about $100. I think this might be pretty much the ideal card for a system with only EISA slots, but in my experience it will have its ass handed to it by any VLB card in DOS (my EISA boards have VLB slots too). Too bad I didn't record benchmark results before selling it.

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Reply 88 of 108, by mpe

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I have Winner 1000 too. The one with S3-928 and both EISA and ISA connector.

Funny thing is that at least in DOS there seems to be almost no difference between ISA and EISA configuration. In fact ISA seems to be a hair faster for stuff like DOOM framerate. On the other hand in Windows the EISA has a small edge (like 3.75 vs 3.65 M wimarks). This is on Intel 82358DT chipset and 486 DX-50.

All of these scores are way slower than an average VL-Bus card.

Is there something about EISA buffering/complexity that makes the EISA bus unsuitable for graphics? Or is it just that DOS VGA cannot fully utilise 32bit bus transfers?

Anyone here seen a noticeable EISA VGA improvement over an equivalent ISA card at anything?

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Reply 89 of 108, by Madowax

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mpe wrote on 2020-01-20, 13:25:
I have Winner 1000 too. The one with S3-928 and both EISA and ISA connector. […]
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I have Winner 1000 too. The one with S3-928 and both EISA and ISA connector.

Funny thing is that at least in DOS there seems to be almost no difference between ISA and EISA configuration. In fact ISA seems to be a hair faster for stuff like DOOM framerate. On the other hand in Windows the EISA has a small edge (like 3.75 vs 3.65 M wimarks). This is on Intel 82358DT chipset and 486 DX-50.

All of these scores are way slower than an average VL-Bus card.

Is there something about EISA buffering/complexity that makes the EISA bus unsuitable for graphics? Or is it just that DOS VGA cannot fully utilise 32bit bus transfers?

Anyone here seen a noticeable EISA VGA improvement over an equivalent ISA card at anything?

I can benchmark a trio64 and a trio32 vlb against both Winners on my OPTIEISA system with a 3x50Mhz AM5x86, that should remove the dx-50 bottleneck limit, so we can compare them with a bit more cpu power at disposal. I still think VLB will win hands down, but it could be interesting. What do you think?

Reply 90 of 108, by mpe

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By all means do it. I predict that any Trio on VLB will be vastly superior to any chip you can have on the EISA bus.

My theory why EISA cards perform poorly in DOS is that in order to use the benefits of EISA the app must be doing 32bit writes.

When doing 8/16bit writes as is common in DOS the EISA is just more complicated ISA with the same low frequency. That's why EISA is often even slower than ISA.

When I compared my Winner 1000 in EISA and ISA the only low-level tests that were showing some improvements were 32bit BitBlt operations between RAM and VRAM. Even these were just 15-20% faster at most. Everything else was the same or slower on EISA.

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Reply 91 of 108, by Disruptor

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mpe wrote on 2020-02-14, 15:34:

... My theory why EISA cards perform poorly in DOS is that in order to use the benefits of EISA the app must be doing 32bit writes. ...

Indeed.

Reply 92 of 108, by Swiego

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Hello, I have a question. If I have an EISA/PCI system, is there any reason to not choose the PCI option for a video card? My main Pentium PC offers both buses. I currently have the ATI EISA adapter but am wondering if I would be better off with any of the slew of PCI options out there. DOS/W98.

Reply 93 of 108, by matze79

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Go PCI if you want Speed, EISA is slower

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Reply 94 of 108, by Madowax

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mpe wrote on 2020-02-14, 15:34:
By all means do it. I predict that any Trio on VLB will be vastly superior to any chip you can have on the EISA bus. […]
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By all means do it. I predict that any Trio on VLB will be vastly superior to any chip you can have on the EISA bus.

My theory why EISA cards perform poorly in DOS is that in order to use the benefits of EISA the app must be doing 32bit writes.

When doing 8/16bit writes as is common in DOS the EISA is just more complicated ISA with the same low frequency. That's why EISA is often even slower than ISA.

When I compared my Winner 1000 in EISA and ISA the only low-level tests that were showing some improvements were 32bit BitBlt operations between RAM and VRAM. Even these were just 15-20% faster at most. Everything else was the same or slower on EISA.

Still in dos an EISA SCSI controller reaches almost 16megabytes/s transfer rate in 256kb sequential sectors read test, ISA one don't even get near half that result, if I'm not mistaken. Couldn't be the graphics chipsets used on the most common EISA vga cards which are best suited for windows acceleration and are crippled in dos.

Reply 95 of 108, by mpe

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Yes. But SCSI Controllers or NICs are a different sort of animals. They communicate to the CPU differently than graphic cards do. They tend to benefit from bus mastering, burst mode, 32bit access, buffering, more advanced bus arbitration and other tricks EISA brings.

For low-res video DOS tasks these improvements doesn't matter that much. What matters most is the host interface speed (how fast can CPU write to the frame-buffer and only in that direction) + to lesser extent VGA register speed (how fast can you flip banks, etc.). While EISA cards don't use "modern" chips, it doesn't matter that much in DOS either. There is no acceleration in DOS and everything is pushed by the CPU over the bus through VGA registers or linear frame-buffer. There is even very little difference between different chipsets, 32 and 64bit RAM interface, DRAM and VRAM. If you overclock MCLK from 50 to 90 MHz there is almost no improvement in DOS games framerate...

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Reply 96 of 108, by Madowax

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First results:

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Trio64 Spea Mirage 64 VLB 2MB Dram

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Elsa Winner 1000 Twinbus 2 MB Vram ISA side

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Elsa Winner 1000 Twinbus 2 MB Vram EISA side

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WesternDigital 90c31 1MB DRAM ISA

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Genoa Tseng ET4000 1MB DRAM ISA

System config:
TMC PET48PN EISA+VLB Motherboard
AMD 5x86 150 Mhz (50x3) WT
256KB 2nd Level Cache WB
8MB Ram FPM with parity

Reply 97 of 108, by mpe

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Thanks for sharing these results. Confirms the expectation above that there is almost no difference between ISA and EISA as far as 16bit banked VGA writes are concerned.

You can also test vidspeed 4 and I bet the card in EISA mode will see slight improvement when using 32bit writes over ISA. But nowhere close to VL-BUS/PCI gains.

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Reply 99 of 108, by eisapc

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Looking for something else I stumbled across this beauty I allready forgot about.
The before mentioned Matrox Magic.
Anybody has an idea what graphic chip is hiding under the heatsink?
Still not sure if it is a graphics board or a framegrabber due to the large number of asics.
I did not prove it working yet, but drivers are still availiable at matrox ftp.

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