Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

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Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Godlike » 2017-1-13 @ 16:50

Hello everyone
I recently acquired one of late socket 3 motherboards. Motherboard comes with AMD DX4-100Mhz CPU.
My plan is to build MS-DOS 6.22 or WIndows 3.11 system.
I'm not sure what brand of this motherboard is, what manufacturer made it at all.

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I will be grateful if someone could help me identify this motherboard
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Jade Falcon » 2017-1-13 @ 17:01

ATI match 32 or 64. Maybe a s3 virge? or trio?
That's my picks.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby clueless1 » 2017-1-13 @ 17:07

If you don't care about period correctness, the TNT2 M64 PCI is one of the fastest in DOS games, and very compatible with the era of games you'd be playing. Other fast, compatible PCI options are S3 Virge/DX/GX, and CL-GD5446. Another fast, non-period-correct option is Voodoo3 or Banshee PCI.

If you intend to do Win3.1, keep in mind that the newer cards probably won't have Win3.1 drivers.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Godlike » 2017-1-13 @ 17:17

Here's the selection of graphics I mentioned for this system:

ATI Mach64 ISA

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Diamond Stealth 64 DRAM PCI (S3 Trio64)

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Diamond Stealth VRAM ISA (first card of Diamond Stealth line I presume)

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Matrox Ultima PCI (IS-ATLAS R1)

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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Godlike » 2017-1-13 @ 17:22

I am condemned to choose between thos graphics, I'm affraid.
This must be graphics supported in MS DOS of course, better to stick with that era period. No big difference like Voodoo 3.
I have to choose between this four graphics as I have no other close to that era.
What would you suggest and why?
Will be nice to pick graphics that have support for various MS-DOS games and other multimedia stuff
EDIT: Diamond Stealth VRAM ISA looks nice to me.
What is most valuable card in this collection?
What do you think?
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby clueless1 » 2017-1-13 @ 17:36

Trio64 is the best choice IMO. You want PCI, and between that and the Matrox Ultima, the S3 is faster and more compatible.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Godlike » 2017-1-13 @ 17:40

Both cards are equipped with S3 chip, both from Diamond Multimedia. What about Stealth VRAM? I heard that MS-DOS likes VRAM, Windows like DRAM
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby clueless1 » 2017-1-13 @ 17:53

The PCI version is the one you want. Not the ISA. The increase in bus speed will more than offset any difference between VRAM and DRAM.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Nvm1 » 2017-1-13 @ 18:10

It's a beauty that motherboard, made by Intel judging by the Lay-out. Photo is a bit unsharp to see all details (prints on the chips etc).

For a Graphics card my choice would be the PCI S3, like clueless said it will blow away the ISA cards who are hampered by the ISA bus limit.
If you may find a cheap isa Cirrus Logic then that is a good choice too seeing how compatible they are overall. :happy:
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby jade_angel » 2017-1-13 @ 18:22

Another decent choice, if you can find one, might be a PCI Rage 128 or Radeon (Standard, DDR, 7500 or VE, probably not a later one), though you may have difficulty finding drivers for Win3.1 or OS/2. IIRC, Matrox made a PCI G400 also, which might be a good call, though apparently the G400 has some weirdnesses in some DOS games (Commander Keen?)

Of the cards you showed, the PCI S3 Trio would be my top choice by far. PCI > ISA for graphics, unless you're comparing a screamer of an ISA chip (ET4000, etc) against a stinkerino of a PCI chip (Trident 9680, say), and even then, the PCI card might still have the edge.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Godlike » 2017-1-13 @ 18:26

Actually, I realise that cards are from years:
Matrox Ultima-> 1993
S3 Diamond Stealth64 PCI -> 1994
ATI Mach64 ISA 1994
Diamond Stealth VRAM ISA 1992

I would be correct to choose Diamond Stealth (S3 Trio64) as you wrote, DX4 CPU have been released in 1994 too.
Let me do some more hires pictures of motherboard itself
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby brostenen » 2017-1-13 @ 18:35

My personal picks for a system such as that are:

- S3 Trio64v+
- Cirrus Logic 5446
- S3 Virge 325

All with at least 2mb of ram. Nice board by the way. Never seen a layout quite like that.

EDIT:
Love the layout even more. You can have at least 1 full length PCI and 3 ull length ISA cards
in a system, using that board.
Last edited by brostenen on 2017-1-13 @ 18:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby TheMobRules » 2017-1-13 @ 18:36

Go with the PCI S3. The improvement of PCI over ISA alone is going to be more significant than any other thing in this case. The DRAM vs VRAM thing doesn't really matter too much. Besides, if I remember correctly DRAM performs slightly better than VRAM in DOS (while the opposite holds true for Windows).

Maybe the Matrox could be a good option too, but you're definitely going to have less compatibility issues with the S3.

EDIT: interesting board you got there. The Intel chipset (not that common in the 486 era) and the auxiliary PCI power connector lead me to think that it may be an Intel board, maybe made for some OEM.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby brostenen » 2017-1-13 @ 18:48

And do not forget, that a lot of ISA cards, produce vertical spaghetti lines on a TFT screen.
This however is not really an issue on CRT screens. Or using PCI cards on a TFT.
Out of all PCI cards that I have tried and tested, I had only had issues with an CL-5440 on TFT screens.
Another good advice is to check the VGA compatibility chart, as mentioned so many times before.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Godlike » 2017-1-13 @ 18:59

brostenen wrote:And do not forget, that a lot of ISA cards, produce vertical spaghetti lines on a TFT screen.
This however is not really an issue on CRT screens. Or using PCI cards on a TFT.
Out of all PCI cards that I have tried and tested, I had only had issues with an CL-5440 on TFT screens.
Another good advice is to check the VGA compatibility chart, as mentioned so many times before.


Hehe spaghetti:) I got with Matrox on TFT, I know what you mean, other cards are fine :)
High resolution pictures of the motherboard comming very soon!
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Godlike » 2017-1-13 @ 19:06

front layout of the motherboard:
http://imgur.com/Jb18hpL
and back of the motherboard:
http://imgur.com/Ul6wEC6
Edit: I don't know wat is manufacturer of this motherboard. Looks nice to me too, look at the photos again you will find sort of blue wires. I'm not sure what's this, kind of modifications, or motherboard have been fixed?
Edit2: I also plan to put Mozart Wave-Table ISA audio card with true Yamaha OPL :)
Like here :
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby dondiego » 2017-1-13 @ 19:16

jade_angel wrote:PCI > ISA for graphics, unless you're comparing a screamer of an ISA chip (ET4000, etc) against a stinkerino of a PCI chip (Trident 9680, say)

Are you seriously comparing a isa card to a 64 bit pci card like that trident? (even when that chip usually came with 32 bit dram).
The s3 trio64 would be my choice as well (obviously).
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby kixs » 2017-1-13 @ 19:19

Definitely go for PCI card. Those ISA cards are high end but for 386 or 486 ISA only systems.
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Godlike » 2017-1-13 @ 19:20

dondiego wrote:
jade_angel wrote:PCI > ISA for graphics, unless you're comparing a screamer of an ISA chip (ET4000, etc) against a stinkerino of a PCI chip (Trident 9680, say)

Are you seriously comparing a isa card to a 64 bit pci card like that trident? (even when that chip usually came with 32 bit dram).
The s3 trio64 would be my choice as well (obviously).

I will go with s3 trio64 then, I realised that is best choice from all cards I have
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Re: Graphics card choice for 486 DX4-100 system

Postby Tetrium » 2017-1-13 @ 23:31

Is this your board?
Nvm1 wrote:It's a beauty that motherboard alright, made by Intel judging by the Lay-out. Photo is a bit unsharp to see all details (prints on the chips etc).

For a Graphics card my choice would be the PCI S3, like clueless said it will blow away the ISA cards who are hampered by the ISA bus limit.
If you may find a cheap isa Cirrus Logic then that is a good choice too seeing how compatible they are overall. :happy:

Looks like an Intel board, looking at the pacement of the ISA and PCI slots.
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