VOGONS


First post, by MII-333

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I've begun the process of hunting for parts for my old Compaq, and right now I'm stuck on a graphics card. I'm not really sure what I should look for (I've kinda lost my touch with older hardware and knowing what to get), so I'm just hoping I can get some pointers here. My only requirements are Win98 support (obviously), PCI, and active cooling (no passive cards due to the tight space I'm working with). So if y'all can give me some tips, that would be wonderful.

Compaq Presario 2286: Cyrix MII 250MHz, 256MB PC100 SDRAM, SiS Integrated graphics, SoundBlasterPCI 128 (for cleaner output signal), 4GB Seagate (OS), 40GB Maxtor DiamondMax+ 9 (games and MIDIs)

Reply 1 of 13, by Jorpho

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It all depends on what you want to run, what you have access to, and what you're willing to spend. If your old Compaq is just going to go back into a corner and collect dust, then I suggest you just pick any card and be done with it. You'll also need to consider the voltage that the PCI slots on your motherboard can supply.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_PC … _specifications

The Voodoo3 PCI is quite popular, but those can be expensive.

Reply 2 of 13, by agent_x007

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GeForce FX 5500 PCI (128-bit)
GeForce 6200 PCI (64-bit DDR2)
Radeon 9250 PCI (64-bit DDR)
Fastest to slowest.
Depending on $$ and availability.
Try to get one with DVI port (for future monitors).

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Reply 3 of 13, by Jo22

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Oy, that's a thought question! I agree to what Jorpho said, I think that's true.
The Voodoo's in general were very popular, so you can't do anything wrong by using them.

That beeing said, I'm still confused by people using somewhat new hardware in Windows 9x.
When I was a Win 9x user, I was still used to ISA VGA cards. Accellerated 2D cards were something new and exciting then.
I wished I had something like a S3 ViRGE then, so I weren't forced to run games like Need for Speed II SE in software-rendering on a rusty ol' Pentium 75..

Anyway, back to the topic! I think I remember when the new millennium appeared on the horizon, my father got a new PC.
It was a P3 machine running 98SE and got an nVidia graphics card. I think it had either a Geforce 2 or a Geforce 4MX.
Sorry, can't remember. Maybe it helps to say that I successfully ran a copy of Celestia on it ?

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 4 of 13, by Tetrium

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The fastest does not have to be the best. And it's as Jorpho already pointed out: It depends on what you want to run.

Since you're still hunting for parts, I'll just assume the specs of your to-be-retro rig are not yet really set and it will also depend on what's available in your area and how much you're willing to pay for it.

But some good ones to have in your stash include the already mentioned Voodoo 3 (be sure to get a PCI one), Voodoo 2, S3 Virge, S3 Trio (whichever version), NVidia Riva 128 or TNT2 M64 or Vanta. Matrox may also be placed a bit higher on your priority list. From the newer cards agent_x007 already mentioned a few. But useful ones also include anything PCI with "Geforce" in it (GF2MX or GF4MX). But there are many PCI cards that are or can be of some use, but some are more useful than others.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
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Reply 5 of 13, by nforce4max

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Only get the 6200 if compatibility is not a concern, the 9250 is a decent choice given the 5500's weaknesses generation wise. If you want to be posh and have Glide either go with a Voodoo 2 setup which has become ridiculous price wise or try to get lucky finding a Voodoo 3 pci though preferably without having to throw the kicking sink at it (expensive).

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 6 of 13, by agent_x007

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nforce4max wrote:

Only get the 6200 if compatibility is not a concern, the 9250 is a decent choice given the 5500's weaknesses generation wise.

"Weakness" ?
Radeon 9250 is DX8.x only.
I'm pretty sure FX 5500 with 128-bit DDR memory bus will anihilate Radeon 9250 64-bit (in any game).

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Reply 7 of 13, by Chaniyth

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agent_x007 wrote:
"Weakness" ? Radeon 9250 is DX8.x only. I'm pretty sure FX 5500 with 128-bit DDR memory bus will anihilate Radeon 9250 64-bit (i […]
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nforce4max wrote:

Only get the 6200 if compatibility is not a concern, the 9250 is a decent choice given the 5500's weaknesses generation wise.

"Weakness" ?
Radeon 9250 is DX8.x only.
I'm pretty sure FX 5500 with 128-bit DDR memory bus will anihilate Radeon 9250 64-bit (in any game).

You've obviously have never experienced just how horrible of a card series the GeForce FX series was. They were the weakest cards for their era due to the fact that Nvidia decided to put the shaders in an array which wasn't an industry standard and no one really supported it. The FX series had decent DirectX 8 support and speeds but DirectX 9 was horribly slow, very slow compared to the competition due to the shader array.

All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and when they catch you, they will kill you... but first they must catch you. 😁

Reply 8 of 13, by Jo22

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The reason I got a Geforce 5200 was support for Shader Model 2.. No idea how that card performed in some games,
but it was actually usable to run the new, shiny Aero Glass interface from Windows Vista. ^^
Windows 7 also supported that card if using Vista drivers (by falling back to WDDM 1.0 driver model).

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 9 of 13, by agent_x007

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Chaniyth wrote:

You've obviously have never experienced just how horrible of a card series the GeForce FX series was. They were the weakest cards for their era due to the fact that Nvidia decided to put the shaders in an array which wasn't an industry standard and no one really supported it. The FX series had decent DirectX 8 support and speeds but DirectX 9 was horribly slow, very slow compared to the competition due to the shader array.

And you obviously forgot Win 98 SE and PCI bus shoudn't be your first choises for DX9 games 😁

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Reply 10 of 13, by Chaniyth

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agent_x007 wrote:
Chaniyth wrote:

You've obviously have never experienced just how horrible of a card series the GeForce FX series was. They were the weakest cards for their era due to the fact that Nvidia decided to put the shaders in an array which wasn't an industry standard and no one really supported it. The FX series had decent DirectX 8 support and speeds but DirectX 9 was horribly slow, very slow compared to the competition due to the shader array.

And you obviously forgot Win 98 SE and PCI bus shoudn't be your first choises for DX9 games 😁

Nah, I didn't forget. It didn't matter which OS; Windows 98 SE/ME, Windows 2000, or Winows XP or which bus PCI or AGP the GeForce FX series were bad by design and a mistake by Nvidia. 😎

For instance a 2001 ATI Radeon 8500 (AGP) out performs a 2003 Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra (AGP) even in DirectX 8 benchmarks and games. The entire FX line through the last model released, the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra all suffered the same poor performance fate.

Swayye has a YouTuhe channel and showcases a bunch of different cards in action from different eras.

Last edited by Chaniyth on 2017-04-17, 20:02. Edited 2 times in total.

All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and when they catch you, they will kill you... but first they must catch you. 😁

Reply 11 of 13, by appiah4

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It would be nice if you could give a rough indication of what the Compaq is - it's PCI only apparently but is it a P60 or a PMMX233?

For any non MMX Pentium you can just stick in any PCI card with decent 2D (Tseng, S3, Matrox, etc.) and slap on a Voodoo 2 PCI for glide. For MMX Pentiums I find Matrox Mystique (220) is a great PCI card. Again, you can add a Voodoo 2 to this.

I find the Voodoo 3 PCI to be rather.. useless on pre-PII builds, the CPU is a huge bottleneck in most cases and with better CPUs you have the option of an AGP counterpart which is usually faster and cheaper.

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Reply 12 of 13, by agent_x007

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Chaniyth wrote:

Nah, I didn't forget. It didn't matter which OS; Windows 98 SE/ME, Windows 2000, or Winows XP or which bus PCI or AGP the GeForce FX series were bad by design and a mistake by Nvidia. 😎

Swayye has a YouTuhe channel and showcases a bunch of different cards in action from different eras.

I'm not saying FX is great design by any stretch.
BUT I just think 128-bit vs. 64-bit can give it the edge in old games.

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Reply 13 of 13, by Jo22

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Chaniyth wrote:

Nah, I didn't forget. It didn't matter which OS; Windows 98 SE/ME, Windows 2000, or Winows XP or which bus PCI or AGP the GeForce FX series were bad by design and a mistake by Nvidia.

Another positive thing about the Geforce FX series: It still contained 2D acceleration circuitry.
Later 3d cards dropped support for that and did utilize drivers or shader programs to emulate that.
This may of no importance when running Windows 7, but for GDI-based OSes like 98SE or XP it might matter.
Video cards and 2d acceleration
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/2d-windows-gdi,2547.html
(Some 2D benchmark stuff : Best PCI VGA card for Windows 3.11 performance?)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//