VOGONS


First post, by Doppler

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Hi!

I want to buy a graphics card for real dos and ocassionally windows 98. I know its too new for DOS but I want a card which would get high resolutions if it would land in another computer later. But lets get to the problem!
First I thought that radeon 9800 pro would be great because of its perfect low resolution upscaler. The image on radeon is very very sharp but some people say that its not compaitble with most dos games so now i question myself is it worth buying it. Are there any real examples where 9800 pro has compatibility issues with dos? Up to this day I played many dos games on my radeon 9200 in it works perfect, didnt catch any incompatibilities so why 9800 gets such opinions?

From the second side i thought I might buy a Geforce ti4200 but the upscaler here is really bad. The image is smoothed out and pixels are not as sharp as on radeon. But some say it works on everything, has vesa 3.0 support (which i dont know where I might use it for, and dont know what it really is 😜 ).
If I should choose ti4200 then which version? agp 4x 64mb or agp 8x 128mb?

Please help and write as many considerations I should take into account choosing between these three 😀

Thanks!

Reply 1 of 15, by clueless1

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I don't have a ti4200, but my understanding is that from a pure DOS standpoint, the GF3 series was the last nvidia chipset to have great DOS performance. In my tests with TNT, GF2, GF3, GF4 MX4000, and FX5200, the great performance does stop at the GF3. But compatibility should still be there for newer DOS titles, as well for the 9800 Pro. Here's some DOS 6.22 benchmark results of the 9800 Pro vs GF4 MX4000 on a Pentium 4 2.53Ghz (1st result 9800 Pro, 2nd result GF4 MX4000):
Chris's 3D 320x200: 685.1 / 497.7
Chris's 3D 640x480: 93.1 / 112.1
PC Player 320x200: 427.9 / 354.5
PC Player 640x480: 49.8 / 57.5
Doom: 135.6 / 79.0
Quake 320: 313.3 / 258.6
Quake 360: 114.6 / 90.8
Quake 640: 28.9 / 36.4

As you can see, the 9800 Pro is faster in VGA while the GF4 is faster in SVGA. I did not see compatibility issues with either card, but I only tested newer DOS titles.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 3 of 15, by clueless1

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mrau wrote:

this was pure DOS? any tools used? i wonder why the numbers are so low on a 2.5 Ghz machine

Pure DOS 6.22. No FASTVID or MTRRLFBE. For reference, here is the fastest card (TNT2 M64 AGP). Again, no FASTVID or MTRRLFBE.

Chris 320: 721.3
Chris 640: 112.2
PCP 320: 436.8
PCP 640: 58.5
Doom: 149.1
Quake 320: 311.2
Quake 360: 122.0
Quake 640: 36.9

The LFBE utils make a huge difference in some of the results, but I don't have results handy.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 5 of 15, by clueless1

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mrau wrote:

can You for comparison try one or two of these under win 9x?

Sorry, these results were taken many months ago from systems that are no longer together. They live on in my spreadsheet...😉

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 8 of 15, by clueless1

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mrau wrote:

if agp 4 and 8 perform the same, then what is it that stops the scaling in DOS high resolutions?

I think it has something to do with the lack of graphical acceleration due to no drivers in pure DOS. LFBE utils provide some of that.

FWIW, I do see a difference between PCI and AGP with the same graphics chip, so the interface bandwidth is noticed. So maybe if you had a board with an 8x slot, and the same chipset graphics card in both an 8x and 4x, there might be some measurable difference, but probably not if that requires a driver to activate.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 9 of 15, by melbar

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some results of a 4x and 8x AGP setting (graphics card radeon 9800):

https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/71181/all

#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 11 of 15, by clueless1

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Cool. None of those results look surprising. But I doubt you'd see any difference in pure DOS (which is what I thought we were talking about).

@OP:
Here is the difference between AGP and PCI in pure DOS:
First result=AGP; Second result=PCI
Cards:
TNT2 M64 AGP 125.01 Mhz core, 143.18 Mhz clock
TNT2 M64 PCI 125.0 Mhz core, 143.18 Mhz clock

Chris 320: 721.3 / 723.7
Chris 640: 112.2 / 111.9
PCP 320: 436.8 / 436.6
PCP 640: 58.5 / 50.0
Doom: 149.1 / 120.1
Quake 320: 311.2 / 295.7
Quake 360: 122.0 / 119.5
Quake 640: 36.9 / 32.1

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 12 of 15, by Chaniyth

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mrau wrote:

if agp 4 and 8 perform the same, then what is it that stops the scaling in DOS high resolutions?

For DOS, the limiting factor is CPU, bus speed and memory bandwidth. AGP nor GPU has anything to do with framerate in DOS like it does in Windows as there is no acceleration for DOS using a GPU (except for those special cards that accelerate via proprietary API means but very few DOS games supported those).

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 13 of 15, by Doppler

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now I didnt want to interrupt this wonderful discussion about GPU benchmarking, but lets get back to the compatibility topic 😜

What do I need VESA compatibility for and what is it? What are the DOS incompatibilities with ti4200 and 9800pro?
How do the refresh rates work under DOS on both of these cards? Is any of these better than the other? I want to mark that Im heading more towards 9800pro because of the image sharpness!

Please help me choose the better one 😜

Reply 14 of 15, by The Serpent Rider

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What are the DOS incompatibilities with ti4200 and 9800pro?

https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS
Best bet would be S3 card and ATI is generally poor choise.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 15 of 15, by Chaniyth

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Doppler wrote:
now I didnt want to interrupt this wonderful discussion about GPU benchmarking, but lets get back to the compatibility topic :P […]
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now I didnt want to interrupt this wonderful discussion about GPU benchmarking, but lets get back to the compatibility topic 😜

What do I need VESA compatibility for and what is it? What are the DOS incompatibilities with ti4200 and 9800pro?
How do the refresh rates work under DOS on both of these cards? Is any of these better than the other? I want to mark that Im heading more towards 9800pro because of the image sharpness!

Please help me choose the better one 😜

Get neither, buy a Voodoo 3 3500. You'll have great DOS compatibility as-is and really good Windows 98 gaming compatibility. 😁

By the way you've not said what specs of a PC you are wanting to do the DOS gaming and occasional Win9x gaming on. If you want the best DOS + Windows 98 gaming experience build an AMD K6-III+ Super Socket 7 system and achieve scalability from full speed​ right down to 386 speeds, a really wonderful "all-in-one" solution. 😎

PhilsComputerLab YouTube channel has several great videos regarding such a system: here and here (this particular video is part 6 of a 6 part series of which I highly recommend you watch from part 1)

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. 😁