VOGONS


First post, by Godlike

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I recently got some new hardware. OPTI 386WB VER 1.0 motherboard along with 386 DX 33Mhz CPU.
Never use such as mobo, anyone have good opinion about it, or just bin it?

Nsf1GPvl.jpg

I have two spare VGA graphics cards. I need to find out which one will be the best choice with compatibility and speed for MS-DOS games.
First competitor is Tseng ET3000AX 512kB 16bit ISA from ColorImage.

U8YvMp9l.jpg

The second one is Diamond Stealth VRAM 1MB 16bit ISA (S3 ?)

37HrLwYl.jpg

Very first from Diamond Stealth line seems to be newer card and faster, but isn't that card for workstations? With good performance under CAD programs ?

5xv2YSm.png
ASUS P2B-F, PII 450Mhz, 128MB-SDR, 3Dfx Diamond Monster 3D II SLI, Matrox Millennium II AGP, Diamond Monster Sound MX300

Reply 1 of 17, by cj_reha

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I'd go with the Tseng card.

Join the Retro PC Discord! - https://discord.gg/UKAFchB
My YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDJYB_ZDsIzXGZz6J0txgCA

Reply 3 of 17, by Godlike

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Tseng looks like taken out of the 386 set, Diamond Stealth seems a bit out of the frame, like 486 CAD system. I have no idea where those graphics come from to my hands. Both shows POST/BIOS, no further testings.
Any one own similar ISA graphics, did you happy with it?

5xv2YSm.png
ASUS P2B-F, PII 450Mhz, 128MB-SDR, 3Dfx Diamond Monster 3D II SLI, Matrox Millennium II AGP, Diamond Monster Sound MX300

Reply 4 of 17, by brostenen

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

ET3000 is horrible slow on a 386.
ET4000 if you can source one for cheap.
I think that even CL5422 are faster than ET3000.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.

Reply 5 of 17, by Godlike

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
brostenen wrote:

ET3000 is horrible slow on a 386.
ET4000 if you can source one for cheap.
I think that even CL5422 are faster than ET3000.

Did you test ET3000 with 386? 386 shound't squeeze all the best from that et3000?

5xv2YSm.png
ASUS P2B-F, PII 450Mhz, 128MB-SDR, 3Dfx Diamond Monster 3D II SLI, Matrox Millennium II AGP, Diamond Monster Sound MX300

Reply 6 of 17, by clueless1

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

The Diamond Stealth VRAM ISA uses the S3 911 chipset and is from 1991. It's almost twice as fast as the Tseng ET3000AX (a card from 1987). S3 also known for compatibility over Tseng, so I'd go with the Diamond card. But on a 386 you won't see such a big difference between the two cards because of CPU bottleneck. Here's results (including many other cards). I believe these results were taken from a very fast system. Something like an Athlon XP, so you see real card performance without any cpu bottleneck.
http://www.vgamuseum.info/images/vlask/bench/quake320.png

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 7 of 17, by FGB

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

None of the 2 cards are a good choice for DOS games on a DX/33 rig. The ET3000 and also the S3 911 are slow for anything but static puzzle games.

I recommend:

- Cirrus Logic 5422 / 5424 / xxxx 1MB
- Tseng ET4000 1MB
- Trident 8900D-R
- S3 801/805

All of the above cards are very good for DOS games on a 386 and will scale well beyond the 33MHz CPU power. The Cirrus and the Trident also have TrueColor RAMDACs by default, nice to have for Windows .

www.AmoRetro.de Visit my huge hardware gallery with many historic items from 16MHz 286 to 1000MHz Slot A. Includes more than 80 soundcards and a growing Wavetable Recording section with more than 300 recordings.

Reply 8 of 17, by brostenen

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Godlike wrote:
brostenen wrote:

ET3000 is horrible slow on a 386.
ET4000 if you can source one for cheap.
I think that even CL5422 are faster than ET3000.

Did you test ET3000 with 386? 386 shound't squeeze all the best from that et3000?

Yes... I have had an 16-Bit ET3000 running on a SX33 with a math processor.
With 4mb of ram, and Lotus was unplayable. It updated the picture every 0.5 second.
Yet with an ET4000 and a CL5422, the machine would run Lotus fluid as if it was a 486.
I did not try other more demanding games than Lotus, before I removed the ET3000.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.

Reply 9 of 17, by brostenen

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
FGB wrote:
None of the 2 cards are a good choice for DOS games on a DX/33 rig. The ET3000 and also the S3 911 are slow for anything but sta […]
Show full quote

None of the 2 cards are a good choice for DOS games on a DX/33 rig. The ET3000 and also the S3 911 are slow for anything but static puzzle games.

I recommend:

- Cirrus Logic 5422 / 5424 / xxxx 1MB
- Tseng ET4000 1MB
- Trident 8900D-R
- S3 801/805

All of the above cards are very good for DOS games on a 386 and will scale well beyond the 33MHz CPU power. The Cirrus and the Trident also have TrueColor RAMDACs by default, nice to have for Windows .

I think that I have had my Trident 9000-c running in my 386 as well. Ok performance, yet not perfect, just decent. I removed it because it made horrible spaghetti lines on my Samsung TFT. My 5422 is running happily inside my 286 machine now. Gives perfect performance for a 286 and decent image quality. Only slight spaghetti lines.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.

Reply 10 of 17, by FGB

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

The Trident 8900D-R is actually on par with a ET4000 for DOS games. It has a 32-Bit memory interface. Apart from the 8900D-R only the 8900CL has 32-Bit access. All other ISA Tridents have the narrow 16-Bit interface.

The "spaghetti lines" should be adjustable by tuning the input? At least my Sony TFT does so.

www.AmoRetro.de Visit my huge hardware gallery with many historic items from 16MHz 286 to 1000MHz Slot A. Includes more than 80 soundcards and a growing Wavetable Recording section with more than 300 recordings.

Reply 11 of 17, by brostenen

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
FGB wrote:

The Trident 8900D-R is actually on par with a ET4000 for DOS games. It has a 32-Bit memory interface. Apart from the 8900D-R only the 8900CL has 32-Bit access. All other ISA Tridents have the narrow 16-Bit interface.

The "spaghetti lines" should be adjustable by tuning the input? At least my Sony TFT does so.

Some TFT monitors have that option, and some have not. My screen does not have that option.
Even with a fine tuned monitor, you can still see some faint vertical lines.
They are nearly impossible to see, yet they are still there on some cards.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.

Reply 12 of 17, by Matth79

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

The S3 911 was their first Windows (2D) accelerator. With VRAM (dual ported) that means the RAM can service the video display (read) as well as write at the same time, this may translate to better performance, or it may not... now where was that compatibility spreadsheet

Reply 13 of 17, by FGB

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

DOS games don't benefit from VRAM.
Actually some VRAM solutions are clocked slower than their DRAM counterparts and make things even worse. For Win 3.x the S3 911 is a fine card, sure, but it still sucks in DOS.

www.AmoRetro.de Visit my huge hardware gallery with many historic items from 16MHz 286 to 1000MHz Slot A. Includes more than 80 soundcards and a growing Wavetable Recording section with more than 300 recordings.

Reply 14 of 17, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I've never used the S3 911, but I've heard that the S3 VRAM solutions were not terribly fast in DOS until the S3 928 came around.
Still, the S3 911 is probably worth keeping, because it's fairly uncommon.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 15 of 17, by jedie

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Godlike wrote on 2017-05-07, 16:09:
I recently got some new hardware. OPTI 386WB VER 1.0 motherboard along with 386 DX 33Mhz CPU. Never use such as mobo, anyone ha […]
Show full quote

I recently got some new hardware. OPTI 386WB VER 1.0 motherboard along with 386 DX 33Mhz CPU.
Never use such as mobo, anyone have good opinion about it, or just bin it?

Nsf1GPvl.jpg

Hey: I have the same Board. Do you known more about it? Have you the Jumper settings etc.?

Reply 16 of 17, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Hi! Do you play 320x200 games mainly or games in full VGA/SVGA?
Programs and games from the late 80s/early 90s do know of video modes for Trident, Paradise/WD, Tseng, OAK, Video 7, Realtek etc. But not S3, sadly.
Also, the slow old cards have emulation modes for CGA, EGA and Hercules.
S3 cards have a a Hercules bit mentioned in the datasheets, but it doesn't seem to work. 🙁

"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 17 of 17, by Godlike

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
jedie wrote on 2020-09-15, 16:17:
Godlike wrote on 2017-05-07, 16:09:
I recently got some new hardware. OPTI 386WB VER 1.0 motherboard along with 386 DX 33Mhz CPU. Never use such as mobo, anyone ha […]
Show full quote

I recently got some new hardware. OPTI 386WB VER 1.0 motherboard along with 386 DX 33Mhz CPU.
Never use such as mobo, anyone have good opinion about it, or just bin it?

Nsf1GPvl.jpg

Hey: I have the same Board. Do you known more about it? Have you the Jumper settings etc.?

You should be able to find jumber settings in here:
https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/m386_5.html

5xv2YSm.png
ASUS P2B-F, PII 450Mhz, 128MB-SDR, 3Dfx Diamond Monster 3D II SLI, Matrox Millennium II AGP, Diamond Monster Sound MX300