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First post, by retro games 100

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I am looking through my old PC components, and I came across this graphics / video card, and wondered what it was! (I seem to have forgotten.) Any thoughts please? Thanks a lot!

number nine back--33m.JPG
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number 9 front--33m.JPG
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number 9 front--33m.JPG
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Fair use/fair dealing exception
Last edited by retro games 100 on 2018-11-29, 09:21. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 18, by dionb

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It's a Number Nine-made S3 928 card, the original GXE by the look of it.

Number Nine was one of the better-known high-end card manufacturers in the early to mid 1990s, generally using S3 chipsets on their mid/low-end stuff and their own Imagine 128 / Ticket to Ride chips on the high-end. Unfortunately they priced themselves out of the market and missed the 3D boat. I have one of their last cards, the SR9 with S3 Savage4 Extreme chip.

And the chipset here? Bog-standard S3 928, so good compatibility and VRAM support for theoretically higher performance than the DRAM-based 8xx series. It looks like it has 2MB of VRAM (and 512k DRAM...). In 1993 this was an upper mid-range card, which you probably wanted if you did a lot of Windows or Unix desktop work and needed higher resolutions.

Edit:
Hang on, just did a search for this and found... a topic here on Vogons about it, opened by you in 2011 😜
Number 9 GXE ISA VGA card - displays a red light and fails to work

Last edited by dionb on 2018-11-28, 09:28. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 18, by kixs

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It's an ISA S3 928 VRAM card that also has Windows acceleration. It's good for Windows and average in DOS by performance.

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Reply 4 of 18, by feipoa

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Why doesn't the chipset show S3 on it? Was S3 called something else back then? I couldn't find the datasheet. How do you know it has 2 MB of memory?

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Reply 5 of 18, by SW-SSG

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feipoa wrote:

Why doesn't the chipset show S3 on it? ...

But it does, doesn't it? That's S3's old logo. You can see the "3".

That's some pretty distinctive silkscreening on the back of that card...

Reply 8 of 18, by feipoa

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Ahhh, I see it now. I've never owned an S3-based card with this logo, so my mind couldn't discern the more artistic "S3".

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Reply 9 of 18, by dionb

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feipoa wrote:

[...]

I couldn't find the datasheet. How do you know it has 2 MB of memory?

Look at the chips. The pics are good enough to read the markings. 256kB VRAM. 256kB x 8 = 2MB

Reply 10 of 18, by feipoa

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This is what I see:

E1 and E2
2x KM416C256J-7

and

U10 thru U17
8x MT42C8254DJ-7

You are saying that U10 thru U17 are 256Kbyte each? And if so, how do you know this?

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Reply 11 of 18, by dionb

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feipoa wrote:

This is what I see:

E1 and E2
2x KM416C256J-7

That's the 2x 256kB DRAM. Not sure what this is actually for...

and […]
Show full quote

and

U10 thru U17
8x MT42C8254DJ-7

You are saying that U10 thru U17 are 256Kbyte each? And if so, how do you know this?

Well, intuition - and of course googling "MT42C8254DJ-7"

Manufacturer Part Number MT42C8254DJ-7; Description Video DRAM, 256KX8, 70ns, CMOS, PDSO40, 0.400 INCH, PLASTIC

256KX8 = 2Mb / 256kB

Reply 12 of 18, by feipoa

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So you weren't able to find a PDF datasheet? Because my first thought was 256Kx4. But if it is 256Kx8, then that's a good amount of DRAM for an old ISA card.

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Reply 14 of 18, by Ozzuneoj

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Man, that's a cool looking card. I love the neat screen printing on old cards like that and Number Nine were some of the best. I've been wanting to start a thread dedicated to unique screen printing on older cards...

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Reply 15 of 18, by dionb

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feipoa wrote:

So you weren't able to find a PDF datasheet? Because my first thought was 256Kx4.

Not seen any datasheets for this particular chip, buf found lots for MT42C425xx-xx chips. They are definitely 256kx4 chips, so I'm pretty confident that an MT42C825xx-xx chip is going to be 256kx8, all the more so given that it's advertised as such.

But if it is 256Kx8, then that's a good amount of DRAM for an old ISA card.

Yes, these would have been very nice cards to have in 1993. 1152x864@16b colour was a lot better than I could do back then. Apparently there was even a 4MB version.

Reply 17 of 18, by vlask

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oeuvre wrote:

Admittedly, #9 made some really cool lookin' cards

Yep, so sad they haven't found followers. Now its only about coolers....

737_number_nine_-_9gxe64pro_s3_86c964_bottom_hq.jpg

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