Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR PCX2 in the same system

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Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR PCX2 in the same system

Postby GordonFreeman » 2018-12-17 @ 07:01

Hi, I’m a new member but I’ve been coming to this forum for information for quite a while. I’m amazed that “GordonFreeman” wasn’t already taken.

I have a question about PowerVR cards. I’m interested in cards based on the PowerVR2, like the Matrox M3D. From what I understand, these cards have no ports, and instead send their output to the memory of the host card. What I was wondering is if I could use a PowerVR2 card with a Voodoo 3 as its host card.

I have questions about that: if I have both cards in the same system, which card will games use by default? Will they only use the PowerVR card for PowerSGL games, or will they also use it for OpenGL and DirectX games? I think my system would still use the Voodoo 3 as the primary display adapter, which I wouldn’t need to change. But if the system tries to use the PowerVR2 for all games, couldn’t I just disable it in the Device Manager when I don't want to use it? I really only need the PowerVR2 for PowerSGL games - I want the Voodoo 3 to handle everything else.

Another question: would having the drivers for both cards on the same system cause any problems? I would think it wouldn’t, but I’m not sure.

Some more information: I have a working P4-based system with a Voodoo 3 3000 (AGP), running Windows 98 SE. This system is pretty awesome already. However, I think it would be even more awesome if I could have a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system - that, in my opinion, would be about the coolest setup you could have for playing older games. The other option is that I could just build another system, but there’s a certain appeal to having just one system with such a wide range of compatibility. I don’t know if it would work or not, though - thoughts?

Another thing: maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, but it seems like it used to be pretty easy to find these cards on eBay, but right now I don’t see anything. Any idea where I could get one? I’m specifically looking for a PowerVR2 card.

EDIT: I mention the PowerVR2 in this post, but what I meant was the PowerVR PCX2. I'll leave the post as is so the replies make sense.
Last edited by GordonFreeman on 2019-1-01 @ 11:07, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby xjas » 2018-12-17 @ 07:49

I was intending to try this exact setup (Matrox M3D + V3 3000 AGP) but I ran out of PCI slots in my K6-2. I might take out the network card since I doubt I'll use it that much. Will report back here if I do. AFAIK it should work, some games (e.g. Unreal series) have a config screen where you can select the renderer, others will be a pain and just default to whatever.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby leileilol » 2018-12-17 @ 09:43

It'll work fine. To keep the PowerVR from interfering with V3's Direct3D, you can simply uncheck "Enable PowerVR HAL"/"Use Matrox m3D Hardware" from its display properties tab. It'll then be strictly used for only SGL stuff. It won't bother with OpenGL because that's on an explicit minigl-driver-in-game-directory basis much like earlier Voodoo cards (V1/V2).

BTW PowerVR2 != Matrox M3D. PowerVR2 refers to the second generation chips used in the Neon 250 and Dreamcast/Naomi/Atomiswave
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
SGL != Glide
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby GordonFreeman » 2018-12-17 @ 10:25

leileilol wrote:BTW PowerVR2 != Matrox M3D. PowerVR2 refers to the second generation chips used in the Neon 250 and Dreamcast/Naomi/Atomiswave


I see, I misunderstood that. So the M3D is actually based on the PCX2 version of the first PowerVR, correct?

Am I correct in thinking that PowerVR cards used to be easier to find, or did I just imagine that?
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby Scali » 2018-12-17 @ 10:59

GordonFreeman wrote:I see, I misunderstood that. So the M3D is actually based on the PCX2 version of the first PowerVR, correct?


Yes, there are basically three variations of that first generation of PowerVR.
The first version was only available in an OEM solution for Compaq, codenamed Midas. It used multiple chips: http://vintage3d.org/midas3.php#sthash.7bBaOmz9.dpbs
Then came the PCX1, which was a single-chip solution, and was generally available: http://vintage3d.org/pcx1.php#sthash.j8 ... Cw0zK.dpbs
The PCX2 was an update of that, and afaik is the most common chip, mainly used in the Matrox M3D, and the VideoLogic Apocalypse series (VideoLogic was the old name of Imagination Tech, the company that develops the PowerVR chips): http://vintage3d.org/pcx2.php#sthash.Aizu4H4I.dpbs
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby xjas » 2018-12-18 @ 09:47

Is there a "sweet spot" driver version for the M3D that offers the best game compatibility? Or should I just go with the newest (4.1.1.5.002) which is still available on Matrox's website? I'm really only interested in SGL (& maybe those Quake 1/2/Hexen miniGL drivers.)
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby leileilol » 2018-12-19 @ 04:40

Newer drivers do have better compatibility and some enable visibility of extra options by default (though they can always be revealed with a registry key).
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
SGL != Glide
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby xjas » 2018-12-19 @ 07:45

^^ thanks. I used the 4.1.2c1 reference drivers (modded version) found in Vetz's driver package, because they looked like the simplest to install (least amount of files.) Worked great.

Now to find my Motorhead CD... love that game. ;)
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby GordonFreeman » 2018-12-19 @ 12:52

leileilol wrote:Newer drivers do have better compatibility and some enable visibility of extra options by default (though they can always be revealed with a registry key).


Is there any reason to use any drivers other than the final ones on Matrox's website?
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby GordonFreeman » 2019-1-01 @ 05:33

So, I’ve decided to go ahead with this plan, and I’ve ordered an m3D. It’s coming from overseas, so it’ll take a while to get here. It’s complete in box, and it even includes the manual and original CDs. I’ll post an update here once I’ve received it, in case anyone would like to know the results. I’m also planning on making a thread with pictures and details of my entire system.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby xjas » 2019-1-01 @ 06:13

Cool! Hope you have good luck with it. The M3D is a cool card to play around with but the Voodoo3 blows it out of the water for general use. Running SGL-only stuff is interesting though.

GordonFreeman wrote:Is there any reason to use any drivers other than the final ones on Matrox's website?


The ones I used had less vendor-specific stuff to install and gave me the newest version of everything. You can run all the Matrox demo software on the reference drivers AFAIK.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby doaks80 » 2019-1-01 @ 07:04

I never had any success using multiple vga cards in win98. It always uninstalled the device without the monitor attached. Voodoo 1/2 are different as they dont really appear as display devices to windows.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby GordonFreeman » 2019-1-01 @ 07:07

xjas wrote:Cool! Hope you have good luck with it. The M3D is a cool card to play around with but the Voodoo3 blows it out of the water for general use. Running SGL-only stuff is interesting though.


Yeah, I think the Voodoo 3 is really good as a general purpose card. The m3D on the other hand, seems like one of the best cards for a very limited purpose. The combination of the 2 seems really interesting to me, because together they can do pretty much everything I would want this system to do. It's also cool that I only need one system for it, because I currently don't have enough space to have another PC set up permanently.

xjas wrote:The ones I used had less vendor-specific stuff to install and gave me the newest version of everything. You can run all the Matrox demo software on the reference drivers AFAIK.


I don't mind having vendor-specific stuff, as long as it doesn't interfere with anything else on this system. I may experiment with different drivers. There are drivers on the included CDs too, so I could use those if I want to.

So, do you already have this setup working? You said your Voodoo 3 is the AGP version, right? I was wondering if the card being AGP would make any difference.

I was also thinking that I would move my Sound Blaster Live! to a different slot, so I would have the video cards together, and each of the 3 cards would have 1 empty space between them, to help spread out the heat a little. It occurred to me that moving the SB Live! could cause problems, but it seems unlikely.

doaks80 wrote:I never had any success using multiple vga cards in win98. It always uninstalled the device without the monitor attached. Voodoo 1/2 are different as they dont really appear as display devices to windows.


I don't know about that, but based on what people have already said, that shouldn't be an issue for this specific hardware setup.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby xjas » 2019-1-01 @ 07:26

GordonFreeman wrote:I don't mind having vendor-specific stuff, as long as it doesn't interfere with anything else on this system. I may experiment with different drivers. There are drivers on the included CDs too, so I could use those if I want to.

So, do you already have this setup working? You said your Voodoo 3 is the AGP version, right? I was wondering if the card being AGP would make any difference.

I was also thinking that I would move my Sound Blaster Live! to a different slot, so I would have the video cards together, and each of the 3 cards would have 1 empty space between them, to help spread out the heat a little. It occurred to me that moving the SB Live! could cause problems, but it seems unlikely.


Yep, my V3 is AGP, although theoretically a PCI V3 shouldn't make any difference. I have every PCI slot and the AGP slot populated in my system. Would've liked to space them out a bit more, but nothing I could do about it. Neither card seems to get overly hot.

doaks80 wrote:I never had any success using multiple vga cards in win98. It always uninstalled the device without the monitor attached. Voodoo 1/2 are different as they dont really appear as display devices to windows.


The M3D / PCX2 shows up as a "Multimedia device" rather than a display adapter. It'll work fine.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby GordonFreeman » 2019-1-01 @ 07:47

xjas wrote:Yep, my V3 is AGP, although theoretically a PCI V3 shouldn't make any difference. I have every PCI slot and the AGP slot populated in my system. Would've liked to space them out a bit more, but nothing I could do about it. Neither card seems to get overly hot.


I'm intentionally trying to keep the setup as simple as possible, all things considered. So, once I get the m3D, it'll just be 3 cards total, plus one of the slots is taken up by 2 USB ports that connect to the motherboard. The board has plenty of PCI slots, so I could add more cards if I wanted to.

btw, I noticed you mentioned that you couldn't get the sound working in Tomb Raider. I've already gotten the sound working in the Glide patch for Tomb Raider (because of the SB Live!'s SB16 emulation), so I think the SGL patch should work fine with sound. I've heard people say the Live's SB16 emulation isn't that great, but I've used it quite a bit and it seems fine to me.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby leileilol » 2019-1-02 @ 02:41

doaks80 wrote:I never had any success using multiple vga cards in win98. It always uninstalled the device without the monitor attached. Voodoo 1/2 are different as they dont really appear as display devices to windows.

Fortunately the m3D isn't a VGA card. It's more of a card that gets told to render something and fetches back through the bus. No extra cable 'fun' necessary.
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
SGL != Glide
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby xjas » 2019-1-02 @ 03:14

GordonFreeman wrote:btw, I noticed you mentioned that you couldn't get the sound working in Tomb Raider. I've already gotten the sound working in the Glide patch for Tomb Raider (because of the SB Live!'s SB16 emulation), so I think the SGL patch should work fine with sound. I've heard people say the Live's SB16 emulation isn't that great, but I've used it quite a bit and it seems fine to me.


The issue was I never got the DOS-under-Win98 sound driver for my Vortex II working at all. I had such a huge driver pain with that sound card, that once I got the bare minimum functionality under Windows going, I didn't want to mess with it any further. :P I have other machines that can play the Glide or Rendition versions with sound, so not bothered.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR2 in the same system

Postby GordonFreeman » 2019-1-02 @ 06:22

xjas wrote:The issue was I never got the DOS-under-Win98 sound driver for my Vortex II working at all. I had such a huge driver pain with that sound card, that once I got the bare minimum functionality under Windows going, I didn't want to mess with it any further. :P I have other machines that can play the Glide or Rendition versions with sound, so not bothered.


I never had any difficulty getting the SB Live! to work in Windows, but it did take a while for me to get the SB16 emulation working; it was actually working initially, and then I messed it up. What I ultimately figured out was that I had to use a certain version of the drivers; I've made a backup of it, along with all of the other drivers I need for my system. Apparently I got lucky in that the version of the SB Live! that I have just happens to be one of the better ones for SB16 emulation, and CPU usage isn't an issue since the system has a 2.53GHz P4. Interestingly, I think it's the most powerful CPU/motherboard combination that will actually allow for SB16 emulation with the Live!
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR PCX2 in the same system

Postby GordonFreeman » 2019-1-11 @ 22:21

An update on the m3D: I've received it. It's in very good condition. It was kind of a pain to get it working, but I finally did. The card is working as expected and the Voodoo 3 still seems to be working fine too. However, I have run into a few issues.

I've had some problems with certain games. Tomb Raider runs and plays fine with audio and video. It looks pretty good, though maybe not hugely different from the Glide version. There's a problem, though: the joystick doesn't seem to work. In the readme for the patch, it says that joystick support doesn't work for some "non-Pentium" CPUs. My system has a P4, but I'm guessing it must have some difference from what's expected which causes the incompatibility. It's definitely related to the patch, because the joystick works without the patch. I've tried using Joy2Key for the PowerVR version, which kind of works, but some of the buttons didn't work. I'll have to mess around with this some more.

Ultimate R@ce 3-track has an issue. In the menu, there's a horrible lag with the mouse. There's like a 10-second delay between when you move the mouse and when it registers on the screen, which makes it very difficult to navigate. When you first load the game, it's okay for maybe a few seconds and then the lag starts. I have no idea what causes this. The game itself runs perfectly at a near-constant 60fps.

I managed to get Virtual On for PowerVR working, and that game works just fine, which is pretty cool. I also got Mechwarrior 2 working, though I had to install the Apocalypse 3Dx 4.1.2 drivers to get bilinear filtering to work.

Another problem I had was that, while I was moving some things around in the start menu, Windows gave me an "illegal operation" error at least a few times, and each time the desktop would also show a "Restore Active Desktop" message. It started doing this after I installed the Apocalypse drivers, so that makes me think that’s the cause. Another possibility is that there’s a problem due to the fact that I installed the m3D drivers first and then the Apocalypse drivers. I may have to experiment with drivers some more.

So, there are some issues, but overall I’m pretty happy with it. I’ll be posting a thread about my entire system soon.
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Re: Using a Voodoo 3 and a PowerVR PCX2 in the same system

Postby leileilol » 2019-1-12 @ 03:08

I'd assume fast mouse sampling caused the Ul@im@t@ R@ce UI problem. It's happened to me in an older video (though gameplay was fine)
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
SGL != Glide
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