Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

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Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby athlon-power » 2019-1-10 @ 13:18

I ended up doing some research on the ATI Rage 128 cards, and I plan on getting a 16MB model. I am currently using an ASUS AGP-v3800M (a nVdida TNT M64) with 32MB of VRAM- it has a 100MHz GPU clock, and a 125MHz Memory clock, with a 64-bit memory bus. The ATI Rage 128 cards that I'm looking at have a 90MHz GPU and memory clock, but have a 128-bit memory bus.

The question here is, does the larger memory bus allow the Rage 128 to catch up with the M64, or even allow it to outperform the M64 any? The GPU clock on the M64 is only 10MHz faster, though the memory clock is 35MHz faster- that could make a bit more of an impact.

Also, as a follow-up to my previous post, I've only found what appear to be the 'XPERT' versions of the card. Any of the 'PRO' versions were mislabeled by the eBay seller.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby Baoran » 2019-1-10 @ 14:42

I think tnt2 m64 and rage 128 are quite close in actual performance. Both are only bit faster than original TNT.
From what I can see online people generally didn't like rage 128 cards but it wasn't because of of performance, it was because many people seemed to have directx issues with the card. There is of course chance those were fixed later.
In dos TNT2 M64 is clearly better in performance and compatibility.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby athlon-power » 2019-1-10 @ 14:50

Baoran wrote:I think tnt2 m64 and rage 128 are quite close in actual performance. Both are only bit faster than original TNT.
From what I can see online people generally didn't like rage 128 cards but it wasn't because of of performance, it was because many people seemed to have directx issues with the card. There is of course chance those were fixed later.
In dos TNT2 M64 is clearly better in performance and compatibility.


I'm not as worried about DOS as I am with say, Windows games and the such. Also, I brought this up before, but this build is a mid-1999 build, and the TNT2 that I've got is a 2001 make. It could be used in a budget 2001 build later on- but not for this system. With the DirectX issues, new drivers have fixed that up, and apparently it runs just fine. I think that the image quality issues were fixed with later drivers as well. And I can guarantee when most of those cards were made- the year of manufacture is printed right on the PCB, as compared to the TNT2, where now I have to zoom in and look at the memory chips, and try and ascertain the year on them.

I actually have found zero TNT2 M64s from before 2000. Every single one I've seen has a year indication of 2000 or 2001. Not sure why that is.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby Baoran » 2019-1-10 @ 16:15

Perhaps they are rarer because older cards are more likely to have failed or perhaps they had production problems at start like it often seems to be with just released video cards.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby athlon-power » 2019-1-10 @ 16:21

This point is now moot. I found an actual 'PRO' version of the Rage 128, with a 118MHz core clock and a 143MHz memory clock- all while using a 128-bit memory bus. As far as I'm concerned, even with 16MB of VRAM, this thing should give at least some performance improvement compared to my 100MHz core clock + 125MHz memory clock 32MB TNT2 M64 with a 64-bit memory bus.

I used to have a card with 2GB of VRAM that was mashed into pieces by one with 1GB of VRAM for the same reason- faster RAM, and most importantly, a larger memory bus. Plus, the new card only costed US$8.99, which is a plus. The TNT2 actually ran for around US$12, I think. Even if the performance isn't much higher, this card was made in August of 1999- a far cry from the 2001 TNT2.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby Baoran » 2019-1-10 @ 16:26

If you were willing to spend more money you could always try to find real TNT2 instead of that M64 model because TNT2 was also released in 1999.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby athlon-power » 2019-1-10 @ 16:27

Baoran wrote:Perhaps they are rarer because older cards are more likely to have failed or perhaps they had production problems at start like it often seems to be with just released video cards.


It might've been that way with the TNT2's, but it certainly doesn't seem to be that way with the Rage 128 XPERT cards or even the Rage 128 Pro cards. There are plenty available, and for quite cheap. I would reccomend that you get a card with a model number similar to 109-63100-10, as these cards are cheap, available, and are more powerful than the 109-51800-01 cards, which are the XPERT cards. I got this information from the following sources:

https://videocardz.net/ati-rage-128-pro/

https://videocardz.net/ati-xpert-128/

The ATI XPERT card may be good for somebody doing a mid-1998 build though, as it was released in August of 1998, and it seems to be fairly capable. But for my purposes, the ATI Rage Pro card is a better option- it was released around the exact time I needed it to be, it's generally more powerful than the TNT2 that I've got, and seems to be around the mid-range, whereas the TNT2 that I own is a budget option.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby athlon-power » 2019-1-10 @ 16:29

Baoran wrote:If you were willing to spend more money you could always try to find real TNT2 instead of that M64 model because TNT2 was also released in 1999.


I actually can't spend anymore money- I only had $10 left over from the $50 I got for Christmas. I've also looked up the TNT2 Pro and Ultra versions, and even without any price filtering, they seem to be nearly non-existent. Everything is just one TNT2 M64 or another. I'm unsure of why that is.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby Fusion » 2019-1-10 @ 17:14

As a owner of a Rage 128 16MB (90/90 version) back when it was relevant, it was great at 800x600 for most games in 98-99. I made the mistake of using 32bit for all my games back then when I could have gains a little fps boost by sticking with 16bit. Hindsight I guess. :dead: I remember playing UT, Q3, NHL99, and NFS3-4 no problem usually with highest setting I could enable.

Oh, and the Rage 128 is also a very nice overclocker… I used to run her at 125/165 with a small fan attached. :lol:
P3 800 | 512MB PC100| PCI V3 3000 16MB @ 195/195 | CT4780 SB Live! Value| WinME
P3 450 | 128MB PC100| AGP TNT2 Pro 32MB | CT4170 SB16 | MS-DOS71
A64 2.4 | 2GB DDR1 | PCI-E Radeon X800XT @ 575/575 | CT4780 SB Live! Value| Win2K
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby Baoran » 2019-1-10 @ 17:31

athlon-power wrote:
Baoran wrote:If you were willing to spend more money you could always try to find real TNT2 instead of that M64 model because TNT2 was also released in 1999.


I actually can't spend anymore money- I only had $10 left over from the $50 I got for Christmas. I've also looked up the TNT2 Pro and Ultra versions, and even without any price filtering, they seem to be nearly non-existent. Everything is just one TNT2 M64 or another. I'm unsure of why that is.


Probably because they were cheap and common. Also there were probably a lot of people fell for the "TNT2" part of the name thinking they would get something faster.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby athlon-power » 2019-1-11 @ 01:20

Fusion wrote:As a owner of a Rage 128 16MB (90/90 version) back when it was relevant, it was great at 800x600 for most games in 98-99. I made the mistake of using 32bit for all my games back then when I could have gains a little fps boost by sticking with 16bit. Hindsight I guess. :dead: I remember playing UT, Q3, NHL99, and NFS3-4 no problem usually with highest setting I could enable.

Oh, and the Rage 128 is also a very nice overclocker… I used to run her at 125/165 with a small fan attached. :lol:


Sounds like you had the XPERT version. I'd say that there wasn't much difference between the XPERT and the Pro version than I'm getting, other than the base clock speeds being higher on the newer Pro. The memory bus is the same 128-bit width across both cards. I'd say that you needed to get a small fan- the 118/145 version I'm getting has a much larger heatsink than the 90/90 ones I've seen so far. I don't know if I'll be OC'ing, as the stock speeds on this card aren't a huge amount lower than what you were using, and I'm generally shy when it comes to overclocking. I'm always worried that I'll damage something, especially when it comes to using vintage hardware.

I think the additional 118/145 on the Rage 128 Pro versus the 100/125 on the TNT2 is a decent enough increment, let alone with the memory bus being 128 bit on the Rage 128 vs. 64 bit on the TNT2- I think this thing will at the least noticeably outperform my TNT2. I'll run some benchmarks with this one, and once I switch over to the Rage 128, run the same benchmarks with the new card. The only con for the Rage 128 is that it has 16MB of VRAM compared to the 32MB that the TNT2 has, but at the same time I honestly doubt that it would make a huge difference in this scenario. It might if the TNT2 had a larger memory bus, but I feel that it's honestly crippled by that.

I'm unsure of whether or not it would be worth it to try and somehow change out the thermal glue, because the heatsink has no apparent mounting mechanism other than that. I don't know if that stuff loses its effectiveness over time, or if it's a worthwhile attempt at all.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby Baoran » 2019-1-11 @ 02:30

I don't think you can compare clockspeeds with all those architecture differences that nvidia and ati have.
In any case M64 was the only TNT2 card with 64 memory bus, so other TNT2 cards don't have that problem.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby athlon-power » 2019-1-11 @ 10:47

Baoran wrote:I don't think you can compare clockspeeds with all those architecture differences that nvidia and ati have.
In any case M64 was the only TNT2 card with 64 memory bus, so other TNT2 cards don't have that problem.


There were certainly higher-end TNT2 cards that ran just fine, I'm sure. I'm not saying that the entire lineage of TNT2 cards is garbage, because I'm sure the TNT2 Pro and TNT2 Ultra variants are good cards. I'm specifically comparing the Rage 128 to my TNT2 card.

I do understand that architectural differences can make what should be a technically faster chip vastly inferior. A good example of this in the CPU world is of the early Pentium 4's versus the later Pentium III's- the Pentium III was a better architecture, by a long run. NetBurst was terribly inefficient, and to get an edge over the prior Pentium III line, the Pentium 4 had to use motherboards with faster RAM, and had to be clocked at higher frequencies because the performance per clock on the Pentium 4 was lower compared to that of the Pentium III. A Pentium 4 running at a similar or the same frequency as a Pentium III will be outperformed by the Pentium III, even with the Pentium 4 on an RDRAM motherboard.

So even though this GPU is technically faster, I know that there is still a chance that its performance could fall under that of my TNT2- but I don't think it will. I've been told that the Rage 128 has many advantages over the TNT2 M64, way back when I made a thread while trying to decide what GPU to get for my mid-1999 build initially- I had already purchased the ASUS TNT2 M64 card at this point:

Jasin Natael wrote:I personally think that the Rage 128/128 Pro is better choice by far then the TNT2 M64 card....

From my experience the rage cards get way more hate then they actually deserve. Perhaps back in 98-99 drivers were as bad of as mess as people say, but I don't actually remember having one of these cards back then.

However, nowadays with up to date drivers I just haven't had any real issues that people speak of.

Now in DOS that might be a different story, but for a Windows 98 gaming PC the 32bit color mode and other performance features outweigh the bad vs a TNT2M64.

It's also less of a headache compared to the Savage 4 but that's just a personal opinion.

YMMV


This was at this thread: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=63258&p=708963&#p709988

I don't plan on using DOS very much with this PC, except to play DOOM. I also don't play at very high resolutions- I watched the review that PhilsComputerLab did on the Rage Fury MAXX, and he provides tests for the Rage 128 Pro, as well as a few other cards- it becomes evident that once you start pushing higher resolutions on things like GLQuake, the performance will start going down. In a lot of situations here, he ends up getting 45+ FPS on games on 1024x768x32, something that I've personally never seen my TNT2 M64 be able to do. I end up playing most of my games at 640x480x16 (Quake II, Half-Life, GlQuake, etc.), so even a jump to 800x600x16 would be a large improvement over my TNT2 M64.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby Baoran » 2019-1-11 @ 14:14

I think I am slightly biased against the ati cards because of the bad experiences I have had in the past. I am sure the performance of rage 128 will be a bit better compared to TNT2 M64, but in my experience ati drivers have been worse than nvidia ones and been causing lots of trouble for me. I did run ati video cards in my pc from 2000 to 2008 and that is when experienced most of my problems with ati drivers and software and some compatibility issues with the cards themselves.
Also with more driver overhead with ati drivers, it can affect performance if you use them with a slower cpu.
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Re: Clock Speed + Memory Size vs. Memory Bus Width

Postby athlon-power » 2019-1-11 @ 15:00

Baoran wrote:I think I am slightly biased against the ati cards because of the bad experiences I have had in the past. I am sure the performance of rage 128 will be a bit better compared to TNT2 M64, but in my experience ati drivers have been worse than nvidia ones and been causing lots of trouble for me. I did run ati video cards in my pc from 2000 to 2008 and that is when experienced most of my problems with ati drivers and software and some compatibility issues with the cards themselves.
Also with more driver overhead with ati drivers, it can affect performance if you use them with a slower cpu.


The driver issues really plagued the Rage 128, but as PhilsComputerLab brought up, the problems with them these days are minimal. He made a video about a card that is very similar to the one I'm going to be getting- it's just a higher-end version with 32MB of VRAM instead of 16MB. I took that information from the videocardz page I looked at for the Rage 128 Pro, and his card looks very similar to the higher-end Rage 128 Pro listed there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxTF85QUjzk

As far as driver overhead is concerned, I should be okay- I'm running a 500MHz Katmai build, so it's not the fastest thing in the world, but it's certainly not the slowest. And, alike to the Rage 128 Pro I'm getting, it was available in mid-1999. I'm hoping that because the PIII 500 was only 50MHz slower than the highest-end PIII processor at the release date of the Rage 128 Pro (it came out August 1st, 1999, and the PIII Katmai 600 came out August 2nd, 1999), that it will be able to keep up. Of course, once I start using newer drivers, as I will have to, the overhead may increase from baseline.

I'm still fighting hard on the Rage 128 being a better card than the TNT2, because if this one doesn't work out, it seems that the only sorts of cards that I'll be able to get ahold of will be selling for US$25+; that's something I can't really afford at this point.
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