VOGONS


First post, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I have a Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF (i815, P3-1000, 384MB PC133 RAM) that I am messing around with It has no AGP slots (the AGP is used by onboard TNT2 Pro on some boards, mine lacks it) so I was upgrading it via PCI graphics cards.

First I installed a Matrox G450 PCI, and thought it would handle Quake 3 fine at 800x600 High. It did not, it was a stuttery mess, though it played fine at 1024x768 Normal.

So I thought I would go ahead and upgrade it and dropped in a GeForce 2 MX400 PCI (200/240 clockspeeds). Driver version 43.45. Boy did that not help at all.

800x600 High DEMO001 benchmark: 33,7 fps
1024x768 Normal DEMO001 benchmark: 36,0 fps

3DMark2000 Default Benchmark:2160

What gives? Were my expectations too high or is the PCI bus reall this terrible gimping for cards beyond say the TNT? Or am I experiencing another issue entirely?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 1 of 17, by Munx

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Matrox and OpenGL don't mix.

Quake 3 engine really dislikes PCI and wants AGP., especially on DX7 cards like Geforce. AGP MX400 destroys the PCI one in Q3 when running on the same system (39.8 vs 64.5 fps in my tests when running with a 1.4GHz Thunderbird)

That said, I got much higher FPS and scores than yours when I tested a Celeron950 and a GFMX400 PCI - over 4K in 3Dmark2K and 36fps in Q3 1024x768 MAX settings.

My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 2 of 17, by misterjones

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
appiah4 wrote:
I have a Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF (i815, P3-1000, 384MB PC133 RAM) that I am messing around with It has no AGP slots (the AGP is u […]
Show full quote

I have a Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF (i815, P3-1000, 384MB PC133 RAM) that I am messing around with It has no AGP slots (the AGP is used by onboard TNT2 Pro on some boards, mine lacks it) so I was upgrading it via PCI graphics cards.

First I installed a Matrox G450 PCI, and thought it would handle Quake 3 fine at 800x600 High. It did not, it was a stuttery mess, though it played fine at 1024x768 Normal.

So I thought I would go ahead and upgrade it and dropped in a GeForce 2 MX400 PCI (200/240 clockspeeds). Driver version 43.45. Boy did that not help at all.

800x600 High DEMO001 benchmark: 33,7 fps
1024x768 Normal DEMO001 benchmark: 36,0 fps

3DMark2000 Default Benchmark:2160

What gives? Were my expectations too high or is the PCI bus reall this terrible gimping for cards beyond say the TNT? Or am I experiencing another issue entirely?

weird.

My machine (P3-933MHz, 512MB RAM, i820, 16MB PCI G450 Dual Head) was only ever so slightly slower at 800x600x32 under XP (32fps)
The same machine with a 64MB Radeon 7000 got 44fps and with a 32MB Radeon 7200 SDR I got 73fps.

It's not the bus, it's the chipset.

With the Matrox drivers, though, Win98SE is the OS of choice. You get better performance under 98 as opposed to XP.

Matrox G400/G450 Quake III Performance

Reply 3 of 17, by Big Pink

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I rescued a Deskpro EN with almost identical specs from being thrown out at work last year. I bought a Rage 128 card - would not POST at all. I bought a TNT2 M64 card - worked mostly, but 3DMark just crashed. Finally, bought a GeForce 2 MX400 - screwed up graphics, Win 98 refuses to recognise it (seller told me the previous buyer had the same problems, which he could not replicate).

I gave up and put it in storage.

I thought IBM was born with the world

Reply 4 of 17, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Well, I guess I found the major issue here: The RAM on my MX400 is 240MHz 64-bit as opposed to 166MHz 128-bit; that is effectively 28% slower RAM / less bandwidth. Add to this that it is on a PCI Bus, so it probably can't make very good use of the hardware T&L either..

I'm thinking of going back to the G450 PCI and doing more benchmarking with it.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 5 of 17, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Well, I dropped the G450 PCI back in and in 3DMark 2000 it got 2028 points. Quake 3 High 800x600 was 31 fps, so it's a wash really. G450 has IMMENSELY better VGA output though, and I would have normally kept that in, but no driver that I tried (which had G450 support) seemed to work well with Quake 2 - there is some weird jankiness all over when there are lighting effects like explosins etc. on the screen. The MX400 scores around the same but overall feels a lot more smooth, so I will keep that in.

It's a shame though, how gimped the GeForce 2 MX chipset is on the PCI bus. I will keep my eyes open for a better PCI videocard such as a non-M64 TNT2 PCI or a Savage4 PCI.

I own a Radeon 7000 PCI but I am not confident in its VESA compatibility - I will play DOS games on this box as well..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 7 of 17, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
cxm717 wrote:

On the G450 PCI in quake2 try setting gl_dynamic to 0. That made a big difference on my G450 PCI. Seemed to be only quake2 that was that much slower on the PCI version of the card.

Then I lose dynamic lighting though?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 8 of 17, by dr.zeissler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I have two FSC ScoveryXS D1215 (Onboard 815e)

Good options are:
1. D1215 PIII 600/133 i815e for OpenGL/D3D 640x480 / Voodoo1 for Glide 512x384
2. D1215 PIII 1400/133 R7000PCI Excellent ImageQuality. Performance 800x600@32Bit with HiRexTestures possible.

Doc

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 9 of 17, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

If I actually had a spare PCI slot I would have added a Voodoo 2 in a heartbeat; got none though.

I do have a Radoen 7000 PCI and a Radeon 9250 PCI that I could use, but GF2MX400 PCI will do OK I think, 800x600 Quake 3 High is fairly playable and I don't plan on using this for more taxing games.

Radeon 7000 PCI + Voodoo is definitely a great choice though.

Does Voodoo 1 work on an i815 motherboard with 133MHz FSB? That's surprising.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 10 of 17, by dr.zeissler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Yes, BUT:

Glide is fine, D3D has some glitches with textures in some games, OGL is fine, but 815e is faster in OGL.
You have to use one reference-driver, with the others it's problematic. (It's NOT the latest. I have to check out which I use if you are interested)

R7000 has excellent Image quality and a nice centred image on my tft between vga-text and lowres vga/ega (320*200)
Win3x driver works out of the box with 1024x768@256colors.
The R9250 is faster and has TNL, but for games that require this I would go for a faster Pentium4 with a faster GF3/5/6.

Doc

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 11 of 17, by foey

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I can dig out my PIII 1.4Gghz on a 815 motherboard. It has a Geforce FX5200 PCI installed (Similar to a Geforce 2 Ultra I believe)

Cyrix Instead Build, 6x86 166+ | 32mb SD | 4mb S3 Virge DX | Creative AWE64 | Win95
ATC-S PIII Tualatin Win9x Build :- ATC-S PIII Coppermine Win9x Build Log [WIP] **Photo Heavy**

Reply 12 of 17, by cxm717

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
appiah4 wrote:
cxm717 wrote:

On the G450 PCI in quake2 try setting gl_dynamic to 0. That made a big difference on my G450 PCI. Seemed to be only quake2 that was that much slower on the PCI version of the card.

Then I lose dynamic lighting though?

Yes. It might just be a driver bug. I haven't had time to try much with that card. I got it to use in my dell dimension 2200 which has the 810 chipset (no agp) and when I first tested the card I ran quake2 and thought there was something wrong with it. It runs most games fine though

Reply 13 of 17, by foey

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Just tested mine...

Intel Pentium III Tualatin 1.4Ghz
256mb PC133 Ram
Fujitsu Siemens D1371 Motherboard
128mb PNY FX5200 (64bit memory) PCI @ 300/400mhz
Windows ME

Quake 3 1.11 - Timedemo 001 :-

1024x768 (Everything on high, 32bit Colour, Lightmap) - 72.8fps
800x600 (Everything on high, 32bit Colour, Lightmap) - 85.0fps
640x480 (Everything on high, 32bit Colour, Lightmap) - 90.0fps

For a laugh, I set the native resolution of my DELL 2007FPb, it looks crystal clear and actually performs quite well.

1600x1200 (Everything on high, 32bit Colour, Lightmap) - 38.5fps

Cyrix Instead Build, 6x86 166+ | 32mb SD | 4mb S3 Virge DX | Creative AWE64 | Win95
ATC-S PIII Tualatin Win9x Build :- ATC-S PIII Coppermine Win9x Build Log [WIP] **Photo Heavy**

Reply 14 of 17, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Here is something of an update.. I've tested this system with a Matrox G450 PCI, a GeForce2MX400 PCI and a Radeon 7000 PCI:

Deskpro-EN-SF-3-DMark-99-Ge-Force2-MX400.jpg Deskpro-EN-SF-3-DMark-99-G450.jpg Deskpro-EN-SF-3-DMark-99-R7000.jpg
Deskpro-EN-SF-3-DMark-2000-Ge-Force2-MX400.jpg Deskpro-EN-SF-3-DMark-2000-G450.jpg Deskpro-EN-SF-3-DMark-2000-R7000.jpg

Notice how low the 3DMark99 score for the G450 PCI is.. This is the only card of the lot that really struggles with Quake 2 even at 800x600 - it basically chokes on all dynamic lighting in the game, and I am almost certain the same is true for the benchmark. I don't know if it has to do with the way this architecture does (or can not?) handle older methods of dynamic lighting, but the G450 fucks up completely in Quake 2 unless you use gl_dynamic 0 (I've tried about a dozen drivers from 603 to 683) and that is a dealbreaker for me. Sad. The GF2MX was also a letdown because it had 64-bit SDR memory (albeit 240MHz SDR, but still the bandwidth bottleneck was telling). So I found the best of both worlds, as suggested earlier in this thread, with the Radeon 7000. I was afraid its DOS compatibility would be an issue but under Win98SE it ran all my DOS games perfectly fine (I am not into archaic scrollers like Keen games).

Oh, it was buttersmooth in Quake 2 as well, even in 1024x768.

Deskpro-EN-SF.jpg

It was also pretty fluid at Quake 3 at 800x600 High. Overall, I've rounded up this PC in a way I originally intended..

The question now is, is this normal? Does the PCI bus REALLY handicap any card after the TNT2/Voodoo 3 this much? Even the GF2MX was performing at about TNT2 levels in my tests. The Radeon7000 is barely better, but manages to perform about the same as a real GF2MX due to having 64-bit DDR.. I guess anything beyond a TNT2 on the PCI bus is a lost cause?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 15 of 17, by Jasin Natael

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Old thread i know, but....

I have a similar system only mine was Deskpro with a a Katmai 450 that I upgraded to a CuMine 600. I run a VooDoo 3 2000 PCI in it.

I know it's slower that yours but it does seem like a good match.

In the past I have also ran a Radeon 9250SE PCI 256MB 128bit card and it did quite well.

I don't have any numbers off the top of my head but If you have such a card I would give it a try.

I think it should do worlds better that the Radeon 7000.....just my 2cents.

AOpen AP53 AMD K6/2 - 233MHZ - 64MB RAM 20GB WD HDD Win98SE

Compaq Presario 5152 AMD K6-III+ 550MHZ 512MB RAM ATi Radeon 9250SE 256MB PCI Aureal Vortex 2

Asus A7V-VE AMD Athlon T-Bird 1.20GHZ 512MB RAM ATi Radeon 7500 DDR 64MB Vortex 2 32GB KingSpec SSD

Reply 16 of 17, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I do own a 9250 PCI but I am saving it for the day I can finally afford an A1200 and a Mediator card 😀

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 17 of 17, by Jasin Natael

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Gotcha.

AOpen AP53 AMD K6/2 - 233MHZ - 64MB RAM 20GB WD HDD Win98SE

Compaq Presario 5152 AMD K6-III+ 550MHZ 512MB RAM ATi Radeon 9250SE 256MB PCI Aureal Vortex 2

Asus A7V-VE AMD Athlon T-Bird 1.20GHZ 512MB RAM ATi Radeon 7500 DDR 64MB Vortex 2 32GB KingSpec SSD