VOGONS


First post, by lmttn

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I recently got a partially upgraded Compaq Presario 5465 (475MHz AMD K6-2 + 256MB RAM) that really needs a new graphics card. It currently has an ATi Rage XL which is not great, struggling with Need for Speed III's Direct3D mode on low settings at 640x480. My only disadvantage with this PC (as far as I know) is that its expansion slots are PCI-only. What PCI graphics card should I get to replace the Rage XL? I would like to avoid 3dfx if at all possible since they can be prohibitively expensive compared to Nvidia/ATi. Since I know not every card likes every game, some games I plan to play include Need for Speed 3-5, Mechwarrior 2&3, Heavy Gear I&II, Microsoft's various Madness racing games, and the first two Rainbow Six games.

Reply 3 of 22, by Srandista

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Have you looked at the market for PCI Voodoo 3 cards? I wouldn't say, they are common, and I definitely wouldn't say they're just "a bit" expensive. Quite otherwise, I would say, that they're more valued then AGP variant, and today's prices reflects that.

If budget is tight, I would also recommend 2/4MX, or maybe FX 5200. But if possible, go for 128-bit bus width for some decent memory bandwidth.

Btw, at which resolution you're planning to play?

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Reply 6 of 22, by dionb

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Gf2MX and TNT2-M64 PCI aren't that rare/expensive, offer more performance than this system could use (so no bottleneck) and are ideal in terms of compatibility. Of course a V3-3000 PCI would be nice, but unless you're very lucky, that will be a quite different category.

But... if you're struggling on low settings, that usually means you're CPU bottlenecked (VGA bottlenecks typically only affect higher settings), so don't expect miracles from any new card 😮

Reply 7 of 22, by The Serpent Rider

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AMD K6-2 tier list based on driver performance:

1) 3dfx cards
2) GeForce 2 MX / GeForce 4 MX*
3) Riva TNT2 128-bit bus
4) GeForce FX 5200/5500*
5) Savage 4 / Riva TNT / Riva TNT2 M64
6) Matrox G450 PCI**
7) ATi cards

*GeForce 4 MX and GeForce FX can give you better framerate in certain scenarios/later games.
**Not 100% sure, but maybe G450 can be overall faster than Riva TNT2 M64, at least in D3D titles.

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Reply 8 of 22, by lmttn

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Srandista wrote:

Btw, at which resolution you're planning to play?

Oh, I probably should've mentioned, sorry. My monitor is pretty small so in most cases either 640x480 or 800x600

Reply 9 of 22, by lmttn

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Okay, I got a Geforce MX 4000 in the mail yesterday and installed the 71.84 driver. Games with software renderers run fine, and the graphics card displays the desktop in 32-bit color with no hassle, but every attempt I make to play a game (so far I have tried Need for Speed III, Motocross Madness 2, and Mechwarrior 3, causes an immediate crash to desktop. Should I just try a different driver version?

Reply 10 of 22, by Tiido

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You'll definitely want to use some of the older drivers, 4x.xx for example. The later ones are very buggy...

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Reply 11 of 22, by lmttn

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Tiido wrote:

You'll definitely want to use some of the older drivers, 4x.xx for example. The later ones are very buggy...

That did the trick, thanks!

Reply 12 of 22, by hwh

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Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are 3DFX cards any good for D3D? Even OpenGL? I had the impression that they lived in a weird Glide only world and therefore were only good for games of that vintage that offered support.

I don't care about Glide.

Reply 13 of 22, by kolderman

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hwh wrote:

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are 3DFX cards any good for D3D? Even OpenGL? I had the impression that they lived in a weird Glide only world and therefore were only good for games of that vintage that offered support.

I don't care about Glide.

Yes. Voodoo5 had a full OpenGL ICD. However you should care about Glide as it was usually superior for games that supported it, which was many in the late 90s/early 2ks.

Reply 14 of 22, by appiah4

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I've been you.

The best options you have (PCI Voodoo 3, PCI Voodoo Banshee, Voodoo 2/SLI) are the most expensive, but fortunately not so rare. Other decent options you have are all quite rare and range from more affordable (Radeon VE PCI, G450 PCI, Savage4 PCI) to fairly expensive (TNT2 PCI, GF2MX PCI, Radeon PCI) but are all quite rare. One last option that is more common, more affordable and very compatibile (TNT2 M64 PCI) is probably worth a consideration despite being low on the speed scale.

It would probably help to know your budget, at this point.

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Reply 17 of 22, by appiah4

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oeuvre wrote:

get all of the PCI video cards

This ends up what you usually do when you try to get good 3d acceleration on a PCI only K6-2 PC.

Then you hate your options anyway and start hunting for a cheap AGP SS7 board so you can use a relatively cheaper Voodoo 3 3000 AGP with it.

I have yet to find one.

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Reply 18 of 22, by lmttn

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appiah4 wrote:
This ends up what you usually do when you try to get good 3d acceleration on a PCI only K6-2 PC. […]
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oeuvre wrote:

get all of the PCI video cards

This ends up what you usually do when you try to get good 3d acceleration on a PCI only K6-2 PC.

Then you hate your options anyway and start hunting for a cheap AGP SS7 board so you can use a relatively cheaper Voodoo 3 3000 AGP with it.

I have yet to find one.

Yeah, I'm starting to know that feel. My MX4000 certainly works but performance is not the best, running Mechwarrior 3 at 25ish fps at 800x600 with the fancier settings turned off. I'm not even sure if it's the graphics card causing that or the motherboard/chipset/CPU. Even Mechwarrior 2 (Windows 95 version with software rendering) has some questionable dips.

Reply 19 of 22, by Jasin Natael

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PCI Voodoo 3

Alternative: Radeon 9250, but try and find one with 128bit memory bus.

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