VGA card of my first ever PC.

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby Baoran » 2019-9-09 @ 16:17

My first ever pc was a 286 that I got in 1989 and it had a basic trident vga card (I remember the trident logo during post) that only had 256Kb of memory so no higher resolutions. Anyone has any idea what model of trident that could have been? I can't find info online on any 256Kb trident cards and even the wiki page of trident only mentions 512Kb cards.

I have been recently thinking of building same kind of system my first ever pc was so I am wondering if it would be possible to get similar vga card even if I don't remember the model number from back then. I already have same kind of case in stored that my 286 had. Not sure if I will be able to find a working 40Mb seagate hard drive though, but I will keep my eyes open if building it will become possible.
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Re: VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby imi » 2019-9-09 @ 16:31

if it was 1989 there's not that much choice as there were only two different trident series around (though I have never seen a TVGA8200LX), so it was most probably a TVGA8800**
it's not that hard to find these cards around.
512kb was the maximum memory, sometimes with only 256kb populated.

also good luck, I am currently pursuing the same objective, rebuilding my first PC from 1989 ^^
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Re: VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby derSammler » 2019-9-09 @ 16:36

I'd say TVGA8800 or 8900 as well. Their amount of video memory was not fixed and could be 256, 512, or 1024 KB (for the 8900).
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Re: VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby Grzyb » 2019-9-09 @ 18:58

I vote for 8800, saw some such cards with just 256KB and empty sockets for another 256KB.
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Re: VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby Jo22 » 2019-9-09 @ 20:48

I also tthink it might have been Trident 8800 or 8900 series (88/89xx are years ?).
imi wrote:512kb was the maximum memory, sometimes with only 256kb populated.

I'd say it other way round - 256KiB populated, with sometimes 512KiB. ;)
Likely 256KiB was considered enough for full VGA compatibilty and a tiny bit of SVGA (800x600@16c, 640x400@256c).
Anyway, most cards had free spaces for future memory expansion, at least.
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Re: VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby Baoran » 2019-9-09 @ 23:56

I don't remember the card being able to do more than 320x200 with 256 colors and 640x480 with 16 colors. I remember feeling disappointed when first svga games came and I couldn't do anything better. I had upgraded the motherboard and cpu to 386 33Mhz, but I was still using the same trident card.
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Re: VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2019-9-11 @ 00:15

Meh, SVGA games ran pretty slowly even on a 486, so it's not like you really missed out.
Plus, if you really wanted there was a Windows driver for 640x400 256 colours, which works on 256k cards.
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Re: VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby tincup » 2019-9-11 @ 01:01

A 1mb Number Nine of some sort. Came bundled with a nice IBM Aptiva I bought 3rd hand about 1995. I remember it was upgradable to 2mb (something that I never succeeded in doing) and had cool "9" and "Number Nine" logos printed on the board. It may have been named something like "Vision" or "Reality" or something. I've searched the net looking for the card - probably a consumer grade 3S model - but since I sold the the rig within a year I can't honestly say I'd recogise it even if I saw it. But that the logo stuff was cool and it'd be fun to have the card. It was woefully under-powered for my burgeoning gaming needs though.
Last edited by tincup on 2019-9-11 @ 16:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VGA card of my first ever PC.

Postby Jo22 » 2019-9-11 @ 03:33

Baoran wrote:I don't remember the card being able to do more than 320x200 with 256 colors and 640x480 with 16 colors. I remember feeling disappointed when first svga games came and I couldn't do anything better. I had upgraded the motherboard and cpu to 386 33Mhz, but I was still using the same trident card.

In it's time Trident 8900 was very popular, though. Like ET4000, Paradise PVGA1A/PVGA1B (aka WDC90C00) or S3 Trio's.
However, the card didn't containe any VESA VBE in ROM. That had to be downloaded and run separately (it was a DOS TSR, VBE 1.x).
Many picture viewers and drawing programs got built-in support for the Tridents (and other VGAs). Same for OS/2 2.0 and higher.
DOSemu also used a Trident as a reference card. DOSBox however, still has no support for it sadly (it also lacks PAS16n emulation still). :depressed:
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