VOGONS


First post, by KitsuneFoxy

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Hello!
I hope this is in the right area.

I finally got my SLI setup working via cards my friend gave to me.

The default drivers would crash when trying to via the control panel with both cards and were not slectable accelerators. They cards work fine on there own though. I fixed this is by using Fast voodoo 4.6. Apparently the cards are mismatched 12mb cards.

However, Even though SLI works and everything is great. I am not sure if it is reporting the memory amount correctly. It does not should 24mb total in the report tool.

It shows 4mb and 8 mb. Making me think that it's not seeing the other card properly.

I'm pretty new to voodoo's and Fast voodoo4.6 seems to be the only one that has worked. Dunno if you c an get stock drivers to mismatch? Or whether it's configured wrong at all.

Does the black VGA cable matter where it should be plugged into?
I wonder if i have that plugged in wrong

(little OT, Does C&C Tib Sun use Voodoo2s?)

98se
768MB PC100
AMD-K6-2 500 (CXT)
DFI P5BV3+ (rev. CE0+) 1MB l2 Cache onboard.
ATI RageIIC 4MB
Voodoo2 SLI.
Creative AWE 64.

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Reply 1 of 16, by wirerogue

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you screen shot is correct. the control doesn't report the memory separately for each card.

you can plug the short vga cable into either voodoo card and it will work fine. just make sure to plug your monitor into the same card.

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Reply 2 of 16, by pentiumspeed

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Scale back the 768MB to 512MB by remove one. Win 98SE does not support greater than 512MB. Don't hack it.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 3 of 16, by leileilol

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Know that having a SLI setup doesn't mean there's more texture memory to work with. It's more about the extra bit of framebuffer with more lines it can draw. Sometimes it can be slower with some games that have to read/write to the framebuffer of both cards (i.e. many later D3D games)

KitsuneFoxy wrote:

(little OT, Does C&C Tib Sun use Voodoo2s?)

Nope! It's purely a DirectDraw game.

Also given that it's a DFI board with a VIAMVP3 chipset, there's potential stability issues with AGP video cards out there to keep in mind and 3dfx cards seem to be the most stable for that (should you move on from a Rage II). This is not brandom talking - this is just so happens what the luck/experience is with those old VIA chips since 3dfx's AGP parts weren't fully AGP.

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Reply 4 of 16, by KitsuneFoxy

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leileilol wrote:
Know that having a SLI setup doesn't mean there's more texture memory to work with. It's more about the extra bit of framebuffe […]
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Know that having a SLI setup doesn't mean there's more texture memory to work with. It's more about the extra bit of framebuffer with more lines it can draw. Sometimes it can be slower with some games that have to read/write to the framebuffer of both cards (i.e. many later D3D games)

KitsuneFoxy wrote:

(little OT, Does C&C Tib Sun use Voodoo2s?)

Nope! It's purely a DirectDraw game.

Also given that it's a DFI board with a VIAMVP3 chipset, there's potential stability issues with AGP video cards out there to keep in mind and 3dfx cards seem to be the most stable for that (should you move on from a Rage II). This is not brandom talking - this is just so happens what the luck/experience is with those old VIA chips since 3dfx's AGP parts weren't fully AGP.

I've seen reports about its agp yeah. It doesnt use the right load resistor. its like a 5 instead of intels recommended 6 and above.

Thanks for the information on tib sun too. Im assuming that it uses the rage for that then?

I've seen somewhere that the voodoo's will do some sort of directdraw?

Last edited by KitsuneFoxy on 2019-12-06, 23:32. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 5 of 16, by dan86

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its showing the right amount of ram, its just spiting the ram up into two groups, framebuffer and texture. And adding a second card dose not duble you usable VRam. Its still just 12mb as the data in ram is mirrored across the two cards.

Reply 6 of 16, by leileilol

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KitsuneFoxy wrote:

I've seen somewhere that the voodoo's will do some sort of directdraw?

They still technically could (required for DirectX driver compliancy IIRC) and there's a few DirectDraw games that are too friendly enough to allow blitting to the Voodoo/Voodoo2 (like SimCity 3000) - it will be very slow though! There's no real point to it. Voodoo 2D blit is slower than the ViRGE (this is not an exaggeration).

(not to be confused with Banshee/V3 and up as they're real 2D/3D primary video parts that don't suffer the same ways V1/V2 do.)

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Reply 7 of 16, by Arctic

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dan86 wrote:

its showing the right amount of ram, its just spiting the ram up into two groups, framebuffer and texture. And adding a second card dose not duble you usable VRam. Its still just 12mb as the data in ram is mirrored across the two cards.

It is not mirrored. Each card does half of the scanlines on the screen. So effectively you only need half of their framebuffers in each frame. Wouldnt that "practically" double the memory?

@leilei
Every pre 2000 opengl, d3d or glide game will benefit from having a 3dfx sli system compared to a single card. Which game wouldn't?

Reply 8 of 16, by leileilol

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Arctic wrote:

Wouldnt that "practically" double the memory?

Maybe for the framebuffer, but however it won't do anything regarding texture thrashing as both cards would need the same textures loaded to draw the same scene. It'll actually be worse than a single V2 when it thrashes with twice the PCI bandwidth stress.

Arctic wrote:

Which game wouldn't?

Urban Chaos and Metal Gear Solid, to name a couple...

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Reply 9 of 16, by Arctic

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As far as i know the first metal gear solid doesnt use accelerated 3D and why wouldnt urban chaos profit from a SLI setup? It is a direct3d game and has a neat configuration tool. You probably can play in a higher resolution compared to a single cardj

3dfx sli is efficient. Each card does "half" of the work.

Reply 10 of 16, by leileilol

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I feel like Scali right now...

"half-the-work" by dealing with even/odd scanlines won't cancel out the fact there's two PCI cards with redundant memory to deal with. V2 SLI wasn't very future-proof regarding games with constant memory reads+writes, dynamic lightmap uploads, and more texture use. And there's that annoying scanline tearing on top of that...

MGS was Direct3D.

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Reply 11 of 16, by Arctic

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Please take a look at Phils voodoo2 scaling review: You can see almost double the performance in SLI compared to a single card in 800x600. For example Forsaken: 93FPS single card, 174FPS SLI (Pentium 3 500MHz)

When the Voodoo2 was released it was "future proof". No CPU was fast enough to feed the cards with data!
It took the Pentium 3 to adequately drive the card.

Reply 12 of 16, by Garrett W

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Texture thrashing can be really bad, which is why Voodoo 3 should be preferred in most cases.

Not wanting to divert the thread, but seeing as the main question has been answered, I am curious to learn more about what leileilol is saying. Why would these two games in particular (and yeah MGS does offer D3D alongside a software renderer, very peculiar port this one) perform worse with SLI over a single card? Are you perhaps talking with this particular CPU (or line of CPUs) in mind or would this also happen with a fast Pentium III ?

Reply 13 of 16, by Gamecollector

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Asus P4P800 SE/Pentium4 3.2E/2 Gb DDR400B,
Radeon HD3850 Agp (Sapphire), Catalyst 14.4 (XpProSp3).
Voodoo2 12 MB SLI, Win2k drivers 1.02.00 (XpProSp3).

Reply 14 of 16, by appiah4

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I feel Voodoo 2 was pretty future proof despite its architectural shortcomings. Yes, the framebuffer memory limits it to 1024x768 even in SLI but the card was released in 1998 and people did not game at higher than 1024x768 all the way into 2001 or thereabouts. I was still gaming at 1024x768 when the Radeon 8500 released and I got one.

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

Reply 15 of 16, by leileilol

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I mained 1280x1024 in 2001, and 1600x1200 was already being pushed by new video cards in mid-late 98, and PC gaming didn't stop at a PSX port less detailed than Descent II mostly known for the big naked and the big numbers, so...

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