VOGONS


Reply 20 of 28, by Ozzuneoj

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Nice post! I've always been somewhat fascinated by these things since they are (as of right now) the only graphics cards released by Intel. Now, with Intel set to release some new ones at some point in the near future, it's cool to take a look back at where it all started. I have a small collection of i740 cards myself.

Here is a picture of the ones I have currently.

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The QDI Legend i740 with SGRAM is one I've not seen anywhere else. When I saw it in a lot online I had a tough time identifying it without seeing the "i740" printing in the lower left corner.

Funny story... that QDI card was "dead" and sitting in a box of "cards I can't fix so I'll resell for parts\scrap" just a few days ago. When I saw this thread, it reminded me of that card sitting in the box that I hadn't been able to get running (no display). I dug it back out and did some extra tinkering\cleaning and to my astonishment, it started working! There are some scratches across some traces on the back... I think maybe a fragment of something was bridging some of them and causing the card not to work, because it started working once I ran a thin probe between the traces to clean them out. It works great in my test system and I played a couple old games on it. Not a perfect 3D accelerated gaming card by any means, but pretty decent if you consider what many other dedicated graphics companies had to offer gamers (S3, Trident, Cirrus Logic, 3D Labs, etc.). So, thank you for posting this and motivating me to fix a weird old card. 😀

Time Machine = FIC PA-2013 2.1 - K6-2 500 - 256MB PC-100 - TNT2 Pro 16MB AGP - Labway Yamaha YMF719-E - Midiman MM401

Reply 21 of 28, by sliderider

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I have 2 of the Real3D Starfighter PCI cards with 24mb of memory. They are kind of strange in that the memory is not unified. The frame buffer and the texture memory are separate from each other and the texture memory is on the other side of a bridge chip that makes the normally AGP only chipset usable in a PCI slot. The chipset accesses the memory through the bridge chip like how an AGP card accesses system RAM across the AGP bus. DOS will only report either 4 or 8 mb, depending on the memory configuration of the card. The rest of the memory is invisible so it's important to know how to differentiate the different configurations by looking at the card and reading the numbers on the chips. 24mb cards are easy because they are the only ones with all the pads fully populated.

What I haven't seen with my own eyes yet is an i752 on a card, even though I know they exist from photos.

Reply 22 of 28, by MKT_Gundam

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2020-01-24, 20:01:
Nice post! I've always been somewhat fascinated by these things since they are (as of right now) the only graphics cards release […]
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Nice post! I've always been somewhat fascinated by these things since they are (as of right now) the only graphics cards released by Intel. Now, with Intel set to release some new ones at some point in the near future, it's cool to take a look back at where it all started. I have a small collection of i740 cards myself.

Here is a picture of the ones I have currently.

20200124_144333 (1600x1200).jpg

The QDI Legend i740 with SGRAM is one I've not seen anywhere else. When I saw it in a lot online I had a tough time identifying it without seeing the "i740" printing in the lower left corner.

Funny story... that QDI card was "dead" and sitting in a box of "cards I can't fix so I'll resell for parts\scrap" just a few days ago. When I saw this thread, it reminded me of that card sitting in the box that I hadn't been able to get running (no display). I dug it back out and did some extra tinkering\cleaning and to my astonishment, it started working! There are some scratches across some traces on the back... I think maybe a fragment of something was bridging some of them and causing the card not to work, because it started working once I ran a thin probe between the traces to clean them out. It works great in my test system and I played a couple old games on it. Not a perfect 3D accelerated gaming card by any means, but pretty decent if you consider what many other dedicated graphics companies had to offer gamers (S3, Trident, Cirrus Logic, 3D Labs, etc.). So, thank you for posting this and motivating me to fix a weird old card. 😀

I have the top right card without heatsink but never tested. Is that a lower clocked version?

Retro rig 1: Asus CUV4X, VIA c3 800, Voodoo Banshee (Diamond fusion) and SB32 ct3670.
Retro rig 2: Intel DX2 66, SB16 Ct1740 and Cirrus Logic VLB.

Reply 23 of 28, by Ozzuneoj

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Just wanted to post in this thread to add that I found one of these. I posted about it in the "bought" thread, but felt I should post it here too, with some added pics.

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This Real3D SFA-136-A is apparently extremely rare, even in comparison to the Starfighter PCI (I also have one of those but several caps have corroded and damaged traces, so it is nonfunctional). I can't find anything about these online other than a picture yjfy posted from his website (which seems to be from China, if his webhost is an indicator). Does anyone know what this card was used for? I'm inclined to think it was used for simulators or arcade machines, as there is no indicator that these were ever sold at retail. Forgot to take pictures of it, but the connectors on the back are, in order: VGA, Video In, S-Video Out, Video Out.

I threw it in my 440BX test machine and it worked immediately. Here is what the video BIOS shows at startup:

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Windows 98SE detected it as an "Intel i740 Win9x PV4.0 with Video Capture". Strangely, dxdiag detects 71.5MB of video memory... maybe this is related to some AGP trickery or just a glitch. It seems to work fine in 3D accelerated games of the time. It also added a "Gfx829, WDM Video Capture for Intel740" device under Multimedia in device manager.

I believe these used the built in drivers in 98SE, but I'm not 100% sure as I was using an installation that had other i740 cards installed previously. I'm not sure if using actual Real3D drivers would make any difference in features or performance, as I have very little experience with these.

Anyway, I'm happy that it works, but also very curious as to what exactly it is or what it was used for, if anyone can find any information anywhere.

EDIT: Searching for 43-0014100 (which is part of the PCB, near the ports) yielded this page and a couple translated copies of it in other languages:
https://www.daniweb.com/hardware-and-software … umperless-board
Apparently, this one person had this card (even specifies Real 3D) in their workstation that used a Diamond brand motherboard? I've never seen a Diamond motherboard in my life. This is the only thing I can find about this online. Maybe I have the card out of her computer... 🤣

Time Machine = FIC PA-2013 2.1 - K6-2 500 - 256MB PC-100 - TNT2 Pro 16MB AGP - Labway Yamaha YMF719-E - Midiman MM401

Reply 24 of 28, by Putas

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2021-01-11, 19:26:

Windows 98SE detected it as an "Intel i740 Win9x PV4.0 with Video Capture". Strangely, dxdiag detects 71.5MB of video memory... maybe this is related to some AGP trickery or just a glitch.

That will be 64 MB AGP aperture + 8 MB video memory.
Intel i740 was used for ... games.

Reply 25 of 28, by Ozzuneoj

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Putas wrote on 2021-01-12, 15:22:
Ozzuneoj wrote on 2021-01-11, 19:26:

Windows 98SE detected it as an "Intel i740 Win9x PV4.0 with Video Capture". Strangely, dxdiag detects 71.5MB of video memory... maybe this is related to some AGP trickery or just a glitch.

That will be 64 MB AGP aperture + 8 MB video memory.
Intel i740 was used for ... games.

This is a 16MB card. From my experience, most cards don't report part of the video memory combined with the AGP aperture in dxdiag, but that is probably related to what ever this glitch is.

Edit: sorry, it is 8mb. I'd just made a thread about a 16mb card and got them mixed up. 😀

Also, for those interested, I just asked the previous owner if he knew what kind of machine this came out of, and he said that he is located near the headquarters of Polhemus, who were integral in 4d capture for AR and VR applications since the 60s, so there is a chance it came from something there. I looked them up and I see they have worked with Lockheed Martin (Real3D) in the past. On top of that, if you search for Polhemus "real3d" you'll find several results pointing to Polhemus and Real3D's 3D imaging tech on the same pages from 1998, so they were definitely in the same markets. Of note... if you look at Real3D's webpage from 1998 it mentions all of this tech, along with the Starfighter cards. If you bump the date to 1999, you get a placeholder page from Intel. Sounds about right! 🤣

This could easily just be a very late and very uncommon configuration of a retail Starfighter, or it could be something slightly more interesting. I just thought I'd post all the information I could get. 😀

Last edited by Ozzuneoj on 2021-01-13, 19:03. Edited 1 time in total.

Time Machine = FIC PA-2013 2.1 - K6-2 500 - 256MB PC-100 - TNT2 Pro 16MB AGP - Labway Yamaha YMF719-E - Midiman MM401

Reply 28 of 28, by Ozzuneoj

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Oops sorry! I was testing another card at the same time and posted a thread about that one too... I got them confused! 🤣

Time Machine = FIC PA-2013 2.1 - K6-2 500 - 256MB PC-100 - TNT2 Pro 16MB AGP - Labway Yamaha YMF719-E - Midiman MM401