ShovelKnight wrote on 2020-03-26, 10:58:
I've been trying to find a good, compatible and fast PCI video card for a while (for some of my builds, and also because it's a […]
I've been trying to find a good, compatible and fast PCI video card for a while (for some of my builds, and also because it's a nice thing to have lying around) and so far I've not been successful.
I'm mostly interested in later cards that have at least some 3D acceleration capabilities. Here's what I tried:
- NVIDIA Riva TNT2 M64 PCI. This is a good card... when it works. Very fast in DOS and fast enough for early Windows 3D games. It seems to be very picky about the motherboards! It POSTs in my GA-5AX (Aladdin V) and GA-6BXC (440BX), but not in my VIA EPIA (VIA PLE133) or Shuttle HOT-591P or HOT-597 (VIA MVP3).
- GeForce 2 MX/MX400 PCI. Same limitations as the TNT2 M64 PCI except this one POSTs in my MVP3 motherboards.
- S3 Savage 4 PCI. This one is the most frustrating one. I have three of them: one Creative and two Diamonds (S530 and S540). They all POST in all of my motherboards and work flawlessly in DOS... but NONE of them work in Windows. Once I install the drivers, the Creative card causes Windows 98 to BSOD on boot. Both Diamond cards appear to work: the machine reboots and shows the desktop in high colour... But if I try to open any window or menu (e.g. right clicking on the desktop), the PC freezes immediately. By the way, S530 was NOS, sealed in its antistatic bag and never installed before I got it (no scratches on the edge connector)
The question is: are there any other PCI cards with similar levels of performance and compatibility with DOS games, that are known to be compatible with wide variety of chipsets and motherboards?
(sorry to reanimate such a old post but...) I am currently experiencing the same frustrations with Diamond Stealth S540 PCI (Savage4 Pro+).
I´ve got a Compaq Presario 7476 (no AGP SS7), K6-2 533mhz, Via MVP4 chipset, which is essentially MVP3 with IGP (Trident Blade 3D).
After installing video card drivers, Windows 98se would freeze, just some moments after reaching desktop. Be it by right clicking over desktop, opening a folder, or whichever not demanding task.
-Tried different drivers, 8.20.31, "Engineering BitFlip" (8.10.25?) ones, own Diamond´s 8.20.21, and even "ChroMetal 4.5" driver (8.20.38). All cause the same problem, at least in this system.
Now, there is only one driver (Diamond´s 8.10.20, if I recall correctly) which doesn´t cause this behaviour, but it is quite old and causes graphical glithces in games like glQuake.
-Hooked another HDD and did a fresh install there. Same happens.
-Disabled ACPI in Windows. Nothing changes.
- Took out the Voodoo2 and left only the Savage 4 inserted. Same.
- Reduced hardware acceleration one level. Some improvement noticed...
Now...when I move the card to the second (from the CPU down) PCI slot, it lasts longer before a freeze would happen.
I would even be able to run a glQuake timedemo (90FPS!) but it can´t bare to finish 3DMark99 (it freezes) nor play a game for long (freezes).
I suspect it has to do with IRQ assignment, but BIOS is very limited, almost no tweaking possibilities.
I never get the PCI video card to be assigned IRQ 11 alone. When inserted in the 1st PCI slot it is assigned IRQ 11 but shared with USB ports...
No USB disabling available in BIOS options...
Inserting it in the 2nd slot assings it IRQ 10 and USB gets IRQ 11
- Finally, tried the same Diamond Stealth S540 PCI on another ss7 (no AGP) board, Asus P5S-VM with slow SIS530/5595 chipset.
When the card was inserted in the first PCI slot, I also got a system freeze. Inmediately moved it to the 2nd slot and the card behaves properly with 8.20.31 drivers. So it seems to like that SIS chipset better...or maybe that BIOS.
Weird thing is, if a TNT2 m64 is used, no matter in which PCI slot, the systems behaves as expected, snappy, no issues.
Anyone else have gone through a similar experience with this nice, yet nightmarish Diamond Stealth S540 PCI?
I own other AGP S3 Savage4 (2 Diamond, 1 Number Nine) and never experienced this kind of trouble with them.
Flashing a compatible Mitac BIOS could be my last resort, but I would like to avoid it, should a workaround arise.