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Newly made ISA CL-GD5434

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First post, by Jager

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Is there anyone interested in newly made ISA CL-GD5434 card (similar to STB Nitro 64 or Diamond Speedstar 64)?
Performance-wise it won't be faster than Tseng ET4000, Trident 8900D or AVGA2, since they are all bottlenecked by ISA bus, but still it will be a high-end ISA VGA with GUI acceleration. Price-wise I'm estimating it to be 40-50$ for PCB+parts.
All parts and schematics are available, so it's only a PCB that needs to be recreated. Not easy, but doable.

Reply 2 of 105, by Anonymous Coward

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I'd like to see one, just to annoy all those jerks asking $200+ on eBay.

Did you look into making an ISA card based on Trio64? I am somewhat certain it can work on ISA.

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Reply 3 of 105, by Jager

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CL-GD5434 stocks are high and prices are low (7$), so there is no need to salvage it from PCI cards. Most expensive parts at this moment are PCB (since it's gonna be 4-layer) and 2mb of FPM DRAM (might be cheaper if it'll work with EDO).
As for Trio64-based ISA card - I'm pretty sure that's impossible. Even among Alpine series (CL-GD543*) only 5434 can work on ISA bus.

Reply 5 of 105, by Anonymous Coward

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Jager wrote on 2020-04-03, 08:38:

As for Trio64-based ISA card - I'm pretty sure that's impossible.

I don't know about impossible, but probably not very straight forward. There is an example of a Trio64V graphics adapter for PCMCIA (NOT Cardbus), which is more or less ISA for laptops. Not sure how they did it, as the datasheets only mention interfacing to VLB and PCI. The card doesn't work in DOS, but that probably has more to do with it not having a VGA BIOS.

PCMCIA Graphics and Video decoding cards

Trident TGUI9440 might also be an interesting choice. I don't believe an ISA version was ever made, but the interface is supported...as well as EDO DRAM. Not sure how it would compare to the CL GD5434 ISA cards though.

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Reply 7 of 105, by watlers_world

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A good GUI accelerator?

Would a card like this work with a 286?
Are there 286 compatible Windows drivers with support for the GD5434?

Could you use something like this?
https://akroncanton.craigslist.org/sop/d/lake … 7105438108.html

Reply 8 of 105, by Jager

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2020-04-03, 14:22:

There is an example of a Trio64V graphics adapter for PCMCIA (NOT Cardbus), which is more or less ISA for laptops.

It probably has a bridge chip to do this.

watlers_world wrote on 2020-04-06, 01:32:
A good GUI accelerator? Would a card like this work with a 286? Are there 286 compatible Windows drivers with support for the GD […]
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A good GUI accelerator?
Would a card like this work with a 286?
Are there 286 compatible Windows drivers with support for the GD5434?
Could you use something like this?
https://akroncanton.craigslist.org/sop/d/lake … 7105438108.html

Is it good? Dunno, I need to make it first. 286 drivers? Not sure, but inf file mentions 286 grabber in it. And yes, PCI cards can be used as a backup source for chips.

I've completed drawing scematics and started working on PCB. This wasn't as easy as I expected - some parts of the tech manual conflict with itself, mainly about monitor detection. ISA scematics (made in 1993) suggests that only monitor ID pins can be used, and both STB & Diamond seems to followed this design. On the other hand same manual says that "heritage" monitor detection is not supported by Cirrus Logic and suggests using DDC2b only, which is a bit tricky with ISA configuration, but I hope I'll work. Also I've replaced original VGA filter with newer design.
Some other thoughts - VSA100 chips are still cheap, I'd love to make a Voodoo 4 PCI with DVI, but that's well over my skills.

Reply 9 of 105, by kixs

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It should work with EDO ram - I've upgraded 1MB to 2MB with EDO chips on ISA and VLB 5434 cards.

I doubt any accelerator card works on a 286 - except ATI/S3 with integrated 8514A drivers and not their own drivers.

Here is more about IBM 8514A and clones:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_8514

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Reply 10 of 105, by Grzyb

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kixs wrote on 2020-05-14, 11:08:

I doubt any accelerator card works on a 286 - except ATI/S3 with integrated 8514A drivers and not their own drivers.

ATI Mach8 and Mach32 do work with 8514/A drivers, and such drivers are already provided with Windows 2.11 - so I guess totally 286-compatible.
S3 chipsets, however, don't work as 8514/A, they need dedicated drivers.

Reply 11 of 105, by watlers_world

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Perhaps you should use 4mb of memory with a gd543-4.

Someone told that their ISA GD5424 was too slow to be of help to their 486.
What type of machine would an ISA GD5434 actually accelerate?

I once tried an ISA WD90C33 in my 286 and found that there were no drivers supporting it's accelerated features.
Grzyb, have you benchmarked your mach32 to see what acceleration features are supported?

Reply 12 of 105, by Grzyb

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watlers_world wrote on 2020-05-16, 01:44:

Grzyb, have you benchmarked your mach32 to see what acceleration features are supported?

No need to benchmark, it's described in the Programmers Guide - http://vgamuseum.info/index.php/companies/ite … b2e97b31e277807

Reply 13 of 105, by Jager

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watlers_world wrote on 2020-05-16, 01:44:

Perhaps you should use 4mb of memory with a gd543-4.
Someone told that their ISA GD5424 was too slow to be of help to their 486.
What type of machine would an ISA GD5434 actually accelerate?

My target CPU is 386 or 486DLC. 4mb - probably as an option, but imo that's overkill - it's only needed for 1024x768 24-bit and higher.

Reply 14 of 105, by watlers_world

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Newer 486 machines quite often have hardware better than an ISA GD5434.
And ISA cards with 1mb are quite common (and less expensive).

This sounds like a tedious and difficult process.
Why would you aim for anything less than superlative results?

With a GD5434, you might not make the fastest ISA card ever,
however, you might make the best GD5434 ISA card ever.

I like to see good benchmarks and comparisons.

Reply 15 of 105, by keropi

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I am waiting for this to happen - 4mb is certainly not worth it , maybe keep it 2mb and sockets to upgrade to 4?
higher resolutions and depth don't like iSA much but maybe some ISA 486DX2 could use them

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Reply 16 of 105, by Grzyb

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From what I can see, the goal of this project isn't to build The Ultimate ISA Graphics Adapter(TM).
However - if it evolves to include that goal - it should be noted that it would require 4+ MB, as there were 4 MB ISA cards back in the 90s.

Reply 17 of 105, by matze79

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Would it not better to make a entire new Card FPGA based SVGA for Example with Modern Outputs ?

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Reply 18 of 105, by Jager

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keropi wrote on 2020-05-16, 17:29:

I am waiting for this to happen - 4mb is certainly not worth it , maybe keep it 2mb and sockets to upgrade to 4?
higher resolutions and depth don't like iSA much but maybe some ISA 486DX2 could use them

For 486DX2 any VLB VGA will be much better choice. SOJ40 sockets cost more than appropriate RAM, so that's not an option. Think I'll try adding second memory bank on the opposite side, like it's done on Voodoo2 cards. Also, to use 1024x768x24b BIOS patching might be required - MCLK should be pushed to it's limits for highest resolutions.

matze79 wrote on 2020-05-17, 08:43:

Would it not better to make a entire new Card FPGA based SVGA for Example with Modern Outputs ?

Found this some time ago - http://wacco.mveas.com/index.php?entry=25
But I'm not into FPGA and stuff, that's dangerously close to emulation & dosbox territory 😀