VOGONS


Reply 21 of 29, by BSA Starfire

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I whole heartedly agree with that, Putas has spent a huge amount of time and effort already establishing the relative performance and abilities of these old cards, you can find pretty much anything you want to know here: https://vintage3d.org/index.php

My thread was just originally about exploring my particular machine with the hardware it already had installed and what it might, or might not manage to achieve, that kinda expanded to the two other 6326 cards I could easily put my hands on. And I'll probably take a look at the Laguna 3D 5464 PCI card I also own simply because I've had it for years and never really done anything with it beyond a test when I first received it.
I'll make a few comments here on the 6326 from my experiences this week anyhow, first up, revision matters, you want a post C3 revision at least, H0 is probably the easiest to find and best, it fixes most of the bugs that spoil the early cards(the revision is marked on the chips, bottom right hand corner) . 8mb does offer some advantages over 4MB on these also, so is preferable.
For what was probably the cheapest 3D card on the market at the time(these apparently retailed for less than ViRGE cards even) the one thing they do offer is a fairly full feature set, decent enough drivers and good compatibility with games of the era, what they don't offer is blazing speed or easy to get working openGL. It will allow you to play games without visual anomalies and at a (what I consider) playable speed that things like the ViRGE, Trio3D, 3D/2X, pre G200 Matrox cards, Trident 3Dimage, pre RAGE PRO Ati and Laguna3D won't(but as always this varies with some games favouring or at least not hating some cards, so on occasion a S3 3D/2X might be better, well maybe!). The visual quality is actually pretty decent and also very consistent,that's something few of the other mentioned cards can manage. But this is a dirt cheap low end accelerator and you can't expect performance from it like a Voodoo or RIVA128(that cost 6 times as much). Windows 2D GUI acceleration I'd describe as adequate, at least on my system, but I doubt it'd seem that special on a much faster machine. DOS stuff works fine, no scrolling bug on Commander Keen for example, it's not especially fast again, but then not the slowest I've tried for DOS either.
So far on the H0 revision cards I haven't found anything that is just plain broken, it all works. The C3 is a different story though and does have a lot of issues, similar to the virge and trident 3Dimage, although not as bad as either. I'll add in here, I'm not a first person shooter fan(they are just not my cup of tea) so the only game of this genre I tried was Unreal Gold(the only FPS I own,actually I don't mind this game too much, not a favourite but I did like the sense of exploration and discovery), no tests have been done by me with quake games or related, it's a case of if I'm not interested in playing it I don't care how it runs.
Well I guess that is about all I have to say on this. It's been a good lockdown project and I've learned a fair bit and perhaps walked into the woods off the beaten path too, something this old hardware will let you do and makes it special and rewarding.
I'm sure your all waiting with baited breath to see the awesome power of the Cirrus Logic Laguna 3D with it's insane Rambus memory so I guess that'll be what I do next.

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 22 of 29, by BSA Starfire

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Here's the Cirrus Logic 5464 Laguna 3D! Wow, what a beast! RDRAM for the win! I believe this is a 4MB card? that's what newest HWINFO thinks too anyway .
OK well lets be honest here, I'm really not expecting much of this card even compared to the SiS 6326, I'm expecting an experience more akin to the Trident 3D Image and later ViRGE and TRIO 3D(perhaps I'll have to give both those another look in the future) cards if I'm honest, well, lets see.
Card is installed and working with the ver 2.0 drivers obtained from vintage3D ,created in Jan 2000, same Cyrix MII machine we have been using so far.
Well I guess I badly underestimated this little card, it's running Star Wars episode 1 racer, TBH it looks nowhere near as nice as the SiS 6326 H0 rev does, but it plays, only a few obvious graphical glitches in the energy stream between the engines and the suns on Tatooine, but frankly they are not bad, just showing a weird green texture rather than the correct stuff. The FPS isn't great, but it is actually playable on this poor lowly machine, menu's are all fine and readable. The surprise is that this is better than the C3 revision 6326 with SGRAM & AGP that is built into the motherboard, that was an unplayable mess, this you can play and enjoy.
Daytona USA also plays great, no glitches or anomalies. It's slower than the 6326 Ho but unlike the C3 has no issues with drawing the sky. I mean really it's not running badly at all.
Final Reality gives a score of 1.47(the lowest score we have seen so far), however all looks fine and the audio glitches that occur with the 6326 while still present are more short lived and intermittent unlike those when the 6326 is installed, although they do happen earlier in the test, during the rotating starship scene in this case rather than at end in city scene.
Motoracer demo is a bit of a mess, start of the race stutters and stalls, then when it gets going although frames pick up lovely and fast it does drop a lot of textures, randomly it seems, big white areas on cliffs and buildings,also especially the railings and fences in the later part of the race, certainly not playable.
Need for Speed III also runs, no glitches at all in the menu's and is playable as far as FPS goes too on the same settings that I used on the 6326 cards. There are a couple of graphical oddities, a thin black strip along each side of the road markings not present on the SiS and also a black cube around the cursor in the pause menu but it's perfectly playable and again far faster and nicer than software rendering on this game.
Unreal gold fails to start, I'm pretty sure this is due to too little video RAM being available on the card after reading vintage3D. I'm getting the same error Putas does with 2MB cards. Was a bit much to expect anyway to be honest!
Ziff davis 3D winbench 98 has no problems with the HUD text like the C3 6326 did but does drop a lot of textures, epsecially in the shrine. I assume this is due to the small amount of video memory, the space station scenes however run pretty nicely.
That's about it for now.

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 23 of 29, by matze79

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Grab SiS 305 Card!

The Laguna is very bad.. i also own it, there is almost nothing running as it should. Expect a lot of drawing errors 😁

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Reply 24 of 29, by The Serpent Rider

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Laguna 3D is different. Cirrus Logic 5464 was horrible, but Cirrus Logic 5465 is more or less fine as first gen accelerator. I don't see a reason to torture yourself with SIS 6326 though, no matter which revision, it's too slow.

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Reply 26 of 29, by BSA Starfire

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matze79 wrote on 2020-05-17, 08:07:

Grab SiS 305 Card!

The Laguna is very bad.. i also own it, there is almost nothing running as it should. Expect a lot of drawing errors 😁

I do have a SIS 315 64MB AGP card, not sure the difference with 305, but it's pretty decent, as I recall from testing years ago about the same as a geforce 2 mx. If I ever come across a PCI 305 I'll give it ago.

Laguna 3D is different. Cirrus Logic 5464 was horrible, but Cirrus Logic 5465 is more or less fine as first gen accelerator. I don't see a reason to torture yourself with SIS 6326 though, no matter which revision, it's too slow.

I had very low expectations, so this was purely for my own amusement and learning, I have other far more capable retro machines for games, basically this is a lockdown project off the cuff with what I had set up at the time. BUT I still think a few of the games I have tried are perfectly enjoyable on the 6326(H0). Can't comment on the Laguna 5465 as I don't own one to try out.

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 27 of 29, by candle_86

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I find a rage 2 is faster than the sis6326 and the rage ii is a terrible 3d card already

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Reply 29 of 29, by zapbuzz

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I had a SiS 2mb pci gpu. I found out its BIOS was updated and a newer bios loadable by TSR in dos on bootup.
What I did was interesting. The actual BIOS TSR was just a bios attached to a terminate stay resident executable and I didn't have anything to re-program the GPU bios. Didn't like the idea of TSR as it used resources. In the end after extensive research I discovered I could remove the BIOS chip and load the updated TSR bios (without the TSR EXE) into the motherboard BIOS and within the system BIOS it booted the card flawlessly.
Many PCI GPU's could do the same thing. Especially useful for EPROM chips why the expense of programmers when the PC's BIOS might have room for a VGA bios as well. (Uness thats an EPROM chip too)
This information requires research into BIOS modding and isn't as easy as it sounds.
All commercial BIOS have locks, encryption , and special versions of programs to build a modified BIOS from a vendors BIOS version.
The newer BIOS however gave a little more frame speed a marginal improvement but the GPU was running cooler without a fan.
Maybe the SiS 6326 BIOS chip is a flash chip I don't know but that'd mean another programmer anyhow and for 1 card why not just use the system BIOS. For example Award modular is modular because the systems I/O is installed into the Flash RAM or EPROM as option ROMs. VGA BIOS can be recorded as an option ROM; in what is called BIOS strings.
I wouldn't load a PCI BIOS into a motherboard who has an AGP slot that would need an AGP card and bios to work.
Also not for motherboard with integrated GPU.(Although you might find a BIOS ROM for that) Some people have had success loading it as being together with the integrated but I wouldn't.
Still, I remembered I wished I had the AGP version of the SiS 6326 😀