VOGONS


Reply 20 of 41, by The Serpent Rider

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For 3Dfx, it does not matter if PCI or AGP.

AGP always matter, because it's a dedicated slot tied to north bridge, with very straightforward access to RAM and doubled exclusive bandwidth.

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Reply 21 of 41, by matze79

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I can not make out any difference Benching V3 PCI vs AGP.
only about 1-3%.

Bandwith is same as AGP 1x on PCI 66Mhz.

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Reply 23 of 41, by bloodem

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-10-24, 17:19:

The GeForce 2 MX (even on PCI) should be able to handle much more than 60 FPS in Quake 3 at 640x480x16.

Eh no. GeForce 2-4 cards on PCI bus suffer quite greatly, when it comes to max FPS, which drags average FPS in Quake 3 timedemos below 100 fps even on much more powerful CPUs.

Well, we agree. 😀 I was also referring to faster CPUs. As I stated earlier, on SS7 the best you can hope for is ~40 FPS (without tuning the Quake 3 params/FSB overclocking).
Granted, I never tested any GeForce 2 - 4 cards on PCI (don't have any), but I do have an FX 5500 PCI, and on a Pentium 3 Coppermine 1 GHz I got about 80 FPS in Quake 3 @ 1024 x 768.
Of course, that card is useless for SS7, because of the newer drivers, which would tank the performance. But still, that tells me that the PCI bus should be perfectly capable of supporting the max 40 FPS that the K6-2 is capable of (without any tweaking, at least), especially at a low 640x480x16. So, in my opinion, his very low score is not related to the card being on PCI, but to a CPU/memory/PCI bus bottleneck.

Last edited by bloodem on 2020-10-24, 18:25. Edited 2 times in total.

2 x Socket 3 / 3 x Socket 7 / 4 x SuperSocket 7 / 4 x Slot 1 / 2 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 2 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
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Reply 24 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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matze79 wrote on 2020-10-24, 17:18:
No Permedia 2 on your List ? […]
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No Permedia 2 on your List ?

If you use PCI Cards you should avoid using 33Mhz PCI Cards at the Same Time or you will kill your Bandwith.
(Eg legacy Network Cards.., Ancient SCSI Stuff..)

For 3Dfx, it does not matter if PCI or AGP.
The V3 does not support AGP Features anyway.

Well I might have to put the Permedia 2 on the list 😀 But first want to focus on this.

I do have a network card in there... will check the performance without it.
The onboard sound on the motherboard (ESS Solo1) probably also uses the PCI bus ?

Too bad my AGP voodoo3 doesn't fit in the PCI slot 😀 think the AMD + voodoo3 would have been a nice combo here.

Reply 25 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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bloodem wrote on 2020-10-24, 18:03:

Granted, I never tested any GeForce 2 - 4 cards on PCI (don't have any), but I do have an FX 5500 PCI, and on a Pentium 3 Coppermine 1 GHz I got about 80 FPS in Quake 3 @ 1024 x 768.
Of course, that card is useless for SS7, because of the newer drivers, which would tank the performance. But still, that tells me that the PCI bus should be perfectly capable of supporting the max 40 FPS that the K6-2 is capable of (without any tweaking, at least), especially at a low 640x480x16. So, in my opinion, his very low score is not related to the card being on PCI, but to a CPU/memory/PCI bus bottleneck.

  1. On the motherboard I can set a host clock and memory clock (both are set to 100Mhz).
  2. There is 1 256MB PC133 stick in the motherboard.
  3. CPU voltage is set to 2.2v, multiplier set to x5
  4. I have removed the ethernet card (PCI)
  5. I have disabled the onboard sound. (no other soundcard installed).

If you have tips for checking the CPU/memory/PCI bus bottlenecks that would be great.

Have another super socket 7 system here that I could try. (not a brand computer but a clone, using a super socket 7 motherboard with agp slot).

Reply 26 of 41, by matze79

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In the Super7 machines it’s unlikely you will find a 66Mhz slot.
But on Socket A there a few and P4 platform.
I properly was mistaken and only some newer boards have 66Mhz support.

The k6 has weak fpu not so useful for 3D

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Reply 27 of 41, by bloodem

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RetroSpector78 wrote on 2020-10-24, 18:48:

[*]There is 1 256MB PC133 stick in the motherboard.

This might be part of the problem, actually (especially with a non-plus K6-2 CPU). If you can, remove the 256 MB module, and use a 128 MB memory module instead.
And while you're at it, also make sure that "External cache" is enabled in the BIOS.

2 x Socket 3 / 3 x Socket 7 / 4 x SuperSocket 7 / 4 x Slot 1 / 2 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 2 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
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Reply 28 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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bloodem wrote on 2020-10-24, 19:26:

This might be part of the problem, actually (especially with a non-plus K6-2 CPU). If you can, remove the 256 MB module, and use a 128 MB memory module instead.
And while you're at it, also make sure that "External cache" is enabled in the BIOS.

Very few bios options ... there is a read-only entry that states "Cache RAM : 512kb" so I guess the external cache is enabled.
Will try with a 128mb stick also.

Reply 29 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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bloodem wrote on 2020-10-24, 14:01:

On a K6-2+ 550 MHz & an AGP GeForce 2 MX (with driver version 7.76) I get ~ 40 FPS in Quake 3 at 640 x 480 x 16 (without any other fine tuning).
The K6-2+ is typically 15% faster than a normal K6-2 of equivalent frequency. So with a K6-2 550 MHz, I would expect to see ~ 35 FPS, while a K6-2 500 MHz, would probably be around ~ 32 - 33 FPS.
You only scored 23.5 FPS. So either your K6-2 has a lower frequency, or something else is going on - the fact that you have a PCI GeForce 2 MX shouldn't make a difference at low resolutions...

So I moved the Geforce 2 MX400 PCI card to my SuperSocket7 clone system (with a K6-2 400Mhz).
And now I am getting 30fps. A substantial bump from the earlier 23.5fps on the 500Mhz (this CPU here is clocked at 400Mhz.)
3DMark99 is also running a lot faster.

Could the onboard usb have something to do with it (on the Packard Bell AMD K6-2) ? There is no option in the BIOS to disable it. Will look for a jumper on the motheboard.
Or perhaps because I was installing so many different video card drivers, perhaps something got messed up there ?

But we're making progress 😀 Thx a lot for all the tips so far.

UPDATE : Just got 35fps after doing an nvidia driver update from 08.05 to 56.64. So something is definitely holding back the Packard Bell.... and it doesn't seem to be the videocard.

Reply 30 of 41, by Pierre32

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RetroSpector78 wrote on 2020-10-24, 13:21:
Yeah can imagine the SFF can be limiting, but surprised that the MX440 would be on par with the internal SIS. On my Packard Bel, […]
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Pierre32 wrote on 2020-10-24, 12:33:

I've just been through a very similar scenario, although not quite similar enough to be helpful to you. My system is an Aptiva 2196, which is a small form factor machine with K6-2+ 533 and SiS onboard everything. As soon as I got it the search was on for a PCI sound card & video card - but the limitations of SFF took the wind out of my sails before too long.

I ended up finding a low profile PCI MX440, but got no extra performance out of it. The onboard graphics scored marginally higher in 3dmark. The MX440 was ahead in several tests, but I think the internal AGP bus gave the SiS graphics the edge overall. The sound card search was a complete bust - for anything of the appropriate period anyway.

I decided "it is what it is" and now just use it for Doom/Duke/Descent type games, as well as some Win95 era stuff. That filled a gap in my collection, so I'm happy enough. Interesting reading about earlier drivers here though - perhaps I will revisit at some point.

Yeah can imagine the SFF can be limiting, but surprised that the MX440 would be on par with the internal SIS. On my Packard Bel, the SIS 530 IGP is unusable for anything 3D.
With a PCI Geforce2 MX400 I can play nfs 3 (low settings) / quake 1,2,3 / unreal tournament / midtown madness (low settings).
OpenGL based stuff like quake is actually really good. Direct3D is a bit limiting (dunno yet if it is related to PCI or a driver issue / direct x / settings / .....)
Switching to older drivers definitely helps.

In 3D Mark 99 (800x600) I got a score of 1465 3D Marks / 4272 CPU 3D Marks with the Geforce2 MX400.

Just dug out my results. "My Project" is the SiS540 benchmark. Looking at your comparison to the GF2 MX400, I'm starting to think there was something horribly wrong on my system!

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Reply 31 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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Pierre32 wrote on 2020-10-25, 00:38:

Just dug out my results. "My Project" is the SiS540 benchmark. Looking at your comparison to the GF2 MX400, I'm starting to think there was something horribly wrong on my system!

SiS540-MX440-01.png

SiS540-MX440-02.png

Well here are mine (ran on my AMD K6-2 400 clone .... on the packard bell results are a lot worse) :

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My Packard Bell uses the SIS530 chipset (SiS 6326 IGP).
Your SIS540 uses the SIS 300 IGP. According to Wikipedia :

Following the successful SiS 6326 in 1998, SiS introduced the SiS 300 as its replacement. The 3D performance was improved 5 times over the previous GPU, although still considered slow, yet a value solution as a display chip for users that don't use 3D-intensive applications.

Now I am surprised that it scores so high in 3d mark. Are you sure it rendered everything correctly ? Because that is not such a bad score.

Reply 32 of 41, by Pierre32

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Curious stuff indeed. I'm not experienced with benchmarking, but I can say I watched all the tests right through (SiS and Nvidia) and didn't note any visual differences (apart from FPS differences).

Reply 34 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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RichB93 wrote on 2020-10-25, 13:38:

A vote for the 4000XT - I like quirky stuff, and the Kyro is just that. Disappointing that mine bit the dust, would love to get a replacement but they're so costly now!

It's also on my list, but haven't found one for the good price yet.

Geforce 2 MX 400 seems to be working fine also, but something is holding back that Packard Bell. Need to find out what.
Would like to disable the onboard USB but there is no bios option, and only a USB front / back jumper selection on the motherboard.

Reply 35 of 41, by bloodem

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Did you try with an 128 MB memory module instead of 256 MB?
With the 256 MB memory module you are exceeding the max cacheable area, which can severely affect performance with a non plus K6-2 CPU.

2 x Socket 3 / 3 x Socket 7 / 4 x SuperSocket 7 / 4 x Slot 1 / 2 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 2 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 36 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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bloodem wrote on 2020-10-25, 14:54:

Did you try with an 128 MB memory module instead of 256 MB?
With the 256 MB memory module you are exceeding the max cacheable area, which can severely affect performance with a non plus K6-2 CPU.

Didn't make a difference. But working with 128mb stick now.

I did however look for USB settings. Found the motherboard layout here : https://pb.retropc.se/980.html and regarding USB I only found this :

  • Front (J24) : 1-2 Closed and 4-5 Closed
  • Back (J5-1) : 2-3 Closed and 5-6 Closed

I thought removing all jumpers would disable USB but cannot seem to be able to disable them. (the back usb connector always seems to work).

Did you see my post on the AMD K6-2 clone system I tried it with ? That was a lot faster than the Packard Bell. (unfortunately that one only goes to 400)

Other things i noticed :

  • for quake 3 : voodoo banshee drivers / openGL drivers for quake 3 : glide3x.dll / 3dfxgdl.dll versions can make a huge difference depending on where they come from (voodoo reference drivers , opengl drivers, manufacturer drivers)
  • for 3DMark : I am also seeing different outcomes depending on when I run it (straight after a reboot, or after I've been working in win98 for a bit).

Reply 37 of 41, by bloodem

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Seems that other people complained in the past about performance issues with the SiS530 chipset (even when using a K6-2+ CPU). Apparently the solution was to "toggle some BIOS settings" (but it's unclear which settings those were): Re: Cacheable ram?
Not sure how many settings you can customize on your Packard Bell, though.

2 x Socket 3 / 3 x Socket 7 / 4 x SuperSocket 7 / 4 x Slot 1 / 2 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 2 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 38 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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bloodem wrote on 2020-10-26, 17:51:

Seems that other people complained in the past about performance issues with the SiS530 chipset (even when using a K6-2+ CPU). Apparently the solution was to "toggle some BIOS settings" (but it's unclear which settings those were): Re: Cacheable ram?
Not sure how many settings you can customize on your Packard Bell, though.

Not a lot of things to tweak ... I think the SIS530 chipset is sound. It seems to run pretty stable, but the overal system seems crippled by a lack of bios options to optimise / tweak things.

I did ran Final Reality demo as it has a "Bus Transfer Rate" section but that went to 50MB/sec so seems ok. (other threads I found here mentioned a severe lack in PCI performance when a PCI videocard was used, and bus transfer speeds of 10-15MB/sec. This doesn't seem to be the case here.

On the other hand, I have now reinstalled win98se, used a clean driver set, and the performance now seems to have improved. It is still a bit slower than my AMD K6-2 400Mhz clone, but I guess that is the Packard Bell tax you have to pay.

These benchmarks also seem to be very sensitive to when they are run in the boot cycle. You might get a big difference if you run it straight after booting into win98, or if you have already spent an hour working in win98se and then decide to launch a benchmark. I've seen 3dmark99 ranging from 1950 - 2350 in the same win98 session without any changes to settings / drivers / resolutions / .....

Things like Quake 3 also comes with its own complexities (versions / combinations of 3dfxvgl.dll / glide3x.dll / opengl32.dll / .....)

Benchmarking is hard 😀 Perhaps we should leave it up to the big boys like PhilsComputerLab 😀

Reply 39 of 41, by RetroSpector78

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For those interested, did a whole bunch of benchmarking on the Packard Bell AMD K6-2 500Mhz with the Creative 3D Blaster Voodoo Banshee (PCI)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RHyca … t#gid=868122597