VOGONS


First post, by squelch41

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I'm playing Command and Conquer 95 on my 486 (spec in signature).
Scrolling can be quite slow - is that just the CPU or does the cirrus logic graphics card also struggle?
It does have directdraw acceleration but presumably pretty slow?

Is there any point upgrading the card for games in Windows or does it make little to no difference?

(I know I could get a faster retro pc etc, but I don't want to - just want to see how far I can push this 486 😀)

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb Hard disk,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios extension ROM, ES1869 soundcard, Unknown brand VLB multi-io card with Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA on it.

Reply 1 of 12, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

The manual states a minimum of a Pentium CPU, so my guess is you are CPU limited more than anything though there are faster VLB cards out there.

Is that an actual 486 you have overclocked to 133 or is it a 5x86? If it is a 5x86, I would try upping the fsb to 40Mhz to give you 160Mhz CPU speed. That will also help speed up the video as well as the RAM throughput.

You don't have a POD83 laying around do you?

Does it help at all if you disable sound?

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 2 of 12, by squelch41

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

You cant actually disable sound in C&C, only turn the volume right down and given that the cd keeps spinning for the CD audio, I dont think it disables it.

It is a 5x86 but it wont overclock to 160Mhz.
It will boot to dos but it rapidly crashes (even with ram timings set with very loose, wait state added to the VLB bus card and just using a single ram stick.

Sadly, dont have a POD83 🙁

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb Hard disk,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios extension ROM, ES1869 soundcard, Unknown brand VLB multi-io card with Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA on it.

Reply 3 of 12, by PC-Engineer

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Your Board and CPU should have enough speed for this game. And C&C is a simple VGA (320x200) game. I played it in 95 with a 486 SX 50MHz and i cannot remember, that is was very slow. As i played without FPU, i think the POD83 would give no advantage over the Am5x86. Maybe it is an incompatibility of some components. Did you set the Turbo switch? Are the caches (L1/L2) well configured?

Maybe i would give a faster graphics card a try: S3 Vision, Trio64, GD5434, TGUI 9440, Mach32, Mach64, ET4000W32, ARK1000.

1994/1995 - Socket3 - ASUS SV2GX4 / POD 100MHz / 64MB / SCSI - Windows 95

Reply 4 of 12, by squelch41

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
PC-Engineer wrote on 2020-11-11, 19:39:

Your Board and CPU should have enough speed for this game. And C&C is a simple VGA (320x200) game. I played it in 95 with a 486 SX 50MHz and i cannot remember, that is was very slow.

Yes, the DOS version is 320x200 and runs smoothly.
The win95 version is 640x400 or 640x480 (menu option). It's playable but slow in places especially when quite a few units on screen.

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb Hard disk,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios extension ROM, ES1869 soundcard, Unknown brand VLB multi-io card with Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA on it.

Reply 5 of 12, by PC-Engineer

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Ok, for Win95 SVGA gaming a better graphics card with decent Windows Accelerating would give a good speedup. Avoid the ET4000 and the ARK from my list above.

But i think for really fluid SVGA gaming you will need a PC a class higher - Pentium MMX, K6-2, 6x86MX or better. The SVGA version was intended for PCs from 1997.

1994/1995 - Socket3 - ASUS SV2GX4 / POD 100MHz / 64MB / SCSI - Windows 95

Reply 6 of 12, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Played this game to death on my 486, still do.
It's only a DX2/66 but with a 2MB Mach64 VLB, which has pretty good Windows Acceleration out of VLB options.
I always played the dos version as it had smoother gameplay, even the dos version can slow down on bigger maps with lots of units. My money is on CPU been the bottleneck.

Running the game off the HDD will help a bit, I did that even back then for the dos version. Lucky No-CD is really easy to do.
you can either copy over the .mix files and modify modify CDDir= entry in conquer.ini
Or these days you can just run nyerguds patch http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/cnc95upd/cc95p106/

RA will also work on a 486 but dos performance is about the same as C&C 95. (which is still playable IMHO)

Reply 7 of 12, by squelch41

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

My initial thoughts were that it was probably cpu bottlenecking too. I was just wondering about the vga card as the sound is always solid, none of that stuttering you tend to get with a cpu struggling to keep up (sfx - the music is from the CD so that is obviously independent!)

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb Hard disk,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios extension ROM, ES1869 soundcard, Unknown brand VLB multi-io card with Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA on it.

Reply 8 of 12, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

It is and it isn't. C&C doesn't use CD Audio, the files are compressed in scores.mix so the CPU is still involved in music playback.
But your right in that scores.mix lives on the CD by default.

Westwood knew that the music causes a performance his and turns off music off by default (set to 0) for network games. Turning it back on definitely caused my 486 to pause for a split second.
Once I moved scores.mix onto the HDD the pause went away.

I'm not 100% sure but from memory I think you can also extract the music and C&C could still play the AUD files. I think this is how I played the hidden tracks originally, at least in the dos version.
That would save some CPU cycles but takes up loads of disk space.

All this is based on the dos version but would expect the windows version has the same options.

Reply 9 of 12, by matze79

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

For Fallout 3 we recompressed all audio files to less quality which gave a nice performance boost.
Maybe this is possible for c&c too ?

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 10 of 12, by squelch41

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Fwiw, music on c&c95 is definitely cd-audio - just put the disc in an audio cd player to check!

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb Hard disk,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios extension ROM, ES1869 soundcard, Unknown brand VLB multi-io card with Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA on it.

Reply 11 of 12, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
squelch41 wrote on 2020-11-14, 17:46:

Fwiw, music on c&c95 is definitely cd-audio - just put the disc in an audio cd player to check!

Nah that's just for your listening pleasure. They had plenty of room on the CD after all
The game definitely get's the music from the scores.mix file

Reply 12 of 12, by squelch41

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
chinny22 wrote on 2020-11-15, 16:00:
squelch41 wrote on 2020-11-14, 17:46:

Fwiw, music on c&c95 is definitely cd-audio - just put the disc in an audio cd player to check!

Nah that's just for your listening pleasure. They had plenty of room on the CD after all
The game definitely get's the music from the scores.mix file

Ha! Love it! Who wouldn't want to listen to C&C soundtrack away from the game 😉

V4P895P3 VLB Motherboard and AMD 486 133MHz CPU
64mb RAM, CF 4Gb Hard disk,
Realtek 8019 ethernet + XT-IDE bios extension ROM, ES1869 soundcard, Unknown brand VLB multi-io card with Cirrus Logic GD5428 1mb VGA on it.