VOGONS


VRAM Win98

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First post, by Frunzl

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Hi,

I would highly appreciate your opinion on optimal VRAM size in Win98.

I recently built a fast Windows 98 PC and I am unsure whether to use an FX 5900 XT (128 MB) or an FX 5950 Ultra (256 MB).
The thing is, the FX 5900 XT features a passive cooling solution, which I strongly prefer vs. the 5950U dustbuster sound.

Can you think of a situation where 128 MB of VRAM would not be sufficient under Win98? Is there a pre 2001-game that requires that much?

Thanks!

Reply 1 of 7, by douglar

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VRAM is a specific type of memory. I don't think they used that type of memory on the FX series. You are probably asking about how much ram do I need to put on my video card. The answer there depends on what you are trying to do.

4MB of ram on your graphics card is usually adequate if you just want to use Windows apps at 1280x1024 resolution. Anything over that is really only needed when playing DirectX or OpenGL games. Are you thinking about playing games? When I played DirectX & OpenGL games on Windows 98 back in the day, I was usually more concerned about having a GPU & CPU that were fast enough to play the game, and I rarely had to worry about having sufficient video ram. Those 8MB STB Velocity 100 cards worked pretty well for 1999 vintage games like counter strike classic or quake 3.

Reply 2 of 7, by Frunzl

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Thanks for your comment! Please excuse if I got the nomenclature wrong, what I meant is simply video memory in general. In the case of the FX 5000 Series, it is DDR video memory with a 256 bit bus width.
Sure, Voodoos or a Riva TNT2 "only" have 16-32 megs, which is certainly sufficient for Unreal (but I run this one on Glide since I got a Vodooo 5 PCI installed as a secondary GPU) or Duke 3D, but I really would like to be able to run more recent things like Wolfenstein 2 etc. with brute force 8x AA and AF at 1600 x 1200 (which is possible on the FX series).

Do AA and AF increase video memory usage? Texture size is the most important factor and should remain the same, right?

Reply 3 of 7, by douglar

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Frunzl wrote on 2021-01-10, 22:44:

Thanks for your comment! Please excuse if I got the nomenclature wrong, what I meant is simply video memory in general. In the case of the FX 5000 Series, it is DDR video memory with a 256 bit bus width.
Sure, Voodoos or a Riva TNT2 "only" have 16-32 megs, which is certainly sufficient for Unreal or Duke 3D, but I really would like to run more recent things like Wolfenstein 2 etc. with brute force 8x AA and AF at 1600 x 1200 (which is possible on the FX series).

Do AA and AF increase video memory usage? Texture size is the most important factor and should remain the same, right?

My understanding is that Textures, Zbuffer, and Alpha Blending chew up the MBytes while AA & AF chew up the MBytes/Sec (memory bandwidth) which would be memory bus x memory speed.

Generally, you can compensate for lack of MB by having a faster bus, CPU, or GPU. You can't do too much about lack of MBytes/Sec other than turn down the settings.

Best look up the requirements of the game you want to play.

Wolfenstein 2: https://www.pcgamesn.com/wolfenstein-2-the-ne … em-requirements
Minimum specs (720p 60fps at low):

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770/AMD FX-8350 or better
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 4GB/AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB or better
  • RAM: 8GB
  • OS: Win7, 8.1, or 10 (64-Bit versions)

Reply 4 of 7, by Frunzl

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Thanks again, but I made another mistake, I meant Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which is much older (and a little more appropriate for Win98 😀.

In general, can you think of any game that would require more than 128 MB video memory on Win98? (I can't, but I am not very knowledgeable about all Win 98 games).

Reply 5 of 7, by lost77

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With 128 MB you should be good up to about 2003. I think Doom 3 (2004) was one of the first games that used a bit more than 128 MB although it still runs fine with that amount.

This is with the standard texture compression, some games allow you to turn it off which is not recommended.

Reply 6 of 7, by The Serpent Rider

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Doom 3 will require around 350-400 Mb of VRAM with Ultra settings, which are uncompressed textures and normalmaps. Mostly unplayable on 128 Mb, but fine on 256 Mb.

My understanding is that Textures, Zbuffer, and Alpha Blending chew up the MBytes while AA

Both SSAA and MSAA are essentially just downscaling higher resolution to a current viewport, which increase memory requirement for a frame buffer accordingly.

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Reply 7 of 7, by mothergoose729

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If you are going to dual boot windows XP than the extra 128mb of graphics RAM might help for some later games. Certainly the higher core clock and memory clock in the 5950 ultra will help as well. For any game you run in windows 98 it just won't matter at all. 5950 ultra and a 4200ti are going to perform basically the same in most scenarios in windows 98 just because of how terribly unoptimized the drivers are.