VOGONS


Voodoo 5 Throttling

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First post, by Shagittarius

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I recently got a Voodoo 5 and it appears to be in peak condition , however sometimes it seems to have half the performance it could have, I've seen it bounce back and forth between those performance levels during a benchmark. So I was wondering does it do any internal throttling or disabling half of its GPUs depending on internal temps? Or is it more likely the maybe my CPU is throttling and causing the problems? I've look at HWMonitor but I cant see temps either for the voodoo or the AMD CPU. Im running a Shuttle SK19 I think it is if that helps anyone.

Thanks.

Reply 2 of 20, by Shagittarius

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I'm using driver v 4.12.01.0666 , Where would I find this setting, I only see anything about vsync under OpenGL and its off. The benchmarks are in DX.

It seems heat related to me, giving the machine a rest brings it back to its full performance.

Reply 3 of 20, by weldum

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don't know your machine, should be more useful to just post your specs including which windows version, any update or enhancement installed and which driver are you using.

the v5 is known to be a hot card, though disabling half of the gpu will make it perform worse, due to how it works (there's no shaders or cores, they're simply 2 video cards (4 in the v5 6000) running in parallel and are separate chips)

very probably you have some other kind of problem going on, also tell us which games and benchmarks are you using.

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LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 4 of 20, by Justin1091

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It doesn't have a sensor for temperatures and I doubt it does any throttling. I'd look at the CPU, maybe press reset during a game and look at bios temps? What CPU are you using?

Reply 5 of 20, by Garrett W

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Shagittarius wrote on 2021-06-27, 21:37:

It seems heat related to me, giving the machine a rest brings it back to its full performance.

Voodoo5 has no temp sensor or ability to downclock in an attempt to throttle and protect the chips from overheating. Neither do the Athlons until perhaps Athlon 64(?). These concepts would largely emerge further down the line, usually first designed for laptops.

What you describe sounds very much like Double Buffered V-Sync. I'll largely simplify, but here's what's going on. Let's say you have a 60Hz display and you want your game to run at 60FPS, so as to hit the limits of what your monitor can display. Without V-Sync, the GPU works non-stop to produce as many frames per second as possible. This usually creates the effect of screen tearing, which if you've had the unfortunate opportunity of having someone showcase and pinpoint, is very very hard to ever look past. With V-Sync enabled, the system makes sure that the GPU never produces more frames than needed, this is done with the introduction of another buffer which is ready to be displayed every time the previous frame has been shown, thereby keeping things in sync. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the beast, what this practically means is that you have to be hitting 60+ fps constantly in order to maintain that framerate. If for some reason you hit 58 or 59FPS, your framerate will tank to 30, which is 60 / 2. If you can't hit 30, you'll be locking to 20 FPS, 60 / 3 etc. Again, this is a simplified and rough explanation.

This is unfortunate, especially because sometimes you might actually be more limited by your CPU than your GPU, for example moving from an indoor area to an outdoor area in a game and the CPU has to do a lot more work.

One solution is to enable Triple Buffering, which largely alleviates this phenomenon (it also helps with input lag! brainfart). This is fairly easy for OpenGL and GLide if I recall, 3Dfx Tools has an option for it. Unfortunately, for D3D, the answer is more complex. One solution is to disable V-Sync, obviously. If the driver does not allow this, perhaps an old version of PowerStrip will help. Another solution is to use something like D3D Override (included with the old RivaTuner) to enforce it, although I'm not 100% certain this will work with 3Dfx cards.

Last edited by Garrett W on 2021-06-28, 08:09. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 6 of 20, by Shagittarius

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Garrett W wrote on 2021-06-27, 23:48:
Voodoo5 has no temp sensor or ability to downclock in an attempt to throttle and protect the chips from overheating. Neither do […]
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Shagittarius wrote on 2021-06-27, 21:37:

It seems heat related to me, giving the machine a rest brings it back to its full performance.

Voodoo5 has no temp sensor or ability to downclock in an attempt to throttle and protect the chips from overheating. Neither do the Athlons until perhaps Athlon 64(?). These concepts would largely emerge further down the line, usually first designed for laptops.

What you describe sounds very much like Double Buffered V-Sync. I'll largely simplify, but here's what's going on. Let's say you have a 60Hz display and you want your game to run at 60FPS, so as to hit the limits of what your monitor can display. Without V-Sync, the GPU works non-stop to produce as many frames per second as possible. This usually creates the effect of screen tearing, which if you've had the unfortunate opportunity of having someone showcase and pinpoint, is very very hard to ever look past. With V-Sync enabled, the system makes sure that the GPU never produces more frames than needed, this is done with the introduction of another buffer which is ready to be displayed every time the previous frame has been shown, thereby keeping things in sync. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the beast, what this practically means is that you have to be hitting 60+ fps constantly in order to maintain that framerate. If for some reason you hit 58 or 59FPS, your framerate will tank to 30, which is 60 / 2. If you can't hit 30, you'll be locking to 20 FPS, 60 / 3 etc. Again, this is a simplified and rough explanation.

This is unfortunate, especially because sometimes you might actually be more limited by your CPU than your GPU, for example moving from an indoor area to an outdoor area in a game and the CPU has to do a lot more work.

One solution is to enable Triple Buffering, which largely alleviates this phenomenon (it also helps with input lag!). This is fairly easy for OpenGL and GLide if I recall, 3Dfx Tools has an option for it. Unfortunately, for D3D, the answer is more complex. One solution is to disable V-Sync, obviously. If the driver does not allow this, perhaps an old version of PowerStrip will help. Another solution is to use something like D3D Override (included with the old RivaTuner) to enforce it, although I'm not 100% certain this will work with 3Dfx cards.

Thanks for the explanation, that's not what's going on here. The 3dMark99 1st test runs at a pegged 75FPS all the time, but when the card if "acting up" it will drop as low as 30ish. If run from boot after resting for a while you can run the demo many times and nothing will happen, but the longer the machine is on the more likely you will run this demo and see thye framerate more than halved. Like I also said I've seen it happen in real time while running this test. It will jump up and down during the execution of the test.

I mean I guess that doesn't rule out what you are saying but it really feels like it has more to do with heat to me.

BTW: THe CPU is a 1GHz Athlon MP

Last edited by Shagittarius on 2021-06-28, 02:30. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 7 of 20, by Shagittarius

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As an additional question can anyone tell me why the Voodoo 5 outputs all its resolutions in a manner that squishes them on my monitor, no other card I own does this. 1920x1080 for example doesnt fill the screen.

Reply 8 of 20, by Putas

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Garrett W wrote on 2021-06-27, 23:48:
Shagittarius wrote on 2021-06-27, 21:37:

It seems heat related to me, giving the machine a rest brings it back to its full performance.

One solution is to enable Triple Buffering, which largely alleviates this phenomenon (it also helps with input lag!).

No, triple buffering adds one frame of lag.

Reply 9 of 20, by Garrett W

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Putas wrote on 2021-06-28, 05:15:
Garrett W wrote on 2021-06-27, 23:48:
Shagittarius wrote on 2021-06-27, 21:37:

It seems heat related to me, giving the machine a rest brings it back to its full performance.

One solution is to enable Triple Buffering, which largely alleviates this phenomenon (it also helps with input lag!).

No, triple buffering adds one frame of lag.

Yes, that's actually rather obvious in hindsight, case closed I'm an idiot!
In my defense, mouse movement has always felt much better to me with Triple Buffered Vsync, no doubt as a result of less framerate variation, which in turn led me to this false statement.

Reply 10 of 20, by Aebtdom

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Shagittarius wrote on 2021-06-27, 21:37:

Thanks for the explanation, that's not what's going on here. The 3dMark99 1st test runs at a pegged 75FPS all the time, but when the card if "acting up" it will drop as low as 30ish. If run from boot after resting for a while you can run the demo many times and nothing will happen, but the longer the machine is on the more likely you will run this demo and see thye framerate more than halved. Like I also said I've seen it happen in real time while running this test. It will jump up and down during the execution of the test.

I mean I guess that doesn't rule out what you are saying but it really feels like it has more to do with heat to me.

BTW: THe CPU is a 1GHz Athlon MP

Hmm, when getting 75fps with an athlon 1ghz and when the problems occurs you get around 30fps, is way less then half the performance of a voodoo 5 5500 card. Even on one chip this is about 60% of the performance of that single chip.

Have you tried any other driver? I myself am using the amigamerlin driver 2.9(win98).

Builds:

Xp2400+ gf3 ti200 + vd2 SLI 12MB + 768MB + SB live @ WinXP & 98 Dualboot.

MMX233 + S3trio 3D/X2 8MB + 3Dfx Voodoo 1 + AWE64 + 64MB SDR @ msdos / win98.

Reply 11 of 20, by maestro

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I agree that you need to expand the scope of your investigation. I've never seen the behaviour you describe in a V5 and I've owned one since they were released. Try things like different drivers, different hardware or a fresh OS installation, although my guess it's hardware related.

Reply 12 of 20, by Shagittarius

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I went in and reapplied thermal paste to the cpu and it seems like it cooled it by 5c. I still have to run it without the case on it or it overheats and does all kinds of weird things. I think this is a case of the CPU thermal throttling or even the chipset on the Shuttle getting to hot, because after it crashes it can't read the HDD until I unplug the USB connection to my HUB that has a mouse/keyboard/joystick connected to it.

It's a very strange duck, I don't think the Shuttle case is the best thing for a voodoo 5, perhaps I should look into building a better voodoo 5 full size pc. What motherboards does anyone suggest? Or has anyone worked with the shuttle cases before who has a mod they did that might help my heat issues.

Reply 13 of 20, by chrismeyer6

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That sounds like your power supply isn't able to keep up with the power demands under a heavy load. The voodoo 5 and your CPU don't have anyway to thermally throttle. I'd check your power supply rail voltages under load especially the 5 volt rail.

Reply 14 of 20, by Shagittarius

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-07-03, 01:07:

That sounds like your power supply isn't able to keep up with the power demands under a heavy load. The voodoo 5 and your CPU don't have anyway to thermally throttle. I'd check your power supply rail voltages under load especially the 5 volt rail.

The CPU doesn't have thermal throttling but the motherboard says it has some kind of temp control. Its one of the features of this shuttle SK41G. I put a new 250 watt psu in this, its not a problem. To make the system completely stable I just have to run it with the cover off. It's a heat problem...

EDIT: Actually it seems specifically to be a heat problem with the SSD, I just moved the SSD to the top of the case and so far for the last 30 minutes no failure. Maybe the SSD was getting too hot on the bottom being so close to the CPU/HS and such...time will tell.

Reply 16 of 20, by Shagittarius

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-07-03, 10:07:

SSD's will definitely throttle themselves if they get too hot. How many amps does your power supply have on the 5 volt rail?

I'm not sure, got everything working and don't want to go digging in again right now. I do have one other question though.

How come the output of the Voodoo 5 is squished at 1920x1080? The higher the refresh rate I set the more squished it gets, but even at 60hz the screen is squished. None of the other computers hooked up to this monitor have this problem. The monitor profile has been loaded as well.

Any one know how to fix this? I'm running the final official drivers.

Reply 17 of 20, by Aebtdom

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It has to do with timings on the VGA cable. I have the same issue. It is a 4:3 card after all from a CRT age.
It can sort of do 1920x1080, but not really.
Not on most modern displays. Older displays can stretch the image to fill the screen horizontally.

Builds:

Xp2400+ gf3 ti200 + vd2 SLI 12MB + 768MB + SB live @ WinXP & 98 Dualboot.

MMX233 + S3trio 3D/X2 8MB + 3Dfx Voodoo 1 + AWE64 + 64MB SDR @ msdos / win98.

Reply 18 of 20, by Shagittarius

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Aebtdom wrote on 2021-07-03, 23:40:

It has to do with timings on the VGA cable. I have the same issue. It is a 4:3 card after all from a CRT age.
It can sort of do 1920x1080, but not really.
Not on most modern displays. Older displays can stretch the image to fill the screen horizontally.

Thanks that clears up the last of my issues. Thanks everyone.