idan182 wrote on 2022-04-10, 05:11:
Can anyone recommend me a good 2D/3D card for DOS/W98 Games […]
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Can anyone recommend me a good 2D/3D card for DOS/W98 Games
Socket 7 i430
64mb ram (board supports up to 256mb)
I currently have a Diamond S3 2000 2MB ram.
I want it to support full DOS 90> games. Hexen, Keen, Doom, Duke, Wolf3d, Rise of Triad etc. no older than these.
And to support up to 2000 Games, I know the 233MMX is a bit bottleneck.
I play Heroes 3, SOF, Midtown Madness 2, Sims 1.
The S3 is slow on these games, I have read that if I use it + Voodoo1/2 it would not work as these games are 2D engine.
So should I be getting a different card?
your cpu is way to slow for 2000's games. Frankly even running some '98 games like Dungeon Keeper 2, NFS Porsche or Homeworld is pushing it. They will run, but they won't be playable...
What's worse is that finding reliable system requirements (developer's original requirements, not the ones posted on some random "can you run it" website that doesn't take into account anything older then a core 2 duo) can be difficult.
To make it worse, some developers system requirements are optimistic... they seem to have posted the minimum requirements for launching the game and not the system specs needed for the game to be playable / enjoyable. I'll give you a few examples:
Homeworld - I own an original disk and the box says Pentium MMX 233Mhz with 32MB of ram and a direct 3d or opengl compliant 3d accelerator with 4mb of memory. That's both vague and misleading. The game will launch on said configuration, but it's very laggy and framerates drop to under 3 fps when lots of ships are on screen. In fact, even on a AMD K6-2+ @ 550 MHz with 128MB of ram and a voodoo 3 3000, the game still lags on levels like the Karos Graveyard and the Gardens of Kadeshi because of the sheer number of objects on screen. For this game to play smooth, you'll want an 800-900Mhz pentium 3 or a 750-800MHz Athlon. The video card doesn't matter much for 640x480 - a Riva 128 will run the game perfectly well at that resolution. For 1024x768 a TNT2 M64 is recommended. For 1600x1200 it runs great on an original Geforce (256) or Radeon SDR.
Dungeon Keeper 2 requires a 166MHz pentium MMX to launch, but after the first couple of missions it becomes unplayable at that configuration. It does not require a 3D accelerator, but without one you will need a cpu that is miles faster then the 166Mhz pentium Bullfrog posted. Back in the day I finished the game on a 400Mhz AMD K6-2 with an on board trident blade 3d card, and it was playable but laggy. On the k6, the campaign was fine up util the 6th or 7th map, where the framerate tanked with lots of creatures on screen. Getting a voodoo 2 helped a little, but not much. My pet dungeons would crawl to 10fps when organizing huge creature battles. A GHz CPU is recommended for dungeon keeper to be smooth (P3 or Athlon) at low resolutions with a basic 3d accelerator like a riva 128. A TNT2 M64 will let you play the game comfortably at 800x600, but if you want eye candy and 1600x1200 you need at least an FX5900XT or Geforce 4 Titanium.
Here's a classic - Dune 2. System requirements say a 386 CPU at 12Mhz and 4MB of memory. Give it a go - try dune 2 on a 386, even a 40MHz one - I'll wait 😀. In reality, the game can slow down even on a 100Mhz 486 DX4.... it depends on how many units and explosions are on screen at one time. It also depends on if you run the game with sound or not. I ran the game on a 33Mhz 386, and it's playable without sound effects (only SC-55 music) up to about level 5 - then it starts to chug. If you enable digital sound effects it slows to a crawl.
I think this issue is common with RTS games... and it would be noticeable with games like sims 1 as well.
Now for your question - Heroes 3 will run fine on a 233Mhz pentium, but there's no way of getting Sims 1, Soldier of Fortune and Midtown Madness 2 running ok on it. I recommend keeping this PC for dos and early windows games - up to 1998 - and building another PC for 2000 games. For the games you want to play, the best budget option is a low to mind-end 2002-2003 PC. On the Intel side, I'd recommend a socket 478 with DDR memory (i865 or i845) or better yet, a LGA 775 PC with AGP and DDR1. You can find i865 LGA775 motherboards in quite a few prebuilt IBM, Compaq, HP or Dell systems, but be wary of prebuilt because lots of OEM PCs from that era did not have an AGP slot for some reason. Some do. A good example would be the IBM Netvista M42. They usually come with a 1.7 to 2.4Ghz socket 478 pentium 4 CPU. It has AGP, DDR1, and it also comes in the "under monitor" desktop form factor that can enhance the retro feel. I recently got a complete kit (M42 desktop plus IBM 17" CRT monitor and IBM PS2 keyboard) for about 50$ locally. It didn't come with a video card, but it happily took a geforce 4 ti4200.
Just make sure you don't confuse it with the LGA775 version that looks almost identical. That comes with PCI express, not AGP - and in some cases the PCI-E slot is missing from the motherboard. In general i recommend you steer away from LGA775 OEM machines - they usually either have PCI-E or no dedicated video expansion slot whatsoever. Some are even weird form factors and not really upgradable.
There's also the AMD route - a socket A machine should be cheap and easy to find. Just make sure to go for later motherboards with DDR1 - preferably at least a VIA KT400, although I'd recommend the nforce 2 chipset here. Pair it with an athlon XP 2400+ or faster and you have a great little 2000 gaming PC. On the AMD route you can also go for later socket 754 or 939 athon 64 PCs. They're even easier to find then socket A, cheaper and less finicky about power supplies. (athon XP PCs like power supplies with strong +5v rails). The only problem is these come in both PCI-E and AGP versions - stick to an AGP motherboard with a VIA chipset for windows 98.