VOGONS


Reply 40 of 58, by matze79

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Heroes 3 runs flawless on Pentium 233 MMX here.

Misinformation pff
https://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article608.asp

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Reply 41 of 58, by chiveicrook

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I managed to run Heores3 acceptably on P133MMX and C&T F65554 2MB card (Toshiba Sat Pro 440CDT). It wasn't fully smooth but perfectly playable at 800x600.
If the virge was slower than rush I'd guess that there's something wrong with driver's DirectDraw acceleration, maybe drivers did not expose it properly? Old directdraw benchmarks usually place Virges reasonably high on the charts.
I'll probably have a very similar setup ready over the weekend to test (P233MMX + Virge DX 4MB + V2) and will definitely try homm3.

Reply 42 of 58, by 386SX

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Beside on which 3D time correct games, on a P-MMX 233 and 430VX/64MB DIMM rams I think the best gaming cards would be the 3dfx ones as accelerator card or single chip 2D/3D solution. The others PCI time correct cards seems to not result fast enough and even less on those systems, even "forcing" a much faster cpu K6-3 400@66FSB while indeed at least can benefit from a very compatible chipset on those Win 95/98 os but still slow anyway.
So a Voodoo II 8MB added to some S3 or Matrox (better for 2D VGA output) card would be imho ok for such "last Pentium 1" config or maybe a Banshee PCI or a Voodoo3 PCI (I have both but didn't test them lately, only the Voodoo II that worked better than other cards in games even Directx6/7 ones with some resolution decrease and even better with the 3dfx miniGL support).

Instead I was expecting more from the Rage Pro PCI or the Riva 128 PCI with that system resulting in some variable results far from the Voodoo II (and I suppose maybe also Voodoo 1) test. Very good on paper but a bit limited at the end on the PCI bus.

Reply 43 of 58, by Garrett W

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matze79 wrote on 2022-04-19, 08:54:

Heroes 3 runs flawless on Pentium 233 MMX here.

Misinformation pff
https://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article608.asp

chiveicrook wrote on 2022-04-19, 09:33:

I managed to run Heores3 acceptably on P133MMX and C&T F65554 2MB card (Toshiba Sat Pro 440CDT). It wasn't fully smooth but perfectly playable at 800x600.
If the virge was slower than rush I'd guess that there's something wrong with driver's DirectDraw acceleration, maybe drivers did not expose it properly? Old directdraw benchmarks usually place Virges reasonably high on the charts.
I'll probably have a very similar setup ready over the weekend to test (P233MMX + Virge DX 4MB + V2) and will definitely try homm3.

Without any metric or timedemo of sorts for HOMM3, this is where we get into subjective territory. I don't doubt for a second that your experiences with the game on your hardware were playable or even fully satisfactory. My own experience with the game on an MMX 233 some time ago felt off. Animations were choppy, moving the camera around was definitely dropping frames from the max framecap, battle animations were slower, AI took longer etc. The game was slower from what I've been accustomed to by running the game on much more powerful hardware through the years. It's certainly playable, but even the OP notices that something's off. Our expectations of what it means to have the game running flawlessly have shifted through the years and that's perfectly normal. I first played the game on a Pentium 133 and thought it was great 😀.

Reply 44 of 58, by Gmlb256

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matze79 wrote on 2022-04-19, 08:54:

In the 90s DirectDraw 2D games in fullscreen mode commonly used 8-bit and/or 16-bit color depth, leaving room for page flipping and surfaces for a 2MB cards especially in resolutions up to 640x480.

Reply 46 of 58, by Gmlb256

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Gustl wrote on 2022-04-19, 16:25:

Viper v330
Driver for DOS

Never saw any DOS drivers written by nVidia. However it has VBE 3.0 onboard and there are third-party software like VBEPLUS and UniRefresh.

Reply 47 of 58, by matze79

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-04-19, 12:31:
matze79 wrote on 2022-04-19, 08:54:

In the 90s DirectDraw 2D games in fullscreen mode commonly used 8-bit and/or 16-bit color depth, leaving room for page flipping and surfaces for a 2MB cards especially in resolutions up to 640x480.

Stuck to 640x480 is pain.
Even in 1998 we tried to crank up resolution.

I would not even consider a 2Mb Card for a 233Mhz MMX Computer.
Maybe for something like a Pentium 100Mhz.
But you can feel free to do as you want 😀

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Reply 48 of 58, by Gmlb256

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I clearly said "up to" which included even lower resolutions. Even in 1998 there were 2D Windows games where the maximum resolution was 640x480.

Besides, I never doubted that people were cranking up the resolution and clearly understood that the OP needs better video card with more than 2MB on a Pentium 233MMX considering the objective. 😉

Reply 49 of 58, by auron

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since heroes 3 has been mentioned a lot and i've tested it quite a bit, i'll just add my two cents: using a matrox millennium the game ran similarily poorly on a 200mmx and k6-233, i'd say on those specs it'd be technically playable but would get old quickly with all the hitching and waiting forever for enemy turns, so if i'd have been stuck with this experience back in the day i'd just have kept to heroes 2. on a pii 233 it ran quite a bit better to where it was still somewhat more stuttery than on "fast" hardware, but seemed like a workable minimum spec for the game. as to why the pii did so much better than the sometimes equivalent k6, maybe it's due to the better cache/memory or PCI performance? it's clear the 800x600@16-bit engine is a big upgrade over the previous game, they really should have printed pii 233 as the minimal spec.

it's interesting how testing some of these games on old hardware uncovers certain very specific effects that one would never think about today but were actually demanding on period hardware; in heroes 2/3 picking up resources becomes really slow, likely due to a transparency effect being used, while in master of orion 2 the post-combat planet bombing is seriously unresponsive for some reason.

also a 2 meg card is quite adequate in theory for directdraw games into the 2000s, in practice driver support might be problematic though. for instance i recall that the millennium runs diablo 2's directdraw mode with glitches, perhaps because the latest drivers for that card are nearly two years older than that game... so i don't know how s3 or even obscure chipsets might fare, even though on paper any card with vision964 or better performacne should be fine for something like heroes3.

Reply 50 of 58, by idan182

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Here is a short video of Heroes 3 played on my machine (S3 2MB)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OenylRxsNkw

Game loads good, Battle speed is good
Problem is, the map is moving slow, and also the hero moves slow.
You can see the objects glow a bit slow also.

That's the only problem I have with this game.

Would a S3 with 4MB instead of my 2MB fix the issue?
My chip is S3 325. I can get a 375 with a DX chip on ebay for cheap:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/275225909323?hash=it … 6UAAOSwuClgf98E

A Savage 4 8MB is on the way to me.
I can even get a Voodoo Banshee 16MB from a friend for cheap, but that way I might have sell the Voodoo 2 if the game works fine after that.

Reply 51 of 58, by Garrett W

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No, more VRAM or faster video card will not "fix" the slow performance on Heroes 3. You are entirely CPU limited. The performance shown in the video seems about right. Perhaps you can get slightly better performance by tweaking your BIOS settings, which is something we have not discussed.

Reply 52 of 58, by rasz_pl

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Open some kind of CPU load monitor and see the percentage being burned while the game does nothing. You can experiment with different resolutions/window sizes to see if there is any change in cpu load.
Seeing the video Im guessing CPU is pegged by just the look of cursor moving at ~5fps at 0:48 when nothing else is happening other than animating sparkles on unvisited locations (unpicked resources, unvisited towers). My guess would be shit coding, something like quadratic algorithm responsible for traversing a list of all entities on map etc.

Reply 53 of 58, by xpladv570

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In my experience, all these 2D strategy games from turn of millenium period are surprisingly difficult to run on period correct hardware. You are experiencing this with Heroes 3 on MMX, I saw this with a K6-2 on Red Alert 2. With this kind of processor you would be perfectly well served with a TNT1 or TNT2 M64 and there would be no sense in pursuing anything faster. And this will help you in 3D games only, not 2D ones like HOMM3. Battles run better than map because the map screen has a lot more things going on.

I think there are some expectations issues when it comes to older hardware. Sluggish gameplay was a common reality, even with good hardware for its time.

Reply 54 of 58, by rasz_pl

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just for laughs you could try your luck with https://github.com/vcmi/vcmi actively developed open source port
sadly original heroes 3 source code was found, but dude in possession wasnt able to release it legally and unwilling to do it under the table

Reply 55 of 58, by matze79

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@gmbl256
well seems we have misunderstood both a bit, i`m not native english speaker 😀

I can play heroes 3 on riva128 4Mb and elsa gloria 8Mb (Permedia 2) on Pentium 233mmx with no problems during scrolling.
It also can depend on the motherboard and its troughput, i also would recommend to review memory timings / setup too.

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Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 57 of 58, by idan182

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xpladv570 wrote on 2022-04-20, 19:53:

In my experience, all these 2D strategy games from turn of millenium period are surprisingly difficult to run on period correct hardware. You are experiencing this with Heroes 3 on MMX, I saw this with a K6-2 on Red Alert 2. With this kind of processor you would be perfectly well served with a TNT1 or TNT2 M64 and there would be no sense in pursuing anything faster. And this will help you in 3D games only, not 2D ones like HOMM3. Battles run better than map because the map screen has a lot more things going on.

I think there are some expectations issues when it comes to older hardware. Sluggish gameplay was a common reality, even with good hardware for its time.

I have found a TNT2 M64 32MB PCI for cheap.
Also Geforce 2 MX 32MB PCI
and also Voodoo Banshee 16MB PCI

Would any of those run those good instead of S3+Voodoo 2? because of the 2D engine?

Reply 58 of 58, by The Serpent Rider

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Banshee is best in terms of squeezing most frame per second from slow CPUs, but it can't handle high resolutions well. Image quality in most cases is noticeably better than Voodoo 2.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.