VOGONS


Reply 40 of 102, by jmarsh

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rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-13, 11:49:

quake, descent is all post 1995 and unplayable on 486.

Descent had its shareware release in 94, full release in March 95 and was bearable on a decent 386, easily playable on a 486.

There was even a hack to start (hardly would call it running) Doom2 with 4MB and virtual memory using I think qemm386, but it was fringe esoteric experimentation.

Not sure why you would need to do this as DOOM 2 runs perfectly fine with only 4MB of physical ram, with both sound and music enabled.

Reply 41 of 102, by waterbeesje

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-09-13, 05:53:
I think the same, although I had merely 24 MB on my Pentium 75 back then (~millennium). Plus an 1.5 GB SCSI HDD, I vaguely reme […]
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leonardo wrote on 2022-09-12, 16:07:

64 MB for Windows 98 SE isn't bad, but given that the IE 4.0 shell-update is built into 98/98SE and you can't really do away with it (not without hacking at the OS) - even if you're not running into the swapping issue, the shell itself is simply slower and more bloated because of IE. You can literally see the speed difference, even on faster systems.

I think the same, although I had merely 24 MB on my Pentium 75 back then (~millennium).
Plus an 1.5 GB SCSI HDD, I vaguely remember.

Performance was medium bad, but enough to run NFS II SE on 98SE (via 2D on-board chip).

Enabling DMA for the HDDs (IDE) will greatly help improve performance.
Which in turn is important for the swap file.

In VMs (VPC2007), I've found 84 to 96 MB of RAM to be the best performance setting for Windows 98SE (default settings, no tweaks).
Adding more caused a little slow down again.
Anyway, it's just an observation I've made years ago.

If you guys are really into masochism, BDSM or something like that, try..
- a 486DX2-66
- with 16 MB RAM
- an 500 MB Seagate IDE
- and an on-board VGA
Personally, I've found this exact setup in a old Compaq Prolinea.
It was the slowest Windows 98SE system I ever had worked with. So extremely sluggish, it did hurt.

Windows 95 RTM on an old 386 ran circles around it. But not on that thing.
Seriously, even Windows 3.1 part (mini.cab) of the Windows 98SE setup was sluggishly slow.
The windows and dialog boxes were drawn very ponderously.

I totally feel with you on this one. Fortunately you can add plenty of ram without hitting the cachable limits with these systems... without L2 being present at all.

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 42 of 102, by Jo22

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jmarsh wrote on 2022-09-13, 12:23:
rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-13, 11:49:

quake, descent is all post 1995 and unplayable on 486.

Descent had its shareware release in 94, full release in March 95 and was bearable on a decent 386, easily playable on a 486.

I've played Descent 1 a lot on 486 PCs and early 586 PCs.
The shareware version was so nice because of the different music, I remember.

When I got the full version as part of a pair of VR glasses, I noticed that it supported 3D accelerators, too.

So technically, someone with a lovingly cared for 486 system could have taken advantage of this.

Let's remember, power users in the 486 era had their big towers, still.
There was lots of headroom for upgrades.

A 486DX4 processor with a big heathsink? No problem.
Keeping/installing full-size expansion cards for the Very Long Bus? Why not!
Extra fans for better air flow? No problem.
A massive number of CD and floppy drives? Sure.

Abd even if a new PCI slot was required for an accelerator card..
Many higher end 486 or 586 boards were VIP - VESA/ISA/PCI.
So even if a motherboard swap was inevitable at the time, users hadvtge choice to keep using the old processor, the RAM and all thevexisting expansion cards.

Sure, VIP boards had their issues. They were slower than pure VLB boards, often. Or buggy.

Their PCI slots were PCI 1.x or similar, perhaps operating with waitstates or at a slower bus speed.

However, they were usually good enough for the common VGA cards, like an S3 or Cirrus.
So the other slots were free for more rare hardware.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 43 of 102, by rasz_pl

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jmarsh wrote on 2022-09-13, 12:23:
rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-13, 11:49:

quake, descent is all post 1995 and unplayable on 486.

Descent had its shareware release in 94, full release in March 95 and was bearable on a decent 386, easily playable on a 486.

Descent runs ~15 fps on DX4-100, around 10fps on DX2-66, this is as "playable" as Doom on 386.

jmarsh wrote on 2022-09-13, 12:23:
rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-13, 11:49:

There was even a hack to start (hardly would call it running) Doom2 with 4MB and virtual memory using I think qemm386, but it was fringe esoteric experimentation.

Not sure why you would need to do this as DOOM 2 runs perfectly fine with only 4MB of physical ram, with both sound and music enabled.

I have to admit I dont know why I have distinct memory of this hack while its indeed not needed to room Doom2 with 4MB 🙁. I looked again and found few people who managed to start Doom2 with 2MB this way - maybe that got stuck in my head. It was the way to run other 8MB requiring games tho, Warcraft 2, Hexen, Dark Forces, Destruction Derby etc https://ukrfaq-narod-ru.translate.goog/ru/gam … en&_x_tr_pto=sc
Heroes of Might and Magic is another game that works well with dos4gvm

Reply 44 of 102, by darry

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-09-12, 05:18:
Hi there! In the 90s, my father was a programmer and had a 386DX-40 PC with 16MB of RAM (30 pin SIMMs). […]
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Hi there! In the 90s, my father was a programmer and had a 386DX-40 PC with 16MB of RAM (30 pin SIMMs).

Plus two IDE HDDs (~120MB and 250MB? Can't remember exactly), an Laserjet Plus, an 28k8 modem (Trust Connect?) and a Mitsumi LU005S single-speed CD-ROM drive.

The 16MBs were installed especially for Windows 95 at the time (when it was RTM).
He tried to be reasonable in this regards, so he did the pricey upgrade.

Other people did torture themselves with 4 or 8MB of RAM also.
And a 386SX PC, maybe. 😉

Bottom line:
Once you're entering professional fields or become a power user, just forget about period-correctness.
It's a stereotype more than anything else.
Just think of those retro shows on TV, which present a biased and distorted portrayal of the past.
In reverse, the other way round, being in-correct was normal back then:
Millions of users ran Windows on underpowered (outdated) or otherwise non-standard PCs that weren't period-correct.

I was one of them, too. In the 90s. Got a multimedia upgrade kit for my 12 MHz 286.
16-Bit 44KHz Stereo soundcard with a double-speed CD-ROM drive.
PC was retrofitted with 4x 1 MB of SIMMs and 80 MB Conner IDE hard disk.
Got a Mustek handy scanner, too. It was a multimedia PC, albeit a weird one. 😉
Windows 3.1 ran smoothly, though.

Edit: Small edit.

I agree with your opinion about period correctness. To be clear, I am not judging people with different opinions, I am just not shy about affirming my own opinion.

Here is my opinion on the subject, from another thread .

darry wrote on 2020-07-01, 12:20:
Period correctness is a concept that came about after the fact when people wanted to have a machine be representative of a certa […]
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Period correctness is a concept that came about after the fact when people wanted to have a machine be representative of a certain time period .

In real life, except when buying a complete new machine, hardly anything ever was or stayed "period correct". People often re-used older monitors and peripherals when upgrading to a new machine . Even after buying a completely new machine they often upgraded parts like RAM, video cards CPUs, etc over the months/years . Additionally, at the time of a game's launch, the hardware available did not necessarily allow the said game to run at it's full potential; using later hardware could be beneficial .

Period correctness is a concept that is nice if all you want is a machine that is a snapshot of a given moment in time, museum style .

In practice, if you actually want to run software/games that span a few years, the approach is sub-optimal, unless you actually can manage to have a period correct machine for each year of the time span that you are addressing. IMHO, a much better and practical approach, from a usability point of view, is to base your hardware build decisions on the software you want to run and choose your components so that they allow comfortably running the more demanding/newer applications/games that you have in mind while still working properly with less demanding/older ones . Obviously, you can't cover all time in one build, but planning that build based on what it is able to do, rather than a specific year, makes more practical sense, IMHO .

Reply 45 of 102, by matze79

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If I go period correct I also wouldn’t install solid state drives.

With the DX2 66Mhz came Windows 95 and at the end of its lifetime it was equipped with 48Mb of RAM.
And I really needed them.
I used WinWord, CorelDraw and Internet on it.
Running the Scanner resulted in large TIFF Files.
So even more RAM would be better back then.

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

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 46 of 102, by darry

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matze79 wrote on 2022-09-14, 06:44:
If I go period correct I also wouldn’t install solid state drives. […]
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If I go period correct I also wouldn’t install solid state drives.

With the DX2 66Mhz came Windows 95 and at the end of its lifetime it was equipped with 48Mb of RAM.
And I really needed them.
I used WinWord, CorelDraw and Internet on it.
Running the Scanner resulted in large TIFF Files.
So even more RAM would be better back then.

IMHO, there are, in general, 2 main ways to apply period correctness :

a) All parts must have been available new (i.e. current) during the target timeframe.

b) All parts must have been available prior to the target timeframe.

Either scenario may or may not include functionally equivalent modern parts (modern reproductions, new designs based on ol chips, workalike reimplementations to replace now unavailable consumables/defectives chips, etc), depending on how much of a purist one is.

IMHO, scenario b is more true to a real life use case, more practical and more fun.

If ones starts adding anachronisticly better performing newer parts (like SSDs, for example), then the relevance of the concept wears thin.

Then again, each is master of his domain in terms of what is "allowed" or not in one's build(s). Setting up one's own constraints (including ones like MSRP limits) and trying to stick to them is part of the fun of the hobby.

I do not do period correct myself (except in terms of MIDI synths, to a point), but reading about the experiences of others is something that I find interesting.

Reply 48 of 102, by darry

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I upgraded to a Pentium 150MHz (upgraded to 166 MMX at some point) with 32MB of RAM in early to mid 1997 . Board was PC Chips M550 with 512K cache, a 430TX chipset and a 64MB cacheable limit. That machine got 64MB of RAM in late 1997, got a Voodoo 1 upgrade in mid 1998 and ran Windows 98 just fine (until I upgraded to a 300MHz L2 cacheless Celeron system).

I had a 486 overclocket to 160 MHz with 16MB of Ram previously. RAM consisted of a single 16MB 72-pin FPM SIMM rated at either 60 or 70 ns (can't remember) and was leftover from an older 486 build. I remember that the SIMM alone cost 700 CAN$ in late 95 or early 96. Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 ran fine on that by my standards at the time, including dial-up and later cable Internet.

Reply 49 of 102, by ThinkpadIL

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I'll also put in my two cents ...

If I would decide to build a period correct machine, first of all I would look through the most popular PC magazines of that period (PC Mag for example) and would choose the most powerful machine I can afford to build today. Regarding memory, the more and the faster memory you've got - the better.

Reply 50 of 102, by Romain

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I haven't made any new benchs for this specially around the RAM amount, since my teenage years...
But yes, for example I remember a .MOV video that was slowing down, and with 32MB I immediately saw the difference, it had become very fluid under Win95.
So yes, especially for multimedia 32MB is even almost required.

Reply 51 of 102, by rasz_pl

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ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-09-14, 17:24:

I'll also put in my two cents ...

If I would decide to build a period correct machine, first of all I would look through the most popular PC magazines of that period (PC Mag for example) and would choose the most powerful machine I can afford to build today. Regarding memory, the more and the faster memory you've got - the better.

What I and some other people tried to allude in this thread was the concept of diminishing returns. It doesnt matter how much ram you put into 486DX2, games that are playable on DX2 simply wont use more than 8MB. Almost (caching range is one concern) doesnt matter how much you put into Pentium 120 system because it wont magically make playable games that were previously unplayable with "only" 16MB ram. There is miniscule (if any) difference between 8MB and 100MB of extra disk cache in normal retro computing use scenarios (playing games).

So no "the more you've got - the better" doesnt apply for this particular era of hardware just as having 100 Liters of ice cream for a snack is no better than 0.5L 😀

This changed with >=Win98, which you wouldnt want to run on P120 anyway, because of OS bloat and technology shift. All of sudden people wanted to multitask, even when gaming. Alt tabbing from the game to quickly check something on the internet (for example game quides/solutions, I remember comparing Diablo 2 items), listening to MP3s, chatting on IRC/ICQ, sending mail. Later downloading from napster/kazaa/edonkey2000, voice chatting on roger wilco/teamspeak. But you wont be doing any of that on a retro computer, except maybe as an experiment that gets old after few minutes. Even on a P3 1GHz going above 256MB wont do you any good in games despite pretty much all motherboards supporting 512-1GB.

Reply 52 of 102, by leileilol

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For 1995.... not really.

In the context of a 95/96 games build, I don't think it'll even matter for 95's notoriously hoggy games like Cybermage.

It'll matter more later when web browser plugin feature creep climbs (VRML etc) and IE4 of course. or if you're going to do map compiling or game serving (i.e. quake)

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long live PCem

Reply 53 of 102, by ThinkpadIL

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rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-15, 00:27:
What I and some other people tried to allude in this thread was the concept of diminishing returns. It doesnt matter how much ra […]
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ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-09-14, 17:24:

I'll also put in my two cents ...

If I would decide to build a period correct machine, first of all I would look through the most popular PC magazines of that period (PC Mag for example) and would choose the most powerful machine I can afford to build today. Regarding memory, the more and the faster memory you've got - the better.

What I and some other people tried to allude in this thread was the concept of diminishing returns. It doesnt matter how much ram you put into 486DX2, games that are playable on DX2 simply wont use more than 8MB. Almost (caching range is one concern) doesnt matter how much you put into Pentium 120 system because it wont magically make playable games that were previously unplayable with "only" 16MB ram. There is miniscule (if any) difference between 8MB and 100MB of extra disk cache in normal retro computing use scenarios (playing games).

So no "the more you've got - the better" doesnt apply for this particular era of hardware just as having 100 Liters of ice cream for a snack is no better than 0.5L 😀

This changed with >=Win98, which you wouldnt want to run on P120 anyway, because of OS bloat and technology shift. All of sudden people wanted to multitask, even when gaming. Alt tabbing from the game to quickly check something on the internet (for example game quides/solutions, I remember comparing Diablo 2 items), listening to MP3s, chatting on IRC/ICQ, sending mail. Later downloading from napster/kazaa/edonkey2000, voice chatting on roger wilco/teamspeak. But you wont be doing any of that on a retro computer, except maybe as an experiment that gets old after few minutes. Even on a P3 1GHz going above 256MB wont do you any good in games despite pretty much all motherboards supporting 512-1GB.

Well, first of all Christmas 1995 it's more like Pentium 133 than 486DX2. Also there are also other than games things, that you can run on your Christmas '95 dream machine, for example 3D modelling, video editing and other memory consuming sorts of software. I won't argue regarding the optimization issue, maximization of your system performance is an art. But I still think it's better to put in your dream machine a maximum possible amount of the fastest memory. In any case you always are able to reduce it if you want, and tweaking your system to the max performance it's also a part of fun I think.

Reply 54 of 102, by rasz_pl

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ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-09-15, 05:41:

Well, first of all Christmas 1995 it's more like Pentium 133 than 486DX2.

OP of this thread was specifically asking about Pentium 120 system.

ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-09-15, 05:41:

Also there are also other than games things, that you can run on your Christmas '95 dream machine, for example 3D modelling, video editing and other memory consuming sorts of software.

Lets be serious, are you going to move your 3d printing designs to retro SolidWorks 95 system? or edit those 1080@60 youtube clips on 120MHz CPU?

ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-09-15, 05:41:

I won't argue regarding the optimization issue, maximization of your system performance is an art. But I still think it's better to put in your dream machine a maximum possible amount of the fastest memory. In any case you always are able to reduce it if you want, and tweaking your system to the max performance it's also a part of fun I think.

Putting "maximum possible amount" of ram slows down socket 5 systems. I understand the urge to max everything, but you have to be aware of limitations and contemporary requirements.

Reply 55 of 102, by Sphere478

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One must sometimes find balance between swapfile and ram caching limitations

Sphere's PCB projects.
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Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
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SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
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Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 56 of 102, by ThinkpadIL

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rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:08:

OP of this thread was specifically asking about Pentium 120 system.

Well, actually he didn't. Please read more carefully, he said "back then a very nice upper end PC was a 120 (with the 133 being at the top)".

rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:08:

Lets be serious, are you going to move your 3d printing designs to retro SolidWorks 95 system? or edit those 1080@60 youtube clips on 120MHz CPU?

If to be serious, the place of all this retro-junk, with maximum memory or without, is at a recycling plant. A very nature of retro-computing hobby is not serious.

rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:08:

Putting "maximum possible amount" of ram slows down socket 5 systems. I understand the urge to max everything, but you have to be aware of limitations and contemporary requirements.

As I've told in my previous message, it's always better to have a maximum possible amount of memory, so in case it slows down anything, you'll be able to reduce it to the needed level. And after all, why not trying maximum amount in order to witness by yourself how it influences the system performance?

Reply 57 of 102, by rasz_pl

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ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:33:
rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:08:

OP of this thread was specifically asking about Pentium 120 system.

Well, actually he didn't. Please read more carefully, he said "back then a very nice upper end PC was a 120 (with the 133 being at the top)".

"im in the process of getting together a P120"

ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:33:
rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:08:

Lets be serious, are you going to move your 3d printing designs to retro SolidWorks 95 system? or edit those 1080@60 youtube clips on 120MHz CPU?

If to be serious, the place of all this retro-junk, with maximum memory or without, is at a recycling plant. A very nature of retro-computing hobby is not serious.

Except for the games that wont run in virtual machine or native in modern computer.

ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:33:
rasz_pl wrote on 2022-09-15, 07:08:

Putting "maximum possible amount" of ram slows down socket 5 systems. I understand the urge to max everything, but you have to be aware of limitations and contemporary requirements.

As I've told in my previous message, it's always better to have a maximum possible amount of memory, so in case it slows down anything, you'll be able to reduce it to the needed level. And after all, why not trying maximum amount in order to witness by yourself how it influences the system performance?

You still dont get it. Let me spell it for you: Putting >64MB in socket 5 motherboard (except some limited number of 430HX models with option to add second tag ram or special COAST module) SLOWS DOWN whole computer to the level of performance without any cache at all, 10-20% drop. Your desire to have a bigger number made that P120 system perform like P100 now. On the other hand P120 system on a rare socket 7 motherboard able to cache all the ram with >64MB fitted will NOT speed ANYTHING game related at all compared to same system with 64MB. I will even question any measurable difference against a system with 32MB.

If you are maximizing ram why not max the CPU while we are at it? Stick Pentium MMX OverDrive 200MHz and Voodoo 5 5500 PCI 😀

Reply 58 of 102, by Sphere478

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There is always the k6-3+ to solve your caching woes. 😀

SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod

Re: Diy modding support for k6+And 120gb hard drives into bios roms

Socket 5/7/SS7 (Voltage Interposer) Tweaker. (Released)

Little out of the realm of period correct though.

Sphere's PCB projects.
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Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
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SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
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Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 59 of 102, by leonardo

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This is an interesting (if recurring discussion). I just thought I'd remind all involved that the original question the OP had was if he'd see a big difference in going from 16MB of RAM to 32MB, mainly while using DOS.

The answer to that question seems to be: for DOS gaming not really, and for Windows 95 a moderate to pretty big improvement.

Not that I'm not guilty of hijacking threads and going on a tangent sometimes. 😉

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.