VOGONS


Reply 20 of 47, by elianda

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I made this comparison a few years ago: DVD accelerators compared

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Reply 21 of 47, by swaaye

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elianda wrote:

I made this comparison a few years ago: DVD accelerators compared

I forgot about your tests. More interesting info there. Thanks for linking us to it.

Reply 22 of 47, by ODwilly

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swaaye wrote:
computergeek92 wrote:

I had thought if I went with too fast a graphics card that the PMMX 233 would become a bottleneck. What is the fastest card to use without any bottlenecks? A Rage 128?

Seems like a good bet to me. I might pick up a Rage 128 Pro card and experiment with it.

Though your problem is you are limited to PCI right? Rage 128 is typically AGP, other than the Apple versions of the cards.

Rage 128 XL is a common pci variant. Used typically in and imbedded in servers, I have one that is 8mb.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
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Reply 24 of 47, by Stretch

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Look for a Sigma Designs REALmagic Hollywood Plus

PC1: Win98SE - Via Apollo Pro Mobo - Pentium II 233 - 256 MB - Voodoo 3 1000 - Acoustic Edge PSC706
PC2: Win98SE - ASRock 775i65G R3.0 - Celeron 2.2 GHz - 2048 MB - Geforce FX5700 - Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 25 of 47, by orcish75

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I have a couple of Creative DXR-2 boards that haven't been used in years. I know we can't discuss selling equipment here, we can discuss it on another forum if you want, I'll sell it very cheaply as I have no use for it.

Reply 27 of 47, by swaaye

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Matth79 wrote:

What's the Matrox Millennium G450 like, there seem to be a bunch of them about on ebay (US & UK)

None of the Matrox chips have full MPEG2 acceleration. G450 is the first with motion compensation processing but that's only part of the process. Some Matrox cards supported a DVD decode daughtercard.

Reply 28 of 47, by Jorpho

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computergeek92 wrote:

I have built what I call my "best Windows 95 gaming PC" composed of this:

Does Windows 95C even support DVD playback one way or another? Even Windows 98 has problems with multisession DVD-ROMs. (Back when I had a system that was that slow, the only playback software I would consider would have been MoviX or Geexbox, which are standalone, tiny versions of Linux that boot off a CD.) EDIT: there are some (old) players that run, apparently.

Just in case it matters, it might also be worth pointing out that DVD video playback won't really help you with any particular games (and the games for which it might matter probably aren't very fun).

Reply 29 of 47, by akula65

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The ReadMe.txt from Intervideo's WinDVD 2000 Version 2.6 may be of interest:

InterVideo WinDVD

Version 1.2

End-User Release Notes

Welcome to InterVideo's WinDVD, the premier DVD playback application for the PC.
The following are some notes users may find useful when starting to use WinDVD.

1) System performance requirements:

The PC has a variety of components that make up its combination of capabilities.
Software DVD playback quality and performance depends on several of these components
heavily. They include:

CPU Speed
Graphics Subsystem
Graphics Bus Type
Graphics Memory
Audio Subsystem
Audio Bus Type
System Memory
System Cache Sizes

Most important are the graphics subsystem and the CPU. Software DVD has several
playback modes. These include:

a) Software only playback, with all decode processing done by the CPU.
b) Motion compensation hardware assistance performed by the graphics processor.
c) Motion compensation and IDCT (inverse discrete cosine transforms) hardware assistance
performed by the graphics processor.

Each successive case reduces the load on the CPU, so CPU requirements can vary widely
based on the graphics processor.

In addition, there are two types of content available, one based on film
(typically Hollywood movies) and the other based on video (music videos and Betacam/
camcorder content). Film based content plays back at 24 frames per second and video
based content plays back at 30 fps or 60 odd and even fields per second. Video content
requires more horsepower to decode, and will use more CPU than its film-based cousin.

So, with all that in mind, here's what you can expect, based on some examples of
CPU types and speeds:

a) Software only playback of film content: 300A Celeron CPU
b) Software only playback of video content: 350 MHz Pentium II CPU
c) Motion Compensation assisted playback of film content: 266 MHz Pentium II CPU
d) Motion Compensation assisted playback of video content: 333 Celeron CPU
e) MC and IDCT assisted playback of film content: 233 MHz Pentium II CPU
f) MC and IDCT assisted playback of video content: 300A Celeron CPU

2) Best video playback is achieved on graphics subsystems that focus on video as well
as 3D performance.

These include the Matrox G200, ATI Rage Pro series, the S3 Savage 3D and GX2 chips,
the SiS 6326 DVD, and Nvidia TNT.

Other qualified graphics subsystems include:

The Nvidia Riva 128 series, the Intel i740 and Real3D Starfighter series, the
Show last 64 lines
3DLabs Permedia 2, and the 3Dfx Voodoo Banshee.

Support is currently being added for the NeoMagic 128 AV chip. Aside from this chip,
graphics subsystems should have at least 4MBs of video memory.

3) When motion compensation hardware assistance is provided by the graphics
subsystem, brightness and color controls may not be supported. On such systems,
you need to disable motion compensation hardware assistance in order to enable
brightness and color control. This, however, may increase the CPU usage.
To disable motion compensation hardware assistance, right click on the video
window, select Properties, select the Display tab, and uncheck the Hardware
Motion Compensation checkbox.

4) WinDVD requires the DirectX 6 runtime to be installed prior to running.

5) DVD movies are created at 720x480 video resolutions. It is strongly recommended that
you set your desktop to at least 800x600 resolution.

6) Many DVD titles offer a 16x9 "Widescreen" version (also called Anamorphic). These
versions are best viewed at a desktop setting of 1024x768.

7) Make sure you have the DMA setting for your DVD-ROM drive turned on before running
WinDVD. This is accomplished by right clicking on the My Computer icon on your desktop,
selecting Properties, selecting the Device Manager tab, double clicking on the CD-ROM
device, selecting the DVD-ROM drive that is present, selecting Properties, selecting the
Settings tab, and enabling the DMA check box. If there is no DMA checkbox available on
your system, you may have a motherboard that does not support DMA, or you may need a new
set of drivers to update your motherboard support. Verify the type of motherboard that
you have and check the website of that manufacturer for an updated "chipset" driver.
Some motherboard websites are listed below:

Intel - www.intel.com
VIA - www.via.com.tw
ALi - www.ali.com.tw

8) After installing WinDVD and inserting a DVD disc, WinDVD should automatically detect
the disc and begin playing the movie. If this does not happen, launch WinDVD and open the
Properties dialog box, and select your drive from the Default DVD Drive drop down box.

9) Graphics subsystems based on the AGP Bus interface will perform up to 30% faster than
those based on the PCI Bus.

10) Audio subsystems based on the PCI Bus will perform up to 15% faster than based on the
ISA Bus.

11) DVD movies have a tendency to get dirty over time and this could possibly cause decode
errors. If a movie should stop randomly, please try cleaning the disc before calling
technical support.

12) 3DSound is an option, and if the button is grayed-out, this option was not included
by your OEM. 4 Channel and 6 Channel audio support requires specific audio hardware and
are also optional.

13) This software REQUIRES the original CD to be present to install, or re-install,
the product.

14) Re-installing the software will NOT reset the region selection options.

15) This product is being delivered to end-users as an OEM product, most often bundled
with a hardware component, or as part of the system itself. End-users requiring support
should directly contact the OEM provider of the software.

All rights are reserved by InterVideo, Inc 1998.

Reply 30 of 47, by obobskivich

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swaaye wrote:

None of the Matrox chips have full MPEG2 acceleration. G450 is the first with motion compensation processing but that's only part of the process. Some Matrox cards supported a DVD decode daughtercard.

I thought Parhelia did; it's kind of irrelevant for an MMX 233, but still. 😊

Jorpho wrote:

Does Windows 95C even support DVD playback one way or another? Even Windows 98 has problems with multisession DVD-ROMs. (Back when I had a system that was that slow, the only playback software I would consider would have been MoviX or Geexbox, which are standalone, tiny versions of Linux that boot off a CD.) EDIT: there are some (old) players that run, apparently.

Just in case it matters, it might also be worth pointing out that DVD video playback won't really help you with any particular games (and the games for which it might matter probably aren't very fun).

I had no trouble in 98SE with Creative DxR3 (the Sigma Hollywood card mentioned earlier is essentially the same thing) and its associated software. At least with commercial DVDs. Haven't tried it with 95C though. The box says 95 OSR2 and NT 4.0 are supported, however.

There was a thread a little while ago about games that can use hardware MPEG cards - there's apparently a few of them. This thread:
Anyone have/use Sigma Design's RealMagic ISA MPEG decoder? Games list?

Reply 34 of 47, by idspispopd

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ODwilly wrote:
swaaye wrote:

Though your problem is you are limited to PCI right? Rage 128 is typically AGP, other than the Apple versions of the cards.

Rage 128 XL is a common pci variant. Used typically in and imbedded in servers, I have one that is 8mb.

Rage XL is not Rage 128, it is basically a die-shrinked Rage Pro. Worse than a Rage 128 both for MPEG and 3D.
Since computergeek92 already has a Rage 128 I'd try to make this work with the proper player software. As said before, the Rage 128 is the first ATI chip that not only offers motion compensation but also iDCT. Later ATi cards (Radeon) also have this, but I have seen a Radeon 7500 PCI not working on a 430HX mainboard. With nVidia you'd have to upgrade to a GF4MX, the first one to have iDCT. Not very balanced, not sure if this will work with the board, and probably not that easy to find in PCI.
I also agree with the idea of a dedicated DVD accelerator card, those are found cheaply. The board seems to have 4 PCI slots so together with VGA, LAN and EIDE card these would all be filled.

Reply 35 of 47, by ODwilly

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^Sorry, my mistake. I agree, since you already have the pci Rage 128 It would be worth giving a shot and be the most inexpensive option for you.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 36 of 47, by 386SX

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Probably best experience and time correct hw should still be the Dxr3 or Hollywood+ dvd decoder card. With a CRT monitor still today it delivers in my opinion one if not the BEST quality ever and smooth experience. Only bad was the vga passtrough cable that indeed smoothed a bit too much and sometime got interferences in 2D quality.

Reply 37 of 47, by Jorpho

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386SX wrote:

With a CRT monitor still today it delivers in my opinion one if not the BEST quality ever and smooth experience.

...Are you suggesting it is in some way superior to what a modern PC (or a $50 DVD player) can do?

Reply 38 of 47, by 386SX

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Jorpho wrote:
386SX wrote:

With a CRT monitor still today it delivers in my opinion one if not the BEST quality ever and smooth experience.

...Are you suggesting it is in some way superior to what a modern PC (or a $50 DVD player) can do?

I couldn't say it was or was not superior technically. Probably there's space for discussing both possibilities. If you try for example a game on a Commodore 64 real console with the bad RF video output on old crt tv, and after that you try on a PC the same game on a software based Commodore 64 emulator on an high res IPS LCD with HDMI octa-core based and OS, which game experience is better?

At first if we immediately compare many would say the second but we need to think it was a dedicated hw solution with its ram, processor, timings, filters (good or bad) running by itself with JUST that task to do.
It maybe had its flaws cause compared to newer solutions, the first thing you felt was that a modern direct hdmi or vga connection (without the passhrough cable) got better output signals cause we could get signal cable noises/excessive smoothness. But with this cards we must consider a real CRT NATIVE resolution (like 800x600) similar to the real dvd resolution and not all the upscaling lcd stuff resulting with an almost pixel-to-pixel ratio, IMHO.
If you can pass over the softness of the vga passthrough cable and some less saturated colors, we could appreciate the really good quality of the video decoding resulting and well hidden mpeg noise. But the thing that for me make it epic is smoothness and frame rate stability you immediately appreciate.

Last edited by 386SX on 2015-06-01, 13:03. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 39 of 47, by 386SX

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obobskivich wrote:

AFAIK none of the 3dfx cards actually will do anything for h/w DVD decoding.

I could be wrong but I remember that somewhere the Voodoo3 3000 (only the 3000 btw...(?)) were advertized with some hardware color transformation assisting... did anyone remember? 😁