CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

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CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby brostenen » 2016-10-13 @ 13:49

I have tested the Trio64v+ that I have recieved yesterday. Stacked up against Cirrus Logic 5446.
Both cards are PCI editions, and both have been running under MS-Dos 6.22.
I have been running them in on a 5x86-133 and 8mb ram.
I have tested them with UniVBE and without UniVBE.

I have tested them with these games.....

- Doom 1
- Cannon Fodder 1
- Lotus 3
- Civilization 1
- Pinball Fantasies
- Epic Pinball
- Dynablaster

What I have found, is that the S3 crashes in Cannon Fodder 1 with and without UniVBE.
Doom feels really sluggish on the S3, compared to the 5446. (chopping slightly when moving around)
The whole system, actually seems a tiny bit more sluggish with the S3, compared to the 5446.
The S3 gives a chrisp and clear image (sharp contrast) while the 5446 gives a more warm and blended quality.
The colours on the S3 are a tiny bit more vibrant and the 5446 is a bit more "natural" in quality.

Can someone confirm me on my suspicion that the CL-5446 is a better choice,
when it in reality is a much underrated card !?

And why is it such an underrated card, if my observations are correct?
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby kanecvr » 2016-10-13 @ 14:17

I'd say the only real difference is the board quality really. I have great trio64 cards with clear crisp output and vibrant colours, and shitty trio64 boards with gray blacks, washed-out colours and fuzzy output at high resolutions. Same thing for CL cards.

Speed-wise the S3 Trio 64 should be 5% faster (only noticeable on fast pentium machines in SVGA).
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby brostenen » 2016-10-13 @ 14:29

kanecvr wrote:I'd say the only real difference is the board quality really. I have great trio64 cards with clear crisp output and vibrant colours, and shitty trio64 boards with gray blacks, washed-out colours and fuzzy output at high resolutions. Same thing for CL cards.

Speed-wise the S3 Trio 64 should be 5% faster (only noticeable on fast pentium machines in SVGA).


Yet on a 5x86-133, 8mb Ram (MS-Dos 6.22), the 5446 is running much faster.
It's not a question on few benchmark point's, it is truely noticeable.
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby James-F » 2016-10-13 @ 14:41

kanecvr wrote:I have great trio64 cards with clear crisp output and vibrant colours, and shitty trio64 boards with gray blacks, washed-out colours and fuzzy output at high resolutions.

That is actually the VGA BIOS fault.

I have a small DOS software that replaced the cached video bios on some motherboards without the need to reflash the VGA bios chip on the VGA card.
* The whole VGA Bios ROM is cached at POST to the motherboard.
My S3 Virge DX has the same grey-black problem and washed colors, but I found a different bios that don't have these problems but it is VBE V1.2 instead 2.0 that comes with most S3 cards.

Here is the program that replaced the Video Shadow Bios: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=43472&start=60#p450150
Here are some bioses you can try: http://chukaev.ru54.com/video_en.htm
I found a great Virge DX bios here that actually fixed the problem pointed above.
Last edited by James-F on 2016-10-13 @ 14:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby elianda » 2016-10-13 @ 14:45

How about some numbers? Like vidspeed transfer rates for 8/16/32 bit writes?

Where is the CL-5446 chipset underrated? source?!?
Did you load S3VBE20 and S3SPDUP?

The higher black level issue of the S3 cards have already been resolved with a tool that switches the DAC on the fly.
No need for custom BIOSes: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=48445
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby brostenen » 2016-10-13 @ 15:23

elianda wrote:How about some numbers? Like vidspeed transfer rates for 8/16/32 bit writes?

Where is the CL-5446 chipset underrated? source?!?
Did you load S3VBE20 and S3SPDUP?

The higher black level issue of the S3 cards have already been resolved with a tool that switches the DAC on the fly.
No need for custom BIOSes: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=48445


Don't know about those two being loaded. I have loaded up UniVBE as I have stated in my initial post.
You know... Cannon Fodder crashing with and without UniVBE loaded.

I have done some quick benchmarking now, using Phils newest suite. It is not a complete test.
It clearly shows the S3 being faster in Doom, wich I can not understand why.
It must be, that the benchmark suite is running Doom 1.9 and mine is the first release of Doom.

However. When the S3 is crashing in Cannon Fodder, looking at these numbers and because I personally
like the image of the 5446 better. Then to me at least, the 5446 is a better choice.
Don't know about other people, as we all have our own taste in these matters. :-)

Yet again. This is only a quick benchmark. Nothing in dept and I have not put it into any fancy spreadsheet.
To get a bigger image, click on it..... ;-)

EDIT:
My point on the 5446 being underrated, is purely because I do not see many posts about people recommending
the 5446. As compared to everyone talking about S3 being the best for Dos.
Basically an observation that I have made, reading on this forum since 2013. So no proof in terms of numbers.
More like based on what people are saying and recommending, versus what is rarely mentioned.
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby kanecvr » 2016-10-13 @ 15:45

@elianda and @James-f - thanks for the tips!

A few people on this forum actually state Cirrus Logic cards are bad / slow which they are not. In fact they make great S3 Trio64 alternatives - same for late model PCI Trident cards.
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby brostenen » 2016-10-13 @ 15:49

kanecvr wrote:A few people on this forum actually state Cirrus Logic cards are bad / slow which they are not. In fact they make great S3 Trio64 alternatives - same for late model PCI Trident cards.


True... My numbers might convience some here on Vogons. Anyway....
What model number of Trident PCI cards should I look for?
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby TheMobRules » 2016-10-13 @ 16:05

Back in the day, my first PCI VGA was a Trident 9680. It was not bad at all, I could even play some games in SVGA mode (somewhat) decently on a DX4-100. I have no data to back this up and no longer own that card, so it may have just been the noticeable change of moving from an ISA card to a PCI. I also had a PCI CL at some point (don't remember the model) and performance wasn't much different to the Trident.
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby Cyberdyne » 2016-10-13 @ 16:09

Strange. I have always used Canon Fodder with Trio or Virge, and i never have crashed it....
I am aroused about any X86 stuff that has full functional ISA stuff. I think i have problem.
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby Matth79 » 2016-10-13 @ 18:04

Just reminded me, and finally found the name I was looking for.

ISDCORP - released enhanced Win98 drivers for the CL5446, CL5465 and CL5480
At one time, available to purchase, but released free some time before they packed it in.

I knew it started with I,
just couldn't remember the rest
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-10-13 @ 23:37

I've only briefly tried the CL, S3 and ET6000 PCI cards in a fast 486 and they really performed on the same level.

Didn't check Cannon Fodder of course, I'll keep it in mind.

EDIT: Looking at your hand written notes, it seems that in Chris's 3D Benchmark and Doom, you got slightly better results with the CL. But 2481 vs 2499 ticks is nothing, that's 29.888 vs 30.105. So to me these perform pretty much identical, which is what I'm also seeing.
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby brostenen » 2016-10-13 @ 23:48

PhilsComputerLab wrote:I've only briefly tried the CL, S3 and ET6000 PCI cards in a fast 486 and they really performed on the same level.

Didn't check Cannon Fodder of course, I'll keep it in mind.

EDIT: Looking at your hand written notes, it seems that in Chris's 3D Benchmark and Doom, you got slightly better results with the CL. But 2481 vs 2499 ticks is nothing, that's 29.888 vs 30.105. So to me these perform pretty much identical, which is what I'm also seeing.


Do you think the motherboard is holding something back?
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby brostenen » 2016-10-13 @ 23:50

Cyberdyne wrote:Strange. I have always used Canon Fodder with Trio or Virge, and i never have crashed it....


What exact setup do you usually do, when you have had CF running on a S3?
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-10-13 @ 23:56

brostenen wrote:
Do you think the motherboard is holding something back?


Something is. For a 133 MHz 486, the 3DBENCH scores seem a bit on the low side. Do you have L2 cache? Defaults loaded? There are often two options for the defaults, one is slow, the other one optimized.

What board is it?
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby brostenen » 2016-10-14 @ 01:15

PhilsComputerLab wrote:What board is it?


FIC 486 VIP IO

The BIOS is a special modded one, capeable of handeling 5x86-133 cpu's.
I just remember now, that the former owner talking a bit about it not being that fast all in all.
So I might just have asked a stupid question. :lol:
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby keropi » 2016-10-14 @ 06:38

Matth79 wrote:Just reminded me, and finally found the name I was looking for.

ISDCORP - released enhanced Win98 drivers for the CL5446, CL5465 and CL5480
At one time, available to purchase, but released free some time before they packed it in.

I knew it started with I,
just couldn't remember the rest



anyone has a link to this driver? one without all the spyware? :lol:
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Re: CL-5446 being better than S3 Trio64v+ ?

Postby Matth79 » 2016-10-14 @ 22:59

keropi wrote:
Matth79 wrote:Just reminded me, and finally found the name I was looking for.

ISDCORP - released enhanced Win98 drivers for the CL5446, CL5465 and CL5480
At one time, available to purchase, but released free some time before they packed it in.

I knew it started with I,
just couldn't remember the rest



anyone has a link to this driver? one without all the spyware? :lol:


This link seems to have the goods, just a mildly annoying captcha
http://www.video-drivers.com/dgdlsm.php?driverid=5336
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