OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

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OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby Jo22 » 2018-2-08 @ 19:29

Hello and good evening,

I've got an older OAK card that works very well,
but I can't get the 800x600 mode to work.

I'm curious, did anybody ever accomplish to set the card to that mode ?

The datasheet says that the OTI-037 does support an
"800 x 600 element high-resolution graphics mode with 16 colors".

So I don't think that was a typo.

On page 2.5 it does even show a chart which lists the requirements for SVGA mode..
DRAM 100ns, clock 36MHz (means 35.5MHz ?), resolution 800x600, color 16

I also know that there's a VESA VBE 1.x driver which adds support for VESA.
It includes 640x400@256, I believe, which is the only mode that works with 256KiB.


Any suggestions welcome! :)
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-3-20 @ 12:08

I've found some utilties, maybe you'll try them yourself. VESA37.COM installs a VBE BIOS in RAM.
Emulation modes -CGA, Hercules, EGA- seem to work, too, albeit not perfetly.
Oh, and the specs say the chip has a 132 column mode..

oti37c_specs.gif
Overview - Specifications / Features


Last, but not least, I've found another site with a BIOS dump for this card (v2.17).
Maybe it fixes my issues, though I have little expectations.
Attachments
vgamode_oak.zip
Mode Utility
(9.58 KiB) Downloaded 31 times
VESA.zip
Bunch of VBE drivers
(202.79 KiB) Downloaded 21 times
VESA2.zip
Bunch of VBE drivers
(215.18 KiB) Downloaded 18 times
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby retardware » 2019-3-20 @ 16:27

Oak cards were low end crap from the beginning, really usable only for basic text mode usage.
I'd advise throw it into the bay instead of bothering with it if you need more than that.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-3-20 @ 18:34

Hi, thanks four your reply. Well, yes, I kinda agree.
All I'm looking for is a way to get the card running in SVGA resolution on programs like AutoSketch and Windows,
maybe some SVGA graphic adventures, too, if that's possible. Nothing speed-related.
The first one has the SVADi driver which works together with VBE capable cards, it seems..
I'm really curious why it doesn't work, also. :) Maybe the RAM is too slow (120ns vs 100ns) simply ? :confused:

Edit: How about Realtek cards ? Just seen a few online, approx. from the same time period.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby elianda » 2019-3-21 @ 09:13

A good program to check if the card supports the mode at all is FractInt as it brings a lot of native drivers for old cards.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby tayyare » 2019-3-21 @ 10:34

800 x 600 at 16 colors (4 bit) is ok for 256KB of video RAM

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/132328/description-of-video-ram-required-for-higher-resolutions

Are you using an LCD monitor? those old cards might be using some awkward frequencies for "higher" resolutions which cannot be supported by LCDs.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby tayyare » 2019-3-21 @ 10:43

Jo22 wrote:Hi, thanks four your reply. Well, yes, I kinda agree.
All I'm looking for is a way to get the card running in SVGA resolution on programs like AutoSketch and Windows,
maybe some SVGA graphic adventures, too, if that's possible. Nothing speed-related.
The first one has the SVADi driver which works together with VBE capable cards, it seems..
I'm really curious why it doesn't work, also. :) Maybe the RAM is too slow (120ns vs 100ns) simply ? :confused:

Edit: How about Realtek cards ? Just seen a few online, approx. from the same time period.


As far as I know, they were even lower end than Oaks. Trident (8900D especially, if I remember correctly) is somehow more desirable between those three of the worst players of the field. Also if you are looking for a new card, try to acquire one with a 1MB of video RAM, so you will have much more flexibility when it comes to higher resolutions (1024 x 768 at 256 colors is possible with 1MB RAM).
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-3-22 @ 15:08

Hi, thank you very much for replies guys, I really appreciate that! :D

just checked my OTI-37 again..

It seems to have got a few jumpers, too.
Maybe for IRQ2 and 8-Bit/16-bit I/O ?

Crystals are: 25,175 / 28,322 / 35,500 / 40,000 Mhz

BIOS is version 2.15-35 (older).
The VGA BIOS is split to two EPROM, so I/O may be interleaved, 16-Bit.
- Does anybody know how to split a ROM image to odd/even ?

I'm also open for slightly newer cards,
but it would be cool if I could get this card to work in SVGA,
since I'm restorating a 286 PC this card would fit nicely to.
The PC is from 1988, just about as the SVGA chip.

tayyare wrote:Are you using an LCD monitor? those old cards might be using
some awkward frequencies for "higher" resolutions which cannot be supported by LCDs.

Yes, maybe that really is the reason.
Also, the card seems to have got a DIP switch near the bracket.
Maybe it's wrongly configured (VGA frequencies, VGA modes, etc). :confused:

Unfortunately, I have got not manual. Stason has a similar card, though.
https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/graphics-c ... D-622.html

Another model has jumper meanings shown. J1: BUS size; J2: Scan Rate; J3: BIOS Autodetect
See https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/graphics-c ... 216-T.html
Attachments
oak_biosrev.jpg
oak_xtals.jpg
oak_oti037c_card.jpg
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-3-23 @ 06:07

Okay, so I managed to split the ROM by using WinHex.
Unfortunately, I do not have got a pair of 27128 left and the original chips are OTPs..
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby root42 » 2019-3-23 @ 07:58

Wow. That's a beautiful card right there. Have you tried running fractint with this card? Fractint used to have support for lots of obscure chipsets.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby Jo22 » 2019-3-23 @ 14:02

Hi, thanks for your reply! No, I haven't yet, but I'll try soon, since I'm kind of a fan of tractal programs (I even took some footage of them, incl. OS/2!).
Just one question about Fractint - Does the DOS version require a 386 CPU ?
If so, I woudl try the card in a Pentium 133 instead of the target system (that 286,, a Schneider Tower AT)
I know, maybe that's a stupid question, but I'm more familiar with the ports of this awesome program. :sweatdrop:

Oh, something I forgot to mention. The OTI-67 is old enough to have got both Windows/386 and Windows 3.0 (+3.1 of course) drivers, too.
Just found them on that server: ftp://retronn.de/driver/oak/oti067/disk2
I suppose thats one of our users page about old hardware. :)
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby root42 » 2019-3-23 @ 14:56

No, I did run fractint for DOS on a 286. Should be fine.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby alvaro84 » 2019-3-23 @ 14:58

Fractint runs on a vanilla 8088, with or without 8087.

14.0 surely does. Perhaps even the newest ones do.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby root42 » 2019-3-23 @ 17:41

alvaro84 wrote:Fractint runs on a vanilla 8088, with or without 8087.

14.0 surely does. Perhaps even the newest ones do.


Actually quite a few of the fractals are faster without the FPU. Hence the name fractINT. Mandelbrot set for example is faster using the integer algorithm...
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby elianda » 2019-3-23 @ 18:30

Jo22 wrote:Oh, something I forgot to mention. The OTI-67 is old enough to have got both Windows/386 and Windows 3.0 (+3.1 of course) drivers, too.
Just found them on that server: ftp://retronn.de/driver/oak/oti067/disk2
I suppose thats one of our users page about old hardware. :)


This users page also have mirrors of some sites, e.g.:
ftp://retronn.de/mirrors/metropoli/DISPLAY/OAK/
Some Win drivers for the 67er Oak cards:
ftp://retronn.de/archiv/old_cds/perseus ... _WIN31.ZIP
More Oak VESA drivers:
ftp://retronn.de/dos/driver/Vesa/vesadrv.zip
ftp://retronn.de/driver/misc/1/VESA-LB. ... SA-DRV.ARJ
Also some vesa driver with source for Oak card included here:
ftp://retronn.de/archiv/old_cds/der_med ... ESALIB.ZIP
More:
ftp://retronn.de/mirrors/garbo/windows/ ... ak_drv.zip
ftp://retronn.de/mirrors/garbo/windows/ ... kwin31.zip

If you dig more, maybe more comes up...

AFAIR I had 800x600x16 running on the Paradise PVGA1A using some standard approach. The only thing you have to consider with such old cards, that the mode is very likely interlaced, e.g. 56Hz interlaced. I am pretty sure the Oak can do that too.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby retardware » 2019-3-23 @ 19:06

Jo22 wrote:All I'm looking for is a way to get the card running in SVGA resolution on programs like AutoSketch and Windows, maybe some SVGA graphic adventures, too, if that's possible.

800x600 on most of these old cards was with 56Hz screen refresh rate, as Elianda correctly wrote.
1024x768 was commonly at 43Hz interlaced.
Not sure what LCDs do with these odd frequencies.

Jo22 wrote:Edit: How about Realtek cards ? Just seen a few online, approx. from the same time period.

You are just experiencing what is normal for "super" vgas that have broken VGA compatibility, bad drivers and bad hardware.

Graphics cards are not wine... they do not become better when aging.
In the time between approx 1985 to 1995 I did much hardware service and support.

So I always give the advice to avoid Trident, Oak, Cirrus, Realtek, WD, UMC, or, in short, all these budget cards.
Even expensive cards with efficient hype marketing were often fundamentally flawed (explains why for example there are no happy retro DOS gaming users of Paradise and ATI cards).

Even back then it was very frustrating with those, as these shared the same things: bad drivers, hardware incompatibilities (no or distorted output with many games), incorrectly boasting performance and graphics modes that turn out to work poorly if at all.

Common with those are also bad (low-rated) DACs. Your Oak has a 35MHz one, this is outrageous, as you won't get a sharp picture at 800x600 anymore. For myself, I do not accept DACs below 80MHz. (hint: you can put a higher-rated one in to improve image quality. Good buffering of the supply voltage is necessary too, just add .47uf or so diagonally stretched between GND and Vcc)

Another possible reason is that the 36MHz crystal just got damaged (they are very sensitive). Well, if you look at that Oak cards' frequency generation, it is hard to find a worse/cheaper one.

If you want hassle-free DOS retro gaming and good Windows drivers on ISA bus, there is only Tseng and VideoSeven (i.e. Headland chips), and the late ISA early S3.
Sadly these cards make only about 10% of what is being offered on the popular auction house, and they are (justifiedly) commonly in the upper third of the price range.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby mixerjdp » 2019-3-26 @ 04:22

Hello i have a question about this card i hope someone answers me: this OTIVGA 037C has 2 outputs one db9 and one db15.... is possible to plug two monitors at the same time to work for example in monochrome and VGA ?
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby tayyare » 2019-3-26 @ 06:35

mixerjdp wrote:Hello i have a question about this card i hope someone answers me: this OTIVGA 037C has 2 outputs one db9 and one db15.... is possible to plug two monitors at the same time to work for example in monochrome and VGA ?


It is same in my 067, too. Dip switches are for setting up display mode at boot time (MDA, CGA, EGA, VGA) and you can connect digital displays (MDA/CGA/EGA) to these cards. I have no idea about what will be the result of connecting two monitors at the same time, but one thing is sure: Only one "mode" will be active at any given time.
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby jesolo » 2019-3-26 @ 15:08

While going through my "inventory", I also came across one that I have.
Has anyone perhaps tested an OTI-037 based card in an XT PC (i.e., does this 16-bit card work in the 8-bit slot of an XT PC)?
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Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

Postby tayyare » 2019-3-27 @ 09:54

jesolo wrote:While going through my "inventory", I also came across one that I have.
Has anyone perhaps tested an OTI-037 based card in an XT PC (i.e., does this 16-bit card work in the 8-bit slot of an XT PC)?


My 067 certainly does (there might be a jumper to set it up for 16 bit or 8bit).
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