VOGONS


First post, by TheFifthRace

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I'm a real n00b with video cards, but I have a Diamond Speedstar 24x that I found. I would like to run Windows 3.1 with it. I'm hoping it's good enough to give me 1024x768 with a decent refresh rate. I tried looking on Vogons for drivers, but I only see Speedstar, but not Speedstar 24x. Any help would be appreciated.

Here is a picture of it:

cZlghrl.jpg

Reply 1 of 19, by dionb

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This card only has 1MB RAM, so at 1024x768 you're limited to 256 colours - but its RAMDAC doesn't support more at any resolution. Not an ideal Windows card.

That said if you can't find specific drivers for the 24x, look for drivers for any other card with the WD90C31 chipset and 1MB.

Reply 2 of 19, by keropi

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Indeed for 1024x768 you are limited to 256colors but the Speedstar24X has a true color DAC , notice the supported resolutions of the win3.1 driver's INF (ofcourse 16 and 256 color modes exist - and it is true the vast majority of WDC cards only have an 8bit color DAC)

p32k480  = a:p32k480.drv,  "SpeedStar 24X:  640x480x32768 Small fonts",   "100,96,96",   i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo,   i:vddpvga.386,  i:v7vga.3gr,,           i:vgalogo.rle
p32k600 = a:p32k600.drv, "SpeedStar 24X: 800x600x32768 Small fonts", "100,96,96", i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo, i:vddpvga.386, i:v7vga.3gr,, i:vgalogo.rle
wsp48024 = a:wsp48024.drv, "SpeedStar 24X: 640x480x16Mil Small fonts", "100,96,96", i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo, i:vddpvga.386, i:v7vga.3gr,, i:vgalogo.rle

I am attaching all the 24X drivers in this post 😎

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🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 3 of 19, by TheFifthRace

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keropi wrote:
Indeed for 1024x768 you are limited to 256colors but the Speedstar24X has a true color DAC , notice the supported resolutions of […]
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Indeed for 1024x768 you are limited to 256colors but the Speedstar24X has a true color DAC , notice the supported resolutions of the win3.1 driver's INF (ofcourse 16 and 256 color modes exist - and it is true the vast majority of WDC cards only have an 8bit color DAC)

p32k480  = a:p32k480.drv,  "SpeedStar 24X:  640x480x32768 Small fonts",   "100,96,96",   i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo,   i:vddpvga.386,  i:v7vga.3gr,,           i:vgalogo.rle
p32k600 = a:p32k600.drv, "SpeedStar 24X: 800x600x32768 Small fonts", "100,96,96", i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo, i:vddpvga.386, i:v7vga.3gr,, i:vgalogo.rle
wsp48024 = a:wsp48024.drv, "SpeedStar 24X: 640x480x16Mil Small fonts", "100,96,96", i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo, i:vddpvga.386, i:v7vga.3gr,, i:vgalogo.rle

I am attaching all the 24X drivers in this post 😎

Thank you for the drivers. They're very helpful. They're already running. Is there a way to set the refresh rate with this video card? I didn't see anything skimming the text docs.

Reply 5 of 19, by Jo22

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This is probably OT, but the WD90C31 is backwards compatible with the WD90C00 and the original Paradise VGA (PVGA1A/ PVGA1B etc). 😀
Because of this, backwards compatibility goes way down to '87 software titles.
It's Super VGA mode (800x800) is supported by several early titles, like those games from Magnetics Scrolls.
Or the original PVGA driver for Windows 2.x providing 800x600 and 640x400@256c.
It also has a mode utility that can change to Hercules, EGA and CGA.
Last, but not least, the WD90C31 has accellerater features not found in the earlier generations.
These can be used on Windows 3.1x+ if using the right Windows drivers.

"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 6 of 19, by TheFifthRace

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Jo22 wrote:
This is probably OT, but the WD90C31 is backwards compatible with the WD90C00 and the original Paradise VGA (PVGA1A/ PVGA1B etc) […]
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This is probably OT, but the WD90C31 is backwards compatible with the WD90C00 and the original Paradise VGA (PVGA1A/ PVGA1B etc). 😀
Because of this, backwards compatibility goes way down to '87 software titles.
It's Super VGA mode (800x800) is supported by several early titles, like those games from Magnetics Scrolls.
Or the original PVGA driver for Windows 2.x providing 800x600 and 640x400@256c.
It also has a mode utility that can change to Hercules, EGA and CGA.
Last, but not least, the WD90C31 has accellerater features not found in the earlier generations.
These can be used on Windows 3.1x+ if using the right Windows drivers.

What type of accelerator features can be enabled in Windows? I have the drivers going, so it would be interesting to see what else I can do with this card. It seems like a neat little card for my Tandy that it's in. It seems to be better than the onboard card.

Reply 7 of 19, by Jo22

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Hi! I'm not 100% percent sure, but I think the card/chip has features to assist GDI in drawing,
ie. can do certain things on it own, like drawing lines, circels, filling an object, bitblit etc.
On a 286/386 this can improve performance quite a bit, since it lowers the burden/load on the main processor.

In short, it's an early Windows Accelerator type or card/chip. The features should be on by default,
but checking win.ini shouldn't hurt, either. By the end, some WD reference might be there.
Something like FiFo=1 or something (just a wildguess).
Sysedit is a hidden program that opens all these config files.

About the acceleration features..
I just found a line of text, that made me belive it's true, but I have to continue to search for details. Sorry, 😅

"noaccel - for Cirrus and WD chipsets. This option disables the accelerated features for the clgd5426, clgd5428, wd90c24, wd90c31 and wd90c33 chipsets."
Source: https://psg.com/~joem/XFree86/man/XF86_SVGA.html

"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 8 of 19, by derSammler

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What type of accelerator features can be enabled in Windows?

You don't have to enable them. If you are using the drivers for the card, they become active. Just like with any other graphics card of that time that were called "Windows accelerator" or similar, it has a Blitter and can draw primitives. This makes the screen refresh faster when moving windows around or changing their size. Windows 3.1 can also use the FPU for this sort of acceleration.

Reply 9 of 19, by keropi

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I had no idea that 3.1 uses the fpu to accelerate things, has anyone measured that?

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 11 of 19, by Grzyb

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Wait a min...
Where exactly are FPU instructions used in Windows 3.1 ?
In the system itself?
In some display drivers?
Or just certain applications?

That article mentions Whetstone benchmarks, spreadsheets, databases, CAD software...
so, probably *these* are where the FPU is actually used.

Reply 12 of 19, by derSammler

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That article mentions Whetstone benchmarks, spreadsheets, databases, CAD software...
so, probably *these* are where the FPU is actually used.

And you stopped reading there? Because directly after that, it tells that Windows itself uses the FPU for its GUI drawing functions and performs up to 2 times faster with it.

Reply 13 of 19, by keropi

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interesting graph but it makes you wonder if this is still the case when one uses a vga with acceleration fucntions, I mean the rapidcad gives a +120% boost on the "points" test but that's just with a 256kb vga that I assume has no gui acceleration features at all... this needs to get benchmarked ... is there a tool to do this?

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 14 of 19, by dionb

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keropi wrote:
Indeed for 1024x768 you are limited to 256colors but the Speedstar24X has a true color DAC , notice the supported resolutions of […]
Show full quote

Indeed for 1024x768 you are limited to 256colors but the Speedstar24X has a true color DAC , notice the supported resolutions of the win3.1 driver's INF (ofcourse 16 and 256 color modes exist - and it is true the vast majority of WDC cards only have an 8bit color DAC)

p32k480  = a:p32k480.drv,  "SpeedStar 24X:  640x480x32768 Small fonts",   "100,96,96",   i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo,   i:vddpvga.386,  i:v7vga.3gr,,           i:vgalogo.rle
p32k600 = a:p32k600.drv, "SpeedStar 24X: 800x600x32768 Small fonts", "100,96,96", i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo, i:vddpvga.386, i:v7vga.3gr,, i:vgalogo.rle
wsp48024 = a:wsp48024.drv, "SpeedStar 24X: 640x480x16Mil Small fonts", "100,96,96", i:pvga.gr2, i:vgalogo.lgo, i:vddpvga.386, i:v7vga.3gr,, i:vgalogo.rle

I am attaching all the 24X drivers in this post 😎

Hang on...

You got your card from me iirc, we have the exact same card out of the same batch. I've never been able to get mine to do over 8bpp in DOS or Windows. Now I'm going to try that driver too 😜

Reply 15 of 19, by keropi

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Yep we have the same card 😀 diamond used it's own dac it's not 8bit only give it a shot

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 16 of 19, by Jo22

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derSammler wrote:
Yes: https://imgur.com/a/9ocY2 […]
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Yes:
https://imgur.com/a/9ocY2

That was posted by Jo22 some time ago. German only, sorry. 😉

As for graphics, it says it's about twice as fast compared to no FPU.

Ah yes, I remember that one.. ^^

keropi wrote:

interesting graph but it makes you wonder if this is still the case when one uses a vga with acceleration fucntions,
I mean the rapidcad gives a +120% boost on the "points" test but that's just with a 256kb vga that I assume has no gui acceleration
features at all... this needs to get benchmarked ... is there a tool to do this?

I'm not 100% sure, but one of the popular test programs was WinBench by PC Magazine.
it ran on Windows 2.x and higher. There also was a Presentation Manager version running on OS/2 1.1 and higher,
which could be useful in comparing real OS/2 1.x with the "Windows NT Add-On Subsystem for Presentation Manager",
the Win16 Sub Systems of NT/OS/2 or OS/2 Warp, EcomStation, Blue Lion OS (aka ArcaOS).. 😉
Both can be found at Toasty Tech page, I recall. A screen short of WinBech 1.1 is shown here:
Re: Best PCI VGA card for Windows 3.11 performance?

Also useful are WinSpeed (by GetmanSoft) and WinG Speed. Both require Win32s, though and a 386 or higher.
They were also likely released years after that FPU article was published.

Edit: I slighlty updated my posting in the other thread, since the original link is defunct by now.
I've also correct myself in regards to Windows 2.x being the minimum for WinBech 1.x.
It seems to be a Win 2 executable that can be run on on Windows 1.04, at least.

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Last edited by Jo22 on 2019-11-12, 05:51. Edited 1 time in total.

"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 17 of 19, by derSammler

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keropi wrote:

interesting graph but it makes you wonder if this is still the case when one uses a vga with acceleration fucntions

Yes, that's the graphs on page 3 (ET4000 and S3). Increase is even higher in that cases.

Reply 18 of 19, by keropi

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is there a link to download the PC magazine winbench? it seems it will do this job just fine

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system