Doom vs Heretic VGA performance difference

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

Re: Doom vs Heretic VGA performance difference

Postby canthearu » 2019-1-12 @ 03:31

First things first, I have found that ISA video cards are somewhat slower in the pentium system than they are in my 386. Probably because the bus speed is fixed to the AT spec, rather than being programmable.

Test System:
Pentium MMX 233 (I overclocked a 200mhz CPU to match the OPs Processor)
Azza PT-5IT motherboard.
64meg RAM

I have copied the OP's benchmark settings to make results as comparable as possible.

OAK 067 SVGA - 512KB
Quake - 22.7 fps
Doom - 15.5 fps (2134 gameticks in 4816 realticks)
Vidspeed 4.0 (write) - 1026KB/s at 8-bit, 2044KB/s at 16-bit, 2431KB/s at 32-bit

Notes: This card is no match for the ET4000AX, but should be fast enough for early DOS systems. There are certainly a LOT worse, as you will see below.

Tseng ET4000AX SVGA - 1024KB
Quake - 30.4 fps
Doom - 26.2 fps (2134 gameticks in 2849 realticks)
Vidspeed 4.0 (write) - 1832KB/s at 8-bit, 3605KB/s at 16-bit, 4242KB/s at 32-bit

Notes: The ET4000AX is the real deal for ISA based systems. When tested on my 386, vidspeed reached 7772KB/s performance with 32bit transfers. This card, or cards that perform similarly are exactly what you want for fast 386 or ISA only 486 systems.

Trident TVGA 8800CS - 8 bit ISA - 256KB
Quake - 9.4 fps
Doom - 9.4 fps (2134 gameticks in 7953 realticks)
Vidspeed 4.0 (write) - 720KB/s at 8-bit, 730KB/s at 16-bit, 720KB/s at 32-bit

Notes: This card is VERY slow, but would work fine on an XT, and looks like it can take TTL monitors in addition to VGA monitors (not 100% sure, I don't have any to test)

HP D1180A - Paradise PVGA1A - 256KB - 8-bit mode
Quake - 13.5 fps
Doom - 11.9 fps (2134 gameticks in 6285 realticks)
Vidspeed 4.0 (write) - 847KB/s at 8-bit, 1047KB/s at 16-bit, 1130KB/s at 32-bit

Notes: This came from my Vectra CS, and the display is a little bit buggy when used in other computers, but it is a good example of an early VGA card. Definitely better than the trident

HP D1180A - Paradise PVGA1A - 256KB - 16-bit mode
Quake - 22.4 fps
Doom - 11.9 fps (2134 gameticks in 6287 realticks)
Vidspeed 4.0 (write) - 1005KB/s at 8-bit, 2001KB/s at 16-bit, 2306KB/s at 32-bit

Notes: Switching this to 16-bit mode, increases performance in quake a significant amount, but doom performance didn't shift. It looks like doom only uses 8-bit writes when writing frames to video memory.

Geforce 2-MX 400 PCI - 64MB Memory
Quake - 53.1 fps
Doom - 94.1 fps (2134 gameticks in 794 realticks)
Vidspeed 4.0 (write) - 13342KB/s at 8-bit, 33300KB/s at 16-bit, 89043KB/s at 32-bit

Notes: if you have a PCI system, you absolutely must use a PCI card in it. Even the worst PCI card beats the crap out of any ISA card on these systems.
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Re: Doom vs Heretic VGA performance difference

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-1-12 @ 04:45

Interesting results.

That Tseng ET4000AX SVGA - 1024KB is straight up killing it.

Makes me want to see a Tseng ET4000AX vs various VLB cards showdown.
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Re: Doom vs Heretic VGA performance difference

Postby canthearu » 2019-1-13 @ 09:52

My VLB system isn't a particularly great example, but just for reference with vidspeed:

System Specs:
8meg RAM
S3 805 1Meg VLB Graphics card

Vidspeed L:
8-bit Transfers: 8325KB/s
16-bit Transfers: 16650KB/s
32-bit Transfers: 11100KB/s

8 and 16 bit transfers are as fast as normal memory writes on this system.
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Re: Doom vs Heretic VGA performance difference

Postby silikone » 2019-1-14 @ 15:11

Not a single ISA card that handles Doom better than Quake? Ouch.
Things should look really nasty for the latter with vid_mode 1, though.
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