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Socket 370 VIA C3 Retro DOS PC

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Reply 20 of 63, by enaiel

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-11-04, 17:39:

The extra speed won't cause any problems, but the drive will become very loud every time data is being read from a disc (e.g. during cinematic intro sequences).

To fix that, you can use @Locutus' CDBeQuiet! to slow your drive down to 4x or 6x speed. I'm using it on both of my retro rigs and my drives are blissfully silent.

Thanks, I had no idea such a utility existed. Seems to work fine with my drive.

#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 21 of 63, by enaiel

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Memory management and my boot menu are a lot simpler. Everything just works in Real Mode with HIMEM + UMBPCI. I only use EMM386 for the few programs and games that won't start unless they detect XMS. I also use EatXMS for games like Aladdin that won't run with more than 16MB of free XMS. And I have another boot option for the CDROM, USB and SCSI drivers. But that's about it.

This DOS PC is a true multimedia PC with support for most media formats:

And the best part, is that I have all these players/viewers configured for use directly from Volkov Commander. I use version 4.99.08a for the LFN support. I need LFN support for DJGPP, and for all the multimedia I find. I use this guide to determine which versions of software support LFN. And CD.TextFiles.com for a good collection of 90's era multimedia.

#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 22 of 63, by enaiel

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I have one disappointment with this system. I am not able to use my 2 Gravis Gamepads simultaneously in multiplayer games.

I bought 2 Gravis Gamepads (not the Pro version), since they scream "DOS", unlike other joysticks that are more suited for Windows games. And I have 3 gameports - one each in the SBPro, YM744 and AWE64. I tried to use them in Lotus, since it is a multiplayer game. At first I tried to use two gameports, one at port 201 and the other at port 202, but only the one at port 201 would work. Then I read this thread which suggested that most games only check port 201 so I would need a Y-Splitter cable to connect 2 gamepads. I purchased such a cable, but it only partially works. One gamepad works fine, but in the second gamepad only the D-pad works, the buttons don't respond.

I used TMScope from this thread and I'm able to test both gamepads fully if they are in different gameports. Too bad no game works that way. When I test both gamepads in the same port using the splitter cable, TMScope does not detect the buttons from the second gamepad either.

Thinking the cable is faulty, I purchased a second cable. This one comes with a pin-out diagram that looks right. It doesn't work either. TMScope still doesn't detect any buttons from the second gamepad.

It can't be that both cables are defective. So wiring my own cable is not going to be any different from the second cable that already has the right wiring. The gamepads and gameports have been individually fully tested for four button support using TMScope too, so none of them can be faulty.

So what is the problem? User @cyclone3d mentioned that the Gamepad Pro version has a switch to select 2-players, and it explicitly mentions 2-player support on back of it's box. User @Jorpho mentioned that his original Gravis Gamepad also has a switch to select 2-players, as can be seen in his box. But I have the "Advanced" Gravis Gamepad, and as can be seen by this box has no switch to select 2-players. And instead the same switch provides a "turbo fire" mode. Is it possible that Gravis killed this feature so that people would either buy the more expensive Pro version, or it's "Dual Port Gravis Eliminator Game Card"? I've run out of options at this point to get this to work. Anyone have any experience getting these "Advanced" Gravis Gamepads to work in 2-player mode?

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#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 23 of 63, by enaiel

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So I found one possible issue with the second Y cable I bought - it's pinout diagram doesn't match exactly with the one from allpinouts.org:

This is one way to configure a second joystick and is probably the best way to do it, some people or manufacturers will replace the two blue wires connected to pins 4 & 5 of the Joystick 2 connector and will connect them to pin 12 from the computer and the red wire connected to pin 8 of the joystick 2 connector and will connect it to pin 15 from the computer. This is ok, but if you have a midi enabled connector (mostly found on soundcards), the second way might not work, it could disable the soundcard all together, because these pins (12 & 15) are used for midi input and output. So to be on the safe side, the wiring diagram in figure 4 is probably the safest way to go. If you have already bought a cable and it doesn’t seem to work wright, it might be that the cable is wired to pins 12 & 15

The only difference in the second Y cable is that the second joystick's pin 8 is connected to pin 15 from the computer, instead of pin 8. So I cut the cable and connected the second joystick's pin 8 to the first joystick's pin 8 . But it still doesn't work.

I found more people facing the exact same issue as me, and also this old article that said:

I tested all of the sticks here with a Thunder Board and had no problems. However, if you're going to be using more than one joystick-port device (such as two joysticks and rudder pedals), you'll need to attach Y cables to the single joystick port on the back of the sound card. I've heard reports of incompatibilities with such setups and the Sound Blaster Pro card, so you might be better off just buying a game card with two joystick ports.

So I'm beginning to believe that it is impossible to have 2 joysticks on a MIDI enabled gameport on a sound card in DOS. You either need a game card with dual gameports, or a splitter cable that connects to a single dedicated gameport on a single port game card. The only other alternative is to use a proprietary technology like that found on the Gravis Gamepad Pro or the MS Sidewinder that need special drivers, or games to explicitly support them.

I have 2 Gravis Gamepads, 2 Y splitter cables, and 3 gameports on 3 different sound cards, but I can't play any 2-player games with them. What a shame.

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#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 24 of 63, by enaiel

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I take it all back. Cable manufacturers are really that clueless that they did not adapt their Y-splitter cables for dedicated gameports to work with MIDI enabled gameports on soundcards. Just on a hunch that the pinout diagram of the cable itself was wrong, and that they also put the ground of the second joystick on the wrong pin, I went back and connected the ground of the second joystick to the ground of the first. And it works! I finally have two simultaneously working gamepads! For anyone looking for instructions to do the same - connect the power (red) wire and the ground (brown) wire of the second joystick to the power (red) wire and ground (brown) wire of the first joystick, and you will have a working Y-splitter cable.

Excitedly I decided to try the cable out on all the multiplayer games I have. And guess what? Only one of them (Lotus) actually supports 2 joysticks. All the others (Mortal Kombat 3, WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game, etc) only support 1 joystick! What the Hell! I never owned a joystick when I used DOS back then so I had no idea. I wasted my time down this rabbit hole for very little returns.

I guess I can understand why many DOS games don't have 2-player joystick support:

  • Most people (like myself) did not own any.
  • Most people who did, owned only one.
  • People who bought a dedicated dual gameport card or bought a working Y-splitter cable were too few to cater for.

One reason I wanted to build this PC was to prove that DOS was every bit as good as the other 16-bit gaming options like the Amiga, Atari ST, SNES and Mega Drive. But I guess I have to concede defeat on local multiplayer games. Pretty poor in that area.

#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 25 of 63, by enaiel

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Nothing left to do besides run some benchmarks:

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#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 26 of 63, by ShovelKnight

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That's interesting, I can get close to 30 fps in Quake 1 DOS with the same integrated GPU on my VIA Epia 800 (C3 Ezra) overclocked to 1 GHz. Don't remember the exact numbers, but they were about 27-28 fps (with fastvid). If I can find my notes, I will give you exact numbers.

Reply 27 of 63, by ShovelKnight

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Found some of my scribbles... Enabling FastVid on VIA Epia 800 boosts the frame rate in Quake DOS from 16.5 to 26.6 fps in my case, and enabling memory interleave in BIOS gives additional 2.3 fps boost for 28.9 fps total (timedemo demo1).

After overclocking to 1 GHz, the frame rate further improves to 31.7 fps, that was Quake 1.06 IIRC. I would expect Quake 1.08 to boost the frame rate even further (it is generally considered the fastest version of Quake 1).

Using Matrox Mystique I was able to get 37.1 fps in Quake 1 640x480 and 87.9 fps in Doom with the CPU overclocked to 1 GHz.

Reply 28 of 63, by enaiel

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ShovelKnight wrote on 2020-11-10, 09:35:

Found some of my scribbles... Enabling FastVid on VIA Epia 800 boosts the frame rate in Quake DOS from 16.5 to 26.6 fps in my case, and enabling memory interleave in BIOS gives additional 2.3 fps boost for 28.9 fps total (timedemo demo1).

Enabling FastVid only boosted the framerate from 16.6 to 20.1 fps in my case, I was expecting a bigger boost as well. I have no option in my BIOS to enable memory interleave. The only option I have disabled is loading the video BIOS into shadow RAM since I am using UMBPCI. I have attached a copy of my motherboard manual in case you can find some option there that I missed.

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#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 29 of 63, by enaiel

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I completely blew my budget and bought a NOS Diamond Monster 3D 4MB 3Dfx Voodoo 1 card. I hope you're happy @kolderman! I figured since this was a DOS only PC, the Voodoo 1 should have the best compatibility. It will replace the S3 Trio64V2/DX. Still waiting for the VGA extension cable before I can properly test it with all the DOS Glide games.

I have never owned a 3Dfx card before. Is there any way for me to test the card without the pass-through cable?

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#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 31 of 63, by enaiel

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-12-01, 00:25:

If you load up a glide game just move the monitors VGA cable to the output of the voodoo card.

Hmm, I tried Tomb Raider 3Dfx patch, but I just get a blank screen from the voodoo card. I also tried running the tests from the SDK , but I'm getting a blank screen here as well. The diagnostic programs and other utility programs detect the card, but I'm not yet able to get a picture out of it. Any ideas?

#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 32 of 63, by Joseph_Joestar

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enaiel wrote on 2020-12-01, 00:22:

It will replace the S3 Trio64V2/DX.

You do know that Voodoo 1 and 2 are 3D-only cards?

They can't work as standalone devices and need a companion card to handle 2D. And S3 cards are great for that purpose.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 33 of 63, by enaiel

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-12-01, 08:40:

You do know that Voodoo 1 and 2 are 3D-only cards?

They can't work as standalone devices and need a companion card to handle 2D. And S3 cards are great for that purpose.

Yeah, I know that. I'm using the onboard Trident IGP for 2D since it has proven to be as good as the S3 so far, and more importantly, since I have no more free PCI slots.

Are Voodoo 1 cards picky about which PCI slot they are in when running in DOS?

#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz/MSI MS-6368/Voodoo2+ViRGE GX/SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz/QDI A10T/Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200/Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 34 of 63, by Joseph_Joestar

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enaiel wrote on 2020-12-01, 13:10:

Are Voodoo 1 cards picky about which PCI slot they are in when running in DOS?

Not as far as I know.

But I'm not sure how a Voodoo card handles being paired with integrated graphics. Maybe someone else who has tried that combination can chime in.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 35 of 63, by Big Pink

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-12-01, 00:25:

If you load up a glide game just move the monitors VGA cable to the output of the voodoo card.

I was under the impression VGA is not hot-swappable. It might not damage it, but I personally wouldn't risk it having put money down on something with a 3Dfx logo.

I thought IBM was born with the world

Reply 37 of 63, by H3nrik V!

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Or just have one monitor on the 2D output and another on the 3dfx output, if you have two monitors 😀

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 38 of 63, by H3nrik V!

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-12-01, 14:23:
enaiel wrote on 2020-12-01, 13:10:

Are Voodoo 1 cards picky about which PCI slot they are in when running in DOS?

Not as far as I know.

But I'm not sure how a Voodoo card handles being paired with integrated graphics. Maybe someone else who has tried that combination can chime in.

Without directly knowing, I'd say that the Voodoo card isn't aware of what 2D card is used.

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 39 of 63, by kolderman

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H3nrik V! wrote on 2020-12-02, 08:21:
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-12-01, 14:23:
enaiel wrote on 2020-12-01, 13:10:

Are Voodoo 1 cards picky about which PCI slot they are in when running in DOS?

Not as far as I know.

But I'm not sure how a Voodoo card handles being paired with integrated graphics. Maybe someone else who has tried that combination can chime in.

Without directly knowing, I'd say that the Voodoo card isn't aware of what 2D card is used.

Of course it does not know (and works fine with integrated). It's simply switching an analogue VGA signal.