AlessandroB wrote on 2021-06-07, 11:49:
ragefury32 wrote on 2021-06-07, 07:12:
AlessandroB wrote on 2021-05-26, 21:34:
it an Asrock K7S41 if i remember... it will be good for a win98/dos gaming?
It’ll be fine. if it’s a SiS741/963L southbridge based board the machine will behave similar to an HP t5720, and will do decently for DOS/win98 gaming.
Swap in an ESS Solo or Yamaha YMF724/744 if you want DOS audio (the 963L is the last SiS chip to support DDMA if you need it), or conversely, a Radeon 9500, Geforce FX5200 or 6200 if you want more GPU ooomph. The SiS 315E Mirage integrated GPU off the SiS741 is okay/decent from DOS to DirectX5/6, but struggles on anything above that tech level (it’s similar to ATI’s RS200M chipset with the IGP340M).
thank you very much. can you explain me better the thing of the 963L and the DDMA? For DOS games I have a beautiful IBM 330P75 with ISA cards (SBPro2, SB16), could I use this Asrock in the same way?
Well, oldschool DOS games use ISA IRQ/DMA to send commands to the sound chip - since your board (Asrock K7S41) does not have ISA (so you can't use the ISA cards), then you'll need a PCI sound card that can handle those oldschool ISA IRQ/DMA calls from the oldschool games (like the Yamaha XG A301-G50/AOpen Cobra YMF744, or something that has a Crystal or ESS soundchip), and drivers that knows how to intercept and send those commands correctly.
The tech that's used to pass the ISA IRQ/DMA calls over to the PCI bus is called DDMA (distributed DMA) - the DOS driver for a given sound card traps and re-broadcast the ISA DMA calls to every node on the PCI bus (kinda like how WiFI broadcasts traffic all over) and the soundcard downstream should be able to work with it. There are other techniques like TDMA (transparent DMA), DSDMA, etc, etc - most of those techniques require a cooperative southbridge to pass the DMA calls over, and some proprietary "special sauce" - the more foolproof chipsets are the Intel PIIX4s bundled with their 440 chipsets, the VIA southbridges from the 8231/VT82C686 and up to the VT8237, and the SIS from the SS7 5530 chip, all the way to the 963 series. The 963L just denotes the chipset's ability to work directly with ethernet adapters using SiS's own proprietary southbridge protocol (L stands for LAN support in this context). I have one in my t5720 thin client, which is like a mini-Socket A machine that takes Athlon XP-M or its Geode NX derivatives (mine has the 1Ghz NX1500, which is good enough for most things). Mine has a YMF724 or a Geforce 6200TC PCI card that I swap out depending on the games - for XP it's the 6200TC, and for DOS it's the YMF. It works great even for the slower games in my collection, but I haven't touched it much lately.
Some devices and some drivers tend to work better than others. ESS has their drivers, Crystal has theirs, and Yamaha has their DSDMA drivers, which originally worked with the 440s but were hacked to run on something as recent as Intel ICH5 southbridges. There's also something called PC/PCI link which is essentially a cable that connects the motherboard directly to the card, which sends the ISA IRQ/DMA through, and since it does not depend on the southbridge, is usually the more reliable option.
Oh yeah, I nearly forgot - the clock speed granularity on the desktop AthlonXPs are only available in Windows XP under CnQ (cool n' quiet). If you want DOS friendly clock-back you'll need an Athlon XP-M with the unlocked multipler - I don't remember if the clock moves in 50 or 100Mhz increments but for retrogaming, it's definitive a good thing to have.