VOGONS


Bought these (retro) hardware today

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Reply 45100 of 46033, by HanJammer

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part 2/2
Not something I didn't had before, but spares are always welcome...

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Reply 45101 of 46033, by appiah4

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HanJammer wrote on 2022-06-13, 08:54:

Some cards I bought through the last month. ESS Maestro-1 is especially cool. I owned one back in the 90s (and I still have it). These were among first PCI sound cards.

I never dipped my toe into Maestro and Allegro chipsets; I never owned one in the day and lack of an integrated FM Synth kind of killed my desire to get one once I got into retrocomputing.

That said, I am a big fan of CS4624/4630 sound cards. I always wanted a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz back in the day (have one now) and owned a Terratec DMX XFire 1024 which I really loved (still own two of those 🤣). Comparing a quality card with Maestro/Allegro chipsets with CS4624/4630 could be fun I guess.

I'll keep my eyes open for these 😁

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Reply 45104 of 46033, by TrashPanda

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-06-13, 10:06:

The Allegro and Maestro lost out on the ESS FM synthesis (what were they thinking) and sound terrible with FM. The Solo is the last good card, if you want to play DOS games.

That's a damn shame, ESS FM Synth was amazingly good .. some might even say better than anything else on offer at the time ...well PCI sound card based that is.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 45105 of 46033, by chrismes

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I've got a super cheap AOpen AX3L Intel 440LX mainboard with integrated ESS Solo-1 sound. I was pretty shocked at how good that thing worked for a board that was build for Mendocino Celerons and not much else.

Reply 45106 of 46033, by appiah4

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chrismes wrote on 2022-06-13, 10:42:

I've got a super cheap AOpen AX3L Intel 440LX mainboard with integrated ESS Solo-1 sound. I was pretty shocked at how good that thing worked for a board that was build for Mendocino Celerons and not much else.

Mendocino Celerons make fantastic DOS computers and a Solo-1 is a near perfect solution for that kind of a system if you can't find a decent ISA card.

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Reply 45107 of 46033, by chrismes

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-06-13, 10:48:
chrismes wrote on 2022-06-13, 10:42:

I've got a super cheap AOpen AX3L Intel 440LX mainboard with integrated ESS Solo-1 sound. I was pretty shocked at how good that thing worked for a board that was build for Mendocino Celerons and not much else.

Mendocino Celerons make fantastic DOS computers and a Solo-1 is a near perfect solution for that kind of a system if you can't find a decent ISA card.

Yeah, it's currently used with a Celeron 500 as a test rig for AGP, PCI and ISA cards. I always thought it doesn't deserve this fate and I should put it in a case and give it away to someone interested in DOS games as a starter system. Oh, and it's the MATX version of the AX3L called MX3L.

Reply 45108 of 46033, by HanJammer

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-06-13, 09:29:

Does the maestro have the same great DOS support the Solo-1 has or did it lose that ?

As far as I know It does. And this particular card I showed above has SB-Link header (I didn't compared it with the one I got back in the 90s yet). I don't recall having any problems with using Maestro-1 in DOS back in the 90s and most games I played in DOS. As for FM - I never had any 'real' OPL3 card back in the 90s - from SB 2.0 I jumped to Opti931 and from this to Maestro-1 so I guess I didn't really cared how compatible it was with real OPL3... 😉 and in Windows I've been using soft synths since ~97 - starting with WinJammer (great, great piece of software, how do you think I came up with my nickname? ;D ) and S-YXG20 and 50 later which I dropped only when I replaced Meastro-1 with A-Trend 3DS724 (YMF-724 based card).
I think I have some Solo-1 cards in my collection, although I'm certainly missing ESS Allegro card.

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Reply 45109 of 46033, by Kahenraz

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I did some tests recently where I hook up two computers, one with an ESS Solo-1 and the other with a Yamaha YMF724. I fed the output into a mixer and started up Duke Nukem 3D. Toggling between the two, I could not tell any difference in the FM synthesis. It's possible that there is variation on some other instruments, but to me, this comparison sounded identical.

I also tested the Allegro and the Maestro. Unless you are desperate or have no point of reference, they sound horrible. They are only useful in Windows.

ESS had such perfect hardware synthesis. What were they thinking?

Reply 45110 of 46033, by Saidian

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Swapped a laptop drive for this entire system and monitor!

Haven't checked the CPU yet but the motherboard is an ASUS A7V. It comes with a Soundblaster CT4830, floppy and combo DVD Drive.

The Geforce 2 MX400 is probably dead, system turns on and I can hear the Hard Drive working away but no picture coming up. Monitor does work though.
I just bought a cheap AGP card off eBay so I'll see later this week the general condition of the rest of the system. Chances are I'll eventually just put another motherboard and CPU in but might as well see what parts I can move over to my build.

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Reply 45111 of 46033, by cyclone3d

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-06-13, 04:09:
cyclone3d wrote on 2022-06-12, 21:28:
mrfusion92 wrote on 2022-06-12, 19:42:

Wait for real? I have a FX 5200 Ultra in the PC and a MX440 in a box, should I switch them?

The FX5200 Ultra is basically the same as the FX5600.

Nothing like the regular FX5200/FX5500.

It's a little generous to say that. The FX5200 Ultra is an overclocked FX5200 with higher clocks. It improves performance to the point where it reliably beats the GF4 MX cards, but it was still the same heavily mutilated GPU.
https://youtu.be/09qvRCv7ThE

So looking at techpowerup more, the 5200, 5500, and 5600 all have the same specs except for clocks.
https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/?genera … sort=generation

The 5200 ultra has the same GPU clock speed as the 5600 but higher RAM clocks, so the 5200 Ultra should be a bit faster than the 5600.

Edit... It actually depends if you have the NV18c or the NV34 variant of the FX5200.

NV18c config is 2/0/4/2
NV34 config is 4/2/4/4

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Reply 45112 of 46033, by Kahenraz

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I think this is a mistake. The NV18 is the GeForce 4 MX 440 AGP x8. The NV18C is the MX 4000.

Also, the defining factor between the FX 5200 and the 5600 isn't the clock speed but rather the lack of color and Z compression. This was a terrible bastardization in the name of product segmentation. The 5200 should never have existed and the 5600 should have been the 5200. The 5200 Ultra basically cranks the clocks up to 11 to try and compensate for its own self crippling design.

https://techreport.com/review/5257/nvidias-ge … 5200-ultra-gpu/

No color or Z compression – Unlike the rest of the NV3X line, NV34 can’t do color or Z compression. The lack of color compression should hamper the chip’s performance primarily with antialiasing enabled, but the lack of Z compression will hurt across the board. Without advanced lossless compression schemes, NV34 doesn’t make as efficient use of the bandwidth it has available, which reduces the chip’s overall effective fill rate (or pixel-pushing power).

The 5600 was a good budget card and the 5600 Ultra was competitive with the GeForce 4 Ti 4600. The 5200 is fine. I like the 5200. It's similar to the GeForce 4 MX but has shader capability. This can be desirable. But it's such a bizarre product.

The absolute worst offense is the GeForce FX 5200 with a 64-bit bus. I don't say this often, but this card is truly garbage. I wonder if a GeForce 2 MX would be faster.

Reply 45113 of 46033, by RandomStranger

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cyclone3d wrote on 2022-06-13, 18:26:
So looking at techpowerup more, the 5200, 5500, and 5600 all have the same specs except for clocks. https://www.techpowerup.com/ […]
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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-06-13, 04:09:
cyclone3d wrote on 2022-06-12, 21:28:

The FX5200 Ultra is basically the same as the FX5600.

Nothing like the regular FX5200/FX5500.

It's a little generous to say that. The FX5200 Ultra is an overclocked FX5200 with higher clocks. It improves performance to the point where it reliably beats the GF4 MX cards, but it was still the same heavily mutilated GPU.
https://youtu.be/09qvRCv7ThE

So looking at techpowerup more, the 5200, 5500, and 5600 all have the same specs except for clocks.
https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/?genera … sort=generation

The 5200 ultra has the same GPU clock speed as the 5600 but higher RAM clocks, so the 5200 Ultra should be a bit faster than the 5600.

That's not the whole story, as Kahenraz mentioned, the GPU is mutilated in much more creative ways. The FX5600 has color and Z-compression which makes it a lot more bandwidth efficient. That OC is just not enough to turn that around. It can come close in low resolutions maybe even get faster with bandwidth intensive settings turned off, if you are willing to pay that price. But this doesn't make it a better than FX5600 card.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 45114 of 46033, by pentiumspeed

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-06-13, 18:49:
I think this is a mistake. The NV18 is the GeForce 4 MX 440 AGP x8. The NV18C is the MX 4000. […]
Show full quote

I think this is a mistake. The NV18 is the GeForce 4 MX 440 AGP x8. The NV18C is the MX 4000.

Also, the defining factor between the FX 5200 and the 5600 isn't the clock speed but rather the lack of color and Z compression. This was a terrible bastardization in the name of product segmentation. The 5200 should never have existed and the 5600 should have been the 5200. The 5200 Ultra basically cranks the clocks up to 11 to try and compensate for its own self crippling design.

https://techreport.com/review/5257/nvidias-ge … 5200-ultra-gpu/

No color or Z compression – Unlike the rest of the NV3X line, NV34 can’t do color or Z compression. The lack of color compression should hamper the chip’s performance primarily with antialiasing enabled, but the lack of Z compression will hurt across the board. Without advanced lossless compression schemes, NV34 doesn’t make as efficient use of the bandwidth it has available, which reduces the chip’s overall effective fill rate (or pixel-pushing power).

The 5600 was a good budget card and the 5600 Ultra was competitive with the GeForce 4 Ti 4600. The 5200 is fine. I like the 5200. It's similar to the GeForce 4 MX but has shader capability. This can be desirable. But it's such a bizarre product.

The absolute worst offense is the GeForce FX 5200 with a 64-bit bus. I don't say this often, but this card is truly garbage. I wonder if a GeForce 2 MX would be faster.

That is exactly what I wanted to know about fx series. The wiki left this details out.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 45115 of 46033, by cyclone3d

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-06-13, 19:40:
cyclone3d wrote on 2022-06-13, 18:26:
So looking at techpowerup more, the 5200, 5500, and 5600 all have the same specs except for clocks. https://www.techpowerup.com/ […]
Show full quote
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-06-13, 04:09:

It's a little generous to say that. The FX5200 Ultra is an overclocked FX5200 with higher clocks. It improves performance to the point where it reliably beats the GF4 MX cards, but it was still the same heavily mutilated GPU.
https://youtu.be/09qvRCv7ThE

So looking at techpowerup more, the 5200, 5500, and 5600 all have the same specs except for clocks.
https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/?genera … sort=generation

The 5200 ultra has the same GPU clock speed as the 5600 but higher RAM clocks, so the 5200 Ultra should be a bit faster than the 5600.

That's not the whole story, as Kahenraz mentioned, the GPU is mutilated in much more creative ways. The FX5600 has color and Z-compression which makes it a lot more bandwidth efficient. That OC is just not enough to turn that around. It can come close in low resolutions maybe even get faster with bandwidth intensive settings turned off, if you are willing to pay that price. But this doesn't make it a better than FX5600 card.

Ah, ok. Thanks for clearing that up. I wasn't aware of the differences.. or more likely forgot about them over the past couple of decades.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 45116 of 46033, by Kahenraz

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This adds a bit more context to why I've wanted a 5200 Ultra as a "nice to have", but only if one comes up on the cheap. I can't see myself using it for a build for anything ever, outside of benchmarks and curiosity.

The GeForce FX era was such a mess with so many manufacturers riding the coattails of benchmarks and review websites but shipping 64-bit versions of the same product, without any way for the consumer to know that they are getting and inferior product. I believe that this is the source of many people's memories of terrible GeForce 4 MX and FX series cards. I've done extensive testing and, as long as you get the proper 128-bit version, they are all good. Even the 5200. As long as you temper your expectations, of course.

Reply 45117 of 46033, by BitWrangler

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-06-13, 03:16:
BitWrangler wrote on 2022-06-13, 00:14:

Sis 305, Pine Tech did a discrete one in AGP.

Is it 4x/8x ?

Board won’t work with 2x cards.

They do seem to be 4x... but even at $10 they're bad value for money... on a GF2 MX400 value for money scale I'd figure $5 or below. Their redeeming feature... ummm might not be one... I guess some are low profile so if you drive your case under a low bridge and chop the top off, they survive... uh, yay.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 45118 of 46033, by Kahenraz

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The GeForce 2 MX is a great card. Budget DirectX 7 with excellent OpenGL support, hardware TnL, universal AGP connector, it can be used with very old drivers, it's fanless, and can be found with multi-head configurations with DVI and S-Video.

I have quite of a few of these and love to use them when testing, as they are a great point of reference for assessing performance. Between this and the Rage 128, they are some of my favorite cards.

Speaking of which, two more of these arrived in the mail just today. If I can find them cheaply with a DVI port, I will still buy them.

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