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First post, by buckeye

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Currently running a Geforce3 Ti200 128MB with a P3 450 win98SE system. Would a Geforce4 4200-4800 make that much of a difference? Most of the games I'm running are from 2001-2003 era (Return to Castle Wolfenstein being the most demanding). I'm new at this therefore don't know if it's worth the upgrade or not. Maybe going to a stronger P3 cpu would make a bigger impact.

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Reply 1 of 19, by PhilsComputerLab

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Not really, that processor is holding back the Geforce as it is. A TNT2 is a suitable card for that kind of machine, so you already have something much, much faster.

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Reply 2 of 19, by Trank

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I suggest getting a 800-1000mhz Pentium 3 if you plan getting a GF4. Which i would do if you run early 2000 games. Also a Geforce 4 has better Directx 8 and OpenGL support. (Which a TNT2 doesn't have at all by the way)

Reply 3 of 19, by clueless1

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I agree with the others. Here are some other thoughts...
-a GF4 might be *slightly* faster with your current cpu in say, 4X AA, 8X AF.
-if you do move up to a P3 800-1000 and are ready to upgrade your GPU, also consider a 128-bit GF FX 5200. I have one in my P3 933Mhz and have compared it to a GF3 Ti200 in the same machine. The FX 5200 (128-bit, fanless model) supports DX9, is silent, uses less Watts, is equal in performance with no AA/AF, and a little bit faster with AA/AF enabled. I don't have a GF4 (other than a crappy MX4000), but here is a review that includes both cards on a much faster testbed:
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/53652-ge … i-performance/6

It looks like overall the Ti4200 is slightly faster, but there are some situations where the FX 5200 wins. And on a much slower machine, both will probably still be cpu-bound.

Keep in mind GF4's can have heat and reliability issues.

IMO the 128-bit FX 5200 is nearly a perfect GPU for Win98 and fast Pentium 3. It sucks as a WinXP GPU because the games of 2004+ are too much for it to handle. But on 1998-2001 era games, it is very good indeed.

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Reply 4 of 19, by Totempole

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clueless1 wrote:

IMO the 128-bit FX 5200 is nearly a perfect GPU for Win98 and fast Pentium 3. It sucks as a WinXP GPU because the games of 2004+ are too much for it to handle. But on 1998-2001 era games, it is very good indeed.

I don't know why, but I tend to prefer the 128-bit Radeon 9200 in faster systems with Windows 98. It just feels a bit faster somehow. I haven't actually benchmarked it, so it could be my imagination. I use Catalyst 4.3. I find 6.5 has compatibility issues with older games.

You're certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to drivers for NVidia Cards though.

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Reply 6 of 19, by Totempole

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alexanrs wrote:

/\ Nvidia cards have better DOS compatibility, though, which might be preferable on a lower end P3.

Agreed, which is why the Geforce 2 MX400 is my card of choice for that. Although, the TNT2 offers superior DOS compatibility.

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Reply 7 of 19, by Tetrium

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I totally agree with above replies.

buckeye wrote:

Currently running a Geforce3 Ti200 128MB with a P3 450 win98SE system. Would a Geforce4 4200-4800 make that much of a difference? Most of the games I'm running are from 2001-2003 era (Return to Castle Wolfenstein being the most demanding). I'm new at this therefore don't know if it's worth the upgrade or not. Maybe going to a stronger P3 cpu would make a bigger impact.

I can add one thing though. Since you mention you are new, try to keep an eye on system requirements and even though the mentioned system requirements on the packaging of the game are really to be taken with a grain of salt (many things in influence this, like patches, expansions, multiplayer may also require more, etc) but they do tell you roughly what CPU and what graphics card you'll need.

The GF3 is way more than enough for a P3-450 and a TNT2 or maybe GF1 would be a good fit for it.
I've used one GF3 Ti200 in a P3-1000, your CPU is less than half of that, theres not much reason to upgrade your GF3 unless you want to do that for the heck of it 😜

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Reply 8 of 19, by idspispopd

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Agreeing with everything said. The GF3 only makes sense for the system with high resolutions/AA.
If in doubt you could run some quick benchmarks at the resolutions you currently use and compare to lower resolutions. If the games don't run faster at lower resolutions (which they probably won't) a faster video card won't help.
Since you mention RTCW here are some CPU scaling graphs (at 1024x768x32):
http://www.anandtech.com/show/899/16

Reply 9 of 19, by meljor

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Anandtech (and other hw sites) can also be used to determine what cpu and graphics card is a nice (period correct) fit.

For example: Anandtech did his review of the geforce3 ti200 on a p4 2ghz system. So you can see your cpu is a huge bottleneck.

Having overkill graphics is great for high resolutions and AA but in your case an upgrade will not work any better and you're better off with a faster cpu or system.
Don't toss out the 450mhz system as it is a very nice platform for retro games.

Maybe use a socket 370 adapter for the system and a faster socket 370 cpu for a low cost upgrade (if the board supports the voltage for these cpu's)

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Reply 10 of 19, by brostenen

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buckeye wrote:

Currently running a Geforce3 Ti200 128MB with a P3 450 win98SE system. Would a Geforce4 4200-4800 make that much of a difference? Most of the games I'm running are from 2001-2003 era (Return to Castle Wolfenstein being the most demanding). I'm new at this therefore don't know if it's worth the upgrade or not. Maybe going to a stronger P3 cpu would make a bigger impact.

I go with something like TNT2's too....
To be more specific. Go with one of the following six cards.

- TNT2 Ultra
- TNT2 Pro
- Matrox G400 Max
- Matrox G400 (the regulair dualhead 32mb)
- Compaq Voodoo3-3500
- Voodoo3-3000

You can't go wrong with eighter one of them, just pick the one that suits you well.

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Reply 11 of 19, by shamino

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The Geforce3 is a bit overkill for that CPU so as others have said, you'd probably see no difference at all from upgrading it. If your motherboard will run Coppermine processors then that would be a more effective upgrade. Note that Coppermine support is not always obvious - some boards have a compatible VRM but they don't advertise it. It might also need a BIOS update.

If your board is good for overclocking, then my experience has been that cB0 steppings of the Coppermine 600/100 will run 800/133 pretty easily. cA2 steppings generally will not.
However, I don't remember how many cB0 I originally had - it's possible I sold off the duds and don't remember how good they really were on average. It was a long time ago that I got them.

Reply 12 of 19, by buckeye

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So from the responses downgrading to a tnt2 (got a tnt2 ultra agp) would be a better match for a 450 PIII? If I do this what era of games would be effective for this - say 1998 to 2001?

Intel D865GL Pentium 4 2.4ghz. 512MB DDR 400 Geforce2 GTS 64MB SB Audigy 500W 98SE
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 40GB Voodoo 3000 16MB SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
MSI x570 Gaming Pro Carbon Ryzen 3700x 32GB DDR4 Zotac RTX 3070 8GB WD Black 1TB 850W

Reply 13 of 19, by alexanrs

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Does the GF3 have compatibility issues with anything you play? If not, you could just leave it there untill (if) you decide to build a more fitting machine for it.

Reply 14 of 19, by idspispopd

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Actually a TNT2 would run games which can utilize hardware T&L slower, even (or especially) when the CPU is the bottleneck. RTCW would be an example.
A GF2MX would be preferable, and it should run cooler too.
But if you already have the TNT2 it is indeed a good match for the P3 and should run most games fine the CPU is suited for.

Reply 15 of 19, by gerwin

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If the GPU has power to spare, one can use FSAA 2x. In that way a GF2MX or rather a GF-MX440 is always more desirable then a TNT2, IMHO.

Totempole wrote:

Agreed, which is why the Geforce 2 MX400 is my card of choice for that. Although, the TNT2 offers superior DOS compatibility.

Details please? The only difference I know is that VBE 3.0 refresh rate control is disabled in some of the GF4 and all GF5 and later cards.

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Reply 16 of 19, by Totempole

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gerwin wrote:

If the GPU has power to spare, one can use FSAA 2x. In that way a GF2MX or rather a GF-MX440 is always more desirable then a TNT2, IMHO.

Totempole wrote:

Agreed, which is why the Geforce 2 MX400 is my card of choice for that. Although, the TNT2 offers superior DOS compatibility.

Details please? The only difference I know is that VBE 3.0 refresh rate control is disabled in some of the GF4 and all GF5 and later cards.

After upgrading from a TNT2, I noticed a few games stopped working, including some DOS games. Among them was the first Tomb Raider game. I can't explain why, but for some reason it locks up anywhere between 5 seconds to 5 minutes into the game.

It's not a driver issue, as TR1 runs independently of any Windows Graphics drivers. I've tried a GF2MX in a few different systems, and the problem was replicated, GF2MX and TR1 don't play well together.

There were some scenarios in which the GF2MX actually improved compatibility, for example in in Zone Raiders. I could now select 640x480 where for some reason, on the TNT2, I was stuck on 320x200.

There were quite a few other DOS games I had trouble with, but I can't recall which ones they were.

Nevertheless, the benefits of a GF2 over a TNT2 outweigh the shortfalls.

My Retro Gaming PC:
Pentium III 450MHz Katmai Slot 1
Transcend 256MB PC133
Gigabyte GA-6BXC
MSI Geforce 2 MX400 AGP
Ensoniq ES1371 PCI
Sound Blaster AWE64 ISA

Reply 17 of 19, by gerwin

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Hmm, that is strange.
Back then I upgraded like this: TNT2 Vanta/M64 -> GF2MX -> GF-MX440-8x 64-bit Memory -> GF-MX440 128-bit Memory. This had no effect on my DOS gaming, which included TR1. Apart from the aforementioned 60Hz refresh rate locking on the GF-MX440-8x, The VBE support seemed rock solid, just like the Voodoo 3.

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Reply 18 of 19, by Totempole

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gerwin wrote:

Hmm, that is strange.
Back then I upgraded like this: TNT2 Vanta/M64 -> GF2MX -> GF-MX440-8x 64-bit Memory -> GF-MX440 128-bit Memory. This had no effect on my DOS gaming, which included TR1. Apart from the aforementioned 60Hz refresh rate locking on the GF-MX440-8x, The VBE support seemed rock solid, just like the Voodoo 3.

I wish I knew why TR1 doesn't work with a GF2MX. I've actually spent hours trying to figure it out. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

My Retro Gaming PC:
Pentium III 450MHz Katmai Slot 1
Transcend 256MB PC133
Gigabyte GA-6BXC
MSI Geforce 2 MX400 AGP
Ensoniq ES1371 PCI
Sound Blaster AWE64 ISA

Reply 19 of 19, by PhilsComputerLab

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I'll keep a mental note of that issue and test if a project with a GF2MX comes my way.

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