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Best VGA Card for 386

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Reply 40 of 60, by weldum

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yes, I can get an ET4000/W32 also, but I'm trying to use what I already have.

Anyone know what's the maximum cached memory amount in the PCChips M919 without onboard cache?

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 41 of 60, by weldum

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Well, I have some updates:
-The bios supports disks up to 8GB!!. Is an old bios but doesn't have the 504MB problem.
-The Cirrus Logic 5420 seems to be broken, so I put a Trident 8900D, is fast, maybe not much but a lot better than the OTI077 and OTI037 I have.
-The cache doesn't work at all, I don't know if is a configuration problem, a jumper problem or what.
-I put a Sound Blaster ViBRA16 and it gets recognized and configured almost instantly with CTCM.
-I had problems installing the NIC. Sometimes even doesn't boot or post. Changed the NIC for an Artisoft Allice. I don't know even if there are drivers.

Right now I'm installing Windows 3.11 For Workgroups, with IE5.01 and the last TCP/IP stack from Microsoft. I didn't found Netscape 4.08 to download.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 43 of 60, by weldum

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Yes, but I don't find nothing related to the motherboard, even the brand and model.

In the bios there are some options that think are related to cache:

-Write Buffer/Back Cache: Buffer, Back
-Hidden/Normal Refresh: Hidden, Normal
Slow Refresh Option: 120us, 60us, 30us, 15us

The underlined text is the actual value for each option.

I remember that the cache was working some time ago, but now it doesn't. The post says "BAD CACHE MEMORY, DO NOT ENABLE CACHE!"
I don't know even if the cache is in the right bank, there are no indicators of this.

The Windows setup was really slow, kind of 3-4 hours to get installed. I had to install Windows 95 because Windows 3.11 refused to start.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 45 of 60, by weldum

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Click on the picture to see full size.

Is like this: https://th99.bl4ckb0x.de/m/U-Z/33716.htm
That's the picture without any ISA card:
P1010470.jpg

The BIOS is American Megatrends 386BIOS, has very weird colors. Is like this one:
386_Bios.jpg

I've removed the battery because it started to leak. Hadn't bought the new battery. Every time I power on this computer have to configure the bios.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 46 of 60, by tayyare

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You can change the color combination. I can't remember the keys for that but try function keys.

GA-6VTXE PIII 1.4+512MB
Geforce4 Ti 4200 64MB
Diamond Monster 3D 12MB SLI
SB AWE64 PNP+32MB
120GB IDE Samsung/80GB IDE Seagate/146GB SCSI Compaq/73GB SCSI IBM
Adaptec AHA29160
3com 3C905B-TX
Gotek+CF Reader
MSDOS 6.22+Win 3.11/95 OSR2.1/98SE/ME/2000

Reply 47 of 60, by kixs

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At the moment it looks like it's configured for 128KB cache.

Your error message is typical if at least one of cache chips is bad. Do you have more cache chips?

For changing BIOS color there are F2 and F3 keys... but this is irrelevant to his problem.

My Amibay | - Updated on 2022-07-13 | Requests also possible

Reply 48 of 60, by weldum

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I had more chips, I was planning on put 256kb but I think these chips were broken.

Changed the chips from the right to the left sockets, started without the warning, saying 128KB CACHE MEMORY, but windows froze. Restarted and the warning appeared again.

I think i've found some other chips, i'm gonna test it now.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 49 of 60, by weldum

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Is possible that the frequency of the ISA bus affects the cache? I've changed the ISA multiplier from CLK2/10 to CLK2/5 and the VGA looks like is getting ridicously slow, but everything works well.
Maybe everything is so slow because is a 386 with 8MB of RAM. Is possible that the machine runs slower because it has an 1.7GB HDD?

I've run CacheCheck4 and it says Cache is 128KB Enabled.
Also, i've run the pack from Phil's Ultimate VGA:
3DBENCH: 10.4 FPS
PCPBENCH: 3.3 FPS
DOOM: 14063 REALTICS

The same VGA, but on the 586:
3DBENCH: 31.6 FPS
PCPBENCH: 13 FPS
DOOM: 4884 REALTICS

I didn't know that the cpu could be such a bottleneck for the vga.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 50 of 60, by RacoonRider

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I'm afraid your TAG RAM is only 8Kx8, while you need 32Kx8 for 128Kb and up, according to the th99.

edit: so it works at 2/10? Then I must be wrong.

Reply 51 of 60, by weldum

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I've changed the TAGRAM for one of 32Kx8 and now, sometimes the warning, sometimes not. The weird thing is that the machine has the same performance unless I disable external cache in the bios. Then there is more slowness.

I've run cachechk and sometimes it says it has cache enabled, and sometimes says the same but doesn't detect the cache.

Edit: at 2/10 works two or three times and then the warning.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 53 of 60, by weldum

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Well, i've cleaned the pins with contact cleaner and isopropyl alcohol and now seems to work correctly.

I've run CacheChk and this is the output (I don't undestand):
IMG_20160226_181632757.jpg

I've got higher scores! It isn't a huge difference, but still.

Before: After:
3DBENCH: 10.4 FPS 15.0 FPS
PCPBENCH: 3.3 FPS 3.7 FPS
DOOM: 14063 REALTICS 11658 REALTICS

Windows feels faster now.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 54 of 60, by kixs

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What do you mean... isn't huge? It's around 50% faster in 3dbench and around 30% in DOOM.

Cachechk is OK. It shows you have 128KB cache working correctly.

Now you can populate all the cache sockets with 256kb chips and set the jumpers according to the manual. With 256kb cache and optimized BIOS settings you should get around 16-17FPS in 3DBench and below 10000 in DOOM. Windows will also feel faster.

Do you use real HDD or CF card?

My Amibay | - Updated on 2022-07-13 | Requests also possible

Reply 55 of 60, by weldum

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2 HDD's:
Seagate ST3290A 260MB as master
Seagate ST31722A 1.7GB as slave

The bios can be configured as Cylinder-Head-Sector up to 65535-255-255 but doesn't boot in disks bigger than 504MB.
In the master there is MS-DOS
In the slave there is Windows 95C

The other cache chips are broken. I have to see if I can find more of these.

Edit: will change anything if I upgrade the 8900D bios?

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 56 of 60, by kixs

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Newer 8900D BIOS probably won't change much. You can check the jumpers if there are any - maybe for 0 wait state operation.

If you'll use CF card, everything will be much more responsive. But than again Trident isn't much of a card for Windows with more than 16 colour modes.

You can use DDO software to enable LBA on non-supported motherboards or you can use what you already do. One small and one bigger HDD.

My Amibay | - Updated on 2022-07-13 | Requests also possible

Reply 57 of 60, by weldum

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I've changed the bios and now looks like it supports VESA 1.2. I've tested the CL-GD5420 and works, but has the same performance and broke the windows installation.

The 2 hdd solution is good when you have a lot of hdd's around and no floppy disks. It would be really good to have a CF as HDD, but here in Argentina are rather rare and expensive. I've a notebook (Gateway Solo 5300) with this system.

Anyone know how to install MS-DOS when booted from the windows 95 bootdisk? or where to download an installed MS-DOS 6.22. Windows is good but can't get enough memory free in DOS nor EMS.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 58 of 60, by weldum

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I have 3 different IO/HDD controllers: (the names are the chip used)

-HMC HM83740: 1 IDE, 1 Floppy, 2 Serial, 1 Gameport, 1 Parallel. ISA16
IMG_20160226_234545136.jpg

-Tans TS5188: 1 IDE, 1 Floppy, 2 Serial, 1 Gameport, 1 Parallel. ISA16
IMG_20160226_234456544.jpg

-Goldstar GM82C765B: 1 IDE, 1 Floppy. ISA16
IMG_20160226_234329559.jpg

I've been using the last with an IO card:
-Winbond W86C450 + W86C451: 2 Serial, 1 Gameport, 1 Parallel. ISA8
IMG_20160226_234409691.jpg

What is better? Only performance, I don't care using more than one ISA port.

DT: RapidCAD 40MHz, K6-2 550MHz, Duron 950MHz, C2D E7300, A6 7400K, FX 6100, PG 5400, R3 1200, R5 3600
LT: P 133MHz, C 650MHz, P3 900MHz, C 353, A N270, A N455, P4 2.6GHz, PM 1.6GHz, C N2840
TC: Vortex86 366MHz, Eden 400MHz, C7 1GHz

Reply 59 of 60, by alexanrs

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As far as IDE in ISA goes, I'm confident that the chip has little to no influence at all when it comes to performance. I'm pretty sure the chip doesn't really do moch more than decoding the port address.