VOGONS


First post, by Åskblad

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Yeah, I'm aware that it's not a Pentium 4, but this thing is seriously painfully slow.

One of my all-time favorite games, the 1994 Cyberdogs game by Ronny Wester, has always been a heavily contributing reason to why I couldn't proceed my life without owning a <200MHz PC. So, one spooky day in He... at work, right after my gf threw me out for realizing her secondariness to my irreversibly beloved 486; a colleague noticed I for once could be something else than a 100% asshole, and brought me to the back of his car. I looked away waiting to be shot, but nothing really happened. When I turned back around again, he was gone. Mysteriously. Left were a Compaq LTE 5000 in excellent shape for me.

Not having even the slightest bit of hope for this old chunk, it booted and seemed to work perfect from scratch. Until I realized how slow it was. I knew it was a trap. I knew I was wrong by not being an asshole, even with a treat like that, even for the slighest time. All the time.

So, yeah, to the point. I don't really know how fast or slow these Pentium 75's are actually supposed to be. All working Pentium's and even 486'es I've had have given me the confidence to run DOS games pretty neatly, and my Pentium 166 will just blast through these games like the rest of the world seizes. But not this thing. Cyberdogs, which is so old I can't even find any spec recommendation for it in the Readme, is having lag spikes every like 3-4 seconds, apart from lags upon every explosion and almost every time an enemy gets close to me. Its successor C-Dogs has requirements at the level of an 80386 CPU, DOS 3.3 and 2MB of RAM, and actually runs better, but still far below expectation. The specs for this PC is a Pentium 75 as mentioned, Windows 95 and it's maxed out at 72 MB of RAM (could this be an issue?). It has a Cirrus Logic 7543 GPU, averaging 35fps in C-Dogs, probably somewhere around 15-20 in Cyberdogs.

The weird thing is that more demanding DOS games, like Raptor, Screamer and even Doom 2, give much better (experienced) framerates. Especially Raptor runs mostly free of trouble. Getting into pure MS-DOS mode for Cyberdogs/C-Dogs is even making matters worse. So... is the old sucker just a bit drunk, or are P75's really this worthless? 😢

Reply 1 of 16, by Tetrium

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I can't tell why your system is being so slow on you, I don't know that particular game and I don't have any system specs. But it seems your system might be some Socket 5 and these usually were able to run at least 120MHz (but I don't really see a reason why 133MHz shouldn't be selectable).
Perhaps you could give us more details. Btw, 72MB RAM might indicate the RAM is partially not being cached as many Pentium chipsets had a maximum cacheable area of 64MB. You could try removing 8MB and then see how things go.

It's not much advice, but at least it's something 😀

If you could upload some pics of the motherboard, some motherboards of that era didn't come with L2 cache at all (which might be a good explanation as to why it's so slow).

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 2 of 16, by BeginnerGuy

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Compaq LTE 5xxx were pentium era laptops. I have one that is sadly broken, LTE 5200, it has a 120mhz pentium + 256k l2 cache and they are advertised to take up to 72MB RAM. I find it strange that it runs poorly in those games but not others.

Pentium 75 is not a "bad" processor, it should be comparable to an AM5x86 133 in integer and much faster in floating point operations. In other words, it should be matching or out performing your 486 PC in every way.

I guess the first thing I would do is wipe it and do a clean install of windows 95 or 98 on it just to see what happens. I would also verify the memory is fine using memtest or similar software, and see how reliable the hard drive is. Something has to be causing these lag spikes =\

edit: as a matter of fact the LTE 5000 with pentium 75 and the TFT 640x480 screen is a very popular dos gaming laptop. I've seen them go on ebay for pretty high prices in the wake of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2v7k-wAm2E , perhaps if you have that model you can sell it and upgrade yourself to something faster 😜, P3 era thinkpads go pretty cheap and have bigger screens and better pixel scaling 😊

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 3 of 16, by Tetrium

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BeginnerGuy wrote:

Compaq LTE 5xxx

Ffs, no idea how I overread this 🤣!
That changes quite a bit 😊

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 4 of 16, by collector

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Wrong forum. This is for DOS games on newer systems. You should ask old hardware and old OS questions here: Marvin, the Paranoid Android

The Sierra Help Pages -- New Sierra Game Installers -- Sierra Game Patches -- New Non-Sierra Game Installers

Reply 6 of 16, by Åskblad

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Tetrium wrote:
I can't tell why your system is being so slow on you, I don't know that particular game and I don't have any system specs. But i […]
Show full quote

I can't tell why your system is being so slow on you, I don't know that particular game and I don't have any system specs. But it seems your system might be some Socket 5 and these usually were able to run at least 120MHz (but I don't really see a reason why 133MHz shouldn't be selectable).
Perhaps you could give us more details. Btw, 72MB RAM might indicate the RAM is partially not being cached as many Pentium chipsets had a maximum cacheable area of 64MB. You could try removing 8MB and then see how things go.

It's not much advice, but at least it's something 😀

If you could upload some pics of the motherboard, some motherboards of that era didn't come with L2 cache at all (which might be a good explanation as to why it's so slow).

Thanks!

The 8MB is non-removable, but the 64MB consists of two removable 32MB sticks. Tried 8MB (no change in fps, but overall the computer actually felt more snappy) and 40MB (didn't work, I think the RAM has to be mounted pair-wise).

What did make a noticable difference in C-Dogs though, was messing with the sound card settings. Changing from High Quality (32kHz) to Low Quality (16kHz) raised the average fps from 35 to 40. But that was about it..

When I start up the computer, it says the following:

"Copyright (C) 1996-1998 Compaq Computer Corp. All rights reserved.

75 MHz Pentium Processor
External Cache: 256K Enabled

Starting Windows 95..."

I don't really know how the cache exactly looks or where it's located, since it's a laptop it's kinda annoying to disassemble, but it seems like it has L2 cache, after all.

BeginnerGuy wrote:

Compaq LTE 5xxx were pentium era laptops. I have one that is sadly broken, LTE 5200, it has a 120mhz pentium + 256k l2 cache and they are advertised to take up to 72MB RAM. I find it strange that it runs poorly in those games but not others.

Pentium 75 is not a "bad" processor, it should be comparable to an AM5x86 133 in integer and much faster in floating point operations. In other words, it should be matching or out performing your 486 PC in every way.

Yeah, this is what upsets my brain as well. I've flawlessly been able to run these games on 486'es. There is also a funny simple DOS adventuring game called Teen Agent, lagging like this as well.

Actually found something interesting when checking my backup HDD: (https://i.imgur.com/8ur218O.jpg)

That nasty beast runs a Pentium 75 too, and achieved 70fps steady in May when it was tested. No wonder I couldn't remember it giving the slightest bit of lag at all. So either it's down to the GPU, the CPU overheating or there must be something seriously wrong with the LTE...

BeginnerGuy wrote:

I guess the first thing I would do is wipe it and do a clean install of windows 95 or 98 on it just to see what happens. I would also verify the memory is fine using memtest or similar software, and see how reliable the hard drive is. Something has to be causing these lag spikes =\

Windows 95B got reinstalled as the first thing done to it actually 🙁

BeginnerGuy wrote:

edit: as a matter of fact the LTE 5000 with pentium 75 and the TFT 640x480 screen is a very popular dos gaming laptop. I've seen them go on ebay for pretty high prices in the wake of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2v7k-wAm2E , perhaps if you have that model you can sell it and upgrade yourself to something faster 😜, P3 era thinkpads go pretty cheap and have bigger screens and better pixel scaling 😊

Yeah, I'm quite aware of that 😊 To be honest I actually got three LTE laptops from this guy, including a 5280 with a bad GPU, and another 5000 with a bad screen. Took everything useful from those and managed to sell the two defective units on the our "local" eBay equivalence, with a messed-up AC adapter, for $125. That made me wanna keep this beast since it's complete with original charger, full-size docking station w/floppy and CD-ROM, OS/2 and Windows 95 on original disks, etc.

Had an LTE 5300 back around 2010 and for the record, it didn't show up any of those lags in the games mentioned. A Pentium III would of course be nice if it wasn't for the DOS RTE200 error (divide by zero, presented by Intel CPU's running faster than 200MHz).

Reply 7 of 16, by mrau

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have You run any benchmarks on this? both windows and DOS, synthetic and non- , especially interesting would be those that measure all memory times/speeds; also could You test without any sound at all? is it maybe a specific graphical mode that runs slowly? can You test that with other software? have You reset bios to both safe defaults and optimal ones? have You measured the speed without that weird amount of memory? is the problem there in pure DOS? are all drivers installed even? what is loaded in config and autoexec?

Reply 8 of 16, by Åskblad

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Hello, and sorry for the late reply, just did a writeup yesterday but accidentally closed the tab 😵

mrau wrote:

have You run any benchmarks on this? both windows and DOS, synthetic and non- , especially interesting would be those that measure all memory times/speeds; have You measured the speed without that weird amount of memory?

Any suggestions on a good benchmark app for this? Making a comparison to one similar, healthy machine would be great.

mrau wrote:

also could You test without any sound at all?

Setting the sound to "no sound" made no visible improvement, more than perhaps 1-2fps when tested. However, oddly enough, picking the wrong drivers (SB16) actually bumped up the fps to 60 for a second or two in pure DOS for some weird reason. I tried that a second time, and then it didn't get any fps increase at all. Heat issues?

mrau wrote:

is it maybe a specific graphical mode that runs slowly?

Might be, but since these are freeware "minigames" I cannot set a custom resolution for it. According to PCGamingWiki the original Cyberdogs runs in 320x200 resolution.

mrau wrote:

can You test that with other software?

Games? Actually most games (even more demanding) work fine, except for the Windows game DX-Ball (640x480) which hangs the PC entirely after a while, yet still playing the music normally. One of the two 5000's I got smelled burned electronics when I turned it on the first time, but can't remember if it was this or the defective, older machine. I do clearly hear coil whine when the screen is turned on (pressing the little button to shut it off makes it silent).

mrau wrote:

have You reset bios to both safe defaults and optimal ones?

The only option I have is "Reset to Factory Defaults", and that makes no difference. The BIOS options are very limited.

mrau wrote:

is the problem there in pure DOS?

Nope, problems occur in both DOS and Windows 95B.

mrau wrote:

are all drivers installed even?

Yep, surprisingly enough Compaq still have them on their product support page 😊

mrau wrote:

what is loaded in config and autoexec?

Autoexec.bat
mode con codepage prepare=((850) C:\WIN95\COMMAND\ega.cpi)
mode con codepage select=850
keyb sv,,C:\WIN95\COMMAND\keyboard.sys

Config.sys, Config.win
device=C:\WIN95\COMMAND\display.sys con=(ega,,1)
Country=046,850,C:\WIN95\COMMAND\country.sys

Reply 10 of 16, by Åskblad

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Sammy wrote:

Are the caches enabled in BIOS?

Yep, they can't even be disabled from my understandings..

Anyway, I benched this and CPU-wise it seems to perform as it should. Not sure about what's good or bad in terms of cache speeds. Sorry for the messy pics.

Ga5Yjx2.pngXxhPV9e.png
jowyfT0.pngQqS4Pr8.png
YQlcolb.pngN3qjESI.png

It also recieved:
Superscape 1.0 score of 37.0 fps
Superscape 1.0c score of 36.7 fps
Topbench score of 167

So if the GPU isn't failing then it must honestly be this slow for real. I'm having a 5400 on its way though, the last model in the series with a Pentium 150 MHz, which I believe has the same GPU. Will be interesting to measure the differences 😎

Reply 11 of 16, by Matth79

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Check the cacheable range with cachechk, that will find if part of the RAM is uncached.

One thing to remember, the P75 operates at 50MHz bus x 1.5, and if the PCI is at 1/2FSB divider, then that will slow the PCI.
The P75 was usually a good overclocker, making it to P90 or P100 at 60 or 66 FSB

Reply 12 of 16, by Åskblad

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After a few months of rest for the badly performing LTE's (the old 5000 and the newer 5400), I decided to deal with them yesterday and set them up as well as possible. Like a late Xmas gift from upper above, troubles came up with the graphics drivers on the old 5000 that got a fresh installation of Win95A, which lead right into the solution for the problems: http://www.video-drivers.com/companies/216.htm

Yep, I thought the 2.30a driver for the GD7543 was the most recent since "all" driver sites had them listed.. Apparently, it wasn't. 2.50 it is!

Now..
- The old 5000 has a much snappier feel
- DX-Ball doesn't freeze anymore around 3rd to 5th level on both systems
- Cyberdogs 1.0 lagspikes on both systems are gone
- Cdogs (aka Cyberdogs 2) still runs slow on the older P75 (37-46fps), but ranges between 52fps and 70fps on the newer 5400!

^^ So to any LTE 5-series user experiencing these issues, time to get Cirrus 2.50 drivers. I've stored them safely if links will be broken futurewise.
(I used k7543d61.exe, it will say a file related to DirectX on disk 2 is missing, but just click skip file, you can install DirectX 8 on Win95)

Reply 13 of 16, by djsubtronic

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Åskblad wrote on 2018-01-28, 22:29:
After a few months of rest for the badly performing LTE's (the old 5000 and the newer 5400), I decided to deal with them yesterd […]
Show full quote

After a few months of rest for the badly performing LTE's (the old 5000 and the newer 5400), I decided to deal with them yesterday and set them up as well as possible. Like a late Xmas gift from upper above, troubles came up with the graphics drivers on the old 5000 that got a fresh installation of Win95A, which lead right into the solution for the problems: http://www.video-drivers.com/companies/216.htm

Yep, I thought the 2.30a driver for the GD7543 was the most recent since "all" driver sites had them listed.. Apparently, it wasn't. 2.50 it is!

Now..
- The old 5000 has a much snappier feel
- DX-Ball doesn't freeze anymore around 3rd to 5th level on both systems
- Cyberdogs 1.0 lagspikes on both systems are gone
- Cdogs (aka Cyberdogs 2) still runs slow on the older P75 (37-46fps), but ranges between 52fps and 70fps on the newer 5400!

^^ So to any LTE 5-series user experiencing these issues, time to get Cirrus 2.50 drivers. I've stored them safely if links will be broken futurewise.
(I used k7543d61.exe, it will say a file related to DirectX on disk 2 is missing, but just click skip file, you can install DirectX 8 on Win95)

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I can't seem to download this driver from the site linked as it just forces me to download DriverEasy_Setup - any chance you could provide the k7543d61.exe file?

Thanks

Reply 14 of 16, by darry

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djsubtronic wrote on 2021-11-25, 15:53:
Åskblad wrote on 2018-01-28, 22:29:
After a few months of rest for the badly performing LTE's (the old 5000 and the newer 5400), I decided to deal with them yesterd […]
Show full quote

After a few months of rest for the badly performing LTE's (the old 5000 and the newer 5400), I decided to deal with them yesterday and set them up as well as possible. Like a late Xmas gift from upper above, troubles came up with the graphics drivers on the old 5000 that got a fresh installation of Win95A, which lead right into the solution for the problems: http://www.video-drivers.com/companies/216.htm

Yep, I thought the 2.30a driver for the GD7543 was the most recent since "all" driver sites had them listed.. Apparently, it wasn't. 2.50 it is!

Now..
- The old 5000 has a much snappier feel
- DX-Ball doesn't freeze anymore around 3rd to 5th level on both systems
- Cyberdogs 1.0 lagspikes on both systems are gone
- Cdogs (aka Cyberdogs 2) still runs slow on the older P75 (37-46fps), but ranges between 52fps and 70fps on the newer 5400!

^^ So to any LTE 5-series user experiencing these issues, time to get Cirrus 2.50 drivers. I've stored them safely if links will be broken futurewise.
(I used k7543d61.exe, it will say a file related to DirectX on disk 2 is missing, but just click skip file, you can install DirectX 8 on Win95)

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I can't seem to download this driver from the site linked as it just forces me to download DriverEasy_Setup - any chance you could provide the k7543d61.exe file?

Thanks

This looks like the 2.50 driver set, AFAICT .

Filename
7543w95.exe
File size
2.11 MiB
Downloads
1 download
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 16 of 16, by shamino

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One more comment about these Compaq LTE 5xxx laptops:
The CPU and cache are packaged together on a removable module inside the laptop. They should be swappable. I've never opened mine so I don't know exactly what it looks like, but I remember it from the service manual.
I don't know if the module they use is specific to this series of laptops, shared with other Compaq models, or an Intel thing that's shared by everybody.

They ranged from 75-150MHz. Mine is 133MHz 256KB, so I'm sure these laptops support 66MHz FSB, but the fastest they offered was the 150MHz 512KB (which is the only one with 512KB cache).

I wonder if the modules can be modified instead of having to find another module to swap. It's possible a simple modification could turn the 150 into a 166/66 512KB, or turn the 75 into a 100/66 or so.