Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

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Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby stalk3r » 2019-4-18 @ 08:46

I bought this video card recently, a Chips & Technologies F64300 Wingine DX, which, according to the manual, sports a video cache called XRAM:

The XRAM Accelerator Cache (patent pending) is a breakthrough in performance technology. By using one standard 256Kx4 Fast Page DRAM, a proprietary algorithm implemented in the 64300 significantly increases graphics system performance.The result is performance never before achieved in standard DRAM-based graphics architectures. For added flexibility, the XRAM Accelerator Cache is optional.

Sounds exciting isn't it :) The empty sockets are there above the video RAM, so I assume I could simply enable it by throwing regular DRAM chips on them?

Image
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby jcarvalho » 2019-4-18 @ 09:13

Yes, we can assume that. Just pull a pair from s3trio PCI and give a try
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby stalk3r » 2019-4-18 @ 09:55

jcarvalho wrote:Yes, we can assume that. Just pull a pair from s3trio PCI and give a try


You mean the brownish socket on a S3Trio? I think the cache ram goes to the small black DIP socket on the top the card, does a S3 Trio have that as well?
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby keropi » 2019-4-18 @ 09:56

yes , the soj sockets are for an extra 1mb of vram... I would also guess that the "cache" goes to the dip sockets on top
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby 386_junkie » 2019-4-18 @ 21:54

Be sure first which memory you need... VRAM or DRAM. Using the incorrect RAM type can damage the card and memory.
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby kixs » 2019-4-18 @ 22:04

386_junkie wrote:Be sure first which memory you need... VRAM or DRAM. Using the incorrect RAM type can damage the card and memory.


It says:

By using one standard 256Kx4 Fast Page DRAM


So any chip from an older VGA card would be fine. But I'm not sure why it says "one". There are clearly two DIP sockets.

I have this card but haven't had the time to test it...
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-4-19 @ 05:53

You can safely assume its marketing wank, PC Mag 6 Dec 1994 description sounds like some kind of deeper fifo to hide rasterization delays from host (outputting framebuffer to screen blocks main host from writing to video memory). You would have to find actual alleged patent application to know more.


still at $4 with free shipping for two MB81C4256 its something fun to try, you can test if its working by:
Code: Select all
INT 10 - Chips & Technologies '64300' BIOS - GET XRAM INFORMATION
   AX = 5F06h
Return: AL = 5Fh if function supported
       AH = status
      00h unsuccessful
      01h successful
          BL = XRAM presence (00h no XRAM, 01h present)
SeeAlso: AX=5F05h,AX=5F08h


of course I would buz out all the pins to sanity check if thats really where ram is supposed to go.
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby stalk3r » 2019-4-19 @ 08:00

kixs wrote:So any chip from an older VGA card would be fine. But I'm not sure why it says "one". There are clearly two DIP sockets.


It is per memory bank, one for 1MB, two for 2MB
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby stalk3r » 2019-4-19 @ 08:12

rasz_pl wrote:You can safely assume its marketing wank, PC Mag 6 Dec 1994 description sounds like some kind of deeper fifo to hide rasterization delays from host (outputting framebuffer to screen blocks main host from writing to video memory). You would have to find actual alleged patent application to know more.

still at $4 with free shipping for two MB81C4256 its something fun to try, you can test if its working by:


Regarding its speed, should it match the 70ns video RAM on board?

rasz_pl wrote:
Code: Select all
INT 10 - Chips & Technologies '64300' BIOS - GET XRAM INFORMATION
   AX = 5F06h
Return: AL = 5Fh if function supported
       AH = status
      00h unsuccessful
      01h successful
          BL = XRAM presence (00h no XRAM, 01h present)
SeeAlso: AX=5F05h,AX=5F08h


of course I would buz out all the pins to sanity check if thats really where ram is supposed to go.


This is useful, thanks. I will try it.
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby appiah4 » 2019-4-19 @ 08:24

I also happen to own a similar card:

Image

I always thought the empty sockets were for 1MB to 2MB upgrade? U guess the U7A and U14 are for the XRAM upgrade but on my card they are not socketed or populated..
Last edited by appiah4 on 2019-4-19 @ 08:37, edited 2 times in total.
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|Rage|V2|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby stalk3r » 2019-4-19 @ 08:36

appiah4 wrote:I also happen to own a similar card:

Image

I always thought the empty sockets were for 1MB to 2MB upgrade? U guess the U7A and U14 are for the XRAM upgrade but on my card they are not socketed or populated..


They are for the 2MB upgrade. The two extra DIP sockets are seemingly missing from your card, you can see their places on the top "MT4C4256"
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby appiah4 » 2019-4-19 @ 08:37

Do you know how this card compares to CL-GD542X cards? I have to pick between this and a 2MB CL-GD5428 for my 486 build :) Is the 2MB upgrade on either card of any use for a 486 PC?
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|Rage|V2|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby stalk3r » 2019-4-19 @ 08:48

appiah4 wrote:Do you know how this card compares to CL-GD542X cards? I have to pick between this and a 2MB CL-GD5428 for my 486 build :) Is the 2MB upgrade on either card of any use for a 486 PC?


I have no idea how does it perform, I have not had the chance to test it so far, furthermore this is my first VLB card ever :) By the way, for DOS-only usage I don't think there is a benefit of having a 2MB card. Maybe for some later SVGA games for which a 486 might be too slow anyway.

EDIT: there is a test of all mainstream VLB cards in PC Mag issue Dec 1994, this card goes by the name Boca Voyager:
https://books.google.ch/books?id=PITtFPwTaWwC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA267#v=onepage&q&f=false
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-4-19 @ 11:57

on some cards more ram means wider bus
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby stalk3r » 2019-7-09 @ 12:24

rasz_pl wrote:You can safely assume its marketing wank, PC Mag 6 Dec 1994 description sounds like some kind of deeper fifo to hide rasterization delays from host (outputting framebuffer to screen blocks main host from writing to video memory). You would have to find actual alleged patent application to know more.


still at $4 with free shipping for two MB81C4256 its something fun to try, you can test if its working by:
Code: Select all
INT 10 - Chips & Technologies '64300' BIOS - GET XRAM INFORMATION
   AX = 5F06h
Return: AL = 5Fh if function supported
       AH = status
      00h unsuccessful
      01h successful
          BL = XRAM presence (00h no XRAM, 01h present)
SeeAlso: AX=5F05h,AX=5F08h


of course I would buz out all the pins to sanity check if thats really where ram is supposed to go.


I've just had the time to check this; adding or removing "XRAM" chips does not change a thing in terms of dos performance (it does change registers AH, AL so I am pretty sure the feature was enabled). It was indeed a marketing wank :) The card is bloody fast though in DOS regardless the presence of XRAM chips, got pretty much the same if not higher scores than high-end VLB cards.
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby kixs » 2019-7-12 @ 08:47

kixs wrote:
386_junkie wrote:Be sure first which memory you need... VRAM or DRAM. Using the incorrect RAM type can damage the card and memory.


It says:

By using one standard 256Kx4 Fast Page DRAM


So any chip from an older VGA card would be fine. But I'm not sure why it says "one". There are clearly two DIP sockets.

I have this card but haven't had the time to test it...


Tested my card a few weeks ago. It performs good in DOS and Windows. Extra cache chips only increase performance in Windows adding around 25% boost.
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Re: Chips & Technologies F64300 VLB vga question

Postby stalk3r » 2019-7-12 @ 09:13

kixs wrote:Tested my card a few weeks ago. It performs good in DOS and Windows. Extra cache chips only increase performance in Windows adding around 25% boost.


What I like about it is that it gives pretty good image on modern LCDs, as opposed to e.g. an S3 Trio VLB whose image is utterly crap. I guess it's related to the quality of DAC . But good to know the "XRAM" gives a boost in Windows.
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