This really isn't the board for a wide range of stuff, the integrated video (not onboard, onboard implies a separate chip with i […]
That´s very interesting information I was not aware of. Thanks a lot!
The motherboad is far from ideal, no doubt about it. Only one PCI and one ISA slot, if you use one you can´t use the other. No AGP slot.
Since the onboard audio (CMI-8738) is somehow decent for DOS,
SiS+CMI8378 is an interesting combination, but for DOS compatibility (DDMA) you might need some software not quite written yet - but possibly arriving in the next few weeks. Take a look here:
Cmedia CMI8738 - maybe its Biggest Secret
I was planning to, as you said, adding a PCI card. The onboard video is good enough for 3D DOS titles (tried Blood and Duke Nukem 3D, for instance) but not good for DX6, DX7 Windows titles.
This really isn't the board for a wide range of stuff, the integrated video (not onboard, onboard implies a separate chip with its own RAM and none of these bandwidth issues) is fine for DOS or Win9x desktop stuff, but not for DX gaming. The audio is great for Win9x, but DOS may be touch&go. Given the very limited expansion options you have to choose one of two to fix...
What you commented, leads me to ask you all about a recommendation for the mentioned PCI video card. I was thinking about an ATI 7500, 7000 or Rage 128 Pro. When it comes to Nvidia there´s not much legacy (TNT, TNT2 or maybe GF2) PCI cards around, at least at a reasonable price. What would you say is the best option for this system. Power supply is 200W, only one HDD.
Thank you all again!
Power supply isn't an issue with PCI cards, the bus can't supply enough to seriously stress a PSU. That said "200W" is just the sticker on it. What brand? And how heavy?
As for VGA - it really depends what you can find and I don't have a clue what's (relatively) easily available in Uruguay. Here in NL I'd say TNT2-M64 and GF2MX cards are probably the easiest sort-of-decent-performing PCI cards to find - or Voodoo3 3000 PCI, but that one doesn't come cheap. If you don't want the GPU to be the bottleneck, a PCI Gf2MX (or Radeon 7000) is probably the best option - but to avoid the huge memory bottleneck with integrated VGA, *any* card will do - even a 1MB 1995-era thing.
I´ve tried several DOS games, not that bad so far (Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis as well as Day of the Tentacle sound is "broken", though). The most important game I need to work properly is Moonstone and it seems to sound ok. I confess I got a bit lost with some of the technical details in that post you shared related to the CMI-8378. Maybe that W.I.P software mentioned will only make things better for it in the future.
About the availability of legacy video cards in the local market, it is not good at all, the only PCI card currently available (local equivalent to eBay) is a Radeon 7000 64bits and the seller have not tested it. But that´s not really a problem because I always buy from USA eBay and a courier service brings it here with almost no wait. So, that´s where I´ll be searching for the card. Despite its reputation, for this system in particular a TnT2-M64 will be a good improvement and GF2MX will do for sure. If I happen to find a PCI 3DFX, to be honest, I´ll keep it to my self 😁 (this is a system I will pass to a friend).
When it comes to the PSU, I haven´t paid much attention to it I must admit, my mistake. It is probably a no name barely decent one, but somehow it managed to survive all these years (20?). A nice detail, maybe, is that the fan blows air to the CPU area.
So you are from the land of "Victor Bart", great channel. "Uncle Awesome" is not bad either. Thank you very much for all the help.