VOGONS


Reply 120 of 163, by BitWrangler

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Scoob wrote on 2021-07-15, 19:57:

The pc itself was not expensive at all, and I get it, matsonic with via chipset and a duron. But a tnt2 m64?! I feel retroactively scammed 😌

P4 Compaq Evos were shipping with TNT Vantas in late 2001 into early 2002 at least. A lot of "business boxes" from around then and for another decade even were coming with Rage XL/XC. Worst I've seen really, apart from onboard graphics, was a PII-266 system that had an ISA Trident 8900C in it.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 121 of 163, by keenmaster486

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Scoob wrote on 2021-07-15, 19:57:

Me lazy. Vogoneers do all the work years of experiments. Me play no trouble.

😎

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 123 of 163, by zapbuzz

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No ISA or EISA stuff they are "plug and pray" unless its audio for DOS for compatibility.
LGA 775 is mostly PCIE graphics not supported for win9x; AGP is rare. The gamers choice for 90's games is dos windows that champion is windows 98se.
socket 370 aka pentium III is getting rare but socket 478 pentium 4 is good no need for prescott though 2 gigahertz or lower is usually perfect (No high speed stability issues.)
Pentiums ruled the nineties and gave the best relaible gaming performance. That was continued in pentium 4 but not as optimal for 9x. (faster clocks do compensate)
a 64 - 128mb agp 4x by nvidia is fantastic and blows voodoo away really voodoo's are really really rare and expensive; Ati voltages clamp theirs down to 2x speed on discreet passive cooled cards which is more widely available and 4x is not much better than 2x. (2x does give 4x sideband) and still blow voodoo away.
PATA hard disk of 32gb for udma66 because its the biggest natively supported by 9x platforms with the best data seek rates without RAID etc.
512mb system ram is plenty.
we all know creative sound blaster ISA is the go especially for DOS.

But I just put together a pentium 4 2.6 ghz based machine with 2 gigabytes ddr400 ram, 500 GB PATA UDMA100, 128MB ati 4x passive AGP PCI RAID 4 200gb disks in RAID 10,
it has SIS chipset and runs nicely dual booting windows 98SE and XP. I patched 98se to not corrupt the partitions which is dual boot 98se and xp and I set the RAID bios to boot.
It was cheap to build and is fun to use the built in soundmax audio is surprisingly clear. Didn't need my silicon branded RAID controller BIOS or system BIOS updated.
Everything is driver supported.
I'm not sure why people have put down SiS but they probably don't even think about power supply which without explination I will recommend 500 watts as 75% is typical normal throughput for PSU's the written rating is the absolute peak (never happens)

Last edited by zapbuzz on 2021-07-16, 22:22. Edited 4 times in total.

Reply 124 of 163, by Oetker

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-07-16, 18:17:

we all know creative sound blaster PCI is the go especially for DOS.

Please elaborate. Also Win98 works fine with 120GB disks.

Reply 126 of 163, by zapbuzz

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Has anyone actually noticed little difference between the AGP modes? every game i've played that isn't high end 3d little difference in 2x 4x modes especially DOS.
Is there an actual ATI card that can run in 8x mode on a pentium 4 or is it like prescott stuff

Reply 127 of 163, by BitWrangler

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If you read the whole reason behind AGP it's because PCI can't load textures in real time from system RAM and GPU onboard RAM is too small.... well GPU onboard RAM just kept getting bigger on the high end to accommodate more and more and larger textures. Games tended to optimise for the available RAM in the cards, end result, if the generation of the game and GPU match and it's got the "full" load of RAM for the era, you can get a PCI version or set it to 1x AGP and it will not run a whole lot slower. However, if you try and stretch an older GPU up into a generation or two newer games, it hasn't got enough texture RAM, and now you need your AGP speed to be as fast as possible, but surprise, now we're on 8x instead of 4x or PCIe instead of 8x AGP, and it's only slightly less dog slow. (Whereas the low end GPU of that generation might cope better even with the now low end same amount of RAM because it's on the newer interface)

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 128 of 163, by Horun

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-07-16, 22:20:

Has anyone actually noticed little difference between the AGP modes? every game i've played that isn't high end 3d little difference in 2x 4x modes especially DOS.
Is there an actual ATI card that can run in 8x mode on a pentium 4 or is it like prescott stuff

If an old game is not high end then any 2x, 4x or 8x AGP card should play it about the same.
Do not know about ATI AGP, gave up on ATI video cards back long ago for nVidia and never looked back. Got tired of having to update the driver for every new game that came out just to make it work back then. That was in the late 90's (am an old fart) and at least nVidia cards would run the games w/0 lockup/blue screens with what ever driver was installed. Yes will probably piss off ATI fans but from about 1995 thru 2005 their drivers totally sucked for Windows games compared to nVidia's.
Just my opinion.....

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 129 of 163, by AlexZ

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-07-16, 18:17:

a 64 - 128mb agp 4x by nvidia is fantastic and blows voodoo away really voodoo's are really really rare and expensive; Ati voltages clamp theirs down to 2x speed on discreet passive cooled cards which is more widely available and 4x is not much better than 2x. (2x does give 4x sideband) and still blow voodoo away.

PATA hard disk of 32gb for udma66 because its the biggest natively supported by 9x platforms with the best data seek rates without RAID etc.

I'm not sure why people have put down SiS but they probably don't even think about power supply which without explination I will recommend 500 watts as 75% is typical normal throughput for PSU's the written rating is the absolute peak (never happens)

I have Voodoo 2 and can confirm it's way overhyped and not worth the money nowadays (got mine for 2€). I get about 3100 3Dmarks with it, while I get 4700 with Geforce FX5600. It's only good for games that would fail to work on FX5600 properly or DOS games with 3Dfx support. Voodoo 2 performance is ok for 640x480 and even then it's nothing stellar. Resolution and color depth has almost no effect on FPS in 3D Mark 99 with FX5600 because it is CPU bottlenecked.

Just as another poster noted, win98 works with drives up to 120GB. I use 80GB drive as 120GB is very rare. You can have single 80GB partition for DOS.

SiS is disliked because it became very rare in P4/AthlonXP era, overtaken by Intel, VIA, nForce chipsets. It was slightly slower than the former. Not by much but with nonexistent price difference it makes little sense to buy it.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 130 of 163, by bloodem

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AlexZ wrote on 2021-07-17, 07:34:

I have Voodoo 2 and can confirm it's way overhyped and not worth the money nowadays (got mine for 2€). I get about 3100 3Dmarks with it, while I get 4700 with Geforce FX5600. It's only good for games that would fail to work on FX5600 properly or DOS games with 3Dfx support. Voodoo 2 performance is ok for 640x480 and even then it's nothing stellar. Resolution and color depth has almost no effect on FPS in 3D Mark 99 with FX5600 because it is CPU bottlenecked.

Compare the FX 5600 & Voodoo 2 cards on a Pentium MMX / AMD K6-2/3(+) and tell me how it goes. 😉
Voodoo 2 cards are awesome in the following 2 scenarios:
1. you have a slow platform, where the Voodoo 2 will shine in both performance and compatibility.
2. you have a fast platform where you already have a powerful GPU (such as a GeForce 4 Ti 4200/4400/4600, or even an FX 5900/5950) and you also add a Voodoo 2 for those good old Glide-only games. I have such systems with Athlon XP Thoroughbred/Barton, and they are some of the most flexible PCs that one can buy. The GeForce 4 Ti 4400 is awesome for maxing out newer Windows 98 titles, while the Voodoo 2 is awesome for 1996/1997 games (and even for some later games, like Incoming, that don't work OK with GeForce cards).

Now, are Voodoo 2s worth the absolutely insane prices that people are now willing to pay for them on evilBay? Absolutely NOT.

Last edited by bloodem on 2021-07-17, 08:08. Edited 1 time in total.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 131 of 163, by vetz

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From my perspective in this hobby for 10 years now is that Intel chipset boards are generally the most stable when it comes to Win9x. Once you go VIA or other brand strange stuff tends to happen. Also Win9x on anything newer than intel 865/875 is asking for trouble.

3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)
3D Acceleration Comparison Episodes

Reply 132 of 163, by Intel486dx33

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I would say this.
For a good reliable DOS gaming computer that can run WIn95.Win98se/WinME go for this build.
Motherboard - Intel 430vx or Intel 430tx or Intel bx440 with AGP
RAM - 128mb or 256mb.
Video - S3 trio64
Sound card - AWE64
CDROM - 12x or faster.

If you have the MONEY then get a sound card with wave table connection ands add the “Dreamblaster X2 GS”
For best DOS game MIDI sounds.

Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2021-07-17, 08:17. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 133 of 163, by bloodem

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vetz wrote on 2021-07-17, 08:06:

From my perspective in this hobby for 10 years now is that Intel chipset boards are generally the most stable when it comes to Win9x. Once you go VIA or other brand strange stuff tends to happen.

I partially agree. Early VIA chipsets like VIA MVP3/ Apollo Pro 133 are a hit & miss, but even those can be quite stable on certain boards (where the manufacturer did not cut too many corners).
However, once you get to KT600, KT880... these are rock solid and EXTREMELY compatible.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 134 of 163, by Joseph_Joestar

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AlexZ wrote on 2021-07-17, 07:34:

I have Voodoo 2 and can confirm it's way overhyped and not worth the money nowadays (got mine for 2€). I get about 3100 3Dmarks with it, while I get 4700 with Geforce FX5600.

Voodoo cards have lower driver overhead which, as already noted, can make them outperform newer cards on slower platforms. They also tend to "just work" on any game from that time period without having to worry about compatibility and/or feature parity. Additionally, there are a few rare cases where:

a) Glide is the only way to get 3D acceleration (e.g. Pandemonium!)
b) Glide performs better and looks nicer than Direct3D (e.g. Diablo 2, Unreal).

I don't think it's worth getting a Voodoo card just for that though, especially considering their current Evil Bay prices.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 135 of 163, by zapbuzz

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vetz wrote on 2021-07-17, 08:06:

From my perspective in this hobby for 10 years now is that Intel chipset boards are generally the most stable when it comes to Win9x. Once you go VIA or other brand strange stuff tends to happen. Also Win9x on anything newer than intel 865/875 is asking for trouble.

I have NVIDIA, VIA, SiS, AMD and Intel chipset motherboards. They all have their quirks once one is familiar with how to handle them they are alright.
Its mostly driver management but sometimes hardware.
For example: In an early 2000's VIA chipset system you must turn the mains off to remove and install system RAM and turn back on.
Intel, AMD and SiS didn't have this issue because they had no bank interleave technology they copied and eventually in newer generations the VIA RAM issues vanished.
Nvidia's chipsets usually included their LAN offerings and one mobo of mine has it. But the generic drivers in windows 7 do not include the Nvidias built in hardware firewall thats very useful to keep game hackers out where windows firewall is too dumb . A vista driver has the needed parts instead because Nvidia didn't make a windows 7 driver.
It doesn't really matter what you have its how its used and even the worst can be a heck of a lot of fun anyway who cares if its the best or worse its an appliance if it does what it supposed to do then hooray I can play!
Messing with a retro setup for a novice can be a long daunting task but heres a forum here to help out get to the fun part sooner 😀

Reply 136 of 163, by PARKE

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-07-16, 22:20:

Has anyone actually noticed little difference between the AGP modes? every game i've played that isn't high end 3d little difference in 2x 4x modes especially DOS.

Just happened to stumble over this analysis the other day which explains the issue well and has some benchmarks to prove it.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/556/4

Reply 137 of 163, by dormcat

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2021-07-17, 08:16:
For a good reliable DOS gaming computer that can run WIn95.Win98se/WinME go for this build. Motherboard - Intel 430vx or Intel 4 […]
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For a good reliable DOS gaming computer that can run WIn95.Win98se/WinME go for this build.
Motherboard - Intel 430vx or Intel 430tx or Intel bx440 with AGP
RAM - 128mb or 256mb.
Video - S3 trio64

IMHO there are some contradictories:

430VX or 430TX chipsets cannot cache more than 64MB RAM; installing more would only slow down the system. Few games that could be enjoyable on a Socket 7-based build require bigger RAM anyway, and S3 Trio64 is a nice video card, if not THE standard 2D video card of the era. The build can run Win9x but I wouldn't suggest playing most Win9x games other than pure 2D games like Civ2.

On the other hand, a 440BX build would definitely benefit from an AGP video card with 3D acceleration; why do you need a 440BX build if you only plan to use a Trio64?

Reply 138 of 163, by BitWrangler

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It doesn't really slow down the system, unless you give yourself a 64MB RAMdrive in the lower half and run everything higher... Your game that only needed 32MB will only need 32MB and run in the cached portion. However, you try multitasking in windows and have a lot running and you'll fall out of the end of the cache. But if you bog your PC down, it will act bogged down, surprise. Windows stuff is the only thing likely to need more than 64MB, but when it does, uncached upper 64-256 MB or whatever is still 100 times faster than swapfile. But it's a case of "If it's big enough to need more than 64MB, it probably needs a lot more CPU than you've got too." so between a TX board with 64MB only cached and a board with up to 256MB cached, same P233MMX or K6-2 450 or something, the difference in anything needing a lot more than 64MB is dog slow, and 10% faster than dog slow.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 139 of 163, by bloodem

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-07-17, 14:30:

It doesn't really slow down the system, unless you give yourself a 64MB RAMdrive in the lower half and run everything higher... Your game that only needed 32MB will only need 32MB and run in the cached portion. However, you try multitasking in windows and have a lot running and you'll fall out of the end of the cache.

That's not how it works, unfortunately. The cacheable area starts from the bottom --> up, while Windows loads it in reverse (from top --> down).
If what you said were true, cacheable area would never have been an issue (and in those years, it was a SERIOUS issue, one that would sometimes cut your performance by 30 - 40%). 😀

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k