VOGONS


Reply 20 of 46, by PTherapist

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Snookeroo wrote on 2021-08-17, 11:34:

CPU upgrades
For now I will hold off on upgrading the CPU. I just got the system up and running and am keen to sink some game time into it. If I were to look into CPU upgrades that would mean sourcing new RAM and maybe even a motherboard too, which means pulling the whole build apart. If this were more of a bottleneck to me I'd be right onto it, but for now I'm going to focus on the GPU upgrade and see where that takes me.

If you do want to upgrade the CPU further down the line, you could simply upgrade the CPU to the fastest that your motherboard will support and it would require no other changes. There are slotkets available to use compatible Socket 370 CPUs in a Slot 1 motherboard (assuming that's what yours is). You could probably go up to the 1GHz Coppermine Pentium III, 100MHz FSB version at least.

I don't know specifics about the motherboard you're using, but some 440BX-based motherboards will even officially/unofficially support 133MHz FSB, though you'd need to ensure you had PC133 RAM (or PC100 chips that don't mind it). The only reason I mention this, is that the 1GHz 133MHz FSB CPUs are a bit more common & cheaper.

Reply 21 of 46, by waterbeesje

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Considering your graphics options, I'd go for the geforce 2 mx400. It's quite a bit faster than the TNT 2 m64, still can use lower driver versions, which are more friendly on CPU usage. Also very strong vesa support for late DOS games. Your system fits for a badass DOS system as well (win 98 DOS mode = DOS 7.1)
The fx5500 is a tad faster again, but the CPU will become your new bottleneck. Besides, it's a few years better than the rest of the system. And uses higher driver versions with higher CPU usage. Again strong vesa support.
The 9200 would be ok, but again it's quite newer and it lacks some support as stated. Including vesa support, as that wasn't as important anymore around the time it was popular.

It's your ram pc133 certified? That opens options for future upgrades and allows tighter timings now. It may increase performance a few percents, maybe you can notice slightly.

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 22 of 46, by Katmai500

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Stick with the 550 PIII for now. The GF2 MX400 is a great choice for a first upgrade. If you get the itch for more performance and your board supports Coppermine PIII’s, a GF4 MX440 or GF3 Ti200 + 1GHz PIII would be a nice step up.

Reply 23 of 46, by Snookeroo

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G'day all,

So I bought the MX400 last night and installed it. Unfortunately I only noticed the bad caps near the fan header after I was already headed home with it. I'll get them replaced asap, but here are the 3D Mark results compared to the TNT2 M64.

3DMark reads the old card as a TNT2 Riva even though it says Vanta on the board? Not sure what that's about.

Nvidia Riva TNT2 Model 64
1710

Geforce 2 MX400
Detonator v30.82 >> 3196
Detonator v41.09 >> 3128, 3116

This is a huge step up and I'm quite happy. However, I will still still need to replace the caps on the card. Warcraft 3 runs way smoother now and I'm hoping games like Deus Ex and Morrowind will do so as well.

Let me know if there are some further tips I can take advantage of to get these numbers up! Maybe some sneaky settings, or a better version of the Detonator drivers (I had no clue which versions to go with, so just picked 30 and 41 at random).

Thanks.

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Reply 24 of 46, by pentiumspeed

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Be careful the techpowerup's GPU-Z reports both MX and MX400. Meaning sellers are selling MX as MX400 or vice vera if they used GPU-Z. The guy need help to identify these correctly.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 25 of 46, by Snookeroo

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Oh wow, I didn't even see that. Good point! Luckily I cleaned the chip and added new thermal paste, so I can be sure it's an MX400.

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Reply 26 of 46, by PARKE

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Snookeroo wrote on 2021-08-18, 22:27:

Let me know if there are some further tips I can take advantage of to get these numbers up! Maybe some sneaky settings, or a better version of the Detonator drivers (I had no clue which versions to go with, so just picked 30 and 41 at random).

You could try driver 7.76 which has an outstanding reputation for performance:
http://www.vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?file … 746&menustate=0

Reply 28 of 46, by PARKE

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Found this benchmark overview on my hd but I do not remember where it came from or how it was made.

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I have a super socket7 board with K6+ cpu and did some benchmarking a couple of years ago with a Gf2 MX 400 64 mb. With the 45.32 driver - wich seems one of the most commonly used drivers - and cpu @ 550 the system ran around 3.100 points in 3DMark99 1024/768/16, much like your example. After changing to driver to 7.76 plus some BIOS and registry optimizing it ran around 4.000 points. Maybe your system offers around the same headroom. There is however the aspect that the Gf2 MX 400 came in many versions; some are fast, others much less so.

Reply 29 of 46, by BitWrangler

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PARKE wrote on 2021-08-19, 13:57:

There is however the aspect that the Gf2 MX 400 came in many versions; some are fast, others much less so.

There is quite the range, some seeming like you may as well have kept a TNT 2, and some seeming like you may as well have kept that MX400 instead of upgrading to a GF3.

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 30 of 46, by Snookeroo

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PARKE wrote on 2021-08-19, 13:57:

some BIOS and registry optimizing it ran around 4.000 points.

Whoa, I wouldn't sniff at an extra 900 points! What sort of BIOS and registry optimizing can I do? I have no idea.

Reply 31 of 46, by shamino

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Based on my experience with a Geforce2 MX, I think you'll probably find that you get nearly the same framerates in games from 640x480 up through 1024x768. 1280x1024 is when you'll probably start to see the performance drop off.

You mentioned Morrowind:
That game is demanding for a 440BX system. You could basically max out the board and you'd probably still be looking for more speed.
Morrowind wants a fast CPU and also memory speed. It has seemed to me that this game is more stable if you have more RAM - I think it has a memory leak.
The nice pixel shaded water effects unfortunately won't work on a Geforce2 card, at minimum they require a Geforce3 or a GF4 Ti4200+.
Your 550MHz P3 is definitely at the low end of what people played it with. In it's heyday most people played it on Athlon XPs and P4s, but some people limped by with older systems similar to your P3.

If the performance of this game is important enough to you, you could honestly build a whole other system for it that's several years (or even a decade) more advanced.
But if you don't mind playing at lower settings or with a choppier framerate, then it should probably be playable on a 440BX.

Reply 32 of 46, by PARKE

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Snookeroo wrote on 2021-08-19, 22:05:
PARKE wrote on 2021-08-19, 13:57:

some BIOS and registry optimizing it ran around 4.000 points.

Whoa, I wouldn't sniff at an extra 900 points! What sort of BIOS and registry optimizing can I do? I have no idea.

The tweaks that I applied occured in a Vogons thread about optimizing AGP settings in the SS7 ALI V chipset driver and memory settings in the BIOS of that motherboard. I would not know what works for your system. As said before, I cannot find anything about your motherboard [Tekram APBx-An] on the web.

Reply 33 of 46, by Intel486dx33

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Phils computer lab posted a YouTube video once where he talked about the amount of RAM to use for best performance on a Win98
Gaming computer. In the end he said “256mb stick or two 128mb sticks” for best performance.
But after 256mb of RAM you end up loosing performance speed.

Maybe upgrade to PC-133 RAM.

Reply 34 of 46, by PARKE

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2021-08-20, 04:28:

Phils computer lab posted a YouTube video once where he talked about the amount of RAM to use for best performance on a Win98
Gaming computer. In the end he said “256mb stick or two 128mb sticks” for best performance.
But after 256mb of RAM you end up loosing performance speed.

My suspicion is that your memory or your understanding of the matter fails you.
There is no performance penalty for using between 256MB and 512MB RAM in Windows 98.
What does happen is that when you pass the sweet spot - maybe somewhere around 128MB or even lower - that the increase in performance starts to suffer from diminishing returns. In other words, the more RAM you add the less you will notice a difference.

Reply 35 of 46, by Gmlb256

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Snookeroo wrote on 2021-08-19, 22:05:

Whoa, I wouldn't sniff at an extra 900 points! What sort of BIOS and registry optimizing can I do? I have no idea.

If the motherboard BIOS has the AGP Aperture Size option try increasing it to 128MB since you have a large amount of RAM equipped.

Reply 36 of 46, by Snookeroo

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How do I install version 7.76 of the nVidia drivers? I downloaded it from here:
https://www.vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fil … 746&menustate=0

But there don't seem to be any executable files in the AGP/Disk1 folder. They're all .vxd, .pci, .dll etc. Windows 98 has no idea what to do with them.

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Reply 37 of 46, by BitWrangler

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Go through device mangler, update, point it to the dir where the .inf file is.

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 39 of 46, by Caluser2000

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-08-20, 19:45:
BitWrangler wrote on 2021-08-20, 15:37:

Go through device manager, update, point it to the dir where the .inf file is.

This.

Early nVidia drivers didn't use any kind of installer.

I think mangler was the correct term...

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉