VOGONS


First post, by AlessandroB

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I have a 486 with a vlb slot, as a cpu I have intelDX4, POD83, Cyrix 5x86 100. I noticed that Doom does not use the pentium instructions much so the POD83 is not used, but it doesn't matter, the DX4 is more than decent. Things are different with Screamer. Here the POD makes the difference and compared to DX4 it is a bit playable. But I was wondering if with a vlb graphics card things would still improve, onboard I have a Cirrus 5430 with 1Mb. Thanks

Reply 1 of 18, by davidrg

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There is a nice review of a bunch of VLB cards with benchmarks here. According to that the absolute fastest in DOS (not 16bit Windows) is the WDC Paradise Bali 32 (ARK1000PV chip). The general recommendation (if you can find/afford one) is something with an S3 Trio64 or Vision 964 chip - these provide the best 16bit Windows performance and they're barely any slower than the Bali 32.

Reply 2 of 18, by jheronimus

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I'd say video card doesn't matter all that much for a 486 system — the performance boost won't be that noticeable since you already have a pretty nice card.

Better get AMD 5x86 at 160 MHz — higher CPU clock and also 40MHz FSB which will make your whole system run faster. Then experiment with cache and RAM timings in BIOS (lower=better). Tighten those timings step by step and test your system for stability.

After that you can worry about video cards if you still need more speed 😀 Pre-Pentium DOS games care about CPU and RAM speed a lot more than a video card — and those upgrades are certainly cheaper/easier to find.

Reply 3 of 18, by Horun

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That is a fair comparison ! Depends on what OS you use. The Trio64 are best all around but if running just DOS there are many that are as good, it is when you add Win 3.x in then things get a bit more complicated ;p

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 4 of 18, by Anonymous Coward

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Other than just raw speed, I'd say there are definitely things that matter, like output quality, compatibility, drivers and ability to run high resolutions and colour depths.
If you're just playing 320x200 games, then no it won't matter.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 5 of 18, by Cuttoon

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Funny how many people think they need to throw money at a retro rig and get some kind of superlative for it.

There's no such thing as "the best" for any computer component. You're just asking for trouble, not only the financial type.

Please do some homework. Graphics chip you have is PCI era:
http://www.vgamuseum.info/index.php/cpu/item/ … logic-cl-gd5430
- you've already established it's not about the graphics.

Game is supposed to run on DX2-66:
https://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/screamer/techinfo

But, probably with very reduced settings. And if it's better on the p83, chances are it's FPU heavy.
This video shows how it runs on a pimped up 486:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n0uTzvPbyU

Face it, that's basically a Pentium game. So, nothing wrong with getting an AMD DX4 "P75" chip, but then it will still not run Crysis.
Maybe sell that silly overdrive and get a socket 7 system. 😉

I like jumpers.

Reply 6 of 18, by Gmlb256

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I tend to prioritize compatibility first when it comes to DOS, followed by speed then output quality. If going for the "best" VLB card it would be the S3 Trio64 which is good all around, otherwise stick with that integrated Cirrus Logic 5430 because it is already decent on a 486.

Dealing with late VESA stuff with the Cirrus Logic would require using UniVBE.

Reply 7 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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Safe and cheap choice - Trident 9440/9440AGi
Elitist choice - Tseng ET4000W32i
Best choice - S3 Trio 32/Trio 64
"I don't care how much it cost" choice - ATI Mach 64 / S3 Vision 964

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 9 of 18, by rasz_pl

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AlessandroB wrote on 2022-05-03, 22:59:

But I was wondering if with a vlb graphics card things would still improve, onboard I have a Cirrus 5430 with 1Mb. Thanks

GD5430 IS VLB, and its not slow with 32bit 50-60MHz ram interface. >16MB/s 16bit and >32MB/s 32bit writes in vidspeed, while fastest VLB cards do 20/40.

Reply 10 of 18, by Anonymous Coward

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AlessandroB wrote on 2022-05-04, 19:06:

ATI Mach 64... 750€. Out of control.. totally.

But it’s still cheaper than msrp when adjusted for inflation!

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 11 of 18, by debs3759

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AlessandroB wrote on 2022-05-04, 19:06:

ATI Mach 64... 750€. Out of control.. totally.

Absolute bargain! (for the seller 😀 )

I have never paid more than $20 for a Mach 64, even this year

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 12 of 18, by imi

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-05-04, 08:40:
Safe and cheap choice - Trident 9440/9440AGi Elitist choice - Tseng ET4000W32i Best choice - S3 Trio 32/Trio 64 "I don't care h […]
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Safe and cheap choice - Trident 9440/9440AGi
Elitist choice - Tseng ET4000W32i
Best choice - S3 Trio 32/Trio 64
"I don't care how much it cost" choice - ATI Mach 64 / S3 Vision 964

you forgot the ARK1000 and S3 864 ^^

Reply 13 of 18, by Anonymous Coward

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AlessandroB wrote on 2022-05-04, 19:06:

ATI Mach 64... 750€. Out of control.. totally.

It depends on which Mach64. If it's a CT or VT based Mach64 for PCI, those are common. But the ISA and VLB GX based ones with expansion modules are not easy to get. Though, sometimes you can still get them at reasonable prices if there is a mistake in the listing, or a very good BIN.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 14 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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imi wrote:

you forgot the ARK1000

Not an universal solution. It's quick only in VGA and Mode X.

S3 864

Worse than Trio cards, although very decent card to have on VLB.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 16 of 18, by Anonymous Coward

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I don't understand how the 864 is supposed to be worse than a Trio64. Trio64 is supposed to be an 864 + RAMDAC + Clockgen, all integrated into one chip. Assuming the 864 is equipped with a 130MHz RAMDAC, shouldn't the performance be totally identical?

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 18 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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mwdmeyer wrote:

Is the S3 Vision 964 better than the Trio64?

In GUI environment - yeah. Also 4 Mb.

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Assuming the 864 is equipped with a 130MHz RAMDAC, shouldn't the performance be totally identical?

From my experience with decent 868 vs cheap "noname" Trio64 - latter is faster anyway. And external DAC is usually not a good thing on "cheap" cards, because they are unpredictable with modern displays.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me