VOGONS


First post, by bloodem

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Hi guys,

Does anyone know where I could find the oldest drivers possible for a Guillemot Maxi Gamer Cougar PCI (based on Riva TNT2 M64)?
I'm trying to do some benchmarks on a 430TX/Pentium MMX 233 system, and I found that "newer" drivers, such as 7.76 have a massive overheard, too much for the poor Pentium MMX. So I wonder if I can squeeze just a little bit more performance by going with the absolute oldest drivers possible. I don't expect major improvements, but it's worth to try 😀

According to this review on Anandtech, both the AGP and PCI versions of the card were available in January 2000, so most likely Detonator versions 2.xx / 3.xx should support this card. Unfortunately I only found AGP versions for these very old drivers, and they're not compatible. I tried forcing the install, but it resulted in a corrupted OS, which was expected 😀

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 1 of 13, by jaZz_KCS

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If I recall correctly, the distinction between PCI and AGP and the resulting drivers being packed separately for each interface type was only up to version 3.37 or smth.
From version 3.68 onwards, the drivers were for both AGP and PCI (although still labelled AGP for a time).
I had no problems running my TNT2 M64 PCI with the 3.68 AGP driver, which is supposedly also one of the fastest for the TNT/TNT2

Just for completeness, here are the Dets in question.

Attachments

  • Filename
    detonator_1_3.68_agp.zip
    File size
    1.52 MiB
    Downloads
    129 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • Filename
    detonator_1_2.08_pci.zip
    File size
    2.01 MiB
    Downloads
    118 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • Filename
    detonator_1_2.08_agp.zip
    File size
    1.99 MiB
    Downloads
    68 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 2 of 13, by jaZz_KCS

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I remember making performance benchmarks with a TNT2M64 PCI and I used 3.68, and this is the only 3.68 driver I can find in my archive, so I must have used this one.
That - or my memory is having a severe durr.

Reply 3 of 13, by bloodem

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Thanks a lot! Detonator v2.08 PCI worked like a charm 😀
Now to see if there is any tangible performance uplift with the Pentium MMX 233. I already tried a Matrox Mystique + Voodoo 1 4 MB and a Voodoo 3 2000 PCI, and those have much better performance (2.5X performance increase compared to the TNT2M64 in GLQuake / Quake 2)

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 4 of 13, by jaZz_KCS

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I would also be interested as to how the 3.68 driver fares in this scenario. Not only wrt performance, but also wrt to whether I remembered that correctly that this is the one with the best perf, and whether it works with the 3.68AGP at all. I remember having used that one on a PII-300 with W98 and a PCI TNT2M64

Reply 5 of 13, by bloodem

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It would be strange if it did... Even for driver version 7.76 there are two folders: AGP and PCI 😀

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 7 of 13, by bloodem

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So, indeed, as I thought, there is a VERY noticeable improvement (30 - 40% in some cases) on the Pentium MMX 233 when going from driver version 7.76 (which is optimized for newer CPUs) to a very old driver (in this case 2.08).

Again, the system specs: Pentium MMX 233 / 430TX / 64 MB PC100 / nVidia TNT 2 M64 PCI

With nVIDIA driver version 7.76:
Quake 2: 19.0 FPS
GLQuake: 43.9 FPS
3DMark99: 1233 FPS
3DMark2000: 492 points

With nVIDIA driver version 2.08:
Quake 2: 26.4 FPS
GLQuake: 57.6 FPS
3DMark99: 1386 FPS
3DMark2000: 557 points

Still, the Voodoo 3 2000 PCI seems to be the champion on this platform, with 41 FPS in Quake 2 and 90 FPS in GLQuake. There's just no contest there 😀

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 8 of 13, by matze79

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What is the first Driver from NVIDIA who uses SSE Optimization ?

No Wonder, you`r CPU is too slow for TNT 😁 and you`re using crippled TNT2 😀
The V3 has full Memory Bus, where the TNT is cut down.
To be Fair you have to Bench at least TNT2 Pro.

Even a V2 will give TNT2 M64 a hard time.

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Reply 9 of 13, by Joseph_Joestar

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Did you bench in 32-bit or 16-bit color?

The M64 should be below a Voodoo3 2000, but not by a huge margin in 16-bit, if this review is to be trusted. They were using a much more powerful CPU though.

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 10 of 13, by bloodem

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matze79 wrote on 2020-06-11, 19:21:
What is the first Driver from NVIDIA who uses SSE Optimization ? […]
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What is the first Driver from NVIDIA who uses SSE Optimization ?

No Wonder, you`r CPU is too slow for TNT 😁 and you`re using crippled TNT2 😀
The V3 has full Memory Bus, where the TNT is cut down.
To be Fair you have to Bench at least TNT2 Pro.

Even a V2 will give TNT2 M64 a hard time.

As far as I know, there are no TNT2 Pro/Ultra cards in PCI version. Also, the crippled TNT2 M64 can score up to 100 FPS in Quake 2, 2000+ points in 3DMark2000 and 4000+ points in 3DMark99 when using a newer CPU 😀
The TNT2 M64 is equivalent in performance to an original Riva TNT. So, let's face it, this is a CPU bottleneck, not a video card bottleneck.
The reason why the Voodoo cards are so fast is simple: Glide and also the drivers, that are more optimized for slower CPUs (which is why even the original Voodoo is faster on the Pentium MMX, although being much slower than the TNT2 M64).
The only nVidia card that I'm guessing should be a bit faster and I'm curious to test (but I don't have it), would probably be a GeForce 2 MX PCI card, since the hardware T&L (specifically the "T") would bring an improvement in games such as Quake 2.

Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-06-11, 19:41:

Did you bench in 32-bit or 16-bit color?

The M64 should be below a Voodoo3 2000, but not by a huge margin in 16-bit, if this review is to be trusted. They were using a much more powerful CPU though.

640 x 480 x 16 bit. Anyway, as I mentioned above, this is a CPU bottleneck. 😀
There is nothing unexpected here, very often faster or even EXTREMELY fast cards will be much slower on crippled platforms, simply because they were designed to work with newer, faster CPUs and their drivers were optimized for this.

There's actually an article on Anandtech regarding the Riva TNT and its slow performance on low end hardware, while being very fast on a "bleeding edge" Pentium 2 😀

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 12 of 13, by bloodem

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Yeah, I think there's a better chance of finding a living dinosaur, than some of these old nVIDIA PCI drivers 😁
Thank you for v2.08, though, it's exactly what I needed. 😀

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 13 of 13, by lolo799

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You could check archives of old magazines coverdiscs, like the ones from this french mag included drivers with every issue:
https://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche … ?mag=109&page=2

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