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Best video cards with DOS / Win 3.x / Win 9x support

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Reply 180 of 199, by Paar

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If you buy those cards from reputable manufacturer (MSI, Asus etc.) the picture quality is often quite good. Considering DOS compatibility I have yet to find a game that doesn't work with TNT2/Geforce 2. Their DOS compatibility is great. Do you have bad experience with them?

Reply 181 of 199, by ragefury32

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Paar wrote on 2021-01-13, 14:59:

If you buy those cards from reputable manufacturer (MSI, Asus etc.) the picture quality is often quite good. Considering DOS compatibility I have yet to find a game that doesn't work with TNT2/Geforce 2. Their DOS compatibility is great. Do you have bad experience with them?

Eh, the TNT2 m64 that I had softlocked constantly in Windows 3.1 using some drivers that I found - the i740 worked just fine. The Geforce 2...isn’t even supported.

Reply 182 of 199, by zapbuzz

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oh windows 3.1? .... Tseng, cirrus logic, trident and maybe SiS and prolly mostly never heard of PCI such as win 9x never heard of PCIe
given the scarce supply of 3.x hardware an xp machine with virtual pc 2004 1st edition perhaps it has drivers? snappy hypervisor for windows only.... direct access to disk partitions without virtual disks plus support for 95 and 98 as well would make it great to relocate the disk to a real machine later when the good stuff comes to play with.

Reply 183 of 199, by appiah4

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I recently started using the Macronix MX86200 2MB as my main PCI VGA for my Cyrix 5x86 system and it has both amazing video quality and a very, very good Windows 3.1 driver.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 184 of 199, by betamax80

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Could I put a word in for the ATi Rage XL?
It seems that a chinese manufacturer has brought up the remaining chips and is selling cards new for £10-£15.
These are chopped-down Rage Pro's basically. I dont think there is any stated Win3.x compatibility but there should be good MS-DOS (VBE) compatibility and there are Win9x drivers.

Reply 185 of 199, by douglar

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betamax80 wrote on 2021-05-03, 19:02:

Could I put a word in for the ATi Rage XL?
It seems that a chinese manufacturer has brought up the remaining chips and is selling cards new for £10-£15.
These are chopped-down Rage Pro's basically. I dont think there is any stated Win3.x compatibility but there should be good MS-DOS (VBE) compatibility and there are Win9x drivers.

The Rage XL is fine if it works in your system and your applications, and it is certainly very available & affordable, which is something that can't be understated. If it works in your system and you don't use many 3d acceleration features, it can be a very good deal.

However, some people do not like the Rage XL because:
1) Rage XL cards built after year 2000 often have compatibility issues in legacy systems that only have PCI 2.0 & 2.1 chipsets or that don't provide 3.3v power to the PCI slots
2) Like the Rage Pro, it lacks desired 3d features such as alpha blending & fog, which cause some 3d games to render poorly
3) GL support can be quirky, like it only works when your windows desktop is set to specific colour depths, etc.

My choice for 486 computers is the RAGE 128 ( regular, pro, or Ultra)
1) Legacy cards and are much more likely to work correctly on old PCI 2.0, 2.1 or 5.0V only systems
2) Has faster clock speeds, a second 2 pixel pipeline and support more OpenGL/DirectX features
3) Has have an enhanced triangle setup engine in hardware that does a better job offloading CPU tasks

But RAGE 128 can be more difficult find and is usually more expensive to acquire.

Reply 187 of 199, by douglar

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Here are my old school favorites that have good dos performance and windows acceleration features:

ISA
-- Best
* Cirrus 5434 - Diamond Speedstar 64 has great image quality
* Mach64 - Graphics Xpression (DRAM) is a little faster in DOS than the Graphics Pro Turbo (VRAM)
-- Best value under $50 on ebay today
* WD90C30 or WD90C31
* Cirrus 5428

VLB
-- Best
* S3-968 or S3-Trio64 - Diamond Stealth 64 Video Family
* Mach64 - Graphics Xpression (DRAM) Graphics Pro Turbo (VRAM)
-- Best value under $75 on ebay today
* Trident TGUI9440AGi
* Western Digital WD90C33

Last edited by douglar on 2021-05-17, 02:54. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 188 of 199, by douglar

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-05-16, 16:16:

Who cares about opengl on a 486?

The Rage XL can be a great value card if it works on your system with the software you use. That's pretty clear based on the price.

But if you got a Rage XL that generates any sort of picture on a 486 system, open GL or otherwise, then you have had better luck than I..

Reply 189 of 199, by Putas

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douglar wrote on 2021-05-16, 15:01:

2) Like the Rage Pro, it lacks desired 3d features such as alpha blending & fog, which cause some 3d games to render poorly

What blending is missing?

Reply 190 of 199, by douglar

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Putas wrote on 2021-05-20, 09:47:

What blending is missing?

Rage, Rage II, and Rage Pro cannot bilinear filter alpha blended textures, which made transparent textures look blocky or rough.
https://vintage3d.org/rage3.php
However, one weakness of previous Rage architecture remained, the inability to filter alpha blended textures. Considering the long lifetime of the Rage Pro architecture, this should not have happened and caused image quality issues in years when such omission was no longer tolerable.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/3d-accel … step,51-26.html
please look at the sky and the artifacts at the rock on the right. You can't really play with this engine. I just wonder what's wrong with the Rage Pro's Direct3D interface.

As far as I know, Rage XL is just a die shrink of the Rage Pro and still had the same limitations.

The "Rage 128" models have better features, wider data paths, and are more desirable GPUs in my opinion.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/205/6

Current prices look like this: $10 Rage XL, $20 Rage 128, $75TNT2. I went with the 128, although if the price on the TNT were lower, or you value it more, it might be attractive for you. The $10 XL price is hard to beat, but really, don't expect much out of it in 3D and don't expect the ones made after 1999 to work with early PCI motherboards.

Last edited by douglar on 2021-05-20, 12:15. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 192 of 199, by douglar

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Putas wrote on 2021-05-20, 12:12:

But it is not.

What should Wikipedia do to improve this article?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATI_Rage_series
RAGE XL
The Rage XL was a low-cost RAGE Pro-based card. As a low-power chip with capable 2D & 3D acceleration, the Rage XL was used on many low-end graphics cards. It was also seen on Intel motherboards as recently as 2004, and was still used in 2006 for server motherboards. The Rage XL has been succeeded by the ATI ES1000 for server use.
The chip was basically a die-shrunk Rage Pro, optimized to be very inexpensive for applications where only basic graphics output was necessary.

Reply 193 of 199, by Putas

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douglar wrote on 2021-05-20, 12:18:

What should Wikipedia do to improve this article?

Catch up to my update or the thread we had here recently.
Will probably happen without sourcing as usual.

Reply 194 of 199, by appiah4

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There are some brand new PCI Rage XL cards being sold around here, I wonder who found stock of these chips and made new cards in 2020.. They aren't exactly cheap but maybe it's worth grabbing one?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 195 of 199, by douglar

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OK, I see you are correct. I updated the wiki and used this as a reference---

https://vintage3d.org/

November [2020]
A mistake occurered. I don't know what happened back then, but I wrote in the ATI Rage Pro review that Rage XL made no 3d improvements. Regarding 3d architecture these chips (XL, Mobility P and probably XC) are almost the old Rage Pro. However, going through the cards now I see that transparent textures are finally bilineary filtered. Coupled with higher frequencies this makes the Rage XL distinctively better than the Rage Pro. Should I ever venture into the 1999 territory, you can expect full benchmark of such cards as well.

Reply 196 of 199, by matti157

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GXL750 wrote on 2015-05-21, 13:21:

ATI Rage XL is available in PCI and works under Win 3.1 with the Mach 64 drivers. It's based on the Rage Pro and was popular in servers in the early to mid 2000s.

But has anyone ever tried? Can I install it on Win 3.1 with these drivers?
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=328&menustate=0

Reply 197 of 199, by betamax80

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From what I understand (without having tested yet - I am still waiting on the card) the XL drivers are not directly compaitble with Rage Pro drivers. I accept the XL was always going to be integrated / cost reduced as it was essentially a low-end chip released at the time of the Rage128 which was more mainstream. Windows 95 and NT4 compatibility should be strong and my initial interest in these new cards is that the DOS VBE support is better than for many PCI cards.

Reply 199 of 199, by cyclone3d

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According to this, you can use the Mach64 drivers for the Rage XL under Win3.1 :
Re: Ati Rage XL Question

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