VOGONS


WDC VGA 16 (WD90C00-JK)

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First post, by derSammler

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Got this card together with a 286 mainboard from an old Peacock PC. Seems to be the same card as the Paradise PVGA1A-JK after WD bought them. Even the FCC ID is the same... Is that card any good? Would it provide enough speed for something faster than a 286?

IMG_20171222_111731450.jpg

Reply 1 of 29, by Jo22

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Not sure if it would provide good performance in anything post-286,
but generally speaking, the PVGA1X and WD90CXX series are very compatible and have mode utilities even.

The last model, WD90C31, even had support for drawing GDI graphics primitives.
According to that site, it was one of the fastest ISA cards.

Another advantage is the good driver support for early software titles.
For example, Wonderland by Magnetic Scrolls (a game) supports its 800x600 mode (SVGA).
Same for early CAD software, Windows 2.x, GEM or Public Domain software (picture viewers, etc.)

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 2 of 29, by matze79

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This is a SLOW Card, in a Class with OAK VGA and Trident 8900

Very combatible with older Video Modes, but not fast at all 😀

The Later WDC Chips mentioned above are the fastest 320x200 Performers Made for ISA.

A Card using it is the Diamond Speedstar 24X.

http://www.vgamuseum.info/index.php/component … tal-wd90c31a-lr

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Reply 4 of 29, by Ozzuneoj

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derSammler wrote:

Tested the card today and yes, it's quite damn slow. Have to check if the other two ISA VGA cards I have are faster.

What program is that? I have lots of cards to test and I like benchmarks with copious amounts of data. 🤣

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 9 of 29, by BSA Starfire

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I ran some tests with Dr Hard 3.5e on my 386 DX 25 system. Thought you might be interested in the results. All cards are ISA.

First up is a 512K Western Digital Paradise WDC90C30

WDC90C30.JPG
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1.24 MiB
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

As you can see this is a very fast card for DOS, it only goes downhill from here!
Next is a 1MB OAK OTI-077

OAK OTI-077.JPG
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OAK OTI-077.JPG
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1.35 MiB
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2880 views
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

Next is a 1MB Trident 8900B jumpered for 16-bit operation.

Trident 8900B.JPG
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Trident 8900B.JPG
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1.52 MiB
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finally a 512K Realtek RTG3105iEH, 120ns RAM on this card plus they only operate in 8-bit mode despite being a 16-bit card.

Realtek RTG3105ieh.JPG
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1.56 MiB
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2880 views
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Anyone got anything slower than that Realtek?

Best regards,
Chris

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 11 of 29, by Jo22

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Congratulations! 😀 Some cards with that chip were also named PVGA1D, by the way. Probably as an allusion to the ancestor PVGA1/PVGA1A (later named WD90C00)..

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 12 of 29, by TimWolf

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Greetings,

Sorry for the semi-necro-bump, but I'm looking for jumper settings on the PVGA1B wd90c00-jk. Just installed extra ram, and wondered if I need to do anything to access it. I'm going to locate and run the test program above. First I need to get some drives put in.

Thanks in advance.

Reply 13 of 29, by derSammler

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Extra RAM should not require any jumper changes. The jumpers are for adjusting display settings and timing. My card in the picture above has maximum RAM, so just set the jumpers as shown, if they aren't that way on your card already.

Reply 14 of 29, by TimWolf

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Cool. That is how my jumpers are set. Hopefully now that it is the weekend I get to mess with this and get a HDD in the unit. So far it's just been playing with ram upgrads on the MB and video card, plus fixing the battery. Can't wait to see what she can do.

Reply 15 of 29, by watson

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I got this card as part of a bundle, but it's missing the VGA BIOS ROMs (I don't know why anyone would pull them out, they probably didn't know what they were doing).
Naturally, this means the card doesn't work, i.e. there is a black screen on boot.

I ordered two 16Kx8 EPROMs (27C128, same as on OP's card) from China. The BIOS can be found on a Russian site.
I want to know if there are any DOS-based utilities for flashing ancient cards like this (with the help of a secondary PCI card) or am I basically SOL if I don't have a programmer.
The TL866 costs about $50, but I'm not willing to spend that much to fix this ultra-slow card. I have been planning to buy that thing for a while, but I haven't had a need for it yet.

If there aren't any such tools, this should supposedly be doable using a Realtek 8139 NIC (setting the window size to 16K with RSET8139.exe and flashing with RTFLASH.exe).
Flashrom might also be an option, but it doesn't seem to support ROMs smaller than 64K.

Reply 16 of 29, by derSammler

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You can't "flash" an EPROM without a programmer. It's not flash memory. You can not use a Flash ROM (or EEPROM for that matter) either and flash it that way, as there's simply no write logic present.

Reply 17 of 29, by root42

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derSammler wrote:

You can't "flash" an EPROM without a programmer. It's not flash memory. You can not use a Flash ROM (or EEPROM for that matter) either and flash it that way, as there's simply no write logic present.

I think this was a rather colloquial use of the term 'flash'. You can write EEPROMs just fine in NICs or e.g. an XT IDE card. Did that myself for the XT IDE BIOS.

Last edited by root42 on 2018-09-03, 18:55. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 18 of 29, by derSammler

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That only works if the card supports writing EEPROMs. You can't just toss in some NIC, put an EEPROM onto it and use it as a programming device.

If a NIC is used that supports writing/flashing, you still can not use it for an EPROM.

Reply 19 of 29, by root42

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Nah, he didn't say any old NIC. But some of the rtl8139s seem to support flash and eeprom:

https://contents.driverguide.com/conten ... )%2FREADME

Why would a simple EPROM not work? Aren't both EEPROM and EPROM 12V programmable? I would assume that a 27C128 EPROM would be compatible to a similar EEPROM. But I only have limited knowledge about *PROMs...

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