VOGONS


First post, by appiah4

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After almost four years of searching I have finally found and purchased a working MVP3 motherboard: FIC PA-2013 v2.0 with 2MB L2 cache.

And now I notice a significant gap in my collection: Pre-1999 AGP cards.

Seriously, the only ones I have are an Intel 740 and a couple Voodoo Banshees.

The system will have a K6-2/500, 256MB RAM and a Voodoo 2 SLI configuration.

Here are my choices:

i740 + Voodoo2 SLI: I know that i740 is not the most hasslefree AGP card for a VIA system but mine is an MVP3 CE so it theoretically should work with this?

G200 + Voodoo2 SLI: Probably evwn more problematic that the above?

Voodoo 3 3000 + Voodoo 1: Probably a good configuration with a decent fallback for compatibility but how much hassle is it to have 2 Voodoo cards in one system?

Or should I just hunt down and buy a Millennium I/II, Rage Pro or Trio3D/2X instead of the above?

Last edited by appiah4 on 2020-01-20, 11:54. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 2 of 38, by Nemo1985

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My previous testing on ss7 machines (mvp3 and aladdinV) on windows 98SE the agp cards with most problems were:
Matrox g200 windows crashing and general instability even on windows
Intel I740: same
Riva TNT2 M64: some random crashing mainly with opengl games

On the other hand I had no issues with Geforce2 MX, it worked great and it were overkill, as kolderman said S3 cards are fine, if you want to use just the v1\v2 the trio3d\2x is a wise choice, good overall compatibility with dos games (just in case) it's a plus.

Last edited by Nemo1985 on 2020-01-19, 13:36. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3 of 38, by leileilol

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-01-19, 07:58:

how much hassle is it to have 2 Voodoo cards in one system?

Not hassley at all as long as you install V1 drivers first then V3's, and then for the finicky V1 wanting games (such as I76 Gold for example) you should be a ble to toss the V1-relevant Glide DLLs in that game and you should be in V1-land.

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Reply 4 of 38, by appiah4

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Thanks for the replies so far. Put in orders for a Rage 128 Pro (not sure how well it behaves with MVP3), and a Trio3D/2x.

I will most likely go with Trio3D/2x & Voodoo 2 SLI but I am still contemplating the merits of a Voodoo 3 & Voodoo 1 build as well.. Are there any games where I will find myself wishing I went for the SLI instead?

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Reply 5 of 38, by boxpressed

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I have an FIC VA-503+, and the best fit for this board with a K6-III (550 MHz oc) is a Voodoo 3. I imagine the V2 SLI will be about the same for 3D. Glide makes up for the weaker floating point performance of the K6-III compared to a P2 or P3. I like the combo with S3, although the V3 has pretty good 2D DOS compatibility too.

Reply 6 of 38, by dionb

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Watch out that the FIC PA-2013 was the very first MVP3 board and had quite a few (electrical) compatibility issues. The rev 2.0 should be better, but there are reports of bad voltage regulators frying more demanding cards like Voodoo3 or TNT2 on this board.

Note that these really are specific PA-2013 issues, not generic MVP3 ones (which otherwise is pretty well-behaved, just general Via chipset vs PCI DMA irritations)

If you have two Voodoo2 cards, Glide and OpenGL are covered. I'd say that G200 would be a good Direct3D choice, or otherwise maybe an ATi (RageProTurbo or 128, at least assuming the 128 doesn't get fried...). i740 is fine too.

Reply 7 of 38, by Munx

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If you're going S3 you might as well pick Savage4.

Really good visual quality and texture filtering + Metal and S3TC support.

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The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
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The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 8 of 38, by appiah4

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dionb wrote on 2020-01-19, 15:19:

Watch out that the FIC PA-2013 was the very first MVP3 board and had quite a few (electrical) compatibility issues. The rev 2.0 should be better, but there are reports of bad voltage regulators frying more demanding cards like Voodoo3 or TNT2 on this board.

Note that these really are specific PA-2013 issues, not generic MVP3 ones (which otherwise is pretty well-behaved, just general Via chipset vs PCI DMA irritations)

If you have two Voodoo2 cards, Glide and OpenGL are covered. I'd say that G200 would be a good Direct3D choice, or otherwise maybe an ATi (RageProTurbo or 128, at least assuming the 128 doesn't get fried...). i740 is fine too.

Yeah I've come across a FAQ from FIC that basically says not to use Voodoo 3, TNT 2 Pro/Ultra, Rage 128 and G400 with this board.

I also found a TNT2 M64 I would think that should be safe..

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-01-20, 08:35. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 9 of 38, by aaronkatrini

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I have some experience with older AGP cards, they're not very good. Agp was still "new" back then and performance might be a hit or miss.
So far I've tried:
1. Matrox G100 and G200
2. Intel i740
3. S3 Trio3D and Trio3D/2x
4. Almost every type of Rage (128, pro, turbo, ultra)
5. Banshee
6. Permedia
7. Trident 9750 and 9880 ... ecc, the list goes on.
Poor 3D performance didn't impress me, if I had to choose would go for a G200 or a Banshee.

These are pretty common cards that can be found for cheap everywhere, maybe you can get some of them and play around. See what you like better. 😀

Reply 10 of 38, by HunterZ

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My brother had a K6-2/380 in a Via (Apollo MVP3?) motherboard with an AGP Banshee, and it did okay. My PII-450 with AGP TNT1 performed better though.

Also, it was necessary to install Via AGP drivers in Win98 to get the best performance and stability.

Reply 11 of 38, by appiah4

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While on my AGP buying binge I also accidentally got an ASUS Riva 128ZX thinking it as a TNT1. Great mistake, this should be a perfect period-correct card to pair with the Voodoo 2 SLI I would think!

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Reply 12 of 38, by keropi

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Riva128zx is very nice for this kind of system, I used one for many years.
Now I went back to Diamond A55 that is Trio3D/2x based - only needed 2d for this system so the s3 was a little more compatible

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Reply 13 of 38, by foil_fresh

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my banshee died so i have just installed a trio 3d/2x (2mb agp) in my MVP3 board (shuttle hot591p) and it seems to run just fine without any crashes so far. 640x480 3d is out of its reach, and 300x400 was only just playable but very fun to play on something so weak and puny. it displays dos games pretty damn well and windows looks fine at 24 bit color. i really want to test out some more low qual low res direct3d games to see how it fares - but this is all temporary cos i have a riva 128 in the mail on its way.

Reply 14 of 38, by appiah4

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I dropped the idea of using the Banshee because I honestly don't think there is any point in using one instead of the SLI setup I have.

Anyway, here is what the FIC PA-2013 FAQ had to say about video cards:

Q3 How can I make my computer work with Voodoo3/nVidia TNT2&GeForce256;/ATI Fury Maxx AGP graphic card?

A Only 2.1 revision (PCB) of PA-2013 can support those video cards:

  • Voodoo3 chipset, such as Voodoo3 3000, Voodoo3 3500 and etc...
  • nVidia TNT2 chipset, such as Diamond V770/V770 Ultra, Creative 3D Blaster Riva TNT2/TNT2 Ultra and etc...
  • nVidia GeForce 256, such as Creative 3D Blaster Annihilator and etc...
  • Matrox G400, such as Matrox Millennium G400 and etc...
  • ATI Rage 128 Pro (Fury Maxx only).

Note: If you have question on other video cards to work with PA-2013, revision 1.x and 2.0, please contact FICA Technical Support at (510) 252-7777

That basically puts a damper on any plans of a Rage 128 Pro, order cancelled.

I now have a Riva 128ZX and an S3 Trio3D/2X on order. The other option is a TNT2 M64 that (I think) I have lying about somewhere - but would it be safe to use on this board? It specifies "TNT2 and TNT2 Ultra and etc..." but I doubt that would include the TNT2 M64, which should be comparable to a TNT in terms of power delivery?

Inno3-D-Tornado-TNT2-M64.jpg

I'm not sure I understand the problem with this motherboard, is it an issue with AGP 4x cards in general (i.e. bandwidth causes issues? - but the Voodoo 3 is not a 4x card..) or is it a power delivery issue? Or is it a combination of both?

Last edited by appiah4 on 2020-01-20, 17:52. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 15 of 38, by The Serpent Rider

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I'm not sure I understand the problem with this motherboard

There shouldn't be any problems with Revision 2.0. In fact, here's some demonstration with GeForce 2 MX400 - http://yahoo.aleado.com/lot?auctionID=r297856504

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Reply 16 of 38, by appiah4

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2020-01-20, 12:32:

I'm not sure I understand the problem with this motherboard

There shouldn't be any problems with Revision 2.0. In fact, here's some demonstration with GeForce 2 MX400 - http://yahoo.aleado.com/lot?auctionID=r297856504

My understanding is that it's not a "Won't POST" problem, but more a "Will burn under stress" type of thing?

The FAQ also has this to say about i740

Q4 What can I do to make my Diamond G460 AGP card work properly?

A Follow the steps below:

  • Update your BIOS to the latest version, (Read Q11 for latest BIOS info.)
  • Update your Diamond graphics card BIOS to version 118
  • Install the driver provided with your graphics card
  • Install VIA AGP driver, which can be acquired at VIA driver page
  • If your PCB No. is 1.0, 1.1A, or 1.1B choose "normal" mode instead of "turbo" to prevent overheat on i740 chip. The PCB No. is printed on the corner of the board, along the last ISA slot. (Note: If you update the graphic card's driver, you must reinstall the VIA AGP driver)

So I'm thinking this i740 AGP is also worth a shot on this motherboard..

ASUS-AGP-V2740-TV-Intel-i740.jpg

Last edited by appiah4 on 2020-01-20, 17:52. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 17 of 38, by keropi

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most likely the cards are not compatible with older mobo revisions because of power usage concerns , I kinda remember more mobos of the same era had to get revisions in order to provide more power to the agp slot

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Reply 18 of 38, by imi

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there's already a thread about it here on vogons: FIC PA-2013 Ver 2.1 and Voodoo3 3000 AGP

probably just an undersized voltage regulator that runs a risk of burning out on more demanding cards or something like that?
... pretty unnecessary on ATX anyways.

Reply 19 of 38, by appiah4

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imi wrote on 2020-01-20, 14:02:

there's already a thread about it here on vogons: FIC PA-2013 Ver 2.1 and Voodoo3 3000 AGP

probably just an undersized voltage regulator that runs a risk of burning out on more demanding cards or something like that?
... pretty unnecessary on ATX anyways.

Wait, hold up.. I read the thread over there and Serpent Rider's summary is:

The Serpent Rider wrote on 2018-11-03, 19:56:
After some research I've decided to debunk some myths about revisions. […]
Show full quote

After some research I've decided to debunk some myths about revisions.

- Revsion 2.0 and 2.1 have practically identical VRM, so both are AGP friendly.
- Revision 2.1 is the only one with additional "2.0 E-0036" PCB marking and color coded back panel (PC99 standard).
- Revision 2.0 and 2,1 may or may not have LM78 monitoring (usually don't).
- Revision 1.x have different battery and PLL placement, also additional PLL for some reason.
- Revision 1.x usually comes with LM78 monitoring.
- Revsions 1.x VRM can be easily identified by 3 large capacitors at the top left corner (both 2.0 and 2.1 have 4).
- Apparently some or all 2mb cache versions are not very good for overclocking due to worse cache quality (125mhz vs 100mhz).

And here's my board:

FIC-PA-2013.jpg

Is this a 2.0 or 2.1? And is the 2.0 E-0036 ultimately OK with AGP cards?

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