VOGONS


Newly made ISA CL-GD5434

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Reply 100 of 116, by devius

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My kit has arrived yesterday.

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ISA VGA card kit
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Reply 102 of 116, by Robin4

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kixs wrote on 2020-09-04, 19:15:

I have Nitro 64 ISA card somewhere and can dump the BIOS if you still need it.

Can you still dump it and put it in this thread?

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 103 of 116, by keropi

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I just finished soldering my card - it works nice
I do get those vertical lines with either BIOS (diamond/generic)
It would be nice to know the source of it....

Thanks Jager for making this!!!!

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site buy+info
🎧 WIP Orpheus soundcard site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 104 of 116, by kixs

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Many cards have these vertical lines on LCDs... I've tested several S3 VLB cards these past days...

Robin4: will do it tonight.. I hope 😉

My Amibay: SALE | BUY - Updated on 2020-05-25

Reply 108 of 116, by kixs

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Robin4 wrote on 2020-11-03, 01:45:
kixs wrote on 2020-09-04, 19:15:

I have Nitro 64 ISA card somewhere and can dump the BIOS if you still need it.

Can you still dump it and put it in this thread?

A bit late but still better then never 🤣

Here is the BIOS of my Nitro64 ISA card saved via NSSI.

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    NITRO64.ZIP
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    19.88 KiB
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    8 downloads
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    Fair use/fair dealing exception

My Amibay: SALE | BUY - Updated on 2020-05-25

Reply 110 of 116, by digger

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Perhaps I'm a mistaken, but wasn't there a limitation in the ISA bus that wouldn't allow Linear Frame Buffer (LBA) memory addressing to work?

Would this card work with games that require VBE2+ with LFB support, such as The 11th Hour?

Reply 111 of 116, by mkarcher

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digger wrote on 2021-03-07, 09:19:

Perhaps I'm a mistaken, but wasn't there a limitation in the ISA bus that wouldn't allow Linear Frame Buffer (LBA) memory addressing to work?

Would this card work with games that require VBE2+ with LFB support, such as The 11th Hour?

Well, it depends. The ISA bus is limited to addresses below 16MB. As the standard PC architecture typically has the whole extended memory starting at 1MB and going upward from that, with 15MB of extended memory (+640KB of conventional memory), the addresses that can be used on the ISA bus are all used up, and the VGA card can just use the 128KB window at A000-BFFF. There are a couple of ISA graphics cards that supply a linear framebuffer at 14MB or 15MB (although often the last 64K at 15MB are overlaid by a mirror image of the BIOS ROM). They work perfectly well in ISA-based systems with 4MB, 8MB or 12MB of RAM.

To use LFB on ISA cards in systems having more memory installed, you need a chipset and BIOS that support a "ISA memory hole" that disables some of the main memory to make ISA cards at this address visible. You also need a version of HIMEM that can deal with a hole in XMS (or you are limited to ~12MB of XMS). I don't know the version lineup of HIMEM, so I can't advise you on which HIMEM versions might be able to deal with memory holes.

Reply 112 of 116, by digger

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Thanks for the clear and detailed explanation, @mkarcher. By the way, I saw I used the wrong acronym in my question. I wrote LBA, but I obviously meant LFB. Sorry for any confusion that may have caused. 😅

Would it be safe to conclude that machines that are too old to support the ISA memory hole BIOS feature are probably also too old to have anywhere near 16MB of RAM installed anyway, so it wouldn't be an issue either way?

And assuming that this indeed wouldn't be the problem, does this particular ISA implementation even support the LFB addressing mode out of the box? Or might there be some other limitation preventing it from doing so?

Reply 113 of 116, by mkarcher

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I don't know the 5434 specifications by heart (and I am too lazy to look them up now), but I know that the straightforward application oft the 542x series allows an ISA LFB out-of-the-box. The address is BIOS-programmable between 1MB and 15MB. Too bad that the straightforward application of the 542x on VL cards doesn't yield higher address ranges, so the LFB is unusable on many VL 542x cards on 16MB or 20MB 486 machines.

Reply 114 of 116, by Grzyb

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digger wrote on 2021-03-07, 12:38:

Would it be safe to conclude that machines that are too old to support the ISA memory hole BIOS feature are probably also too old to have anywhere near 16MB of RAM installed anyway, so it wouldn't be an issue either way?

I'm afraid not.
The "memory hole at 15M" option is common in PCI machines, where ISA graphics doesn't make sense anyway.
In ISA-only machines, probably not - at least there's no such option in the 386DX-40 box I'm currently using.
And even back in the era 16 MB of RAM was sometimes seen in ISA-only PCs, nowadays it's probably pretty common...