VOGONS


First post, by auron

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from my experience, with DDC enabled on the pnp display driver the original millennium cards default to 85hz under win9x, and that's also the highest refresh rate that can be set for any supported resolution, but there's numerous sources that claim much higher maximum refresh rates for these cards, for example here and here - 200hz in 640x480. if that information is correct, what's the way to access those refresh rates?

annoyingly, the directdraw refresh rate forcing tab in dx6.1 dxdiag is apparently non-functioning under win95 OSR2. because of this i got hztool (1.3 and 1.4), but found it to be of limited use with this setup; regardless of what refresh rate is set for resolutions below 640x480, those still always run at 85hz, and for 640x480, higher refresh rates will also cause 85hz to be output. supposedly there was a 1.2 version of this tool, does anyone have it? by the way, i found that this tool has issues when too many old driver installs are present in the registry, so i had to go and delete them (0000, 0001 etc.) before being able to select the correct driver.

finally, what is the deal with the devbits hardware bitmap cache setting that is mentioned as being problematic in the pc mag article i've linked? it seems that later versions of the matrox software have reduced the number of settings, but this one is still in the latest version that can be downloaded from their website.

Reply 1 of 5, by kdr

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You need to install the full Matrox drivers. The Millenium drivers that come with 9x/NT4 don't support the full feature set of the cards. Once you've installed the Matrox drivers you'll have access to additional display settings including the ability to override the monitor type and edit the video mode timing parameters. Get the driver files here:

https://www.matrox.com/en/video/apps/drivers/ … previous/legacy

I have a Sony Multiscan 300sf that can handle up to ~86khz hsync frequencies and up to 150hz vertical refresh. But despite that the Matrox drivers won't go above 85hz refresh when the monitor is set to "plug and play". The drivers offer an option to manually select a monitor from a list; the best match in terms of frequencies was an Ilyama model. Once I did that, the video modes were updated and I was able to select 120hz refresh rates at both 640x480 and 800x600 resolutions. The card itself can go quite a bit higher if you have one of those crazy expensive CRTs that can handle, say, 100khz+ hsync frequencies.

I have not had *any* luck with UNIVBE or similar tools under DOS. No matter what I try the video output is always standard VGA/SVGA refresh rates. 640x480 at 60hz is just awful, especially on a big 19" CRT, so for now I only use my Matrox+Sony combo for Windows stuff. If anyone with a Millenium card knows how to boot into DOS and play plain old VGA games at insane refresh rates, please share your tips/tricks!

Reply 2 of 5, by auron

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i already have the matrox drivers, but i wasn't aware that the pnp monitor driver is so limiting; i thought the whole point about DDC is not having to worry about that, but i guess not. i'll see what that monitor override feature does. i have a trinitron that's a bit newer than what they support in their (apparently) last 2.70 .inf file, so i didn't even bother installing that .inf file.

really don't like univbe, it once somehow seemed to give me black level issues and i'm really not fond of tools that just do all the configuring by themself when being run instead of giving options. anyway, i agree it's a shame they never added VBE 3.0 with their BIOS updates so we could use vbehz, or at least made a TSR for these cards. i think a matrox TSR does exist but only for the later Gxxx-series cards.

by the way, i've had some sporadic "rogue" split-second frame glitches in certain win95 games, especially GTA, and that's on a 4 meg card with 3.0 version BIOS and that newest driver. i need to see if disabling that devbits option can fix it - i recall having the same issue in some DOS VESA 2.0 games actually, particularily with older BIOS revisions and also with some S3 cards.

Reply 3 of 5, by auron

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the monitor overriding works indeed and it looks like one of the eizo monitor presets offers the highest refresh rates; that way the card outputs 640x480@160hz and 800x600@130hz without any issues, not bad for 1995 hardware. thing is, i'd like to be able to set modes below 640x480 as well and those are completely unaffected by this, still outputting 85hz, and from how that window is designed it doesn't seem like they are even supposed to be supported, might be wrong though. are these override presets stored in some text file that can be edited?

interestingly hztool picks these overridden refresh rates up, but that tool seems totally non-functioning when the monitor override is engaged.

Reply 4 of 5, by kdr

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auron wrote on 2021-05-13, 03:53:

the monitor overriding works indeed and it looks like one of the eizo monitor presets offers the highest refresh rates; that way the card outputs 640x480@160hz and 800x600@130hz without any issues, not bad for 1995 hardware. thing is, i'd like to be able to set modes below 640x480 as well and those are completely unaffected by this, still outputting 85hz, and from how that window is designed it doesn't seem like they are even supposed to be supported, might be wrong though. are these override presets stored in some text file that can be edited?

Ah, glad you've been able to get the higher rates working!

I have no idea how to configure the refresh rates for modes below 640x480. (I'm not too fussed about it, though, because running 320x240 games on a 19" CRT is just kind of ludicrous... I've got a 14" SVGA CRT for those, and with its smaller screen size even the 70-72hz refresh doesn't seem to flicker much at all.)

Reply 5 of 5, by auron

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to correct some of my points in this thread, after more testing, i did get the "override refresh rate" dxdiag thing to work under win95, but it's still locked to 85hz max without the monitor override. when testing this stuff on an s3 968, there were other issues like some refresh rates arbitrarily not working, e.g. 85hz, and overridden refresh rates persisting on desktop after exiting a game. so overall the conclusion is that managing refresh rates is pretty dodgy on win95.

the aforementioned split-second flicker issue with GTA also occurred with the s3 card so it's apparently an issue with the game itself.