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First post, by cyrixmediagx

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What would be the best graphics card for Pentium III 1ghz system? 3dfx price on ebay is too expensive. Preferably solid in dos and win9x/Me games but no slouch at later releases either.

Last edited by cyrixmediagx on 2021-09-26, 16:04. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3 of 50, by The Serpent Rider

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Preferably solid in dos and win9x/Me games but no slouch at later releases either.

GeForce 4 Ti

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Reply 4 of 50, by BitWrangler

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Ima say gf3 just because nobody else did 😜

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Reply 5 of 50, by cyrixmediagx

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1- Geforce FX 5200
2- Geforce 2
3- Geforce 4 Ti
4- Geforce 3

Wow. That's 4 different cards. Apart from Geforce 2 which is period correct, how about other cards, should I be concern with bottleneck?

Reply 7 of 50, by bloodem

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Joakim wrote on 2021-09-26, 17:34:

The FX is probably fastest.

Uhm, no it's not, unless it's a 5200 Ultra. GeForce FX 5200/5500 (even the 128 bit versions) will be destroyed by a GeForce 4 Ti or a GeForce 3. I thought that was common knowledge already. 😀

cyrixmediagx wrote on 2021-09-26, 17:20:
1- Geforce FX 5200 2- Geforce 2 3- Geforce 4 Ti 4- Geforce 3 […]
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1- Geforce FX 5200
2- Geforce 2
3- Geforce 4 Ti
4- Geforce 3

Wow. That's 4 different cards. Apart from Geforce 2 which is period correct, how about other cards, should I be concern with bottleneck?

The GeForce 3 and GeForce 4 Ti will be bottlenecked by the Pentium 3 (in many instances even at higher resolutions)... but that's not necessarily a problem.
The GeForce FX, besides being slower, requires newer drivers which are in and of themselves slower, particularly on older hardware. But if you can find one cheap (free), and if it's the 128 bit version (don't even touch the 64bit crap that's out there), then it would be a decent performer, more than enough for most Win98 games, even at higher resolutions.

Personally, without worrying about the cost, I would go with either a GeForce 2 GTS/PRO/Ti or a GeForce 3 Ti200 as a pair for this CPU.

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Reply 9 of 50, by Joseph_Joestar

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bloodem wrote on 2021-09-26, 18:00:

Uhm, no it's not, unless it's a 5200 Ultra. GeForce FX 5200/5500 (even the 128 bit versions) will be destroyed by a GeForce 4 Ti or a GeForce 3. I thought that was common knowledge already. 😀

PixelPipes benchmarked the FX5200 Ultra in this video and it loses to a GeForce4 Ti4200 most of the time.

On topic, I'd go for a Ti4200 if you can find it for a decent price. If not, a 128-bit MX440 can do a decent job for Win9x games. Not so much for anything made after 2001 though.

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Reply 10 of 50, by pixel_workbench

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Geforce2 gts or Gf3 ti200. With Nvidia, you want cards that can use a wide range of drivers earlier than 45 release, because newer drivers tend to break compatibility. Also the FX series doesn't have texel center adjustment in the control panel, so some games will have blurry text and UI.

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Reply 11 of 50, by RandomStranger

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The Geforce 4 Ti would probably be bottlenecked at least in some circumstances. Though you'd rather want some GPU bottleneck than CPU bottleneck.
Maybe with a Geforce 3 Ti200 or Radeon 8500LE would be more balanced.

Geforce MX440 128bit on a budget. Nothing beats that card (on a budget).

Joakim wrote on 2021-09-26, 17:34:

The FX is probably fastest. The reason why we all say GeForce is that you mention DOS compatibility I recon.

Actually, the FX5200 is the slowest.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 12 of 50, by Sombrero

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-09-27, 05:38:

Actually, the FX5200 is the slowest.

In this test, FX 5200 with 64bit memory bus is somewhat faster than Geforce 2 MX 400. The one with 128bit memory bus is somewhere between Geforce 2 GTS and Geforce 3 Ti 200.

DOS/Win98SE: Pentium III 650MHz / Voodoo 3 3000 / Sound Blaster Audigy 2 / Orpheus
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Reply 13 of 50, by RandomStranger

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Sombrero wrote on 2021-09-27, 06:04:

In this test, FX 5200 with 64bit memory bus is somewhat faster than Geforce 2 MX 400. The one with 128bit memory bus is somewhere between Geforce 2 GTS and Geforce 3 Ti 200.

I don't own a Geforce 2 GTS, but in my own tests the FX5200 128bit was soundly beaten by a Geforce 4 MX440 128bit which should be around the same performance. The Ti200 was also around 50% faster.
I'm planning to make a bigger test with most of my 3D accelerated graphics cards up to 2002 in Windows 98.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 14 of 50, by Sombrero

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-09-27, 06:23:
Sombrero wrote on 2021-09-27, 06:04:

In this test, FX 5200 with 64bit memory bus is somewhat faster than Geforce 2 MX 400. The one with 128bit memory bus is somewhere between Geforce 2 GTS and Geforce 3 Ti 200.

I don't own a Geforce 2 GTS, but in my own tests the FX5200 128bit was soundly beaten by a Geforce 4 MX440 128bit which should be around the same performance. The Ti200 was also around 50% faster.
I'm planning to make a bigger test with most of my 3D accelerated graphics cards up to 2002 in Windows 98.

There are models with different clock speeds of FX 5200, in that test I posted the slowest FX 5200 64bit bus 333MHz RAM does get beaten soundly by Geforce 4 MX 440, but it is still faster than Geforce 2 MX 400.

There's a model of FX 5200 on that test with 128bit bus and 500MHz RAM and it seems to be on par with Geforce 3 Ti 200.

DOS/Win98SE: Pentium III 650MHz / Voodoo 3 3000 / Sound Blaster Audigy 2 / Orpheus
WinXP: Pentium 4 HT 651 3.4GHz (65W) / 9800 GTX+ / Sound Blaster X-Fi
Win7/10: Xeon E3-1230 v3 / GTX 1660 Ti / Sound Blaster Z

Reply 15 of 50, by igna78

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@cirymediagx
as you can see there are many opinions and many advice, each well thought out according to general or personal experiences.
I believe that for your choice, you must first answer a few questions:
1. what do I want to play?
it makes a difference if you think of using DOS games and the first Win9x era compared to DOS games and the whole Win9x era: the two cases want different CPU, Video Card and maybe Sound Card (and I won't go into the details of all-in-one machines, like those by Phil) and all this means different costs
2. How much do I want to spend?
and here I refer to what has already been said above: it is one thing to want the top of the range (eg GeForce FX5950 .. I think we all agree that it is the most performing card with support for DOS and Windows games .. or maybe not do we agree? 😂), it is one thing to choose a card to play with at a decent resolution, a decent frame-rate, without asking for a loan to buy it 🤣

Given these answers, it will be easier to choose.

Then to all this we add the driver problems, hardware compatibility and everything you want, but that is part of the fun (what a satisfaction in fixing the problems and finally being able to play ... until the next system crash) 😉

Last edited by igna78 on 2021-09-27, 08:14. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 16 of 50, by RandomStranger

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Sombrero wrote on 2021-09-27, 06:48:

There's a model of FX 5200 on that test with 128bit bus and 500MHz RAM and it seems to be on par with Geforce 3 Ti 200.

It's extremely rare, I've never seen one. Though even then it should be very circumstantial to catch up to the Ti200. It takes a 5200 Ultra to reliably do that in 1024×768. An Ultra is probably much easier to find than a regular FX5200 with 500MHz memory.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 17 of 50, by bloodem

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-09-26, 20:11:

PixelPipes benchmarked the FX5200 Ultra in this video and it loses to a GeForce4 Ti4200 most of the time.
On topic, I'd go for a Ti4200 if you can find it for a decent price. If not, a 128-bit MX440 can do a decent job for Win9x games. Not so much for anything made after 2001 though.

Indeed, I actually wanted to say the "5600 Ultra" 😀

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Reply 18 of 50, by The Serpent Rider

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FX5200 aren't interesting in any capacity. GeForce FX 5600/5600 Ultra - sure, good cards. If motherboard has AGP4x - Radeon 9600 Pro/XT cards are also solid choices.

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