VOGONS


First post, by AST-AUTISMO

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Started woking on my AST Advantage tower again and I am looking at PCI video cards. Since I only have 2 PCI slots, I am trying to see if I can find a good card that would work well for both 2D DOS and Quake 2, in a windows 95 setting, with ideally 8MB of memory for some higher windows resolutions

Onboard it has a 2MB ATI Mach64CT and the ATI VBE driver is not functioning, and UniVBE performance is terrible especially on Duke 3D (which I really wanna play in 800x600).

Options I've explored:

- 2D card ($) + Voodoo2, bypassing Mach64, with ISA network
- Good 2D/3D ($$), bypassing Mach 64, with PCI network, but forgetting about GLIDE games
- Voodoo3 or Voodoo Banshee ($$$$$$) , with PCI network (but ideal for wide compatibility)

Looking at some old threads and articles, obviously most cards will be severely CPU limited. Options I've found:

- Matrox G200 PCI 8MB
- Matrox G450 PCI 8MB
- ATI Rage128 8MB
- TNT or TNT2 PCI 16MB (super expensive)
- Voodoo Banshee PCI (apparently unreliable, graphical corruption in a lot of samples?)
- Voodoo3 2000 PCI (really expensive)

Does anyone have any guidance/experience with these cards or some other recommendations? If I could get the mach64 actually performing well in VESA modes discussion would be moot because I could throw my Voodoo2 in there and call it a day, but it looks like the 64CT is just bad so that is very unlikely.

Thanks!

Reply 1 of 8, by pixel_workbench

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If you already have a Voodoo2, it's about as good as you can get for a Pentium 200. I would get a S3 Trio64 for 2D, and combine the two.

I only tested the AGP versions of cards like the G200, G400, TNT2, Rage128, Savage4, and even on a faster system, they are not as problem-free as a Voodoo2 with games from the mid-late 1990s.

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Reply 2 of 8, by Meatball

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Option 1: Grit your teeth and get a Voodoo3. It just works (superbly) in DOS, period.

Option 2: Get a different motherboard. More flexibility, which can utilize the voodoo2, pci network, quality 2D, and get USB.

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Reply 3 of 8, by luk1999

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AST-AUTISMO wrote on 2022-01-08, 04:22:

Onboard it has a 2MB ATI Mach64CT and the ATI VBE driver is not functioning, and UniVBE performance is terrible especially on Duke 3D (which I really wanna play in 800x600).

I'm not sure if you'd be able to get decent frame rate (for today's standards) in 800x600 even if you change graphic card. P200 might be a bit too slow for it.

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Duron 1000 + Soltek SL-75DRV4 + 256 MB RAM + Voodoo 3 2000 16 MB AGP + FM801 + FSP 400-60PFN + Win 98SE

Reply 4 of 8, by ChrisK

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Have a look at the ATI Rago Pro Turbo PCI with 8MB SDRAM (or maybe it's successor Rage XL 8MB, but watch out to get one with 64 Bit memory bus / two memory chips, not the really cheap ones on ebay with 32 bit / only one memory chip).
They may not have the best reputation but I find it a good card with crisp & clear 3D image that's even able to play Quake 2 quite decently. There's also a patch for Tomb Raider that let's you play at 800x600 without smeary Voodoo image quality. I was positively impressed. Just don't know if it's good enough on a P200 though.
I got mine last year for something around 15 EUROs and I have seen another one some time ago for a similar price.

Reply 7 of 8, by 386SX

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Too bad, let's hope who produce them out there might think to some retrocompatibility too. What seems to be clear is that those PCB has much less components installed, maybe the older specifications required more components for the 5V bus I don't know, but I suspect the final quality might be a bit different from the original ATi boards even when they work. I hope they didn't save components maybe reserved to filters, current protection, whatever something like that.

Reply 8 of 8, by AirIntake

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dondiego wrote on 2022-01-25, 14:04:

They don't work on old motherboards. Most PCI cards will do those are overkill.

The Rage XL cards do work with a simple voltage mod: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbyv4wI0v0s&t=0s. I actually did the even simpler diode mod that the comments suggested and it works great. There's no better 2D/3D card for $15.

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