VOGONS


First post, by WTG_Scoob

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

HI I just started assembling my new 98 build and have 5 graphics cards to choose from - mostly DOS to early 98 Gaming - I have a Windows XP setup for all other windows gaming.

Setup:
Dell Dimension XPS T450 "THE TERMINATOR" -lol
Pentium 3 450 (slot 1)
2x 128mb ram
32GB HDD

Possible cards -
ATI 128 rage ultra 32mb
Geforce 2 mx (Dell HW) 64mb DDR
Nvidia TNT2 16mb
Geforce 2 MX400 DDR
ATI Radeon 7000 64m TVi 64mb DDR
Accel Graphics (225-0128-01) 8mb (Gateway HW)

I am looking for the most compatibility with all games ( wish I had a voodoo )

Thanks,
Scoob

Reply 1 of 23, by igna78

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Personally, among the cards proposed (even if not exactly correct for the period), for DOS compatibility, Table Fog and 8-bit Paletted Textures, as well as for performance for games in Win98, I would choose the GeForce 2 MX400 😉

Reply 4 of 23, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Of the list i'd personally choose the Rage128 Ultra

- Paletted texture support available via driver emulation options for some of the few finicky palette textured 3d games from the turn of the millennium
- handles ddraw fullscreen palettes better than a Geforce (one of the biggest unmentioned drawbacks of nvidia hardware)
- gets along with PowerVR PCX2 cards (if that's your thing)
- Period correct bonus for a Pentium III system (Came about just after the first Pentium IIIs had launched)

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 5 of 23, by AirIntake

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
mihai wrote on 2022-02-14, 00:46:

I would keep the geforce 2 mx 400. Reasonable performance, HW T&L, will cover a longer gaming period and compatible with 45.23 Detonators.

What’s special about that Detonator version?

Casio BE-300 Advancement Society alumni

Reply 6 of 23, by Warlord

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

It's usually recommended version for later cards like GeForce 4 and Fx series because it's the last good driver version with backwards compatibility for cards upto fx series.

However in your case there's nothing special about it because a GeForce 2 mx is a earlier card and you can run older drivers.that have less driver overhead than 45.xx. Which can be more optimized and in some cases when the cpu is slower in the system are faster than 45.xx drivers.

So good question not everyone knows this. Though it is common knowledge .

Reply 7 of 23, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
AirIntake wrote on 2022-02-14, 03:03:

What’s special about that Detonator version?

It's the last version which is recommended for newer cards for optimal Win9x compatibility.

With a GeForce2 MX400, you should be able to go much lower than that. I would personally recommend using 12.41 WHQL certified drivers for that card, though some earlier versions might work too.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 8 of 23, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Would a GeForce 4 MX440 work just as well as the MX400 ? its pretty much the same GPU with a few upgrades and a speed bump.

or is there something about teh MX440 that would rule it out for compatibility ? (Like Palleted textures)

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 9 of 23, by Warlord

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Works as well but you need 45.xx driver which as mentioned is fine. But unlike mx400 you can't use 12.xx drivers. Max 440 or 460 might be faster if the CPU is faster. On slow CPU might not matter because CPU bottle neck the card. In which case the older card with older driver might perform better

Last edited by Warlord on 2022-02-14, 06:33. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 10 of 23, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:22:

Would a GeForce 4 MX440 work just as well as the MX400 ?

Better. The versions of the MX440 which use the 128-bit memory bus will perform similarly to a GeForce2 GTS. Sometimes even faster, thanks largely to Lightspeed Memory Architecture.

or is there something about teh MX440 that would rule it out for compatibility ? (Like Palleted textures)

Paletted textures work just fine on MX440 cards. What they lack is pixel shader support, which is irrelevant for Win9x gaming. Unless, for some reason, you plan on running 2002 games like Morrowind on your Win9x system.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 11 of 23, by Warlord

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I've done a few tests where I. Compared 64bit and 128bit mx440 on a p3 800 MHz and saw no improvement. Perhaps CPU is too slow. Maybe need a p4 to realize differences

Last edited by Warlord on 2022-02-14, 06:38. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 23, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:31:
Better. The versions of the MX440 which use the 128-bit memory bus will perform similarly to a GeForce2 GTS. Sometimes even fast […]
Show full quote
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:22:

Would a GeForce 4 MX440 work just as well as the MX400 ?

Better. The versions of the MX440 which use the 128-bit memory bus will perform similarly to a GeForce2 GTS. Sometimes even faster, thanks largely to Lightspeed Memory Architecture.

or is there something about teh MX440 that would rule it out for compatibility ? (Like Palleted textures)

Paletted textures work just fine on MX440 cards. What they lack is pixel shader support, which is irrelevant for Win9x gaming. Unless, for some reason, you plan on running 2002 games like Morrowind on your Win9x system.

Well there are mods that remove the Pixelshader support from Morrowind and allow it to run perfectly fine on systems that dont have it, I remember using such a mod back in the day, it was not a great experience but it did let me enjoy the game till I could afford to upgrade to a Radeon 9600XT.

But no, I was just curious if the MX440 had some feature changed that would stop it froom being considered, since it would generally be better than the MX400 I feel OP might want to consider one.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 14 of 23, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Warlord wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:35:

I've done a few tests where I. Compared 64bit and 128bit mx440 on a p3 800 MHz and saw no improvement. Perhaps CPU is too slow. Maybe need a p4 to realize differences

Unless you can flood/saturate the memory bus you wouldn't see any change at all, since the MX440 is AGP 8x you would need one of the late P4/Athlon XP systems to saturate its memory bus to the point you could get different results.

Warlord wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:39:

Naw mx440 are actually great cards.

I kind of wish nVidia had kept the MX4xx line going, would be a nice budget GPU to have but I'm guessing the push of unified shaders did that line of GPUs in.

Last edited by TrashPanda on 2022-02-14, 06:42. Edited 1 time in total.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 16 of 23, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Warlord wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:53:

Would be nice. Too bad fx series was such a flop. I guess a 5600 is the next step up.

The FX5200 seems to have slotted into the next in line slot, its certainly more than capable but has the typical nVidia gimping when you really push it, the 5600 doesnt have any of the gimping typical of a MX card.

The FX5200 Ultra is also more like a MX440 if the FX5200 is the MX420, the Ultra is actually a really nice budget GPU, much nicer than the normal FX5200.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 17 of 23, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:36:

Well there are mods that remove the Pixelshader support from Morrowind and allow it to run perfectly fine on systems that dont have it, I remember using such a mod back in the day, it was not a great experience but it did let me enjoy the game till I could afford to upgrade to a Radeon 9600XT.

Morrowind doesn't require pixel shaders or a mod to remove them, it DOES have a fallback for shaderless hardware. Water becomes a gray murky animated texture, and that's it.

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 18 of 23, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
leileilol wrote on 2022-02-14, 08:53:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-14, 06:36:

Well there are mods that remove the Pixelshader support from Morrowind and allow it to run perfectly fine on systems that dont have it, I remember using such a mod back in the day, it was not a great experience but it did let me enjoy the game till I could afford to upgrade to a Radeon 9600XT.

Morrowind doesn't require pixel shaders or a mod to remove them, it DOES have a fallback for shaderless hardware. Water becomes a gray murky animated texture, and that's it.

You're right.

There was a mod that made Morrowind run better on low end PCs, its was a good decade or so ago that I used it. I think it optimised the draw distance and fogging the game used along with lighting adjustments IIRC.

I forget the name of it, but it worked amazingly well, got an extra 15 FPS or so from using it made the game playable for me too.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 19 of 23, by dr.zeissler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

But you can turn of pixelshader in the morrowind setup, so there is no use of a patch that deactivates it.
Beside that the watershaders (pixelshaders) are not so pretty on original morrowind. The g400-demo DX6/7? shows much better water, WITHOUT pixelshader hardware.

If dos also count's for native Win3x drivers, then the rage128 should have none. nvidia up to tnt2 should have win3x-drivers. r7000 runs with vesa-drivers 256colors.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington