VOGONS


First post, by Masaru

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I have a soft spot for these old 3D Shooters that used the Build Engine, and I'd love to know if it's possible to do this using the original DOS executables. I know there are modern Ports that do this, but I'm trying to build a WIN98 system that runs these all using Software for the renderer.

If anyone could help me do this or point me in the right direction on what Processor, Video Card, RAM etc that would be great!

I understand each game is a bit different but in general they all use the same Build Engine so what works with one should work with others right?

Big Thanks In Advance 😀

Reply 1 of 15, by leileilol

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Probably a P4 3ghz or better. There'd also still be intense flickering, and it's way out of the scope for the early 94 (L7P/Lameduke) Build games regarding timing. The most difficult part would be sourcing a motherboard new enough for mid-2000s processors to put up the target speed necessary AND have ISA / DMA for a sound card, as Build games didn't like PCI sound cards because they'd crash whenever it tries to echo. Even then, there'll still be sharp frame drops from anything using lookup tables (smoke, glass etc)

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Reply 2 of 15, by Warlord

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Build engine games are fincky with PCI sound cards. But that doesn't mean to say they won't work in Dos Box with WDM drivers that support emulation. Shadow Warrior is a good example of a game thats sound track is CDA. If you wanted to play that with music and not burn a disc but to use Deamon tools for example. Than thats the way to go. Since that feature of Deamon tools only works with WDM drivers. I've tested it with a PCI Yamaha XG with WDM drivers under win 98se and the game ran just fine that way.

While I haven't extensivly tested PCI cards with build engine games, my limited tested was using a XG. VXDs do not work and crash the games. WDM drivers on that card work fine. I havn't tested Creative cards at all, past VXDs in Duke3d. That seems to work, with SB live and audigy. The only other card I tested was A3D MX300 in duke 3d which worked fine, except the Midi is trash and you really need a wavblaster card attached to it for that.

TLDR
If you can find a P4 motherboard that has SB-Link header that would eliminate compatibility issues, with a PCI card with the header. You might have more luck finding one of those than finding one with ISA.

Reply 3 of 15, by infiniteclouds

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What hardware could run Duke Nukem 3D at 1600x1200 on dos?

Asrock 939Dual-VSTA Late DOS/9x/XP Machine

Build Engine is a primadonna with later GPUs much more than later CPUs or other hardware. As mentioned you can get specific PCI soundcards working with in if they have reasonable DOS compatibility.

My Socket 939 Athlon 64 4000+ with a Geforce 3 and With WC (MTRRLFBE or FASTVID) enabled:

Blood
320x200= 274FPS
640x480= ~60FPS
800x600 = 4FPS ... lies, feels exactly the same as 640x480.
1024x768 = 24FPS ... more lies.. see above.
1280x1024 = 15FPS ... also lies but certain areas where it dips to 7FPS it feels like it is ~15.
1600x1200 = Locked 50 FPS, totally smooth

Duke3D @ 1600 x 1200 = 59/60FPS locked... perfectly smooth.

Tons of screentearing issues if I tried using my 5900 Ultra or 4200 ti instead of the Geforce 3

Reply 4 of 15, by Masaru

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leileilol wrote on 2022-03-05, 08:03:

Probably a P4 3ghz or better. There'd also still be intense flickering, and it's way out of the scope for the early 94 (L7P/Lameduke) Build games regarding timing. The most difficult part would be sourcing a motherboard new enough for mid-2000s processors to put up the target speed necessary AND have ISA / DMA for a sound card, as Build games didn't like PCI sound cards because they'd crash whenever it tries to echo. Even then, there'll still be sharp frame drops from anything using lookup tables (smoke, glass etc)

I was kind of thinking that a P4 would be the way to go. I've noticed people talking about flickering, is this just a program limitation because the programmers never expected anyone to go above 800x600? I also wouldn't really be trying to run any Alpha or beta software at these resolutions considering the build engine is kind of fincky in nature.

Have any suggestions for a decent motherboard for a 3Ghz pentium 4 with ISA support? I think there is a echo fix patch from Ken Silverman available that is supposed to fix that echo issue in most games too.

Interesting bug re: lookup tables. Is this also why there is a massive FPS drop whenever you get close to a cluster of bullet holes on a wall?

Warlord wrote on 2022-03-05, 22:25:
Build engine games are fincky with PCI sound cards. But that doesn't mean to say they won't work in Dos Box with WDM drivers th […]
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Build engine games are fincky with PCI sound cards. But that doesn't mean to say they won't work in Dos Box with WDM drivers that support emulation. Shadow Warrior is a good example of a game thats sound track is CDA. If you wanted to play that with music and not burn a disc but to use Deamon tools for example. Than thats the way to go. Since that feature of Deamon tools only works with WDM drivers. I've tested it with a PCI Yamaha XG with WDM drivers under win 98se and the game ran just fine that way.

While I haven't extensivly tested PCI cards with build engine games, my limited tested was using a XG. VXDs do not work and crash the games. WDM drivers on that card work fine. I havn't tested Creative cards at all, past VXDs in Duke3d. That seems to work, with SB live and audigy. The only other card I tested was A3D MX300 in duke 3d which worked fine, except the Midi is trash and you really need a wavblaster card attached to it for that.

TLDR
If you can find a P4 motherboard that has SB-Link header that would eliminate compatibility issues, with a PCI card with the header. You might have more luck finding one of those than finding one with ISA.

I am kind of trying to avoid using Dosbox here and make a PC to run the old DOS programs. It's mostly an experiment at this point but if it's just not feasible I'll be happy just running at 800x600 @ 60FPS because trying to play these at 320x200 looks like shit. I don't mind using my original Game Discs instead of Daemon tools as well, just trying to recreate a high-end authentic Retro experience rather than rely too much on emulation and what not. Appreciate the suggestions though.

Also thanks for the suggestion RE: the p4 mobo with SB-link header. I'll look into that.

infiniteclouds wrote on 2022-03-06, 08:56:
What hardware could run Duke Nukem 3D at 1600x1200 on dos? […]
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What hardware could run Duke Nukem 3D at 1600x1200 on dos?

Asrock 939Dual-VSTA Late DOS/9x/XP Machine

Build Engine is a primadonna with later GPUs much more than later CPUs or other hardware. As mentioned you can get specific PCI soundcards working with in if they have reasonable DOS compatibility.

My Socket 939 Athlon 64 4000+ with a Geforce 3 and With WC (MTRRLFBE or FASTVID) enabled:

Blood
320x200= 274FPS
640x480= ~60FPS
800x600 = 4FPS ... lies, feels exactly the same as 640x480.
1024x768 = 24FPS ... more lies.. see above.
1280x1024 = 15FPS ... also lies but certain areas where it dips to 7FPS it feels like it is ~15.
1600x1200 = Locked 50 FPS, totally smooth

Duke3D @ 1600 x 1200 = 59/60FPS locked... perfectly smooth.

Tons of screentearing issues if I tried using my 5900 Ultra or 4200 ti instead of the Geforce 3

Very interesting results you posted with Blood! It's so strange why it varies so much! Does your Geforce 3 have good VESA support? It seems VESA is kind of the answer for playing these games at higher resolutions.

Cheers!

Reply 5 of 15, by cyclone3d

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If you want Pentium 4 with full ISA support, either an industrial PIAGP setup with the PISA bridge plug-in board or an ATX S478 board with the ITE-8888 bridge chip would work fine.

You would want to make sure that the board supports the 800Mhz fsb CPUs as well as the earlier ones only do 533.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 6 of 15, by Masaru

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cyclone3d wrote on 2022-03-06, 22:42:

If you want Pentium 4 with full ISA support, either an industrial PIAGP setup with the PISA bridge plug-in board or an ATX S478 board with the ITE-8888 bridge chip would work fine.

You would want to make sure that the board supports the 800Mhz fsb CPUs as well as the earlier ones only do 533.

Cheers for that! I will look around for this now. I've never really dabbled into industrial solutions much so this will be interesting.

Also Thanks! I'm kind of a newb when it comes to all the components and what they do, so I"ll probably have to read up a ton on what does what and why i need it.

I have a pretty basic understanding of the more common components but how they all work together is still pretty mysterious to me.

Reply 7 of 15, by DosFreak

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For flicker (if you have the issue) you can disable LFB with univbe or try NOFLB or NOLFBLIM.
No one played Duke Nukem 3D at 60fps back in the day, but it might be close to possible with a P4 at 1280x1024 depending on the video card
Compare with and without mtrrlfbe, fastvid in real DOS to the command prompt in 9x.
Also compare to the eduke32 for win95 port and mabye with the latest eduke32 version and kernelex.

Last edited by DosFreak on 2022-03-06, 23:55. Edited 1 time in total.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 8 of 15, by Masaru

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DosFreak wrote on 2022-03-06, 23:50:
For flicker (if you have the issue) you can disable LFB with univbe or try NOFLB or NOLFBLIM. No one played Duke Nukem 3D a 60fp […]
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For flicker (if you have the issue) you can disable LFB with univbe or try NOFLB or NOLFBLIM.
No one played Duke Nukem 3D a 60fps back in the day, it might be possible with a P4 at 1280x1024 depending on the video card
Compare with and without mtrrlfbe, fastvid in real DOS to the command prompt in 9x.
Also compare to the eduke32 for win95 port.

Ok great info! Thank you!

I am writing this all down in my BUILD PC Project binder. I am going to source out the parts and start building this win98 beast soon. The trick is trying to find affordable parts without paying the crazy prices I've been seeing on ebay!

Reply 9 of 15, by Warlord

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Masaru wrote on 2022-03-06, 22:33:

I am kind of trying to avoid using Dosbox here Cheers!

I don't mean dos box I mean windows 98 natvie dos box. you must not of fully understood what I wrote, becasue there no way I could be talking about anything except 98s own dosbox then.

Reply 10 of 15, by The Serpent Rider

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It is possible to achieve 50+ fps at 1600x1200 resolution in Duke Nukem 3D with Athlon XP 3000+, but only with early AGP GeForce cards. Example mentioned above by infiniteclouds. For unknown reason, 1280x1024 mode does not perform as fast as 1600x1200 mode. I suppose you can brute force it with high clocked Athlon 64 or Core 2 Duo.

Also see this: PCI Video cards benchmark: Electric Boogaloo Edition

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Reply 12 of 15, by Jura Tastatura

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infiniteclouds wrote on 2022-03-09, 03:47:

I would note NOFLB or NOLFBLIM did not resolve the issues with Geforce 4 ti4200 or FX5900. In my experience Build Engine needs a G3 or earlier for optimal performance.

I run Duke3D on my "glorified" W98 machine (P4 3ghz downclocked to ~2ghz, Quadro4 980 XGL ie. ti4800, ESS Solo-1) @ 1600x1200 and it's silky smooth. Have to use NOLFBLIM otherwise have picture problems. Actually, build games were one of the main reasons I've built this rig.

Reply 13 of 15, by foil_fresh

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just wondering, has anyone tested 1440x1080 resolution? will build work on this res? i'm at work and the thought just popped into my head. having pixel perfect 4:3 duke3d would be great on a modern 1080p display...