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PCI video card recommendation?

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First post, by rootinit

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I have an IBM PC 300GL (Type 6275) with a 440BX chipset that I want to trick-out for Windows 98SE. I plan to outfit it with an 850 MHz Coppermine Pentium III (only 100 MHz FSB here). This machine lacks any AGP slot, so I will also be limited to the PCI bus. Which GPU should I get that would allow me to at least run middle-of-the-road titles from the early 2000s at 1024x768 with good frame rates? I'm not super concerned with being able to run early DOS games (perhaps later ones though), as I have a PS/2 and XT-class machines that I use for that stuff. I'm willing to spend a little bit, but the high-end of my budget would be around $100.

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Reply 1 of 20, by jakethompson1

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The psref book (https://psref.lenovo.com/syspool/Sys/PDF/with … book/dwbook.pdf) suggests that your onboard graphics might itself be an S3 Trio3D connected over AGP which is why you don't have an AGP slot. That's already a decent card, though it predates the ATI/NVIDIA dichotomy implied by "early 2000s".

Reply 2 of 20, by rootinit

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2022-05-31, 16:46:

your onboard graphics might itself be an S3 Trio3D connected over AGP which is why you don't have an AGP slot. That's already a decent card, though it predates the ATI/NVIDIA dichotomy implied by "early 2000s".

Correct. It does have the S3 Trio3D onboard. Hard to find any benchmarks on this one. I figured that an OEM onboard chip would be no match for some other stuff from a bit later-on in the era.

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Reply 3 of 20, by Meatball

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Trio3D is going to be junk for early 2000 3D games, and possibly junk completely if you want more than 20fps in 3D above 512x384. Forget about 1024x768. 2D it will be pretty good. It would pair well with a Voodoo2. If you're patient, you may stumble across one for less than $100, but it isn't going to be great for early 2000 games, either. Do you already have an 850MHs Slot-1 CPU or a Slotket adapter? If not, genuine Slot-1 CPUs are rather expensive and may blow up half or most of your budget. Slot 1 CPUs tend to be on the expensive side after 600MHz - but deals can be had if you're patient/lucky.

Here's one of the best reviews you're going to find on the Trio3D. It should be relevant to your OEM version.
https://vintage3d.org/trio3d.php.

As for a good PCI board, a GeForce FX5200 would be great, but I'm not sure if its PCI spec/power is compatible with your motherboard. Someone else here might have the experience to verify/validate for you.
A GeForce 6200 is even better, but I'm almost certain this one won't work for you - it doesn't work in any of my 440BX motherboards (and one of them is Dell OEM).

Maybe an MX400/420/440/4000 in PCI would be a good candidate on the cheaper side?

Voodoo3's can be had in PCI form for less than $100; keep your eyes peeled. A Velocity 100 can be had for less than $75, (These are eBay prices... you can find them cheaper if you take to the ground).

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Reply 4 of 20, by rootinit

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Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

Do you already have an 850MHs Slot-1 CPU or a Slotket adapter? If not, genuine Slot-1 CPUs are rather expensive and may blow up half or most of your budget. Slot 1 CPUs tend to be on the expensive side after 600MHz - but deals can be had if you're patient/lucky.

Not yet. I'm close to buying one though. I know they can be pricey, and not factoring that into this budget. So no worries.

Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

Here's one of the best reviews you're going to find on the Trio3D. It should be relevant to your OEM version.
https://vintage3d.org/trio3d.php.

Good read. Thanks.

Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

As for a good PCI board, a GeForce FX5200 would be great, but I'm not sure if its PCI spec/power is compatible with your motherboard. Someone else here might have the experience to verify/validate for you.

I should note that I had to replace the stock PSU with a modern 450 watt one from Thermaltake, so if that is a factor in terms of power, hopefully that's taken care of. I see some FX 5500s on eBay right now for a decent price, so if one of those would be decent to grab I will. I'll stand-by for some other responses in the interim.

Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

A GeForce 6200 is even better, but I'm almost certain this one won't work for you - it doesn't work in any of my 440BX motherboards (and one of them is Dell OEM).

I know that these were the last to support Win9x. I worry that maybe the Win98 drivers might not be so good for a card that late?

Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

Maybe an MX400/420/440/4000 in PCI would be a good candidate on the cheaper side?

Wasn't sure about the horsepower of these guys. Benchmarks are hard to come by, especially in terms of PCI bus performance.

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Reply 5 of 20, by Meatball

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rootinit wrote on 2022-05-31, 20:54:
Not yet. I'm close to buying one though. I know they can be pricey, and not factoring that into this budget. So no worries. […]
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Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

Do you already have an 850MHs Slot-1 CPU or a Slotket adapter? If not, genuine Slot-1 CPUs are rather expensive and may blow up half or most of your budget. Slot 1 CPUs tend to be on the expensive side after 600MHz - but deals can be had if you're patient/lucky.

Not yet. I'm close to buying one though. I know they can be pricey, and not factoring that into this budget. So no worries.

Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

Here's one of the best reviews you're going to find on the Trio3D. It should be relevant to your OEM version.
https://vintage3d.org/trio3d.php.

Good read. Thanks.

Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

As for a good PCI board, a GeForce FX5200 would be great, but I'm not sure if its PCI spec/power is compatible with your motherboard. Someone else here might have the experience to verify/validate for you.

I should note that I had to replace the stock PSU with a modern 450 watt one from Thermaltake, so if that is a factor in terms of power, hopefully that's taken care of. I see some FX 5500s on eBay right now for a decent price, so if one of those would be decent to grab I will. I'll stand-by for some other responses in the interim.

Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

A GeForce 6200 is even better, but I'm almost certain this one won't work for you - it doesn't work in any of my 440BX motherboards (and one of them is Dell OEM).

I know that these were the last to support Win9x. I worry that maybe the Win98 drivers might not be so good for a card that late?

Meatball wrote on 2022-05-31, 17:59:

Maybe an MX400/420/440/4000 in PCI would be a good candidate on the cheaper side?

Wasn't sure about the horsepower of these guys. Benchmarks are hard to come by, especially in terms of PCI bus performance.

Stick to the 256MB version and the Windows 98/ME driver is OK in my experience, https://www.evga.com/products/Specs/GPU.aspx? … 6f-0c84729c6b2b
but the PCI slot of these 440BX Motherboards are not providing enough juice (or not at all) to the card or it's not compliant with the 6200 PCI specifications. Your existing power supply would probably be fine if the card could be made compatible with it. I bet someone around here knows how. Who knows, maybe IBM did something different and it will work in yours. I've tried in an Intel SE440BX-2, Dell OEM version of the same, an Abit BE6-II, and DFI P2XBL.

PCI 2.3 2002 Incorporated ECNs, errata, and deleted 5 volt only keyed add-in cards
PCI 3.0 2004 Removed support for 5.0 volt keyed system board connector

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Reply 6 of 20, by Repo Man11

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I've an FX 5500 128 meg PCI card in my TXP4 with a K6-3+ @ 500 MHz. I force installed the 45.23 driver and the card is overclocked to 270/350 and scores just under 3,000 point in 3D Mark 2000. I tested an FX 5200 128 bit card (the 5500 is only 64 bit) and it had slightly lower scores when benchmarked, probably because it wouldn't work with the 45.23 driver but only a later one.

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Reply 7 of 20, by rootinit

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Thanks for that info. I think I am actually leaning more toward a GeForce 6200 after seeing the benchmark. I'm looking for it to be more performant than that.

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IBM PC (PC DOS 3.30) • IBM PS/2 Model 80 (Win 3.11) • IBM PC 300GL (Win 98SE)
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Reply 8 of 20, by Repo Man11

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rootinit wrote on 2022-06-01, 17:49:

Thanks for that info. I think I am actually leaning more toward a GeForce 6200 after seeing the benchmark. I'm looking for it to be more performant than that.

To be sure you understand, in my example the card is CPU limited; you would get a higher benchmark score, my guess would be at least a thousand points higher.

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Reply 9 of 20, by 386SX

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I have a 256MB PCI FX 5200 128bit and it's interesting to see that it's already quite power demanding so I can imagine the FX 5500 overclocked.. Looking at the GPU package printed codes it seems they were using some different version of the NV34 gpu I don't know if actually different why and where, I imagine oriented for the low power PCI bus. It's not the most power demanding PCI card anyway, looking at the watt meter at the plug, the GT610 PCI when stressed seems to push a lot the single PCI bus used on the board I tested it on. But on a multiple PCI mainboard I wonder how much other PCI cards can decrease the stability.

Reply 10 of 20, by appiah4

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A Matrox G450 or G550 PCI would probably be a good fit for that system. Also look into getting an ATI Radeon 7000 PCI or a 9250 PCI.

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Reply 11 of 20, by rootinit

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-06-02, 14:49:

A Matrox G450 or G550 PCI would probably be a good fit for that system. Also look into getting an ATI Radeon 7000 PCI or a 9250 PCI.

Those seem like some pretty different cards from each other. I guess perhaps the 9250 would be the closest to what I'm looking for in being able to play early 2000s games.

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Reply 12 of 20, by rootinit

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386SX wrote on 2022-06-02, 12:07:

I have a 256MB PCI FX 5200 128bit and it's interesting to see that it's already quite power demanding so I can imagine the FX 5500 overclocked.. Looking at the GPU package printed codes it seems they were using some different version of the NV34 gpu I don't know if actually different why and where, I imagine oriented for the low power PCI bus. It's not the most power demanding PCI card anyway, looking at the watt meter at the plug, the GT610 PCI when stressed seems to push a lot the single PCI bus used on the board I tested it on. But on a multiple PCI mainboard I wonder how much other PCI cards can decrease the stability.

Does anyone know if these sorts of power requirements from the bus are dictated by PCI versions?

IBM ThinkPad 755Cs (Win 3.11) • IBM ThinkPad 365x (Win 98SE) • IBM ThinkPad TransNote (Win 2k)
IBM PC (PC DOS 3.30) • IBM PS/2 Model 80 (Win 3.11) • IBM PC 300GL (Win 98SE)
AT&T PC 6300 (MS-DOS 6.22) • Dell XPS T550 (Win 98SE)

Reply 13 of 20, by Meatball

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rootinit wrote on 2022-06-02, 23:22:
386SX wrote on 2022-06-02, 12:07:

I have a 256MB PCI FX 5200 128bit and it's interesting to see that it's already quite power demanding so I can imagine the FX 5500 overclocked.. Looking at the GPU package printed codes it seems they were using some different version of the NV34 gpu I don't know if actually different why and where, I imagine oriented for the low power PCI bus. It's not the most power demanding PCI card anyway, looking at the watt meter at the plug, the GT610 PCI when stressed seems to push a lot the single PCI bus used on the board I tested it on. But on a multiple PCI mainboard I wonder how much other PCI cards can decrease the stability.

Does anyone know if these sorts of power requirements from the bus are dictated by PCI versions?

In any case, the 6200 is looking for a minimum of 18A to be supplied by the +12V rail via PCI (pin A2). I just tried the 6200 in the following configurations:

440BX Intel SE440BX-2 (Slot 1) [Pentium II & III]
i815 Intel D815EEA (Socket 370) [Pentium III]
XP4 (SiS) ECS P4S5A2 (Socket 423) [Pentium 4]

The 6200 PCI didn't work at all until it was installed into the Pentium 4 motherboard. I tried 2 different power supplies with +12V of 18A (minimum required) and 32A (The 440BX board wouldn't power on with this power supply - too new). The 6200 worked with both power supplies, but only when these power supplies were connected to the ECS (Pentium 4) Motherboard.

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GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
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Reply 14 of 20, by rootinit

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Meatball wrote on 2022-06-03, 03:26:
In any case, the 6200 is looking for a minimum of 18A to be supplied by the +12V rail via PCI (pin A2). I just tried the 6200 […]
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rootinit wrote on 2022-06-02, 23:22:
386SX wrote on 2022-06-02, 12:07:

I have a 256MB PCI FX 5200 128bit and it's interesting to see that it's already quite power demanding so I can imagine the FX 5500 overclocked.. Looking at the GPU package printed codes it seems they were using some different version of the NV34 gpu I don't know if actually different why and where, I imagine oriented for the low power PCI bus. It's not the most power demanding PCI card anyway, looking at the watt meter at the plug, the GT610 PCI when stressed seems to push a lot the single PCI bus used on the board I tested it on. But on a multiple PCI mainboard I wonder how much other PCI cards can decrease the stability.

Does anyone know if these sorts of power requirements from the bus are dictated by PCI versions?

In any case, the 6200 is looking for a minimum of 18A to be supplied by the +12V rail via PCI (pin A2). I just tried the 6200 in the following configurations:

440BX Intel SE440BX-2 (Slot 1) [Pentium II & III]
i815 Intel D815EEA (Socket 370) [Pentium III]
XP4 (SiS) ECS P4S5A2 (Socket 423) [Pentium 4]

The 6200 PCI didn't work at all until it was installed into the Pentium 4 motherboard. I tried 2 different power supplies with +12V of 18A (minimum required) and 32A (The 440BX board wouldn't power on with this power supply - too new). The 6200 worked with both power supplies, but only when these power supplies were connected to the ECS (Pentium 4) Motherboard.

This is super helpful info. Thank you very much for doing that. Interesting about the PSU not working with that board though, since mine works fine with a modern one. So I'm guessing the FX 5200 is still probably the winner in that case? Since I do have a modern PSU, maybe at the least, I could do my own test and find a seller who is willing to take returns.

IBM ThinkPad 755Cs (Win 3.11) • IBM ThinkPad 365x (Win 98SE) • IBM ThinkPad TransNote (Win 2k)
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Reply 15 of 20, by Meatball

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rootinit wrote on 2022-06-03, 04:46:
Meatball wrote on 2022-06-03, 03:26:
In any case, the 6200 is looking for a minimum of 18A to be supplied by the +12V rail via PCI (pin A2). I just tried the 6200 […]
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rootinit wrote on 2022-06-02, 23:22:

Does anyone know if these sorts of power requirements from the bus are dictated by PCI versions?

In any case, the 6200 is looking for a minimum of 18A to be supplied by the +12V rail via PCI (pin A2). I just tried the 6200 in the following configurations:

440BX Intel SE440BX-2 (Slot 1) [Pentium II & III]
i815 Intel D815EEA (Socket 370) [Pentium III]
XP4 (SiS) ECS P4S5A2 (Socket 423) [Pentium 4]

The 6200 PCI didn't work at all until it was installed into the Pentium 4 motherboard. I tried 2 different power supplies with +12V of 18A (minimum required) and 32A (The 440BX board wouldn't power on with this power supply - too new). The 6200 worked with both power supplies, but only when these power supplies were connected to the ECS (Pentium 4) Motherboard.

This is super helpful info. Thank you very much for doing that. Interesting about the PSU not working with that board though, since mine works fine with a modern one. So I'm guessing the FX 5200 is still probably the winner in that case? Since I do have a modern PSU, maybe at the least, I could do my own test and find a seller who is willing to take returns.

Actually as of this morning the newer PSU powered up the 440BX. Corsair CX430. I thought it was for lack of -5v, which this one lists none and the other lists 0.5A. Either I didn’t connect up properly or the motherboard was just grumpy and had enough testing for the night.

I also tried the 6200 again with the CX430 and 440BX but still didn’t work.

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Reply 16 of 20, by appiah4

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BX440 is a fairly old chipset and newer PCI cards, particularly ones with AGP to PCI bridge chips, can be problematic on them.

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Reply 17 of 20, by imi

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Meatball wrote on 2022-06-03, 03:26:

In any case, the 6200 is looking for a minimum of 18A to be supplied by the +12V rail via PCI (pin A2). I just tried the 6200 in the following configurations:

I HIGHLY doubt that x3 that would burn the PCI slot in an instant, PCI pins aren't meant to handle that kind of current and iirc PCI in general is rated for a maximum of 25W and that's probably pulling mostly from 5V as there is only a single 12V pin (iirc PCI is rated for 1A per pin)

and then again the 6200 will probably barely pull around 20W, just look at the heatsink

Reply 18 of 20, by Meatball

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imi wrote on 2022-06-03, 12:59:
Meatball wrote on 2022-06-03, 03:26:

In any case, the 6200 is looking for a minimum of 18A to be supplied by the +12V rail via PCI (pin A2). I just tried the 6200 in the following configurations:

I HIGHLY doubt that x3 that would burn the PCI slot in an instant, PCI pins aren't meant to handle that kind of current and iirc PCI in general is rated for a maximum of 25W and that's probably pulling mostly from 5V as there is only a single 12V pin (iirc PCI is rated for 1A per pin)

and then again the 6200 will probably barely pull around 20W, just look at the heatsink

I shouldn't have read the 6200 specs as minimum 18A in the PCI line, rather minimum Power Supply specifications: This was a great opportunity to learn, you are right and now I have more clarity:

PCI 2.2 specs
4.3.4.1. Power Requirements
All PCI connectors require four power rails: +5V. +3.3V, +12V, and -12V. Systems that provide PCI connectors are required to provide all four rails in every system with the current budget specified in Table 4-10. Systems may optionally supply 3.3V power, as specified in the Pi 7 Bus Power Management Interface Specification. Systems that do not support PCI bus power management must treat the 3.3V pin as reserved.
Current requirements per connector for the two 12V rails are provided in Table 4-10. There are no specific system requirements for current per connector on the 5V and 3.3V rails; this is system dependent. Note that Section 4.4.2.2. requires that an expansion card must limit its total power consumption to 25 watts (from all power rails). The system provides a total power budget for PCI expansion boards that can be distributed between connectors in an arbitrary way. The PRSNTn# pins on the connector allow the system to optionally assess the power demand of each expansion board and determine if the installed configuration will run within the total power budget. Refer to Section 4.4.1. for further details.
Table 4-10 specifies the tolerances of supply rails. Note that these tolerances are to be guaranteed at the components not the supply.

Table 4-1U: Power Supply Rail Tolerances

Power Rail------Expansion Boards (Short and Long)
5 V ±5%--------5 A max. (system dependent)
3.3 V ±0.3 V---7.6 A max. (system dependent)
12 V ±5%------500 mA
-12 V±10%----100 mA

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2022 #QUAKE3totheMAX -560.5fps-
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Windows ME
NForce2 A7N8X-E DLX
Athlon 848/154MHz
DDR@411MHz (2-3-3-3)
GeForce 256 DDR@144/344MHz
ESS Maestr0-1