Retroview wrote on 2023-01-23, 21:18:
Virtual machines are good solutions, too. Sadly they don’t work for 3D right? I never tried much in that area, I always kept previous PCs as much as possible and have quite a collection today 🤣
Hi there! 3D acceleration isn't absolutely required for DirectX up to 6.1 or 7.
Up to this level, the software renderer in DirectX is fully capable of doing this all on its own.
Generally speaking, of course. Maybe there are exceptions.
What I mean to say is, that at the time, the software renderer was the reference, still.
3D hardware was still catching up with the Direct3D software renderer.
For a short time, MMX (introduced with later Pentiums) was able to assist DirectX, too. Or so it seemed.
Together with DirectDraw and a 2D accelerating graphics card, Direct3D did its magic*.
By the end of the 90s, the tides slowly turned. It was the 3D hardware which then took the lead.
Edit: Edited. OpenGL, Glide/MiniGL and other APIs existed in parallel, too.
Especially in the early Windows 95 days, various graphics APIs competed with each others.
Windows 98SE included OpenGL v1.1, albeit merely software rendered by default.
An update was available for Windows 95 OSR2, too.
Edit: Beware of VBE9x, as a video driver for Windows 9x in modern virtualizers.
VESA VBE is dog slow. I used it on Linux in the past, on real hardware. Everything used to cause a huge CPU utilization.
While VBE is nice as a fall-back, it's unsuitable for gaming. That's what VBE/AF was intended for.
At common desktop resolutions of 1024x768 up to 1600x1200 pixels, the pixel data to be handled unaccelerated solely by the CPU is just huge (an old S3 Trio as an accelerator runs circles around it).
Unfortunately, VBE/AF never made it. It was too late. Windows was already providing 2D acceleration back then, making it seem superfluous in the software industry.
(*That's why Virtual PC 2004/2007 used to so nice as a Windows 9x virtualizer, by the way.
The emulated hardware included an S3 Trio card, a fine 2D GUI accelerator.
It was chosen by Connectix in the 90s, when Virtual PC was meant to emulate a PC on a Power PC Macintosh.
Windows 95 was what Virtual PC aimed to support best.
Versions 2 and 3 could pass-through Voodoo 1 and 2 cards, because the endian-nes was compatible.
That's why Virtual PC was so much better for 9x than VMware and Virtual Box.
The emulated hardware was DOS/Win9x friendly. And OS/2 friendly, too.)
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