VOGONS


First post, by Sephiroth, The Great

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I would like to use Windows 98SE or ME with GeForce GPU on AGP + Voodoo on PCI.
For GeForce AGP I would like it to be FX 59x0 or 6800 (any I could find).
For Voodoo PCI I dont't care I just want Voodoo on PCI. It can be any Voodoo. It could be standalone (2D+3D) GPU Voodoo 3/4/5 or 3D accelerator Voodoo 1/2.
But I would like very much to be able to choose the hardware (Voodoo or GeForce) to render the 3D game (for each and every game). A lot of games have config menus to choose this. But I would like also to be able to do this for games which don't provide this config menus. Is that possible and how? I read some topics that suggest strongly it is possible (something about PowerStrip or 3DCC - 3D Control Center if there is no other options).
Also which configuration would be better for this: GeForce + Voodoo 3/4/5 (GPU) or GeForce + Voodoo 1/2 (3D accelerator). I read somewhere here suggesting that the latter is better for what I want because the Voodoo in the case is the 3D accelerator not GPU and it somehow makes the thing I want easier. Is that true and why?
I also wonder how would it look cable configuration wise if I would and up with GeForce + Voodoo 2 SLI for example? Both connected together with SLI, Voodoo connected with GeForce. And then Voodoo and GeForce both to monitor or only 1 of them and passes the signal also from the other one?
Also I wonder which GeForce is better here: FX 59x0 or 6800. I know that FX 59x0 has better compatibility with older drivers and games but is a lot less powerful. In this case compatibility is not a problem because Voodoo will take care of older titles. In this case power seems more important because this is pretty extremely powerful Windows 98SE/ME PC with 775Dual-VSTA and Core 2 Duo (3.06 GHz) so I would like to use that power with some high resolution, high refresh rates, anti-aliasing and filtering and I see no reason to go for FX 59x0 over 6800 in this case. Compatibility loss with older titles would be compensated by Voodoo. Would do you guys think about GeForce decision in this case?

Reply 1 of 21, by Gmlb256

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GeForce + Voodoo2 (not the original Voodoo Graphics card due to speed-sensitivity problems with that computer), you don't have to deal switching between AGP and PCI for the primary card and the Voodoo2 always gets treated as a secondary adapter in D3D games. This has a trade-off regarding the VGA passthrough which the output quality varies on the cable.

Between the two GeForce cards, will you be playing games that uses SM2.0 and 3.0? If not, then get the GeForce FX 59x0.

VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2A @ 1.46 GHz | ASUS P2-99 | 256 MB PC133 SDRAM | GeForce3 Ti 200 64 MB | Voodoo2 12 MB | SBLive! | AWE64 | SBPro2 | GUS

Reply 2 of 21, by chinny22

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I've 2 rigs.
GF4 MX paired with Voodoo 2 SLI
GF4 Ti paired with Voodoo 3 2000 (with 2 screens attached)

I prefer a voodoo card without 2D support, just makes everything much easier. Glide will always goto the Voodoo everything else to your AGP card.

The other system plays mostly well. AGP card is set to Primary in BIOS so any non glide game will default to AGP. Not many games allow you to select the secondary card (in my case the V3) Gluide will always output to the Voodoo.
Only 1 game doesn't like this setup (Poweslide) for this I have to disable the AGP card in Device Manager and reboot, so not massive problem. but it's more messing round then the top system so I just don't.

I also have a system with GF6800 Ultra and never use it, lots of games work fine but nothing in Win98 needs the extra grunt and incompatibility means I don't use that rig much.
I like the idea of using the 3DFX card when you hit the compatibility issues though. Powerstip or whatever may work, or just disable it in Device Manager like I do.

Reply 3 of 21, by Sephiroth, The Great

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2023-11-20, 01:08:

not the original Voodoo Graphics card due to speed-sensitivity problems with that computer

That part is interesting. Could elaborate a little?
Another (than I previously mentioned) reason that I am leaning towards GeForce 6800 is the fact that it is easier to get, cheaper and more powerful. I found not a bad deal on GeForce 6800 LE (which is the weakest 6800 but still more powerful than FX 5950 Ultra) which can be probably BIOS modded to higher 6800 (and if not then there is also software modding/unlocking pipelines and overclocking). Also it would be fun to push Windows 98SE/ME to limits and max resolutions, frame rates, use max AA and filtering and also maybe experiment with DirectX 9 games (which are no go on FX series) and KernelX (for that 6800 is definetely better and real full DirectX 9.0c helps and not that poor DirectX 9 implementation in FX series). Potential drawbacks with older titles should be covered with Voodoo. That's the plan at least for the moment. I hope that my reasoning is corect and that it makes senses and that it could work that way. All infos and suggestions are welcomed.

Reply 4 of 21, by Gmlb256

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Sephiroth, The Great wrote on 2023-11-20, 02:42:
Gmlb256 wrote on 2023-11-20, 01:08:

not the original Voodoo Graphics card due to speed-sensitivity problems with that computer

That part is interesting. Could elaborate a little?

With a CPU faster than 400-500 MHz, the DOS Glide libraries for the Voodoo Graphics card has initialization problems, mainly being stuck on black screen or displaying a distorted screen. Its D3D support, which is a part to deal with potential drawbacks, isn't better with texture corruption problems.

VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2A @ 1.46 GHz | ASUS P2-99 | 256 MB PC133 SDRAM | GeForce3 Ti 200 64 MB | Voodoo2 12 MB | SBLive! | AWE64 | SBPro2 | GUS

Reply 5 of 21, by Sephiroth, The Great

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I will be getting all cards (Voodoo 2, GeForce FX 59x0 and GeForce 6800). I want to test both variants: GeForce FX 59x0 + Voodoo 2 (SLI) and GeForce 6800 + Voodoo 2 (SLI). What (games) should I test to see which setup is better/more versatile? Should GeForce be also connected to monitor or only Voodoo?

Reply 6 of 21, by Sephiroth, The Great

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1st/top slot (AGP) is GeForce 6800 LE (still waiting for FX 5900 to arrive).
2nd slot (PCI-E) is GeForce GTX 570 (580 is too big) and will be used for Windows 2000/XP (x64). Currently taken out when testing Windows 98SE/ME to give more air for others.
3rd slot (PCI) covered by GTX 570 and can't be used.
4th slot (PCI) Voodoo 2 12MB.
5th slot (PCI) is waiting for me to grab another Voodoo 2 to do SLI.
6th slot (PCI) Audigy 2ZS sound card.
I am kinda worried about cooling it and how will it work when everything would be connected. GTX 570 completely blocks fans of the above GeForce 6800 LE.

Reply 7 of 21, by Sephiroth, The Great

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This quest with Windows 9x is a huge pain in the ass. Those Windows 9x systems family are extremely stupid and/or they don't like newer systems. There are many weird nuances and interactions that can break almost everything immediately, for example:
1. Windows 98SE installer won't/can't continue with GeForce 6800. Everything works if I insert GeForce 6800 after installing Windows. But I can't install Windows 98SE with GeForce 6800. Installer works with previous generation GPUs and 6800 is fine overall.
2. Windows ME clean install breaks completely and looks like is unrecoverable if I leave it for too long not doing anything and it goes standby/hibernation and it is completely broken after that. It seems it messes with HDD (in this case SSD with converter to IDE). It "destroys" HDD and can't recognize it. It even after that is not recognized in/by BIOS (which is weird). I once tried to connect it to modern computer to see what happened and all folders and files were messed up badly. Disk is working fine. After powering off, reconnecting, and powering on everything goes to normal. It only gets "broken" if (clean) Windows ME installation goes to standby/hibernation. When I installed enormous amounts of updates to ME I think it got fixed but I wonder which one of those updates fixed it?
I've had enough of this retro build I would like to wrap it up. I would like to go with Windows ME (I won't be using DOS (games), it is too fast for DOS and I like the usage of USB pendrives on ME) and I want to finish it pain-free with least amount of errors and bugs. Any recommendations to make that happen?
I started testing GeForce FX 5900XT. But the lowest compatible driver is 53.04. I tried INF modding lower driver versions and I was able to install those modded versions but they still did not work correctly or did not work at all (or am I supposed to do something else after/besides text modding INF file?). Then I tried BIOS flashing GeForce FX 5900XT -> GeForce FX 5950 Ultra. At first I tried nvflash. But it did not work for me at all (it was unable to create, open and save new and old BIOS files). Then I tried WFFLASH.EXE and it worked like a charm. It reports now as GeForce FX 5950 Ultra. But still/also 53.04 driver is officialy lowest for GeForce FX 5950 (Ultra). My modded drivers did work the same as previously (meaning did not work). So still at 53.04. Then I got an idea that I could try GeForce FX 5900 Ultra BIOS. But this BIOS is nowhere to be found nowadays (known to me sites that had it are not working anymore). Maybe someone has this (GeForce FX 5900 Ultra) BIOS and is willing to upload it and share with me? I would appreciate it. It would help me a lot.

Reply 8 of 21, by Sephiroth, The Great

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Found some 5900 Ultra BIOS (Asus). Flashed it. It broke the GPU. Found another 5900 Ultra BIOS (EVGA). Flashed it. GPU worked. But still any drivers below 5x.xx did not work. But they should work with FX 5900 Ultra. I decided to try Windows 98 SE. Under Windows 98 SE it is impossible to install any nvidia drivers (system does not detect any nvidia GPU). Under Windows ME there is no such a problem. So I decided to try FX 5900 (non-ultra BIOS because Ultras usually have 256MB and XT had 128MB so I decided to try non-ultra; hoped for more compatibility) but it did not also work very well. So this flashing BIOS and INF modding drivers in order to be able to use older drivers is useless and does not work at all.
Finding FX 5900 (Ultra) or FX 5800 (Ultra) or Quadro FX 2000/3000 is either near-impossible or too pricey in Europe or there are 2-slot construction (which is no go).
So the options left on the table for the Windows ME (Windows 98 SE is bad and no go) OS part for/of this machine are Voodoo 2 SLI + (another GPU):
1. GeForce FX 5900XT flashed to BFG 5950 Ultra (that seemed to be ok) + DirectX 8.1/8.2 + driver 53.04 or higher.
2. GeForce 6800LE (maybe I will flash it to another 6800 or not) + DirectX 9.0c + driver 61.76 or higher.
3. I could try buying Quadro FX 1000 and mod it to FX 5800 (Ultra) + DirectX 8.1/8.2. But I am not sure how I feel about that option about buying card that is weaker that 2 of the above and more expensive that 2 of the above and if it will even work as assumed (well) for in theory maybe being able to use driver 43-45 versions.
4. Is it possible to mod Quadro FX 3000 to 1-slot. But that price is not attracting me. It should work with 45.23 driver + DirectX 8.1/8.2.
5. Maybe GeForce 5600 with lower drivers + DirectX 8.1/8.2. But it would be weaker card.
6. GeForce4 Ti 4200 maybe? But I could end getting 64MB/x4 AGP version + DirectX 8.1/8.2 and old drivers.
What is best option?
The goal is a mix of best compatibility and maximum graphics computing power and least errors possible.

Last edited by Sephiroth, The Great on 2023-12-18, 18:33. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 9 of 21, by Joseph_Joestar

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There's no need to flash your card to use older drivers. I'm using 45.23 on my 5900XT just fine. What you need to do is run the installer once, so that it can unpack the files into C:\Nvidia\45.23 or something. Then, when the installer fails to detect the card, exit the installation process.

After that, go to Device Manager, find the entry for your graphics card (should be something like Standard VGA). Right click on that entry to manually update the driver, select Have Disk and point it to C:\Nvidia\45.23 or whatever. It should offer you a list of cards to pick from. Choose GeForce FX 5900 and the rest of the install process will continue normally.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 10 of 21, by Sephiroth, The Great

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The problem is Windows 98 SE does not detect nvidia GPU with ALL driver versions installers and because of that installers can't install drivers.
On Windows ME it is opposite: I can install any driver version I want but after installation (some or all of them depedning on GPU BIOS) don't work (but 4x.xx always don't work).

Reply 12 of 21, by Joseph_Joestar

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Sephiroth, The Great wrote on 2023-12-17, 16:07:

There is no unpacking process after running the installer like with newer/current drivers. All files are accessible next to installer.

You probably downloaded an already unpacked version. Nvidia's official release (which is mirrored here) has an installer and needs to be unpacked. The default location for that is C:\Nvidia\ followed by the driver version number and such.

Like I said before, after unpacking the driver, you need to manually update the graphics card entry in Device Manager. The key to this is finding and selecting the "Have Disk" option and then pointing it to the unpacked driver location. Only then will you be presented with a list of graphics cards.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 13 of 21, by Sephiroth, The Great

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Tried this and in my case it does not work. No matter what I do the card only works with driver 53.04 and up.
So what is the best choice to work along Voodoo 2 SLI under Windows ME:
1. GeForce FX 5900XT flashed to FX 5950 Ultra (which seemed to be ok) + driver 53.04 or higher.
2. GeForce 6800LE (maybe I will flash it to another 6800 or not) + driver 61.76 or higher.
3. GeForce FX 5600 (Ultra) seems to be compatible with lower drivers (non-Ultra are cheap).
4. GeForce FX 5200 (Ultra) seems to be compatible with lower drivers (non-Ultra are cheap).
5. Quadro FX 500 seems to be compatible with lower drivers (there are some offers but not sure how much is it really worth?).
6. GeForce4 Ti 4200 128MB AGP 8x version (found very nice offer for that but is that true they are prone to failure?).
Other options are too expensive. So which of these options is the best? The goal is to have best mixture of compatibility and maximum graphics computing power (highest resolutions like 1600x1200 and highest AA and etc. with 60FPS if possible) and least errors possible and to cover (being able to run together with Voodoo 2 SLI - either this GPU or Voodoo 2 SLI) widest pre-DirectX9 range of games possible under Windows ME (no DOS games) and I will NOT use KernelEX. The CPU Core 2 Duo E7600 (3.067 GHz) should not bottleneck any of the above GPUs and it would be nice if GPU would be on-par with CPU (if possible).

Reply 16 of 21, by chinny22

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GeForce4 Ti 4200 128MB AGP 8x version (found very nice offer for that but is that true they are prone to failure?)
If it's a nice offer I'd take it. I don't think these things fail any more/less then the FX series (I've a Ti 4600 running well for number of years)

Reply 18 of 21, by Joseph_Joestar

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Sephiroth, The Great wrote on 2023-12-23, 09:51:

Too bad GeForce FX 5900XT can't work with 45.23 driver.

That's due to some issue that seems to be specific to your system. Maybe a clean install of Windows would help.

In this thread you can see @candle_86 and several other forum members forcing the 45.23 driver installation, and it worked fine for them. For me, the "Have Disk" approach has been the most reliable one, but what is described in that thread is valid as well.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 19 of 21, by Sephiroth, The Great

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Tried all this solutions with clean install Windows. No matter what I do driver 45.23 won't install. But driver 53.04 works fine. It is a Gigabyte GeForce FX 5900XT (GV-N59X128D) and motherboard is Asrock 775Dual-VSTA.

Last edited by Sephiroth, The Great on 2023-12-23, 20:35. Edited 1 time in total.