VOGONS


First post, by SammyFox

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I'm really curious, I remember back when trying out that game for the first time how there were those svga resolutions you could use for the game and I never could run higher than 640x480 without getting horrible performance, so I was wondering, WHAT kind of hardware would you have needed to play Duke3D on DOS at the maximum resolution of 1600x1200 with a playable frame rate?

Reply 1 of 12, by xjas

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Build really chokes at high resolutions; I suspect it's not even a CPU limitation at that point. The engine just doesn't scale. I did a bunch of benchmarks on a 3GHz P4 a while ago and was only able to get 14-19 FPS in a best-case scenario. Quake & Descent 2 ran WAY better despite being far more "advanced" engines.

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Reply 3 of 12, by infiniteclouds

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On my Socket 939 with an Athlon 64 4000+ CPU (2.4ghz) and WC enabled I'm able to get a locked 50 FPS in Duke Nukem 3D at 1600x1200. This is with a Geforce 3 -- I had first tested a Geforce 4 Ti4200 and Geforce FX5900 and the results were abysmal... so Build engine is picky about your GPU as well.

I get about 40 FPS in Quake Timedemo 1 at 1280x1024 on the same machine -- so when it comes to software rendering at the highest resolutions the answer is: As fast/late as you can go without giving up a PCI slot that still works with sound cards for DOS. I've yet to determine what that is.

Reply 4 of 12, by DosDaddy

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I'm on a 3.8ghz P4 and don't get anywhere near as may FPS' as I should be getting at that resolution. Re-stating what was said above, there's a bottleneck, most likely in the video hardware as well as in the engine itself, but there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Decent and fast VESA support is virtually nonexistent for rigs that new, and on top of that, Athlon's never really worked well with Build games in my personal experience, which I presume isn't everyone's.

Reply 5 of 12, by Standard Def Steve

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I'm almost certain that I ran Duke Nukem 3D smoothly at 1280 or 1600 through DOSBox on a 4.6GHz i7 (which I think can emulate something like a 1.4GHz P3 with all of the DOS video bottlenecks removed). I'll have to check it out when I get back home from work.

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Reply 6 of 12, by Falcosoft

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Even a P4 3GHz+ would not be enough if your VGA is not properly configured under DOS. The problem is many PCI soundcards require a TSR to provide DOS support and the TSR's depend on EMM386 (or equivalent) memory manager. When EMM386 is active setting the linear frame buffer of the VGA to Write Combining has no effect. The higher the resolution the higher the penalty is. Also some video cards can be slow before the Windows driver sets the proper clocks/configuration. So Build games can be much faster under Win9x's DOS box than in plain DOS. E.g. one of my cards (Geforce 6600) have a terrible configured BIOS default that makes it very slow under pure DOS but not in Windows:

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Reply 7 of 12, by RogueTrip2012

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enabling something like fastvid or mtrrlfbe i get around high 40's and 50's on my 1.4 p3 and a fx5900 at 1024x768. Might get 20 to 30's around 16x12 maybe. I dont have my giant crt hooked up to check that res.

> W98SE . P3 1.4S . 512MB . Q.FX3K . SB Live! . 64GB SSD
>WXP/W8.1 . AMD 960T . 8GB . GTX285 . SB X-Fi . 128GB SSD
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Reply 8 of 12, by Standard Def Steve

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Tried it out on my Win98 machine as well as on DOSBox. I couldn't get DOSBox to work at 1600x1200. It complained about not having a compatible VESA driver for that resolution.

1280x1024, Win98SE, Celeron-1400, 440BX, Voodoo3 3000 AGP
Low: 33 FPS
High: 57 FPS
Average (walking around with no enemies on screen): ~45 FPS

1280x1024, DOSBox 0.74 on Win7, i7-4930K @ 4.6GHz
Low: 45 FPS
High: 140 FPS
Average: ~75 FPS

So based on that, I'd guess that DOSBox on a fast machine would be able to handle it smoothly at 1600x1200.
The 1.4GHz Celeron would probably average under 30 fps at 1600x1200, but I'm guessing that most P4s above 2GHz would handle it fairly well.

Standard Def Rigs
Super P3: PIII-S @ 1.63 GHz/FSB155 | 2GB DDR-310 | 6800GT AGP | 500GB 7200 RPM
Super G4: 2x PowerPC 7455 @ 1.5 GHz | 2GB DDR-333 | 7800GS AGP | 300GB 10k RPM
Super G5: 4x PowerPC 970 @ 2.5 GHz | 16GB DDR2-533 | x1950XT PCIe | 512GB SSD

Reply 9 of 12, by xjas

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Standard Def Steve wrote:
Tried it out on my Win98 machine as well as on DOSBox. I couldn't get DOSBox to work at 1600x1200. It complained about not havin […]
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Tried it out on my Win98 machine as well as on DOSBox. I couldn't get DOSBox to work at 1600x1200. It complained about not having a compatible VESA driver for that resolution.

1280x1024, Win98SE, Celeron-1400, 440BX, Voodoo3 3000 AGP
Low: 33 FPS
High: 57 FPS
Average (walking around with no enemies on screen): ~45 FPS

[...]

The 1.4GHz Celeron would probably average under 30 fps at 1600x1200, but I'm guessing that most P4s above 2GHz would handle it fairly well.

^^ that wasn't borne out by my results at all, but I did them on a pure DOS machine using FastVid (and UMBPCI as recommended by the FastVid docs.) Where's the discrepancy coming from, is it just because of Win98?

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Reply 10 of 12, by Falcosoft

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xjas wrote:

^^ that wasn't borne out by my results at all, but I did them on a pure DOS machine using FastVid (and UMBPCI as recommended by the FastVid docs.) Where's the discrepancy coming from, is it just because of Win98?

It's not impossible.
1024x768 Athlon XP 1800Mhz + Geforce 6600 (with tweaked BIOS. Boot clock from 10 MHz to 300 MHz) L.A. Meltdown (measured with DNRATE command) :
1. DOS + FASTVID (Active WC without sound since SBLive would require EMM386):
40-45 FPS
2. DOS + FASTVID (with sound + non-active WC because of EMM386):
33-38 FPS
3. Win98SE Dosbox with sound (or Win98 restarted in MS-DOS mode !):
78-92 FPS

Also right after boot in pure DOS the maximum available VESA resolution is 1024x768.
After booting to Win98SE (even when you reboot into MS-DOS mode) 1280x1024 and 1400x1050 are also availabe. So:

4. 1400x1050 Win98SE Dosbox with sound (or Win98 restarted in MS-DOS mode !):
45-51 FPS

@Edit: a bonus result in WinXP
5. 1400x1050 Windows XP without sound + NOLFB:
15-20 FPS

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Reply 12 of 12, by cyclone3d

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And that is with DOSBOX, even the current SVN, being horribly optimized. It has been that way for years and years.

Once I get a few of my projects done, I am going to remake my optimized version with even more optimizations than I did years ago. The speed increase I had years ago was about 20% less CPU cycles needed to run games at the same speed as the standard DOSBOX build.

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