VOGONS


First post, by aarondavid47

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Hey guys,
I've recently discovered an old Pentium 166 build in my parent's attic.
The specs are:
Pentium-s 166mhz (non mmx) overclocked to 188mhz
Sis 6215 (1 mb VRAM) video card
256 MB SDRAM
4 GB Seagate IDE Hard drive
Jamicon SM-P5TX3 (Intel 430TX) motherboard
Windows 98 SE

I wanted to try a few 1998-2000 games like Midtown madness, Age of empires 1 & 2 and run emulators like zsnes and nestical. Unfortunately the Sis 6215 is crappy and has only 1 mb of VRAM.
So i ordered an ATI Rage XL 8mb PCI VGA graphics card off amazon. It looks like these are the only PCI graphics cards still in production. Anyways, i tried installing the graphics card into the motherboard but its does not post. I only get the error beep sounds that after checking up what they mean i found out that it means that the motherboard hasnt detected a video card.
Could you plz help me on what is to be done? I tried enabling PCI 2.1 compliance in the BIOS. It still gives me the error beep codes
The ATI Rage XL comes with a universal 3.3v and 5v connector. My motherboard has a 5v slot.

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Reply 1 of 18, by Ydee

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Some PCI VGA cards wont work on older mobos, I have 2 (TNT2 M64 16MB, 3,3 and 5V keyed - on Asus P/I P55SP4 only beep, no boot, on PC CHIPS M590 no beep, no boot, same as on Compaq Deskpro EN 350 SFF - but worked fine on modern mobos like MSI K8N NEO V2 or KT4AV. Second is ATI Rage LT Pro 8MB, only 5V key, same result- work only on modern mobos. For older I must use another version TNT2 M64 (Inno3d 32MB), Voodoo3 2000 or old S3 Virge DX. I dont know, what is reason....

Reply 2 of 18, by Hoping

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I have the same graphics card and had what I think is the same issue, I bought it for a system that has a crappy sis 6202 but it didn't post, the board is a ga586ipv from dfi, 430vx AT. But on MSI 5148 430tx atx board, it works, so I tried it on another board, a pcchips A101, also AT and also 430vx, and again nothing, so from what I've read on another posts here, I think that these cards need 3.3 volts present on the pci slot and not all AT boards have it mainly because the AT psu does not have it.
it's a shame because these rage xl are cheap and in d3d they should be superior to a voodoo 1 and a pentium cpu should be a bottleneck for then.

Reply 3 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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it's a shame because these rage xl are cheap and in d3d they should be superior to a voodoo 1

Rage XL is just rehashed Rage Pro chip. Which can trade blows with Voodoo Graphics, but overall more unstable with framerate. Not to mention subpar image quality.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 4 of 18, by Hoping

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Didn't notice the diference in image quality, possible my eyes aren't well trained, the other problem with these ragexl cards are the drivers, I sufered it and it's a shame. But a voodoo... 50€ minimun, a ragexl made in china... 15€ more or less. The price of voodoo cards is ridiculous, for me this is a hobby I don't colect, I wan't to use what I buy. And in last year I lost two voodoo 1 cards and one voodoo rush because they wanted to die, one day working great and the next day, RIP.

Reply 5 of 18, by Putas

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Rage XL will render 3d games sharper than Voodoo Graphics. On the other hand, your card uses 32-bit memory interface. Better to look for 64 bit one to have a performance advantage as well. Used cards are plentiful.

Reply 7 of 18, by Tetrium

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Hoping wrote on 2021-02-27, 16:30:

I wonder, thinking on price/performance ratio, what's the best graphics card, or what's the cheapest pci card with good performance, that's what I was loking for when I bought the ragexl pci.

Prices are always fluctuating. What is cheap now may be overpriced (or unobtainable) a year from now.
And what does best price/performance mean in retro computer gaming? If you want fast, just get the PCI card with the highest benchmark results, but newer cards will probably break compatibility with older games and older hardware.

If you want best compatibility for DOS games for the best prices, perhaps DOSBox would be the best pick for you? 😜

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Reply 9 of 18, by Hoping

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In that post the hypothesis is the PCI version, 2.1/2.2 but the OP here says that his graphics card didn't post on a 430TX chipset and I have the same graphics card on a 430tx chipset, so this leaves the motherboard's BIOS, the VGA BIOS, the AT/ATX specs and the motherboard itself, but the PCI spec, I don't know, my guess is no.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-03-06, 01:08. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 10 of 18, by Repo Man11

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Hoping wrote on 2021-02-27, 20:13:

In that post the hypothesis is the PCI version, 2.1/2.2 but the OP here says that his graphics card didn't post on a 430TX chipset and I have the same graphics card on a 430tx chipset, so this leaves the motherboard's BIOS, the VGA BIOS, the AT/ATX specs and the motherboard itself, but the PCI spec, I don't know, my guess is no.

Yeah, the ATI 9200 128 in that photo works fine in a Biostar MB8500, but it won't POST in my Asus TXP4 - both have the TX chipset. But more to the point, the 64 megabyte ATI 7000 PCI card works in my picky TXP4, so there's an excellent chance that it will also work in the OP's motherboard, and those cards are inexpensive.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-03-06, 01:08. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 11 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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Probably some problem with 3.3v regulator on the board.

but it won't POST in my Asus TXP4

AFAIK you can boot 3.3v cards just fine with ATX connector, because this board doesn't have onboard regulator.

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Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 12 of 18, by Hoping

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I'm not so good at electronics, but I was wondering if it's posible to mod those rage xl to work with the 5 volt line. In another thread someone posted a method to add the 3.3 volt line to a motherboard that doesn't have it. That may solve the OPs isue. The Radeon 7000 PCI is around 3 times the price of the rage xl, at least here, and a Radeon 7000 is wasted on a Pentium cpu.

Reply 13 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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and a Radeon 7000 is wasted on a Pentium cpu.

Depends. Even with driver overhead, it's massively better than abominations based on Rage Pro.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2021-02-28, 18:34. Edited 1 time in total.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 14 of 18, by Hoping

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Ok, I won't say you are wrong because probably, you are right and I don't have a radeon 7000 PCI to test 😉. And I think that there isn't much love for the rage cards. I also see they aren't the best. But I think they had good quality becase I've seen so many still working great nowadays. In fact back then I prefered to install an ati rage instead of any other one as a basic vga, and they never failed on me, not like others.

Reply 15 of 18, by matze79

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Radeon 7000 PCI Mac Edition is nice if you want DVI, as you can flash PC Bios.

But otherwise, i think a 3Dfx V1 suits a P200MMX best, maybe a v2 8mB.
Maybe a Savage 4 or a Matrox G200, or a Permedia 2.. oh man so much choices..

And today ? only 2 ..

Radeon has big Driver overhead.. would not choose it for a Super 7 Platform at all, unless DVI is needed.

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Reply 16 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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Permedia 2 is just a bad card, with horrible DOS support. Matrox G200 is fine, but somewhat slow. Savage 4 is absolutely fine and very tweakable, but somewhat scarce in PCI form.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 17 of 18, by douglar

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The rage pro & rage pro XL have their fair share of short comings, but they can be decent choice for some older systems ( < 166Mhz ) because they have an on chip triangle setup engine that reduced the CPU load when rendering 3d scenes. They can shine on some a slower systems if you don't play games that do a lot of alpha blending. But back in the day, the cards were murdered in the reviews because of buggy first gen drivers, failing to render the latest games correctly, and if you had a Pentium II system, the cards were clearly slower than the competition. And that was for the top end Rage Pro/ Rage XL implementations. Your particular card looks like a cheap copy of an ATI 109-72300-10, which came out years later and was a cost reduced model (32bit SDRAM ) that wasn't intended for gaming. Your card is a knock off of a cost reduced model. It is hard for me to imagine that compatibility or performance ( or durability) were primary goals of a manufacturer who builds a card like that.

The first thing I'd check to see is if your CPU over clock is causing the PCI bus to run faster than 33Mhz. Try reducing the speed to stock settings and see if that helps. I would not be surprised if the signal tolerances were kind of narrow on that card.

If it still fails, see if you can track down an ATX system with a PCI slot and test the card there. If it works, I suspect that the card might require the 3.3v power, even though it is keyed to work in either type of slot. You could probably try to feed 3.3V in to the card some how, you know for the sake of science or whatever, but you are probably better off looking for a better card.

Reply 18 of 18, by The Serpent Rider

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The rage pro & rage pro XL have their fair share of short comings, but they can be decent choice for some older systems ( < 166Mhz ) because they have an on chip triangle setup engine that reduced the CPU load when rendering 3d scenes.

As many other early 3D accelerators, Rage Pro family of cards is plagued with double-buffered Vsync frame rate swings, especially on slower systems. But disabling it via Powerstrip can cause image corruption.
Later cards does not exhibit such behaviour without Vsync and may force triple-buffered Vsync.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me