First post, by NScaleTransitModels
After extensive searching on Ebay, I managed to score a ATI Mach32 VLB with 2mb DRAM, model # EXM229:
I was excited to throw it into my 486DX2-66 VLB system (PCChips M601), thinking it would be a huge upgrade over the atrocious TVGA9200CXR. As soon as I powered it up, I noticed that the text became "chunky" all of a sudden, like the Mach32 was operating in CGA mode. Here's what the BIOS screen now looks like:
Here's what the same screen should look like, with a GD5429 ISA:
At first I thought that was just the way the Mach32 displayed text, but Windows 95 won't boot AT ALL. Not even in safe mode. It locks up the computer within seconds of hitting the boot splash. What's even weirder is that when I tried reinstalling Win95, the reinstall went fine and there were no issues with the first boot. The desktop loaded fine with no graphical glitches. I did some quick playback testing (more on that below) and rebooted; it went back to the same issue with Win95 hanging up on the splash. I don't have any of these issues with the GD5429 ISA.
After some more searching, I found that there is a Mach32 utility, INSTALL.EXE, that can set the video mode when booting up. Thinking that my card was set to CGA mode or something, I ran it but didn't see anything out of the ordinary:
Does anyone know what could be wrong with my Mach32 and why it's displaying weird text, or why it hangs up Win95? If I have a bad card, it is not too late to reach out to the Ebay seller. It was tested according to him (to what extent IDK) and has warranty.
As a side note, video playback on this machine seems very sluggish as well. A 180p Cinepak AVI plays fine at 640x480x8bpp on my 386DX-40 rig, and just about plays at 640x480x16bpp. Yet on the 486DX2-66, it won't smoothly play the same file at the same settings w/ the same GD5429 ISA and just barely manages on the Mach32. (the only time I got it to boot) This leads me to believe something's iffy w/ my setup but don't have another working VLB system to test. Also DOS benchmarks look fine, eg. Topbench of 123 on the 486 even w/ GD5429. What gives, how could a 386DX-40/ ISA beat a 486DX2-66/ VLB for video playback?
- ECS FX-3000; 386DX-40@50; ET4000AX, ISA 1mb
- Acer VI9; 486DLC-40; Mach32, VLB 2mb
- Chicony CH-471A; CX486s-40; Mach32, VLB 2mb
- Gateway 2000 P5-60; Pentium-60@66; S3 928, PCI 3mb
- DTK PKM-0033S; AM5x86-133@160