VOGONS


First post, by leonardo

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So I decided to get back to my hobby, and realised one of my retro rigs didn't make a lot of sense.

The 1 GHz Pentium III was held back a little too much by the PCI graphics card for the later games in my collection I keep it around for, and thus I decided to explore if upgrading the video card (and Windows) would be a worthwhile venture. My theory was that despite having to reduce the CPU clock from 1 GHz by a hefty 250 MHz to get the AGP bus back to the specced 66 MHz, the difference in upgrading my RivaTNT2 to an early GeForce or Radeon would make up the difference.

I was right. At 750 MHz and with a Radeon 9200 the system runs late 90's/early 2000's 3D games with a considerable improvement in performance compared to 1 GHz with a PCI based RivaTNT2. For any other apps I really can't tell the difference between a 750 MHz and a 1 GHz P III, though I'm sure it would show in benchmarks.

My question to you is this:
Are there video cards from the era with comparable performance to that of the Radeon 9200 that can also handle an overclocked AGP bus?
I ask because I want to figure out if I'm settling on this Radeon 9200 in AGP 1x mode. It sure would be nice to be able to run the CPU and RAM at 133 MHz FSB.

Full rig details are in the sig.

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 1 of 12, by darry

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leonardo wrote on 2021-01-13, 22:35:
So I decided to get back to my hobby, and realised one of my retro rigs didn't make a lot of sense. […]
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So I decided to get back to my hobby, and realised one of my retro rigs didn't make a lot of sense.

The 1 GHz Pentium III was held back a little too much by the PCI graphics card for the later games in my collection I keep it around for, and thus I decided to explore if upgrading the video card (and Windows) would be a worthwhile venture. My theory was that despite having to reduce the CPU clock from 1 GHz by a hefty 250 MHz to get the AGP bus back to the specced 66 MHz, the difference in upgrading my RivaTNT2 to an early GeForce or Radeon would make up the difference.

I was right. At 750 MHz and with a Radeon 9200 the system runs late 90's/early 2000's 3D games with a considerable improvement in performance compared to 1 GHz with a PCI based RivaTNT2. For any other apps I really can't tell the difference between a 750 MHz and a 1 GHz P III, though I'm sure it would show in benchmarks.

My question to you is this:
Are there video cards from the era with comparable performance to that of the Radeon 9200 that can also handle an overclocked AGP bus?
I ask because I want to figure out if I'm settling on this Radeon 9200 in AGP 1x mode. It sure would be nice to be able to run the CPU and RAM at 133 MHz FSB.

Full rig details are in the sig.

Look here : 440BX 133Mhz FSB 89Mhz AGP Video Card Compatibility? agp#p500328

Reply 2 of 12, by leonardo

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darry wrote on 2021-01-13, 22:45:
leonardo wrote on 2021-01-13, 22:35:
So I decided to get back to my hobby, and realised one of my retro rigs didn't make a lot of sense. […]
Show full quote

So I decided to get back to my hobby, and realised one of my retro rigs didn't make a lot of sense.

The 1 GHz Pentium III was held back a little too much by the PCI graphics card for the later games in my collection I keep it around for, and thus I decided to explore if upgrading the video card (and Windows) would be a worthwhile venture. My theory was that despite having to reduce the CPU clock from 1 GHz by a hefty 250 MHz to get the AGP bus back to the specced 66 MHz, the difference in upgrading my RivaTNT2 to an early GeForce or Radeon would make up the difference.

I was right. At 750 MHz and with a Radeon 9200 the system runs late 90's/early 2000's 3D games with a considerable improvement in performance compared to 1 GHz with a PCI based RivaTNT2. For any other apps I really can't tell the difference between a 750 MHz and a 1 GHz P III, though I'm sure it would show in benchmarks.

My question to you is this:
Are there video cards from the era with comparable performance to that of the Radeon 9200 that can also handle an overclocked AGP bus?
I ask because I want to figure out if I'm settling on this Radeon 9200 in AGP 1x mode. It sure would be nice to be able to run the CPU and RAM at 133 MHz FSB.

Full rig details are in the sig.

Look here : 440BX 133Mhz FSB 89Mhz AGP Video Card Compatibility? agp#p500328

Thanks. Looks like based on the thread and the linked Anandtech article I can rest happy. Most cards that would handle the overclock (potentially) are in the same weight class. Interesting tidbit was the knowledge that disabling sideband addressing helps with some cards.

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 4 of 12, by leonardo

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OK. So I tried a Radeon 9200 and it could not operate stably when the FSB on my mobo was set to 133 MHz. In fact, besides lowering the FSB I also needed to set AGP to 1x and upgrade to Win98SE, but the improved graphics performance made it all worth it... Until I tried to play some C&C on the LAN and found out Win98SE can't reliably do that...

Since I had to give up the Radeon 9200 in order to downgrade back to Windows 95, I thought I'd give the new video card thing another look and ordered a GeForce 3 Ti 200. On paper the GeForce should have comparable performance.

I have the most curious results.

I started with the standard front side bus of 100 MHz (CPU clocked to 750 MHz) and no overclock on the AGP.
Then I installed Detonator 21.83 from VOGONS Vintage Driver Library.

However I was unable to complete 3DMark2000 without it either crashing to the desktop or giving me one of these:

GF3_2183_3dMark2k.jpg
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Garbled display during helicopter flight test #3
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

At first I thought I had a bad video card. Then it occurred to me to test some games, so I left Unreal to run its menu loop flight by the castle for over an hour and came back. The game was running and had not crashed. This has given me some hope that maybe the graphics card isn't bad. However I run Unreal in OpenGL and AFAIK 3DMark is Direct3D based, so I swapped to UT and ran 436 with Direct3D for a good while. Perfect graphical quality in both instances, not a sign of instability.

Then I did the unthinkable. I rebooted into the BIOS, upped my FSB to 133 MHz (PIII @ 1 GHz, baby) and rebooted. The system posted.
Windows loaded. Everything seemed fine.

P3-1GHz_AX6BCPro_GF3Ti200.png
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System POST @ 133 MHz FSB
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I never got it to post with the Radeon if the AGP bus was overclocked. Surely now I would experience instability elsewhere besides 3DMark2000? Not so far. Granted, the only games I've really tested are Unreal/UT, but those are quite heavy on the CPU/GPU combo and I would expect them to reveal any issues that might exist.

The only thing that fails so far, regardless of if the system is overclocked or not, seems to be 3DMark2000. Does anyone have ideas as to why this might be?

Last edited by leonardo on 2021-08-05, 09:36. Edited 2 times in total.

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 6 of 12, by leonardo

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bofh.fromhell wrote on 2021-08-05, 02:57:

Both my ASUS V7100 (GF2MX) work just fine at 100MHz AGP bus.
As in 100MHz FSB and 1:1 AGP multiplier.

That's amazing! 😮 ...and unnecessary? With a 100 MHz FSB you could run the AGP bus within spec at 66 MHz with the 2:3 divider.
Why do you do it? Because you can? Is there a difference in performance?

The issue I have is that my CPU is actually intended for the 133 MHz FSB, which means it won't run at full speed unless I overclock the AGP bus (on an Intel 440BX-based motherboard).

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 7 of 12, by leonardo

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leonardo wrote on 2021-08-04, 21:18:

...
The only thing that fails so far, regardless of if the system is overclocked or not, seems to be 3DMark2000. Does anyone have ideas as to why this might be?

OK. Once again assuming the problem might be with the video card, I lowered the clock speeds of both the core and memory below stock values (Core from 175 MHz -> 150 MHz and VRAM from 400 MHz to 350 MHz). 3DMark still crashes to the desktop. Then I figured I'd uninstall and reinstall the app, in case it does some sort of hardware detection on initial set up aaaannd...

3DMark2K_NoDX7card_error.png
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Maybe I'm obsessed and just need to let it go? I just have a nagging feeling that if I can't get this thing to complete, I will run into issues with actual games later on...

Going to try a couple more things before I give up and reinstall Windows...

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 8 of 12, by BitWrangler

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I've come across some 3DMark distributions that want the exact DX version they were shipped with, like a 2001 that didn't work with 9.0c etc.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 9 of 12, by leonardo

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I solved it!

I thought about reinstalling DirectX 7.0, then remembered that the GeForce 3 is a DX8 level card and that the 21.83 drivers are likely also DX8 compatible, so I went ahead and installed DirectX 8. 3DMark2000 now completes without issue.

1024x768 @ 32-bit color: 7025
1024x768 @ 16-bit color: 7215

😎

The system is _stable_. I thought about maybe putting a fan on it, as the heatsink gets burning hot to the touch.

It's looking like a GeForce 3 is a great pairing with a GHz-class Pentium III system and probably one of the best video cards to be running if you want to stick with Windows 95 and/or an Intel 440BX-based set up.

Last edited by leonardo on 2021-08-05, 19:34. Edited 1 time in total.

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 10 of 12, by cyclone3d

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Yes, put a fan on it or mount a larger fan in the case that blows enough air across it to cool it down.

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Reply 11 of 12, by The Serpent Rider

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like a 2001 that didn't work with 9.0c etc.

It was patched in 2001 SE. Most problematic is 3DMark99 and to some mild degree - 3DMark2000. 3DMark2000 loves to throw tantrums during SSE and Athlon instruction runs, depending on config, directx version and phase of the moon.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2021-08-06, 17:12. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 12 of 12, by bofh.fromhell

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leonardo wrote on 2021-08-05, 09:15:
That's amazing! o_O ...and unnecessary? With a 100 MHz FSB you could run the AGP bus within spec at 66 MHz with the 2:3 divider. […]
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bofh.fromhell wrote on 2021-08-05, 02:57:

Both my ASUS V7100 (GF2MX) work just fine at 100MHz AGP bus.
As in 100MHz FSB and 1:1 AGP multiplier.

That's amazing! 😮 ...and unnecessary? With a 100 MHz FSB you could run the AGP bus within spec at 66 MHz with the 2:3 divider.
Why do you do it? Because you can? Is there a difference in performance?

The issue I have is that my CPU is actually intended for the 133 MHz FSB, which means it won't run at full speed unless I overclock the AGP bus (on an Intel 440BX-based motherboard).

I actually made a post about it a while ago.
And yes its kinda stupid, very minor performance gains.
Some numbers here:
Fun with an ASUS V7100......many years ago !