I'm sure Rob won't mind if I post his reply to my question about this matter since it may be of interest to others on this forum.
I think it has been around 2 years since I removed the ms-dos development
environment from my system and moved on. I am not a gamer myself and I have
not used any of my dos programs for a long time.
I noticed that UniRefresh (at least the setup program) does not work under
Windows XP with my machine (P4 3GHz), I am not sure what the problem is.
When booting from a dos-floppy it works but my NVIDIA FX5200 only works at
60Hz, this is probably the same problem you are experiencing. I guess the
video card BIOS ignores the VBE 3 refresh rate changes. It is probably
extremely hard (if not impossible) to do anything about this.
Currently I am using a TFT monitor and refresh rate problems do not exist
anymore. After receiving your email I have started testing my monitor with
the test screen from the UniRefresh setup program. I noticed that all
resolutions looked bad using the DVI cable. When selecting the analog cable
(available with one knob on the monitor, DELL FP2001, 20"), every
resolution looks really sharp (the native resolution of the monitor,
1600x1200, is not supported by the video card as a VESA mode). It is really
surprising that the analog connection is that much better than DVI (this is
caused by the monitor). I did not expect that a TFT could look that good at
resolutions other than the native resolution, it looks fuzzy with the DVI
cable but sharp with the analog cable.
Maybe it is a good idea to buy a TFT monitor instead of a graphics card? I
don't think every TFT does such a good job on scaling as my monitor though.
The response time of my monitor is not as good as with a CRT but it looks
good enough when watching video/TV (I am one of the DScaler developers,
http://www.dscaler.org, I watch a lot of TV on the monitor).
I can recommend the Dell FP2001, especially since it seems that it costs
only 60% in the USA of what I have paid for it last month.
To be precise, the resolutions that I have tested on my monitor are:
- with the analog cable (sharp) and the DVI cable (fuzzy):
the dos text screen (IIRC 720x400)
- both cables equal quality:
So it looks like the problem with nVidia's later cards is that VESA specific code in the card's BIOS no longer recognises calls to change the refresh rate. So us nVidiots are stuck with 60Hz in DOS.
I appreciate Rob's suggestion that this can be fixed by switching to a TFT monitor. And seeing that some of them are now supporting a decent range of low resolutions I would do so. Except in my case I play a lot of games with 3D stereo glasses and these don't works with LCDs. 🙁
My thanks to Rob for producing UniRefresh in the first place and thereby providing me with hundreds of hours of 85Hz refresh rate DOS gaming. Thanks to him also for providing me with excellent support even to the extent of producing custom TSRs to support specific games.
For myself I may have to either get on with building that "legacy" system or else think about installing dual monitors.
98lite with 629K of free conventional memory in full DOS mode using QEMM 9.0 (or 628K with UMBPCI.SYS providing real mode for FastVid) with SmartDrive, CD-ROM, CuteMouse, sound support and UniRefresh all loaded high.