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 High end video cards for old systems View next topic
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creepingnet



Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Lynnwood,WA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The most high end old ISA stuff I have is already in the machines I already have up and running......

GEM 80286 - Oak Technologies 1MB "RVGA", runs Arachne at 800X600 @16-bit color (!!!!)

CAT Computers 486/100 - Cirrus Logic CL/GD-5429 VESA VLB Graphics Card, 1MB of VRAM, expandable to 2MB (I think), 800X600 @16-bit color.

I also have a box full of spares including.....

- Packard Bell/Reveal TV Tuner Card - (Ripped from a 1994 Packard Bell "Multimedia" system I got my hands on in 2002), Not really a video card, but a cool video component none-the-less...

- Trident TVGA8900 - (The CAT's original video card, ISA only, still very fast, it's the backup to the Cirrus Logic)

- Western Digital Paradise-Style 512MB SVGA (pulled from a Pentium II at a shop more deserving of a PCI video card, I traded a 2MB PCI for it).

I also have, on the lower end....another Oak Technology VGA card, I think it's a 512MB SVGA, non-upgradeable, and 2 Western Digital Paradise VGA cards, one that seems to have expandable RAM on it.

_________________
84' Tandy 1000(a)
90' GEM Computer Products 286
12' Franken-486
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I just got two new high-end VLB cards for my 386/486/Pentium systems. Another Diamond Stealth 64 VRAM exactly like the one I have with the bad RAMDAC, and a Number Nine GXE 64 Pro.

Both of these cards are based around the S3 964 VRAM chipset. The Number Nine is equipped with 4MB VRAM, and the Diamond has 2MB expandable to 4MB (I have the memory for it already). I was really hoping the Number Nine would have the S3 968 chipset, as I believe that was the last S3 chipset made for VLB. Perhaps they did a Virge DX, but I'm not sure. Anyway, what I need is a Number Nine Motion 771. All of these Number Nine cards are supposed to have superb quality. I intend to stuff mine into the world's crappiest Pentium.
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Trixter



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Check those; wasn't the ViRGE an early 3D chipset? I recall precious view DOS games that supported 3D accelerators (only a single racing game comes to mind) but it might be a neat experiement to try some.
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yes, I do believe that the ViRGE was an early 3D chipset. I thought I remembered seeing somewhere that one of the ViRGE chipsets was VL Bus compatible, but perhaps I am mistaken. The two best S3 chipsets I am certain of for VLB are the DRAM based TRIO64V+ (765) and the 968, both of which have some video playback capabilities. I own neither, but would like to buy them.

A really famous early 3D chipset for VLB is the Creative Labs 3D Blaster. It worked in a similar fashion to the 3Dfx cards and only a few programs supported it.
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Unknown_K



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 264
Location: Ohio/USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Did you snag that Diamond on ebay with a $2.50 BIN $1 starting bid? I was looking at one and somebody snagged it while I was pondering buying it (had 8 RAM chips and sockets for 8 more I think).

I think I have that #9 card installed in a 486, nice and fast.

Every S3 chip ever made was crap for 3d.
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah that was me! I guess I just stole it right from under your nose in the nick of time. I woke up one morning and was really surprised to see not one, but TWO nice VLB cards for sale on eBay at the same time. It's a shame the #9 didn't have a buy it now also. I was worrying all week about losing the auction Very Happy
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Unknown_K



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 264
Location: Ohio/USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

4MB VLB cards do not come along every day.
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, I agree. I'll be sure to put lots of pictures on my Picasa for you to drool on. Razz

I'll trade both of them for a 4MB S3 968 VLB Very Happy
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Unknown_K



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 264
Location: Ohio/USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My diamond card is a 968 VLB.

Speaking of high end VLB, ever see one with 3D support?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Collectors-item-VLB-Vesa-bus-Creative-3200-3D-Accelerat_W0QQitemZ120160447651

I think it has a Permedia 3d processor, never heard of this card.
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, that's the Creative Labs 3D Blaster card that I mentioned earlier. I guess they are sort of uncommon, but not rare. There weren't many games that supported them, but supposedly the few that did were pretty nice. I think it was one of the first mainstream 3D boards on the market. Because it is 3D only, you need to keep your 2D card in there too. Personally, I wouldn't give up my VLB IDE controller to run the 3D Blaster. You could try it in the 3rd slot, but we know how that story always ends.

So how is your Diamond Stealth 64 Video? I had several chances in the past to buy one, but at time I was interested in ISA and not VLB. My understanding that the diamond cards are fast but the driver support is a pain.
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Unknown_K



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 264
Location: Ohio/USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My card has the 2MB upgrade (for 4mb) but its either the wrong module or it hass issues because last time I ran it using 4 meg I had junk on the screen.

While I do have a few VLB motherboards with 3 VLB slots, I have never tried to run 3 VLB cards at once. I would think 3 cards (especially bus mastering ones) would slow the CPU down quite a bit hogging the bus even if they did all work together.
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've never tried running three cards at once. All I have are graphics adapters and IDE controllers, and there would be no reason to have a 3rd unless I had an NIC or 3D blaster. However, a friend of mine tried the three VLB card setup once. I think he was running some pretty solid hardware at 33MHz under Linux. The system wasn't horribly unstable, but he would get lockups every now and then. Anyway, if you set everything up reasonably, there should never be a reason to have more than 2 VLB cards.

Oh, and I finally found my S3 968 VLB card. It's the #9 Motion 771 card that I wanted earlier. I found it hiding on ebay. It wasn't listed as VLB, and the model number was incorrect. Some days you just get lucky. It looks like a nice card. IBM 220MHz RAMDAC and 4MB VRAM. When I have time I'm going to benchmark all of my VLB graphics adapters in my 386, 486, and Pentium VLB systems under DOS and windows. It would be really nice if we could all agree on a test platform and compile a big data base of vintage PC scores.
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Unknown_K



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 264
Location: Ohio/USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yea, I can pitch in as well with benchmarking.
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Okay, that sounds great. You have a lot of VLB graphics adapters so that should be helpful. I'll be back in the US in about a month, and I'll have several weeks off work to waste on testing.

Do you have any suggestions for benchmarking? I think we should have both DOS and Windows tests. I would like to do Windows 3.xx since it runs nicely on anything from an 80286 to a Pentium. My personal favourite is Wintune 2.0. It's not the most accurate test in the world, but it's quick and easy to use.

For DOS I don't have any suggestions for system benchmark utilities, but VIDSPEED seems to be the way to go for testing graphics.
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Unknown_K



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 264
Location: Ohio/USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think I a copy of Winbench that some magazine used to put out for win 3.x benchmarks, have to look around.
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