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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 Nov 02, 2007 5:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

wdegroot wrote:

sure put in the best and fastest car that has a driver for windows 3.1, but it is still a lot slower than a medium quality card in a pci slot and a newer operating sistem on a low end PIII..
the newer chipsets rarely have drivers for older operating systems, in fact dos rarely requires drivers to run,


Well, I won't dispute on this one.....but.....

Everything about a computer is relative to it's age. A modern machine running XP is about as fast as a 486 running Windows for Workgroups 3.11, that is, if we take the processor speed out of account. Both get the same tasks done in the same amount of time, because the software is relative to the CPU. The only time this does not apply is when the computer is on-line, reason being that the content on-line is designed for modern variants of Windows NT with modern Java enabled browsers, as opposed to basic HTML with frames and regular GIF/JPEG images for all the graphical niceness.

As for the highest one can go on a 486, it depends on the bus. I'm sure a 486 with PCI could carry an ATI Rage-II PCI easily (and yest it would work with Windows 3.1x, I have a Driver CD for it with Windows 3.1x drivers for that 3-D card). As for VLB or ISA, the beefiest card I had was a broken Nimbus #9 card with about 4MB of VRAM on it. 1MB is sufficient enough for a 486 though, I'm using a Trident 8900C in mine with 1MB of VRAM running at 1024X768 in 16 bit color mode.

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90' GEM Computer Products 286
12' Franken-486
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Anonymous Coward



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I just arrived back in the US, so it shouldn't be a problem.
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Anonymous Coward



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

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I made a sad discovery about my #9 cards today. It seems that they don't work well in systems with more than 32MB. They claim that this is because of a problem with the S3 chipset, but I say it's bullshit since I have a diamond S3 964 card that runs just fine.

Oh well, they still look nice in my VLB collection.
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Unknown_K



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wha issues do you have with the card when the RAM is over 32MB?
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Anonymous Coward



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I am using Need for Speed SE under a DOS extender to test out the stability of my graphcs adapters. I have tried using the #9 cards with their native VESA support, and version 2.0 and 3.0 extensions. I have also tried moving the location of the linear frame buffer around, and just disabling it entirely.

The result under all of these conditions is a lockup within the first 30 seconds of play. The screen becomes garbled and the system simply restarts. I tried my Mach64, Hercules S3 764, and Diamond Stealth 64 VRAM, and none of them suffer from this problem.

I do recall reading something a while ago about some people complaining of the 32mb limit on the #9 cards, and the company basically tried to pin the blame on S3...which is a bunch of baloney. As far as I am aware, there are no workarounds to this problem.

Since you also have a #9 GXE64 Pro, have you ran into similar problems?
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Unknown_K



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I use my miro (tseng based) 2MB cards for gaming, and I cannot recall if my #9 card system had more then 32MB of RAM. Guess I will find out later when I go to the lab again (was cleaning up the last week since my parents were coming back from their 2 month trip to Greeece and I havn't had much time to mess with the systems).

BTW my 486/66 VLB is running 3 VLB cards (miro video, vlb ide+IO, and an daptec vlb SCSI card which is connected to the only HD (4GB) and cdrom) and have not noticed any problems. The IDE card does not have any IDE drives currently. I don't have any Windows running on that rig.

My VLB scsi caching card is also in a system with 3 VLB cards, I just havn't got around to finishing it up yet to see if speed and stability is an issue with all 3 VLB cards installed.
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Anonymous Coward



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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah. The ET4000s don't have this problem. I have a W32P installed in a 128MB 486, and it works just fine. The #9 cards are pretty good hardware wise...I guess they just got sloppy with the BIOS. I guess I don't really need more than 32MB in a 486...but actually this card is for my VLB Pentium.

That reminds me. I'm supposed to do some benchmarking on my VLB cards...but my PCs are just a mess right now. I meant to use the VLB pentium as my test bed, but with the hard drive on its last leg it doesn't look that that's going to happen. I'll have to use the 486...I actually got around to putting the power supply back together so it seems to be a working system for the time being.
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Unknown_K



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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well my 486 systems only use DOS and Win 3.x. If my memory is correct each win 3.x App can only use 16MB of RAM, and Win 3.x itself can only use 64MB total.
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Anonymous Coward



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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

With that in mind, at some point when I got around to dropping in a larger hard disk and finding 128kb x 8 SRAMs I planned to run something a little more interesting....like OS/2, NT4, Win2k or Linux.
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Unknown_K



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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have OS/2 installed on my 486 EISA system (warp3 and 2.1 on different partitions), and Warp 4 on my IBM PS/2 9595. I find that for Unix and OS/2 you have better luck finding stable drivers on server type hardware.

I have NT4 on pentium era machines, win2k on P2 and above.

No linux box at the moment, but I am temped on trying an old PC Unix someday on an old 286/386/486 just for the hell of it.

The closest thing to a real unix I have is my AWS95 Mac server running A/UX 3.1.
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ryan



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 261
Location: WisConSin

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I can recall a few ISA systems that had major issues with more than 16mb of ram unless I switched the memory hole setting in the bios, not sure if this is at all related to VLB equipment and how it locates its bios or not.

Maybe you need to rewrite their bios on the vid card to locate itself a bit higher than the 32mb frame?
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ryan



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 261
Location: WisConSin

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Win 3.11 will address up to 512mb of ram max (more and it trashes the HD due to VM issues) but its limited # of memory handles means the memory doesn't really help much except for photoshop and autocad both of which have independant memory address systems.

Its also worth noting that to get access to more than 64mb of ram you need a 3rd party himem.sys or memory manager.

Most software isn't really much more usefull with more than 64mb because by the time it actually uses more than 64mb you end up running out of memory handles/pointers and blue screening anyway.

To be honest there is very little difference between Win 3.11 memory management and Win 9x memory management. The himem.sys in 98 is capable of seeing more ram and windows 9x has more memory handles (but still not unlimited such as xp) But the method is basically the same with a little more error trapping.

Cheers


Unknown_K wrote:
Well my 486 systems only use DOS and Win 3.x. If my memory is correct each win 3.x App can only use 16MB of RAM, and Win 3.x itself can only use 64MB total.
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Unknown_K



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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Still havn't got around to messing with the 486 in the lab.

Anyway there is a cool 4MB ISA ATI mach 64 on ebay if anybody wants a crack at it:

Item number: 290180912477

Same seller has a nice Matrox ISA card as well.
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creepingnet



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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Do any ISA SVGA cards (in particular, the Trident 8900C) have an overheating problem? I wonder because my 8900C in my 486 box just stopped working, and I'm not sure as to why it would just quit out of the blue.

I tried a crack at the ATI Mach64 ISA, got outbid by $.50. I might try the Matrox, but otherwise, I'm starting to think E-bay's prices on old computer hardware are out-of-line. (I'm not paying $200.00 for a video card for a computer worth $5).

Looks like I'll be hitting the thrifts tonight. For that and a PCI ethernet adapter>>>>>damn sticky keys< i"m typing this from work>>>now i can"t get a period in edgewise

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



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

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Are you in the US? I think I have a trident 16 bit ISA video card I don't need.
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