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Xanxi
April 25th, 2011, 02:25 PM
Hi.

In your opinion, which is the best card between:

1: Diamond Speedstar 24x ISA with 1MB RAM (WD90C31 chipset from Western Digital)

2: STB Nitro 64 ISA with 1MB or 2MB (CL-GD5434 chipset from Cirrhus Logic).

The best card means best for DOS games and best for Windows 3.1 operations with a 386/486sx CPU.

Best regards :-)

krebizfan
April 25th, 2011, 03:45 PM
I had a Diamond Speedstar 24x in my system and it ran every DOS and Windows 3.1 program I had with no problems.

The Nitro 64 is faster but a few applications had problems with it. (Quick web search suggests most of the problems were with Win95 and some in Win 3.1 at high resolutions but I can't remember everything.) If you do go for the STB, get the 2MB because it had much better memory access times.

Really though, there won't be too much difference because the ISA bus is slower than either card wants.

Agent Orange
April 25th, 2011, 07:16 PM
I can't say which is the best card, but I have a Speedstar Pro VLB w/ 1 MB RAM in my 486, and so far has been able to run everything from DOS, 3.1 and 95, including Doom. May not be my last stop for video, alway room for improvement.

dorkbert
April 25th, 2011, 07:59 PM
personally I take the speedstar wdc part over cirrus logic any day.

deathshadow
April 25th, 2011, 08:54 PM
I've got to say go with the WD as well. It builds on the "paradise" legacy and is backwards compatible to them, so some older DOS SVGA software will even work with it in "native" operation as opposed to "VESA".

The cirrus has no such legacy being a newer implementation (licensed from chips & Tech I Think) .. and when it comes to ISA VGA cards, newer isn't always better. quite often it's the exact opposite.

Xanxi
April 25th, 2011, 10:37 PM
Thanks for your advices.
For now, i have a basic Trident 16bits card with 512 KB of RAM.
I assume both of the boards would be a great improvement?
However, i have already tried the SpeedStar a few weeks ago and, strangely, it was booting sometimes in grey shades and sometimes in color. Anyone aware of that bug?

Agent Orange
April 26th, 2011, 06:21 AM
Thanks for your advices.
For now, i have a basic Trident 16bits card with 512 KB of RAM.
I assume both of the boards would be a great improvement?
However, i have already tried the SpeedStar a few weeks ago and, strangely, it was booting sometimes in grey shades and sometimes in color. Anyone aware of that bug?
That's a tough one, but I'd check to see how it was setting in the slot first. As a last resort, and this is a stretch, I might swap out the PS for a quick check & test.

deathshadow
April 26th, 2011, 10:29 AM
There are usually two causes of the grey/color issue -- I've got a ISA trident here that does it -- USUALLY it's a bad connection to the monitor cable, but in this case cleaning the edge-card contacts with a rubber eraser and moving it to another slot helped -- intermittent contact on the ISA bus can trick it into booting up as a monochrome adapter.

Which is REAL fun on a 386 when you've got EMM386.exe trying to use $B000 to $B7FF.

I did find that when it was doing that, turning off the machine, turning off the monitor, turning on the monitor and then the machine "fixed it", but it would always revert back to monochrome if you shut down and restarted the system (or did a hard or soft reset) without power cycling the display. I wanted to blame the display (an old 17" CRT) but when it was doing the same thing on a spare LCD...

Xanxi
April 27th, 2011, 04:27 AM
There are usually two causes of the grey/color issue -- I've got a ISA trident here that does it -- USUALLY it's a bad connection to the monitor cable, but in this case cleaning the edge-card contacts with a rubber eraser and moving it to another slot helped -- intermittent contact on the ISA bus can trick it into booting up as a monochrome adapter.

Which is REAL fun on a 386 when you've got EMM386.exe trying to use $B000 to $B7FF.

I did find that when it was doing that, turning off the machine, turning off the monitor, turning on the monitor and then the machine "fixed it", but it would always revert back to monochrome if you shut down and restarted the system (or did a hard or soft reset) without power cycling the display. I wanted to blame the display (an old 17" CRT) but when it was doing the same thing on a spare LCD...

Your vintage computing knowledge is awesome!!
Indeed, it sometimes go back to color after a while and some reboot, and i am also using EMM386.
So i guess the Speedstar card is ok, and i will check again.
Thanks.

nestor
April 27th, 2011, 06:41 AM
I have two Trident ISA boards and another two Trident VLB, and they all boot 75% of times in monochrome mode (using a Mitsubishi DiamondScan 70 CRT monitor). Putting a 8$ chinese KVM Switch from eBay between the card and the monitor makes to boot ALWAYS in monochrome mode. I think this problem is more related with the "Monitor ID" / EDID pins in the VGA connector than with a bad connection. Using Trident SMONITOR.EXE app I can change to Color mode.