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strra
November 3rd, 2015, 11:15 AM
Hello!
I'm working on setting up a PC for some DOS gaming and pulled out an old Acer.
I'd like to avoid reinstalling Windows 95 (drivers....) so I was hoping someone could assist me with the video performance of this.
All drivers are installed and I've added a Voodoo 2 card, however the video performance within Windows 95 is incredibly sluggish, having to redraw the screen strip by strip.
Also I've increased the Color palette to 16bit, but it doesn't seem to have taken... everything is still flat and ugly as if it in 256 color mode.
Any ideas/tips?
Thanks!
-Randy

krebizfan
November 3rd, 2015, 11:25 AM
Could you describe the hardware in more detail i.e. which Acer model, CPU and memory? Also, what graphics card are you pairing with the Voodoo 2? At least, I think the Voodoo 2 needed to be paired with a fast VGA card to get acceptable performance. Trying to use the Voodoo 2 with integrated video gets very poor results.

strra
November 3rd, 2015, 11:58 AM
Could you describe the hardware in more detail i.e. which Acer model, CPU and memory? Also, what graphics card are you pairing with the Voodoo 2? At least, I think the Voodoo 2 needed to be paired with a fast VGA card to get acceptable performance. Trying to use the Voodoo 2 with integrated video gets very poor results.

Hey, thanks for the response!
It's an Acer 500SB with a Pentium 100 and 32MB RAM.
It is, indeed, using the integrated graphics. I was getting the same sluggish results with only the integrated graphics. I imagine that the integrated graphics aren't the best but that shouldn't really explain the level of sluggishness I'm seeing here.

SomeGuy
November 3rd, 2015, 12:12 PM
Check the graphics performance settings in the system control panel. It could be that hardware acceleration is turned down. Since you can get 256 color and 16-bit color modes, I would assume you have the correct video driver installed. Although if this was one provided with Windows, hunting down a chipset-manufacturer's driver might improve things.

strra
November 3rd, 2015, 12:32 PM
Check the graphics performance settings in the system control panel. It could be that hardware acceleration is turned down. Since you can get 256 color and 16-bit color modes, I would assume you have the correct video driver installed. Although if this was one provided with Windows, hunting down a chipset-manufacturer's driver might improve things.

I just checked the performance settings and they were all the way up... just as a test, I turned it all the way down and rebooted... the computer acted exactly the same as with it all the way up..:confused:

Agent Orange
November 3rd, 2015, 01:10 PM
This this: Pull the Voodoo out of the system and see what happens. If you are still sluggish it might be a chipset driver issue with with the on-board video. Next, disable the on-board (integrated) video in the PC BIOS and try it with just the Voodoo. I don't think you will be able to use the Voodoo with the on-board video. I suspect that there's no where to cable the Voodoo to the the motherboard.

strra
November 4th, 2015, 04:31 AM
This this: Pull the Voodoo out of the system and see what happens. If you are still sluggish it might be a chipset driver issue with with the on-board video. Next, disable the on-board (integrated) video in the PC BIOS and try it with just the Voodoo. I don't think you will be able to use the Voodoo with the on-board video. I suspect that there's no where to cable the Voodoo to the the motherboard.

Hi!
The sluggishness came before I added the Voodoo. I was hoping it would help but no dice. I've just added a Diamond Stealth 64 to put in tandem with the Voodoo and I am still having the same results..

strra
November 4th, 2015, 04:43 AM
An update: When I run a game, I get an error that it requires SVGA with 256 Color. With the combination I have, I feel it should handle SVGA. Am I missing something?

Scali
November 4th, 2015, 04:52 AM
Sounds like the drivers for your onboard video are not installed properly, and Windows falls back to its default (S)VGA driver, which is indeed very slow, and not very capable.
In some cases you need to install your chipset drivers first, because the video card is connected to the AGP interface, which is not supported by the default Windows drivers.

strra
November 4th, 2015, 04:57 AM
at this moment, i'm not using the onboard video anymore and i'm still seeing crummy performance. I will see if I can find the chipset drivers (good luck to me!) and try to reinstall them.

SomeGuy
November 4th, 2015, 05:28 AM
If you go in to control panel -> display properties -> setting and then click the advanced button, what adapter/display information does it show?

strra
November 4th, 2015, 07:13 AM
If you go in to control panel -> display properties -> setting and then click the advanced button, what adapter/display information does it show?

Here's what is shown (I apologize for the bad image quality. Temporary phone!):
27660
27661

Agent Orange
November 4th, 2015, 07:29 AM
Here's what is shown (I apologize for the bad image quality. Temporary phone!):
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=27660&stc=1
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=27661&stc=1

I know you're frustrated. Check and make sure that your resolution is not exceeding your monitor specs. For example, I use an old 15" Dell that tops out at 1024 x 760.

strra
November 4th, 2015, 07:59 AM
I know you're frustrated. Check and make sure that your resolution is not exceeding your monitor specs. For example, I use an old 15" Dell that tops out at 1024 x 760.

I'm not frustrated per se. I'm probably going to be doing mainly DOS gaming on it anyway. Just curious and it's become personal! ha...
Anyway, Right now I have the computer on a newer (relatively speaking) Lenovo flat panel 1280x1024 monitor. At home it's on an older CRT but I had that running at 1024x768 with 16 bit color on another computer. (Which I'm unfortunately replacing with this because the CMOS battery died and is soldered to the motherboard)

Chuck(G)
November 4th, 2015, 08:22 AM
1 MB isn't much video memory for 1280x1024--I'm surprised that it's even possible.

strra
November 4th, 2015, 08:36 AM
1 MB isn't much video memory for 1280x1024--I'm surprised that it's even possible.

to be honest, i haven't even tried at that resolution.. partly because it bumps it down to 256 color mode. right now it's at 800x600.

SomeGuy
November 4th, 2015, 08:50 AM
Well, I'd expect those higher resolutions to be problematic. I vaguely recall an early S3 integrated graphics chip (on some 486 or early Pentium IBM machine) that was capable of displaying 24-bit color, but in that mode it was insanely unusably slow. Switching to 16-bit color and it was fine.

The point is, in some of these higher resolution graphics modes they may disable various acceleration features either due to limited memory or because the drivers didn't take these extremely high resolutions in to consideration yet.

Another thing you might try is running the Landmark Speed.com speed test. I recall one machine (possibly the same one as above) who's integrated chipset only scored about the same as an ISA video card. (low thousands of CPS, I think).

Also, you don't really say how slow is "Slow". A P100 with 32MB of ram is not going to be zippy. Really for Voodoo games of that era you are probably going to want around a P166-233. Also, with 32MB of ram or less, you will probably see a visible speed increase if you allocate a permanent swap file.

strra
November 4th, 2015, 09:04 AM
Well, I'd expect those higher resolutions to be problematic. I vaguely recall an early S3 integrated graphics chip (on some 486 or early Pentium IBM machine) that was capable of displaying 24-bit color, but in that mode it was insanely unusably slow. Switching to 16-bit color and it was fine.

The point is, in some of these higher resolution graphics modes they may disable various acceleration features either due to limited memory or because the drivers didn't take these extremely high resolutions in to consideration yet.

Another thing you might try is running the Landmark Speed.com speed test. I recall one machine (possibly the same one as above) who's integrated chipset only scored about the same as an ISA video card. (low thousands of CPS, I think).

Also, you don't really say how slow is "Slow". A P100 with 32MB of ram is not going to be zippy. Really for Voodoo games of that era you are probably going to want around a P166-233. Also, with 32MB of ram or less, you will probably see a visible speed increase if you allocate a permanent swap file.

Forgive my terminology. The computer is by no means "slow"... the problem is just video... everything loads in strips and the screen repaints for every movement (plus, everything looks like it's in 256 color mode even when set to 16bit). This is all at 800x600.

krebizfan
November 4th, 2015, 09:41 AM
Forgive my terminology. The computer is by no means "slow"... the problem is just video... everything loads in strips and the screen repaints for every movement (plus, everything looks like it's in 256 color mode even when set to 16bit). This is all at 800x600.

Check to make sure the display is not set in an interlaced mode.

strra
November 4th, 2015, 10:06 AM
Check to make sure the display is not set in an interlaced mode.

Where do I find this setting?

krebizfan
November 4th, 2015, 10:36 AM
Where do I find this setting?

I don't have an S3 card running Win95 so I can't confirm this but according to the S3 driver documentation:

In display properties, click on S3 Refresh and then click on Change Configuration. It should give a list of possible refresh rates at the resolution including some that are interlaced. With most LCD monitors, choosing a non-interlaced 60Hz option should work nicely.

What version of Win95 are you using? The IBM on-board S3 drivers won't work unless OEM release 2.1 is used, version is sometimes shown as versions 4.03.1212 or Win95B. Taken from: http://ps-2.kev009.com/pccbbs/commercial_desktop/e13t18a.txt