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Thread: Fast 8-bit VGA?

  1. #1
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    Default Fast 8-bit VGA?

    Does anyone have any benchmark stats or anecdotal information regarding the performance of 8/16-bit VGA cards in 8-bit slots? I've tested a number of such cards in an accelerated Tandy 1000 TL/2, and am hitting a bottleneck that seems to be no respecter of chipset. Cirrus Logic, Paradise, Trident, and Tseng-based cards have been tried, and all display the same number of frames per second, per the "3DBench" utility. Perhaps 8-bit VGA is simply slow, and that's all there is to it? Might it be worth trying additional chipsets (ATI)?

    I will note that the Tseng and Cirrus Logic cards (the latter of which I am currently using) are the only ones of those tested that don't produce colored "snow" artifacts during fast palette-cycling effects.

  2. #2
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    8 bit ISA is slow--adding the higher memory requirement of VGA (more lines, more colors, more pixels) is probably the big limitation.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Chuck. I figured as much.

  4. #4

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    When it comes to video speed you can go crazy i saw a 16 bit isa vga card that was new but very cheap and was selling like hotcakes but the frame speed was slower than a old ega card on the other hand i tried a vga card with a tseng 4000 chip in a 486 board with the bus speed set at 8 mz giving 2200 fps at 10 mz bus speed 2800fps at 12.5 mz bus speed 3400fps that board went to 16mz but the scsi cont could not take it

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    8 bit ISA video cards (256K RAM) are preety slow for any gaming, you might as well just deal with CGA or EGA on an XT.

    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/mbsys/bus...ndwidth-c.html

    The whole 8 bit bus can move 7.9mb/sec (at 8mhz) in theory BEFORE wait states come into play reducing speed like a rock.
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    Fastest card I have used on my 5150 is my Wyse ET4000AX 1mb. Its loads faster then my 2 trident cards. I only have a few video cards that can do 8 bit sadly. ATM I have the 5162's IBM CGA card in my 5150, the wyse is in my 5162. Its not exactly a common card though. It was mainly used for CAD and desktop publishing, but its a gaming monster!
    Last edited by twolazy; April 2nd, 2012 at 03:20 AM.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBARDY View Post
    i tried a vga card with a tseng 4000 chip in a 486 board with the bus speed set at 8 mz giving 2200 fps
    The question is: 2200 fps of what ? Surely not full frame updates (assuming the frame is a mode 13h bitmap @ 64KB the bus would need 137,5MB/s). Probably just some benchmark measuring x frames per second of whatever that benchmark is doing. Perhaps you are referring to the same "3dbench" benchmark as the OP ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by michal View Post
    The question is: 2200 fps of what ? ... Perhaps you are referring to the same "3dbench" benchmark as the OP ?
    Probably not. 3DBench reports 6.6 FPS with my Tandy setup. A score of 2200+ FPS with this utility would be nonsensical.

  9. #9
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    As long as we're not talking about using some fancy on-board acceleration, isn't the bog-plain Hercules mono card just about as fast as you can get? Yes, you can buffer screen frames with a VGA, but that doesn't help you with overall bandwidth.

  10. #10
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    For whatever it's worth, by utilizing the DRAM-refresh-adjusting "SPEED.COM" utility, 3DBench now reports 7.4 FPS in the VGA-hosting Tandy, up from the 6.6 FPS mentioned earlier.

    Now we're playing with power!

    In all seriousness, it does make a difference.

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