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Thread: TSENG ET4000 ISA or ATI Mach32 ISA

  1. #1
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    Default TSENG ET4000 ISA or ATI Mach32 ISA

    Which of these two cards would you put in your 386DX-33 machine?

    TSENG ET4000 ISA or the ATI MACH32 ISA.

    Machine will be running DOS only and be used for both games of that era and running older applications.
    "In Life, The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smack2k View Post
    Which of these two cards would you put in your 386DX-33 machine?

    TSENG ET4000 ISA or the ATI MACH32 ISA.

    Machine will be running DOS only and be used for both games of that era and running older applications.
    2D cards so select the one with most memory. Typically, they both could handle 1-2 MB.

  3. #3

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    Depends which chipset variant, which RAMDAC, and how much RAM.
    ET4000AX is non-accelerated, and usually paired with 8-bit RAMDAC.
    ET4000/W32 series are accelerated, and probably always paired with 24-bit RAMDAC.
    Mach32 is accelerated, and 8514/A compatible.
    If you have both cards, you're encouraged to try both, do some benchmarks on each, and post results

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xacalite View Post
    Depends which chipset variant, which RAMDAC, and how much RAM.
    ET4000AX is non-accelerated, and usually paired with 8-bit RAMDAC.
    ET4000/W32 series are accelerated, and probably always paired with 24-bit RAMDAC.
    Mach32 is accelerated, and 8514/A compatible.
    If you have both cards, you're encouraged to try both, do some benchmarks on each, and post results
    OP has a 386/33 so it would be difficult to stuff a VESA/local bus card into that.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    OP has a 386/33 so it would be difficult to stuff a VESA/local bus card into that.
    All the chips I mentioned can be found on ISA cards.
    Also, 386DX boards with VLB slots do exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xacalite View Post
    All the chips I mentioned can be found on ISA cards.
    Also, 386DX boards with VLB slots do exist.
    I don't doubt that they might exist somewhere, but I've never seen one. Must be pretty rare. Also, the OP just wanted to know which of his 2 cards people preferred.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    I don't doubt that they might exist somewhere, but I've never seen one. Must be pretty rare. Also, the OP just wanted to know which of his 2 cards people preferred.
    At one time they weren't terribly unusual. My dad bought one; they were intended to provide a less steep 386->486 upgrade path. The board had VLB slots, sockets for either a 386 or a 486, and a combination of 30-pin and 72-pin SIMM slots. I remember being surprised that the VLB slots worked fine with a 386 CPU installed. I haven't seen one since those days, though, so I'm not exactly arguing.

    FWIW I'd pick the Mach32 every time.

  8. #8

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    The Mach32s also have varients. There are DRAM and VRAM versions, and at least three different RAMDACs to choose from (8,16 and 32-bit). Some models are 2MB. Some are 1MB that can be upgarded, and some cannot.

    Although Tseng is very popular, I think the Mach32 is a better card overall.
    "Will the Highways on the internets become more few?"

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  9. #9
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    Tseng is better for games, ATI is better for Windows and apps.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  10. #10

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    True. And I guess if your intent is to run Xfree86 on a very old version of Linux, ET4000 would be the choice then, too.

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