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"Better" 486 Video / Graphics Cards

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    #16
    I will be playing games in DOS on the 486...

    What is a good price to find either a ET4000 or Cirrus Logic card?

    I have an ET4000 PCI card, but that of course wont go in the 486 ISA board.
    "In Life, The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short..."

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      #17
      There are pretty substantial differences between the ET4000, ET4000W32 and ET4000W32i/p. The performance of the latter is quite a bit better than the two former. For a VLB version of the card I wouldn't pay more than $20. You can still get them for that price if you're patient (like willing to wait a year perhaps). If you want it immediately, you're probably looking at $50.
      "Will the Highways on the internets become more few?"

      V'Ger XT

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        #18
        DOS video cards were pretty close on the same BUS. To see real improvement you had to upgrade your bus. I remember when VLB came about and it just blew ISA video cards out of the water. Then PCI came about and DOS performance was just maxed out.

        Based on the BUS I'd recommend the following (which seems inline with what others are saying):

        ISA: Tseng ET4000 - it is fast and compatible. Plus cheap. You can hang out and wait for an ET4000W32, they exist but in 5 years I have not seen one for sale. But then again I have not looked very hard.
        EISA: Not much here. Even though there was potential most of it was used for NICs and SCSI cards. EISA was mostly in the server space so graphics were neglected. Your two best choices are either the Elsa Winner 2000 or miro 32S card. Both have 4MB of VRAM and are based on S3 chips. I have not found much difference between the two (although I have done no formal testing) except in windows where the miro card supports much higher resolutions. I would love to see an EISA ET4000/W32 based card but I don't think one was ever produced.
        VLB: Tseng ET4000W32i.
        PCI: Any early NVidia or the 3dfx banshee card. By then just about everything for DOS was accelerated in these chip sets. I'd personally go banshee to get DOS 3D compatibility due to 3dfx's early domination of the market.
        AGP: see PCI - although I don't know if there were any 486 or even low end Pentium AGP systems...

        You can still apparently buy NEW ISA/VLB Tseng cards from these guys for an expensive price. But you get support.... :/
        Last edited by Shadow Lord; April 7, 2013, 08:08 PM.
        Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

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          #19
          Diamond Speedstar VLB Pro is my choice for one of 486 machines. It comes with 1 MB on-board and the Cirrus GD5428 chipset. It will run any DOS game that you can throw at it and gets great results while achieving 1024x768 @ 256 colors. If you're running WIN95/WIN98, drivers are no problem and are natively supported. Check out this link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/DIAMOND-Spee...item3cd043c3ba
          Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

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            #20
            It's true that any VL card can blow any ISA vga card out of the water regarding speed. But...it's simply not true that all VLB cards give about the same level of DOS performance. If you're just running Sierra games you don't need much more than an ISA card and 256kb RAM. But if you are running 3D games or high-res stuff from the 94-96 period, you find some cards run much better than others.

            If you want an ET4000W32P card for VLB, I can get you one for about $17 plus shipping. Probably about $30 in all. Card is untested though.
            "Will the Highways on the internets become more few?"

            V'Ger XT

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
              It's true that any VL card can blow any ISA vga card out of the water regarding speed. But...it's simply not true that all VLB cards give about the same level of DOS performance. If you're just running Sierra games you don't need much more than an ISA card and 256kb RAM. But if you are running 3D games or high-res stuff from the 94-96 period, you find some cards run much better than others.

              If you want an ET4000W32P card for VLB, I can get you one for about $17 plus shipping. Probably about $30 in all. Card is untested though.
              AC not sure if this is directed at me but if it is while I agree certain cards are better then others (i.e. a S3 VLB card kicks the crap out of a Trident VLB card) my point was much more speed/performance was gained by changing the bus then the card. I.E. any POS PCI card would beat out even the best ISA and probably most if not all VLB cards.

              As for the ET4000W32 thanks for the offer. But I don't have any VLB systems. I have ISA for my 386 and below, EISA for my 486, and PCI (or better) from then on. Before I could get on the VLB bandwagon it had already passed an PCI was in full vogue (my upgrade cycle went like this: 5160 -> generic 486/33 -> self built Pentium 200MMX that took from ~1988 to 2003). I maybe interested in an ISA (not sure how beneficial it would be in a 386sx-16) one and as I said I would salivate at a EISA one but I don't believe such a beat ever existed.

              Thanks again...
              Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

              Comment


                #22
                Looks like such a card did exist.

                I was curious so I Googled it, now you've got something for the wish list.

                There's a few around, found out by looking at this; http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/graphics...l#.UWJ6YaCbUeF
                YouTube (Mostly DOS Stuff) | Let's Plays (Mostly DOS Games) | Twitch.TV | Duke4.net
                DOSBox sucks, my Casio is better than your Roland and my clone is better than your overblown proprietary box.

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                  #23
                  Sure, there are plenty of ET4000 cards. Were you trying to show us an ET4000W32 for EISA bus? I couldn't see one in the list you provided. Actually, I seem to remember such a card existing...but it's not really worth tracking down. The ET4000W32 doesn't do interleaved memory, so at best all you're looking at is improved Windows performance. I'd rather have an S3 928 card personally.
                  "Will the Highways on the internets become more few?"

                  V'Ger XT

                  Comment


                    #24
                    EISA video cards are hard to find as is, let alone be picky about the chipset.
                    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

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                      #25
                      Not surprising, I've never seen EISA in real life, I am guessing it was not popular in my area (There are a lot of weird things related to technology in my area, we're a bit backwards and we only have one ISP)... Though as I plan on one more 486 build, I think I will try and get one with EISA, I want to play with it.

                      Originally posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
                      Sure, there are plenty of ET4000 cards. Were you trying to show us an ET4000W32 for EISA bus? I couldn't see one in the list you provided. Actually, I seem to remember such a card existing...but it's not really worth tracking down. The ET4000W32 doesn't do interleaved memory, so at best all you're looking at is improved Windows performance. I'd rather have an S3 928 card personally.
                      There are three on that list, third, fith and sixth ones down the list. Perhaps I should have linked directly to it. I was responding to Shadow Lord as he didn't think they existed.
                      YouTube (Mostly DOS Stuff) | Let's Plays (Mostly DOS Games) | Twitch.TV | Duke4.net
                      DOSBox sucks, my Casio is better than your Roland and my clone is better than your overblown proprietary box.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        I highly suspect at least some of the ET4000 cards on that list are misidentified as EISA. EISA and OPTi local bus (not VESA local bus) use an identical connector. One of the cards listed clearly states it is opti local bus in the title. The second one merely states "local bus". EISA is NOT a local bus.
                        "Will the Highways on the internets become more few?"

                        V'Ger XT

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Ah, I didn't notice that, feel free to facepalm at me.

                          Rubbish excuse; I haven't seen that around either, though I do remember hearing of it's existence. That's my story and I am sticking to it. :P
                          YouTube (Mostly DOS Stuff) | Let's Plays (Mostly DOS Games) | Twitch.TV | Duke4.net
                          DOSBox sucks, my Casio is better than your Roland and my clone is better than your overblown proprietary box.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by High_Treason View Post
                            Looks like such a card did exist.

                            I was curious so I Googled it, now you've got something for the wish list.

                            There's a few around, found out by looking at this; http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/graphics...l#.UWJ6YaCbUeF
                            Thanks for the linkage. I can't say I have ever seen those cards except for some of the miscategorized OPTI bus cards. Of course finding them on Stason and finding them available w/ the necessary drivers is a whole other issue. The cards I see most often are the Compaq cards and the Elsa cars come up once every six month or so. Neither of which are super performers but are more than good enough. I know some of the guys here have paired up a Spectrum/24 w/ a Elsa w/ good success for good DOS and windows performance.

                            p.s. I don't see any ET4000W32 cards on that list either. The ones you point to are ET4000 cards - a completely different chipset designed for use w/ ISA bus not native EISA.

                            Thanks for looking out though!
                            Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

                            Comment


                              #29
                              So how much better are these ET4000 cards than competing S3 and Cirrus chipsets? Does anyone have both and want to try out with 'doom -timedemo demo3'?

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Hatta:

                                Either the Tseng ET4000 or the Cirrus S3 is like the Chevy/Ford argument. A lot of you gaming experience will depend on your basic system layout; i.e., CPU, RAM, etc. Also, whether your emphasis will be on DOS or WIN95/WIN98 gaming. Both of the these video cards will perform very well in the DOS mode. Lining up the correct drivers for Win95/Win98 gaming can be trying, but that's all part of it. If I'm in the market now (I'm not), I would probably go with a Diamond Stealth 64 if my mobo had a PCI slot. You may want to visit "BenchMarkReviews.com" and get some firsthand info before you make that purchase.
                                Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting

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