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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.



Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
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  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.


Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


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If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
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"Better" 486 Video / Graphics Cards

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  • Anonymous Coward
    replied
    What kind of RAMDAC does that card have? Maybe the RAMDAC just can't do more than 60Hz. It's not an issue if you use an LCD panel though...

    Leave a comment:


  • MatthewH12
    replied
    I'm hoping maybe you guys can help. I have a Headland HT216-32 Onboard (VLB) card, and I can't figure out how to force it to more than 60Hz in Windows 3.1. If I can't, what ISA Card is decent AND has a windows driver to force refresh rates, and isn't too expensive (I'm thinking like $20).

    Thanks!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Eep386
    replied
    My personal opinions (I'm going for price-performance here):

    ISA: Tseng ET4000AX. It was fast, compatible and for the longest time quite plentiful. Some very old games had quirks with them though (Tank Wars by Kenny Morse had difficulties showing some of the icons, but that was a minor glitch). Some later WDC chipsets were pretty good too (though early Paradise chips were dogs.) Third would be Cirrus GD5426+ as DOS was not dramatically slower and the accelerator made Windows more bearable at least.

    VLB: Cirrus were super-common and strictly average in all areas, though 5429 was a little better. S3's 64-bit Vision and Trio series rules the roost for overall DOS and Windows performance per dollar, as long as they were equipped with 2MB or more of memory. 805 was okay, but only just (they tended to be visibly faster than Cirrus's in Windows, but also visibly behind in DOS.) Some later Trident cards were surprising though: 9400CXi for instance had remarkably fluid Mode13h response for a Trident, and 9440 was decently quick for the price. (Trident of course tended to suffer from monitor detection troubles, as mentioned earlier.) Also surprising was an Avance Logic 2222VL - while its Windows and VESA VBE speed was nothing to write home about, it was very capable in Mode13h at least.

    PCI: Many good chipsets, S3's Vision and Trio series were plenty competitive overall and were common as heck, often quite cheap too. ViRGE was pretty decent, but Vision/Trio usually were noticeably faster in pure DOS. Trident's 64-bit TGUI9680 was a surprise as it was quite strong in DOS (especially Mode13h), though the VBE remained mediocre at best. 3dfx Banshee and V3+ of course dominated the whole field, but were often much harder to find and pricier, and some 486 PCI boards weren't too thrilled with them. Didn't use a Matrox too much sadly, but I remember owning a Millennium 2 based card that didn't really seem any faster than my S3 Trio64V+.
    Last edited by Eep386; April 26, 2013, 10:01 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Agent Orange
    replied
    Originally posted by njroadfan View Post
    Yeah, one reason why I don't have a Matrox card in my 486. Pre-PCI units aren't very common. The Cirrus Logic card I have in there now has good output quality compared to the no-name S3 805 card that was in there. #9 seemed to have better output quality on their S3 cards as they paired them with higher end DACs.
    I have a Matrox Millenium w/ the daughter board that I occassionally ferry in an out of one of my 486 PCI rigs. Easily supported in Win95/Win98 and renders very nice resolution and colors - one of my favorites and have had since it was NIB.

    Leave a comment:


  • njroadfan
    replied
    Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
    Wouldn't it be a little difficult to cram the G400 AGP card into a 486?
    Yeah, one reason why I don't have a Matrox card in my 486. Pre-PCI units aren't very common. The Cirrus Logic card I have in there now has good output quality compared to the no-name S3 805 card that was in there. #9 seemed to have better output quality on their S3 cards as they paired them with higher end DACs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Agent Orange
    replied
    Originally posted by njroadfan View Post
    Matrox always wins with DAC quality. My G400's analog output beats out whatever crap ATI was using in their video cards back in 2006. The Matrox card is noticeably sharper when running 1280x1024 output to a CRT.
    Wouldn't it be a little difficult to cram the G400 AGP card into a 486?

    Leave a comment:


  • njroadfan
    replied
    Originally posted by vetz View Post
    I'm very picky about signal output quality and I regard that over speed. Here the S3 cards fall straight through. My ET4000 is very good, along with Matrox cards from that time period.
    Matrox always wins with DAC quality. My G400's analog output beats out whatever crap ATI was using in their video cards back in 2006. The Matrox card is noticeably sharper when running 1280x1024 output to a CRT.

    Leave a comment:


  • vetz
    replied
    I'm very picky about signal output quality and I regard that over speed. Here the S3 cards fall straight through. My ET4000 is very good, along with Matrox cards from that time period.

    Leave a comment:


  • Agent Orange
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hatta
    replied
    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'?

    Leave a comment:


  • Shadow Lord
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • High_Treason
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Anonymous Coward
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • High_Treason
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Unknown_K
    replied
    EISA video cards are hard to find as is, let alone be picky about the chipset.

    Leave a comment:

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