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Trying to get 256 color mode working in win98 (think I might need a driver?)

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  • eswan
    replied
    If the video card has empty ram sockets, you should be able to bring it up to 2 meg at least. Ought to be 2 pieces of 256k x 16 EDO SOJ.

    Leave a comment:


  • J. Radon
    replied
    Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
    Lowest is 16 colors normally. But depending on the driver, it may or may not offer that color depth in every screen resolution.

    The graphics card needs enough video memory to store at least one full frame with the given resolution and color depth.

    1024x768 @ 8 bits (256 colors) works with 1 MB
    1024x768 @ 16 bits (64k colors) needs at least 2 MB
    1024x768 @ 24/32 bits (true RGB, 16.7 million colors) needs at least 3 MB (that is 4 MB, as 3 MB is not an option)
    Oh shoot, so it sounds like it's my video card that's the limit then?

    To be honest, i'm not too worried about it.
    800*600 at 16 bit should be plenty for now, and now I know what to upgrade if I want better output in the future.

    I just feel stupid for assuming 256 was the highest just because it's the biggest number XD

    Thank you for educating me.

    Leave a comment:


  • J. Radon
    replied
    Wow, I feel extra stupid.
    I should have realized 256 was the lowest color setting of the group. It's even listed in ascending order!
    So it seems like the best options I can currently get are 24 bit color @ 640 by 480 px or 16 bit color @ 800 by 600 px depending on if I want to get the most out of colors or resolution.

    What's limiting me from higher bit color at higher resolutions? Is it a driver thing, or is it my video card, or is it something else?
    For now i'll probably set it to 16 bit color at 800 by 600 px since it seems like the best compromise for a good color range and high resolution.

    Is my video card also what's limiting my resolution selection? I only have 3 fixed resolution options.

    Leave a comment:


  • Timo W.
    replied
    Lowest is 16 colors normally. But depending on the driver, it may or may not offer that color depth in every screen resolution.

    The graphics card needs enough video memory to store at least one full frame with the given resolution and color depth.

    1024x768 @ 8 bits (256 colors) works with 1 MB
    1024x768 @ 16 bits (64k colors) needs at least 2 MB
    1024x768 @ 24/32 bits (true RGB, 16.7 million colors) needs at least 3 MB (that is 4 MB, as 3 MB is not an option)

    Leave a comment:


  • J. Radon
    replied
    Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
    No, 256 colors are 8 bit.
    wait wh-

    So 256 is the lowest of the 3 resolutions I have to choose from?
    If that's the case it'd explain a lot.

    Is it a memory issue or something then?
    It seems like the higher I set the resolution, the lower bit depth of color it lets me choose from (?)

    Leave a comment:


  • Timo W.
    replied
    No, 256 colors are 8 bit.

    Leave a comment:


  • J. Radon
    replied
    Originally posted by GiGaBiTe View Post

    If you're getting a dithered color bar, you're in 256 color mode. 16 color mode will show 16 distinct color blocks with no dithering. 15/16 bit color (32768 or 65536 colors) will give you a RGB color ramp with vertical lines, and 32 bit (16,777,216 colors) will give you a smooth color ramp.

    Since you're able to run at 1024x768@8bpp, it means that Windows 98 has some sort of driver for your video card. If you had no driver at all, Windows would be using its generic video driver, which locks you to 640x480 at 16 colors. You should be able to see what Windows thinks your video card is in the device manager.

    But the behavior you're describing in Paint is to be expected because you only have 256 colors.



    Incorrect. The power switch on ATX power supplies is a physical on/off switch. Depending on who designs the unit, it can either be a single or double pole switch. Cheaper supplies generally only use a single pole switch, while more expensive supplies will use double pole switches. The former will usually only cut the hot, while the latter will cut both the hot and the neutral.
    Wait... aren't 32 bit and 256 color mode the same thing?

    Leave a comment:


  • J. Radon
    replied
    Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
    Not incorrect. You are wrong, as you just described AT, not ATX. What he said is 100% correct.
    I mean, he's not totally wrong (I think), there's a physical hard cut off switch on the back of most if not all (that I know of) ATX power supplies, but it's different from the wired switch described to be on AT power supplies, which would face inside the machine and is a toggle button style switch instead of a rocker switch, so maybe that's where he's getting confused.

    ATX have both a physical rocker switch on the back that cuts power directly, and the ability to turn it on or shut it down from the OS or a button wired to the motherboard through the 24 pin motherboard connection.

    What eswan describe is also true, the power supply in my win98 rig (which I believe is an AT power supply) has no rocker switch on the back. On the back it features only a male and female 3 pin mains power socket, and a voltage selector toggle. On the side facing in are all the wires, and a switch wired out that goes to the front panel of the case, and has an earth ground wire that terminates in a crimped washer style terminal that gets screwed into the case. Nowhere on the board is there a place to wire a power switch, so there's not any way (that I know of) for the board to tell the power supply to shut down; there's just the two 6 pin cables from the supply, and I don't think any of them let the board tell the supply to turn off.

    Leave a comment:


  • J. Radon
    replied
    Originally posted by GiGaBiTe View Post

    If you're getting a dithered color bar, you're in 256 color mode. 16 color mode will show 16 distinct color blocks with no dithering. 15/16 bit color (32768 or 65536 colors) will give you a RGB color ramp with vertical lines, and 32 bit (16,777,216 colors) will give you a smooth color ramp.

    Since you're able to run at 1024x768@8bpp, it means that Windows 98 has some sort of driver for your video card. If you had no driver at all, Windows would be using its generic video driver, which locks you to 640x480 at 16 colors. You should be able to see what Windows thinks your video card is in the device manager.

    But the behavior you're describing in Paint is to be expected because you only have 256 colors.



    Incorrect. The power switch on ATX power supplies is a physical on/off switch. Depending on who designs the unit, it can either be a single or double pole switch. Cheaper supplies generally only use a single pole switch, while more expensive supplies will use double pole switches. The former will usually only cut the hot, while the latter will cut both the hot and the neutral.
    Okay, weird, I figured there would be more actual colors for 256 color mode, but if having a dithered color bar is normal then i'm not sure what's up.
    I installed the driver linked by kc8eyt, but it was an older windows 95 driver, and it didn't seem to change much. The driver windows is defaulting to is "Trident 9685/9680/9682/9385/9382/9385-1 PCI", which it says is sourced from the original windows 98SE installation files, so it recognizes that it's a Trident PCI card.
    Maybe 32 bit color is what i'm looking for??? I don't know though.

    I think something is wrong because it seems like there's more colors available when I lower the video resolution and set it to high color (16 bit) or true color (24 bit), but it seems like the color profiles are locked to video resolution. If I choose true color (24 bit) and start at a resolution of 640 by 480, then bump the slider up to 800 by 600, it swaps to high color (16 bit). From here going down keeps it at 16 bit color and doesn't revert to 24 bit color, but if I manually select 24 bit color from the drop down, it sets the resolution to 640 by 480.
    Bumping it up from either of those settings to size 3 on the slider (1024 by 76 changes it to 256 color mode. With 256 color mode selected it will let me choose any of the 3 set resolutions, but the color looks off, and with 16 and 24 bit color modes, trying to increase the resolution forces the option to 256 color mode.
    Last edited by J. Radon; June 9, 2021, 01:49 AM. Reason: Grammar

    Leave a comment:


  • J. Radon
    replied
    Originally posted by eswan View Post
    "this topic is just about getting 256 color working"

    Do you know how much memory there is on the video card? I'm pretty sure 1024x768x256 requires 1 meg. Can it do 800x600x256?
    <edit>

    Just looked up the tgui9680, it's a PCI card with a minimum of 1 meg, which means both of the posts I wrote were pointless. Yes, it sounds like a driver issue, and yes if you have a PCI based system, it should properly shut down under operating system control - unless it's one of the early PCI motherboards that has an AT style power supply.
    I believe it is an AT power supply based on your description. I'm only familiar with the modern standard of ATX.
    It has two 6 pin connectors to supply the board power, and the supply has a wired switch that runs to the power button slot on the front of the case with a ground wire that splits off and gets bolted onto the case. It was pretty weird for me, and I was worried about having to potentially replace it if anything went wrong since I don't know anything about older PSU standards, and was having trouble googling the term "power supply with switch" or similar. Everything just brought up modern ATX supplies and the shut off switch on the back of the supply.

    edit: I bring this up because I wonder if that's what's causing the odd shut down behavior. when I try to shut it down from the start menu, it just hangs after what I assume is it ending any processes. I then end up having to press the power button. I'm cautious about making sure I never use just the power switch to shut it down like I do with my main desktop, since I know with this machine the power button just directly cuts power from the supply instead of signaling to the board to start a shutdown process. Not having a power switch pin set on the board is just absolutely wild to me.
    Last edited by J. Radon; June 9, 2021, 01:21 AM. Reason: additional information

    Leave a comment:


  • Timo W.
    replied
    Originally posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Incorrect. The power switch on ATX power supplies is a physical on/off switch. Depending on who designs the unit, it can either be a single or double pole switch. Cheaper supplies generally only use a single pole switch, while more expensive supplies will use double pole switches. The former will usually only cut the hot, while the latter will cut both the hot and the neutral.
    Not incorrect. You are wrong, as you just described AT, not ATX. What he said is 100% correct.

    Leave a comment:


  • GiGaBiTe
    replied
    Originally posted by J. Radon View Post
    I'm a bit confused with how colors work in windows 98SE.
    In the settings tab under display properties it says it's set to 256 color mode and my screen area is 1024 by 768. The actual color gradient underneath it however looks like only 6 colors with dithering, instead of a smooth blend. Then when I go into paint and go to define custom colors, it's more of the same; dithering. I don't think it's actually displaying 256 colors, I think it's maybe displaying in 16 bit color?
    If you're getting a dithered color bar, you're in 256 color mode. 16 color mode will show 16 distinct color blocks with no dithering. 15/16 bit color (32768 or 65536 colors) will give you a RGB color ramp with vertical lines, and 32 bit (16,777,216 colors) will give you a smooth color ramp.

    Since you're able to run at 1024x768@8bpp, it means that Windows 98 has some sort of driver for your video card. If you had no driver at all, Windows would be using its generic video driver, which locks you to 640x480 at 16 colors. You should be able to see what Windows thinks your video card is in the device manager.

    But the behavior you're describing in Paint is to be expected because you only have 256 colors.

    Originally posted by eswan View Post
    ATX power supplies are where they introduced 'soft' power on/off, which could be controlled by the motherboard. The power switch on those typically goes to the motherboard and requests that the motherboard turn on/off the power.
    Incorrect. The power switch on ATX power supplies is a physical on/off switch. Depending on who designs the unit, it can either be a single or double pole switch. Cheaper supplies generally only use a single pole switch, while more expensive supplies will use double pole switches. The former will usually only cut the hot, while the latter will cut both the hot and the neutral.

    Leave a comment:


  • eswan
    replied
    "this topic is just about getting 256 color working"

    Do you know how much memory there is on the video card? I'm pretty sure 1024x768x256 requires 1 meg. Can it do 800x600x256?
    <edit>

    Just looked up the tgui9680, it's a PCI card with a minimum of 1 meg, which means both of the posts I wrote were pointless. Yes, it sounds like a driver issue, and yes if you have a PCI based system, it should properly shut down under operating system control - unless it's one of the early PCI motherboards that has an AT style power supply.
    Last edited by eswan; June 8, 2021, 09:54 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • eswan
    replied
    "why this thing has a power switch directly wired to the power supply; was that just standard at the time? It completely bypasses the motherboard. When I try to shut it down in the system it always hangs at the end and I have to manually power it off"

    Standard for PCs to about midway through '486. PC and AT style power supplies have manual switches built in to the power supply that completly cut the power. Late AT style and 'Mini' AT power supplies have the switch on a remote cable. ATX power supplies are where they introduced 'soft' power on/off, which could be controlled by the motherboard. The power switch on those typically goes to the motherboard and requests that the motherboard turn on/off the power.

    Leave a comment:


  • kc8eyt
    replied
    Here's a few drivers from archive.org:

    https://archive.org/details/tgui9680

    https://archive.org/details/video-57p

    Leave a comment:

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