3D Graphics Hardware

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3D Graphics Hardware

Post by trekiej »

I was wondering if some one could tell me about how I could get a 3d card and drivers for dos.

Also, has anyone came up with a way to use a second core of a two core processor as a virtual video card?

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Post by pseudocoder »

For the graphics, you'll need to be more specific; for example, is this for pure dos? what motherboard are you wanting to use? what hardware bus is available for the card?

In general for pure dos, look for a real mode VESA driver for whatever card will work with your hardware; there were no real standards then, so each card usually had its own set of drivers though not many supported pure dos beyond VGA. In that era, ISA cards were popular; onboard video would typically require a proprietary driver to access the video, and perhaps a dos driver or plug and play manager.

As a side note, newer hardware and dos don't like each other, so if you're trying to use a modern board, then you'll likely be out of luck. Your best bet for pure dos and graphics would probably be the Pentium 2, 3s, or maybe early 4s with memory barriers and whatnot.

I have no clue with the dual core question, but if it's dos related, I doubt it. IIRC, such hardware wasn't around when dos was king.

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Post by Quadko »

Ebay or similar used is the only way I know to get a card these days. I don't have a recommendation for a "general" card, they went through some iterations back then before things settled, and different games supported different cards/card sets.

Best thing you can do is make a top 5 or 10 list of the games you want to play, then find out what 3D graphics cards they support. Hopefully that will give you an idea which the best card to buy (first) is for you. It's been a while, but I've had good luck with my Voodoo3 and a later ATI card and early GeForces - for dos and windows, obviously. My Voodoo 1 & 2 became too much hassle many years ago. However, none of those cards were a "best of" later buy, but an at the time "what I could afford". ^_^

And if you're talking dosbox and emulation, it doesn't matter in the slightest. Emulators can't use the card directly. ;) I think MAME emulation has the best of that kind of support, and they are still all software AFAIK.
Also, has anyone came up with a way to use a second core of a two core processor as a virtual video card?
No. What's your goal, here? Maybe someone solved it a different way, and asking about method is getting in your way. Problem is video card architecture is different than standard general processor - it's hard enough to separate out one core of a CPU, it'd be a bigger task to do that with the specialized GPU chip, and you'd still need full driver support if the hardware supported it. Sometimes you hear about using the GPU for other tasks, like calculating bitcoin hashes or other math (GPUs are good at iterative math!), but that's just using shader and programmable pipeline technology, not actually getting into the processor and doing whatever you want. (AFAIK from what I've read, IANA(GPU architect or programmer)!)

It's not about 3D cards, but there's also this Vogons.org topic about "best DOS video card": http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=14296
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