* HOT DOS buns,..... er Video Cards

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* HOT DOS buns,..... er Video Cards

Post by johpower »

Before the switch over to Windoze video graphics, DOS on frame buffer video cards always ran fastest. Windoze optimized cards ran DOS video slower by 20-40% in the PC mag tests. :laugh: Back in the day, there were a few 4 mb DRAM cards but most were 1 or 2 mb. (I always had good results with the Cirrus Logic 5428 chipset for DOS, though there were others as good.) These new monster 128 mb cards don't even consider DOS games when they are being designed. What's the word on the best video for DOS now? And what's working for you?
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Post by Unknown_K »

Guess it depends on how old the dos games are.

My 386/40 is ISA only and I use a Diamond Speedstar 1mb dram (Tsent et4000ax chipset) works fine.

My P200MMX box uses either a Riva 128 PCI (VESA 3 IN BIOS) or a STB Lightspeed 128 PCI (ET6000 chipset with 4mb of rare MDRAM). The riva is the current card.

Those 2 cards were DOS game speed demons allowing VESA 3 screen modes in bios without a driver so you can play dos quake at very high resolution (the STB does vesa 2 modes). I think MDRAM was something like DDR ram, VERY fast and expensive for its time. VGA speeds were also extremely good (VESA mode would be SVGA)

These cards are recommended if your using old dos hardware that limits you to PCI/ISA cards.

Stay away from the early S3 chipsets they suck
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Post by Amro »

Well, if you buy a monster video card, you're not planning to use DOS. Really. Silly of you to buy a 128MB and use it for dos games... what a shame. I am genuinely disgusted. Why don't you at least give me the card, and I can give you and old 8Mb.
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Post by 486 player »

DOS games doesn't reguire more than 1 MB.
NO Windows, NO DOSBox, DOS!
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Post by johpower »

Amro wrote:Well, if you buy a monster video card, you're not planning to use DOS. Really. Silly of you to buy a 128MB and use it for dos games... what a shame. I am genuinely disgusted. Why don't you at least give me the card, and I can give you and old 8Mb.
I didn't buy one. I just know such beasties exist. I'm using a 4 MB S3-375 PCI card in my DOS machine at pesent. But it's a Win card and would suffer in comparison to a frame buffer card of the same size.... in DOS only.

Also in reference to the "DOS games only run in 1 MB" note just after the above: you haven't checked your frame rates or resolution tables have you? In order for 800 x 600 to display in full 24-bit+ color you need more than 1 MB per screen image displayed. 1024 x 768 is over 2 MB. Cut that to 256 colors and you get by with 1 MB..... but everything starts to look surreal or even like DOOM ver 1. Try that with MYST. At anything about 24 frames/sec (standard movie film speed) and 16-bit+ color you need a fast card with lotsa RAM to prevent jerky displays even in 640 x 480. Everyone who plays 2nd generation FPS (first person shooters) will tell you that 2 MB is bare minimum for decent color and 600 x 800. I want to run 1024 x 768 so I prefer bigger RAM for smoother action. DOS games will make use of whatever max color, resolution and frame rate the program was designed to put out if you give it a machine that allows it.
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Post by Unknown_K »

johpower wrote:
Amro wrote:Well, if you buy a monster video card, you're not planning to use DOS. Really. Silly of you to buy a 128MB and use it for dos games... what a shame. I am genuinely disgusted. Why don't you at least give me the card, and I can give you and old 8Mb.
I didn't buy one. I just know such beasties exist. I'm using a 4 MB S3-375 PCI card in my DOS machine at pesent. But it's a Win card and would suffer in comparison to a frame buffer card of the same size.... in DOS only.

Also in reference to the "DOS games only run in 1 MB" note just after the above: you haven't checked your frame rates or resolution tables have you? In order for 800 x 600 to display in full 24-bit+ color you need more than 1 MB per screen image displayed. 1024 x 768 is over 2 MB. Cut that to 256 colors and you get by with 1 MB..... but everything starts to look surreal or even like DOOM ver 1. Try that with MYST. At anything about 24 frames/sec (standard movie film speed) and 16-bit+ color you need a fast card with lotsa RAM to prevent jerky displays even in 640 x 480. Everyone who plays 2nd generation FPS (first person shooters) will tell you that 2 MB is bare minimum for decent color and 600 x 800. I want to run 1024 x 768 so I prefer bigger RAM for smoother action. DOS games will make use of whatever max color, resolution and frame rate the program was designed to put out if you give it a machine that allows it.

Anything over 4mb is overkill for a das game video card. Even the first full 3d games like quake worked fine on the then state of the art Voodoo 1 which had 4mb total memory (limited to 640x480)

There are a few DOS games designed when windows 95 came out that work in pure dos and windows modes like command and conquer. And the last gasp dos games that used VESA 3 mode for very high resolution (Quake 1 + others)

The fastest PCI based dos card has to be the Nvidia Riva based cards, if you can live with VESA 2 in bios then the ET6000/6100 Tseng chipset cards are killer. Im not sure if later Nvidia or 3DFX PCI cards had anything more to offer, if they have dos game support its by accident since dos was dead way before they came out.
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Post by johpower »

Thanks, I'll look out for one of those on sale/discount soon. >4mb maybe overkill for some DOS games but smooth game/video movie frame rates at high res are assured by all tha extra RAM. That's the real break for us DOS gamers and it's all so cheap now! My past 2-4mb cards are either slow or jerky in fast pans and long playing video sequences. I'll be happy to send that S3 card off to some one else as soon as I can.

(1/04: S3 is done gone and the replacement 16mb Voodoo card makes a huge diff)
Last edited by johpower on Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Rebelstar »

Is this table any use? It goes back to DX5 cards.

www.pcvsconsole.com/features/video/
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Post by johpower »

Yeah, that's a good table but won't help much on the older DOS games. They don't even use DirectX.

It's a good overall site. Thanks for the tip. :)
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Post by Rebelstar »

Well, I don't really know all that much about old PC games and hardware. This is my first PC, and I'm only just becoming interested in checking out its' earlier titles. Just bought System Shock (new), packaged in a HUGE cardboard box, for a quid. My first DOS game. Viva la bargain bin!

I used to own an Amiga 500, and I suppose its' games are comparable to the type of game that use the DOS on PC (although I realise that nothing anywhere as good as Quake was released for the Amiga!).
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Post by jmmijo »

Rebelstar wrote:
I used to own an Amiga 500, and I suppose its' games are comparable to the type of game that use the DOS on PC (although I realise that nothing anywhere as good as Quake was released for the Amiga!).
And you don't still use it :blah:

Guess I'm a hardware whore, still have working Amiga's and C64's lying around here :D

As for DOS based games, the RIVA 128 is a very good card as is the Tseng Labs ET6000/6100 based cards. I have one of the STB's with only 2.25MB of ram and it works just fine....
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Post by Unknown_K »

jmmijo wrote:
Rebelstar wrote:
I used to own an Amiga 500, and I suppose its' games are comparable to the type of game that use the DOS on PC (although I realise that nothing anywhere as good as Quake was released for the Amiga!).
And you don't still use it :blah:

Guess I'm a hardware whore, still have working Amiga's and C64's lying around here :D

As for DOS based games, the RIVA 128 is a very good card as is the Tseng Labs ET6000/6100 based cards. I have one of the STB's with only 2.25MB of ram and it works just fine....
Sucks to be you, my et6000 has full 4.25 memory (and it does make it faster)
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Post by jmmijo »

Yeah I suxxor to the Lee Majors :laugh:
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Post by Unknown_K »

The 4mb cards are rare, but not as rare as the et6100 chipset cards (with much better dacs for higher refresh at high resolutions).
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Post by Rebelstar »

jmmijo wrote:
Rebelstar wrote:
I used to own an Amiga 500, and I suppose its' games are comparable to the type of game that use the DOS on PC (although I realise that nothing anywhere as good as Quake was released for the Amiga!).
And you don't still use it :blah:

Guess I'm a hardware whore, still have working Amiga's and C64's lying around here :D
No, it was in use from 1990 to November '96, when I bought a Playstation. The Amiga haunted a cupboard, only occasionally seeing the light of day. The odd time I bothered to set it up, I found that I just wasn't interested in its' games :shame: . I got sick of the sight of it about three years ago, and threw it out (in bits!). Sad, but true...... I still have three consoles, and this PC of course. Heck, how many machines do you need?
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Post by jmmijo »

Rebelstar wrote:
Heck, how many machines do you need?
ALL of them :laugh:

It's a freakin sickness but somebody has to do it :devil:
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Post by Unknown_K »

I have alot of machines myself. I dont collect hardware to sit around like in a museum, everything has a purpose and gets used (which is why 90% of it is setup and ready to run with a flick of a switch and I am making room for the other 10% now). I think I am pretty much done aquiring computers for quite a while (maybe a few peripherals are needed but not systems), might hit the consoles again. The goal is to be able to play any game just by installing it in the apropriate machine and start playing (nothing to setup, tweek, or change)
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