Posted 2017-06-14 2:36 AM (#726) Subject: ONBOARD Cirrus GD5434 VS S3 Vision864 Vs Trident TGUI9400CXi
Ive finally gotten around to taking my 486 stuff out and setting it up.
So this is a little strange and maybe Ill be instantly corrected. The board Im working with in this case is a strange one.
Its a Zenith data systems board out of a workstation that normally uses a card riser. The only riser Ive ever had for it
is ISA only though the slot in the board that takes the riser is VLB. You can put a VLB card in the slot easily enough by removing
the bracket off the back so it doesnt hit the rear ports.
The board has onboard Cirrus logic video, GD5434-QC-E. The video does a good enough job.
So this is my dilema. After finding the jumper by careful inspection I set VGA to external and
I tried my old video cards. My trident card took a few re-seats to act normally and not hang the
machine on boot...
By my memory and correct me if Im wrong because maybe I had a different driver or VESA setup involved at the time but...
I thought the trident 9400 was a more powerful chip than the S3 864? Top bench is telling me its actually worse than the on board
video. The scores Im getting in topbench:
Vidmem 165 pretty much solid, 3dgames 44. Total rating for the machine is 148.
vidmem Jumps around a lot between 98 and 119, 3dgames 44, total score for the machine is 175
vidmem mostly around 140, jumps around 110-145 a little. 3dgames 43-44, total score is around 160.
I didnt run a doom benchmark which is my own fault, and dont really feel like going back to run it on every card...
though ill say both VLB cards are better than the onboard cirrus chip in terms of playability
considering the machine is clocked at 66 DX2 .
Any input anyone? I was under the impression that the Vision864 was the budget chip and the 964 was the good one...
though Ive never seen the 964 in person in VLB form only PCI. Does it exist?
Posted 2017-06-14 7:03 AM (#728 - in reply to #726) Subject: RE: ONBOARD Cirrus GD5434 VS S3 Vision864 Vs Trident TGUI9400CXi
You'll probably find that 3Dbench, doom & speedsys will give you a different "fastest" card. Personally I'd stick with the cirrus logic unless one of the others has a much better image quality and save the slot. I know when I did some testing on PCI cards that the Trident 9440 was a pretty slow card, in fact one of the slowest I tested, the 9680 was a lot better but still weak in comparison to something like Ark Logic PV2000 or a Matrox Millennium.
Posted 2017-06-14 9:06 AM (#729 - in reply to #728) Subject: RE: ONBOARD Cirrus GD5434 VS S3 Vision864 Vs Trident TGUI9400CXi
God what a wet dream it would be to put a Matrox card in the machine. The onboard cirrus seems to be slower in general but the score is actually average. I will play with it some more.
Topbench isnt an end all, but I Had the 66 DX2 processor in there clocked at 80mhz in my 486-GVT board, and my top bench score was close to 250, vs the 175 I get now using the same S3 card.
That extra 13mhz, and the bus speed that comes along with it really seemed to give the machine a kick in the ass. It was too fast for many 486 games but obviously also too slow for pentium games.
System shock for instance ran ok on it, but it was a little annoying to play because it was sluggish. So many other random issues that I have with random software. I usually keep 32mb in 72 pin
simms in it, but EL-FISH crashes if I have more than 16mb installed for some reason. Just a strange thing it does. 16MB is quite enough and Id have killed for it at that time. I actually did get up to
16mb in my 486 back in the early 90s but I mowed so many lawns and raked so many yards , almost as many as I did for my Best data Modem.
Im not too worried about the slot yet, as I need to find a riser. Part of me feels you are right and I Should leave it empty, use the ISA riser and simply install my other components. Luckily I Dont need
to install much, the board is the only 486 board Ive personally owned that has a Network port, Onboard serial , what looks like a joystick port but may just be another serial port, Onboard VGA, and
onboard Keyboard AND mouse PS2 Ports. Its very very modern, just the onboard network alone blows my mind on a 486 board. I may try to tweak the board a little bit more and use onboard but since
I have all these VLB video cards stinking up the joint I feel compelled to use them.
My next project is to get my MT-32 working with it and basically make it a complete system the way it used to be before it was stripped down a few years ago.
Posted 2017-06-14 1:56 PM (#732 - in reply to #726) Subject: Re: ONBOARD Cirrus GD5434 VS S3 Vision864 Vs Trident TGUI9400CXi
Location: Hull, UK
Trident cards didn't really catch up until the TGUI9440. Cirrus cards are generally close enough to the likes of S3 that you won't notice much if any difference outside of benchmarks. The S3 Vision cards are usually fast too, but as I said, Cirrus cards are usually close enough that it doesn't matter much in the real world.
Your issues with installing more RAM might be due to a lack of cache, I don't know how much you have or what mode it is in, but rarely are you going to need more than 16MB. In my 486 of this performance band I've never moved past that, as much as it would be easy to, simply because I haven't had any need to. I did test once, and installing the extra cache actually slows that down - not as much as having an inadequate amount would though - and negates the advantages of the additional RAM somewhat.
That "Joystick Port" is most likely Thick Ethernet. Awkward technology to work with, chances are you'll never use that port.
I have a 486 with onboard Ethernet and PS/2 ports. I have a 386 that has all but the Ethernet. They exist, but you have to be lucky to get them without missing pieces these days.
I like your statement about mowing lawns and raking yards, ha, it brings back memories, though in my case from the 2000s, attempting to save for a workstation I only just retired. I found that washing cars seemed to turn the best price for whatever reason.