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Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU
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Deksor
Posted 2017-03-19 2:17 PM (#351)
Subject: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU


Chips 386

Posts: 33
25
Hi everybody !

I've found a Compaq Deskpro XL 590 which seems to work flawlessly however the GPU's performance is really poor ! It's making Topbench think that the CPU is a 386 DX 40 clone, doom runs slower than my 486DX 33 and Duke Nukem 3D runs just a tiny bit faster than my am486DX4 100 (8KB of write through cache). I swapped the video card for a matrox millenium and now everything seems to perform correctly. I discussed with WaybackTECH about this (since he has almost the same computer as me) and apparently his computer also came with that GPU.

The original GPU was a matrox "MGA is-athena". I really wonder why Compaq decided to put a video card that slow in such high-end computer. This video card litteraly takes the CPU down to 486 speeds O.o. Sure they weren't made for gaming, but except for autocad, this video card litteraly decelerates everything from what I've read
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-03-19 5:50 PM (#352 - in reply to #351)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU



AMD K6-2

Posts: 310
100100100
Location: Hull, UK
It appears my 560 XL also has the same card, either that or an Atlas, it's hard to read. I don't have the machine running yet, but at least now I'll know where to point fingers if the performance is letting me down. I'll be running NT though, most of the time, so I can't help wondering if things might be different there.

Does running the TSRVESA from this ZIP serve to improve anything? Or does that even run at all for that matter, as I don't find any mention of it regarding the Athena.

The card does have an interesting feature, in that apparently there are primitive 3D capabilities onboard. I'd imagine this only works with CAD software and relies on specific drivers to do so.

Edited by DXZeff 2017-03-19 5:53 PM
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Deksor
Posted 2017-03-19 6:24 PM (#353 - in reply to #352)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU


Chips 386

Posts: 33
25
"MGA is-athena" is the codename found on the chip but apparently this corresponds to the matrox impression plus
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-03-19 6:37 PM (#354 - in reply to #352)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU



AMD K6-2

Posts: 310
100100100
Location: Hull, UK
Still no luck finding specific tools for that card. I suppose UNIVBE 6 might help, but in all honesty you're probably making life easier by just using another card anyway. The later cards, such as the Millenium you used, are usually very fast in 2D and tend to have very clear image quality.

I once had to give up on an older Matrox card because I simply couldn't find the required utilities (in my case they were video decoder related) anywhere on the web or in Matrox's FTP.
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Deksor
Posted 2017-03-19 6:45 PM (#355 - in reply to #354)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU


Chips 386

Posts: 33
25
The real question (to me) is why they used that card in a high-end/profesionnal oriented PC ^^
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-03-19 6:59 PM (#356 - in reply to #355)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU



AMD K6-2

Posts: 310
100100100
Location: Hull, UK
Arguably it was a high-end card for a very short time when used in the way Matrox intended. It did not hold up for long though, as can be read in PC Mag issues from that time;

They loved it in 1994 despite the slow DOS performance. They still seemed to like it in early 1995 though it would probably have been unwise to get one at that time. Because just a few months later it was not looking so strong anymore.

Technology was moving very quickly when the card came out and nothing lasted very long before something outstripped it. My own Compaq unit, the 560 XL, is indicative of that because it is a Socket 4 machine, and we all know that Socket 4 lasted barely a year before being pushed aside in favor of Socket 5 and the development of Socket 7 was not far behind.
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waybacktech
Posted 2017-03-19 11:29 PM (#358 - in reply to #356)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU



Cyrix 6x86

Posts: 159
1002525
Location: USA
Horrible card

As soon as I saw the abysmal scores, I yanked that crap out as fast as it would come out of the PCI slot.


I should test it in Windows at some point though, maybe with drivers it will be better.

It really reminds me of a 3Dlabs Wildcat III 6110 AGP Pro "graphics accelerator" card I once bought years ago when I was playing with a dual 603 xeon system I built for next to nothing. That Wildcat was suppose to be a fancy high end graphics card, primarily to aid in 3D Studio rendering and such, which I was wanting to mess around with at the same time. The performance of that card in Windows moving around was just lagged horribly, and 3D gaming capabilities were not any better than a VirgeDX. Needless to say I quickly flipped the card on ebay.

The Matrox card might actually be decent for NT. I get the feeling the Deskpro XL line was really designed to be an NT workstation even though 3.11 and later 95 was offered.

Edited by waybacktech 2017-03-19 11:49 PM
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Deksor
Posted 2017-03-24 11:35 PM (#389 - in reply to #351)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU


Chips 386

Posts: 33
25
I made a video showcasing that computer here : https://youtu.be/PvHxG7AF2zI

I'm speaking french so I doubt that you'll understand anything from what I say (except if you learned french or if one day I take the time to translate it ^^) but at least you can see the benchmarks results before replacing the video card and after, etc. (Sorry for the shaky camera though, but I'm recording with my phone and I don't have anything but my hand to hold the phone)

Edited by Deksor 2017-03-24 11:36 PM
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-03-26 5:24 PM (#395 - in reply to #389)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU



AMD K6-2

Posts: 310
100100100
Location: Hull, UK
I know very few words in French, but I can follow what is going on most of the time by looking at the screen and the video gets a like anyway.
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waybacktech
Posted 2017-03-26 6:19 PM (#396 - in reply to #389)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU



Cyrix 6x86

Posts: 159
1002525
Location: USA
Ya, that's the exact same card that was in my Deskpro system with that scsi looking feature connector sticking upward. I have another version of what I think is the same card that was installed in an Acer P60 box I recently acquired. Card layout is nearly identical with a few differences, main one being the feature connector is different, but uses the same Atlas chip.
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Deksor
Posted 2017-03-31 9:33 PM (#414 - in reply to #396)
Subject: Re: Compaq deskpro XL 5x0 very poor performing GPU


Chips 386

Posts: 33
25
Thank you ^^

I guess that this thread is now finished
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