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8bit Friendly ISA VGA cards

Eudimorphodon

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Now that you mention it, I'm skeptical of my own advice. Would a cable with, or without, the ID pin help?

Doing a quick search to remind myself I think the issue crops up if it thinks pin 12 is grounded, which it might look intermittently with the i2c connected to it. Getting rid of the connection should let it float high.
 

alejack12001

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Jul 26, 2020
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I guess I am in a quandary here as to understand what is connected to pin 12 that requires it to be grounded?
 

Eudimorphodon

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I guess I am in a quandary here as to understand what is connected to pin 12 that requires it to be grounded?

On old VGA cards there are several “sense lines” that the VGA card can read to see if they’re high or low, and from that tell what kind of monitor is attached. As I said above, these lines were later reused to implement the Digital Display Channel method of communicating monitor capabilities, and a side effect of this is VGA cards that predate it sometimes erroneously think a monochrome monitor is connected. Pin 12 should *not* be grounded unless you have a mono monitor; the DDC line new monitors connect to 12 carried binary data and thus can intermittently look like a ground.
 

alejack12001

Experienced Member
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Jul 26, 2020
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First, I will cut the 12th pin as recommended and see what happens. I'll keep you all posted.

I would like to ask for some help in setting up a Vintage Pentium 3 slot 1 motherboard (MB) that I recently acquired from eBay. I am having problems determining who manufactured this board and where I might acquire a user’s manual; I did query the forum and sort of came up dry.

Spec's I got from the MB is as follows:

Model Number: DR737
Possible Serial Number/version: MB0001111-00213JM01 / E01
Unknown Number: 9HT00201532 VER E01
Barcode: 100010194
BIOS: Presto 2.4

I have included two pictures of the MB with this post. According to what is printed on the MB, the manufacturer could be Micron or BCM or GVC or a Chinese knock off. I don't know which. I asked the seller and he didn't know much either. The MB has a primary AGP 82443BX chip and VGA port embedded with the board as well as 2 PCI slots, a single 16-bit ISA slot, COMM 1 port as well as LPT 1, two USB 1, Midi db15, Line in, Sound out, and Mic port.

MB was sold to me as Pentium 3 slot 1. I had an older Pentium 3 slot 1 processor that I was going to set up as a helper computer to communicate via serial to my AT&T as well as test out an XT-CF card that I bought from Sergey during the summer to replace my Perstor card and MFM drives. The XT-CF didn't work on the AT&T; it never got past POST whether the BIOS on the card was enabled or not. I wrote Sergey, who thought it was a cold solder joint. I didn't find any using a VOM to test each point. I wanted to test it on this Pentium 3 machine using the 16-bit ISA slot. I plan to boot off 60 GB HD IDE. I don't know what OS to use as yet.

What I really need to know is how to configure for the BUS/CPU speed. There is a set of jumpers on the MB located between external connectors and the CPU capacitors near slot 1. According to what is printed on the MB the JP1 is currently set with pins 1&2 and 7&8 as OFF; pins 3&4 and 5&6 as jumped or ON, which according to the matrix on the MB is set to 4.5, whatever that means. In addition, printed on the MB near the J29 is a listing for Bus Spd, which states 100 MHz represents the jumper at J29 being not jumped or OFF and 66 MB was for jumped or ON. So, I believe the BUS is 100MHz and I am guessing this is for the video bus; I don't know.

There are two DIMM memory slots. Not knowing the memory limits, I acquired two 256 MB DIMMS for the board 100 MHz each. Not having a user’s manual hampers my ability to stand up for this machine. Any help that you or your colleges could render would be greatly appreciated.micronbcm-dr737-slot-1-system-board.jpgMB4.jpg
 

Trixter

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alejack12001

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Jul 26, 2020
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I wanted to give you all an update regarding the posting conducted last summer with the Paradise video card and the color situation that was discssed. The removale of the 12th pin on the VGA cable was unsucessful. The tests conducted using the checkit still seem to revert back to B&W when the various color tests such as the Text Colors Test (Mode 03h). I suspect the Paradise Card is not very good, which has been the problem from the get go.
 

Amygdala

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Jan 4, 2021
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8
Almost nothing of what you wrote makes sense. First of all, this is the first time you've said anything about being "out of limits". Your VGA monitor showed an image, so I don't understand what you're talking about. Secondly, 256K is normal for the PVGA1A and is identical to stock VGA so there's nothing wrong with that.
Ok, I agree the "out of limits" error message doesn't make any sense to me either. It must be indictive to the program being used. If the error message said out of memory, that would make sense, agreed. I am going to try a picture next as soon as I can find a DOS picture viewer. I do believe I am seeing 132 characters on screen and that is new. So the tool is working.
That is a hilarious miscommunication! Alejack120001, if you are still around, I think part of your issue is that English isn't your first language:"...hampers my ability to stand up for this machine" I've taught ESL and this among others you've made are classic misunderstandings of English idioms. That's fine, but its helpful to know when answering questions. But there are other problems here too, that others might want to avoid in the future. Firstly: you give us the results of tests, but not the problem: Did you check with your eyes how colors show in different programs? I am not clear whether only B&W or CGA colors were displayed, or just that the tests are erroneously reporting that to be the case. Are you relying on the tests alone?

When Trixter asked for more details, you posted a wall of text and photos. Surely you realize that's unnecessary, a little vindictive actually. It seems to me you are asking for help, but pretending you have more knowledge than you really possess, showing some insecurity. You add many needless details: no one needs to know that you have programs on a 5.25' disk, but you can't read them because they are formatted for 1.2MB. If that is the case, don't share! Also don't share that you have a HP WX8600. You should know none of that is helpful in solving the particular problem. We do not care how extensive your knowledge of vintage PCs are, or how many you have, or what your new computer is. You can post all that information on other threads if you want. You ask for solutions, but then try very hard to convince us you're really an experienced expert. Experienced experts also have difficulties and no one can be an expert in everything. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help. That's silly.

Back to the update: "seem to revert back to B&W when the various color tests such as the Text Colors Test"! I still don't understand if it reverts to black and white only when you use the test, or also during regular use of other program. Did you try Slipstream or PlanetX3 or anything other than the VGA tests? What happens when you run a game or use other software? I'm giving this advice to Alejack120001, but anyone posting can follow these simple rules. Just, humbly, ask your question and graciously accept the advice given, (even if it sucks). Provide details about the problem and leave out anything meant to impress anyone. And in this thread try to stick to using 16-bit ISA cards on 8-bit ISA slots. This is especially relevant to users of 8088 CPU machines. The original 5150 PC, PC XT, Compaq Portable, etc. Be aware some cards will work on an 8-bit slot in a 16-bit 286 computer like the PC AT, but not work with 8088 boxen. If you can, please note which category you tested.
 

Cloudschatze

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The Mach32-based ATI Graphics Ultra+ has recently supplanted the Tseng ET4000-based Diamond SpeedSTAR line as my favorite, 8-bit-slot-compatible ISA graphics card in V20/V30+ systems.

This card combines excellent video quality with the ability to use the 'accelerated' 8514/a drivers in Windows (1024x768, 256-color), and further allows the use of a rather wide-range of VESA video modes (leveraging up to 2MB of video memory).

I'll mention that while the Ultra+ does operate in an 8088/8086-based system, the utility to configure/set the card's EEPROM, the VESA BIOS extension TSR, and the Windows 8514/a drivers all require at least a V20/V30.


Windows 3.0 in 1024x768, 256-colors (also do-able with a 1MB Diamond SpeedSTAR, albeit in 'unaccelerated' form)


VESA mode 115h - 800x600, 24-bit color - on an 8MHz, V30-based system!
 

tonata

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Sep 11, 2019
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France
Trident TVGA 9000C VC511TM6 does not work in a 8 bit ISA slot in an IBM 5160.

trident-video-card-vc511tm6-2.27__51635.1489962188.jpg - Click image for larger version  Name:	trident-video-card-vc511tm6-2.27__51635.1489962188.jpg Views:	0 Size:	214.1 KB ID:	1205700

The IBM 5160 gives a bad video card beep indication.
The card on the image is configured as 16 bit ISA. Mine is configure all J9 closed and J10 open for 8 bit ISA.
I have not seen the exact manual for this card though.
I am using the manual for TVGA8900D/TVGA 9000i.
Does anybody have the exact manual for this card?
 
Last edited:

modem7

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Trident TVGA 9000C VC511TM6 does not work in a 8 bit ISA slot in an IBM 5160.
The IBM 5160 gives a bad video card beep indication.
The IBM 5160's POST only gives a 'missing or bad video card' beep pattern, which is 1 long beep followed by 2 short beeps, if MDA or CGA is selected on the motherboard's SW1 switch bank. See the 'INIT/START VIDEO CONTROLLER' section of [here].

If, as expected, you have the video switches on the motherboard's SW1 switch bank set to EGA/VGA, then the '1 long beep followed by 2 short beeps' must be being produced by the ROM on the VGA card.

BTW. I have a Trident 9000C MKII (see [here]), which supports 8-bit operation, but I discovered that its BIOS requires a 286 or better CPU.
 

heribert12

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Jul 17, 2019
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I have been testing a Realtek RTVGA9009 in an Amstrad PC1640 (an XT clone that uses an 8086-8), in the 8 bit slot. Funny detail how I obtained that card... someone had trashed an old Olivetti XT in a forest that is owned by my father, and he brought it home, must have been in the early 1990ies.... anyway at the time I wondered how someone could plug in a 16 bit card in an 8-bit slot... but I never tested it -- until now :)

VGA screen shows some yellow stripes for a second or so, but then the VGA bios loads fine, and it works perfectly fine in the XT! So definitively another 16 bit card that can be used with an 8-bit slot in an XT.
 

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Hak Foo

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Jul 18, 2021
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I've been able to get this specific Realtek RTG3106 based card working on in an 8-bit slot.

This comes with disclaimers:
* The board I'm using is actually a V40-based board (the EMM Computers/homebrew8088.com one), so it's technically only confirming 80188-like compatibility. Can't be 1000% sure the BIOS is 8088-clean with that.
* The CPU's memory map and wait state registers need to be configured to use more than zero wait states on memory pages A000 and above. If you leave it at zero wait states, it has significant display corruption and the power-on signature announces 256K ram instead of 1024. On a real PC configured in sensible ways, this is probably less of a concern, but the V40 does have some fun footgun registers.
 

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dr.zeissler

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Jan 4, 2014
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Germany
Hi there,

what 8Bit friendly or real 8Bit card would you recommend for an XT that has very good compatibility to VGA/EGA/CGA and perhaps MDA?
Some VGA cards do not support some critical stuff, e.g. "Beverly Hills cop" in EGA does not work correctly on ET4000 even when set to EGA mode.
Don't know CGA crtical stuff (beside 8088mph) that will perhaps fail on VGA.

So what card should I go for for an XT with VGA/EGA/CGA/MDA support ?

Thx
Doc
 

Agent Orange

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SE MI
Hi there,

what 8Bit friendly or real 8Bit card would you recommend for an XT that has very good compatibility to VGA/EGA/CGA and perhaps MDA?
Some VGA cards do not support some critical stuff, e.g. "Beverly Hills cop" in EGA does not work correctly on ET4000 even when set to EGA mode.
Don't know CGA crtical stuff (beside 8088mph) that will perhaps fail on VGA.

So what card should I go for for an XT with VGA/EGA/CGA/MDA support ?

Thx
Doc
Well Doc, I use an Oak 8-bit VGA (640x480) in my Tandy 1000SX. It's been on duty since sometime in the 90's. I had the SX down off its shelf for about 2 months, just to check things out and only recently put it up. I'm happy to report "all systems A- Okay". I'm sure you will receive an overwhelming response here on the forum.
 

Eudimorphodon

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Don't know CGA crtical stuff (beside 8088mph) that will perhaps fail on VGA

The most common category of CGA software that fails on VGA (or EGA) is games that use that 160x100x16 pseudo-graphics mode that‘s actually a hacked text mode. To run this stuff you’ll need a card that offers specific backwards compatibility features, generally implemented in the form of a utility you run before the offending program to switch the card (sometimes with a reboot) into a “register compatible” mode.

The old OAK cards mentioned have such a utility, with it you can set the card to work with CGA or even Hercules/MDA software. (Still won’t be running 8088mph I’m guessing, though.) I will note that the utility doesn’t work on my Tandy 1000, I think it’s a BIOS quirk specific to them.
 
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