2D sVGA Cards
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What sVGA card should you buy? Well, it's a question of purpose and money. Usually the main function of an sVGA card is to be a fast Windows accelerator. Another respect is the compatibility with games, while for professional applications the maximum resolution, color depth, and refresh rate can be the most important factors.

WINDOWS:
For MS Windows we usually need 1024x768 resolution, 15/16bit color depth, and at least 70 Hz (flicker-free) vertical refresh rate. Some hardware-assisted MPEG acceleration is also necessary. We need at least 2 MBytes of video RAM, and a good monitor that supports at least 60-64 kHz horizontal frequency. There are a lot of sVGA cards satisfying these requirements.

GAMES:
For DOS games we need a VESA VBE 2.0 complient card, because modern games provide sVGA resolutions only through this standard. There are TSR programs around to provide VBE 2.0 compatibility like the SciTech Display Doctor, but in this case we have to pay, and also it is not always easy to setup them. Another thing is the 3D acceleration. Most 3D accelerator cards provide only marginal improvements (5-25%!), and only very few cards, like the VooDoo 3Dfx, is able to multiply the frame rate by a factor of 2, or more in popular games like Quake.

PROFESSIONAL APPLICATIONS:
For professional image processing we need 24 bit or even 32 bit color depth. For CAD applications the sreen resolution must be 1280x1024, or higher (1600x1200). The flickering must also be excluded, which demands a very fast RAMDAC (220-250 MHz). To satisfy all these requirements, we need at least 4 MByte very fast video RAM (VRAM, EDO DRAM, EDO VRAM, WRAM, SGRAM, SDRAM, MDRAM) too. High-end Matrox and S3 cards can be applied.

  • PC Video Chipset Information Database

  • Diamond MultiMedia Drivers

  • sVGA Drivers from ASPECT.HU

  • Home Card_Type Professional 2D/3D Cards for CAD
    ELSA ELSA GLoria-XXL VBE 2.0, GLINT MX (3DLabs) + Boot VGA Permedia2 (3DLabs), 250 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-300 kHz, 160 MB VRAM + 24(40) MB DRAM, 3D res:1920x1080/24bit, AGP-66 MHz bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL, 3D Shutter glass support
    Matrox MGA G200 SE VBE 2.0, MGA G200 SE, 320 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-120 kHz, 8(16) MB 100 MHz SGRAM, 2D res:1920x1200/24bit, 3D res:1280x1024/24bit, 1152x864/32bit, MPEG-1, MPEG-2(DVD, 60 fps), AGP-2x-66 MHz bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL


    Home Card_Type Semi-Professional 2D/3D Cards for CAD
    DiamonMM Stealth II G460 VBE 2.0, i740, 203 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-103 kHz, VerticalRefresh: 56-195 Hz, 8 MB 100 MHz local buffer, 3D res:1280x1024/24bit, MPEG-1, MPEG-2(DVD), AGP-2x-66 MHz bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL
    DiamonMM Viper v330 VBE 2.0, NVidia Riva128, 230 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-103 kHz, VerticalRefresh: 60-200 Hz, 4 MB 100 MHz SGRAM local buffer, 3D res:1152x864/24bit, MPEG-1, AGP-66 MHz bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL
    Hercules Thriller 3D (TH2218SG) VBE 2.0, Rendition V2200 RISC, 230 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-110 kHz, VerticalRefresh: 60-160 Hz, 8 MB 100 MHz SGRAM, 3D res:1152x864/24bit, MPEG-1, MPEG-2(DVD) PCI 2.1 bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL, Rendition Redline, Speedy3D, 3D Shutter glass support, Video-In (PAL,NTSC), Video-Out (PAL,NTSC)
    Genoa V-Raptor 3D VBE 2.0, Rendition V2200 RISC, 230 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-110 kHz, VerticalRefresh: 60-160 Hz, 8 MB 100 MHz SGRAM, 3D res:1152x864/24bit, MPEG-1, MPEG-2(DVD) PCI 2.1 bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL, Speedy3D, 3D Shutter glass support, Video-In (PAL,NTSC)
    ATI ATI XPERT@Work VBE 2.0 ?, 3D RAGE PRO TURBO, 230 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-105 kHz, VerticalRefresh: 60-200 Hz, 8 MB 100 MHz SGRAM, 3D res:1280x1024/24bit, MPEG-1, MPEG-2(DVD, 60 fps), PCI 2.1 bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL, Optional Video-In and TV Tuner
    ATI ATI XPERT@Play VBE 2.0 ?, 3D RAGE PRO TURBO, 230 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-105 kHz, VerticalRefresh: 60-200 Hz, 8 MB 100 MHz SGRAM, 3D res:1280x1024/24bit, MPEG-1, MPEG-2(DVD, 720x480, 60 fps), PCI 2.1 bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL, Optional Video-In (NTSC or PAL), Video-Out (NTSC or PAL)
    Number9 Revolution 3D VBE 2.0, Number9 ?, 220 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-121 kHz, VerticalRefresh: 60-150 Hz, 16 MB WRAM (PCI) or 12 MB SGRAM (AGP), 3D res:1280x1024/24bit, MPEG-1, MPEG-2(DVD, 30 fps), PCI 2.1 bus, 3D: D3D, OpenGL
    DiamonMM Stealth II S220 VBE 2.0, Rendition V2100 RISC, 170 MHz RAMDAC, LineFrequency: 31-91 kHz, VerticalRefresh: 43-120 Hz, 4 MB 100 MHz SGRAM, 3D res:1024x768/24bit, MPEG-1, PCI 2.1 bus, 3D: D3D, Rendition Redline, Speedy3D

    Home Card_Type Description
    ET6300 ET6300 VBE 2.0, 2.25-4.5 MB MDRAM, 170 MHz RAMDAC, 2D/3D/MPEG
    ET6100 ET6100 VBE 2.0, 2.25-4.5 MB MDRAM, 170 MHz RAMDAC, 2D/MPEG
    ET6000 ET6000 VBE 2.0, 2.25-4.5 MB MDRAM, 135 MHz RAMDAC, 2D/MPEG
    ET4000W32P ET4000/W32P VBE 1.2, 1-2 MB/45ns DRAM, external RAMDAC, 2D

    Millennium_II Millennium II VBE 2.0, 4-8-(16) MB WRAM, 220 MHz RAMDAC, 2D/3D/MPEG
    Millennium Millennium VBE 2.0, 2-4-(8) MB WRAM, 220 MHz RAMDAC, 2D/MPEG
    Mistique Mistique VBE 2.0, 2-4-(8) MB SGRAM, 170 MHz RAMDAC, 2D/3D/MPEG

    S3 Virge3D GX/DX S3 ViRGE 3D GX/DX VBE 2.0, 2-4 MB DRAM/EDO RAM/VRAM/WRAM, 170-220 MHz RAMDAC, 64 bit 2D/3D/MPEG
    S3 Virge3D S3 ViRGE 3D VBE 1.2, 2-4 MB DRAM/EDO RAM/VRAM/WRAM, 135-220 MHz RAMDAC, 64 bit 2D/3D/MPEG
    S3 Trio64V+ S3 Trio64V2 VBE 1.2, 2-4 MB EDO RAM, 170 MHz RAMDAC, 64 bit 2D/MPEG
    S3 Trio64V+ S3 Trio64V+ VBE 1.2, 2-4 MB EDO RAM, 135 MHz RAMDAC, 64 bit 2D/MPEG
    S3 868/968 S3 868/968 VBE 1.2, 2-4 MB DRAM/VRAM, external (220MHz) RAMDAC, 64 bit 2D/MPEG, discontinued
    S3 864/964 S3 864/964 VBE 1.2, 2-4 MB DRAM/VRAM, external (220 MHz) RAMDAC, 64 bit 2D, discontinued
    S3 924/928 S3 924/928 1-2 MB DRAM, external RAMDAC, 32 bit Video, discontinued
    S3 801/805 S3 801/805 VBE 1.1, 1-2 MB DRAM, external (80 MHz) RAMDAC, 32 bit 2D, discontinued



    Vertical [V] and Horizontal [H] Clock Frequencies: H = 1.05 x Y x V
    X-Y Res. \ V 43i Hz 60 Hz 65 Hz 70 Hz 72 Hz 75 Hz 80 Hz 85 Hz 90 Hz 95 Hz 100 Hz 110 Hz 120 Hz
    640 x 480 - 30.2 32.7 35.3 36.2 37.8 40.3 42.8 45.3 47.9 50.3 55.6 60.5
    800 x 600 - 37.8 41 44.1 45.3 47.2 50.5 53.5 56.7 60 63 69.5 75.5
    1024 x 768 35 48.4 52.4 56.5 58 60.5 64.5 68.5 72.5 76.6 80.6 89 97
    1152 x 864 - 54.5 59 63.6 65.2 68 72.6 77 81.6 86 90.7 100 109
    1280 x 1024 47 64.5 70 75.3 77.3 80.6 86 91.3 96.7 102 108 119 129
    1920 x 1080 - 68 74 79.4 81.5 85 91 96.3 102 108 113 126 136
    1600 x 1200 54 75.6 82 88.3 90.6 94.5 101 107 113 120 126 139 151
    1920 x 1200 54 75.6 82 88.3 90.6 94.5 101 107 113 120 126 139 151
    1800 x 1440 - 90.7 98.4 106 109 113 121 129 136 144 151 167 181
    Monitors: 31.5 kHz 35.5 kHz 38 kHz 50 kHz 65 kHz 82 kHz 86 kHz 92 kHz




    Refresh Rates supported by different RAMDACs
    Resolution (pixel) 250 MHz 220 MHz 175 MHz 135 MHz 80 MHz
    640 x 480 60 - 200 60 - 200 60 - 200 60 - 95 60 - 70
    800 x 600 60 - 200 60 - 200 60 - 100(150) 60 - 85 60
    1024 x 768 60 - 150 60 - 140 60 - 85(120) 60 - 75 43i
    1152 x 864 60 - 150 60 - 120 60 - 70(100) 60 - 65 -
    1280 x 1024 60 - 135 60 - 100 43i(75) 43i - 60 -
    1600 x 1200 60 - 93 60 - 85 48i(60) 43i -
    1920 x 1080 60 - 83 60 - 75 - - -
    1920 x 1200 60 - 77 60 - 70 - - -
    1800 x 1440 60 - 70 60 - 65 - - -



    ET 6300: the same as the ET 6000, but with 170 MHz RAM DAC, faster MDRAM, and 3D acceleration. Currently not available.)

    ET 6100: (The same as the ET 6000, but with 175 MHz RAM DAC, and faster MDRAM. See it in Twister 6x00, or GraphixStar 600 Pro!)

    ET 6000: 128 bit 2D and MPEG accelerator with built-in 135 MHz RAM DAC, supporting the extremely fast MDRAM. Its MPEG bilinear filtering and color space conversion is one of the best of its kind. Its Direct Draw performance is absolutely the best on the market. Its dirty cheap. Only the moderate RAM DAC clock frequency (135 MHz) and the missing 3D acceleration are the problems. For improved clock frequency look for the ET 6100 chip, and for 3D acceleration, the ET 6300


    S3 ViRGE 3D GX/DX: (Cheap 64 bit 2D, 3D and MPEG accelerator with built in 170-220 MHz RAMDAC, for DRAM, EDO RAM, VRAM, WRAM and SDRAM / SGRAM for GX. It is not especially good at 3D, but performs rather vell in average. VBE 2.0, improved speed and MPEG playback quality! - However, not fast enough for DOS games.)

    S3 ViRGE 3D: (Cheap 64 bit 2D, 3D and MPEG accelerator with built in 135-220 MHz RAMDAC, for DRAM, EDO RAM, VRAM and WRAM. It is not especially good at 3D, but performs very vell in average.)

    S3 Trio64V2: (Cheap 64 bit 2D and MPEG accelerator with built in 170 MHz RAMDAC, for DRAM EDO RAM. Improved speed and MPEG playback quality!)

    S3 Trio64V+: (Cheap 64 bit 2D and MPEG accelerator with built in 135 MHz RAMDAC, for DRAM and EDO RAM.)

    S3 Vision868, Vision968: (64 bit 2D and MPEG accelerator. 868 for DRAM, 968 for VRAM)

    S3 Vision864, Vision964: (64 bit 2D accelerator. 864 for DRAM, 964 for VRAM.)

    S3 924, S3 928: (Fast 32 bit Video Decoder/Player)

    S3 801, S3 805: (Generic Windows 3.1x 2D accelerators)

    All the S3-based sVGA cards represent a relatively high quality standard. They are feature rich, high performance, high refresh rate and well documented cards. However, there are also some problems with them.

    - First, they usually do not strictly follow the latest VESA BIOS Extension standards. (At the present VBE 2.0.) This results complications of using TSR BIOS extension programs like SciTech Display Doctor and Dietmar's S3 VBE/Core 2.0. Also, there might be compatibility issues with important programs like NetScape, Win32S, or VooDoo 3Dfx 3D accelerator, which makes necessary to install updated drivers.
    - Second, the refresh rates are not strictly chosen accordingly to the VESA standard. This may lead to distorted image dimensions, if the monitor does not support high enough refresh rates. Well, the S3 cards are NOT for cheap monitors.


    HELIOS 3D (ATC-2465, 3D-Voodoo VGA Card by YAMAHA):
    - Supports full-screen games under Windows 95, Windows 3.1 and DOS using 3D APIs APIs including Direct 3D, RealityLab 2.0, Intel 3DR, Criterion Renderware and more
    - Support for game development tools including Gemini OpenGVS, Multigen GameGen, SGI OpenGL, and Autodesk 3D Studio under DOS, Win 32, and IRIX
    - Works with your existing Graphic Card
    - Provides Arcade games quality into the PC system

    Diamond Monster 3D: 3Dfx Interactive Voodoo chip set, 4 MB EDO DRAM on board for:
    - 2 MB frame buffer & z-buffer
    - 2 MB texture memory
    PCI bus 2.x compliant, Analog pass through (connection to standard VGA output)
    HardWare Features: Perspective correct texture mapping, Bi-linear and advanced texture filtering, Level of detail (LOD) MIP mapping, Sub-pixel correction, Polygonal-based Gouraud shading and texture modulation, 24-bit internal, 16-bit dithered RGB frame buffer, Multiple format texture buffer (8-bit and 16-bit), 1, 2, and 4 Mbytes of frame/aux buffer memory per pixelfx, 1, 2, and 4 Mbytes of texture memory per texelfx, 45 Mpixels/sec sustained fill rate for bilinear or advanced filtered textures, 1,000,000 Textured triangles/sec on a P-166 PCI system, Anti-aliasing, Z-buffering (16-bit), Alpha blending, Per-pixel special effects: fog, transparency, translucency, Texture compositing, morphing, animation, Linear frame buffer access
    SoftWare: Easy to use install program, Driver for Microsoft Direct3D for Windows® 95, Driver Glide register level compatibility software for full screen, coin-op/arcade games for DOS (Windows 3.1 / Windows® 95 )

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