VGA Legacy

...cards since 1981!

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What the... where the hell i'm...what is this...i need mine drivers...

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This is old archived version of pages and is no longer updated. Please visit new site at

www.vgamuseum.info

Adding of new comments is disabled same as creating new users. Site might contain outdated and wrong informations. I mean it, rather go visit new site.

Welcome to mine personal graphic cards online museum. These pages reflects mine personal collection of graphic cards. I've started collecting em some years ago, because i like collecting old junk Tongue out, i'm probably geek and internet is filled with CPU webs, but its hard find any about graphic cards. So i decided to make one. I started on Phprs engine and been using it few years, but with increasing numbers of cards, i needed better system with better searching features. Well this one isn't i hoped for, but its still better than old pages.

So here you can find tons of photos of old cards and some basic info about them. I'm trying also get bios from working cards. But keep in mind, that i'm using dumpbios NSSI dos utility, so better don't try to flash em to your card - seems to me like a fastest way to hell for your card. Bioses are there only for educational purposes - i'm often checking them for bios compiling date and card name. Also i'm doing some basic benchmarks, so if you wanna know which card would be best for your nostalgic old DOS gaming PC, head there.

On this site you'll find also collection of Palcal and Zaatharen - they are also card collectors from Czech Republic same as me. Newest collector on site is Pirx from Germany.

If you wanna help, i'd always like to have more informations about cards. Under each article is comment option. Feel free to use them, if you know any missing information, you found nice article about card or you think that i have any info wrong (memory size is often hard to guess for me).

IF YOU LOOKING FOR DRIVERS, SORRY NO DRIVERS HERE
For drivers go to www.driverguide.com or www.driverzone.com

PS: as you already must noticed, i'm not from native english country, so sorry for mine english.
PPS: Guestbook aka Spambook has been deleted (spammers seems to liked it too much).

Comments (14)
  • IonRa

    I Love your web site.

    I Love VGA Card and GPU.

    I Love Old Hardware.

    Thank you very Much

  • vlask

    Well thx for loving mine site :oops: Youre 1st person who love any of mine sites....
    I'm trying as much as mine lazyness allows me to keep any info about old graphics, since all companies left on market are unable even make one small page about their history. Shame on them. I'd like to see also pdf whitepapers about old for example ati cards - what harm can do, if they release info about 20 years and older cards :?:

    Lets hope for more sites as this one. Cpu webs are everywhere, graphic cards sites are 3 i know about (including this one). Still hoping for many followers :wink:

  • Graham  - Wow!

    Thanks for doing this. I've been interested in VGA for so many years. I notice your site is only accessible via an IP address, are you hosting it on a home connection? I'd love to help, I can offer you hosting on a UNIX virtual server that I rent for free, and I'd love to help your project.

    I wrote the first text for the definition of VGA on Wikipedia and also wrote up the first articles on Mode13, ModeX and so on.

    I would also be happy to help rewrite your English so that it was more natural.

    I often dreamed of doing what you have done here but thought nobody would be interested.

  • vlask

    Site is hosted at so called server (pc from old almost uselles parts - MB is always repaired for example :wink: ) which i sometimes (once per year) upgrade by adding another 256MB ram... Now its running on repaired Jetway V333U motherboard with Duron 1,4GHz (replaced Athlon XP2200 with burned L2 cache - had to disable it), 1,25GB DDR266 and 2xSeagate 80GB IDE in software raid (raid added another 2 min time to start linux on it). Whole thing is placed at mine work on line with about 170kbs upload. Ive made some time ago free redirecting with advertisment, so this site is also accesible from vga.hopto.org. Still have no feedback how sluggish is this site. I'm accesing site from local town cable network company, so dunno how it looks from another country. But i realise that this is not good if i get in future more visitors. Been thinking about paying domain, but seemed to me like a wasting money for that 30 people per day.
    I dont know much about virtual server hosting, so you mean hosting on better line or some kind of domain or both? What are line parameters? Hope that server have mysql and some never php 4.xx. Site is made with joomla. Also i like to have acces throught phpmyadmin because of database backup - still havent found good backup plugin for joomla (wasn't searching much).
    If you want to help about english, no problem. You can add also your own collection, i think this will grow bigger - in future here can be place for showing various collections, so we will have here biggest collection of searchable cards from various years. If you dont collecting i like to have here also glossary of various terms about graphic cards, but been too lazy to make lists of graphics cards outputs, buses, internal expandable connectors, memory types and other stuff like that. It should be here at one place with some nice photos 8) Short history of Dx and Opengl versions will be nice too.
    thx 4 support, but btw i still don't feel like a somebody is interested in this site :confused:
    mail me at vlask@post.cz, can give you then mine icq or skype contact for faster talking...

  • Jubatian  - Nice and useful site!

    Huh, I like this site, good job here! Well, and I think this won't just have historical significance for me but also practical: I am in the process of writing some cross-platform game engine with retro in mind, and here I mean real retro. I know and used the standard VGA specifications well, but for some extended features I would like to go deeper than VBE and create specific handling for some of the more common cards (The actual games would require only VGA, but the IDE which I also design so it can be ported back to old equipment would need at least 640x480@256 colors). I see you include datasheets for some of the cards which is a good starting point for this! :)

  • vlask

    I like that someone like this site :lol:
    When i changed site engine i wanted to add much more info about cards, but i realised that probably cant get anywhere that good database based web engine and programing that would be hell. So i just ended only with that simple tagging system (still better that anything i seen so far :twisted: )
    Another hard part with better info is that doesnt exist any software showing card capabilities. Some old 3D Marks show info, but never versions mising some older capabilities info. What is worse, that i cant even find any spec about required technologies for cards to be DX3/5... capable.
    So im adding at last opengl extensions.
    Want add also articles about all technologies, with their history and what they do, but this will be task for decades of years.
    Btw: want all datasheets - too bad that cant get any sheets nomore, like good info about ISA cards included there. Getting sheets about ati/nvidia or any newer card would be great - too bad that they keep everything so secret.

  • Jubatian  - ISA :D

    Well, the cards interesting me the most are best described with ISA 8 or 16 bits, Vesa Local Bus; no much DirectX in here :D A good guide I used in the past (And will once I pick it up again) is Ralph Brown's Interrupt List, that contained some good informations on how to handle some of the cards (Mostly probably Cirrus and S3 ones).

    An interesting "bechmark" I found for plain VGA was one of my QBasic games which output pseudo-3D. This on a 25MHz 4.86 with a decent VLB Cirrus card produced 18FPS while later a P133 with a 8bit ISA VGA card died horribly at 4FPS (The same with a PCI S3 card could again do 18FPS). I think I managed to get something very VGA dependent with that one (Most probably it "measured" transfer rate which not only depends on the bus but also on the card's internals too. That might also insert wait states).

    I am sure I will include a review to this site later on mine where I am planning to collect these. Your site covers a nice part of the past of (PC) computer technology!

  • Graham

    This is down to bus speed, RAM speed and waits states etc. Remember the VGA's sequencer is what gives access to the RAM, and it has to arbitrate between video-refresh and DRAM refresh cycles. Old VGA's had slow RAM, and were often using a lot of their capacity just doing the video refresh. Not only that, but an 8-bit ISA bus is considerably slower than a VLB one!

    The "true blue" original VGA I had on a IBM PS/2 50Z (286, 10Mhz) with an MCA 16-bit bus was really slow. It was outperformed considerably by a cheap Oak OTI037, but they weren't bad actually, cheap and cheerful.

    Search for VGADOC for a good attempt at bringing some programming info together on these old cards, or even better, buy the book "Programmer's Guide to the EGA, VGA and Super VGA" by Richard F Ferraro. That book includes a lot of programming info of the early accelerated cards like Cirrus, S3, Chips & Technology and so on.

  • Jubatian  - VGADOC

    Huh, I don't know if you mean that, but I have a site dump of the FreeVGA project of course. I used that among Ralph Brown's Interrupt list and Tweak1.6b by Robert Schmidt to do my experiments. What I did were an automated mode tweaker (Where you could directly input the horizontal total / retrace / display width etc. parameters), several tweaked mode either fitting standard VGA or some SVGAs (35KHz horizontal frequency) with increased refresh rates, and later some 3D engine bases (polygon engines) using the 16 color mode and VGA's advanced features to do their jobs. An interesting thing I did was with a Cirrus card and Ralph Browns list: I tweaked the VGA BIOS routines that way that instead of the standard 60Hz 640x480 modes it would rather give the 72Hz modes when a game (For example Warcraft II) requested it.

    For the wait states well, I know. An interesting thing Cirrus advertises was that zero wait state stuff, and for that performance it gave it actually seemed to be very close to the truth! :) Programming-wise it will be a nasty battle to reduce the VGA access to get my retro engine giving an affordable performance even on the crappiest stuff. What hit me bad was when I noticed that VGA has the "wrong" bit order, so you just can't shift 16 or 32bit words with the CPU and get the proper result. The PC is little-Endian while the VGA's bit order on planar modes fits a big-Endian architecture. Yuck! What the inventor of this thing smoked when he settled with that I would ask :p

  • Anonymous

    I meant this...

    http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/6.828/2010/readings/hardware/vgadoc/

    Pretty quirky though, it's scraps of info, a better book would be the one by Richard F Ferraro if you are at all interested in programming the early 2D accel cards. Of historical interest only now, but I still find the stuff interesting.

  • Ricardo  - Some Vidcards

    I stumblud uppon ths site while browsing info for some old graphics cards ik have laying around..

    ur site provided alot off help , but i saw some pictures from example the Compaq Matrox Millennium G200 (G2+ MILA/8D/CPQ) . mine is assembled in the USA . and it has the numbers 2698 imbedded on the circuit board..

    what is the differ ?

    same goes for the S3 Trio64V+ (P1E3BF) "diamond stealth 64 video 2001 Rev. K . this one is from malaysia and has the MVP1100 add-on card...


    maybe some 1 interested with these cards ? otherwise they will be going on their final journey to the trash bin...

    Keep up the site . i'm loving it allready :D

  • amrani  -  radeon hd 3850

    hello
    please it there's a voltage regulator in the bottom of the graphics card, the series begins with BA7T ... But I do not know then, tell me the complete series of this component

  • WadiM (Belarus)

    Thanks, very useful site indeed. Found it searching web for Matrox cards and was very impressed by amount of information, gathered by the Author. Especially thanks for datasheets and BIOS files. Will use them in my emulation efforts :) Very handy!

  • Liqu1d82  - Great work!

    Hello guys, I've found your site only today, and I must say it is really well done and very interesting! I'm also 'son' of the 80s and 90s, my idea of video game is inextricably linked to those great years and the fantastic MS-DOS with all his titles, in addition to the dear good old gaming consoles. I lost interest in emulating old systems, since I want to use only real hardware - often I buy entire lots with few Euros - old VGAs, audio and more: ISA & PCI, old motherboards, etc.. all this to build computers of those times and keep using them, in addiction to my Debian machine. Other times it happens (thankfully) to 'save' old PCs from the garbage of others, and after having been restored, brought them back to life! Long live the retro-technology, the old DOS and the 90s! Keep it up guys!

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 08:12  

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