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Rodney Dawn

Looking for GPU info (WIndows ME)

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Trying to find the most powerful graphics card I can (Regular PCI or AGP ) that will work with windows ME, has a DVI connector, and between 32 and 64 MB of video ram.  preferrably Directx9 capable, but its not absolutely required.   I would like help determining the most powerful card to get within these parameters as it is for a very specific system build. 

One other question, I have two options for the motherboard, one is a intel 845 chipset the other is a 865 chipset? I'd like to use the 865 to make full use of my 384mb of PC3200 DDR, but its been so long since I messed with anything intel I'm unsure of the 865 chipset compatibility with windows ME.  I know the ac97 sound wouldnt work but either system will be getting a PCI soundblaster which I know has ME drivers (tested on a Athlon system), and the video probably doesnt have drivers, but since I need a discrete 3d hardware accelerated capable gpu anyway the onboard video being unsupported is a moot point. My concern with the 865 chipset compatibility is concerning the IDE controllers, PCI, and AGP bus, and memory controller functionality.  CPU will be a 2.0ghz/512/400 ''northwood'' P4 in either motherboard, as its the only p4 chip I have on hand that has been thoroughly tested.

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Best is a broad question?  If you need a DVI for a TV input then a quality analogue output would be recommended. If performance is your choice then why restrict memory to 64MB? 

ATI 7000 : - 32MB

ATI 8500 : - 64MB

MSI MS-V064 GEFORCE 7600 GS GRAPHICS CARD AGP 256MB GDDR2 NX7600GS-TD256Z : - 256MB : - still make sure enough air flow is around the heat-sink

Latest ME drivers for Matrox only goes to G450

http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/over2003/index.html for some bench testing.

Edited by Goodmaneuver

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The DVI is to output to a ultra-thin 24" DVI monitor, as for the memory restriction, some programs dont play nice with an AGP aperture over 64mb even when you limit vcache to prevent runaway issues.

Thanks :)

I will go with the 8500 for this build.

That's really interesting that the 7600 actually has ME drivers. I'll grab one for my AthlonXP (pure performance)  ME system that currently has a X850 in it.  Its a bit of a power hog for the intel build though, as also trying to make it as efficient as possible.  16gb DOM (IDE SSD) and ultra-thin laptop type Dvd-rw-DL drive in laptop to standard 5.25" bay adapter with standard ATA133 interface.  Going to image the DOM onto a standard HDD to have a simple way to restore everything when the DOM eventually fails (longevity will likely be short as I cant kill the swapfile due to program compatibility again.)

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The BIOS aperture setting has not got anything to do with the GPU memory.  Larger GPU memory will be better. The old ATI 7000 and 8500 will restrict performance in graphic applications. You can choose what ever aperture you want, the graphics card has still access to its GRAM independent to the RAM set aside for BIOS graphic cache.

See https://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/43

Edited by Goodmaneuver

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1 hour ago, Rodney Dawn said:

 (longevity will likely be short as I cant kill the swapfile due to program compatibility again.)

You can set ConservativeSwapfileUsage, put the swapfile on a ramdisk, or both.

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Thanks :) I had forgotten that little tweak. (ConservativeSwapfileUsage). A ramdisk would require more memory installed, all I have on hand is two sticks of DDR pc3200, a 128 and a 256.  (I got plenty of old ddr2 and pc66/pc100 sdram just no more spare DDR400/333/200)
Still a good option when I can get ahold of some more ddr though.

        I'm using a micro ATX form factor, and the smallest case that still supports a full-height graphics card, and using a wireless keyboard and optical mouse, overkill cpu cooler (intel stock 3.4ghz "prescott" cooler being used on a 2.0ghz "northwood" cpu, and modding the case to serve as a mounting point for the monitor (the side that doesnt have any fan mounts).  essentially I'm building a homemade "All in one" PC, but with good old reliable windows ME instead of bloated inbuilt-spyware they call win10.

              I used to be a complete ME purist from the day the OS first came out, then eventually I found I liked windows 7 too (around the time 8 came out), and since I have multiple PCs and like building more from any parts I happen to have, so I use both.  I still prefer ME even over win 7, and mainly use 7 for video processing and testing Kernelex stuff on virtual machines before installing those apps on my well tweaked ME systems so as to avoid unnecessary reinstalls. (and the lack of ME chipset or r9 390x drivers would make it a waste of hardware on this watercooled x4 Opteron.)

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Note I do not use ConservativeSwapfileUsage because of some problems occurring with certain programs. The SwapFile will only get used if Vcache runs out. Normally I have no SwapFile in use and have Vcache set to 500MB. The SwapFile will get used if I visit a rather complex web site like a gaming modding web site. I think the SwapFile should be limited to 1GB though due to Virtual memory manager problems. This can be set in SYSTEM.ini MaxPagingFileSize=1024000. It would be wise to make a minimum setting of 1GB as well so not to be caught out with low disk space. ApplicationData files would be a good contender for the RAM disc.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
Had to add an extra zero on to Swap File size to make it 1GB

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I may have to go that route if I have issues with conservativeSwapfileUsage being enabled.  Havent had to limit vcache yet as only 384mb of ram right now, but on the AthlonXP machine with a 256mb gpu and 1gb ram I set vcache to 500mb and AGP Aperture to 32mb (was set to 256mb until recently as I mis interpeted the bios setting.  I always used to set agp aperture to match gpu ram.             

           As an update to my previous, I plugged a small test hdd into the Athlonxp machine to clone the existing ME install onto and then connected the drive to my Opteron with an IDE to Sata adapter, and oddly enough it booted. (base video obviously, but realtek ethernet driver, and usb controllers had drivers. It would take a lot of hardware wrangling (video sound and proper HDD controller add in cards) to make that anywhere near day to day usable, but I was just testing chipset compatibility anyway.  Still it certainly opens up some new possibilities.  (you can ''sort of''  make 7 almost feel like ME by setting classic view and turning off all the nanny-nags with regedit tweaks but its nowhere near the same, and does nothing for program compatibility either.)  Probably going to hunt up the necessary cards and get a dual boot set up on here too, since the test proved it to be possible, with a bit of work.  Plenty of PCI (and PCie) slots to work with, so the hardest part will be getting win7 boot manager set up to accept the dual boot.

Getting back to the p4 "All in one" build though, I decided on a radeon 9000 AGP, 128mb, aperture set to 64mb, and went with the 865 chipset as the board in question had mosfet cooling while the 845 did not.  HD ac97 disabled in bios, and replaced with Creative Soundblaster PCI.   450w SFF Energystar bronze PSU, single 12v rail, and routed power through the side panel that sits behind the motherboard to the monitor using a 12v molex to 5.5mm jack adapter cable so the whole thing works off a single AC power cord just like a factory ''all in one''.  I have it installing windows at the moment, and should be ready to start installing updates (from a dvd I prepared to simplify things) before long.      Going to run 1280x1024 resolution, and once fully updated I will make a backup to a mechanical hdd, and then install KernelEx for better browser support.    I actually dual boot two ME installs on the AthlonXP, one with KernelEX and one without, for various apps, but due to space restrictions in the SFF all in one build I'll just running the single install and keep a backup without KernelEX just in case. 

Edited by Rodney Dawn

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With KernelEx, if Explorer.exe is set KernelEx disabled then all programs started after Explorer ( at run time ) should start up as well KernelEx disabled. This should make the need for a separate build without KernelEx unnecessary.

I do not think that the swap file size setting works as the minimum setting does not alter WIN386.swp size. ( No the figure I chose was not 1GB needed an extra 0 and corrected last post. ) I know that CometBird9 has to have disk cache set to 1GB or less.

Edited by Goodmaneuver

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opteron updae, still looking for a simple way to update win7 bootloader to recognize ME (installed on a DOM SSD in a PCI to ATA133 add in card)  AM3+ Opteron 3380 if that helps.  Primary GPU R9 390x PCIe, secondary GPU ATI 7000 PCI bios set to display first pcie, then pci then onboard (radeon HD6200 series) legacy BIOS boot mode, SATA set to IDE mode.  I can boot either OS by selecting boot drive in bios, but would be simpler if someone could help me edit win7 boot file to recognize ME (D:/windows)

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