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8bit Friendly ISA VGA cards

Agent Orange

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All of my old Tandy 1000SX software (primarily CGA) works with the installed Oak card. I've never had any program fail to run with my present configuration. Also, some oddball piece of software that fails to light off is the exception, not the the rule.
 

Eudimorphodon

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All of my old Tandy 1000SX software (primarily CGA) works with the installed Oak card. I've never had any program fail to run with my present configuration.

The category of things I mentioned is *really rare*, with maybe half a dozen even remotely popular pieces of software that use that mode. Most popular game I can think of is the simple Space Invaders/Galaxian clone "Round42".
 
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Agent Orange

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The category of things I mentioned is *really rare*, with maybe half a dozen even remotely popular pieces of software that use that mode. Most popular game I can think of is the simple Space Invaders/Galaxian clone "Round42".
I understand. Somewhere, in the not too distant past on this forum, I posted a BASIC version of "Space Invaders" if "Round 42" doesn't pan out.
 

Eudimorphodon

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I understand. Somewhere, in the not too distant past on this forum, I posted a BASIC version of "Space Invaders" if "Round 42" doesn't pan out.

If you have a machine on which the "VGAMODE" utility OAK provided with their cards runs then you can ROUND42.COM your heart out. It just doesn't seem to work right on Tandy 1000s, or at least my Tandy 1000.

(The Hercules emulation was actually the thing I used to use once in a blue moon back when I had an OAK card back in 1988 or whatever.)
 

Eudimorphodon

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Not clicking on that, nope.

Maybe it was an EXE file instead of a COM file, it’s been a while. Hopefully .exe hasn’t been recently registered as some kind of all porn-spam top level domain. Never trust the Internet.
 

chjmartin2

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Dec 26, 2012
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Diamond Speedstar 24X is compatible with XT machines according to the manual:

Diamond Speedstar 24X.png
 

chjmartin2

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Dec 26, 2012
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361
Diamond Speedstar 24X is compatible with XT machines according to the manual:
I am talking to myself now, but I got one of these off of e-bay and tried it in two XT's and no video, no nada. So, either the board is DOA or it says it works but it doesn't. I don't have a ready 286/386/486 to try the card in. Will continue the journey though because now I need to know if it actually works.
 

chjmartin2

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Diamond Speedstar 24X is compatible with XT machines according to the manual:

View attachment 1249303
Ok.... very odd.... here are the tech specs for the SpeedSTAR 24X. The above is the SpeedSTAR not the SpeedSTAR 24X. Here is the 24X:

IMG_9415.jpg


Not sure how it can be compatible with a PC/XT but then require a 16 bit slot and 16 MHz bus. Even more odd is that there is a jumper for 8 bit and 16 bit bios. Regardless I got a second Speedstar 24X and this one doesn't work either - so seems like the manual is incorrect about compatibility or at least in conflict with itself.


IMG_9416.jpg


Referring back to the Speedstar 24, it says this:

SpeedSTAR24.png
How can an 8 bit slot run at 16 MHz bus speed?????
 

Hak Foo

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Jul 18, 2021
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Some later chipsets let you run the ISA bus at CPU speed /2, /3, /4. I suspect with the right combination of adjustments you could get, say, a 33MHz CPU and 16MHz bus.

You could also use an XT-style design with coupled bus clock and a 16MHz CPU. I've tried that with a 20MHz V40-- even if you throw loads of wait states at the problem, a lot of stuff just gives up after 14 or 16MHz.
 

chjmartin2

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Dec 26, 2012
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Until you test the board in another computer, you'll never know.
The Diamond Speedstar 24X is, in fact, a good board that works in a tested 386. I also found and purchased a Diamond Speedstar 24, which as you see above shows XT compatibility. I am happy to report that this card works well in my Vendex 888-XT. It is the fastest card, so far, that I have used in the machine. I can get the 32k color mode in 640x480 and 800x600 to work using the TSENG 4000 vesa 1.2 drivers. I have not had success with the 16.7M color mode. Additionally, I tried using the Windows 3.1 Hicolor drivers in Windows 3.0 but that didn't work. It is very satisfying to see 32k colors come out of my Vendex. Thought I would share as it appears to be a nice card to use with an 8 bit slot.
 

chjmartin2

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Dec 26, 2012
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I wouldn't dream of using 32k color modes on an XT! The speed must be glacial :) Thanks for the compatibility report.
Yeah, I haven't tried stock, with my Breakthrough 286 it is still glacially slow to load an image...
 

chjmartin2

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Yeah, I haven't tried stock, with my Breakthrough 286 it is still glacially slow to load an image...

I did a bit of an experiment where I made Anamorphic 800x600 32k color images and hooked up my Vendex to my 65" LG OLED. I made a video with several slide show images. I attached some of the pictures of the OLED and a zip file with the Anamorphic 800x600 images in case anybody else has their old PC connected to a widescreen display and wanted to see how they look. In the video I removed some of the image loading but you can still get a sense of how slow it is even with the 286 accelerater.


Anyway, it does show how the Diamond Speedstar 24 is a) compatible with an 8 bit slot and b) can do 32k with a VESA 1.2 Driver.
 

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