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Digital Venturis P1-100 Works extremely slow in in Win 9x...

Sandisk78

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Have found a Digital Venturis P1-100 mainboard - have built a system on it. At first all seemed ok with it - games under MS DOS 6.22, like Descent and Hexen run as they should, and so on, but after installing windows 95OSr2 or 98se it happened to work in win 9x slower than a 486DX-2 - with all applications like Total Commander, Civilisation2, Office - Acdsee -working extremely slow... And in dos and win 3.11 all is fine with it- it works as a P1 should - even Acdsee works much faster under 3.11 on the same pictures than under 9x. All tests like AIDA16 tell it's normal P1 mainboard with common intel P1 CPU - - what can be explanation of this ? It has 8mb ram onboard and 32 in simm modules installed also.
 
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GiGaBiTe

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When running Windows 9x, make sure that you have all of the correct drivers installed from the manufacturer of the device, not generic Microsoft drivers.

The biggest performance killer in Windows 9x is missing chipset drivers, realmode VxD hard disk controller drivers and missing or incorrect video drivers.

40 MB of RAM is more than adequate for Windows 95, but you'll want at least 64 MB for Windows 98SE.
 

Svenska

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When running Windows 9x, make sure that you have all of the correct drivers installed from the manufacturer of the device, not generic Microsoft drivers.
There are two sides to that. While vendor drivers may increase performance substantially, they can also reduce system stability immensely. If the generic drivers are sufficient (basically, if the hardware is older than the version of Windows), then they are probably a good enough choice. On old machines, there is little reason to trade stability for performance.

The biggest performance killer in Windows 9x is missing chipset drivers, realmode VxD hard disk controller drivers and missing or incorrect video drivers.
Go to properties of "My computer", Advanced, and check if Windows itself reports any obvious faults. Real-Mode disk drivers will appear there, as do major misconfigurations.

Generally, try to figure out what exactly is slowing you down. Missing chipset drivers usually don't gain much (again, if the machine is not much younger than Windows) as long as caches and disk accesses are handled correctly. Try to enable DMA mode for your hard drive in the device manager if it isn't enabled already.

You might want to start off with a very clean installation. It might be possible that some software messed with system DLLs or that a virus found a nice home on your machine (or your software installation files).

40 MB of RAM is more than adequate for Windows 95, but you'll want at least 64 MB for Windows 98SE.
Even Windows 98 runs very well in 32 MB of memory, although one tends to run hungrier applications with it. As far as RAM goes, just make sure that you have some swap space enabled, and that it isn't used with your applications.
 

GiGaBiTe

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There are two sides to that. While vendor drivers may increase performance substantially, they can also reduce system stability immensely. If the generic drivers are sufficient (basically, if the hardware is older than the version of Windows), then they are probably a good enough choice.

Driver instability is mainly a problem with VxDs that have direct access to hardware. Most drivers by the time Windows 98 came around had transitioned to the much more stable Windows Driver Model (WDM) and had far fewer issues. I rarely had problems with WDM drivers, unlike VxDs where one bad driver could take the whole system down. One couldn't always get away from VxDs though, if you had DOS games that needed to run, you had to use VxD sound drivers and input devices like joysticks.

Generic Windows drivers are never a good option, not back then and certainly not today. The generic drivers almost always are missing extensive amounts of functionality otherwise provided by the device when using vendor drivers. Some examples would be 2D/3D acceleration on graphics adapters and mixing options on sound chips. OP is complaining about poor video performance, and generic video drivers are one of the causes.

On old machines, there is little reason to trade stability for performance.

Entirely subjective. If I have an old machine, I'm certainly not going to run it in crippled mode just because its old. I want the best performance it can possibly give to run applications from the time well.

Missing chipset drivers usually don't gain much (again, if the machine is not much younger than Windows) as long as caches and disk accesses are handled correctly.

Incorrect. Missing chipset drivers can have massive performance implications, especially on graphics adapters which may be on accelerated buses like AGP. I've had video cards lose over half their performance being run in a machine without the chipset drivers installed because Windows didn't know about the GART in the chipset. So instead of the video card being able to use DMA transfers to system memory, the CPU was forced to do data transfers itself.
 

Svenska

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Generic Windows drivers are never a good option, not back then and certainly not today. The generic drivers almost always are missing extensive amounts of functionality otherwise provided by the device when using vendor drivers. Some examples would be 2D/3D acceleration on graphics adapters and mixing options on sound chips.
The generic drivers tend to work well for hardware older than the Windows version, which incidentally tends to be less advanced (such as not being 3D-accelerated in the first place). For me, graphics drivers always had 2D acceleration and I never missed any sound functionality. However, vendor drivers are required for hardware newer than the operating system for the reasons you mentioned. On the other hand, I've had stability issues with chipset drivers (and certainly video drivers), but not with Windows-provided drivers.

OP is complaining about poor video performance, and generic video drivers are one of the causes.
I read the original post as a system performance issue rather than a video performance issue. If it is video-related, then the issue is most likely to be graphics drivers. Note that DirectX did provide updated drivers as well (at least before version 7 or so).

Incorrect. Missing chipset drivers can have massive performance implications, especially on graphics adapters which may be on accelerated buses like AGP.
You are correct, but Pentium (586) systems never support AGP. It appeared first in 1997 - well past Windows 95 and, for most chipsets and devices, also past Windows 98. The same is true for most 3D accelerators. Therefore, as I stated from the beginning, vendor drivers are required.

My point is: The drivers shipped with Windows tend to be stable, well-tested and provide decent performance for hardware they were written for. Vendor drivers will take every possible shortcut if needed for higher performance or additional features. However, I personally don't see the point of stressing aging hardware unnecessarily - if I need more performance, I can simply use a faster system. Unless there is a severe misconfiguration or lack of support in the generic drivers, performance improvements tend to be in the single-digit percentages.

All that being said, I do understand your point. You are not wrong, just talking about newer hardware.
 

Binarydemon

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I'd bet it's memory related, any chance you are exceeding your cacheable ram or using more ram than is supported by chipset?
 

NeXT

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When running Windows 9x, make sure that you have all of the correct drivers installed from the manufacturer of the device, not generic Microsoft drivers.

Not entirely true. For as long as I used 95 and 98 I found that once you resolved any missing drivers that Windows didn't ship with the machine ran perfectly fine and almost never needed to find later drivers (because that's a minefield on its own). This became more an issue starting with Windows 2000 where the Microsoft supplied drivers typically provided only basic functionality, as already mentioned.

You are correct, but Pentium (586) systems never support AGP
There was at least one Super Socket 7 motherboard sold by ASUS (P5A-B) that had onboard AGP. This is one of the few instances where vendor chipset drivers are needed simply to enable the full AGP bus speed.

What are you using for a disk drive? I have repeatedly run into EXTREMELY bad performance when using CF/SD to IDE adapters, even when DMA was enabled.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Not entirely true. For as long as I used 95 and 98 I found that once you resolved any missing drivers that Windows didn't ship with the machine ran perfectly fine and almost never needed to find later drivers (because that's a minefield on its own).

Generic Microsoft drivers only offer basic functionality, and can cripple machine performance and not allow hardware features to be used. In some cases, devices (especially motherboard features) won't even show up unless chipset drivers are installed. And if you have a machine that was released after Windows 98, you always have to install the proper drivers because Windows won't have them. I used to come across machines all the time that didn't have the correct hard disk controller drivers installed, which could cause machines to run painfully slow due to being stuck in PIO mode, even if the hard drive could run in DMA/UDMA modes. After installing vendor drivers, it was a night and day difference in performance.

Other examples are sound cards where realmode support was missing, or some types of recording modes. MS video drivers never had 3D support afaik, even in later versions of Windows it was a problem.

I must have been lucky because I almost never ran into driver issues, except on obviously trash hardware like Compaq and their proprietary everything in the 90s. They designed and built proprietary crap right up to the turn of the century and a bit after.

There was at least one Super Socket 7 motherboard sold by ASUS (P5A-B) that had onboard AGP.

Most Super Socket 7 boards had AGP slots and often supported the entire range of Socket 7 and sometimes even Socket 5 parts. I have a couple of FIC PA-2013s which can run the entire Socket 5, Socket 7 and Super 7 range up to the AMD K6/2-550. It's a bit daunting configuring it because it has huge lists of voltages, multipliers, FSB speeds and cache combinations with a crapton of jumperblocks to set.
 
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