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demolition
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Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:26 am

Just recently got myself a Matrox Mystique 4MB PCI card for one of my retro PCs. It was a very nice gfx card back in the day, but I just thought that perhaps it would even be possible to run in a modern PC? My Z370 motherboard has a single PCI slot, so electrically I guess it should be compatible? The main issue would probably be whether the PCI bridge likes it and whether any drivers exist for Win10 which would enable any resolutions above standard VGA (Can Win10 even function in 640x480?) I know that the performance would be abysmal compared to even the cheapest modern PCIe card, but it could still be a fun experiment to see how well I could make a 20 year old Gfx card run in a more or less cutting-edge i7-8700k based system. :-)
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:20 am

Windows 10 requires DirectX 9 and 800x600. Windows 7 requires the same DirectX9 and no specific resolution. Doing anything on 7 at 640x480, like troubleshooting graphics driver problems, is a horrible experience, though.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:27 am

You could theoretically use it in a DOS/Windows 9x VM, but it wouldn't really make much sense as onboard graphics are far better and easier. Now, if it were a specialty card like a SCSI adapter or some sort of proprietary medical instrumemt thingamajig, it could be worth your time.
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demolition
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:57 am

TheEmrys wrote:
You could theoretically use it in a DOS/Windows 9x VM, but it wouldn't really make much sense as onboard graphics are far better and easier. Now, if it were a specialty card like a SCSI adapter or some sort of proprietary medical instrumemt thingamajig, it could be worth your time.

I know that onboard are better and easier, however that is not really relevant. The question was mostly whether I would be able to see the Windows 10 desktop in any way using this PCI card. It would likely be useless for anything practical and hardly 'worth my time' other than a fun thought-experiment.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:58 am

I suspect compatible drivers would be your biggest impediment to having it actually work. Drivers for a card from that era weren't signed, so unless Microsoft happens to have kept a driver in its own device support library you may end up dropping back to generic display adapter.

But as others have mentioned, it's likely many times slower than the IGP, let alone any discrete graphics cards from today. Even if it works, it probably won't be a fun experience (novelty aside).
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:11 am

Don't know if you've got any interest in doing so, but you might be able to get it to run halfway decently under Linux.

That said, getting a PCI-based ATI Rage XL (from the same general era as that Matrox card) to work in a modern Linux distro wasn't as straightforward as I expected. The OS installer ran just fine, but booting from the installed OS resulted in the card outputting an invalid resolution for the display it was connected to. This was more than just idle curiosity on my part; the Rage XL is being used as the console display for my new headless home server build. It is just there for OS setup and in case the OS or boot drive ever craps the bed, and can't be repaired over the network.
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demolition
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:38 am

Is it possible to natively boot DOS/Win9x on a modern system or did they ditch the 16 bit parts required to do this? Last time I tried this I think was on a Core 2 Duo system and that worked without a hitch.
x86 was always known for keeping a lot of baggage, and although the old CPU instructions are no longer present directly in silicon, they can still be emulated through microcode since speed is not an issue. One could probably run Win2k though since that is a pure 32 bit OS and the Matrox card is well supported here. You won't find any drivers for the on-board devices and since the MB only has one PCI slot occupied by the gfx card, it would be hard to add USB controllers or NICs to get it online.

They have obviously tried to move to UEFI for booting modern systems, but pretty much all motherboards still has a legacy BIOS there which may be backwards compatible all the way back to when PC's were labeled as being IBM-compatible. :-)
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:06 am

just brew it! wrote:
Don't know if you've got any interest in doing so, but you might be able to get it to run halfway decently under Linux.

That said, getting a PCI-based ATI Rage XL (from the same general era as that Matrox card) to work in a modern Linux distro wasn't as straightforward as I expected. The OS installer ran just fine, but booting from the installed OS resulted in the card outputting an invalid resolution for the display it was connected to. This was more than just idle curiosity on my part; the Rage XL is being used as the console display for my new headless home server build. It is just there for OS setup and in case the OS or boot drive ever craps the bed, and can't be repaired over the network.


I've had similar issues with Rage I based cards for years on Linux. I remember my very first Linux experience was like this, on my secondary PC with a Rage II card and an ancient 640x480 monitor with no screen adjustment controls.

This was trying to install Mandrake Linux. The graphical installer looked great, but the installed system would go off the top and bottom of the screen, and with no screen adjustment, I couldn't do anything.

demolition wrote:
Is it possible to natively boot DOS/Win9x on a modern system or did they ditch the 16 bit parts required to do this? Last time I tried this I think was on a Core 2 Duo system and that worked without a hitch.
x86 was always known for keeping a lot of baggage, and although the old CPU instructions are no longer present directly in silicon, they can still be emulated through microcode since speed is not an issue. One could probably run Win2k though since that is a pure 32 bit OS and the Matrox card is well supported here. You won't find any drivers for the on-board devices and since the MB only has one PCI slot occupied by the gfx card, it would be hard to add USB controllers or NICs to get it online.

They have obviously tried to move to UEFI for booting modern systems, but pretty much all motherboards still has a legacy BIOS there which may be backwards compatible all the way back to when PC's were labeled as being IBM-compatible.


It is possible to boot DOS on a modern PC, if the CSM (Compatibility Support Module) is turned on. This enables legacy BIOS emulation. But most moderm motherboards I've seen turn it off by default. I think that's slowly going away though. Also due to timing bugs in windows, Win9x probably won't work.
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:15 am

srg86 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
That said, getting a PCI-based ATI Rage XL (from the same general era as that Matrox card) to work in a modern Linux distro wasn't as straightforward as I expected. The OS installer ran just fine, but booting from the installed OS resulted in the card outputting an invalid resolution for the display it was connected to. This was more than just idle curiosity on my part; the Rage XL is being used as the console display for my new headless home server build. It is just there for OS setup and in case the OS or boot drive ever craps the bed, and can't be repaired over the network.

I've had similar issues with Rage I based cards for years on Linux. I remember my very first Linux experience was like this, on my secondary PC with a Rage II card and an ancient 640x480 monitor with no screen adjustment controls.

In my case, it was even worse -- all I got was a "signal out of range" message on the monitor (a 17" 1280x1024 LCD).

I was able to tweak the GRUB config to force the card into basic 80x25 text-only mode on boot, which is fine for my purposes since it is just there for disaster recovery anyway. The dumb thing about this bug is that I didn't even install a GUI; but it was (apparently, this is just a guess) trying to use one of the newer high-resolution console modes (and failing).
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:34 am

"but you might be able to get it to run halfway decently under Linux."

I just had the same idea. If it doesn't work with Windows, try Linux.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:09 pm

This thread just went full whm1974.
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:13 pm

bthylafh wrote:
This thread just went full whm1974.

It was already in "science fair project" territory from the very first post, so I had absolutely no qualms about nudging it even further in that direction. :lol:
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:34 pm

bthylafh wrote:
This thread just went full whm1974.

No, that would by trying to get it working on RISC under linux.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:09 pm

Everything post-XP requires a DX9-capable graphics card, but you can probably turn off 3d-renderd desktop. There is a minimum VRAM spec that's much higher than yours, but I imagine that's for 3D desktop rendering.

You might be able to get Windows to detect it as a generic VGA card, but getting it to run higher than 1024x768 will be a problem with that slow RAMDAC.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:03 pm

You don't require a DX9 graphics card for Windows Vista forward. DX9 is only required to activate the 3D compositing effects of the DWM, what some people inaccurately call Aero.

You can display the desktop in 2D, Windows will do so using a basic VGA driver.

That said apparently the Mystique has XP drivers.

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/suppo ... 2k_582.php

The Windows Kernel still allowed for XP video drivers in Vista and 7. I haven't tested 8.1 or 10, but I also haven't read about the deprecation of that functionality either. I also do not know if multi-monitor will work when mixing WDDM and XPDM drivers together across two different adapters. Vista couldn't even handle dual WDDM drivers from different manufacturers, that didn't arrive until 7.

I'd recommend doing a backup or at minimum making a system restore checkpoint before you engage on this adventure. Tools like DDU don't work on Matrox drivers.

Edit: Some digging implies the kernel will load the XPDM driver and device and ignore/disable the WDDM driver and device. (Vista and 7)
Last edited by Ryu Connor on Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:39 pm

I used to have a Matrox Mystique 4MB PCI 8) . Excellent card for it's day, even compared to most of the early AGP cards (I was building alot of systems with crap S3 Virge and Intel 740's at the time).

Anyhow, before you get to the discussion of OS, I doubt you'll even be able to get the BIOS to make any attempt at using standard PCI for display. It'll basically just use the onboard gpu and give you the finger.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:56 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:
You don't require a DX9 graphics card for Windows Vista forward. DX9 is only required to activate the 3D compositing effects of the DWM, what some people inaccurately call Aero.

You can display the desktop in 2D, Windows will do so using a basic VGA driver.

People are confused by Microsoft's minimum specs pages, e.g. https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/hel ... dows-vista , which changed at some point and removed the actual minimum specs.

(Edit to add https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/hel ... quirements also lies.)

That linked Vista page is "[r]ecommended minimum hardware requirements" and says for Home Basic it's a "DirectX 9-class graphics card" and "32 MB of graphics memory" and for all other versions it's a "Windows Aero-capable graphics card" which is a "DirectX 9-class graphics card that supports" "that supports" "[a] WDDM driver", "Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware", "32 bits per pixel" and has "128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)".

The original page used to say the minimum for video was "Super VGA".

As for the unquoted part, this says that Windows 8 requires drivers to be WDDM 1.2 and will not play with XDDM drivers.

Windows 10, at least early versions, had some funky behaviour around WDDM 1.x vs 2.x e.g. NVIDIA's Windows 10 drivers had a WDDM 1.3 path for Fermi and a WDDM 2.0 path for Kepler and later, and this meant that if you had a Fermi and a Kepler card in the same system only one would work (dependant on PCIe slot location). (In principle, this means you can have 2 GT 630's and only 1 would work...)
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:05 pm

Topinio wrote:
People are confused by Microsoft's minimum specs pages, e.g. https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/hel ... dows-vista , which changed at some point and removed the actual minimum specs.


Yes, Microsoft presents bad info.

Topinio wrote:
As for the unquoted part, this says that Windows 8 requires drivers to be WDDM 1.2 and will not play with XDDM drivers.


Would appear that Vista and 7 are the end of the line for XP driver support in the kernel then.
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:57 pm

The Egg wrote:
Anyhow, before you get to the discussion of OS, I doubt you'll even be able to get the BIOS to make any attempt at using standard PCI for display. It'll basically just use the onboard gpu and give you the finger.

If the motherboard supports IGP there's likely a BIOS setting to determine whether it defaults to the IGP or discrete GPU. You may need to hook up the monitor to the IGP first so you can toggle that setting.

My Asus M5A97 actually let me into the EFI using the ATI Rage XL card, but it does not support IGP so there was nothing else for it to default to.
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:38 pm

just brew it! wrote:
The Egg wrote:
Anyhow, before you get to the discussion of OS, I doubt you'll even be able to get the BIOS to make any attempt at using standard PCI for display. It'll basically just use the onboard gpu and give you the finger.

If the motherboard supports IGP there's likely a BIOS setting to determine whether it defaults to the IGP or discrete GPU. You may need to hook up the monitor to the IGP first so you can toggle that setting.

My Asus M5A97 actually let me into the EFI using the ATI Rage XL card, but it does not support IGP so there was nothing else for it to default to.

I'm sure it has that setting, but only for IGP or PCIe. I'd be willing to take most any ridiculous bet that it won't work with standard PCI via a bridge chip.

Somewhat related, my most recent personal build had me questioning my sanity and knowledge, and almost resulted in a motherboard return. 3-4 days of fighting, and I absolutely could not get my motherboard to utilize any discrete card. I don't remember how exactly I figured it out (probably despirate trial and error), but I eventually traced it to a setting in the BIOS for "CSM (Compatibility Support Module)". No meaningful description in any documentation, or anything to give an indication that this is the cause of GPU issues.

Been meaning to create a more detailed thread for others who will inevitably run into the same issue, but haven't gotten a chance.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:52 pm

As long as you can get the Matrox past that whole BIOS emulation thang your motherboard's gonna subject it to, it should display the Win10 desktop just fine--special effects and all. Unlike in Win7 and earlier, Win10 forces desktop composition. On systems without compatible video drivers, it does this by emulating D3D on the CPU. It'll lack v-sync, but the fancy window transitions should look fairly smooth on a fast CPU like the 8700K. Well, assuming that PCI bandwidth/latency through the motherboard's PCIe to PCI bridge doesn't get in the way.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:57 am

Just do it! (for science)
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:43 am

After seeing this thread I tried a matrox millennium 2 in one of my systems (its an x79 board that happens to have a single PCI slot) and in windows 7 the card did show up in the device manager but it gave me an error. Device cannot start Code 10. I tried linux mint but the card didn't show up at all.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:48 am

The Egg wrote:
I'm sure it has that setting, but only for IGP or PCIe. I'd be willing to take most any ridiculous bet that it won't work with standard PCI via a bridge chip.


A PCI graphics card, should work just fine, if the card, PC and bridge are all properly spec compliant, which they should be. The spec takes all this into consideration. To software, a PCIe to PCI bridge looks like a PCI to PCI bridge, so your GPU may be on another Bus number, but it will still work.

The Egg wrote:
Somewhat related, my most recent personal build had me questioning my sanity and knowledge, and almost resulted in a motherboard return. 3-4 days of fighting, and I absolutely could not get my motherboard to utilize any discrete card. I don't remember how exactly I figured it out (probably despirate trial and error), but I eventually traced it to a setting in the BIOS for "CSM (Compatibility Support Module)". No meaningful description in any documentation, or anything to give an indication that this is the cause of GPU issues.

Been meaning to create a more detailed thread for others who will inevitably run into the same issue, but haven't gotten a chance.


In the failing case, did you have the CSM (Compatibility Support Module) disabled, as in a UEFI only boot?

If so then the reason for your woes probably came down to the Option ROMs in none of your discrete graphics cards having a GOP driver, basically they were not UEFI compatible. UEFI needs a GOP driver to be able to init the card. If your cards only had Legacy VGA/VBE Video BIOSs, your BIOS won't know what to do with it until you enable the CSM. The CSM is the legacy BIOS compatibility support code.

I've noticed that modern boards, thought they still contain a CSM, turn it off be default. Current graphics cards should have a GOP driver.
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:05 am

srg86 wrote:
A PCI graphics card, should work just fine, if the card, PC and bridge are all properly spec compliant, which they should be. The spec takes all this into consideration. To software, a PCIe to PCI bridge looks like a PCI to PCI bridge, so your GPU may be on another Bus number, but it will still work.

I thought there were some funky issues with latency on reads by PCI cards of system RAM on a PCIe-PCI bridge, at least in the early days (PCIe 1) due to the card expecting to be able to release the bus and the bridge's additional latency to RAM? IIRC there wer some later higher-end bridges which plugged their ability to cache more than typical, for this reason.
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:52 am

Topinio wrote:
srg86 wrote:
A PCI graphics card, should work just fine, if the card, PC and bridge are all properly spec compliant, which they should be. The spec takes all this into consideration. To software, a PCIe to PCI bridge looks like a PCI to PCI bridge, so your GPU may be on another Bus number, but it will still work.

I thought there were some funky issues with latency on reads by PCI cards of system RAM on a PCIe-PCI bridge, at least in the early days (PCIe 1) due to the card expecting to be able to release the bus and the bridge's additional latency to RAM? IIRC there wer some later higher-end bridges which plugged their ability to cache more than typical, for this reason.


Interesting, though it should work to the spec, maybe there were some issues, its not really something I've tried myself, though "should" work in theory.
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:28 pm

srg86 wrote:
A PCI graphics card, should work just fine, if the card, PC and bridge are all properly spec compliant, which they should be. The spec takes all this into consideration. To software, a PCIe to PCI bridge looks like a PCI to PCI bridge, so your GPU may be on another Bus number, but it will still work.

Maybe in theory, though I wouldn't count on it. The BIOS/UEFI's of newer boards seem to be becoming more finicky and biased in favor of wanting to use IGP in the event of any system issue.


srg86 wrote:
The Egg wrote:
Somewhat related, my most recent personal build had me questioning my sanity and knowledge, and almost resulted in a motherboard return. 3-4 days of fighting, and I absolutely could not get my motherboard to utilize any discrete card. I don't remember how exactly I figured it out (probably despirate trial and error), but I eventually traced it to a setting in the BIOS for "CSM (Compatibility Support Module)". No meaningful description in any documentation, or anything to give an indication that this is the cause of GPU issues.

In the failing case, did you have the CSM (Compatibility Support Module) disabled, as in a UEFI only boot?

If so then the reason for your woes probably came down to the Option ROMs in none of your discrete graphics cards having a GOP driver, basically they were not UEFI compatible. UEFI needs a GOP driver to be able to init the card. If your cards only had Legacy VGA/VBE Video BIOSs, your BIOS won't know what to do with it until you enable the CSM. The CSM is the legacy BIOS compatibility support code.
I've noticed that modern boards, thought they still contain a CSM, turn it off be default. Current graphics cards should have a GOP driver.

Correct, the setting was disabled by default on my board. I later found that my GTX970 actually does work, it just strangely refuses to use certain outputs (such as Displayport) when set to disabled. I preformed a BIOS update the other day, and it again reset the CSM setting to disabled, which was nice, because I've since wall-mounted my C32HG70 and connecting an HDMI cable was a PITA.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:22 am

MileageMayVary wrote:
Just do it! (for science)

Ok, I did. Nothing blew up, but Win10 doesn't seem to like it:
Image
I still had my PCIe gfx card installed and in BIOS it used that to POST.
CSM is enabled.
I guess I probably need to remove my PCIe gfx card to have any chance of making it primary?
Last edited by demolition on Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:52 am

So after configuring my BIOS to use gfx on PCIe2 as primary, it actually POSTed on the Mystique even though I still had my 760 installed (and a monitor connected). So it seems like it is identifying a PCI gfx card as connected through PCIe due to the bridge. PCI was not present in the list. The picture looked fine even though it is some graphic mode like most/all newer BIOSes. It was a tad more sluggish compared to using it on my 760, but perfectly usable nonetheless. Unfortunately after about a minute the picture started becoming corrupted and it was becoming hard to see what I was doing. I rebooted the PC and now it would no longer POST. The card could have been faulty all along but it did look fine to begin with so I am not sure what happened. I have pulled it from the system again and will check it on an older PC, just to see if it is still working or not.

My PC was not damaged and POSTed again after I pulled the Matrox.
 
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Re: Old PCI card in modern PC

Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:44 am

Ryu Connor wrote:
Vista couldn't even handle dual WDDM drivers from different manufacturers, that didn't arrive until 7.


I believe it was later added to Vista.

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