Summary: Actix/Cirrus/Tseng ET4000 W32 opinions

Summary: Actix/Cirrus/Tseng ET4000 W32 opinions

Post by Erik Bu » Tue, 21 Sep 1993 00:25:43

I asked for opinions on the Tseng ET4000 W32, Cirrus accelerators, and
S3 based cards a week or two ago. I got a few answers, so here's a
short summary of the responses in my own words. No flames, please -
these are not ascertained facts, just what I've been told. Corrections
are welcome.

The owners of all cards were happy with their choice.
I didn't hear too much about the Actix cards, but someone suggested
the STB PowerGraph line which is somewhat cheaper.
The S3 based cards are very fast in their accelerated modes, but
usually rather slow under normal VGA modes (I am looking at the 805
chips; the 928's are faster and can use some memory, but those cards
are about $200 more expensive.)
The ET4000 W32 is a bit
faster than S3's in some respects, a bit slower in some bitmap
operations - but accelerated drivers are still just appearing. It's
also very fast in normal VGA modes.
The Cirrus cards are apparently the slowest, but they are also cheap
and have good support.

Some observations:
ET4000 W32:     - works with Linux and XFree 1.3 as a normal but very fast
                  ET4000; accelerated modes aren't supported yet
                  and it isn't known when they will be.
                - is very fast in DOS and accelerated modes (windoze)
                - some games (e.g. Underworld.. 'just a couple'
                  according to somebody
                  selling one =) pass the BIOS and have problems
                  with this card. At least one game maker is releasing
                  patches to fix this
                - some versions have had too slow memory -> problems
                  with color palette etc.
                - Tseng is coming out with a W32i chip set;
                  should fix a bug with main memory (if there
                  is more than 16 MB, at least some W32's reboot
                  the machine) and enable the use of 2 or even
                  4 MB of video memory.
                - The W32 costs about $140. (At least one user
                  was very happy with the model sold by KC Computers.
                  See biz.* for ads.)

                - rather fast when accelerated; accelerated mode will
                  very probably be supported under XFree 2.0
                - expandable to 2 MB memory (there are non-expandable
                  ones out there - make sure you know what you're
                - The prices are around $120 (1 MB)

STB PowerGraph:
                - S3 805 based; max 1 MB memory
                - price $140 (VLB version)
                - fast under XS3, will be supported by XFree 2.0
                - good windoze support

Personally, I'll probably get an STB, unless the Tseng ET4000 W32i
comes out RSN.

Erik Bunn // DiscworldRingworldCerebusSandmanC&HBrazilWandaXpilotRaceDrivin'
'Pour encourjay lays ortras.'
        -- (Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)


Summary: Actix/Cirrus/Tseng ET4000 W32 opinions

Post by Peter Nagui Barso » Fri, 24 Sep 1993 08:02:22

I am having a lot of trouble properly configuring Xconfig to run X windows
under Linux.

I have XS3-0.4.4 and my hardware is a 486 dx2/66, 1mb Orchid Fahrenehiet
1280 VLB video card and an MAG MX17F 17" monitor.

When I run Xclk i get the following clock speeds:

25.2 28.3 29.2 27.6 25.5 0.0 29.0 25.8

that seems low, but I am not entirely sure.  When I run startx my screen goes
blank and then snow all over the place and the monitor goes berserk, forcing
me to reset the computer.

Any help would be appreciated.



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1. ET4000 W32 / Cirrus / Actix owners, opinions?


I'd appreciate input on the pros and cons of the following
graphics cards.

        Tseng 4000 W32
        Cirrus (5426 based, 2 MB memory)
        Actix GraphicsEngine series

I'm looking for a VESA local bus card that's both reasonably fast
and inexpensive. I've narrowed my choice down - I do want to set up X
under Linux later, so Diamond cards are out. (Yes, I know the W32
isn't supported - see below.)

The statistics of one Windoze test showed that the Tseng was
faster than S3's in several single tests (excluding
bitblt routines, I seem to recall). Can this be trusted?
The W32 won't have XFree support in version 2.0, but
will it or will it now function as a normal SVGA card?
Can the memory be increased to 2 MB?
The price seems to be around $140.

The Cirrus apparently will have support in Linux'
XFree 2.0. How fast is it with 2 MB memory?
The price seems to be around $110-120.

There are apparently several versions of the Actix
cards, based on different S3 chips (?). What are
they, and what kind of prices should I expect to pay?
How much of a standard is the S3? Would I be better of going
with one of them rather than (apparently) a relatively
unknown model like the ET4000 W32 or even Cirrus?
I've seen a quote of $249 for the Actix Ultra S3 928.

In addition, I'd appreciate the phone number of any reliable mail order
places that sell these cards.

I've directed followups to; post or reply to
me directly, I can post a summary if general interest warrants it.

Thank you!

Erik Bunn // DiscworldRingworldCerebusSandmanC&HBrazilWandaXpilotRaceDrivin'
Thud. Thud. Thud. Splat.
        -- (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)

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