Category Archives: ATi

Children of the Bus Wars

In the late 1980s and the early 1990s, the so-called Bus Wars raged. A few years after the PC/AT was released, it became clear that the ISA bus could not keep pace with faster CPUs and peripherals, especially graphics cards … Continue reading

Posted in ATi, EISA, MCA, PC history, PCI, VLB | 8 Comments

Fixing a Graphics Ultra Pro

Just a few weeks after successfully repairing a trivial problem with a Roland LAPC-I caused by improper storage, I happened to run across another troublesome board, a VL-bus based ATI Graphics Ultra Pro from 1993. It’s a nice enough card … Continue reading

Posted in ATi, Hardware Hacks | 4 Comments

So This Actually Works…

In a discussion on a previous post, Richard Wells suggested that an ATI VGA Wonder-16, a 16-bit ISA VGA card, should be able to operate in an 8-bit slot. I can confirm that yes, it does: Note that the card … Continue reading

Posted in ATi, PC hardware | 18 Comments

Basement Finds

The other day I attacked an old and long forgotten 286 PC stashed away in the basement. The PC is dead because the power supply blew years ago and the motherboard has a non-standard power connector. But the case was … Continue reading

Posted in 286, ATi, PC hardware | 10 Comments

Fast Unaccelerated VGA?

For the purpose of comparing the relative real-world performance of various processors, it’s useful to run CPU and graphics-intensive benchmarks such as 3DBench or DOOM. To avoid benchmarking the graphics card instead, the VGA has to have enough headroom so … Continue reading

Posted in 386, ATi, S3, VGA | 17 Comments

ATI mach8/mach32/early mach64 Documentation?

It’s a long shot, but I’m looking for programming documentation for ATI’s mach8/mach32 and early mach64 chips (prior to 1996 or so). The earlier documents may have only existed in paper form. These used to be available from ATI but … Continue reading

Posted in ATi, Documentation | 31 Comments

The 8514/A Graphics Accelerator

On April 2, 1987, when IBM rolled out the PS/2 line of personal computers, one of the hardware announcements was the VGA display chip, a standard that has lasted for 25 years and counting. While the VGA was an incremental … Continue reading

Posted in ATi, Graphics, IBM, PC hardware | 18 Comments

VIA Apollo vs. AGP 4x

Because there can never be enough Dualatins, I obtained a Supermicro P3TDDE board. This is one of the relatively few boards which support dual Socket 370 Pentium III processors (including Tualatins) and at the same time sport an AGP 4x … Continue reading

Posted in ATi, PC hardware | 3 Comments

R360 Correction

In a previous post, I wrote that a Radeon 9800 XT can’t be used with a 440BX chipset because it’s based on a R360 chip, newer than the R350 used in Radeon 9800 Pros. The reality turns out to be … Continue reading

Posted in ATi, PC hardware | 2 Comments