nGlide without DosBox

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Kelton
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 11:28 am

nGlide without DosBox

Postby Kelton » Fri May 25, 2012 2:10 am

I'm wondering if there's any hope, as unlikely as it could be, for an alternative version of nGlide that doesn't require DosBox, kind of like dgVoodoo.

Unfortunately, most of the DOS 3dfx games are very demanding and DosBox just isn't up to the task. It's a complete waste of CPU cycles, everything tends to be sluggish (even on super high-end machines, and not because of nGlide itself) but that's just part of the problem

Best regards.

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Zeus
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Re: nGlide without DosBox

Postby Zeus » Fri May 25, 2012 2:26 pm

Things have changed since 2005. Don't forget we have 64-bit systems nowadays. Building something that is not true DOS emulation software is not an option anymore.

The real reason for poor performance is that most 3Dfx DOS games are badly optimized (ok, not optimized at all and buggy as hell; mostly alphas or betas). You can clearly see how big is the difference between games like Tomb Raider / Screamer 2 / GTA and Lands of Lore 2 / Carmageddon / Blood.

Kelton
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 11:28 am

Re: nGlide without DosBox

Postby Kelton » Sat May 26, 2012 12:54 am

I'd understand your point if we were actually living in an era where everything's 64bit, but that, for the good or for the bad, is not the case. The market share for WinXP alone (not necessarily computers for video game players, but possibly representative) is still approximately 46%, and it's no secret the 64bit version was a failure on many levels and it's only after Win7 that 64bit has become a lil bit popular, with more companies starting to offer 64bit versions of there products after a lifetime of holding on exclusively to x86.

The minimum official recommended specs for running nGlide properly are actually fairly low, and it certainly works great on 32bit for 9x-based 3dfx games. In fact, some of these games are either unplayable or extremely difficult to get running appropriately on anything other than XP 32bit. Exactly the same happens with certain 3dfx games for DOS; they run better under certain circumstances and that circumstance is a magic combination of a legacy (yet not obsolete) 32bit CPU + 32bit OS like good ol' XP and a nice SoundBlaster emulator like SoundFX 2000.

Furthermore, if there's anything more unoptimized than some of these 3dfx games exe's, that's DosBox itself, allegedly built with an ancient compiler and no optimizations (no surprise here) so the chances of ever experiencing smooth gameplay/framrate with this thing are pretty much zero.

All in all, if I were developing nGlide and had both the ability and the time, I'd definitely go for an alternative (we're not talking replacing anything here) version of nGlide that doesn't require DosBox.

Well, that's my 2 cents. Hope I'm not being too pushy and inconsiderate. I truly appreciate your work and I thought this alternative version would only add value to it, making some 3dfx classics playable again 8-)

Best regards.


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