Configuration FAQ

The following questions have been collected from NVIDIA's customers and the users of their products over the last several months. You may find first level-answers to inquiries here. If your inquiry is not addressed, please contact your board manufacturer for technical support.

QUESTIONS:

Does Nvidia support Direct 3D?

I have an updated driver, but cannot find the "update driver" option in Windows95.

How do I force an interrupt?

What is NVINIT.SYS and what does it do?

I'm having a problem with System Performance.

What is Univbe, and how do I get it?

How does Univbe affect DOS Memory Locations?

I'm having problems with DOS (but Windows works fine).

What's up with Windows DOS Box Audio Emulation?

Can't control volume on DOS Audio Sound cards

 

TITLES

How does Univbe work with 11th Hour?

How do I use Univbe with Links LS?

Does Nvidia support Linux?

Problems with Z-Demo

C&C Red Alert Problem

Additional NV1 Accelerated titles




QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Q: Does Nvidia support Direct 3D?

A. Yes. Drivers are available by request.

"DearNV" page

Q: I have an updated driver, but cannot find the "update driver" option in Windows95.

A. Open Control Panel
Open System
Change to "device manager"


Either:


Or:

Select driver tab option.

At the bottom of the last screen will be the "change driver" option.
Click and follow the instructions.

Q: How do I force an interrupt?

A. Forcing a particular interrupt on most systems is impossible. We occupy a single PCI slot, but we are identified as multiple devices: graphics, audio and input. The PCI specification requires PCI devices to use re-configurable interrupts. We only use one interrupt, generally IRQ 11.

Some systems, however, allow the system BIOS to be configured for a particular interrupt in a particular PCI slot. This is entirely system and system BIOS dependent. Either the system BIOS allows this or it doesn't. If you're wondering if your system supports this, check your system BIOS. If you don't know what a system BIOS is, or how to get into it, you shouldn't be messing around with this stuff anyway.

Q: What is NVINIT.SYS and what does it do?

A. The primary purpose of NVINIT.SYS is to assure that an interrupt is allocated to the NV1 board. It identifies the chip-set used on the mother-board and makes changes in the PCI configuration to fix known conflicts and allocate an interrupt. Because NVINIT is the first device loaded, it cannot know about devices that are loaded later and that may try to use the same interrupt. If this occurs, the system may not function correctly and lock up. In this case, the user must assign a different interrupt number to the device conflicting with the NV1 card.

We recommend loading NVINIT.SYS at the top of your config.sys/config.dos file. The reason is to resolve potential conflicts with the chip-set. Many of the early PCI chip-set and BIOS combinations did not function properly to the PCI spec (i.e., they did not accept multiple devices in a single PCI slot). NVINIT.SYS can be loaded later but there is a risk some systems may not boot.

Q: I'm having a problem with System Performance.

A. Some users have complained of slow frame rates in Virtua Fighter or pausing in Panzer Dragoon, or pausing or slow playback of .mid files. Nearly all performance problems can be traced to system performance issues.

The NV1 uses system memory to store graphics and audio data. So it is important that the system (e.g., motherboard, chip-set, cache combination) have good performance for transfers of data from system memory to screen memory via the PCI bus. Most PCI systems have no problem with this function, but some do.

One way to test this is through a benchmark called PhotoStone which simply stores an image in system memory then quickly moves it (through a function called "blit" or "bit block transfer") to screen memory. On a "good" P133 system, we see performance of 9-11 million pixels at 800x600xhicolor mode. We have seen results as slow as 3-4 million on a P133 processor on lesser quality chip-sets.

If your system's performance is less than 5-6 million pixels per second based on this benchmark, you are probably experiencing system performance issues. You can down-load this benchmark by double-clicking this link:

PHOSTONE.ZIP

Note: At the time of posting, we believe the Photostone benchmark to be in the public domain. If this is not the case, please contact NVIDIA immediately through the info@nvidia.com e-mail address.

Q: What is Univbe, and how do I get it?

A. There is a VESA driver provided by a company called Scitech which will give access to certain extended VGA modes (such as 640x480x32k color mode. This driver is required for the NV1 card to run on certain games.

The file can be download from this site:

File name is:

SDD52.exe

For further information on the Rev. 5.2 UNIVBE, you may contact SciTech's web page (www.scitechsoft.com) or call 1-800-486-4823

Q: How does Univbe affect DOS Memory Locations?

A. The basic SciTech driver will only recognize 768k of our frame buffer since we use portions of it for audio. The most obvious use is the bank file in DOS (1meg bank file only). The command "RM /P" will force the TSR to load the bank file into XMS (system) memory rather than the frame buffer, clearing a bit more space for DOS video. But, the most you will ever see in a 1meg card is 768k.

Unfortunately, this is not the only restriction to frame buffer access. Because of other issues, SciTech can only see 768k (or 1meg) of contiguous frame buffer memory on cards with greater memory as well. One work-around is to use the alternate frame buffer switch of UNIVBE (-a) to force the driver to look above 1meg for video memory. The use of this switch REQUIRES you use the /P option on RM to keep the bank file out of the frame buffer.

When -a is used, SciTech will see 1meg on a 2MB card, 3MB on a 4MB card. This all comes down to contiguous linear space, not total free space. Not all games are compatible with this mode, but games such as Duke3D, Quake, and others can make use of the alternate frame buffer option.

Be forewarned: The latest version of UNIVBE may not report properly as to the available video memory.

Q: I'm having problems with DOS (but Windows works fine).

A. The problem is an interrupt conflict.

Assuming the devices you plug into your system are Win95 compatible, Win95 allows for re-configurable Interrupt Requests (IRQ). Win95 has the ability re-route these resources as it deems necessary. This is why Windows runs without a problem.

DOS is a different problem. PCI was designed after DOS, and DOS doesn't have the re-routing capability that Win95 does.

Check your devices and your system BIOS to see which interrupts are used and which ones are free. You may have to experiment around a bit to reconfigure the components which use conflicting interrupts. Unfortunately this is a trial and error process.

Q: What's up with Windows DOS Box Audio Emulation?

A. The TSR is provided for DOS audio emulation in DOS modes only. Though some games will work properly in a Windows DOS box (or command prompt) under Windows95, the majority will not. This is generally due to the games not being designed to run in the Windows95 command prompt. Unfortunately this is the way it is.

Note: The DOS audio emulation TSR is an unsupported utility. NVIDIA will not entertain requests for updates to this driver.

Q: Can't control volume on DOS Audio Sound cards

A. You can either use the volume control that came with the sound card, or you can use our mixer to adjust line in and/or output volumes. You need to use one or the other to get the volume where you want it.

When you installed the NV1 board, you should have had a new icon added (or it may already have been there) to the bar on the lower portion of the Win95 screen. Double click the yellow speaker towards the right side of the bar. You should get a "volume control" screen that says "NVIDIA Mixer Driver" at the bottom. Go into options, properties and make sure the "Pass-thru Aux" box is checked. Once checked, you can control volume through the "volume control" panel.

Q: How does Univbe work with 11th Hour?

A. NV1 does not work with versions of the SciTech UNIVBE prior to Rev. 5.2. If you are running with Univbe version prior to 5.2, remove it and update to version 5.2 which is currently available from SciTech.

If an application loads the UNIVBE automatically, contact the application's software vendor for information on how not to run the UNIVBE. If you already have UNIVBE 5.2 or higher, run V32 for the 11th Hour in the \11H directory. The programming techniques used in 11th Hour cause the NV1 hardware to run it in gray-scale mode, only.

Q: How do I use Univbe with Links LS?

When it goes through, it will start going through modes. The first test is test #2, and this one won't work. The next one is test #4, and this one DOES work. After this, go through the rest of the setup menus. Once you have configured it in this fashion, it should work fine.

Notes:
(a) In order for this to work, you must not load the RM.EXE utility. NV support for SDD 5.2 was not put in until NVIDIA version 2.11.
(b) It will not work under Win95 with NVIDIA version 2.0 or prior drivers.
(c) With version 2.11 or greater drivers, once the program is configured properly in DOS, it will run fine in Win95 (although it will not configure properly through Win95).

Q: Does Nvidia support Linux?

A. Linux drivers are now available from the Xfree site. Follow this link to Xfree home page: www.xfree86.org

 

 

Q: Problems with Z-Demo

A. Z_demo works at Nvidia with or without Scitech Display Doctor 5.3. In Windows 95 and in DOS (in DOS, RM.EXE from the \windows\command directory must be executed before the Z demo). In either VGA or SVGA. This mode is set in the Menu.

Things to try:
1. Run Setvideo (part of Z's icons in Win95) and set it for Automatic.
2. Disable or uninstall Scitech Display Doctor 5.x.
3. Make sure RM is on.
4. Re-install Z_demo. Try z_demo -d.

Q: C&C Red Alert Problem

A. On some systems, Red Alert Win95's menu and gamplay screen is not drawn properly.

Workaround: Before launching the game for the first time, launch the Setup program for Red Alert. Check the option for 640x480 and leave all the others blank. Once you do this, the game will work fine.


Q: Additional NV1 Accelerated titles

A. Beyond the titles shipping for NV1 today (Virtua Fighter Remix, Panzer Dragoon, Nascar, Mixman - Spin Control, and Toshinden), there are several titles in basically the same state: development work is complete, but the publisher has not made them publicly available.

Several of NVIDIA's OEM customers are offering some of these games as pack-ins, but they have not been offered "stand-alone" to end-users. These titles include: Mech Warrior II, SEGA Daytona USA, SEGA Virtua Cop, and Destruction Derby. The only suggestion we can offer is for you to contact the developer and/or publisher and request release of these titles.


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