DOS-Only Gaming With PCI or AGP Graphics

Numerous difficulties arise when trying to get later sound cards working on an older PC. Fortunately, the same is much less apparent on the graphics card front. This is primarily because you don't need to load drivers for the games to be able to communicate with the card - the games talk directly to the graphics card at the hardware level. Most graphics cards up to 2002 still had full backward support for VGA and the VESA standard.

You can speed up graphics performance on PCI cards by using UMBPCI (not for Intel 486s) and FastVid - unless your game needs expanded memory. FastVid is only necessary on Pentium 2s and 3s (don't know about 4s yet) because Intel was conservative about video settings/interface that only apply to DOS. And even then FastVid is often only of benefit on Intel motherboards. I only suggest that people with the right processor try the thing because it doubles the DOS video speed of my system!

DOS Compatibility

The PCI and AGP cards with the best DOS compatibility, ignoring performance, are those based on the following:

The S3 cards are good also apart from the Savage 3D cards.

On the other end of the scale you should avoid 3Dlabs (all), ATI Mach and Rage series, Matrox (all), Number Nine Ticket to Ride cards, and Videologic PowerVR cards.