DOS Days

Cirrus Logic CL-GD5429 / CL-GD5430

The CL-GD5429 was a Super VGA chipset released in 1994. It was the first of Cirrus Logic's new "Alpine" range.

Released 1994
Bus ISA 16-bit, VESA Local Bus or PCI
Chipset Cirrus Logic CL-GD5429 or CL-GD5430
Standards MDA, Hercules, CGA, EGA, VGA
Memory 512 KB, 1 MB or 2 MB FPM DRAM (70, 80 or 100ns)
RAMDAC (Internal)
Part # -
See Also CL-GD5428

The CL-GD5429 was an enhanced version of the CL-GD5428 that first appeared in the first quarter of 1995 - the first in their new "Alpine" series of chips. These were typically found on VESA Local Bus and PCI graphics cards, but Diamond Multimedia used the chip on some of its later SpeedStar Pro ISA cards which usually used the older CL-GD5426.

What is new over prior GD-542x chipsets is the 5429/30 now support a higher memory clock speed (32-bit memory bus) and has memory-mapped I/O. They also have a 32-bit BitBLT engine.

The CL-GD5430 is similar to the 5429, but has a 543X core with its 32-bit host interface. It was only slightly faster than the 5428.

Found on the following:

  • Diamond SpeedSTAR SE VLB
  • Cirrus Logic (FCC ID J6NGD543XPCI)
  • ProLink MVGA-AlpinePCI
  • Fastware VC921DS (CL-GD5430, 2 MB PCI)
  • Some EliteGroup VI-720 (also used the later CL-GD5434)

Here is a summary of the Cirrus Logic CL-GD542x range so you can compare each chipset's differences from one another:

  5420 5421 5422 5424 5425 5426 5428 5429
GUI Acceleration - - - - - BitBLT Enhanced BitBLT MM I/O
Max. Video Memory 1 MB 1 MB 1 MB 1 MB 1 MB 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB
Memory Bus Width 16-bit 16-bit 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit
Core Clock Frequency 75 MHz 75 MHz 80 MHz 80 MHz 80 MHz 80 MHz 80 MHz 86 MHz
Memory Clock Frequency 50 MHz 50 MHz 50 MHz 50 MHz 60 MHz 50 MHz 50 MHz 60 MHz
Max. Resolution at 256 Colours 1024 x 768 (NI) 1024 x 768 (NI) 1024 x 768 (NI) 1024 x 768 (NI) 1024 x 768 (NI) 1280 x 1024 1280 x 1024 1280 x 1024



The chipset itself came in these revisions: B.



1994 was a competitive year in the graphics card market. Tseng Labs had their ET4000/W32P, ATI introduced Mach64, S3 had Vision864 and Vision964, and Number Nine introduced Imagine 128, the world's first 128-bit graphics processor. All were moving to the PCI architecture on brand new Pentium motherboards. Tseng Labs' ET4000/W32P was considered the fastest for DOS performance, with S3's Vision964 and ATI's Mach64 running a close 2nd. There was still a good market for VESA Local Bus cards in 1994, as nearly everyone still had a 486. As such, it was common for graphics card manufacturers to release cards in both VLB and PCI variants (including those based on the CL-GD5429).


In the Media

Setting it Up

There is no known setup configuration for cards that have a CL-GD5429 or CL-GD5430 chipset.


Operation Manual

Get in touch if you can provide this missing item!

CL-GD543x Windows Drivers
Unknown Version


CL-GD542x Databook
Version 7, May 1995

Provides technical information on the entire range of CL-GD542x graphics chipsets.

CL-GD543x Databook
Version 6.0, January 1996

Provides technical information on the entire range of CL-GD543x graphics chipsets.

Quadtel CL-GD5429 BIOS
Version 1.00a

The 32 KB VGA ROM BIOS dump

Selection of 543x Firmwares
(Includes source code)


More Pictures

A Diamond SpeedStar Pro SE

An EliteGroup VideoImage VI-720 card