Wirehead's Rush News

There are alot of different drivers for your Rush card. If you are not an experienced computer user, I suggest that you stick to the driver build provided by your manufacturer.

For those of you who know what you are doing, there are more options. I cannot provide support for your use of my advice. I have yet to encounter any problems, but you might. Do not attempt to switch driver builds unless you know what you are doing. Hercules isn't going to be helping you with your problem, either. I take no responsibility for the use of this information.

If you want to take your system's stability into your own hands, a number of different builds are available:

Hercules 1.19.2063
This is the an old version of the drivers for the Stingray 128/3D. If you want support for your Hercules card, use this set. This build only has a few problems. First, the build has a tendancy to crash some programs, I've managed to reproduce it in Netscape Navigator 3.03, Netscape Communicator 4.04, and Adobe Photoshop 3.05. The system will suddenly lock up while scrolling. The cursor does not move, and you have to hit the reset button on the front of your computer. Netscape Communicator versions before 4.04 have assorted other bugs that can also crash your computer that look a little like this one, so make sure you have the current version. If your sound card stutters, you can turn on the "Allow PCI Retries" option, but you can expect a slight performance hit, furthermore, the stuttering problem may not go away.
Hercules 1.25.2070d
This is the latest hercules build. It's based on the 2070d build, but it doesn't seem to fix the crashing problem.
Hercules 2070 (First (dual-planar) board Second (single-planar) board)
This is an unsupported build of the Hercules drivers. There is no support for the drivers, so install at your own risk. This build seems to take less of a performance hit when you turn on the "Allow PCI Retries" option than 1.19.2063 drivers. However, this does not fix the crashing problem in the 1.19.2063 drivers. I tried this set for a bit, but I was mostly searching for an end of the crashing problems.
Jazz 2070
This is theoretically the same build as the Hercules drivers, but it suposedly fixes the crashing problem. Well, it didn't, at least, not on my system. Note that this is not an officially released build, and was likely leaked. It apparently is the least likely to cause a problem with the sound stuttering.
Jazz 2066b build for the Adrenaline Rush 3D
This is a reasonably stable build. I did a benchmark test with Final Reality and found that having the "Allow PCI Retries" option enabled had no effect on the benchmarks on my system. The locking up in certain problems is almost entirely gone. If you are going to upgrade, make sure that you get the delete utility and the driver update. Don't get the BIOS upgrade. If you have the dual-planar Stingray, it'll will definately not work. If you have the single-planar stingray, it shouldn't work, but if you suceed in upgrading your BIOS, there's a good chance you will render your Stingray unusable.
3dfx's 2071 build
This is the latest 3dfx reference build. They have more problems with sound skipping than the 2066b or 2070 builds, suposedly. Most of the participants in the 3dfx.oem.products.hercules.stingray128-3d. discussion group advice against their use, becuase they have the Netscape crasing problem like the 2063 build. However this is the best performing 3D build of them all, so if you plan on making a hybrid build, use this one's 3D utilities.
Alliance Semiconductor's 2072 build
This is the latest Alliance Semiconductor build. It has no 3D drivers for the Rush part of the card, so if you want to do Direct3D, you'll have to make a hybrid build (probably with the 2071 build). It still has problems with the sound stuttering. It does fix the Netscape crashing problem and is even officially released by some of the Rush card manufacturers. I managed to get a hybrid build just by installing the 2071 build followed by the 2072 build and reinstalling DirectX.
DenZoner's Voodoo Rush Drivers
This is a special build, assembled out of the parts of the publicly released builds. It has the best working files out of each build. This one runs the most risk of having problems, of all the drivers out there, because the driver programmers aren't going to think about what happens when a hybrid build is made. However, it works on some people's systems, at least.

Furthermore, the BIOS that you use matters. Those of you who have a single-planar board can just flash your BIOS. The latest build, 27, skipps much less with the 2070 and 2072 builds. Check your manufacturer's site. If you've got a dual-planar stingray, download Jazz's BIOS upgrade. The only two files you want are the 435027.bin and 435027.com files. Unzip them to a directory and then call the 435027.com file from your autoexec.bat file. If you are not sure of what you are doing, wait for Hercules to come up with a newer BIOS TSR.

A few points about the different problems: First, the sound stuttering is not a driver bug. It occurs, to some extent or another, on many sound cards. Some people don't have a severe case of sound stuttering, others do. It happens when a window is being scrolled while sound is playing. Basicly, there is too much data flowing through the system. Other video cards have the exact same problem. Alliance Semiconductor has been trying to work around this problem in their driver builds. Eventually, they should have a version of their drivers and a build of their BIOS that will not stutter at all. An anonymous poster to the 3dfx.oem.products.hercules.stingray128-3d group, Control-Alt-Delete, delineated an exact test to see if your sound stuttering problem is because of your card and not because of some other problem. Basicly, you want to start a large WAV or MP3 playing in the background. Then, open a window (any window), and make it cover most of your screen. Now, drag the window around. You should hear stuttering. If you stop draging the window, and the stuttering goes away, it's your video card. Otherwise, you have a different problem.

Second, if you are going to install a new driver build, make sure you also re-install DirectX.

Third, always keep a copy of the last official build around, to fall back on.

Fourth, don't bother overclocking your Stingray. Unlike the Monster3Ds, you don't get that much of a performance increase by overclocking them.

Fifth, note that even-numbered builds are released by Alliance Semiconductor and odd-numbered builds are released by 3dfx.

And now, some performance figures:
Run without audio:
Driver NS CrashReality Marks
1.19 Stock Yes2.66
2070 Build Yes2.63
2066 Jazz w/Retries No 2.69
2071 Build Yes2.93
2071/2072 Hybrid No 2.85
Run with audio:
2066 Jazz No 2.57
2066 Jazz w/Retries No 2.59

Driver 3D Reality MarksTotal
1.19 Stock 2.8824.36
2070 Build 2.8523.78
2066 Jazz 2.8824.22
2071 Build 3.2829.47
2071/2072 Hybrid 3.1627.65

These were all run with Win95 OSR2 with Final Reality 1.01 on my 64 meg SDRAM PII/266 with a dual-planar Stingray 128/3D and an AWE64 Gold. Other cards include a ASUS SCSI-2 interface card, and a generic Ethernet card. The hard drive was an generic EIDE one. Your mileage may vary.

The "Total" column in the second chart is the total of all of the performance figures without considering the percentage for quality. I did this to verify that the increased performance is not just because the Voodoo Rush claims to trilinear filter.

The 2071 and 2071/2072 hybrid builds suddenly appear to have trilinear filtering. An article I found talks about this. You don't suddenly have trilinear filtering, it's just a slight hack that looks pretty good in most cases. However, it seems to score higher anyway.

Version: v1.0
Last Updated on: 3.24.98
Written by: Ken "Wirehead" Wronkiewicz
Sponsored by: Wirehead Web Designs
Copyright (C) 1998, Ken Wronkiewicz