Using MAME on an Arcade Monitor  
MAME and Monitors
Arcade Monitors
Saturn Mod
Arcade Primer
Finding a Cabinet
IC Pinouts
Video Cards, MAME and Arcade Monitors

In order to get the video output of your PC running directly on an arcade monitor/TV -
MAME has to be able to reprogram a given video card's timing registers to run
at the correct horizontal scanrate

It does this by writing directly to the VGA regsiters on the card
but these days the VGA 'registers' are not physical registers at all -
instead, the register set is emulated by the card in software to comply with VGA standards

What this means is that reprogramming these registers may not produce the expected results,
especially if they are set to values well below or above the normal VGA 'envelope'.

Which is exactly what we need to do to generate an arcade compatible/TV mode

What follows are a list of known working and non-working cards
  Video Card/Chipsets which are known to work
ATI 3D Rage II+ 
ATI 3dExpression PC2TV 
ATI Xpert@Work 
ATI Xpert@Play 
Matrox Mystique
(BIOS 1.8 is known to cause problems - 1.6 works) 
Matrox G100 
Trident 8900 
Cirrus Logic (GD7543 chipsets) 

Video Card/Chipsets which DO NOT work
All S3 cards tested 
NeoMagic 128 (laptop) 
STB Velocity 128 AGP (Riva 128 chipset) 
ET6000 chipset cards 
All 3Dfx cards 

So, what's the best video card to use with MAME on an arcade monitor ?

before I get to that, I really like to stress one thing -

One of the reason's that MAME is such an incredible piece of software is that it's open source

- if it lacks something, if it emulates a game incorrectly, if you've spotted a bug...
you can download the source - add, change, fix - contribute

The 'best' video card to use with MAME on an arcade monitor is any recent ATI card
but especially a 3D Rage Pro II

Why ?
because that's what all the arcade modes and the ATI SVGA driver in MAME we're developed on

but there's nothing to stop you from downloading the MAME source and adding modes/drivers
for whatever card you're using....