My retro for P4 478 build

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My retro for P4 478 build

Postby tonychen » 2018-2-06 @ 04:00

Hi guys, recently I have fnished my P4 478 build. The specs is listed as follows.

CPU: Northwood 2.8G (FSB-533)
RAM: DDR400 1GB
MOBO: Industry MOBO with ISA slot
Video: FX5900 AGP(128M) + S3 Virge PCI(4M) + On board 845(64M)
Sound: ASL007 + On board Realtek
Network: On board Realtek8169
HDD: Seagate 1TB with 3114 Sata Controller
OS: DOS 7.1 + Windows 3.11 + Windows 98 + Windows XP

For DOS / Windows 3.11:
The main purpose for this machine is for playing dos games. Most of the dos games can run from the beginning to the end. For some games, I just disable L1 & L2 cache tp avoid the runtime error 200 issue. For some games, it needs BIN/CUE ISO format to load, however, under DOS, only the standard ISO format can be loaded, so I leave these games to DOSBOX under Windows 98. One remaining issue is that when I disable L1&L2 cache, I find the speed is down to 33MHZ. So terrible, not too fast and too slow. Maybe a P133 is a good frequency for running dos games.

For Windows 98:
S3 virge's vmem only has 4MB, which seems a little small for running some Windows 98 games. The drvier for FX5900 does not work properly, which maybe results from the video card itself issue. This is not a problem, I can switch to i845 video card when entrying Windows 98. Just do some chores. However, it takes two minutes to entry into the desktop, not knowing why.

For Windows XP:
FX5900 cannot meet the demands for some big games such as DOOM3, which requires Geforce6 if the high quality is desired. For CPU, a single core also seems too limited for some big software such Eclipse, Visual Studio 2008, and the likes. In my opinion, a duo core and PCI-E video card is more suitable for Windows XP, because Windows XP has a long life span and walks through many platfrtom, even the some 775 / 1150 can support it.

Next steps:
I am planning to build my 2nd retro PC with Pen3 on 810 platform or Pen 133 on Socket 7 platform. 810 chip has no ISA slot and some later socket 7 MOBO has AGP slot. But it is difficult to find Windows 3.11 driver for AGP card... Too hard to choose. :lol:
Attachments
SPDNOCCH.jpg
SpeedSys L1&L2 cache disabled
SPDCCH.jpg
SpeedSys
DSC00770.JPG
Case
DSC00768.JPG
Internal
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby chinny22 » 2018-2-08 @ 13:51

You can probably get away with the standard vga driver in Win3.11 Your not going to miss out on much.
How are you loading the iso's in dos?
For the bin/cue you could use an old version daemon tools in Win98 as it still has good dos compatibility, unless its for the games soundtrack.

I'm not sure if your aware but you can go upto a GF6800 in Win98, It'll still work in dos, but backwards compatibility with earlier DirectX started getting dropped so some Win9x games may have issues.
Totally agree the S3 Virge would be somewhat ok for a Win98 business PC but not for gaming.

As you pointed out WinXP is a long period in gamming. Socket 478 is a good crossover between Win9x and XP gaming but you start to have backwards compatabilty problems with a few WIn9x games and its not quite fast enough for later XP games.

P3 is the same for Dos/Win9x but the combination of your P3 and P4 should have Win9x gaming covered pretty well and majority of DOs and XP games as well.
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby oeuvre » 2018-2-08 @ 14:12

retro... P4...

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That's WAY overkill for MS-DOS... decent machine for XP and late 98SE games but honestly MS-DOS on that thing is a waste. But to each their own.
Dell Dimension XPS D333, 384MB, ATI Rage Pro, SCSI + IDE, AWE64 + AU8820, DOS/95
HP EliteBook 840 G3 i5 6300U, 8GB, Intel HD520, 256GB M.2 SSD + HD, Windows 7
i7 6700K, 32GB, EVGA GTX970, 256GB M.2 SSD + HD, Windows 10
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby tonychen » 2018-2-08 @ 16:30

chinny22 wrote:You can probably get away with the standard vga driver in Win3.11 Your not going to miss out on much.
How are you loading the iso's in dos?
For the bin/cue you could use an old version daemon tools in Win98 as it still has good dos compatibility, unless its for the games soundtrack.

I'm not sure if your aware but you can go upto a GF6800 in Win98, It'll still work in dos, but backwards compatibility with earlier DirectX started getting dropped so some Win9x games may have issues.
Totally agree the S3 Virge would be somewhat ok for a Win98 business PC but not for gaming.

As you pointed out WinXP is a long period in gamming. Socket 478 is a good crossover between Win9x and XP gaming but you start to have backwards compatabilty problems with a few WIn9x games and its not quite fast enough for later XP games.

P3 is the same for Dos/Win9x but the combination of your P3 and P4 should have Win9x gaming covered pretty well and majority of DOs and XP games as well.


I use these two cmds to load ISO under DOS:
SHSUCDHD /F:%1
SHcdx33a /D:SHSU-CDH

But there is no way to load BIN/CUE format under DOS.

For Win98, I have another video card MX440 AGP. I can setup Init Display in BIOS, changing from PCI to AGP, and switching my VGA plug to the MX440 port when I want to use Win98. It just annoys me soemtime to do the addtional work. But actually, it can solve the backwads compatability problems and the performance is much better than S3.

The reason why I choose S3 for DOS mainly because it supports WIN3.11, without my desire for which, I can replace it with MX440.

Thanks for your reply. I will think twice before my next leap to the retro rig.
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby Radical Vision » 2018-2-12 @ 17:22

If you want this to be retro remove this thing and go right for Pentium I or AMD K6-II, or even 486...
Pentium IV is many things but not retro. Instead you can try to make Pentium IV ultra build with all parts maxed, instead of this mid range...
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby dr_st » 2018-2-12 @ 17:42

oeuvre wrote:retro... P4... That's WAY overkill for MS-DOS... decent machine for XP and late 98SE games but honestly MS-DOS on that thing is a waste. But to each their own.
Well, we did have this thread that concluded that if you want to play specific late DOS games (Build Engine, Quake) on maximum resolutions (like UXGA), then you may find even a high-end P-III inadequate, and a P4 can give that extra edge... I think that was the only case where you could find meaningful differences.
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-2-12 @ 20:47

Radical Vision wrote:If you want this to be retro remove this thing and go right for Pentium I or AMD K6-II, or even 486...
Pentium IV is many things but not retro. Instead you can try to make Pentium IV ultra build with all parts maxed, instead of this mid range...


I'm sorry, I must have missed the meeting where that was established.

PIV machines don't have the same flexibility as other builds, but they're very available, and they can perform in the range of a fast 486 machine with cache manipulation as you can see. For the purpose of enjoying old software, they can certainly be useful.
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby Radical Vision » 2018-2-12 @ 20:49

Maybe, but still the original 386 or 486 or socket 7 is better then downclocked newer system...
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby badmojo » 2018-2-12 @ 22:04

Nice build OP! Hats off for trying something different, and ignore the "that's not retro!" brigade. A PC is what you make of it.
If it's broke, then fix it!
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-2-12 @ 22:22

Radical Vision wrote:Maybe, but still the original 386 or 486 or socket 7 is better then downclocked newer system...

No. It's not that simple.
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby Radical Vision » 2018-2-13 @ 08:53

Yes it is, what is the whole point then of collecting old hardware ?
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby dr_st » 2018-2-13 @ 09:00

Radical Vision wrote:Yes it is, what is the whole point then of collecting old hardware ?
That's a good question. Often there is no point. :lol:
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby Radical Vision » 2018-2-13 @ 15:14

dr_st wrote:
Radical Vision wrote:Yes it is, what is the whole point then of collecting old hardware ?
That's a good question. Often there is no point. :lol:


Seems this way, as most of the guys here are using modern systems to play old/retro games. The collection of the old hardware is just like that, to have them, but no point at all...
In my case i collect old parts to save them from moron gold diggers, that will melt them for the gold, of course im talking mostly about high end stuff or something like IBM Model M, Cherry keyboards, Compaq stuff, other IBM stuff, 3Dfx and ATi cards...
Also to push one old system to the very max and see what software and games can run on them..
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-2-13 @ 15:37

Radical Vision wrote:Yes it is, what is the whole point then of collecting old hardware ?


Go back and read the OP. He's using this machine for playing games, it's not just "to have".
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby Tetrium » 2018-2-13 @ 19:36

I think the rig looks nice :)

I'm not really a fan of those cases with very limited external drive bay options though, it looks too modern for my taste lol and I like to have an extra bit of flexibility (even though I will probably not have to make use of it).

If you use a P4, GF6 and up tended to use relatively more power from the 12v rails instead of the 5v rails. I don't know from top of my head where the cut-off point is though. Iirc Radeon 9800 used mainly the 5v line? I'm unsure.

But my point was more that newer graphics cards will work more nicely with modern PSUs due to the 5v/12v issue of older parts.
gdjacobs wrote:
Radical Vision wrote:If you want this to be retro remove this thing and go right for Pentium I or AMD K6-II, or even 486...
Pentium IV is many things but not retro. Instead you can try to make Pentium IV ultra build with all parts maxed, instead of this mid range...


I'm sorry, I must have missed the meeting where that was established.

Of course this isn't established. It's a debate that springs back into the open from time to time and opinions will vary.
In the end I don't think there's a solid answer.

I actually like these mid-range rigs! :)
It's not all about teh ultra lol
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-2-13 @ 20:40

Tetrium wrote:
gdjacobs wrote:
Radical Vision wrote:If you want this to be retro remove this thing and go right for Pentium I or AMD K6-II, or even 486...
Pentium IV is many things but not retro. Instead you can try to make Pentium IV ultra build with all parts maxed, instead of this mid range...


I'm sorry, I must have missed the meeting where that was established.

Of course this isn't established. It's a debate that springs back into the open from time to time and opinions will vary.
In the end I don't think there's a solid answer.


I'm well aware of that, but I don't think he is.

Tetrium wrote:I actually like these mid-range rigs! :)
It's not all about teh ultra lol


I like clever builds that allow people to extract fun from stuff other people throw away. Using a P4 for DOS gaming is kind-of perverse, as if someone loaded an ICBM with water balloons.
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby Scubs » 2018-2-13 @ 22:20

Radical Vision wrote:
dr_st wrote:
Radical Vision wrote:Yes it is, what is the whole point then of collecting old hardware ?
That's a good question. Often there is no point. :lol:


Seems this way, as most of the guys here are using modern systems to play old/retro games. The collection of the old hardware is just like that, to have them, but no point at all...
In my case i collect old parts to save them from moron gold diggers, that will melt them for the gold, of course im talking mostly about high end stuff or something like IBM Model M, Cherry keyboards, Compaq stuff, other IBM stuff, 3Dfx and ATi cards...
Also to push one old system to the very max and see what software and games can run on them..
You sound a lot like that abandonware jade guy.
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Re: My retro for P4 478 build

Postby badmojo » 2018-2-13 @ 23:02

gdjacobs wrote:I like clever builds that allow people to extract fun from stuff other people throw away.


Wise words - people try and assign all sorts of noble motivations to their involvement in this hobby but it's not like we're saving the rain-forests here. If all of our old hardware / software collections were forcibly removed and melted down then so what? There'd be a few sad nerds here and there but humanity would be no worse off.

Sorry for the off-topic OP!
If it's broke, then fix it!
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