VOGONS


First post, by supernoodle

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Good morning to all! I'm kinda new to these message boards, so here goes...
(woo! first post!)

Motherboard - Unknown, probably VIA chipset. 2 x ISA slots, 4 x PCI slots, 1 x AGP slot (AGP rate = 2x? Quite probably). Has PS/2 connections for mouse & keyboard, 2 USB sockets,

Processor - AMD K6-II, 300 MHz. Overclockable safely to 335 by increasing the multiplier, has heatsink-fan.

Memory - 224MB RAM. 2 x 16MB simm modules, 1 x 64MB PC100 SDRAM, 1 x 128MB PC100 SDRAM.

Video Card 1 - S3 Virge (325)

Video Card 2 - Righteous Orchid 3D (Voodoo Graphics)

Sound Card - Creative Sound Blaster AWE64 (though the drivers are listed as 16-32)

Operating System - Windows 95 OSR2

Hard Drive - 6GB, generic or unknown brand

Other Devices - PCI 10/100 network card and 56k modem

I've recently taken a new interest in it, and just re-installed Windows, made sure I got the newest drivers for the S3 and Orchid. I hope to use it mainly for running old games, possibly LANing with friends who're also digging out their old rigs. I've so far successfully installed and played Unreal on Glide (it's better than software, D3D fails, and OpenGL is abominably slow).

What other games will I be able to play, and are there any hardware upgrades I might need? (refrain from just listing every part as needing replacement 😜 )

"3dfx. So powerful, it's kind of ridiculous."
- quote from 3dfx advert

My Old-School PC

Reply 1 of 9, by 5u3

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Welcome to the forums!
Sounds like a very capable retro system you've got here. However, if you are into FPS and other 3D games, there is still room for improvement:

- RAM: Although the RAM module mix (SIMM+SDRAM) is a practical feature (not many boards can do that), this kind of configuration usually slows down memory performance. Also, on SuperSocket7 boards, only a limited amount of RAM will be cached by the mainboard, but you can only tell when you know the exact version of the mainboard chipset.

- Video cards: Upgrading your Video cards would allow you to play those old 3D games with better resolution and more eye-candy. My suggestion would be a Nvidia TNT2 AGP card + one or two Voodoo2 boards. This combination performs well on a K6 rig and is compatible with classic games.

- HDD: Your mainboard most likely supports anything up to 32GB, so a newer harddisk would get you faster loading times and more space for games.

With these improvements, your system would be perfect for any windows game that came out until the year 2000, it also would be suitable for newer DOS games (thanks to the AWE64 and the fact that the K6-2 can be clocked down to at least 120-133 MHz).

Reply 2 of 9, by supernoodle

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I just got an AGP Voodoo5 5500 from ebay, so that should be pretty cool. I've seen screenies of it getting 20-30 FPS on Doom 3 (although the models looked like they were from Quake II). Hopefully, the Righteous 3D will still work as well as it, linked with that cable in the same way the S3 Virge is. It might not offer much practical help, but it'd be damn cool to have a card with "Righteous 3D" written on the back of it.

I wanna "pimp it up", with a window on the top (it's a desktop case) with an etched 3dfx logo on the top, lighted fans, memory coolers, and all the rest. Just because I can, as my own little tribute to history. 😄

(If it really works well, I might even use the 5500 in my current computer, displacing my Geforce FX5200 into the old-school pc. We'll see.)

"3dfx. So powerful, it's kind of ridiculous."
- quote from 3dfx advert

My Old-School PC

Reply 3 of 9, by elianda

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Yes I think the memory can be a problem. Biggest problem with SDRAM PS/2 mix is that PS/2 runs at 5V and SDRAM at 3.3V. Most of the Boards of this time will run the SDRAM with 5V too if you mix it. You might burn them in the long run.
The other thing with L2 cacheable size depends on the size of the tag ram. Since it's some kind of Via board with a K6-2 I guess its somehow newer and might have already a 12bit tag ram. (8bit - 64 mb; 12bit - 512 mb). You can calculate this from bit to cacheline size.
So try CTCM1.7 from ftp://ftp.heise.de/pub/ct/ctsi/ctcm17a.zip This tool could be able to show you your cacheable L2 size.
(On the page http://www.heise.de/ct/ftp/ctsi.shtml you might find alot of other very good tools)

Reply 4 of 9, by 5u3

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supernoodle wrote:

I just got an AGP Voodoo5 5500 from ebay, so that should be pretty cool. I've seen screenies of it getting 20-30 FPS on Doom 3

Not on a K6-2 😁

supernoodle wrote:

Hopefully, the Righteous 3D will still work as well as it, linked with that cable in the same way the S3 Virge is. It might not offer much practical help, but it'd be damn cool to have a card with "Righteous 3D" written on the back of it.

In the best case the Righteous 3D will be useless, since the V5 offers faster Glide performance. In the worst case the drivers will clash. I never tried it out a multiple 3dfx card configuration (except for SLI).

supernoodle wrote:

I wanna "pimp it up", with a window on the top (it's a desktop case) with an etched 3dfx logo on the top, lighted fans, memory coolers, and all the rest. Just because I can, as my own little tribute to history. :Happy:

And don't forget to post pictures when ready 😎

supernoodle wrote:

(...) displacing my Geforce FX5200 into the old-school pc.

Unless the FX5200 is a PCI card, it wouldn't work. The FX5200 needs 1.5V supply voltage, but your Socket7 board most likely can only provide 3.3V. There is a notch in the AGP slot preventing the insertion of cards with the wrong voltage.

elianda wrote:

Biggest problem with SDRAM PS/2 mix is that PS/2 runs at 5V and SDRAM at 3.3V. Most of the Boards of this time will run the SDRAM with 5V too if you mix it.

That's true, but the SDRAM would have gone up in smoke long ago if the board applied 5V to the SDRAM slots. Either the board does power both types of slots with the correct voltage or the SDRAM he uses is 5V tolerant (some more expensive modules could pull off this trick).

elianda wrote:

The other thing with L2 cacheable size depends on the size of the tag ram. Since it's some kind of Via board with a K6-2 I guess its somehow newer and might have already a 12bit tag ram. (8bit - 64 mb; 12bit - 512 mb).

Sometimes the size of the tag RAM doesn't even count because of bugs in the chipset. Anyways, the CTCM tool is a very good way to test it. (I just ran it on my 486 only to find out that it only caches 32MB. I'm off to look for some new cache RAM now 😉)

Reply 5 of 9, by supernoodle

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Sorry about abandoning the forum. To be honest, I'd forgotten about it....eheh...

I now know that my motherboard is a AX59PRO. I also put in the Voodoo5. It works great, with noticeably better performance on Unreal Tournament. I don't think I'll be doing any modding for a while though. Lack of money 🙁

AX59PRO Reviews on these sites:
http://www.hardwarezone.com/reviews/mb/ax59pro/ax59pro.htm
http://209.35.237.117/mboards/reviews/ax59pro/ax59prorev.htm
http://209.35.237.117/mboards/ax59pro.asp#oc
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=209

My CPU has 1MB of L2 Cache (External) as confirmed by 3DMark2001SE.

I plan to get rid of those various sticks of ram, and replace it with two 128MB PC100 SDRAM. Nice and simple, and supposed to be the best RAM configuration for this motherboard.

In one of the reviews, I noticed that the reviewer could not overclock to 350MHz. or higher, which I have also found to be the case with my computer. Do we know if there's a way to fix this?

"3dfx. So powerful, it's kind of ridiculous."
- quote from 3dfx advert

My Old-School PC

Reply 6 of 9, by 5u3

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supernoodle wrote:

In one of the reviews, I noticed that the reviewer could not overclock to 350MHz. or higher, which I have also found to be the case with my computer. Do we know if there's a way to fix this?

Depends on which configuration you used when you tried (RAM configuration, CPU variant and manufacturing week, FSB and multiplier settings, installed PCI cards, etc...).
What settings did you try for FSB, multiplier, core and I/O voltages?

Reply 7 of 9, by DosFreak

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My CPU has 1MB of L2 Cache (External) as confirmed by 3DMark2001SE.

heh. Please use AIDA32,Everest,or WCPUID. Do not trust a POS program like 3Dmark. Only use that POS for synthetic benchmarks if you must.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 8 of 9, by QBiN

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supernoodle wrote:

What other games will I be able to play, and are there any hardware upgrades I might need? (refrain from just listing every part as needing replacement 😜 )

With your Voodoo5 installed, might I suggest the "Soldier of Fortune" series of games. They were based on the Quake I and II engines (though highly modified by Raven). They should run awesome on your rig, and be tons of fun too.

Reply 9 of 9, by supernoodle

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I just got a K6-2 500MHz from ebay! should be here in about a couple of weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to play Serious Sam: Second Encounter reasonably well.

On my current PC, I've got every single option maxed out (which is a lot, it's a serious sam game)

"3dfx. So powerful, it's kind of ridiculous."
- quote from 3dfx advert

My Old-School PC