VOGONS


First post, by leonardo

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Nickname: Longbottom

  • Case: Wings branded no-name
  • Power supply: Fortron/FSP Group FSP-350 series (120mm fan)
  • Motherboard: AOpen AX6BC AX6BC Pro II Millennium Edition (this board is legendary)
  • Processor: Intel PentiumIII 1 GHz "Coppermine" @ 750 MHz (100 MHz FSB)
  • Memory: 256 MB PC133 SD-RAM
  • Video card(s): ELSA Synergy-II PCI (nVidia RivaTNT2, 32MB) -> Sapphire Radeon 9200 VIVO, AGP
  • Sound card(s): Diamond MonsterSound MX300 (Aureal Vortex2) + Nec XR385 add-on
  • Storage: Dual Seagate U Series X 20 GB HDDs
  • Removable(s): Panasonic 1.44 MB 3.5" + ASUS DVD-E612 & Plextor PX-W2410TA
  • Connectivity: 3Com Fast Etherlink XL PCI 100 Mbit
  • HIDs: KeyTronic DIN-keyboard and Logitech WheelMouse (ol' ballsy), Hitachi CM772 19" CRT HP M700 17" CRT

This system is from a Finnish computer maker called Wings. I only got the case because it's sturdy as hell and roomy enough to run an old system with just passive cooling. In fact the Slot1 CPU on this thing only has a huge heatsink on it. The PSU located right above it pulls warm air right out of the case. With all the other components being passively cooled, this makes the computer very quiet in operation. Other peculiarities feature the DVD-drive which has a region-free "service" jumper and a rare non-castrated (non-M64) PCI RivaTNT2 video card from ELSA. The use of PCI video cards is pretty much a necessity since running the front side bus on a i440BX based board at 133 MHz always ends up overclocking the AGP bus. Since my other rig runs the older games quite nicely, I thought I'd modify this configuration to extend my games library just a little bit into the future. I replaced the vanilla AOpen AX6BC with a Pro II Millennium Edition of the board in hopes of running an AGP video card in the overclocked AGP slot, but sadly could not make the system POST past 100 MHz FSB (AGP overclocked to 89 MHz seems to be too much for the Radeon). The board has a backup memory for BIOS settings, so even if the battery runs out you can restore the settings quickly (only need to adjust the time and date). OS of choice: Windows 98 SE

Update on Jan 10, 2021
Replaced motherboard and video card to increase performance for some of my later games such as NOLF, Deus Ex, and to be able to run games like WarCraft III or Max Payne that depended on DirectX 8 or later. I reluctantly upgraded to Win 98 SE and sure enough was reminded why I don't like Windows after 95. After a couple of reinstalls I got the hang of the system again and it now runs the more lean 95-version of Explorer to avoid IE and GUI lag.

Having to bring the CPU clock down to 750 MHz stings less than I thought it would, because for the games that I had 1 GHz was overkill anyway, but the graphics performance of the Radeon 9200 is heaps and bounds better than that of a PCI bus-based RivaTNT 2 (even if it wasn't the mutilated M64-edition).

System re-tested with 3DMark2000. Scores are as follows:
Sapphire Radeon 9200 VIVO AGP: 5294 points (1024x768x16)
Sapphire Radeon 9200 VIVO AGP: 5140 points (1024x768x32)

Update on Sep 6, 2013.
System tested with 3DMark2000. Scores are as follows:
Elsa Synergy-II PCI: 2320 points (1024x768x16)
Creative 3DBlaster II: 1706 points (800x600x16)

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Last edited by leonardo on 2021-01-24, 15:25. Edited 7 times in total.

My retro rigs
Methuselah, AMD K6-III+ 400 MHz, Voodoo 3 PCI, etc...
Longbottom, Pentium III 1 GHz, Radeon 9200, Aureal Vortex2

Reply 2 of 9, by leonardo

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Half-Saint wrote:

Nice hardware but I'm curious as to why you're running Windows 95 on a 1 GHz Pentium III? 😁

Well... it does sort of boils down to what I use it for (which is retro gaming). If I used this for pretty much anything else I guess I'd be dual-booting Linux. Out of the old 9x lineage Windows 95 OSR2 is my favorite because in practice it does everything Windows 98/98SE/ME do, but it's less cluttered and doesn't come with Internet Explorer. I mean OSR2 on a 1 GHz Pentium just screams.

My retro rigs
Methuselah, AMD K6-III+ 400 MHz, Voodoo 3 PCI, etc...
Longbottom, Pentium III 1 GHz, Radeon 9200, Aureal Vortex2

Reply 3 of 9, by tincup

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I agree - I have W95 OSR2 going on a P3-933 and it's really very nice... On it go retro games that benefit from the horsepower but don't run or don't run properly under W98, and have come to appreciate the simple charm of W95 as well... The only real drawback so far has been my inability to get a USB2 card running.

Reply 4 of 9, by chinny22

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I was building a similar PC as my end of the line Win 3.x machine (P3 slot 1, Tnt2 Ultra) but caved in and installed 98 and a better graphics card. Really love the slot1/BX generation and that would have been the case I was after, nice and simple it was around the same time cases started putting "stylish" covers or doors over the drive bays that just got in the way.
I'm guessing the CPU heatsink is from some big brand OEM originally?

Reply 7 of 9, by Half-Saint

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I used to passively cool a Pentium III 800MHz with a Zalman CNPS-6000 all copper heatsink. At idle it stayed at 52-53C which was perfectly fine for me.

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Reply 8 of 9, by leonardo

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chinny22 wrote:

... I'm guessing the CPU heatsink is from some big brand OEM originally?

cdoublejj wrote:

DUDE! wicked heat sink? does it work well?

The Slot1 CPU was apparently originally in a Compaq server. I bought it used and it has served me well. I have no way of monitoring the temperatures but there have never been any stability issues (nor does the heat sink get very warm) so I believe it's fine. It is one big loaf though. The case weighs a ton.

Half-Saint wrote:

I used to passively cool a Pentium III 800MHz with a Zalman CNPS-6000 all copper heatsink. At idle it stayed at 52-53C which was perfectly fine for me.

I understand the P3 doesn't have any temperature sensors, how are you getting your readings?

My retro rigs
Methuselah, AMD K6-III+ 400 MHz, Voodoo 3 PCI, etc...
Longbottom, Pentium III 1 GHz, Radeon 9200, Aureal Vortex2