Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

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Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby vetz » 2014-5-22 @ 18:58

I've mentioned this system in countless posts here on Vogons, so some of you are probably familiar with it. Since I got a new ATX case I found the time was right to make a thread about it. This system is my primary retro gaming system as I enjoy the late 90's games the most. This system covers all the SVGA DOS games and the whole Win9x gaming period. It gives an very good amount of flexibility and excellent performance in the games I'm most interested in. The stability of the 440BX is also a huge plus along with ASUS great build quality on one of the greatest 440BX boards you can buy (IMO).

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The hardware:
  • Intel Pentium III-S 1400mhz Tualatin (professionally pin modded by a guy in Korea)
  • ASUS P3B-F v1.03 Intel 440BX motherboard
  • 1024MB (4x256MB) PC133 CL2 SDRAM
  • Geforce FX 5950 Ultra with NV Silencer from Artic Cooling
  • Creative 3D Blaster2 Voodoo2 in SLI
  • Matrox M3D PowerVR PCX2
  • Techworks Vortex2 soundcard w/ NEC XR385 MIDI daughterboard
  • 3COM 10/100mbit PCI network card
  • 250GB Samsung ATA-133 harddrive
  • Pioneer 16x DVD-ROM slot-in
  • Plextor PlexWriter 16/10/40 CD-RW

So some might wonder if all this works at 133mhz FSB? Yes it does :) I also have no problems with 1024MB RAM in Windows 98. I run dual boot Windows 98 and WindowsXP on this system, but I almost only use Win9x. The board does only support up to 137GB harddrives, so I don't get to use all the space on the drive, but it's more than enough for my usage. I could ofc install a PCI IDE/S-ATA controller to get around this, but that would mean removing some other hardware.

The board installed in the case:
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The hardware laying on the floor:
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The previous fan had seen better days when I acquired this card, so I bought a new third-party cooler. The card is dead silent. It has a big heatsink. The DVI output from this card works in DOS and also allows DVI to HDMI recording:
Image
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Everything installed. I'm using a 120mm fan as a stop gap measure as I have two new top quality 80mm fans on my way to be installed in the front and back of the case. Regarding PSU I'm using a 2009 vintage 500W PSU. It doesn't support -5V, which I don't need, but it's relatively new and have a big 120mm fan to suck out air right above the CPU :)
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Front/back of case:
ImageImage

Pentium III case badge :)
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby retrofanatic » 2014-5-22 @ 19:19

Very nice build! This case works very well with this BX system. I like that there is room between the board and the internal 3.5" bays. It seems like one needs a lot of space when working with a BX board and I think you have found a winner.

What is that bracket attaching the heatsink and fan to the FX 5950 Ultra? Why is it so big?

What are some examples of DOS SVGA games that you will play on it?

With the two 80mm fans installed, and maybe a 5.25" FDD and 3.5" ZIP drive just for kicks :lol: this thing will look even better.

Don't forget to cut out the extra metal in the rear fan grille to allow for way better airflow. A hole saw will do the trick.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby obobskivich » 2014-5-22 @ 19:28

Haven't seen a slot-load Plextor in years, and they still look cool. Very cool build overall.

I agree with retrofanatic: what is that thing on the back of the 5950?

On the fan grilles - I'd agree with punching them out too; it'll make things quieter and improve airflow all at once.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby vetz » 2014-5-22 @ 20:48

retrofanatic wrote:What is that bracket attaching the heatsink and fan to the FX 5950 Ultra? Why is it so big?

It's part of the heatsink design. You can easily bend parts of it off if it doesn't fit your case (I've already taken a small piece off so the slotklet could fit). It is also pictured in this review: http://www.hartware.de/review_457_9.html

retrofanatic wrote:What are some examples of DOS SVGA games that you will play on it?

Descent, Duke Nukem 3D. Screamer, Blood, Whiplash (I prefer software mode for this game)

retrofanatic wrote:With the two 80mm fans installed, and maybe a 5.25" FDD and 3.5" ZIP drive just for kicks :lol: this thing will look even better.

I want to keep the clean look. I don't own any 5.25" FDD's and ZIP drives that will fit in very well without ruining the aesthetics unfortunately :(

retrofanatic wrote:Don't forget to cut out the extra metal in the rear fan grille to allow for way better airflow. A hole saw will do the trick.

Will do :)
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby mr_bigmouth_502 » 2014-5-23 @ 04:23

Dude, that's just like what I've been wanting to build! :D I'm jealous. XD
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby badmojo » 2014-5-23 @ 08:37

That's a beast of a system vetz well done! And thanks for the great pics, this is the sort of thread I come to vogons for :) I'm a big fan of ASUS motherboards too.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby borgie83 » 2014-5-23 @ 10:09

Awesome rig vetz! I was going to use the ASUS P3B-F board as well but opted for a Gigabyte GA-6BX7+ instead. Mainly due to the fact that I didn't want to mess about with a powerleap adaptor. Just don't like how the powerleap adaptors restrict you when it comes to coolers.

Out of curiosity, what multiplier are you using considering this board normally supports up to 1ghz? My GA-6BX7+ doesn't support Tualatins either but I've got a pin modded 1.4ghz Tully like yourself to throw in there. Are you running this at 1.4ghz or has it been under clocked?

Lastly, what drivers are you using with your Vortex 2? I own a Diamond MX300 which also uses Vortex 2 but never had much luck using the latest Diamond drivers.
Last edited by borgie83 on 2014-5-23 @ 10:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby vetz » 2014-5-23 @ 10:31

borgie83 wrote:Awesome rig vetz! I was going to use the ASUS P3B-F board as well but opted for a Gigabyte GA-6BX7+ instead. Mainly due to the fact that I didn't want to mess about with a powerleap adaptor. Just don't like how the powerleap adaptors restrict you when it comes to coolers.


I don't use a Powerleap adapter, just a normal FC-PGA slotklet. The P3B-F supports the Tualatin voltage, it just needs the pins rearranged to run the Tualatin. You could ofc use a slotklet like the one from Upgradeware which does this instead of pinmodding the CPU.

borgie83 wrote:Out of curiosity, what multiplier are you using considering this board normally supports up to 1ghz? My GA-6BX7+ doesn't support Tualatins either but I've got a pin modded 1.4ghz Tully like yourself to throw in there. Are you running this at 1.4ghz or has it been under clocked?


I'm running it at stock speed of 1400mhz at 133mhz FSB. CPU voltage at 1.45V (as required). Multiplier is locked on the CPU at 10,5x. I can go as high as 150mhz FSB.

Lastly, what drivers are you using with your Vortex 2? I own a Diamond MX300 which also uses Vortex 2 but never had much luck using the latest Diamond drivers.


I'm using the Aureal drivers which came with the card. It is available on Vogonsdrivers: http://www.vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=399
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby borgie83 » 2014-5-23 @ 10:38

Oh ok cool! Will definitely give mine a whirl using the pin modded tully. I had a lot of luck with my other pin modded tully on my other Gigabyte board which only supports Coppermines so it should be right.

I edited my other post with another question just as you posted your reply so here it is again....What drivers are you using with your Vortex 2? I own a Diamond MX300 which also uses Vortex 2 but never had much luck using the latest Diamond drivers.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby borgie83 » 2014-5-23 @ 10:40

HaHa I did it again!! I asked the same question but you already answered it in your edited post lol

Thanks for the link. I'll check out those drivers and hopefully have more luck using the reference drivers as opposed to the Diamond ones.

Further to this though, do these drivers contain dos SB Pro emulation like the Diamond drivers?
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby vetz » 2014-5-23 @ 10:52

borgie83 wrote:HaHa I did it again!! I asked the same question but you already answered it in your edited post lol

Thanks for the link. I'll check out those drivers and hopefully have more luck using the reference drivers as opposed to the Diamond ones.

Further to this though, do these drivers contain dos SB Pro emulation like the Diamond drivers?


hehe, no problem :)

I think they do, but you'll need to download the mixer to set the correct audio settings (some are default at 0) in pure DOS. Vortmix is available here: download/file.php?id=5366

Basically:
1) Run au30dos.com to wake op the Vortex-2 (should be included with the Windows drivers)
2) Run vortex mixer to set the desired mixer volumes.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby vetz » 2014-5-23 @ 10:55

borgie83 wrote:Just don't like how the powerleap adaptors restrict you when it comes to coolers.


If I replace the word powerleap with slotklet (Slot 1 -> S370/FC-PGA) I can comment with this:

The Tualatin runs cool compared to the Coppermines and doesn't require much of a heatsink. I'm using a stock Intel Celeron cooler and an aftermarked 60mm fan (which runs quietly) and there is no problem with heat. There are room for a bigger cooler, but atm it's not required.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby borgie83 » 2014-5-23 @ 11:09

vetz wrote:hehe, no problem :)

I think they do, but you'll need to download the mixer to set the correct audio settings (some are default at 0) in pure DOS. Vortmix is available here: download/file.php?id=5366

Basically:
1) Run au30dos.com to wake op the Vortex-2 (should be included with the Windows drivers)
2) Run vortex mixer to set the desired mixer volumes.


Thanks :) Didn't know that the dos drivers didn't contain a mixer.

So, have you run into any sound issues using the SB Pro emulation with earlier dos games? Probably a silly question to ask considering you probably don't use it as you have an ISA slot but worth a shot none the less.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby vetz » 2014-5-23 @ 11:17

borgie83 wrote:So, have you run into any sound issues using the SB Pro emulation with earlier dos games? Probably a silly question to ask considering you probably don't use it as you have an ISA slot but worth a shot none the less.


I haven't encountered any problems, but then again, I haven't tested so very many older DOS games (it is mainly a late DOS/Win9x platform). I have other systems for those older games. I believe the Vortex2 is as good as it gets when it comes to DOS and PCI sound cards.

I know the board has an ISA slot, but I prefer using the Vortex2 for A3D sound in the games that supports it :) Also it has Optical out,two internal CD audio connectors, wavetable connector, a good Windows GUI controlpanel. I find the Vortex2 card to be the best for both DOS and Windows.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby F2bnp » 2014-5-23 @ 13:31

beautiful system vetz!
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby vetz » 2014-5-23 @ 14:55

badmojo wrote:That's a beast of a system vetz well done! And thanks for the great pics, this is the sort of thread I come to vogons for :) I'm a big fan of ASUS motherboards too.


Thanks :) I felt that when I finally found a case in such good condition I could show it off and have it live up to the standard set by your cases.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby 2fort5r » 2014-8-16 @ 18:58

I've tried to do this twice, once with a MS-6119 and then a TI6NB. Unfortunately I eventually had to trash them both, one after the other. There were no catastrophic failures but they became increasingly flaky about recognizing PCI cards and memory modules to the point where getting them to run reliably was more trouble than it was worth. I may just be unlucky but suspect that consumer-quality computer boards from that era just aren't built to last this long.
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby archsan » 2014-8-16 @ 20:12

^ Too bad about that Microstar/MSI board, apart from possible incompatibility issues, there's still option for recapping as well to extend its life. What you call "consumer-quality boards from that era" do vary a lot in build & component quality. ASUS' P2B and P3B series (such as the one featured here) are famous for their quality. And I'd be surprised if MSI (now one of the big three/four) didn't do a decent build for that board (as it was definitely a premium model).
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby 2fort5r » 2014-8-16 @ 21:18

The problem was specifically with the memory/PCI connectors. I think they're built to withstand only a certain number of insertions, after which they start to flake out. You have to repeatedly cycle the power/wiggle the part around to get it detected.

Were there any BX server boards produced? They would presumably be built to a tougher standard. (But then you'd lose the AGP port.)
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Re: Time for a new case: My 440BX Tualatin system

Postby archsan » 2014-8-17 @ 07:52

2fort5r wrote:Were there any BX server boards produced? They would presumably be built to a tougher standard. (But then you'd lose the AGP port.)

Lots of them -- apart from Intel's N440BX, look into the usual names such as TYAN, Supermicro, DFI-ITOX, but also ASUS (e.g. P2B-LS/DS). Most still featured AGP port, iirc.
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