VOGONS


First post, by raymangold

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This is somewhat of a follow up to an older thread I did about the Kingston TC400. Finally purchased a PowerLeap PL-K6-III; which is vastly superior over the Kingston interposer: allowing for a greater range of voltages (as low as 1.30v !) And a few extra gimmicky features with isolated power and a clock throttle to turn down the multiplier if the CPU gets too hot.

Here are some pictures of it:
kDxyvUg.jpg
UaggK7A.jpg
nRIwATs.jpg

The performance increase is most definitely an extra 50% when all things are considered (games that were previously sluggishly unplayable are now playable). Not only that, but I have my full 384 MB of RAM now with no performance penalties--once the write allocation is enabled that is. The 300PL's BIOS does not automatically switch to it of its own accord. Turning off the cache in the 300PL's BIOS just turns off *all* cache, rendering the system absolutely insanely slow (Windows 98 was operating as if it was on a cacheless 286). It doesn't seem to matter when the old cache is left on, once write allocation is forced the memory is addressed through the K6-III.
Note: It could be different depending on your BIOS. According to Jan Steunebrink, many Socket 7s don't even natively work with the K6-2+ / K6-III.

The results have been added to Phil's Ultimate VGA Benchmark google excel sheet.

For a rough reference, the Kingston TC400 scored 42.9 FPS in Quake, whereas the PowerLeap PL-K6-III gets 47.7 FPS. When the K6-III Write Allocation is not enabled (where the system runs on its old Intel cache tag) it gets the same score as the K6-2 on the TC400; fairly impressive since going over by 320 MB makes the machine a *lot* slower.

Final installation (crap capacitors were replaced with rubycons and a "panny"... I must say the vias on these powerleap interposers are *very* irritating to work with since the diameter is unusually shallow, requiring the capacitor leads to be heated up as they're inserted...):
mtvsbsw.jpg

Here are the three 128 MB EDO DIMM modules installed (the memory ICs are visibly different than the ones on SDRAM modules):
u9M9n9s.jpg

---

I could force this old socket 7 system farther:
#1 Modify the FSB frequency to 75 Mhz instead of 66 Mhz | allowing 450 Mhz for the CPU clock, the faster bus would definitely increase performance
#2 Attempt to find ECC 256 EDO DIMMs (unbuffered) and see if the system can be forced to take 768 MB (assuming the system would be willing to accept memory beyond 512 MB before the write allocation is forced).
#3 Build a RAM interposer to reveal the 'fourth' hidden DIMM slot for 512 MB: which would be four 128 MB sticks

Going beyond this would require some hardware hacking and BIOS editing. These computers aren't exactly all that common anymore (the less featureful Pentium II counterparts are, but they suck). So due to lack of spare motherboards I'll forefeit for now. There are also different revisions of the board with components moved slightly around. I am not sure what the different revisions change...

One nice thing about the motherboards is that they're 'tray loaded', pull this latch and the mobo slides out from the rails (which keeps it from touching the chassis for proper isolation):
NsZRGe6.jpg

PS: I know vetz owns one of these interposers, not sure if he has experimented with it yet.

Reply 1 of 24, by oerk

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Interesting, I didn't think the different interposers would make that much of a difference...

Forgive my ignorance, but did those normally come with the CPU and heatsink glued on? I don't see any latches on the socket.

Reply 2 of 24, by manbearpig

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Edit: nevermind

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Reply 3 of 24, by raymangold

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oerk wrote:

Interesting, I didn't think the different interposers would make that much of a difference...

Forgive my ignorance, but did those normally come with the CPU and heatsink glued on? I don't see any latches on the socket.

The biggest factor of performance is the on-die cache which is incredibly faster than *external* cache. And it resolves the intel memory problems.

The interposer came with a snap-on heatsink (and also had a power connector which I desoldered). I threw it away since it's small, noisy and inefficient--not to mention there's a giant 92mm noctua to do proper cooling. The heatsink now present is the OEM one from the computer itself, it was originally latched. I couldn't latch it to the socket 7 since the interposer becomes too tall for it. Some interposers did come with special [long] latches that allowed heatsinks to be clamped down, but most don't...

Here's the original heatsink:
BQpChyN.jpg

Reply 4 of 24, by Anonymous Coward

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I have the evergreen version. Very nice upgrade for any old intel based motherboard.

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Reply 5 of 24, by oerk

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raymangold wrote:

The biggest factor of performance is the on-die cache which is incredibly faster than *external* cache. And it resolves the intel memory problems.

*smacks head*

I didn't notice the Kingston came with a K6-2, whereas the PowerLeap is a K6-III. Yeah, that explains it!

I also like your cooling solution.

Reply 6 of 24, by vetz

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The PL-K6-III is a very nice upgrade. It made my Socket 7 system able to play Unreal and Half-Life with no big problems, which was a first!

One thing to take notice of, is that you almost need a non-plus version of the AMD K6-III to make it work in motherboards intended for the PL-K6-III upgrade. It has a much wider compatibility than the AMD K6-III+ version.

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Reply 7 of 24, by Anonymous Coward

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It should be possible to mod an AWARD BIOS for the + version if one does not already exist.

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Reply 8 of 24, by matze79

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I've got my Hands on a Adapter like this.
I'm hoping its bundled with a K6-3.. should arrive in the next couple of days

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Reply 10 of 24, by RacoonRider

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raymangold wrote:

Well I finally got the K6-III sticker and applied it to the case (yeah took awhile):
http://i.imgur.com/TezeBIt.jpg

Yup, that is a very significant upgrade 🤣 Does your system feature any 3D hardware other than Mystique? I must admit, I really enjoyed its API in Tomb Raider. As long as there aren't many (any?) opaque surfaces on the scene, it produces a sharp picture with vivid colors, if you can find an excuse for no filtering and poor alpha blending imitation.

Reply 11 of 24, by nforce4max

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raymangold wrote:

Well I finally got the K6-III sticker and applied it to the case (yeah took awhile):
http://i.imgur.com/TezeBIt.jpg

At least it is not painted red to make it go faster 🤣

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 12 of 24, by raymangold

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RacoonRider wrote:
raymangold wrote:

Well I finally got the K6-III sticker and applied it to the case (yeah took awhile):
http://i.imgur.com/TezeBIt.jpg

Yup, that is a very significant upgrade 🤣 Does your system feature any 3D hardware other than Mystique? I must admit, I really enjoyed its API in Tomb Raider. As long as there aren't many (any?) opaque surfaces on the scene, it produces a sharp picture with vivid colors, if you can find an excuse for no filtering and poor alpha blending imitation.

I don't use the mystique, it's disabled. I have a basic S3 Trio and a voodoo2.

Reply 13 of 24, by khg0084

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Hello everybody,

If somebody knows, where I could buy a PowerLeap PL-K6-III, or if somebody will sell this adapter, please send me a private message!! I would need it for an Socket 7 IBM PC.

Thanks,
KH

IBM PC 750 (Model 6887)
--> Pentium MMX 233 MHz CPU, 128 MB EDO RAM
--> Matrox Millenium 4MB PCI, 3DFX Diamond Monster 3d II 8MB
--> Multiboot (Boot Magic) - Dos 6.22 / WfW 3.11 / Win 98 / Win XP
Wishlist: Powerleap PL-K6-III, Slot 1 Dual CPU MB

Reply 14 of 24, by Cyberdyne

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vetz wrote:

The PL-K6-III is a very nice upgrade. It made my Socket 7 system able to play Unreal and Half-Life with no big problems, which was a first!

One thing to take notice of, is that you almost need a non-plus version of the AMD K6-III to make it work in motherboards intended for the PL-K6-III upgrade. It has a much wider compatibility than the AMD K6-III+ version.

Hey, i used firstly Classic Pentium 133 and later Pentium MMX 166, to play these games, and they runned smoothly, With a PCI Riva TNT.
Or are those just my nostalgic memories, and a untrained eye.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 15 of 24, by khg0084

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Cyberdyne wrote:

Hey, i used firstly Classic Pentium 133 and later Pentium MMX 166, to play these games, and they runned smoothly, With a PCI Riva TNT.
Or are those just my nostalgic memories, and a untrained eye.

Hi,
What I can say from my last live-tests and web researches is, that games which came out in 1999 and later will need a faster CPU (Pentium 2/3 or AMD K6-2/3).
So you're right Half-Life rans on a P1-166Mhz with "fast" GPU like Voodoo2 (I've tested it last year)
What I've also in mind is, that Unreal needs more resources than Half-Life, but with low resolutions it should be also playable on P1 systems.
But if you like to go further in the future, you'll need a stronger CPU.
Also for Voodoo 2 or Riva TNT/TNT2 series it's recommended to use a Pentium 2 CPU for full speed.
So I think it would make sense to invest in an upgrade if you like to play games from '98/'99 onwards.

My intention for an upgrade to AMD CPU is for testing and feasability purposes only. Maybe I would upgrade also to a better graphics card if I'll get an Powerleap adapter... Only because it makes a lot of fun 😎

Last edited by khg0084 on 2016-11-08, 13:24. Edited 1 time in total.

IBM PC 750 (Model 6887)
--> Pentium MMX 233 MHz CPU, 128 MB EDO RAM
--> Matrox Millenium 4MB PCI, 3DFX Diamond Monster 3d II 8MB
--> Multiboot (Boot Magic) - Dos 6.22 / WfW 3.11 / Win 98 / Win XP
Wishlist: Powerleap PL-K6-III, Slot 1 Dual CPU MB

Reply 16 of 24, by vetz

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Cyberdyne wrote:
vetz wrote:

The PL-K6-III is a very nice upgrade. It made my Socket 7 system able to play Unreal and Half-Life with no big problems, which was a first!

One thing to take notice of, is that you almost need a non-plus version of the AMD K6-III to make it work in motherboards intended for the PL-K6-III upgrade. It has a much wider compatibility than the AMD K6-III+ version.

Hey, i used firstly Classic Pentium 133 and later Pentium MMX 166, to play these games, and they runned smoothly, With a PCI Riva TNT.
Or are those just my nostalgic memories, and a untrained eye.

Sorry to say, but those are nostalgic memories. I also played HalfLife on a MMX166 and a Voodoo2 back in 1998, but looking back the framerate sucked and I played in 640x480. Today my preferances have changed and I'd like atleast 1024x768 and 60fps in first person shooters.

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3D Acceleration Comparison Episodes

Reply 17 of 24, by feipoa

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raymangold, what chipset are you using on that motherboard? And did you try a K6-III in the socket directly? If your motherboard's BIOS can be modified to accept a K6-III or II/III+, would there be any benefit to this Powerleap adapter? Jan S. modified the BIOS of my 430TX-based motherboard and it runs great with K6-III+ CPU directly in the socket. I took it up to 500 MHz (6x83) w/256 MB and it is surprisingly stable.

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Reply 18 of 24, by khg0084

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Hello feipoa,

430TX maybe,
in my case a 430FX is built-in. So I think a Powerleap Adapter would be the only possibility in that case.

IBM PC 750 (Model 6887)
--> Pentium MMX 233 MHz CPU, 128 MB EDO RAM
--> Matrox Millenium 4MB PCI, 3DFX Diamond Monster 3d II 8MB
--> Multiboot (Boot Magic) - Dos 6.22 / WfW 3.11 / Win 98 / Win XP
Wishlist: Powerleap PL-K6-III, Slot 1 Dual CPU MB

Reply 19 of 24, by Tetrium

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raymangold wrote:
Some interposers did come with special [long] latches that allowed heatsinks to be clamped down, but most don't... […]
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Some interposers did come with special [long] latches that allowed heatsinks to be clamped down, but most don't...

Here's the original heatsink:
BQpChyN.jpg

I remember having an interposer with such a long latch. It was one of those upgrade chips, don't remember which one it exactly was. I still have it, I think mine came with a standard K6-2 non+ though, which is probably why I never used it.

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