WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

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WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-5-30 @ 13:40

Okay, I've come to the conclusion that I'll never finish a build unless I start a thread documenting it. And even then, I may never finish it!

I thought I knew all the components for this build, but over the years, it has changed many times. I have two different boards in mind using VIA C3 Ezra-T CPUs - this is the first build. Specs:

Board: DFI ITOX3
Chipset: Intel 440BX
CPU: VIA Cyrix III, 1Ghz Ezra-T
Memory: 256MB SDRAM, CL2
On-board VGA: Chips & Technologies F69000, 2MB
The rest is subject to change...

So, this is the starting point, and some pics:
DSC_0253.JPG
DFI ITOX3

DSC_0246.JPG
With HSF

DSC_0249.JPG
On-board VGA

DSC_0248.JPG

You can see the board has a SB-Link connection, so even though there are 6 ISA slots, I won't be able to resist chucking in a sound card like a YMF724...

I don't know much about the F69000 VGA, I believe Intel bought out Chips & Technologies. It's only 2MB, and probably slow. It does have a BIOS option forcing 60Hz, which I've noticed fixing aspect ratio in ZOOL. It has BIOS options for CRT/ LCD which seems unusual. I'll probably change to another VGA card...

That heatsink fan looks quiet being 80mm, but it's noisier than some 40mm fans I have ; it's gonna go. The VIA runs cool, so I could probably get away without a fan. I can overclock the Ezra-T to 1200 Mhz easily, so may keep the fan for that.

Some temps with the CPU running at 1125Mhz:
DSC_0254.JPG

That's it for now. I'm not sure where I'm going with this build, but I'll try to get some benchmarks later (time permitting). And any requests, please feel free to ask.
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-5-30 @ 13:41

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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-5-30 @ 13:41

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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby BSA Starfire » 2016-5-30 @ 13:43

Nice, thought I was the only nutter who messed with VIA CPU's :)
386SX 33MHz,4MB Ram,ALi M1217 motherboard,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A.
386DX 25MHz,IIT 387,8MB RAM,Opti,32K cache,WDC90C30 512K.Conner CF170A.
IDT Winchip C6 200MHz,DFi P5BTX/L,Number Nine S3 ViRGE 2MB,SoundBlasterCT2260,1.2Gb Fujitsu.
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby Tetrium » 2016-5-30 @ 14:25

Never knew s370 boards with 6(!) ISA slots existed, looking forward to your build progressing :)
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby Jade Falcon » 2016-5-30 @ 14:34

Nice looking build. That's a big hear sink for a cpu that can be passively cool, will you over clock it?
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-5-30 @ 17:42

@BSA Starfire: Yeah, I often like to take the beaten path, looking for that diamond in the rough...

@Tetrium: I came across this board by chance - I was looking for SB-Link headers, not ISA slots. Considering that header, it's like having 6 1/2 ISA slots...

@Jade Falcon: Voltage control on this board is not easy, so I'll keep stock voltage of 1.4v and overclock around that. It does 1200 Mhz easily, and at 150Mhz FSB. I have a Slot 1 build with a Slotket that has variable voltage jumpers, so that build would be better for overclocking. In my previous tests, this CPU is stable at 1300Mhz, and 1400Mhz if you don't use 3DNow!

Some quick benches with Speedsys - just used multi and FSB (all Setmul switches enabled, all caches enabled):
DSC_0257.JPG
150x8; 1200 Mhz

DSC_0256.JPG
100x7; 700Mhz

DSC_0255.JPG
66x3; 200Mhz

These benches give a range from the slowest to the fastest by just using FSB via BIOS, and Setmul to change multi. Other speeds are smoothly attainable between these ranges by just using the aforementioned parameters.

In conjunction with ICD (Instruction Cache Disable), and BPD (Branch Prediction Disable), far more flexibility is possible, with a range from 286 to a Pentium II. I'll post these benches later...
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby clueless1 » 2016-5-30 @ 18:00

Sweet. I never knew anything about the VIA cpus back in the day. Now that it's retro, there's definitely greater appreciation for the processor than I would have had when it was new. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-5-30 @ 21:16

@clueless1: Yeah, definitely more appreciation in retrospect. I'd have to add that the discovery of VIA C3s having unlocked multipliers definitely helped, especially with SetMul maintained by Gerwin.

Some more benches, getting slower and slower in obtaining them:

DSC_0258.JPG
66x3; 200Mhz; BPD

So, following on from the last Speedsys score of around 105, we are now at 88. I just used BPD.

DSC_0259.JPG
150x8; 1200Mhz ; ICD

Now dropping down to 64 in Speedsys; using ICD, and full speed.

DSC_0260.JPG
150x3; 450Mhz; ICD

Hitting 54 in Speedsys; dropped multi to 3x.

DSC_0261.JPG
100x12; 1200Mhz; ICD

Approaching AMDs classic 5x86-133, with a Speedsys score of around 43... Changed FSB to 100Mhz.

DSC_0262.JPG
100x3; 300Mhz; ICD

Somewhere near a 100Mhz 486; score of around 36 in Speedsys. How deep does the rabbit hole go? To be continued...
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby gerwin » 2016-5-31 @ 16:38

That is an interesting setup, especially the motherboard and Ezra-T CPU/ I will follow with interest! My current favorite retro system is also a VIA CPU on a i440BX motherboard.

PS: Would it be possible to save the speedsys screenshots using the .pcx export of speedsys itself, then post them here converted to .png?
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby Tertz » 2016-6-03 @ 13:30

The unique advantage of C3 is the possibility to have universal machine for DOS and Win9x. Faster C3 are more interesting for this. For example, on stock 1200 MHz Nehemiah gives 800 points in speedsys.
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-6-05 @ 14:14

gerwin wrote:That is an interesting setup, especially the motherboard and Ezra-T CPU/ I will follow with interest! My current favorite retro system is also a VIA CPU on a i440BX motherboard.

Are you using 50MHz FSB boards? They are great for slowing down, too. The slower FSB can be used to scale even more smoothly, and also gives a lower bottom-end.
gerwin wrote:PS: Would it be possible to save the speedsys screenshots using the .pcx export of speedsys itself, then post them here converted to .png?

No probs - this avoids overexposed phone pics with glaring sunlight!
Tertz wrote:The unique advantage of C3 is the possibility to have universal machine for DOS and Win9x. Faster C3 are more interesting for this. For example, on stock 1200 MHz Nehemiah gives 800 points in speedsys.

This board also runs Nehemiah (only tried 1.45v models), and it is faster clock-for-clock:
801N_result.png
150x8; 1200MHz
801N_result.png (7.57 KiB) Viewed 1436 times


The above is at full speed, and is around 170 pts higher in Speedsys compared to the Ezra-T (801 vs 632). The Nehemiah also has a slower bottom-end when disabling all caches, BPD etc., but it doesn't scale as smoothly; it has a large gap from around 15 pts - 130 pts in Speedsys (around the range of 486-33 to PI-133). It would still make a good all-round machine.

Some more Speedsys tests using the Ezra-T - I last left this at around a 486-100 MHz level, scoring 36pts. The following is with L1 disabled (no L2 for Ezra):
_34EL1D_F.png
150x8; 1200MHz; L1D
_34EL1D_F.png (7.21 KiB) Viewed 1436 times

This is the fastest I can run the board with L1 cache disabled.

Some more:
30EL1D_result.png
150x5; 750MHz; L1D
30EL1D_result.png (7.2 KiB) Viewed 1436 times

26EL1D_result.png
150x3; 450MHz; L1D
26EL1D_result.png (7.06 KiB) Viewed 1436 times

We're now somehere in the region of the classic 486DX2-66...
And:
_S22ICBPD.png
66x3; 200MHz; ICD; BPD
_S22ICBPD.png (7.52 KiB) Viewed 1436 times

The above is the slowest (~ 22pts) I can run this board with L1 cache still enabled. I used both ICD and BPD with the slowest multi (3) and FSB (66Mhz).

More to follow... (I can only upload 5 pics per post...)
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-6-05 @ 14:27

Continuing from above:
20L1D_result.png
100x5; 500MHz; L1D
20L1D_result.png (7.17 KiB) Viewed 1433 times

18L1BPD_result.png
100x5; 500MHz; L1D; BPD
18L1BPD_result.png (5.91 KiB) Viewed 1433 times

Around these speeds, it is taking too long to run the memory profile tests in Speedsys, so I've skipped most of them. The speeds below 30pts can be achieved in multiple ways because there are many parameters that can be adjusted...
17L1D_result.png
100x3; 300MHz; L1D
17L1D_result.png (5.94 KiB) Viewed 1433 times

16L1D_result.png
75X6; 450MHz; L1D
16L1D_result.png (5.93 KiB) Viewed 1433 times

15-8L1D_result.png
66X16; 1066MHz; L1D
15-8L1D_result.png (5.95 KiB) Viewed 1433 times

More to follow...
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-6-05 @ 14:36

Continued from above:
14L1D_result.png
66x6; 400MHz; L1D
14L1D_result.png (5.93 KiB) Viewed 1427 times

13L1D_result.png
66x4.5; 300MHz; L1D
13L1D_result.png (5.92 KiB) Viewed 1427 times

12L1D_result.png
66X3.5; 233MHz; L1D
12L1D_result.png (5.9 KiB) Viewed 1427 times

11L1D_result.png
66X3; 200MHz; L1D
11L1D_result.png (5.93 KiB) Viewed 1427 times

10L1BPD_result.png
66x3; 200MHz; L1D; BPD
10L1BPD_result.png (5.93 KiB) Viewed 1427 times

More to follow...
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-6-05 @ 14:49

Continued...
S9L1BPD_result.png
66x3; 200MHz; L1D; BPD; Slowest BIOS timings
S9L1BPD_result.png (7.28 KiB) Viewed 1421 times


This is the slowest I can achieve in Speedsys - 9.46pts, using the slowest timings in the BIOS. Around these speeds, the accuracy reported by Speedsys can have discrepancies. It is reporting a fast 386DX currently. I normally cross-reference other benchmarks to get an idea on where the CPU is at. For example, Topbench is reporting around a 386SX-25 and so is NSSI. However, Norton Sysinfo 6 is around 386SX-16 levels or slower.

If the board had a 50MHz FSB option, it should hit around a fast 286.

@Clueless1: I'll try to get those other benchmarks for you later...

Time for a break now, and to decide what VGA card I should use - can't decide on whether this C&T F69000 is worth keeping. Any interests in other benches, feel free to request.
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby clueless1 » 2016-6-05 @ 14:54

Quite an amazing processor. :)
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby j^aws » 2016-6-05 @ 22:00

As requested by clueless1:

CPU: VIA C3 Ezra-T, 440BX chipset
VGA: C&T F69000

Speed: 1000Mhz ; 133x7.5; L1 enabled
Speedsys = 528.5
3D Bench = 325.4
PC Player = 99.1
Doom: Gametics = 2134; Realtics = 854; FPS = 87.45

Speed: 1000Mhz ; 133x7.5; L1 disabled
Speedsys = 29.9
3D Bench = 32.1
PC Player = 10
Doom: Gametics = 2134; Realtics = 5082; FPS = 14.70

Speed: 1200Mhz ; 150x8; L1 enabled
Speedsys = 632.85
3D Bench = 343.1
PC Player = 110.9
Doom: Gametics = 2134; Realtics = 763; FPS = 97.89

Speed: 1200Mhz ; 150x8; L1 disabled
Speedsys = 34.07
3D Bench = 36.6
PC Player = 11.5
Doom: Gametics = 2134; Realtics = 4447; FPS = 16.80

Speed: 200Mhz ; 66x3; L1 enabled
Speedsys = 105.70
3D Bench = 132.0
PC Player = 31.1
Doom: Gametics = 2134; Realtics = 2073; FPS = 36.02

Speed: 200Mhz ; 66x3; L1 disabled
Speedsys = 11.93
3D Bench = 13.0
PC Player = 4
Doom: Gametics = 2134; Realtics = 12896; FPS = 5.79

As mentioned earlier, Ezra-T doesn't have a Level 2 Cache hierarchy, so no benches for it. The VGA onboard isn't the fastest, but it does seem compatible, and with decent image quality...

I'll upload the above benches into the spreadsheet shortly.
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby clueless1 » 2016-6-05 @ 22:25

Thanks, j^aws! Quite an impressive chip.
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby Tetrium » 2016-6-06 @ 16:49

clueless1 wrote:Thanks, j^aws! Quite an impressive chip.

I'm wondering who here has ordered a VIA C3 because of this :D
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Re: WIP 1: Ezra-T slow-down machine, S370 industrial build...

Postby Tertz » 2016-6-08 @ 19:55

Would be more comfortable to see one table with all settings-results from the fastest to the slowest for Ezra-T 1000. As you also have Nehemiah 1200, its results are similarly interesting.

For video card you may use a standard S3 Trio64V+ or VirgeDX (72 MHz) as most people would use something close by the performance in case of Win9x-DOS build. It's possible also to run 2nd series of tests with ISA, as this may add to slowdown, while there were fast and slow ISA cards to choose from.

Tests that may be done. CPU: Speedsys, Speedtst (with /L), Snooper - they work on wide range of CPUs. Gaming: doom, quake, 3dbench, pcpbench - what Phil used for database. FPU tests for stock and overclocked states: Super Pi Mod. Any other which have a base for comparision.

j^aws wrote:This is the slowest I can achieve in Speedsys - 9.46pts, using the slowest timings in the BIOS.


200MHz; L1D; BPD; Slowest BIOS timings
and ICD slowdown option seems as not available with this
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