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Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840

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First post, by slivercr

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1. Latest pictures

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2. Index
Linux boot with Tualeron 1000@1333
Windows boot with Tualeron1000@1333
Tualeron overclocking: 1200@1600
N-Yagi's website and mods, ebay korealatins (korean modded tualatins), POST with dual 1133 MHz P3-S
MS-6905 Master ver2 mods for dual Tualatin operation
ACPI woes with Windows XP, pt.1
Dual Tualakings arrived!
RDRAM trouble and new case
"Recap", new PSU, bunk theory about ICH and 2 GB RDRAM
Full recap
ACPI woes with Windows XP, pt. 2
A couple of follow-ups
Follow-up on the previous follow-ups
New case and some to-dos
RDRAM@533 MHz, pt.1
RDRAM@533 MHz, pt.2
RDRAM@533 MHz, pt.3: Failure!
RDRAM@533 MHz, pt.4: Good Failure!
Adapting korealatins for use with OR840 - !THEORY, NOT TESTED!
IRQ table
Capacitor shopping list (courtesy of doogie—thanks!)
Newer driver CD contents (courtesy of brt02—thanks!)—also added to the repo below
OR840 engineering sample pictures! (courtesy of SWZSSR—thank you!)

3. Current configuration
The machine sees regular use. The final—until I decide to change it 😁—configuration is;

OR840
2x P!!! 1000B
2 GB Samsung PC800-40 ECC RDRAM
NZXT H230 White
3½ Floppy drive
IDE1 > SD2IDE >> 32 GB SD [WinME]
IDE2 > DVD-RW drive
AGP > Radeon 9100
PCI1 > Voodoo2
PCI2 > Voodoo2
PCI3 > Promise SATA300 TX2 >> 128 GB SSD [Linux, Win2K] // 240 GB SSD [Installers, ISOs, HDD images, etc]
PCI4 > Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Digital
PCI5> HP USB2 card

After all the trouble, why no Tualatins?
-The Tualatins are just too powerful. The purpose of this machine is to run a couple of pre-XP operating systems, have some fun with a few old games, and play with SMP. The Coppermines are more than enough for that, or put another way, the Tualatins are overkill for the use I give to this machine.
-Even though I'm not a stickler for "period correctness"—it can easily be seen in the parts list!—I consider the Tualatins to be out of place with the other parts I have assembled. The P3-S 1400 was released in January 2002—the 2.2 GHz Northwood released then, too.
-Putting the previous 2 together, its unpopular opinion time: Coppermines + OR840 feels like a high-end Slot 1 build, whereas Tualatins + OR840 feels like a low-end Pentium4 build. Or said differently, I'd rather have a mid or high-end Pentium4 machine than Tualatins + OR840. This is just my opinion, of course.
-Tying all those ideas together, I like how the CuMines work in SMP to essentially "become" a single Tualatin. This only happens in certain scenarios, for example, running quake3 in SMP mode with the CuMines will give me as many fps as a single P3-S 1400.
-Ultimately and most important of all, I really like slot CPUs, I like how they look, I like the engineering behind them and the problem they solved (though it was no longer a problem once Mendocino and later CuMine came out). It makes me happier to use the fastest native Slot1 CPU (if someone has engineering samples of the 1.13 GHz CuMine, hit me up!) in what I consider to be one of the coolest Slot 1 motherboards, than to use the Tualatins in modded slotkets.

4. Files can be found HERE
This is a small repository hosted at mega.nz. There are drivers, BIOS images, manuals, and relevant datasheets/white papers.
If you have anything to contribute for this board, please send me a PM and I can add it to the repo 😀

  • 2020-04-16 Thanks to brt02 for a newer CD image! It's been added to the repo.
  • 2020-06-05 Thanks again to brt02 for pointing out Fujitsu's Celsius650 support page! Drivers, manuals and BIOS images have been added to the repo.
  • 2020-06-05 Thanks to PC Hoarder Patrol for supplying various white papers---added!

5. Original post
Hi all! Long time lurker, first time poster. I was planning on sharing my build here when it was "complete", but there is always something else to be done so I figured I'd just post right away.

I am very fond of the Celeron 300a, as I am sure a lot of people here are. I still have with me my CPU from back in the day and for a few years now I've wanted to build something around it. My original plan was to source a nice 440BX mobo and build an almost "cookie cutter" retro machine (no offense intended of course, 440BX is amazing, hence its popularity), but while browsing ebay I found a listing for a cheap, complete and in box OR840. This is a dual slot 1 motherboard with the i840 chipset and dual channel RDRAM—since I had never built an RDRAM machine I figured I might as well indulge. Thus, the original plan derailed from the get-go…

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The Motherboard

The motherboard officially only supports Pentium 3 CPUs with fsb of 100 MHz or 133 MHz, but something magical happens when you insert a 66 MHz fsb CPU: it automatically dials in a 100 MHz fsb! It was very cool to plug in the 300a and find out upon boot that it was auto-overclocked. Pentium 2 CPUs will run fine too, and as a result of this auto-overclocking the slowest CPU I can run is the P2@350 MHz.

I had to flash the BIOS to the latest version to be able to use 512MB RAM sticks, otherwise it would not boot. Even after the flash the mobo is very picky about which sticks work: I've tried all sorts of combinations and found that any 40ns rated sticks will make it highly unstable, whereas 45ns sticks will work perfectly.

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The Specs

The usual configuration of the machine is dual P3@1GHz with 2GB of RAM, with a Radeon 9800 Pro, an Audigy2 ZS, and a USB2 card. I use this for gaming on Windows XP and actually working on Debian 8.

Every now and then I unplug the Coppermines and plug in a single 300a, 256MB of RAM and boot up Windows ME. Thinking of this config I ordered and am waiting on a Voodoo3 2000 PCI for some quality glide gaming 😀

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What I want to try

Well, to start, I would love to decide on a case. Currently the build rests in a Chieftec Bravo midtower case, the one with the front door that reveals the external bays and the power button. I like it, but is soooo heavy that lifting it to work on the PC makes my back ache. I may be crucified for this, but I prefer modern cases: working with them is a joy. All the cable routing, the grommets, the rounded edges, the psu shrouds… My modern PC sits inside a Fractal Design Define C and its a thing of beauty.

I will probably play with a pair of slotkets, too. I want to order a couple to mod for Tualatin use, and try to set up a dual Tualatin config. Every result I find when I search dual Tualatins on this motherboard seems to indicate that it is not possible, but I would still like to try.

Besides that, finding some nice overclockers would be nice. Since its an intel board I only have the option of forcing 133 MHz fsb on 100 MHz fsb cpus, which limits my options to 3 processors: the 800E@1066, the 850E@1133, and the 1000E@1333 (I could also try the 750@1000, but already own a pair of 1000EB cpus so I don't see the point). The 1000E is rare, and pretty much guaranteed to not hit 1333. The 800E and 850E are also somewhat rare, but there may be a chance for tweaking there.

Finally, I would LOVE to run a dual 300a config, but I cannot do so without modding. The mod required for this is fairly involved, but within my ability. I already have a pair of 300a, just need to get a few other supplies and find the time, so this is a long term goal.

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Some pictures

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I would love to hear your thoughts!

Last edited by slivercr on 2020-06-20, 18:19. Edited 31 times in total.

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 1 of 193, by Arctic

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Nice! I love the OR840!

But if you want to use "Dual Tualatin on OR840" and you are not an ABSOULUTE pro, forget about it 🤣
Many, many of the best have tried!
[Yoda]Only frustration you will find...[/Yoda]

Despite that, I wish you good luck and success!

Reply 2 of 193, by slivercr

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Thanks for the wishes!

The OR840 is awesome once you sort of "tame" it, I am glad I got it!

About the Tualatins, I just want to try it myself. The thing is, I find posts about failure to run the dual setup, but no one seems to have documented what they tried or didn't try. If you have any resources or links I would love to see them to decide if I pull the plug on that project or keep going. And hey, even if I fail, it'll keep me occupied for a while 😜

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 3 of 193, by chinny22

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Welcome to the SMP club, few of us here.
Also Welcome to the RAMBUS club, a lot less here (I'm not)
SMP RAMBUS club, that's gotta be a pretty exclusive club! well done!

You do know you don't have to pull the duel CPU's out to run WinME right? It'll just ignore the 2nd CPU.

Cant wait for pics when its closer to being finished

Reply 4 of 193, by GL1zdA

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The OR840 is a nice board. It was the reference i840 implementation. In the benchmarks I've seen it could beat every other P3 chipset in Quake III. I own a i840 based computer, but with dual Slot 2: an SGi Visual Workstation 550 (based on Acer's M29A motherboard). The only problem is how to tame its power and saturate the two RDRAM channels. The CPUs share the bus, so they can only saturate half of it, you need some heavy I/O (AGP included) to push it to the limits.

getquake.gif | InfoWorld/PC Magazine Indices

Reply 5 of 193, by matze79

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have the same board laying around with 2x 550's PIII.
but still had no time to play with it. 😀

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 6 of 193, by slivercr

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chinny22 wrote:
Welcome to the SMP club, few of us here. Also Welcome to the RAMBUS club, a lot less here (I'm not) SMP RAMBUS club, that's gott […]
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Welcome to the SMP club, few of us here.
Also Welcome to the RAMBUS club, a lot less here (I'm not)
SMP RAMBUS club, that's gotta be a pretty exclusive club! well done!

You do know you don't have to pull the duel CPU's out to run WinME right? It'll just ignore the 2nd CPU.

Cant wait for pics when its closer to being finished

Thanks for the warm welcome!

I do know that I can boot up ME with 2 CPUs in there, that's actually how I installed it. I just like plugging in that 300a every now and then 😀

I have added some old pictures to the post. You can see a few details there:
-I could only run 1GB of RAM at the moment because the retention bracket from the Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer would hit the lower stick. I had to trim the plastic from the bracket to be able to install RAM again, and even then its a tight fit;
-I printed a few parts! The funky green ssd caddies, a couple of 92 to 120 fan adapters, and for the top fan a "turbine" that cools down those sweet CuMines. All parts I found online for free;
-The mess of cables at the bottom are the front panel usb2 coming into the usb card, front panel audio and firewire coming into the audigy2. For the front panel audio I ordered an ebay adaper, works ok so far but I had to move some cables around according to this post
-I like cable managing 😜

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 7 of 193, by nforce4max

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Nice to see another user out there with one of these beastly builds, got two systems like this myself. Consider getting a 2GB rdram kit while you can before the investment vampires just up the prices like it is real estate.

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

Reply 8 of 193, by luckybob

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I've always been curious to see if the 1gb rimms work. http://www.ebay.com/itm/152328288860

I cant justify tossing $100 out the window if it doesn't. 😜

I personally wouldn't go the 300a route with this. modding 1.4 tualatins to work would be my choice. Then agai, i don't think i've seen a dual 300a, so go for it!

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 9 of 193, by slivercr

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nforce4max wrote:

Nice to see another user out there with one of these beastly builds, got two systems like this myself. Consider getting a 2GB rdram kit while you can before the investment vampires just up the prices like it is real estate.

I am actually sitting on a lot of rdram at the moment: ~3.5 GB of it.

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The bulk of it has timing of 40ns and it makes the machine unstable, switching to 800-45ns made everything rock solid. That lone black stick you see there is actually a 512MB stick with the proper frequency timings I need, but I need its partner to hook it up in the machine. Still looking for it or for another suitable pair.

luckybob wrote:

I've always been curious to see if the 1gb rimms work. http://www.ebay.com/itm/152328288860

I cant justify tossing $100 out the window if it doesn't. 😜

I personally wouldn't go the 300a route with this. modding 1.4 tualatins to work would be my choice. Then agai, i don't think i've seen a dual 300a, so go for it!

I am also very curious, but not $100 curious 😜 Considering the machine wouldnt recognize 512MB sticks without a bios flash, and the fact that these 1GB sticks are rated at 40ns—which the mobo has trouble with—I doubt I will try it unless I come upon them for free.

Last edited by slivercr on 2017-07-06, 10:25. Edited 1 time in total.

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 10 of 193, by slivercr

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The journey has started!

First things first: I finally received my Voodoo3 2000, and it works beautifully. I also finally got a partner to the black module that was lonely, and have now 2GB of rock-stable RDRAM in the system 😀

Now the interesting part: I ordered a couple of AOpen slotkets from a local retailer. I found a "Tualatin Success Story" at The Lunchbox which used this slotket, so I basically copied it to start: insulate 3 pins, bridge 2 pairs of pins, done. Mind you, I had read a lot first and knew what was going on. I am documenting the process in an old blog I had, if anyone is interested in reading, you can find it here. I also bought 2 new in box Tualerons 1000—I don't have hopes for SMP Tualerons, I just didn't have heatsinks since I recently moved, and the Tualerons were €5 each, including heatsink—which will allow me to test any mod I do to the slotket;

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That is a single Tualeron, with a terminator card on the other slot. I fired up the machine and it posted, which was awesome. The BIOS does not recognize the CPU or its correct speed, though. I tried booting Windows 2000, unfortunately its a no go. The system hangs in the loading screen. I was puzzled, so I grabbed a Xubuntu LiveCD and popped it in. Trying to load Xubuntu produced the message "MP-BIOS bug: 8254 timer not connected to IO-APIC"

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I rebooted and in the options menu when loading Xubuntu I selected the option "noapic", the machine booted up fine and went into the desktop. Here you can see the cpu info;

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Note that the CPU is already overclocked 😉 It turns out this AOpen slotket has an undocumented jumper, JP6, which is usually connected to BSEL1 on both the socket and the slot. Removing this jumper forces 133 MHz fsb and voilá, Tualeron 1333 😉

I also tried an asymmetric configuration: the Tualeron with a Cumine 1000EB. Still same error, but when booting into linux with the noapic option I realized only the Tualeron was recognized, not the CuMine. I'll have to look around the datasheet a bit more to figure out what's going on, but if any of you have ideas, I'm would like to hear them.

Last edited by slivercr on 2017-07-06, 10:28. Edited 1 time in total.

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 11 of 193, by Arctic

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Really cool! Thanks for this thread.
I am crossing my fingers for you! 😎

I also have 2x OR840 boards and all kinds of adapters, I wonder how far I will get...
If you have any questions regarding different adapters I might be able to help 😀
But first I have to finish my dual socket 370 and my dual slot 2

Reply 13 of 193, by slivercr

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Thanks for the support, guys!

A quickie before sleeping: after studying the slotket in some detail I changed a few things to try añd make it boot into Windows. Long story short, I installed an extra voltage clamp and rerouted signals used for APIC (PICD0, PICD1, LINT0, LINT1, and a few others while I was at it). It took a while because I read a lot, and well, installation was a little involved. The effort paid off, though;

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Good old WCPUID—this one's for you, H.Oda!! I'll post a lengthier explanation later if someone wants to read up a bit, but probably until the weekend. I still need to work a few(lot of) kinks.

Last edited by slivercr on 2017-07-06, 10:28. Edited 1 time in total.

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 15 of 193, by slivercr

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luckybob wrote:

That celeron is crying for mercy!

You think that Celeron is having a rough day? Check this absolute champion;

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If someone wants to read a bit, I finally got around to updating the blog. I blame the abnormally good weather this weekend for my tardiness. In a nutshell, I modded one of the AOpen slotkets to be able to boot Windows 2000. Its not a conceptually difficult mod, but it took some time to install properly and the result is not very physically sturdy. I will pull the plug on using these slotkets for the dual Tualatin attempt and order a couple of MSI slotkets from ebay to play with.

In the meantime, I fulfilled one of my wishes for this build: find a couple of good overclockers to play with. I have the original Tualeron 1000A and a Tualeron 1200 to play with, and ran some benchmarks

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Fun times overall!

Last edited by slivercr on 2017-07-06, 10:36. Edited 1 time in total.

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 16 of 193, by slivercr

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Hey people. I have been stupid busy the past days, hence the lack of updates. Here's a quick update on the status of this;

  1. the MS-6905 Master MSI slotkets arrived! I have studied them a bit and done a couple of mods. According to the datasheet (and a couple sources I am using) I still have to take care of a few things, but the Celerons I was playing with work very well.
  2. reading up on the new slotkets, I unearthed N-yagi's experiments page, which uses them to run dual Tualatins on an i840-based Supermicro board. They are a fun read, but only half of them are translated to english, the rest are in japanese. Still, a very valuable resource! He lists the exact mod he did to get the slotkets to work with the board, too.
  3. if someone is interested in the korean sold Tualatins and how the adapter works, I sort of mapped out the image available in the ebay listing;
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    Since I don't have one I can't confirm the vias go to the pins I listed, but it seems kind of obvious. If anyone has one of these CPUs and a multimeter, and feels like wasting some time, (s)he may check them and hopefully report back here. It is very interesting that the adapter doesnt do a whole lot: a couple of pins are removed from the CPU, a lot of pins are bridged, and 3 resistors are added to pull up to VTT. Anyways, maybe it'll be helpful or interesting to someone.
  4. I ordered a set of dual 1133 P3-S that was for sale on ebay. They were cheap and allow me to conduct dual Tualatin experiments, which is the whole purpose of this post…

---

I have had some moderate success with the mods I did on the slotkets, and have gotten the machine to boot recognizing 2 unknown CPUs. Unfortunately booting up Windows is a no go, even booting up linux is impossible—I got a nice kernel panic when I tried. Given the amount of work I have to do for real life, this will probably have to wait, but I wanted to make this small update before too long goes on without one.

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Last edited by slivercr on 2017-06-16, 08:20. Edited 1 time in total.

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 19 of 193, by slivercr

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Arctic wrote:
http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/004/553/5b0.gif omg amazing! I think you need a patched BIOS with the required […]
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5b0.gif
omg amazing!
I think you need a patched BIOS with the required microcodes!
But I think this could actually work!

luckybob wrote:

Color me impressed.

Thanks for the support, guys!

I am not sure its a BIOS issue. The computer is already booting up and detecting both CPUs at POST. I think it doesn't matter that they are set up as Unknown, once the machine posts I can have the OS load the uCodes when its starting up—Linux does this and I am getting a kernel panic when booting, so I think it's still a hardware problem.

From next weekend (July 1st) on I'll have more free time to play with this again, I'll be sure to keep you updated!

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce