MV's three retro PC builds

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MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-5-25 @ 14:15

Hello everyone. Recently I've rescued three old PCs, got them for free. I discovered this great forum, so I decided to reminiscence good old times and have some fun with these older computers. I will try to log my all three builds (upgrades more or less) here, hope it won't get messy.
Unfortunatelly I sold/dumped most of my older hardware during moving to new place five years ago. Still I've some spares left. But I don't want to build PCs that I had back then, I'd rather search for parts I didn't have due to costs or just because I had other platforms. Another goal is to buy old components as cheap as possible, I was shocked, when I realised how expensive are parts that few years back nobody wanted for free.
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1. Socket7 i430VX build
When I first spotted I was happy that I'll get myself an 486 PC. But it is only sticker on an old case which was upgraded. But never mind, it is interesting for me anyways.

Specs:
Motherboard: PcPartner (Vtech) MB520NH (still googable - i found manual, bios file)
CPU: IBL 6x86L PR200+ (running downclocked and overvolted all it's life :dead: )
RAM: 32 MB EDO
Video: Expertcolor S3 "Trio Virge" (exatly this one http://cdn2.goughlui.com/wp-content/upl ... G_0241.jpg) with modified backplate and upgraded to 4 MB EDO VRAM. I think it's an original Virge 86C325, not S3 Trio.
Sound: present, for me some unknown brand, windows drivers are still packed on the HDD - edit: Avance Logic ALS100+ PRO16/32PNP+
NIC: none
FDD: 3.5" and 5.25" drives (not tested)
ODD: Toshiba CD-ROM XM-6302B 32X (working, though the drawer is making strange noises)
HDD: 2GB Seagate (it loads some Ontrack utility in order to recognize full capacity, which is a bit pointless, since the board supports up to 8.4 GB HDD, maybe another reminiscence of a fact, that it was upgraded during it's lifetime)
Case: AT minitower - typical case used for 386 - 486 computers. It's robust, well made, although little small for anything better (though we managed to upgrade my friend's Am5x86 to Celeron Slot1 in the same case around 2000)
PSU: 200W AT power supply that came with the case. Still working, shockingly for me, it was manufactured here in our country.

Fully funcional PC, powered on and worked after so many years in garage (15 - 17 I think). CMOS battery OK, windows 98SE booted, but filled with lots of crapware of course. Unfortunatelly I don't have any COM mouse and navigating Windows with keyboard only was a bit pain.

Plans for upgrade:
As I've never had socket7 config with Intel CPU and Intel chipset (only Matsonic Utron chipset board with IBM 6x86MX and later Cyrix MII which gave mi compatibility headaches and poor disk performance), I plan to put the P55C 233MMX from second build, replace graphics card (3dfx voodoo would be ideal), upgrade RAM to 64MB (cacheable maximum). Primarly this would be a DOS machine, but I'll instal Win98SE just to have easier network access to my files.

Image Image
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2. Super Socket7 MVP3 build
Older looking desktop, which is actually faster than the first one

Specs:
Motherboard: FIC VA-503+ rev. 1.2 (nice surprise!)
CPU: Pentium MMX 233 MHz with Intel box cooler
RAM: 64 MB EDO SIMM
Video: S3 Virge/DX 86C375 with 2MB EDO (this time memory was not upgraded)
Sound: present, ISA card with Analog Devices chip
NIC: realtek 10/100Mbit PCI ethernet
Other: analog TV/FM PCI card
FDD: 3.5" (not tested)
ODD: CD-ROM (not tested)
HDD: 3GB WD
Case: AT desktop - looks much older than the minitower from the first PC. Sticker says "NC - New trend computer & organisation" ?!? not fammiliar to me. Clearly another (pre)486 computer that was upgraded. It has keylock and keyboard connector at the front (this is in fact an extension cable that can be plugged to the keyboard port at the back of the motherboard). Again it's pretty heavy case, but scratched and missing paint on some places. At the back, there are hand made stickers with ports description for dummies :happy: Maybe the case is not time relevant for SS7 motherboard but it has plenty of space above CPU for large heatsink, which will come in handy.
PSU: 230W AT power supply from unknown manufacturer

Also fully funcional PC after sleeping so long, CMOS battery OK, windows 98SE booted and running fine.

Plans for upgrade:
Actually I had MVP3 board in 1999 as new, it was simmilar board from Lucky tech (or Lucky star? don't remember) with AMD K6-2 400 and S3 Savage4 Pro. I was dreaming of having K6-2/III+ CPU so I'd like to put one here a overclock it a bit. Replace ram modules for faster SDRAMs and S3 Virge for some better AGP card. This would be a Win 98SE machine.

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3. LGA775 i865PE build

Specs:
Motherboard: ECS 865PE-A7 (V1.0) (unfortunatelly not 5.0 revision so it doesn't support cedar mills and dualcore)
CPU: Celeron D 336 (2.8 GHz Presscott with 256kB L2) with Intel box cooler
RAM: 256 MB DDR400
Video: AGP nVidia TNT2 M64 Pro 16MB (HP Compaq G4000Pro card)
Sound: onboard ALC655
NIC: oboard realtek 10/100Mbit PCI ethernet
Other: DVB-T PCI Philips card
FDD: 3.5" (not tested)
ODD: LG DVDRW (working); CD-ROM (not tested)
HDD: 80GB 7200rpm IDE Maxtor (dead) and 40GB 7200rpm IDE Hitachi (functional but noisy as hell)
Case: ATX middletower - the cheapest case from that time. Hated them much and still hate it now, thin and sharp metal sheets, very bad expansion card mounting mechanism. No additional fans in here. Typical low-end office PC from around 2004.
PSU: Maxpower 350W ATX - crappy power supply, shorter than standard ATX PSU, 80mm fan at the back. To my suprise, it's still working

Although newest of the three computers, it wouldn't run. It was only beeping, replacing another RAM helped. But the mobo is somewhat picky on memory positions, one of my memory modules can't be in first slot alone (but works in second slot alone :-S). I ended up running 256MB DDR266 + 256MB DDR333 in dual channel happily overclocked DDR333. CMOS battery dead, OS drive dead. But the motherboard looks OK, no bulging or leaked capacitors.

Plans for upgrade:
Originally I wanted to trash this PC, but this devil machine influenced me somehow. Now I can't help myself reviving it. And because I've never had Pentium4 desktop and this board offers interesting combination of LGA775 (cheap CPUs and wide range of coolers opposite from going with socket478) and 865PE from AGP era, I'll keep it. Back at the time I had AMD CPUs (AthlonXP, Athlon64) and Radeon 9500 card unlocked to 9700 (great card); so I'd like to build fast P4 machine with GeForce FX just for fun :) Hyperthreading-enabled CPU would be fine, because it feels almost like dualcore :blush: . This would be a Win XP to play my older steam games on it, hopefully.

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Last edited by mv_cz on 2018-3-05 @ 09:38, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-5-25 @ 15:02

Replaced CMOS battery in the 775 motherboard and it is look like it's going to be OK. Now time to test and choose some OS drive for it. Looked into my drawer and find some :blush: The first two drives top left are sata, but unfortunatelly they are dead, or near death. The two top right IDE drives are not perfectly OK too. The bottom left drive is my original 20GB Maxtor 5400rpm drive I got from my uncle from an apple computer (it is still working) - remember the exact date, it was september eleven 2001....
Finally went with WD800BB. It's biggest, fastest and most quiet of all them

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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-5-26 @ 17:26

With the third computer finaly running I've purchased MSI GeForce4 TI 4800SE 128 DDR AGP card for about $6.6 with postage. More or less standard long PCB similar to Ti4400/4600 card with NV28 chip and BGA RAM chips. The original HSF was replaced for something that looks like Socket370/A CPU cooler. And was "secured" with copper wire, which caused wobbling on the chip.

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To my horror after unmounting the cooler, there was no thermal paste. The chip looked like lapped, but I think that was caused by the aforementioned wobbling. Exactly like on the photo - the central part is silver, whereas the outer part has been rubbed (?) to copper.

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Anyway time to fix it with my spare zalman :cool:

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So ready to stick it into the LGA775 build (god I hate the expansion card secure mechanism in this case... of course it barely fits)

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And it is running :roll: :-D at least in 2D mode.

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Now installing WinXP and ton of updates.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby melbar » 2017-5-26 @ 18:35

Well, there are nice parts you have got for free.

Interesting that the GF4 is not dead without thermal paste. You have to check it 2D & 3D.
I think it had to resist really high temperatures...

Originally it should look like this:
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GeForce4_Ti_4800_GPU_1.jpg (115.2 KiB) Viewed 1754 times
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-5-26 @ 20:20

It looks like my GF4Ti survived 8) although it seems that it develops some coil whine under the load. But the image is rendered correctly.

3dmark01se_C28GFTi4800SE.PNG


3DMark2001SE score is 10956 which is nothing to write home about :( I will have to do something with it, Celeron is holding it back it seems.
I digged my original 3DMark2001SE score from 2003 when I (on purpose of course) tried to break ten thousand points limit, with success:

Code: Select all
RESULTS
3DMark Score   10022
Game 1 - Car Chase - Low Detail   139.3 fps
Game 1 - Car Chase - High Detail   60.5 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - Low Detail   164.3 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - High Detail   85.9 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - Low Detail   146.5 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - High Detail   70.6 fps
Game 4 - Nature   59.0 fps

This was done on good old GF3Ti500 (41.09 drivers) overclocked to 255MHz/560MHz and on KT400 board with AthlonXP 1700+ (thoroughbred) overclocked to 2 GHz (12x166 MHz) which is something like 2400+ but with faster FSB.

On the contrary I must admit the stability and compatibility of an intel platform. Clean WinXP installation found all of the devices but soundcard. Besides realtek audio drivers, I installed "full" nvidia drivers and nothing else. AGP runs on 8X with sideband enabled, fastwrites enabled, no problem at all. I still remember nightmares with AGP compatibility on various socket A boards, occassional lockups and tuning these parameters (usually turning of fastwrites helped) to make it work.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-6-01 @ 19:46

Replaced mixed memory modules for pair of Kingston HyperX KHX3200/256 modules and wow this celeron realy uses every single bit of additional memory speed and faster timing. Although they are running only as DDR-333 (due to 533MHz FSB and no option to overclock RAM), I set timings to CL2-2-2-6 and enabled PAT, and I've got higher 3Dmark score by nearly 1000 points with everything else remained the same

Code: Select all
RESULTS
3DMark Score   11849
Game 1 - Car Chase - Low Detail   187.5 fps
Game 1 - Car Chase - High Detail   55.6 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - Low Detail   203.9 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - High Detail   118.3 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - Low Detail   170.4 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - High Detail   79.2 fps
Game 4 - Nature   58.5 fps
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-6-03 @ 12:42

Found a P4 3.06 GHz/1MB (prescott 519K) in my drawer, remember that I've exchanged it in a lenovo desktop few years ago for similar model with HT. Pity that I didn't keep the HT cpu. It is still a 533MHz FSB part, so compared to celeron it has + 768kB more L2 cache and +260 MHz more clockspeed. No HT and no FSB800 and DDR400 though. With 4800Ti SE still on default I've passed 13k 3DMark2001SE score. Wondering If it is the L2 that makes such difference.

Code: Select all
RESULTS
3DMark Score   13205
Game 1 - Car Chase - Low Detail   201.8 fps
Game 1 - Car Chase - High Detail   77.7 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - Low Detail   211.3 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - High Detail   127.0 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - Low Detail   193.4 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - High Detail   93.9 fps
Game 4 - Nature   58.5 fps


DSC02096.JPG


I was also testing all my DDR memory modules and found out, that the original 256MB DDR400 which was in this computer (and looked like dead) is actually working, but something wrong may be with it's SPD chip. Wasn't working when alone or when it is the first chip. But it works at last one - so I've temporarily upgraded memory to 1GB in dualchannel - used the two aforementioned Kingstons, the original 256MB module and another 256MB (but only DDR333) module. They work only at CL2.5-3-3-7 timings altogether (and 3DMark score drops below 13k points), but with more memory, Windows are snappier. So I'll have to get some faster modules :blush:

PS: I've encountered a strange behaviour with the motherboard. Even I've replaced the CMOS battery for a new one, I'm occasionally getting "CMOS checksum error" and resetting bios settings to defaults. This only happens while the PC is powered off for longer time and unplugged from AC (or the ATX PSU is powered off with the switch at the back). What could be wrong?
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby BananaBonez » 2017-6-05 @ 04:12

What is the battery voltage showing on a multimeter? If that motherboard is made by ECS look to see if it has OST brand of caps installed. Those are known to go bad without showing any visible signs.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-6-05 @ 08:27

The original battery was dead (about 1V or so), I've replaced it with new one and it showed ~3 volts. So it seems the battery is ok and motherboard doesn't perform any strange things besides that. I will look for capacitors brand.

EDIT: yes, there are some OST branded caps, another bunch is named RLX and capacitors nearest LGA socket above the CPU are another brand, hard to read, but I assume they won't be good quality either.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby BananaBonez » 2017-6-06 @ 03:07

mv_cz wrote:The original battery was dead (about 1V or so), I've replaced it with new one and it showed ~3 volts. So it seems the battery is ok and motherboard doesn't perform any strange things besides that. I will look for capacitors brand.

EDIT: yes, there are some OST branded caps, another bunch is named RLX and capacitors nearest LGA socket above the CPU are another brand, hard to read, but I assume they won't be good quality either.

OST is the Brand and RLX is the Series of the Brand. Would look something like this on the sleeve: OST 2200UF 6.3V RLX 105*C
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby PcBytes » 2017-6-07 @ 17:32

BananaBonez wrote:OST is the Brand and RLX is the Series of the Brand. Would look something like this on the sleeve: OST 2200UF 6.3V RLX 105*C

That would be the caps for filtering the low side (5v or even less I think) of the CPU VRM. Unless you'll encounter problems (like Windows not installing, memtest failing or anything like that) I would say leave them in there for now. From my experience OST caps were okay and rarely had them fail (usually from ultra cheap PSUs that wouldn't be worth anything, but that wasn't the case most of the times) but YMMV.

Ironically, I had a Panasonic FL cap fail on a ASUS P5LD2/P4 541 combo, near the SuperIO chip. I removed the cap altogether and left the place unpopulated, and it's been working fine since then. I gave it to somebody else though and replaced it with a G31/E5300 combo.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby BananaBonez » 2017-6-08 @ 21:52

OST are junk. you can trust them with your stuff if you want but not me. I will LMAO at you when those OST caps dead short circuit and destroy something. Like I said they do not have to show any signs of failure before they go out. They can read ok in a cap esr check and still fail without warning at anytime. Live and learn then you get Pampers.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-6-15 @ 18:37

BananaBonez wrote:
mv_cz wrote:The original battery was dead (about 1V or so), I've replaced it with new one and it showed ~3 volts. So it seems the battery is ok and motherboard doesn't perform any strange things besides that. I will look for capacitors brand.

EDIT: yes, there are some OST branded caps, another bunch is named RLX and capacitors nearest LGA socket above the CPU are another brand, hard to read, but I assume they won't be good quality either.

OST is the Brand and RLX is the Series of the Brand. Would look something like this on the sleeve: OST 2200UF 6.3V RLX 105*C

Finally I had some time to look at capacitors there are:
- 9 pcs next to the LGA socket - OST 6.3V 1800 uF 105°C
- and 4 larger ones behind paralel port - OST 16V 1500 uF 105°C

But the board magically cured itself, it started last week when I moved my computers into another room, I disconnected the P4 machine (till then it was powered from +5 VSB) and after two hours or so, I plugged it back in and "remembers" everything. And today, when I investigated the capacitors, I also had it unplugged for a while and seems to keep its settings.

During the weekend I've also:
- disassembled and cleaned the case, unfortunately the plastics are yellowed but I do not plan to retrobright it - some stylish proper chieftec case would be better
- cleaned power supply (it was suprisingly in good shape and not very dusty)
- reassembled it back, rearanged cables a bit and got rid of unused parts :blush:
- I've realised that my spare 400 watt power supply (also noname but newer) with 12cm fan has actually weaker all (5V, 3.3V and even 12V) rails than current Maxpower 350 watt PSU, even though it's clearly lighter and "half-depth" so I decided to keep it in the PC
- installed SB Live! CT4830 card from my drawer (just for sake of it, will not make my integrated speakers inside old Acer LCD sound better, but it is a nice looking card and I like soundblaster)
- after closing the case, I realised, that the P4 generates a lot more heat compared to celeron, although it is rated for the same TDP and is only 200 MHz faster... have to be the cache. Remember how those ugly P4 cases had windtunnel for this particular reason (and we, athlon owners, were laughing at them :blush: ). I do not plan (yet) to replace intel HSF with anything else, but I found my old stylish Thermaltake Smartfan from 2002. Now it is running at slowest rpm as case exhaust fan, but it is by no means silent according to nowadays standard (at maximum rpm it sounds like vacuum cleaner but produces huge amount of airflow). And its color nicely matches color of the AGP slot ...

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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-7-04 @ 08:05

Finally I got some time to fiddle with the supersocket7 build. Didn't change the hw setup much, only saved Win98 serial number in order to install a fresh copy of W98 SE and disconnected the original HDD (3.2gig WD drive) and CD-ROM drive. I had to replace the original CD ROM, because it was not reading CDRW discs and the tray wouldn't fully open and also replaced HDD for a bigger and faster IDE drive.
What surprised me though, that the older bios, that VA-503+ had installed, didn't recognize any of my 40GBs harddrives - Hitachi, IBM, WD. Even when I jumpered the IBM and Hitachi to show up as an 8GB drive, it couldn't get past the autodetection during POST. But it was no big issue, I flashed JE4333 beta bios just to be prepared for insertion of K6-III+ chip and it also helped with recognizing my 40 gig harddrives.
I've only managed to install clean Windows 98SE and doing almost nothing and installing no additional SW yet, since it picked up the Virge card, LAN card and USB controller just fine. I only had to enable DMA for HDD and CDRW drive and since then, I could not get to the typical orange "It's now safe to turn off your computer" screen ... or I'think that this is the cause, so I have to dig through my SW archive and find older 4in1 drivers.

And I've encountered one BSOD so far. And during the booting, there is an unexpectedly long pause, when the hard drive is not accessed. Don't know why, since it has fairly decent amount of RAM (64 MB) and fast drive. Oh, I've almost forgotten about how these older windows were just moody sometimes :-)
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-7-12 @ 19:07

Finally tried and installed P4 3.4 GHz/2MB 800MHz FSB (Cedarmill 651) into the ECS 865PE board. Although officially unsupported, it works without problem and with the original BIOS.
I tried to make an updated BIOS file by inserting CPU microcode from intel for this family for this F65h family of CPUs. In the end I didn't flash it, because the original BIOS from 2005 already had some additional microcodes inserted via compressed module (like in the method 2 described http://www.delidded.com/how-to-update-c ... enix-bios/ which I was also using). So I had no clue, what microcodes ECS already inserted and I would overwrite them all with this cedarmill microcode. And I didn't want to take the risk, that I would not be able to roll back to prescott cpu (i know i know the flash chip is socketed .....).

But even with the original BIOS, the CPU shows up as a P4 3.4 GHz, has HT active, and EIST is working (although clocks down only to 2.4 GHz when idle). The minor issue is that the board reports some funny CPU temperatures like 17°C when idle and about 30-35°C under load with the original alluminium based intel HSF from the celeron D. But I must admit that the CPU is running really cool (for P4), it is the latest D0 revision with 65W TDP. Previous CPU (519K Prescott 3.06 GHz) had 84W TDP but produced at least twice more heat than cedar mill. This time no heat in the case, around heatsink and even the PSU is running cool which was not possible with prescott. THIS is how Pentium4 should look like in 2002-2004 not late in 2006 :angry:

So even with CPU and GPU (4800SE) stock and with DDR400 running at CL2.5-3-3-8 (official timings for KHX3200 from SPD, unfortunately this board cannot overvolt RAM or anything else) it slightly outperforms the 3.06/533 prescott with DDR333-CL2-2-2-6 and overclocked 4800SE (GPU300/MEM600):

Code: Select all
RESULTS
3DMark Score   13840
Game 1 - Car Chase - Low Detail   210.5 fps
Game 1 - Car Chase - High Detail   83.7 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - Low Detail   216.0 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - High Detail   129.8 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - Low Detail   207.3 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - High Detail   103.3 fps
Game 4 - Nature   58.4 fps
Fill Rate (Single-Texturing)   966.9 MTexels/s
Fill Rate (Multi-Texturing)   2129.0 MTexels/s
High Polygon Count (1 Light)   58.1 MTriangles/s
High Polygon Count (8 Lights)   11.5 MTriangles/s
Environment Bump Mapping   141.0 fps
DOT3 Bump Mapping   138.2 fps
Vertex Shader   90.9 fps
Pixel Shader   116.3 fps
Advanced Pixel Shader   81.7 fps
Point Sprites   29.0 MSprites/s


And with GF4Ti 4800SE overclocked to GPU300/MEM600 I've finally passed 14k limit:
Code: Select all
RESULTS
3DMark Score   14500
Game 1 - Car Chase - Low Detail   223.6 fps
Game 1 - Car Chase - High Detail   83.9 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - Low Detail   231.8 fps
Game 2 - Dragothic - High Detail   136.8 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - Low Detail   214.6 fps
Game 3 - Lobby - High Detail   106.4 fps
Game 4 - Nature   62.8 fps
Fill Rate (Single-Texturing)   1046.9 MTexels/s
Fill Rate (Multi-Texturing)   2320.3 MTexels/s
High Polygon Count (1 Light)   61.8 MTriangles/s
High Polygon Count (8 Lights)   12.6 MTriangles/s
Environment Bump Mapping   147.9 fps
DOT3 Bump Mapping   149.5 fps
Vertex Shader   99.3 fps
Pixel Shader   126.5 fps
Advanced Pixel Shader   88.8 fps
Point Sprites   31.3 MSprites/s


I also added to my 2x256 MB HyperX KHX3200 kit another two modules - two sticks of 1024MB "lowend" Kingstons DDR400 CL3, they had to be in the first and third slot in order to set proper SPD timings but even then, this board automatically sets CL2.5 (not CL3) for all of the modules and it's running fine. When I had HyperX modules first, I was getting occassional lock-ups although with the same timings as above.

I think I'm done upgrading CPU in this system, all in all the P4 is not that bad (nowadays), but still the AMD 64 3200+ clawhammer s754 setup I had in 2004 was better at that time, not only power or temperature wise. Only the sc754 boards were not that mature as intel ones (or it was due to integrated AMD IMC which was new to the market.... which resembles me the actual Ryzen memory realted issues :blush: ).
On the other hand with 2.5 GB RAM and hyperthreading enable I must admit that this P4 system is still quite usable today for normal tasks, such as internet browsing with the actual Firefox ESR; it behaves almost like a dual core system.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-10-08 @ 18:34

mv_cz wrote:And I've encountered one BSOD so far. And during the booting, there is an unexpectedly long pause, when the hard drive is not accessed. Don't know why, since it has fairly decent amount of RAM (64 MB) and fast drive. Oh, I've almost forgotten about how these older windows were just moody sometimes :-)

Since I've connected the super7 build to the network, it is booting just fine. So far I've replaced four pieces of 16MB EDO DIMMS with one 128MB SDRAM DIMM running asynchronously at 100 MHz with CL2 and fastest timing possible (with no big effect, since the CPU is still only 233MHz Pentium MMX).
Today I decided to upgrade Virge/DX with more capable card but from my limited card collection (GF4Ti 4800SE being too powerful, TNT2 M64 is weak and the other cards are PCI, but I will need all three PCI slot for additional LAN, audio, IDE cards) I found old noname Geforce 2MX 400 being most appropriate. Unfortunately it was (again) equipped with CPU heatsink which takes up another three or four expansion slots.
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It had also ramsinks glued with mixture of superglue and cooling paste but previous owner took them off, so I removed the GPU heatsink and cleaned it all the way I could. I've noticed, that ram chips are actually 5ns which is good for a noname card, so overclocking VRAM to 200 MHz should be no problem.
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In my stockpile of coolers I only had one-slot heatsinks from ASUS (7600GS?) passive cards, so I had to cut it, drill hole for capacitor and make frankenstein cooler :evil:
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Last edited by mv_cz on 2017-10-08 @ 18:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-10-08 @ 18:41

It takes up some space above the video card, but it is no problem, I've rearanged COM and LPT brackets, moved the ports away into prepared holes in the case under the AT power supply to make some room for the card and also put the USB ports in there.
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Video card is up and running fine, finally I can run GLQuake (71 fps in 640x480x16bpp bottlenecked by the CPU, but higher resolutions throw an windows error :( ). Heatsink is warm to touch, which is ok, I didn't expect MX400 to be hot, since passive variants vere common.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2017-10-30 @ 15:56

I've managed to succesfuly rewire PS/2 header in order to use mouse in my socket 7 build. Unfortunatelly user manual doesn't list pin assigment for PS/2 and USB headers. So the right PS/2 mouse header pinout for PcPartner (Vtech) MB520NH board is:
Code: Select all
5 - Clock
4 - GND
3 - Data
2 - not connected
1 - +5 VDC

Where pin number 5 is the top pin, closest to the edge of the motherboard.
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby Srandista » 2017-12-03 @ 17:44

Nice LGA775 system! I did something similar lately, LGA775+AGP, but went all-out, total overkill regarding HW, and put it inside modern case :D I will be changing CPU tho, Pentium E6500K will be much more suited CPU for that kind of system, and it will be much more cooler. And incidentally, I also have SB Live! Value card like you do.

Also, I'm even using exactly same GPU as you do in your old AMD system :) I still want to maintain Windows 98 compatibility, even tho main OS is Windows XP, obviously.
My overkill "retro" PC - Pentium E6500K, 512MB/2GB RAM, Radeon 9500@9700 (Softmod), 80GB HDD, Win 98/XP
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Re: MV's three retro PC builds

Postby mv_cz » 2018-3-05 @ 09:25

yep, soon I'll get an Asrock 775i65G rev3 board (for about $ 10), not sure what I'll do with it. I have some spare Core2 Duo CPUs, but this board has only two memory slots, so only 2GB of RAM total, which is less than my P4 currently has :(
On the other hand it "supports" 1066 MHz FSB, although unofficially and it has to be run without onboard graphics and DDR must be DDR400 (with CL2.5, I'm not sure why they mention latency; my 1GB modules are CL3, but I think it will work). Some more powerful AGP card (than 5900XT) would fit in it nicely, but they are hard to find in working condition. The softmodded R9500 was a beast 8-)

During last weekend, I have some time not only to test a memory pile, which I got for cheap (DDR and DDR2 mostly), but also to fiddle with my Socket7 setup with some interesting findings :blush:
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