VOGONS


First post, by Munx

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Seeing Voodoo SLI setups beyond the K6 line is a bit of a rarity, so I decided to give it a go!

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-7IX Slot A with AMD 750 chipset
CPU - AMD Athlon "Argon" 600MHz
2D Video card - ATI Rage128 pro
Sound card - Diamond MX300 with its Vortex 2 chipset
RAM - 128MB PC133
3D workhorse - 2X STB Voodoo2 12MB (using Fastvoodoo drivers)
All powered by a beefy FSP 300W PSU with a strong 5V rail and running Windows 98SE

Components1.png
Filename
Components1.png
File size
4.59 MiB
Views
1312 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
K7_setup.png
Filename
K7_setup.png
File size
2.3 MiB
Views
1312 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Looks like quite the powerful 1999 gaming rig on paper. The performance?
Unreal: 800x600 - 66.0 FPS; 1024x767 - 53.0 FPS
Quake 2: 800x600 -83.4 FPS; 1024x768 - 67.8 FPS
Quake 3: 800x600 - 44.7 FPS; 1024x768 - 41.6 FPS
3DMark99: 3617 3dmarks, 10067 CPU 3dmarks

3DMARK.png
Filename
3DMARK.png
File size
53.46 KiB
Views
1312 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

While quite good, the performance is not as good as expected...still below of an equally clocked P3 (used Phil's SLI scaling project as reference)...Is the chipset to blame? Time to fix that in post #2!

Last edited by Munx on 2018-01-17, 08:26. Edited 2 times in total.

My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 1 of 10, by Munx

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

So what would be the best way to boost performance? By upgrading nearly everything! by using my old budget Thunderbird build as the base!

Motherboard - Shuttle AK37 Socket 462 with VIA KT400 chipset.
CPU - AMD Athlon "Thunderbird" running at 1400MHz. No need to worry about the 72W power drain, as this motherboard uses the 12V rail to power the CPU!
2D/3D card - ATI Radeon DDR 64MB. because why not enjoy early 2000s games while I'm at it?
Glide workhorses - the very same 2X Voodoo's
Sound - the same Diamond MX300
RAM - 512MB DDR266
OS - also, the same Windows 98SE

components2.png
Filename
components2.png
File size
3.47 MiB
Views
1305 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

So how does this thing perform?

Unreal: 800x600 - 91.4 FPS; 1024x768 - 58.9 FPS
Quake 2: 800x600 - 108.2 FPS; 1024x768 - 69.3 FPS
Quake 3: 800x600 - 73.2 FPS; 1024x768 - 46.7 FPS
3DMark99: 5720 3dmarks, 22115 CPU 3dmarks

3dmark thunderbird.png
Filename
3dmark thunderbird.png
File size
51.43 KiB
Views
1305 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Quite the FPS boost @800x600! Noticeable advantage even @1024x768. Even beat the 1400MHz Tualatin! (maybe with some help from the more modern memory/chipset 🤣 )

My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 2 of 10, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Sorry, I liked the Slot A better... Slots have more character. With its ISA slot, would make a good dos/Win9x cross over PC.

Reply 3 of 10, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Well, there is nothing that would require a Thunderbird CPU but run comfortably on a Voodoo 2 SLI so it's not really a very meaningful build in my opinion.. That said, I like crossover Frankenstein builds that cover a wide gap of years, and actually have a P3 700MHz Win98SE build with a GeForce 2 GTS and a single Voodoo 2 myself, so I can understand the effort here.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 4 of 10, by Munx

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Yeah, admittedly I did feel a bit of a hesitation when moving the Voodoos into a Socket 462 build, but I believe that there are more positives than negatives. This helped me free up the only 5V-heavy PSU in my possession, removed any possible CPU bottlenecks AND it saves precious space by doubling as an early 2000's build I wanted to do for my Radeon DDR 😎

I can always use my Voodoo3 3000 in the Slot A, which actually seems like an even better fit 😀

My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 5 of 10, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Munx wrote:

I can always use my Voodoo3 3000 in the Slot A, which actually seems like an even better fit 😀

Yes please!

Reply 6 of 10, by Munx

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

By popular demand, the Slot A Athlon is making a comeback! 😀

Keeping the same 600MHZ Ahlon, Diamond MX300, 128MB of PC133 RAM, but exchanging the Rage 128 and Voodoo2 SLI combo for a Voodoo3 3000!

K7_V3_setup.png
Filename
K7_V3_setup.png
File size
1.73 MiB
Views
1209 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

How does it compare against the other two K7 builds?
Unreal: 800x600 - 73.1 FPS; 1024x768 - 57.0 FPS
Quake 2: 800x600 - 113.3 FPS; 1024x768 - 79.9 FPS
Quake 3: 800x600 - 56.4 FPS; 1024x768 - 50.3 FPS
3Dmark99: 800x600 - 4999 3dmarks and 9914 CPU 3dmarks

3dmark_v3.png
Filename
3dmark_v3.png
File size
2.24 MiB
Views
1209 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Quite the performance boost!
Predictably, Voodoo3 surpasses the Voodoo2's when using the same CPU and actually comes out on top in high-res Quake 2 and 3 vs the Thunderbird build, though the CPU-hungry Unreal still prefers the V2 SLI/Thunderbird combo.

My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 9 of 10, by Munx

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
wim wrote:

Wow great setup 😀
I have the same slot A setup stuffed away in boxes for a 99 build project in the future, really get my excited to build the slot A setup when I see this topic 😀

Thank you!

Slot A might have been short-lived, but it achieved quite a lot and deserves attention. The more people do builds around it the better 😀

My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4

Reply 10 of 10, by wim

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
Munx wrote:
wim wrote:

Wow great setup 😀
I have the same slot A setup stuffed away in boxes for a 99 build project in the future, really get my excited to build the slot A setup when I see this topic 😀

Thank you!

Slot A might have been short-lived, but it achieved quite a lot and deserves attention. The more people do builds around it the better 😀

True 🤣
Thats exact the reason why i bought the Slot A parts when it crossed my path, i now have a 500 and 700 mhz CPU and a MSI K7 mobo.
But i just stumbled on a brand new mobo for spare!