VOGONS


Ultimate Packard Bell P3 / Voodoo3

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Reply 20 of 38, by dionb

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SpectriaForce wrote:
I think that your pc is slightly older than this leaflet: […]
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I think that your pc is slightly older than this leaflet:

CCI14012019_0001.jpg
CCI14012019.jpg

Good old memories.

Probably one quarter earlier, although you could mix & match it out of these systems too.

The case had a K6-2 450 in it originally, but otherwise it's identical to the leftmost Club systems here, the motherboard could have come from one of the two Multimedia systems in the middle, but was probably originally paired with a P3-550 Katmai. I know a Spheris II (the case these Multimedias shipped in) would be the correct one, but even if PB used a full ATX case for a uATX board, I'm not going to.

Good news though:
- I found a second case. This time no cigarette smoke at all. So I can get a bit more adventurous in altering things.
- I did re-cap the board - and it was basically my first soldering project in years. It shows. One cap was almost completely loose, hopeless work. Yesterday I fixed it. Haven't had time to test yet, but am guardedly optimistic 😀

Reply 21 of 38, by Robert B

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I HATE CHHSI WG & HK caps!

I recaped mine with PANASONIC FR & FC, RUBYCON ZL & YXF, NICHICHON UHW - and it's working like a dream. I had to buy based on: 1. Availability 2. Specs 3. Brand 4. Price

My MS-6168 was trashed but I managed to revive it.

*It was missing 12 SMD components, capacitors and resistors.
*I did a full recap with 31 new caps,
*repairs done to the CPU slot,
*misc bent stuff all over the board,
*broken fan,
*missing northbridge heatsink.
*missing PINS on the motherboard,
*broken battery socket.

I have to clean it well and then in the box she will go. This is not a daily driver. 😁

To change the 31 caps it took me about 3 hours and I didnt have to redo a solder joint 😁

My MS-6168 V2.0 is equipped with 440ZX.

PRW-MS-6168-04.jpg PRW-MS-6168-05.jpg PRW-MS-6168-06.jpg PRW-MS-6168-07.jpg

I hope that you'll manage to repair your motherboard too.

Reply 22 of 38, by dionb

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Update since my last post:

Found yet another board 😀

Of course, caps were leaking all over the place, but after replacing the lot, it's working. And nicely:
- no artefacting, good SGRAM 😀
- came with Coppermine CPU, happily works with that and other CuMine CPUs
- runs solid at 133MHz FSB - the P3-600E it came with does 6x133=800 effortlessly.
- boots with Tualatins on Upgradeware Slot-T adapter, but not stable under load regardless of FSB

Oh well, not totally perfect. Will play around a bit with voltage jumpers on the slocket and settings to see if I can get it stable with one of the Tualatins (ideally P3-1400S, failing that Celeron 1400A or 1200A), and see what a 1GHz P3 does. If I can reach 1GHz, I'm happy enough to proceed with this build 😀

Reply 23 of 38, by dionb

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Update a few months on.

Found another one again. And I hit paydirt 😀
- no artefacting
- came with Coppermine CPU, happily works with that and other CuMine CPUs
- runs solid at 133MHz FSB - the P3-600E it came with does 6x133=800 effortlessly.
- also rock-solid with Tualatin on Upgradeware Slot-T adapter

Currently have my P3-1400S installed. I swapped HDD over from the original build and it does everything it should - just faster 😀

As for the difference - possibly it's my soldering skills. I spent a lot more time and effort to get the old bad caps out carefully and to get the new ones in properly. That might just make the difference. In any event I'm going to revisit that board that only does Katmai. Maybe with some TLC around the caps it might change its mind.

Next step is to silence the beast. My Zalman CNPS-6000Cu had become a bit tarnished, so it's spending the night in a jar of vinegar to clean it up. I wasn't happy with the Enzotech MCP35-12 thermals (the heatsink is hardly optimized for passive cooling) so given my first board died I'm going to replace it with something else - a Zalman ZM-NBF47 a shop nearby amazingly is still stocking. Once that comes in, the build goes into the case and I hope to actually complete a build at last.

Have also added a ZIP100 to the 3.5" hole at the front - although now I have a working LS-120 drive I might use that instead. Choices... 😉

Reply 24 of 38, by B24Fox

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Hi guys.
I'm also currently trying to restore a MSI-6168 ver.2, and I'm almost done.
One of the problems that remain, is a missing SMD Capacitor next to the "Conexant" chip near the top of the board, marked in this picture (not my pic.)

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I have a donor board that was lent to me for a few days for my repairs, but it doesn't have that zone populated from the factory (basically no TV-Out)

So my question is:
- does anyone who repaired their board, either know the value of that SMD cap?? it's value with certainty is: 100nF / 0.1µF [big thanks to(in alphabetical order) Doornkaat, Thermalwrong, and weedeewee]!!
- or, can anyone see another exactly identical cap (length, width, height, metal-contacts shape, color) in another zone on the board (which i can then take from the donor board) ???

I have the donor board only for a few days, a week maybe.. And finding an identical cap on it would really make things A LOT easier for me.
Please help me if you can!

Last edited by B24Fox on 2021-04-29, 11:44. Edited 4 times in total.

Reply 25 of 38, by Doornkaat

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B24Fox wrote on 2021-04-28, 21:21:
Hi guys. I'm also currently trying to restore a MSI-6168 ver.2, and I'm almost done. One of the problems that remain, is a missi […]
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Hi guys.
I'm also currently trying to restore a MSI-6168 ver.2, and I'm almost done.
One of the problems that remain, is a missing SMD Capacitor next to the "Conexant" chip near the top of the board, marked in this picture (not my pic.)

missing SMD Cap.jpg

I have a donor board that was lent to me for a few days for my repairs, but it doesn't have that zone populated from the factory (basically no TV-Out)

So my question is:
does anyone who repaired their board, either know the value of that SMD cap??
or, can anyone see another exactly identical cap (length, width, height, metal-contacts shape, color) in another zone on the board (which i can then take from the donor board) ???

I have the donor board only for a few days, a week maybe.. And finding an identical cap on it would really make things A LOT easier for me.
Please help me if you can!

The chip's datasheet suggests using 0.1 µF ceramic capacitors for decoupling.
If nobody else has any definitive answers I'd check wether this belongs to one of the pins listed in the datasheet under "3.3 Decoupling" and if so I'd go with 0.1 µF 16V (although you'll probably get by with a lower voltage rating).

Hope this helps! 👍

Edit: I just found out you asked the same question in another thread in General Hardware and also already got your (identical) answer.
Not to be a nag but it would have been nice if you had noted that here. It feels stupid looking up datasheets and then find out your effort was completely redundant.

Reply 26 of 38, by B24Fox

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Thank you Doornkaat! I'm sorry, i got the answer last night, and forgot to post here, and went to sleep.
This is the first time i logged in today, and had the intention of posting (here) that the problem is mostly solved.
(I say mostly, because if by any chance there is another identical cap on the board, it would save a lot of hassle with ordering and paying shipping just for one part... or waiting a long time till i need more stuff so i can place a bigger order)

In any case, thank you very much Doornkaat, and my sincere apologies! Your effort IS greatly appreciated!! (especially since you also helped me before)!!

Reply 28 of 38, by Doornkaat

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B24Fox wrote on 2021-04-29, 11:29:
Thank you Doornkaat! I'm sorry, i got the answer last night, and forgot to post here, and went to sleep. This is the first time […]
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Thank you Doornkaat! I'm sorry, i got the answer last night, and forgot to post here, and went to sleep.
This is the first time i logged in today, and had the intention of posting (here) that the problem is mostly solved.
(I say mostly, because if by any chance there is another identical cap on the board, it would save a lot of hassle with ordering and paying shipping just for one part... or waiting a long time till i need more stuff so i can place a bigger order)

In any case, thank you very much Doornkaat, and my sincere apologies! Your effort IS greatly appreciated!! (especially since you also helped me before)!!

Hey man, I appreciate it. The whole thing is not that big of a deal really, it was just one in a row of similar events that day and all of that got me a bit bummed.
The board is pretty cool and I hope you get it back to fully working condition. 😀

Reply 29 of 38, by dionb

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Joakim wrote on 2021-04-29, 12:23:

My hate of Packard Bell is slightly reduced after reading this. Their case design is makes me dizzy.

Oh but I want myself one of those boards, cause seems awesome.

Packard Bell had some very different phases under different ownership in different parts of the world. This system was (well, apart from my souping it up) typical for PB in Europe under NEC ownership. with French engineering (the HQ was in Angers, FR). Apart from bad caps, they were generally good systems in that period, at least as long as you steered clear of the lowest of the low end (SiS 5598 and later i810 systems). The MS-6168 was the last of a line of boards with decent onboard video. Earlier ones were Intel MU440EX ('Maui') and MS-6147 ('Tempest') with ATi Rage Pro.

Unfortunately haven't had time to play around with this system recently, things have been very busy.

Reply 30 of 38, by -Maverick-

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Has anyone thought about upgrading the video memory from 8MB to 16MB for the MS-6168 V2? I'm hoping the OEM BIOS has support for it if not the retail one. I have a few non-3dfx donor cards with 5.5/6ns SGRAM, which I believe is 166/183mhz. It's something I've been thinking about doing for years and will likely attempt in the near future.

Last edited by -Maverick- on 2021-09-02, 04:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 31 of 38, by drosse1meyer

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dionb wrote on 2021-05-03, 22:14:
Joakim wrote on 2021-04-29, 12:23:

My hate of Packard Bell is slightly reduced after reading this. Their case design is makes me dizzy.

Oh but I want myself one of those boards, cause seems awesome.

Packard Bell had some very different phases under different ownership in different parts of the world. This system was (well, apart from my souping it up) typical for PB in Europe under NEC ownership. with French engineering (the HQ was in Angers, FR). Apart from bad caps, they were generally good systems in that period, at least as long as you steered clear of the lowest of the low end (SiS 5598 and later i810 systems). The MS-6168 was the last of a line of boards with decent onboard video. Earlier ones were Intel MU440EX ('Maui') and MS-6147 ('Tempest') with ATi Rage Pro.

Unfortunately haven't had time to play around with this system recently, things have been very busy.

Yea some of the PBs of the early to mid 90s weren't that bad either. Mostly some sort of slightly customized board from Intel with decent hardware (e.g. virge and those aztech cards). I don't think they used annoying proprietary power connections either but that could have changed in later years.

Reply 32 of 38, by Joakim

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Had a pb in the late 90s must have been quite low budget probably 350 MHz p2. Think it ran a voodoo 2 and later probably a GeForce card. Think I played Sacrifice on it and it probably stretched its limits.. Don't think we ever upgraded the CPU, maybe it didn't support it... But I guess it was ok for Napster.. 😀

Reply 33 of 38, by chrismeyer6

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-Maverick- wrote on 2021-09-01, 19:02:

Has anyone thought about upgrading the video memory from 8MB to 16MB for the MS-6168 V2? I'm hoping the OEM BIOS has support for it if not the retail one. I have a few non-3dfx donor cards with 5.5/6ns SDRAM, which I believe is 166/183mhz. It's something I've been thinking about doing for years and will likely attempt in the near future.

That would be a good project and if it works properly would be a really nice upgrade for a really nice motherboard.

Reply 34 of 38, by -Maverick-

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-09-01, 23:51:
-Maverick- wrote on 2021-09-01, 19:02:

Has anyone thought about upgrading the video memory from 8MB to 16MB for the MS-6168 V2? I'm hoping the OEM BIOS has support for it if not the retail one. I have a few non-3dfx donor cards with 5.5/6ns SGRAM, which I believe is 166/183mhz. It's something I've been thinking about doing for years and will likely attempt in the near future.

That would be a good project and if it works properly would be a really nice upgrade for a really nice motherboard.

Yeah. The goal is to get performance between a Voodoo3 3000 or 3500. I'm aware this board has used Samsung, EliteMT, and EtronTech SGRAM but, I'm going to match the EtronTech brand my motherboard came with. I'll make my own thread with before and after pictures with benchmarks if it all works out. I was trying for 5ns 200MHZ SGRAM but I haven't been able to source a donor card that was made in quantity from a OEM video card no one cares about.

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Reply 35 of 38, by PC-Engineer

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The Matrox G400 cards have 5ns SGRAM chips (Samsung KM4132G112Q-5) with 32MBit per Chip - would be a sufficient and easy obtainable donor.

1994/1995 - Socket3 - ASUS SV2GX4 / POD 100MHz / 64MB / SCSI - Windows 95

Reply 36 of 38, by -Maverick-

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PC-Engineer wrote on 2021-09-02, 08:49:

The Matrox G400 cards have 5ns SGRAM chips (Samsung KM4132G112Q-5) with 32MBit per Chip - would be a sufficient and easy obtainable donor.

Thank you. Doing a quick check, it looks like HP/Compaq, Dell and IBM were OEM's. I'll see what I can find available, than you again!

edit: wow, found a ton of cards, now I won't feel guilty using one as a donor.

Reply 37 of 38, by Intel486dx33

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I would put a BIG Copper heatsink with fan on that 3DFX chip. They run very HOT. These Voodoo chips are soldered to the PCB with solder balls in a process called “Surface mount”. So using the 3DFX Chip, solder balls and baking the PCB in a special oven they where able to solder these Chips to the motherboard. The problem is these Chips run VERY HOT. So often the solder ball welds break and the 3DFX chip stops working. Bad surface mount chips welds on the PCB is the main reason why there are very few 3DFX Voodoo cards around it is because the welds have broken on the 3DFX GPU chip or on the RAM chips. Overheating has caused the welds to break.

So you want good cooling on that motherboard and especially that 3DFX chip. If you want that motherboard to last.

Also if you start to get artifacting in the video then you will need to reflow these ram chips with solder paste and a heat gun to repair the solder joints from the chip legs to the PCB.

The heat from the 3DFX chip is going to heat up this section of the motherboard VERY HOT during long periods of use.

I think Zalman makes a small copper loop heatsink that should work for this 3DFX chip too.

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Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2021-09-04, 11:59. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 38 of 38, by dionb

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drosse1meyer wrote on 2021-09-01, 19:48:
dionb wrote on 2021-05-03, 22:14:
Joakim wrote on 2021-04-29, 12:23:

My hate of Packard Bell is slightly reduced after reading this. Their case design is makes me dizzy.

Oh but I want myself one of those boards, cause seems awesome.

Packard Bell had some very different phases under different ownership in different parts of the world. This system was (well, apart from my souping it up) typical for PB in Europe under NEC ownership. with French engineering (the HQ was in Angers, FR). Apart from bad caps, they were generally good systems in that period, at least as long as you steered clear of the lowest of the low end (SiS 5598 and later i810 systems). The MS-6168 was the last of a line of boards with decent onboard video. Earlier ones were Intel MU440EX ('Maui') and MS-6147 ('Tempest') with ATi Rage Pro.

Unfortunately haven't had time to play around with this system recently, things have been very busy.

Yea some of the PBs of the early to mid 90s weren't that bad either. Mostly some sort of slightly customized board from Intel with decent hardware (e.g. virge and those aztech cards). I don't think they used annoying proprietary power connections either but that could have changed in later years.

Nope, no proprietary power connectors at all, even on the more creative form factors (eg. Spirit ultra-compact). The only PB desktop system 1993-2002 that didn't have either basic AT or ATX connectors was the all-in-one Le Div@, which was basically a laptop on legs without a battery, so forgiveable there.