FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

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FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-4-25 @ 03:49

Hey guys! I'm new to the vintage hardware game, having grown up with some sort of Packard Bell playing lots of Jedi Knight and Lego Island. This build is going to be a bit more modern than that. (1999 - 2000 ish.) The plan is to use this machine as a base, replacing a fair bit of components. (Not throwing out the old stuff, but may sell some of it off!) Wanting to go pretty high end, while replacing as many components as I can with modern counterparts. (Storage, Fans, ETC.)

The Base
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As the title suggests, this was a find from my local FB Marketplace, I really wanted a beige PC case to match my cute little Sony CRT that I found. Got a very well taken care of Gateway Essential 550. The original owner tossed in a lot of extras too! (Not pictured.) Like original restore discs, additional cards, etc. Gave him some money and was on my way.

I already started modifying it as you can see, with the Noctua fan going in place of the original OEM fan. It almost seems a shame to change the internals but the plan is to replace it with a new board!

Graphics Cards
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This machine came with an Nvidia TNT2 it seems! Nothing wrong with this card as far as I can tell from the brief boot into the original owners installation of Windows ME. (Will be replaced with Windows 98.) What do y'all think of this card?

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In the big box of additional components that the owner gave me, I found this Maxi Gamer Phoenix! So basically a Voodoo Banshee?

My plan is to go a bit higher end than this, I'd like to maybe play Glide stuff and Half Life at 60 fps. That kind of locks me into super expensive voodoo hardware right? So far thats the plan.

The New Motherboard
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I've also purchased an ASUS CUV4X to support the modded Tualatin 1.4ghz that will going in it. I freely admit I honestly don't know a ton about this board in specific beyond it being able to support a modded Tualatin, so I'm excited to find out what its all about!

The New CPU
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Heres the aforementioned 1.4ghz Tualatin modded! Did not take as long as I thought to receive from Korea actually.

Storage
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Going to go with one of these SD to IDE adapters for storage for ease of use and also reducing noise. Already have one of these lying around. Not sure what I'll do with the drives included in this machine!

UPDATE 1: I'll be using a modern SSD + this adapter suggested by Phils Computer Lab.

Power Supply
Heres where I think I need help. I'm not sure what Power Supply I would need for a Tualatin 1.4ghz / maybe high end Voodoo! I've watched some of the vids Phils Computer Lab did about a Socket 370 build and he used a modern PSU in one of them. (The Corsair VS450.) The 5v rail / 12v rail thing is something I'm still trying to understand! Fully admit I'm a dumb dumb on the subject but willing to learn.

Sound Card
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I have an Aureal Vortex 2 on the way for that sweet virtual surround. I'm not too concerned about DOS performance on this machine graphically or with audio, but maybe in the future I will expand in that area. Any suggestions?

Misc
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I got pretty deep into the Mechanical Keyboard thing for a bit, still am really. I'll likely pair my Norbaforce with this build. Might swap back to the default spacebar for this one.

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I also have this Viewsonic that I got for free from Craigslist. I kinda suspect it needs a recap as I had to crank on one of the Potentiometers to get it bright enough but its a truly gorgeous monitor, I only wish it was beige.

Thanks for reading! I'll be expanding this post with more as I go along, hoping to take lots of pics of the process! I'm very open to suggestions, my hope is to shape the future of this build based on your feedback!
Last edited by donhonk on 2019-4-25 @ 12:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby x0zm_ » 2019-4-25 @ 04:58

Looks like a nice setup you've got in the works here.

That TNT2 is basically one of the entry/lower end models. Not terrible not fantastic either. If you're wanting high framerate, high(er) resolution 99-00 games you'll want to look into something higher end. If you want to keep in that sort of period hardware wise, a GeForce2 Pro/Ti, GeForce3 or GeForce4 will spank it around. Question of cost always comes up, and they tend to vary a lot by seller, brand, condition and current market conditions.

For 3dfx, Voodoo2 12mb SLI is the "dream", but it's a very expensive dream. You'll be lucky to spend less than $175 USD on two of them, $200-$220 USD is more likely. There are other Voodoo cards, namely the Voodoo3 and Voodoo5 that are of interest. Systems can be quite fickle and may require a fair amount of tweaking on the software side to run a Voodoo3/4/5 and an NVidia card side by side and have it play nicely. If you were to go that route, it'd be better to forego the NVidia card altogether and just stick with a Voodoo3, in my opinion. The Voodoo5 5500 is *expensive*, and it's not even that good. It's more of a prestige / collectors / nostalgia option rather than an economical, practical option.

If you're not playing Glide exclusive games, you are almost always better off with a higher end NVidia card from the time. The Voodoo 1 & 2 may have been better options if you were building for 3-5 years earlier, but by the end of the decade and going forward, there isn't much practical reason to own one from a pure performance standpoint. You will find much higher performance NVidia cards for less than a 3dfx card. Quadro2 Pro / GeForce2 Ultras, high end GeForce 3 Ti500, etc.

CUV4X is a solid choice, nice pick.

I can't say I've had any real experience with SD to IDE adapters. I'd still look into keeping some form of proper mechanical drive or proper SSD, even if it's a "modern" SATA drive using a PCI SATA controller. Random read/write performance on them can really drag down systems on CF/SD based systems from what I understand.

Your setup isn't overly power hungry. Grabbing a good quality, modern power supply will be just fine. Preferably one that uses DC-DC which will handle the higher 3.3v/5v loads better. There's plenty of threads here that going into more depth about the reasoning and about using modern PSUs with old systems. To avoid repeating what's already been discussed, you can check them out on the Wiki page here.

I personally used the Corsair CX750M for my Tualatin build, with a GeForce2 Ultra (non-reference model that used additional power), Voodoo5 5500, SATA PCI controller, sound card, hard drives, solid state drives, watercooling setup, fans, etc, etc. No worries at all on the power front. It is 25A/25A/130W combined total off the top of my head. I almost exclusively use new PSUs on old systems. There's only some setups where that isn't ideal, mainly this era for AMD systems. They're very 5V hungry.

In terms of sound, you've got a great sound card option for this era. If it works, keep it!

Do you have an idea of which cooler you're going to use for the CPU? There are plenty of fantastic options out there at reasonable prices if you want to avoid stock coolers.
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2019-4-25 @ 06:33

x0zm_ wrote:The Voodoo5 5500 is *expensive*, and it's not even that good. It's more of a prestige / collectors / nostalgia option rather than an economical, practical option.

Collector’s item and therefore expensive, yes, but I don't agree with the rest. People tend to ignore the FSAA option the Voodoo5 brings to the table. The quality of the 3dfx FSAA was unmatched for almost an entire decade(!). And the card gives you 32-bit support while being fast enough to actually use this. I really love the card. Yes, it couldn’t match the fastest cards of that time in terms of raw speed (the Voodoo5 6000 would have done that, and more...). But once image quality is of any concern, it is a more than viable option. Especially as you had to use more than 4x FSAA on GeForce/Radeon cards in order to come close to 2x FSAA of the Voodoo5 (and 4). So, comparing with almost equal image quality (3dfx 2x FSAA vs. GeForce/Radeon 4x FSAA), there no longer is any real performance gap. This is usually ignored.

I have used Voodoo Graphics, Voodoo2 SLI, Voodoo3 and Voodoo5, each in their time. Which card do I use now, in my two Retro systems for the 3dfx era? Only Voodoo5 cards (although I still have all my other 3dfx cards from back then)! While e.g. Voodoo2 SLI is fun and “cool”, I don’t see any reason to use the older 3dfx cards if(!) you have the Voodoo5 option, apart from compatibility if you are into one those few Glide games that don’t run on the newer 3dfx cards. I am not, so I don’t care. By using the Voodoo5, I can add gorgeous FSAA to all my games, and only use a single slot/card for graphics. Games that are too demanding for a Voodoo5 can be run on another system. In my books, the Voodoo5 is the best (regular) 3dfx card.

Other than that, great summary, I have nothing to add :)

donhonk wrote:I have an Aureal Vortex 2 on the way for that sweet virtual surround. I'm not too concerned about DOS performance on this machine graphically or with audio, but maybe in the future I will expand in that area. Any suggestions?

I'd use an Audigy2 card, but as you already have this one, there is no need to go looking for something else. I'm hoping you'll be having a lot of fun once everything's completed :)
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-4-25 @ 11:26

x0zm_ wrote:snip snip


Thank you! Already all this info is very helpful, went ahead and grabbed that same PSU, glad to know it will power it fine.

Also good point on the read / write performance on the SD adapter, a 120gb SSD should be cheap and very easy to get at this point. Going to look at those.

I've not decided on the CPU cooler, I had made the other thread about suggested coolers but the rather cool ones mentioned (Arctic Copper Silent 3, etc) cant be found, at least I couldn't find them! Was going to rock a stock cooler for a bit if I can manage to fit it on the very slightly thicker CPU. Like you said in the other thread, should be fine! If theres something readily available to buy, totally link it up. Otherwise I'm waiting for a bit, which is fine. :D (Par for the course on this vintage stuff, not complaining.)

EDIT: There is this one though... I like NOS! Let me know what you think.

I will say also obscure / unique hardware is a major appeal of this so a prestige piece like a Voodoo 5 sounds like a lot of fun, definitely not bang for buck it sounds like. The Geforce 4's look like the card I might want for now!
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby x0zm_ » 2019-4-25 @ 12:39

voodoo5_6k wrote:People tend to ignore the FSAA option the Voodoo5 brings to the table. The quality of the 3dfx FSAA was unmatched for almost an entire decade(!). And the card gives you 32-bit support while being fast enough to actually use this. I really love the card. Yes, it couldn’t match the fastest cards of that time in terms of raw speed (the Voodoo5 6000 would have done that, and more...). But once image quality is of any concern, it is a more than viable option. Especially as you had to use more than 4x FSAA on GeForce/Radeon cards in order to come close to 2x FSAA of the Voodoo5 (and 4). So, comparing with almost equal image quality (3dfx 2x FSAA vs. GeForce/Radeon 4x FSAA), there no longer is any real performance gap. This is usually ignored.


donhonk wrote:I will say also obscure / unique hardware is a major appeal of this so a prestige piece like a Voodoo 5 sounds like a lot of fun, definitely not bang for buck it sounds like. The Geforce 4's look like the card I might want for now!


Oh for sure. It's fantastic when it comes to it's AA ability. That's why I have it in mine. It's just a hard to swallow expense (and that's from someone who owns more than a few 5500s :P). I see it as something you buy when you're firmly into the hobby - almost like a rite of passage. Once you know you actually enjoy the scene, once you find yourself using it regularly enough to justify the expense and find yourself willing to spend money on more prestigious/collectible hardware. That's when you take the leap and head into the 3dfx pricing end of the pool.

But as a "beginner", for the going price of a 5500 or a V2 SLI setup you can build a whole rig or two from a couple of different periods.

I don't want to scare donhonk away from the idea of 3dfx hardware. I just think it's an idea for further down the line. :-D A nice thing about a hobby like this is the great resale potential. If you pick a certain card now and want to change in the future, you'll almost certainly be able to resell for the same price if you didn't overpay in the first place.

donhonk wrote:EDIT: There is this one though... I like NOS! Let me know what you think.


Looks solid. For $6, can't argue.
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby voodoo5_6k » 2019-4-25 @ 20:59

x0zm_ wrote:Oh for sure. It's fantastic when it comes to it's AA ability. That's why I have it in mine. It's just a hard to swallow expense (and that's from someone who owns more than a few 5500s :P). I see it as something you buy when you're firmly into the hobby - almost like a rite of passage. Once you know you actually enjoy the scene, once you find yourself using it regularly enough to justify the expense and find yourself willing to spend money on more prestigious/collectible hardware. That's when you take the leap and head into the 3dfx pricing end of the pool.

But as a "beginner", for the going price of a 5500 or a V2 SLI setup you can build a whole rig or two from a couple of different periods.

I don't want to scare donhonk away from the idea of 3dfx hardware. I just think it's an idea for further down the line. :-D A nice thing about a hobby like this is the great resale potential. If you pick a certain card now and want to change in the future, you'll almost certainly be able to resell for the same price if you didn't overpay in the first place.

I see your point now, alright. Then we're definitely on the same page, mate :)
END OF LINE.

My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby havli » 2019-4-25 @ 21:40

3dfx RGSSAA quality is very good, no doubt. What I see as a problem is lack of Anisotropic Filtering on Voodoos.
So when playing D3D / OGL games I actually prefer GeForce4 Ti (for ultimate AF quality and acceptable MSAA), GF FX (the same but faster) or Radeon 9500+ (good AF and great MSAA).
HW museum.cz - my collection of PC hardware
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-4-26 @ 12:39

Because I tend to go off the deep end on my hobbies, I have secured a Voodoo 5 haha! I guess I knew I’d want it down the line anyways.

Now, I want this thing to last as long as it can, any preventative maintenance you’d suggest? Like is there any point in removing the existing heat sinks? Like here: https://youtu.be/bleOkwOxAyE or here: https://youtu.be/5hB4jOCHLHc

I plan on replacing the fans with 2 40mm Noctua fans at the very least.

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Something like this + my two Noctua fans seems good?
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby x0zm_ » 2019-4-26 @ 13:32

Replacing stock heatsinks comes with a decent risk of damaging the card, as it is thermal epoxied on. There are guides on how to remove it, but I wouldn't say it's worth the risk unless you can live with the risk of losing what you just paid. Replacing the pretty piss poor stock fans will do a nice job.

If you do replace the actual heatsinks, it uses standard 55mm diagonal mounting holes. There are plenty of VGA heatsinks out there for that spacing.

You can also place aluminium/copper heatsinks on the memory if you're overly paranoid. I personally prefer the copper as it's a small expense in comparison to the cost of the card. Here's an older pic I dug off my imgur account as an example. Other cards can be ignored, it's the only stand alone picture I seemed to have of the card I put the heatsinks on. They're on the back memory too.

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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-4-26 @ 13:46

Actually a bit of a relief, didnt really want to modify it in that way. Appreciate the info!
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-4-30 @ 13:19

Rather frustratingly I got all the parts except the Voodoo 5, wondering if the seller is alive lol. Not even marked as shipped. That would be a shame if it doesnt show up soon. Anyhow I'll probably slap a card I already have in it soon!
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-5-04 @ 02:15

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Dont have the Voodoo yet but it did ship!

Did a complete teardown and ran into the first roadblock of the build which was the Power Supply fitting in this Gateway OEM case. I took a dremel and file to make it work. It turned out pretty nice but not perfect! My first time doing anything like that.

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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-5-06 @ 23:39

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Hm, it isnt quite booting yet. Anyone know what Im doing wrong in the BIOS?

Note: Im reading the manual, still dont quite get it.
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby chinny22 » 2019-5-07 @ 10:20

Have you cleared the bios?
Manual will tell you how but basically:
1) Pull the battery and set the jumper (probably the one closest to the battery)
2) Turn it on, system should boot just like normal. Go into bios, set to defaults, Save and shutdown.
3) Put Jumper and battery back, system should boot. Make any changes to Bios as you wish
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-5-07 @ 11:33

I did yep, reset several times. If I leave it at defaults I get this:

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Is it possible a BIOS update would help?
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby chinny22 » 2019-5-07 @ 11:49

First off I would remove everything accept for video and 1 stick of ram and see how far you get.
Your not even getting as far as "no OS installed insert a boot disk" so your not even passing the post test.

If it fails try a different stick of ram, basically you want to be REALLY confident your ram is ok and not the cause of the problem before doing a bios update
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-5-07 @ 11:58

Sounds good, will report back on that!

EDIT: Removed individual cards until it was the bare essentials, including running with all 3 of the ram sticks (one at a time that is) and I get the same thing.

This link is the closest thing to my situation, Tualatin, ASUS mobo... ETC

Also for what it’s worth, it shows up as a Pentium 2. Not sure if that matters.
Image
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby x0zm_ » 2019-5-07 @ 14:14

Showing up as Pentium II is not unusual when using a modded CPU. The BIOS just doesn't have the microcode for Tualatin to display it properly at boot, so that's why it shows as PII.

Does it boot with the original Celeron CPU that was pictured in your first post?
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-5-08 @ 03:36

Swapped that one back in and it still wouldnt boot, but interestingly it seemed to have something to do with the boot order! More research required soon haha, will post back.
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Re: FB Marketplace Gateway Rebuild - Beginner Build Log!

Postby donhonk » 2019-5-09 @ 01:12

Rather frustratingly, this machine simply wont run stably with the processor running at 1400mhz. (The system frequency of 133) It will get to bios and then the keyboard stops responding after 1 keystroke. Kinda defeats the purpose of the CPU I got.

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Ive even taken everything out just to eliminate variables. (And swapped to an NVIDIA vanta just to check) Windows 98 is installing as we speak, but any ideas?

EDIT:
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Got windows installed just fine while it was running at 840mhz, totally stable. Again, kinda defeats the purpose if I cant actually run it at its intended speed?
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