Retro Xeon Rig - 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) software supported *without* use of emulation

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Retro Xeon Rig - 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) software supported *without* use of emulation

Postby FrostyTheSnowman » 2019-5-23 @ 09:20

Retro Xeon Rig - 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) software supported *without* use of emulation

Just finished up my newest muti-era hardware-compatible retro rig, this time based on the RUBY-9719VG2AR, Xeon X5470 and Yamaha OPL3-SAx with the addition of Macintosh support (via Hackintosh). :)

This is essentially a supercharged version of my previous Pentium 4 build, which can be located below (1080p monitor and Sony speakers were re-purposed for this new Xeon build, they were replaced by period-correct units on the Pentium 4 build):

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=65838

Enjoy!

Core Components:

• Video Cards: EVGA (Nvidia) Geforce GTX 1060 PCI-E, XFX (Nvidia) Geforce FX 5200 PCI (DVI version), Intel GMA X4500 IGP, Diamond (3dfx) Voodoo 2 PCI
• Sound Cards: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZX PCI (SB0350), Yamaha OPL3-SAx ISA (YMF719E-S w/6.8nf Low-Pass Filter mod and Reversed-Wavetable fix)
• Hard Drives: PNY 120GB SSD (SATA), PNY 120GB SSD (SATA), PNY 240GB SSD (SATA), Intel 500GB SSD (SATA), Seagate 1TB HDD (SATA)
• Hard Drive Controller: Intel ICH7R + VIA VT6421A
• CD/DVD Drives: Sony DVD-RW (PATA)
• CD/DVD Controller: Startech ICUSB2IDE USB 2.0 to IDE
• Floppy Disk(s): Epson SD800/SD700 Combo (3.5”/5.25”)
• Floppy Controller: KryoFlux Personal Edition USB 2.0 to Floppy
• RAM: Edge DDR2-800 (2x4GB)
• Motherboard: Portwell RUBY-9719VG2AR Industrial (G41-based chipset, 775 socket, ISA+PCI+PCI-E, ISA IRQ & DMA redirection possible via Tiido's RUBYISA utility)
• CPU: Intel Xeon X5470 3.33Ghz (Quad-core 771 Server CPU w/775 mod)
• Power Supply: Corsair RM550 (550W) ATX
• Keyboard: Mitsumi PS2
• Mouse: Microsoft Mouse (USB/PS2-based)
• Monitor: ASUS VX238W 23” 1080p HDMI/VGA LCD
• Speakers: Sony SA-SPC5 2.1 Reference (Studio-grade)
• Game Controllers: Gravis 10-button Gamepad, Sony PSOne Dual Shock w/USB adapter, Microsoft SideWinder Precision Pro (USB/Gameport)

Operating Systems:

• Windows 10 (64-bit)
• Windows 7 (32-bit)
• Windows 98 SE
• MS-DOS 7.10 (newer DOS games)
• MS-DOS 7.10 (older DOS games)
• Macintosh OS X 10.13.3 (Hackintosh)
• Windows 10 (64-bit) (dedicated maintenance OS)

Hardware Reasoning/Compromises:

• RUBY-9719VG2AR is the only 775 motherboard I am aware of that has PCI-E and also supports DMA with ISA (normally not possible, but Tiido's RUBYISA utility makes it work!)
• RUBY-9719VG2AR supports IDE/PATA too, however Rloew's SATA Patch for Windows 98 won't work with it enabled... this forced me to adapt my Sony PATA DVD-ROM to USB (not many SATA-based white-face DVD burners on the market)
• RUBY-9719VG2AR *does not* support floppy drives... this forced me to install a Kryoflux floppy controller for the 3.5"/5.25" drives to be usable
• GTX 1060 GPU used for maximum video performance in Windows 10 and 7
• FX 5200 PCI GPU used for 44.x driver compatibility in Windows 98 (best PCI GPU available with 44.x driver compatibility)
• 3dfx Voodoo 2 GPU used for DOS/Windows 98 Glide compatibility
• Intel GMA X4500 (built-in) appears to fully support CGA/EGA/VGA/VESA 1.0/VESA 2.0/VESA 3.0 under DOS (including smooth side-scrolling in Keen games)
• SSDs used for Windows 10/7/98/DOS/Macintosh - HDD used for maintenance OS and backups
• Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZX used for full surround sound in Windows and Macintosh OSes (OEM model used, as it *does not* have a joystick/MIDI port and therefore won’t conflict with the SB16 for joystick/MIDI)
• Yamaha OPL3-SAx ISA (YMF719E-S) used for proper sound support in DOS (also allows for PC speaker pass-through via custom PC speaker -> CD audio cable)
• Corsair RM550 (550W) ATX (personal preference)
• ASUS VX238W 23” LCD used for 1080p HDMI/VGA support and 4:3 ratio support (I don’t like CRTs, despite being raised with them)
• PS/2-based keyboard and USB-based optical mouse provide full DOS compatibility (PS/2 keyboard is fine, USB mouse works via BIOS mouse emulation)
• DOS and Windows 98 OSes are on 120GB drives/partitions to avoid file system corruption issues


Hardware/Software Tricks:

• Intel Xeon X5470 (771) CPU modified to function in 775 socket (CPU dremeled to accept 775 keys + 771->775 pad swap sticker)
• Xeon 775 microcode injected into BIOS via MMTool (to fully support the X5470 CPU and it's instructions)
• VT6421 OPROM injected into BIOS via MMTool (to allow booting from the VIA VT6421A SATA controller)
• Activity LEDs de-soldered from VT6421 and replaced with pin headers (to allow connection to the front panel)
• PCI-E/PCI/IGP GPU switching done via BIOS
• Nvidia 44.x drivers used under Windows 98 for game compatibility
• HIMEMX used to force Windows 98 to only ‘see’ 1GB of RAM (no memory errors in Windows 98)
• RLoew's SATA Patch used for ICH7R support (in IDE mode) in Windows 98
• Windows 98 HDD is the first drive in order physically *and* in the BIOS, contains PLoP bootloader (prevents MBR errors in Windows 98)
• Additional PATA/SATA controllers disabled in Windows 98 (ensures no ‘triangle’ errors in Device Manager, allows full drive performance and no lockups)
• Service Pack 3 (Unofficial) used to update Windows 98 OS core files
• DirectX 7.0 used on Windows 98 (intentionally omitted DirectX 8.1/9.0 support in Windows 98)
• PLoP bootloader used to launch OSes and to ‘hide’ FAT partitions to ensure booted DOS/Win98 OS only ‘sees’ one FAT partition (itself)
• MOSLO used (disabling of hyper-threading and CPU caches and slowing of the CPU) to run 1980’s-based DOS games
• PC speaker routed through Yamaha OPL3-SAx
• Daemon Tools (Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 98) used for ISO mounting
• SHSUCD (DOS) used for ISO mounting
• CTMOUSE (DOS) used for smallest possible mouse driver footprint
• ACCESS 4.60 (DOS) used for menus
• JEMMEX (DOS) used for memory management
• RUBYISA (DOS, an awesome tool made by Tiido) used to enable full ISA support on RUBY-9719VG2AR
• SETYMF (DOS, another awesome tool made by Tiido) used to set volume levels and enable PC speaker pass-through on Yamaha OPL3-SAx
• Network adapter disabled under Windows 98 (for obvious reasons)
Attachments
fully_assembled.jpg
Retro Xeon Pictures (part 1).zip
(4.61 MiB) Downloaded 54 times
Retro Xeon Pictures (part 2).zip
(4.24 MiB) Downloaded 28 times
Retro Xeon Pictures (part 3).zip
(3.94 MiB) Downloaded 28 times
Last edited by FrostyTheSnowman on 2019-7-26 @ 17:49, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby D3FEKT » 2019-5-24 @ 18:19

Awesome job!!
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby Doomn00b » 2019-5-29 @ 19:53

Tremendous work, Snowman. = ) I want to give this a deeper look, but occupational burnout is holding me back.

Still, I've spent the evening trying to get this pack together:

May I ask you a favour? Could you try out the demo/shareware versions of these games with the Intel GMA x4500, and see if it reaches the same heights of compatibility as the Macronix MX8600, or the S3 virge cards? If it's really as compatible as you say, then it should be the new, #1 standard for dos-gaming on newer systems. (I've kind of got a crazy idea to make a PCI-e card out of it too...)

DoS VGA test-matrix
----------------------------
https://we.tl/t-IDA5ciS61T

I have included all but two of the games, and I have also updated the Excel-file so you can easily start filling in the intel chip.
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby FrostyTheSnowman » 2019-5-31 @ 04:37

Doomn00b wrote:Tremendous work, Snowman. = ) I want to give this a deeper look, but occupational burnout is holding me back.

Still, I've spent the evening trying to get this pack together:

May I ask you a favour? Could you try out the demo/shareware versions of these games with the Intel GMA x4500, and see if it reaches the same heights of compatibility as the Macronix MX8600, or the S3 virge cards? If it's really as compatible as you say, then it should be the new, #1 standard for dos-gaming on newer systems. (I've kind of got a crazy idea to make a PCI-e card out of it too...)

DoS VGA test-matrix
----------------------------
https://we.tl/t-IDA5ciS61T

I have included all but two of the games, and I have also updated the Excel-file so you can easily start filling in the intel chip.


Sweet, thanks for putting that package together - I am excited to give it a whirl! ;)

I should have an updated spreadsheet and screenshots (from the X4500) posted by tomorrow night.
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby Doomn00b » 2019-5-31 @ 14:08

FrostyTheSnowman wrote:
Doomn00b wrote:Tremendous work, Snowman. = ) I want to give this a deeper look, but occupational burnout is holding me back.

Still, I've spent the evening trying to get this pack together:

May I ask you a favour? Could you try out the demo/shareware versions of these games with the Intel GMA x4500, and see if it reaches the same heights of compatibility as the Macronix MX8600, or the S3 virge cards? If it's really as compatible as you say, then it should be the new, #1 standard for dos-gaming on newer systems. (I've kind of got a crazy idea to make a PCI-e card out of it too...)

DoS VGA test-matrix
----------------------------
https://we.tl/t-IDA5ciS61T

I have included all but two of the games, and I have also updated the Excel-file so you can easily start filling in the intel chip.


Sweet, thanks for putting that package together - I am excited to give it a whirl! ;)

I should have an updated spreadsheet and screenshots (from the X4500) posted by tomorrow night.


Awesome! ^^

Looking closer at the list, I actually missed one game though... :o LO'LLYPOP - I've got it right here for you though:

https://we.tl/t-ISYYl0HQX5
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby FrostyTheSnowman » 2019-6-06 @ 15:35

Just a quick update - normal life took over for the last week, so I don't have any compatibility results to share at the moment. :(

I do plan to do the testing this weekend though, hopefully should have it up by Saturday evening. ;)
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby Doomn00b » 2019-6-11 @ 16:20

FrostyTheSnowman wrote:Just a quick update - normal life took over for the last week, so I don't have any compatibility results to share at the moment. :(

I do plan to do the testing this weekend though, hopefully should have it up by Saturday evening. ;)


I'm guessing you've had your hands full for a while? Do you think you'll have time this weekend instead?
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby FrostyTheSnowman » 2019-6-17 @ 20:07

Doomn00b wrote:
FrostyTheSnowman wrote:Just a quick update - normal life took over for the last week, so I don't have any compatibility results to share at the moment. :(

I do plan to do the testing this weekend though, hopefully should have it up by Saturday evening. ;)


I'm guessing you've had your hands full for a while? Do you think you'll have time this weekend instead?


Yeah, unfortunately my normal job hijacked all my free time for the last few weeks (and will also be taking my next few weeks too) so i've only been able to test a few games at a time... but I can tell you that it has worked with all of them so far, no graphical issues or anything yet. :)

Fingers crossed that I will get through the rest of them this week. ;)
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby Doomn00b » 2019-7-27 @ 15:46

FrostyTheSnowman wrote:
Doomn00b wrote:
FrostyTheSnowman wrote:Just a quick update - normal life took over for the last week, so I don't have any compatibility results to share at the moment. :(

I do plan to do the testing this weekend though, hopefully should have it up by Saturday evening. ;)


I'm guessing you've had your hands full for a while? Do you think you'll have time this weekend instead?


Yeah, unfortunately my normal job hijacked all my free time for the last few weeks (and will also be taking my next few weeks too) so i've only been able to test a few games at a time... but I can tell you that it has worked with all of them so far, no graphical issues or anything yet. :)

Fingers crossed that I will get through the rest of them this week. ;)


IT'S VACATION-TIME!! : D

Which means, if the missus lets you, this is the moment for fun, games and hobbies. Have you had any opportunity to test the IGP any more, recently?
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby FrostyTheSnowman » 2019-7-31 @ 17:42

Doomn00b wrote:IT'S VACATION-TIME!! : D

Which means, if the missus lets you, this is the moment for fun, games and hobbies. Have you had any opportunity to test the IGP any more, recently?


I knew I had forgotten something! Thanks for the reminder, I am actually home all week so I should have the testing done within a few days. :cool:

I can say for sure that every game I have tested thus far has worked (including Keen games, Jazz Jackrabbit 1 and 2, etc), but I did find that higher resolutions in 3D DOS games (800x600 and up) seem to suffer from artifacts/palette corruption with the Intel IGP.
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Re: 38-year-span (PC) and 13-year-span (Mac) Retro Xeon Rig (built with compatible hardware *only*, no emulation)

Postby Doomn00b » 2019-8-04 @ 12:08

FrostyTheSnowman wrote:
Doomn00b wrote:IT'S VACATION-TIME!! : D

Which means, if the missus lets you, this is the moment for fun, games and hobbies. Have you had any opportunity to test the IGP any more, recently?


I knew I had forgotten something! Thanks for the reminder, I am actually home all week so I should have the testing done within a few days. :cool:

I can say for sure that every game I have tested thus far has worked (including Keen games, Jazz Jackrabbit 1 and 2, etc), but I did find that higher resolutions in 3D DOS games (800x600 and up) seem to suffer from artifacts/palette corruption with the Intel IGP.


Interesting... The colour artifacts sound similar to the issues a majority of the cards had with Alien Trilogy. Have you tried the igp with some early Windows 3d games though, for comparison? If not, I'll support some demos of Quake 2 and Dungeon keeper for Windows.
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