VOGONS


Reply 21 of 41, by foil_fresh

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ShovelKnight wrote:

Thanks, still waiting for the motherboard to arrive...

ah, the agony!

i bought my hot591p in february this year, only this week did i get it working completely (it was up and running but the ps/2 port was holding me back) so i know the pain of waiting :p

i should have been patient and kept calm because i ended up buying another SS7 board (FIC VA-503+, another MVP3 board) due to it coming with all the peripheral cables. it arrives next week 🤣

i should have also trusted my senses, i tested the original startech ps/2 bracket but assumed it was me that either broke it or the ps/2 port was at fault... it's working absolutely fine now that they replaced the bracket.

so i guess i either have a spare motherboard, or a potential ebay sale?

let us know how the ATX version goes, im interested to see the differences!

Pentium MMX 166MHz / Shuttle HOT591-p / S3 Virge DX / SB 16
Pentium II 266MHz / Lucky-Star 6ABX2V / Riva128 / AWE64 / AW744L
Pentium III 950 MHz / SY-7VBA / Voodoo 3000 / Aureal Vortex 2
Pentium IV 3.4GHz/ GA-8S655FX / Geforce 6800 GT / Audigy

Reply 22 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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You did well by buying that FIC -- if I remember correctly, AnandTech claimed it was simply the fastest SS7 motherboard on the market.

Edit: Yes! Found the review: https://www.anandtech.com/show/152

When dealing with performance, the VA-503+ is the name to beat. Benching in at the top of all charts, the VA-503+'s performance is top-notch and when coupled with the unofficial support for the 112MHz FSB (whose operation is beyond reliable) make this board as close to the board of your dreams as possible, for now at least...

Reply 23 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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The CPU that was delivered to a wrong address unexpectedly turned up today -- the box has a lot of handwriting indicating that it bounced all over Ireland!

So it seems I will have the choice between K6-2+ 500 MHz and K6-III+ 400 MHz.

Reply 24 of 41, by foil_fresh

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ShovelKnight wrote:

You did well by buying that FIC -- if I remember correctly, AnandTech claimed it was simply the fastest SS7 motherboard on the market.

Edit: Yes! Found the review: https://www.anandtech.com/show/152

When dealing with performance, the VA-503+ is the name to beat. Benching in at the top of all charts, the VA-503+'s performance is top-notch and when coupled with the unofficial support for the 112MHz FSB (whose operation is beyond reliable) make this board as close to the board of your dreams as possible, for now at least...

it came in the mail yesterday... looks like it's never been used. despite the motherboard bag was open and the peripheral cable bag was opened, i saw no scrape marks on either of the ide ports, the pins on all of the slots arent oxidised, retention lever doesnt have any marks and theres absolutely no dust on anything. kinda worried to use it at all! but i will (try to) find a nice case for it and give it the home it needs. might see if i can snag a k6-3+ also because i only have a k6-3 400 and want to tool around with the multipliers.

Pentium MMX 166MHz / Shuttle HOT591-p / S3 Virge DX / SB 16
Pentium II 266MHz / Lucky-Star 6ABX2V / Riva128 / AWE64 / AW744L
Pentium III 950 MHz / SY-7VBA / Voodoo 3000 / Aureal Vortex 2
Pentium IV 3.4GHz/ GA-8S655FX / Geforce 6800 GT / Audigy

Reply 25 of 41, by foil_fresh

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ShovelKnight wrote:

The CPU that was delivered to a wrong address unexpectedly turned up today -- the box has a lot of handwriting indicating that it bounced all over Ireland!

So it seems I will have the choice between K6-2+ 500 MHz and K6-III+ 400 MHz.

overclock them both and give us some juicy stats

Pentium MMX 166MHz / Shuttle HOT591-p / S3 Virge DX / SB 16
Pentium II 266MHz / Lucky-Star 6ABX2V / Riva128 / AWE64 / AW744L
Pentium III 950 MHz / SY-7VBA / Voodoo 3000 / Aureal Vortex 2
Pentium IV 3.4GHz/ GA-8S655FX / Geforce 6800 GT / Audigy

Reply 26 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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foil_fresh wrote:

overclock them both and give us some juicy stats

If I remember correctly, Phil already did this and found that the difference is within a couple of percentage points.

Reply 28 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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Some components are here...

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The motherboard looks great, the seller even recapped it with polymer caps for me.

However, upon closer inspection, I found one troubling bit. This small resistor pack looks like two of its legs were eaten away by corrosion. There are also some smaller green spots in the area surrounding the Super I/O chip. The rest of the motherboard looks pristine.

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I'm going to wash it with 100% isopropyl alcohol and inspect it more closely.

If it doesn't work, I'm ready to abandon this project because I've already spent too much time and money chasing down ancient hardware. Maybe I should have built a Slot-1 system instead as originally planned -- at least the motherboards are much cheaper than SS7.

Reply 29 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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The project morphed a bit. I have yet another motherboard -- GA-5AX Rev. 4.1.

Since it has jumpers to set the bus speed, I also bought a couple of SPDT switches that I will use to switch between 66, 75, 83 and 100 MHz bus.

After much deliberation, I decided to go with Geforce2 MX400 PCI instead of Voodoo3. The reason is that Baldur's Gate II and Icewind Dale don't support 3Dfx GPUs for special effects (e.g. when casting spells or displaying translucent fog of war) but they support Geforce 256 and its descendants perfectly.

Reply 30 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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So the build is finally coming together.

These are the parts I used:

- AMD K6-III+ 400/ATZ CPU
- Gigabyte GA-5AX rev 4.1 motherboard
- 3 x 128MB PC133 RAM (Kingston and Infineon)
- 32GB KingSpec PATA SSD
- Sony CRX-230E CD-RW drive
- ELSA Gladiac 511 (GeForce 2MX PCI, 32 MB)
- ESS ES1869 sound card
- Cooler Master Elite 360 Case
- a FSP 350W power supply (massive overkill for this system)

Since the CPU is a low voltage one (it's rated for 1.6V at 400 MHz) I hoped it would overclock well. It seems to be absolutely stable running at 500 MHz and 1.8V, but alas it's not stable at 550 MHz even at 2.0V (I can boot into Windows but the system BSODs every now and then, it also freezes in Memtest86+). At 500 MHz, it survived multiple Memtest86+ passes without any errors.

I also have an AGP Radeon VE with DVI output which I briefly tried. It scales lower resolutions much better than the GeForce and DVI out is very convenient, however I immediately encountered incompatibilities in a couple of games: in Ultima VII BG with the Forge of Virtue expansion, there is an earthquake when you first talk to Iolo. On the GeForce, it actually looks like an earthquake, but on the Radeon the screen just flashes black. Also in Prehistorik 2 the mode selection screen suffers from very ugly tearing on the Radeon, but looks perfect on the GeForce.

Reply 31 of 41, by PARKE

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ShovelKnight wrote:
So the build is finally coming together. These are the parts I used: - AMD K6-III+ 400/ATZ CPU - Gigabyte GA-5AX rev 4.1 motherb […]
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So the build is finally coming together.
These are the parts I used:
- AMD K6-III+ 400/ATZ CPU
- Gigabyte GA-5AX rev 4.1 motherboard
- 3 x 128MB PC133 RAM (Kingston and Infineon)
8><cut
Since the CPU is a low voltage one (it's rated for 1.6V at 400 MHz) I hoped it would overclock well. It seems to be absolutely stable running at 500 MHz and 1.8V, but alas it's not stable at 550 MHz even at 2.0V (I can boot into Windows but the system BSODs every now and then, it also freezes in Memtest86+). At 500 MHz, it survived multiple Memtest86+ passes without any errors.

Maybe your system needs some tweaking or experimenting with other ram & video etc.. i run the same cpu on an ALI V board and it works fine @ 600 Mhz / 2.0volt. And you can check out some other threads with info on K6-III+ problems like this one: Gigabyte GA-5AX rev 4.1 + AMD K6-III+ 450 MHz stability issues

Reply 32 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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PARKE wrote:

Maybe your system needs some tweaking or experimenting with other ram & video etc.. i run the same cpu on an ALI V board and it works fine @ 600 Mhz / 2.0volt. And you can check out some other threads with info on K6-III+ problems like this one: Gigabyte GA-5AX rev 4.1 + AMD K6-III+ 450 MHz stability issues

Well, if I wanted raw speed, I'd build a Slot 1/Socket 370 system - that would have been much cheaper 🤣 I'm actually pretty happy with running the CPU at 500 MHz, considering that it's a massive 25% overclock already... The idea behind this machine was to get something that would run not only some Windows games (such as Arcanum and SimCity 3000), but also speed-sensitive DOS games (e.g. Ultima VII).

I don't think the RAM is to blame, I'm running 133 MHz CL3 RAM at 100 MHz CL3 which is very conservative. In fact, I could probably try to get it running at CL2 and see if its improves performance somewhat.

Reply 33 of 41, by PARKE

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I don't say that you -have to- but I gather that when you have the gear it is also fun to try and optimize it. I have learned a lot from for example this thread: AMD K6 3DMARK, aiming for stars.

Reply 34 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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Last week I had a problem getting my Shuttle HOT-597 board to POST.

Well, it turns out the stupid thing has a TYPO on the PCB: the position of JA26 for 66 and 100 MHz FSB is reversed! I noticed it only because it's the opposite of what it says in the user manual (the manual is correct, BTW).

I switched the jumper and now it works.

I will check if I can get better results with this board. It was recently recapped with solid polymer caps and should run great for years to come.

Reply 36 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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carlostex wrote:

Great to know you are using the HOT-597 board!!!

😎

Some more results...

Still can't get the K6-III+ to work reliably at 550 MHz. The highest it would go without BSoDing is 95x5.5 = 522 MHz, but it's actually a bit slower in DOS Quake than 100x5.

I also have a K6-2+ 500MHz which appears to work reliably at 600 MHz and 2.1V, but I haven't benchmarked it against K6-III+ at 500 MHz yet.

Reply 37 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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By the way, when I disable L1 + L2 CPU cache with setmul and leave the motherboard cache enabled, I get perfect speed in Ultima 7 (patched with u7dcp), which was one of my main goals for this whole project 😎

Reply 38 of 41, by Wolfus

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ShovelKnight wrote:

Still can't get the K6-III+ to work reliably at 550 MHz. The highest it would go without BSoDing is 95x5.5 = 522 MHz, but it's actually a bit slower in DOS Quake than 100x5.

Is it because setting FSB to 95MHz also underclocks RAM..?
Thanks for this thread - my SS7 rig (MVP3 PCPartner board, K6-2/333, Voodoo Velocity, Labway Yamaha ISA sound) is still disassembled so I am glad for any info 😉

Reply 39 of 41, by ShovelKnight

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Wolfus wrote:
ShovelKnight wrote:

Still can't get the K6-III+ to work reliably at 550 MHz. The highest it would go without BSoDing is 95x5.5 = 522 MHz, but it's actually a bit slower in DOS Quake than 100x5.

Is it because setting FSB to 95MHz also underclocks RAM..?
Thanks for this thread - my SS7 rig (MVP3 PCPartner board, K6-2/333, Voodoo Velocity, Labway Yamaha ISA sound) is still disassembled so I am glad for any info 😉

Yep, it underclocks RAM, and also AGP and PCI.

You're welcome, I really hope this thread is useful to somebody besides me!