VOGONS


Reply 20 of 41, by appiah4

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Well, the 20GB Seagate Hard Drive I tried also did not register, but on a whim I also tried a 20GB Samsung from 2003 and whaddyaknow..

AMD-K5-PR166-Hard-Drive-Detection.jpg

So before I know it I was installing MS-DOS 6.22 on a 512MB Primary partition.

AMD-K5-PR166-MS-DOS-Install.jpg

And it lives!

AMD-K5-PR133-First-Boot.jpg

I have absolutely no clue how to partition a 20GB drive for DOS-OS/2-Linux triple boot 😀 So I will start out like this:

Samsung 20GB
+- C: Primary FAT16
| [MS-DOS] 512MB
+- Extended
.+- D: Logical HPFS
.| [OS/2 Warp] 512MB
.+- E: Logical HPFS
.| [OS/2 Warp Storage] 2.0GB
.+- F: Logical FAT16
.| [MS-DOS Storage] 2.0GB
.+- G: Logical ext3
.| [Linux] 14.0GB
.+- H: Logical swap
.. [Linux Swap] 128MB

Last edited by appiah4 on 2020-02-08, 09:51. Edited 1 time in total.

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

Reply 21 of 41, by appiah4

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Right.. So where were we?

I gave the mII-233GP one more try on this motherboard, this time at 66MHzx3.0 but it seems to be totally dead (or the Zida 5STX does not properly support it despite the 1.30 BIOS explicitly stating it does - I am inclined to believe the former; RIP mII.). And since I don’t wat to use an Intel chip for this build I am stuck with the K5-PR166 until I find a K6 or 6x86 200/233.

So I may as well have fun with it no? Here are some system diagnostics and benchmarks:

AMD-K5-PR166-System-Info-01.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-System-Info-02.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-System-Info-03.jpg

AMD-K5-PR166-System-Info-04.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-System-Info-05.jpg

AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-01.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-02.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-03.jpg

AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-04.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-05.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-06.jpg

AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-07.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-08.jpg AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-09.jpg

AMD-K5-PR166-Benchmark-10.jpg

What can I say I am very impressed with this little chip that could; that is some great ALU performance there but I don’t see myself playing much Quake on this.. (Thankfully I have a second capture source build in the works with a Duron 1300 and a Voodoo 3.)

I also ended up removing the OPTi929/OPL3 (MAD16PRO) sound card and replacing it with a Genius ES1868 Audiodrive. For whatever reason the OPTi card had an annoying metallic distortion in its FM music playback particularly for the bass so I think it was a shitty filtering implementation.

I actually debated the merits of going with a CT2290 SB16 or CT4500 AWE64 but I want a functional wavetable header and bug-free MPU-401 so.. ESFM may not be authentic OPL3 but who gives a shit, to me it is near indistinguishable. I personally do not care (and think CrystalFM sounds better than OPL3 for example):

Genius-0207000-V2-0.jpg

Next step is doing some test captures from the S-Video out, then installing OS/2 Warp 4 - i.e. The real fun begins!

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

Reply 22 of 41, by appiah4

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Initial video capture testing is a total failure, I have inquired about other peoples' experiences with Rage AIW cards in another thread but apparently my card does not output Video Out through its A/V Out breakout in MS-DOS, it probably needs to be initialized through drivers in Windows? Or maybe my homemade AIW breakout cable is not working properly (though I triple checked the pinout..). Regardless, I will replace the ATI All In Wonder Pro with a Radeon 7000 PCI and see if I can get Video Out from that for the time being. In the long run, I will be waiting for a RageII+DVD PCI card with S-Video Out to arrive in the mail.

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

Reply 24 of 41, by appiah4

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amadeus777999 wrote on 2020-02-11, 14:40:

What modules can be connected to the wavetable header?

The K5 is fantastic cpu - really liked it when playing Doom.

I am currently using a Dreamblaster S2, and enjoying its MT32 emulation in Monkey Island which sounds surprisingly tolerable to be honest.

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

Reply 25 of 41, by appiah4

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No rest for the wicked - this build keeps evolving as I keep running into issues.

Unfortunately the two PCI cards I had that actually have an S-Video out are dead, and the third I bought got lost in the mail thanks to fantastic service by Hermes in Germany. That means I am stuck with ATI All-In-Wonder Pro for better or worse. Unfortunately, this card does not have TV-Out enabled in BIOS and requires Windows drivers to enable it, so for DOS it is useless for my endeavor. As a result, the nostalgic MS-DOS/OS2/Linux triple boot I had in mind for this build will have to change to Win95C/OS2/Linux - a triple boot setup I used for a brief period in 1998 before completely removing OS/2 and switching over to Win98/Linux dual boot.

As a result, the new directory structure will be:

Samsung 20GB
+- C: Primary FAT32
| [Win95] 512MB
+- Extended
.+- D: Logical HPFS
.| [OS/2] 512MB
.+- E: Logical HPFS
.| [OS/2 Storage] 2.0GB
.+- F: Logical FAT32
.| [Win95 Storage] 12.0GB
.+- G: Logical ext3
.| [Linux] 4.0GB
.+- H: Logical swap
.. [Linux Swap] 128MB

Boot Manager will probably be GRUB.

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

Reply 26 of 41, by ynari

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Personally I always use OS/2's Boot Manager for multiboot - this should be installed as the first partition.

If you're doing it in that order, following it by Primary FAT32 is fine with everything else logical. However, I'd allocate it in the order Boot Manager, FAT32 Win95, OS/2 Boot, Linux root partition, then the others in any order. Otherwise you may run into geometry issues/limits with Boot Manager.

There is a program out there that can patch an OS/2 install CD with all the latest patches. Although you appear to be using a non Connect version, so it's only really the main OS servicepack that's appropriate. You can also download Scitech Display Doctor for free, which will make working with graphics cards a lot easier. Uniaud may be a decent option for audio but I've found its support variable.

Reply 28 of 41, by appiah4

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-02-26, 15:19:

Why on earth are you trying to capture some garbage tier svideo from a PC instead of RGB (VGA)?

Because it's much cheaper to capture S-Video (in my case, free) than MS-DOS RGB. Besides, quality S-Video and low-res RGB are not all that different.

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

Reply 30 of 41, by appiah4

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-02-27, 12:48:

from a sharpness/clarity perspective they are very close, however RGB destroys Y/C in color fidelity

Yes, but I'll have to live with that 😀 Investing in a VGA capture setup is not an option for me.

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

Reply 31 of 41, by appiah4

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This little chip came in the mail the other day and yesterday it went into my Budget 1997 OS/2 build.

Cyrix-6x86-P150-GP-01.jpg Cyrix-6x86-P150-GP-02.jpg

I got some very noticable gains in DOS. Quake 320x200 went from 27,4fps to 34,1fps (+24,5%) and Doom went from 74,6fps to 85,4fps (+14,4%).

Obviously these are nowhere near the +40% you'd expect from the PR ratings, but to be honest it has more to do with Cyrix's inaccurate PR rating than AMD's, at least in DOS. It is possible that I will see more difference in Windows 9x - we will see.

Also, disabling the L1 cache using SETMUL seems to take the system down to about 486DX2-50 speeds or 486DX-25 speeds depending on which benchmark (NSSI, Norton SysInfo, etc.) you look at.

I haven't been able to run SpeedSys on this system, it hangs at "Reading MSRs" and requires a cold reboot for some reason. A search on VOGONS led me to this reply by Phil who suggests disabling some CPU related feature in the BIOS, which led me to this reply by unmei220 who suggests turning of Cyrix 6x86/mII CPU Detection option, which does not exist in my BIOS. Looking around on the internet I came across 6X86OPT 0.77 which apparently fixes the issue by CPUIDEN.EXE -unset which can actually turn off CPU ID for 6x86 processors, so I guess that will do the trick. If it works I will post screenshots of the previous suite of software I ran on the K5 on this processor as well, for comparison.

I will also mess around with Linear Burst options which seem to be fairly important for Cyrix 6x86 CPUs. Scratch that, no Linear Burst on 430TX.

All in all, it is becoming a well rounded 1997 Budget home workstation, I feel like. 😀

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

Reply 32 of 41, by appiah4

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Well, a few weeks of attempting to capture decent S-Video out from several PCI video cards (All-In-Wonder Pro, GeForce2 MX, Radeon 7000) have taught me this: S-Video is not for capturing computer graphics. So that plan is now down the drain, and this PC has now become a simple Windows 98SE / OS/2 Warp 4 Multi-Boot workstation project.

And that eased my graphics card selection quite a bit as well, because I can now feel at ease by going with this card instead of all the cards I went through earlier:

Matrox-Millennium-PCI.jpg

Matrox Millennium PCI, which would have been fairly affordable in 1997 when G100, Millennium II and Mystique were on the market and G200 was around the corner. This was a card I dreamt of owning in my teens, and if I actually ever bought a computer in 1997 I would have certainly gone with this. Matrox has top notch OS/2 drivers, which is a bonus (though I will most likely go with the SciTech SNAP video drivers instead regardless).

What followed was a fun install of OS/2 Warp 4 (I actually did it twice because I am an idiot) using custom Boot Disks with Daniela's updated IDE drivers.

OS2-Install-01.jpg

OS2-Install-02.jpg

OS2-Install-03.jpg

I will start tinkering with OS/2 Warp 4 tomorrow; first order of business will be installing FixPack M15 and Driver FixPack M3.

I will also re-benchmark this PC with the Matrox Millennium using a full suite of DOS benchmarks because I am really curious as to how the Matrox Millennium from 1995 compares with the ATI Rage Pro from 1997.

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

Reply 33 of 41, by appiah4

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Well, I have been messing around with this PC for quite some time, and managed to get the OS updated to FPM15 and kernel level to 4.5. And at the end of the day, I wiped it clean, and repurposed it into a 1997 Budget Gaming PC. Since the day I first booted OS/2 Warp 4, I had a feeling this would happen. And even though it was a tough decision and one that really upset me to take, in the end it feels right.

The problem with this PC was two-fold.

The first problem made itself apparent when I first booted OS/2 Warp 4; it was totally alien to me. You see, I was an OS/2 Warp 3 nut, and I loved it to bits. It was my main OS between 1995-1997, and I learned it inside out over time, sometimes through painful experience. However Warp 4 looked completely different, did not run similarly and after patching it up it became even more different. It turned out to be a novel experience that I did not care for or set out to create; the whole intention here was to re-create a familiar experience, which the system failed to do.

The second problem was about utility. Back in the days, I ran a BBS on OS/2 - being able to run Remote Access BBS in the background while gaming or doing school work in the foreground was amazing. Lotus SmartSuite at the time was amazing. Connecting to the internet with Warp 3's dial up tools and experiencing the web at 14.4Kbps with the integrated WebExplorer will never get old in memory. Unfortunately, there is very little Warp 4 has to offer today. Booting it up and poking around in it was fun up to a point, but got old rather fast.

So I have laid to rest my OS/2 Warp plans for now - I will install this OS in its Warp 3 iteration as part of my IBM PS/1 DX2-66 restoration project, which I think will make for a much more interesting piece of hardware/software combination.

For now, I am turning this project into something a bit different. Retaining the Budget 1997 theme, I will try to build the poor man's DOS/Win95 gaming PC from 1995, as I think so far it has the perfect bunch of hardware for the purpose: A budget 1997 motherboard (ZIDA 430TX), a budget 1997 CPU (Cyrix 6x86MX), a budget 1997 sound card (ESS ES1868). The only thing that does not fit in is the video card, so I have replaced the 1995 premium Matrox Millennium with a 1997 budget gaming video card: Rage Pro Turbo PCI.

ATI-Xpert-Work-PCI.jpg

I've run the system through its paces, and I must say it has been a weird experience to say the least. Here are some benchmark figures from my recent tests:

MS-DOS
Quake Demo1 320x200: 34.1 fps
Quake Demo3 320x200: 32.1 fps

Windows 98SE
WinQuake Demo1 320x200: 31.6fps
GLQuake Demo1 640x480: 24.7 fps

Quake2 Software Demo1 320x240: 16.3 fps
Quake2 OpenGL Demo1 640x480: 13.0 fps

It is also fairly fast in Build games and runs Dune Nukem 3D comfortably at 640x480 VESA2.0 modes.

I will post final photos of the build pretty soon. But before that I need to make one final decision, and get one final thing to fix.

Decision: Should I replace the Cyrix 6x86MX PR233 with something else? To be fair, the 6x86MX PR233 was never a budget choice in 1997 and if I wanted a budget CPU I should have gone with a PR200. However, the PR233 was what I had at hand, but it still doesn't cut it for Quake. Having experienced the Cyrix FPU first hand, I can clearly say I would never have gotten one for gaming in 1997 even though it would have been a no-brained for a workstation build. In hindsight, the K6-233 would have been my price/performance chip of choice between all high end chip options at the time, but alas I do not have that chip. I only have the K6-266.

AMD-K6-266-ADZ.jpg

It requires 2.1V, but my board can only go down to 2.2V. I think that should be safe to try, so I will try it to see how much it improves things. If that fails, I will fall back to a Pentium MMX 200.

Fix: LED speed indicator not currently working, I will set this according to my final CPU choice.

Once everything is in place and done I will have final photos of this build to share..

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

Reply 34 of 41, by canthearu

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When I got a Cyrix 6x86 and an S3 virge card, it was a nice fast computer, but sucked for gaming and 3d graphics. This was back in late 1998.

3 months later, early 1999, consumed by the need for a computer that could show some real potential, I put down the big ones to go with a new Celeron 333 system on an LX motherboard, in a new ATX case. I started off with an Intel i740 AGP adaptor ... pretty slow, but it showed real 3d graphics abilities.

So while I thought the 6x86 was a pretty awesome processor, my needs very quickly outgrew it's capabilities and the celeron I replaced it with was a just amazing.

Edit: I must have got the year wrong!

Reply 35 of 41, by appiah4

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Yes, the 6x86MX was a fantastic processor for my initial purpose: An OS/2 and MS-DOS multi-boot PC. However, I too have found it painfully limiting upon trying to get the PC to run any kind of demanding 3D game.

I have looked into CPU prices at 1997 Christmas and it appears the MMX-200 was a fantastic deal at the time.. It is also very easy to manipulate to particular computer speeds via SETMUL so I will probably be using this thing instead of the K6/266. I already have a K6-2/500 PC anyway.

Intel-Pentium-MMX-200-C.jpg

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

Reply 36 of 41, by appiah4

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I completed the upgrade to the MMX-200, and the first order of business was to see how much of a difference it actually made. Both the PR233 and MMX200 run at 200MHz, so this is a comparison of their per clock Quake performance in Software mode and OpenGL (with a 3D Rage Pro PCI):

3-D-Rage-Pro-Scaling-01.png

3-D-Rage-Pro-Scaling-03.png

3-D-Rage-Pro-Scaling-02.png

3-D-Rage-Pro-Scaling-04.png

In numeric terms, it made software mode Quake and Quake 2 quite fluid at up to 360x240 and 320x240 respectively. It also made GLQuake playable at 640x480 but Quake 2 in OpenGL is fairly stuttery with either CPU, mostly bottlenecked by the 3D Rage Pro. Regardless, the upgrade felt worth it.

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

Reply 37 of 41, by BSA Starfire

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Ah, Quake, I HATE that damn game, brown dull muddy look, uninspired level design and spawned all the mindless FPS games that we are afflicted with today with the advent of it's 3D poly graphics in the FPS world.
It's weird, I am a huge fan of Lovecraft's work and the "Cthulhu mythos"that apparently inspired this game, but when I have played it, I see nothing of his influence beyond the names of some of the protagonists, none of the depth or feel is there at all of what is there of Lovecraft is horribly misused and butchered beyond all recognition in my eyes.
I recall being really interested in the game before release and then playing was a total disappointment, I honestly think this game is a joyless experience and only holds it's place today as a constant "benchmark" title because the FPS counting was built into the game so it's a quick easy way to show a PC's "POWAR".
I also think it's a tragedy that some of the most useful CPU's of the era, the Cyrix 6x86 and to a lesser extent the IDT Winchip & RiSE MP6 were blacklisted because of this game on websites, magazines and forum's of the era as being "inferior" because of Quake FPS scores in their benchmarks, it's was highly tuned Intel Pentium code and works poorly on any other platform, what do you expect?
I really do think it's a shame, those reports and reviews relied on quake as a "benchmark" and because of that it tainted the other CPU designs, this followed in a lack of sales and the eventual collapse of many of them. I believe we lost out on a lot of innovation and progress when we lost the likes of Cyrix and RiSE and Quake had a large hand in that along with press of the time using it as the "example" frankly because it was easy. Didn't matter that the Cyrix was faster at pretty much everything else(even the Winchip C6 was better that Pentium in business stuff of the time, and was half power, heat and cost plus worked on old socket 5 boards), just Quake, Quake, Quake....
I'd have loved to see what Cyrix and RiSE had coming next, competition is the driving force of innovation, you only have to look here https://web.archive.org/web/19970607201650/ht … bsr_6x86_3.html to see that Cyrix had easily beaten Intel in performance for 99% of what anyone really used a PC for at the time, and that with vastly lesser resources, funding and manufacturing ability. Imagine what Cyrix could have done if they had kept going long enough to make it to the size of AMD back in 1999...
So yeah, screw Quake, it was designed for the Pentium plain and simple, I don't think it's a decent game or worth playing, so it'll never be an influence on the retro PC's I build and enjoy.

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 38 of 41, by Intel486dx33

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Having gone to school and worked in Silicon Valley in all my years I have only seen IBM OS2 used in one type of computer and it actually was not a personnel computer but a special machine.

I never saw IBM OS2 being sold on personal computers or being used by anyone.
Most people in Silicon Valley used MS-Windows, Macs, Linux or Unix computers.

So, Yes you are building a special computer because not many people have used an OS2 computer.

What is the best Hardware that is compatible with OS2 out of the box ?

Reply 39 of 41, by dr.zeissler

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I don't use OS/2 Bootmanager. I downgraded from WARP3 to 2.1. Sound works great in OS/2 but not for WinOS/2. I don't know why. Drivers are installed correctly.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/94839221@N05/41 … 57683681646872/

Machine-Specs:
Unisys CWD-486
486 DX2/66 (no cache)
32MB RAM
2x2GB CF-Cards (Partitiontable for the Primary CF in the picture)

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington