VOGONS


Reply 21 of 28, by slivercr

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This thread has been quiet for a while, I've been busy with RL. All I will say is we're definitely living in strange times.


I've finally come across a Sound Blaster X-Fi! Its the SB0770, a PCI model used by OEMs (the one with the extra chip on the back).

I have no problem with OEM parts as long as they work properly, I may even put up with a few quirks if the price is right and I can work around said quirks—OEM motherboards with proprietary power connectors come to mind. Before pulling the trigger on this card I tried to read about it online, Phil has a write up in this very forum, and sure enough it had a quirk: the normal drivers downloaded from Creative will not work. In Phil's post there's mention of a driver CD from alienware, and following the link to his website I found... 2 broken links: one from alienware and one he was hosting with google drive.

What to do? Wayback Machine time! Luckily enough the Internet Archive had crawled the alienware servers and is hosting the file.

With the drivers in hand, I contacted the seller and we negotiated a price I was willing to pay. The next day I had it with me. Now, the card still has a couple more things that other people might consider quirks: it has no gameport, and it has no pins for Creative's front panel. I could not care less for these features and in fact was excited to find what it does offer: optical in and out already in the card (without extra brackets, I mean), and an HDAudio front panel header. As was the case with the previous find for this build, it was quite dirty on arrival, so I took my time to clean it and then tested it in an old Core2 Quad computer I have in the garage...

-Optical in and out lit up on power up, good sign,
-Card is recognized and outputs audio in linux, awesome,
-Card is recognized in WindowsXP and demands drivers,
-Try to install drivers downloaded from Creative site just to confirm they don't work, yeah they don't work,
-Install "alienware" drivers, card works perfectly,
-Try a few games with EAX, card works uber-perfectly

Very happy! But the card has a final quirk: it works perfectly on any motherboard I've tried it on, except the MS-7135 I'm using for this build. I've tried every PCI slot: it will boot up in the top two, out of which it will only be occasionally recognized in the middle one; the machine locks up if I put the card in the bottom PCI slot. I've tried disabling all onboard devices, no change in behavior. I've tried it with a selection of GPUs, no change in behavior. I've tried a bunch of PCI cards to check the motherboard's slots are working correctly: they are, all cards except the X-Fi work without a hitch.

I'm scratching my head.

I had forgotten about incompatibilities like these that were not at all uncommon back then. They seem so distant now, mostly because almost everything is already an onboard device. So, for the moment I have an Audigy2 providing sound in the build, which rests solely on the motherboard tray because the case is taken apart while I prepare everything for paint. My original paint-plan was to just do the front bezel, side panels, and top cover; all in black. Then I figured I should paint the front of the case, where I made the cut for the 120mm fan, because its somewhat visible through the front bezel. Then, I had an idea: what if I paint the whole skeleton black, and the outside of the case beige?

I'm also scratching my head with this one, haven't decided what to do.

Any suggestions welcome!

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 23 of 28, by chinny22

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austinham wrote on 2020-06-03, 14:16:
chinny22 wrote on 2020-06-02, 09:54:

You have actually done really well getting that 7950!
These are the last cards to support quad SLI in XP.

you sure about that? I had 2 295's in xp.

Missed this. Yep I'm sure.
XP drivers go as far as the Titan Z but you can't enable SLI
https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detai … t-in-windows-xp

Re the sound card problem. I don't know why but all Creative cards seem to have problems been detected ever since they went over to PCI. Even my PCIe card during 1 rebuild took 2,3 reinstall of windows until it went ohhh there it is! dumb ass.

You could try the Daniel K drivers. One thing I found out is surround sound only works over analog. Next rebuild I'm going to see if his drivers fix that so haven't tried them myself yet.
http://danielkawakami.blogspot.com/2017/01/sb … rt-pack-40.html

edit, great minds 😉

Reply 24 of 28, by slivercr

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Thanks for the suggestion guys!

Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be a driver issue: when I say the card is not recognized, or that it is occasionally recognized, I mean by the motherboard itself—not even linux sees it! I think it has to do more with the way the BIOS initializes the hardware, so I'm trying to find some voodoo (magic, not card 😁 ) to make it work.

What kind of voodoo? I don't know, stuff we did back in the day like figuring out the "correct" order in which to plug the cards into the system. Things like that.

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce

Reply 25 of 28, by austinham

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-06-22, 08:50:
Missed this. Yep I'm sure. XP drivers go as far as the Titan Z but you can't enable SLI https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answer […]
Show full quote
austinham wrote on 2020-06-03, 14:16:
chinny22 wrote on 2020-06-02, 09:54:

You have actually done really well getting that 7950!
These are the last cards to support quad SLI in XP.

you sure about that? I had 2 295's in xp.

Missed this. Yep I'm sure.
XP drivers go as far as the Titan Z but you can't enable SLI
https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detai … t-in-windows-xp

that link is only relevant to newer drivers on xp

Reply 26 of 28, by chinny22

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austinham wrote on 2020-06-22, 13:37:
chinny22 wrote on 2020-06-22, 08:50:
Missed this. Yep I'm sure. XP drivers go as far as the Titan Z but you can't enable SLI https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answer […]
Show full quote
austinham wrote on 2020-06-03, 14:16:

you sure about that? I had 2 295's in xp.

Missed this. Yep I'm sure.
XP drivers go as far as the Titan Z but you can't enable SLI
https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detai … t-in-windows-xp

that link is only relevant to newer drivers on xp

Know from experience SLI can't be enabled, even the earliest drivers had long dropped support within XP
However happy for you to prove me wrong.

Reply 27 of 28, by melbar

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slivercr wrote on 2020-06-08, 04:00:

Does anyone have/know of a system I can use for reference? I've been keeping Phil's FX-57 video in mind because I watched it recently, but the differences in CPU frequency, platform (faster RAM, Dual vs Single Channel, faster HyperTransport, ULI chipset, ...) and GPU frequencies (7900GTO@650:660 vs GX2(single)@500:600) give him a huge advantage: his score with a 7900GTO is ~10000, mine with the GX2 in single mode is ~8000, a 2000 point difference—that's the difference between the 7600 GT and the GX2 in single mode! I guess an easy way to compare is to overclock my system and see if I get scores in the same ballpark.

I have a system which comes close to yours. It has the same MS-7135 mainboard. Actually now, it's not 100% finished, but i've made some benchmarks and backup sessions.

These are the specs:

  • K8N Neo3 (MS-7135)
  • A64 3700+ (clawhammer)
  • Arctic Cooling
  • 2 GB PC-3200 DDR
  • VGA : not decided up to now.

I have run all benchmarks with 3DMARK 2001 SE only up to now.

3DMARK 2001 SE

AGP

  • 6600 GT - 12875

(For comparison, i have got with the same 6600 GT, up to 16839 point with a Socket 478 P4 system and AGP 8x.)

PCIe

  • 1st 7800 GT - 25015
  • 2nd 7800 GT - 24788
  • 1st 7900 GS - 26595
  • 2nd 7900 GS - 26819
  • 9800 GTeco - 29173
  • 9800 GTeco (OC to GT) - 30210

Reply 28 of 28, by slivercr

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melbar wrote on 2020-06-26, 18:51:
I have a system which comes close to yours. It has the same MS-7135 mainboard. Actually now, it's not 100% finished, but i've ma […]
Show full quote

I have a system which comes close to yours. It has the same MS-7135 mainboard. Actually now, it's not 100% finished, but i've made some benchmarks and backup sessions.

These are the specs:

  • K8N Neo3 (MS-7135)
  • A64 3700+ (clawhammer)
  • Arctic Cooling
  • 2 GB PC-3200 DDR
  • VGA : not decided up to now.

I have run all benchmarks with 3DMARK 2001 SE only up to now.

3DMARK 2001 SE

AGP

  • 6600 GT - 12875

(For comparison, i have got with the same 6600 GT, up to 16839 point with a Socket 478 P4 system and AGP 8x.)

PCIe

  • 1st 7800 GT - 25015
  • 2nd 7800 GT - 24788
  • 1st 7900 GS - 26595
  • 2nd 7900 GS - 26819
  • 9800 GTeco - 29173
  • 9800 GTeco (OC to GT) - 30210

Thanks! These are super useful. I was initially worried because I had confused the 7900 GTO with a 7900 GT—big mistake. I think the system does hold back the GX2 in SLI mode, so I'll have to crank up the resolution/AA to exploit it fully.

Thanks again!

Outrigger: an ongoing adventure with the OR840
QuForce FX 5800: turn your Quadro into a GeForce