VOGONS


First post, by zapbuzz

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I have posted about it in the beginning but I didn't explain the whole adventure.
When it was released I wanted it.
In 2003 I had a pentium 233mhz socket 7 Triton v2 motherboard system with 32mb ram and windows xp ... it sucked with its 4 platter 32gb hard disk.
Seeing this VP6 online at the time about a year after its launch intrigued me because it was 2 cpu, and had a special chipset
namely the Via Apollo 133a chipset that managed memory more efficiently than Intel variety at the time (with a heatsink) and could run 2 Intel Celerons for the home budget conscious.
Everything of the day I could afford was completely Intel and it was refreshing to see something unique from another vendor.
Lots of vehicle enthusiasts remember cars that stood out and waited for them to stand the test of time to become affordable I guess this was my idea of refurbishing and building this Rig.
I have spent 2 years completing it and it wasn't easy. Although it could use both ECC and non ECC ram pc133 SDRAM is getting hard to buy that passes memory testing and budget wisdom. I finally got exactly the kind of memory to bring out the best of the Dual CPU setup including the chipset without overclocking. Overclocking is a blasphemy to me. 2GB of single chip sided low density pc133 non ECC ram that was marketed for the Via motherboards I chose for this (Germany)
I selected Pentium III Coppermine CPU's that run at 1 GHz that they were available as brand new old stock. (USA)
The Abit VP6 Motherboard, the most expensive part of the project, being recognized as a collectible, has had all its capacitors replaced. (AU)
I garnished the VP6 Motherboard and cpu combination with gold plated heatsinks (UK)
The ATX PC Tower I chose has no floppy drive bays. However it is brand new old stock (AU)
Motherboard disk drive options Being ATA100 IDE PATA 4 ports built in or up to 8 Hard Disks; 2 ports or 4 disks can be RAID striped.
Instead of using Motherboard HDD RAID for system storage I have striped 2 CF Cards for the soul purpose of just memory swapping for windows probably an ancestor to ready boost but eliminating all memory swapping to mechanical disk.
A 4 port SATA II PCI card will be for any multi TB serving of storage. (May fill it up with retro software ready for home distribution)
I have run windows 98se, Millennium, 2000, all 2k servers, xp and windows 7 x86. 2000 and XP run head to head in performance so I chose XP Pro retail and activated one of my keys for it. (Its that hardware quality labs tested hype, you know? 🤣)
Windows 7's experience index says 4.1 but I may try to improve that in future for fun. But not with Tulatin CPU's i can update the BIOS CPU Microcode but chipset will die prematurely many VP6's I traced died that way. I have applied my own patch to the BIOS with an updated RAID controller option ROM that should help RAID integrity but time will tell.
A WD400 40gb PATA disk is for the boot disk. I'd use SATA as bootdisk but I may switch to DOS at times so no. If SATA was built in then maybe.
The 1 gigabit LAN runs full speed without issues as update server did install good drivers (the bundled ones caused overheating) in XP pro.
This rig is for offline fun and productivity of mostly multimedia. Casual use including Data serving to other home PC's. I can load a live CD if I want to surf with it anytime as linux mint mate x86 loves the 2gb memory bank.
Gamecube ATI 128mb Gamebuster GPU in AGP 2.X mode helped this machine score 4.1 in windows 7 experience index (as 1 disk system.)
I decided not to use windows 7 on this ever again it reminded me of windows xp on a socket 7 pentium thrashing that I haven't got a Terabyte system disk most likely. I backed up all the Distro's I ran with Macrium Reflect CDROM made with windows 7 so i can just refresh into 9x or NT within about 30 minutes of restoring sets.
I do this behavior with all my rigs I don't like dual or multi booting. A single OS at a time and changed only for temporary projects and research.
I have photos to upload shortly. I have today successfully run it on my HDMI wide screen television with the ATI card DVI through an DVI to HDMI adapter. Its better than my 17" IBM CRT.
Roles this system would be best for would probably be home multimedia editing and storage server for me but only casual use.
Having the second pentium III is a little better than 1 but a multi core CPU would leave it in the dust.
I don't mind its the machine I wanted it does better than I had hoped and such an old age this is fun to use.
The most unusual aspect of this setup is the addition of a 1000 watt Power Supply. This is not deliberate but a temporary solution I intend to replace with something around 420 watts. Casual use should not cause problems for this. I always buy new with PSU's its the highest hazard area of computers so no compromises. I did once it was 2nd hand, it made a explosive sound, the house lights flickered.
Motherboard stopped working a year later I wasn't surprised.
***Anyhow*** I will clean up the cable mess when i got the PSU i'm looking for.
More photos then.

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Last edited by zapbuzz on 2020-06-05, 11:26. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 1 of 5, by zapbuzz

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At this time, I'd like to ask the Vogons community what would you like me to test on it.
It runs all versions of windows from from 95 to windows 7 x32 so perhaps if you just want to know if something works that your considering building something similar please comment about it and I will try it gladly for fun.
It doesn't have to be games it can be anything .... I might learn software I never thought existed (and others can learn too)

Reply 2 of 5, by slivercr

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Lovely motherboard—congratulations! I really like the GoldenOrbs, too.

How about some Quake3 for starters, with and without SMP. I think there are no Apollo Pro133A results in the quake3 smp-scaling thread, so having your results would be interesting!

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

Reply 4 of 5, by zapbuzz

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kalohimal wrote on 2020-06-05, 00:32:

Using CF card for Windows swap space is not a good idea. It will kill the CF card in no time.

Good point but considering 2gb ram with an OS that would probably use up 3/4 running a 3D game I'd probably be alright considering its just a casual thing and not a main rig.

Reply 5 of 5, by zapbuzz

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slivercr wrote on 2020-06-04, 22:07:

Lovely motherboard—congratulations! I really like the GoldenOrbs, too.

How about some Quake3 for starters, with and without SMP. I think there are no Apollo Pro133A results in the quake3 smp-scaling thread, so having your results would be interesting!

Thats worth the effort I will be delighted to 😀