First post, by foey
Cyrix Instead MK2 Build
Hey, I've taken a little break from the Retro scene, but over the past few months found myself wanting to get another build together. Some of you may of seen the first Cyrix build I did a little while back (6 years!) Cyrix Instead - Desktop Build Well that machine has changed quite a bit since, running an Intel Pentium 133mhz and various other bits.
I wanted to put together a dedicated DOS machine for my vast collection of DOS Games.
I bought a used AT Intel Pentium MMX 233mhz machine a while back. It's probably the least used machine of them all! I remember powering it up and it went back into the loft. Had a number of builds going on at the time. Well, I've decided to get it down and it's actually not in good shape. The front panel has yellowed quite badly and the bottom has Rust forming on it (Not from my ownership, my loft is watertight) Time for some work!
So I stripped the power down cleaned everything, it was filthy and started to tackle the rust!
All cleaned off!
Time for some Rust Converter. I used a product called Krust. You basically paint onto the affected areas and leave until dry
After it dried, more wirewheel treatmeant, I also removed the old Case feet this time.
One I was happy with the finish, I had a can of BMW Silver Meltalic paint in the garage I bought for a project which never happened which would suit. A couple of coats in freezing cold conditions, it actually came out quite well (Wet paint in the photo!)
On to rebuilding, Once everything was clean I started to piece it all back together. Some of you will notice this is the same model board as the previous build. Yes, but not the same board. This is another that came with this PC. I really like this AB-PX5 motherboard. Pretty much jumperless and support a vast range of processors.
New BIOS Battery installed.
The heart of the machine, Just something about this processor - apart from the very poor Quake performance, it was the first time Cyrix got close to Intel on the 6x86. Notice this is not the L version and gets quite hot. It uses a PR rating of 166mhz, but actually runs at 133mhz.
Heatsink and some cable management. 2x32mb (64mb) of SD100 Ram which will be running at 60mhz.
The Graphics Card, I managed to find a Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 2mb (Upgradable to 4mb) S3 Virge. Fantastic DOS support and I was interested in some of the wrappers and patches for the S3 Versions of Games. There's some great info on Vogons and managed to find most of the patches for Games that run on the card. I'll call it out now, it's terrible for 3D 😀
Onto the Sound Card. I believe this card came with the machine. It's period correct and actually not bad. It's an ESS AudioDrive with the ES1868F Chipset. It's a decent compatible Sound Blaster compatible Sound Card. I've also noticed in a number of games I am able to select the ESS AudioDrive selection. However, I have noticed that some of the sound effects are 8bit. It has a Wavetable header.
Time to tackle that front panel... I managed to rip everything out of our boiler cupboard and put together a little Retrobrite station. It's nice and warm in there which should help with the process. I used a 30w UV light and applied Truzone Cream Peroxide 12% 40 Volume all over the case and kept on coming back to it every 20-30 minutes to re-apply. This was the first time I had not used any Clingfilm.
The smaller bits, Front panel blanks, and the floppy disk drive front panel. I put together a little station in the Kitchen sink, much to my wife's surprise! Again throughout the day re-applying when I could before going dry. I left both for around 8 hours. I think probably 12-24 is the sweet spot, depending on the hardware.
So results, I'm happy! I tried to find some natural light. As I said, I could have probably left them for longer but worried about them drying up overnight and another day with all the mess... I decided I can always re-apply at a later stage. The transformation to what it was is great though. It's a shame I didn't get a shot of the floppy disc drive as that was the worse.
So back to rebuilding, The period-correct Sony 8x IDE drive is a perfect edition, in great shape. Then, of course, new Case badges!
Hard Drive is an IDE Quantum Fireball 2.1Gb, mounted in the top cage. Love the noise of these drives. There is a Intel Pro100 PCI NIC in there, but have ordered a 3COM ISA Network card so I can use mTCP.
Completing the installation of Windows 95 SR2
Cyrix 6x68 PR166+ @ 133mhz Cyrix MII PR300 @ 233mhz (66x3.5)
Abit PX5 Socket 7 430TX Motherboard
64mb SD-RAM (2x32mb)
2mb Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 S3 Virge
2.1 Quantum Fireball Hard Drive
ISA ESS AudioDrive, ES1868F Chipset with Dreamblaster S2 MIDI Wavetable Card
PCI Intel Pro100 Network Card (Running DOS Packet Driver, mTCP Tools)
1.44 Floppy Drive
Sony 8x CD-ROM Drive
200w AT Power Supply
Windows 95 SR2, MS Plus Pack, With IE4.0 Edited to boot directly into DOS.
Microsoft Office 95 Pro
Running the S3 patched version of Tomb Raider @ 512x400. It runs well in places and then tends to chug. I need to play switching it down to 320x240. These are fantastic cards for DOS. Very compatible and provides a fantastic image to my DELL 4:3 2007FPb Monitor.
I'll get some benchmarks up and try and notswitch to the Intel Pentium 233mhz MMX that I've got sitting on the shelf next to me! It's a great DOS box so far. Quake runs terrible thanks to the poor floating point (21fps @ default res) but I've got loads of machines to play that one accelerated.
Theres quite a few games running in SVGA, RAC Rally Championship (Not full screen, one down) Big Red Racing and Nascar all run very well and look great. I'm currently playing through Rise of the Triad.
Cyrix Instead Build, 6x86 166+ | 32mb SD | 4mb S3 Virge DX | Creative AWE64 | Win95
ATC-S PIII Tualatin Win9x Build :- ATC-S PIII Coppermine Win9x Build Log [WIP] **Photo Heavy**