VOGONS


First post, by Almoststew1990

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I've been building retro PCs since about 2016 and in the last five years I've not really messed with a Socket 370 system. I've picked up a broken Dell with a S370 that got sold as parts at some point but other than that I've always, by coincidence, found myself buying Slot 1 or Socket 478 / 462 systems (or later)...

So I made a conscious effect to buy some Socket 370 parts and my current "thing" is small builds. I bought this new old stock M-ATX case for £25 I think delivered. (These cases seem to house all the "MEGA RETRO GAMING PC VINTAGE NEW" pre-built PCs we have in the UK where someone build a basic P4 PC with an MX card, SBL or CMI 8738, the not very legit Windows 98 ISO installed, and sells it for £120).

Anyway. It's really small. Using my smallest optical drive and an SFX power supply, I have zero room up top for cables really! The grey bit with text on it next to the PSU is the CD drive (jumper positions) not the case shelf which you can't see at all.

1vKXfh2h.jpg

M-ATX 370 boards with ISA are very expensive if you're not willing to wait for an actual auction to pop up. I got bored of waiting so I bought this ISA-less OEM board for £25. I also bought a 1GHz P3. I dug out of my sole Socket 370 cooler. It uses a quiet, modern fan. I put in my sole 133MHz SD-RAM stick (thankfully it's 512MB). The board has an i815 chipset and some kind of AC97 Analogue Devices audio chipset (which I won't be using).

yMJDxOMh.jpg

I built it in the case and thanks to all the drives and cables being stored up top, it looks pretty clean! The only annoyance is for some reason the CPU fan header has been put on a different continent to the CPU socket so it's a bit of an ungainly stretch for the fan cable. I've put the ubiquitous Sound Blaster Live SB0100 in there and my GeForce 3 ti 200, but it's well camouflaged in the picture!

s3S8ZIYh.jpg

All assembled it looks quite neat. Because it's an M-ATX build it can sit on my desk without being overbearing, and I can have an XP or Windows 7 PC under my desk. My monitor has VGA and DVI inputs and the speakers have two inputs. The PCs will share a wireless keyboard and the XP/7 PC will use the mouse that goes with the keyboard and the 98 PC uses a PS/2 mouse.

I think I'll be playing some late DOS games and Windows 98 games on this PC. However having used it, it doesn't feel as "special" as a slower Slot 1 PC with an ISA slot. It feels more like a (slow) Pentium 4 PC, as in, I might as well have just used that instead. Most of my games would run just fine on a say 650 Slot 1, or need 1.4GHz or something, 1GHz seems a strange speed!

lyQDR8Nh.jpg

Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | AMD 6800XT | 2Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
AMD DX2-80 | 16MB RAM | STB LIghtspeed 128 | AWE32 CT3910
I have a vacancy for a main Windows 98 PC

Reply 1 of 9, by ildonaldo

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Congrats to this build - very nice rig and the case is time correct.

I've got a very similar PIII build but with a Voodoo 5500 <LINK>

For my builds it's "no CF-disks, no Floppy emulators, no modern cases etc.", only the real and authentic stuff whenever possible/sensible/affordable.

Reply 2 of 9, by Joseph_Joestar

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Almoststew1990 wrote on 2021-04-01, 14:40:

I think I'll be playing some late DOS games and Windows 98 games on this PC. However having used it, it doesn't feel as "special" as a slower Slot 1 PC with an ISA slot.

There are Socket 370 motherboards with ISA slots as well. The Abit ZM6 is one.

Officially, it only supports Celerons up to 600 MHz. Unofficially, it can supposedly take Coppermine P3s as well. I haven't tested that yet, but the board is capable of operating at a FSB of 100 MHz per the official manual.

Build #1: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744 / SC-155
Build #2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
Build #3: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 3 of 9, by Tetrium

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Almoststew1990 wrote on 2021-04-01, 14:40:
I've been building retro PCs since about 2016 and in the last five years I've not really messed with a Socket 370 system. I've p […]
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I've been building retro PCs since about 2016 and in the last five years I've not really messed with a Socket 370 system. I've picked up a broken Dell with a S370 that got sold as parts at some point but other than that I've always, by coincidence, found myself buying Slot 1 or Socket 478 / 462 systems (or later)...

So I made a conscious effect to buy some Socket 370 parts and my current "thing" is small builds. I bought this new old stock M-ATX case for £25 I think delivered. (These cases seem to house all the "MEGA RETRO GAMING PC VINTAGE NEW" pre-built PCs we have in the UK where someone build a basic P4 PC with an MX card, SBL or CMI 8738, the not very legit Windows 98 ISO installed, and sells it for £120).

Anyway. It's really small. Using my smallest optical drive and an SFX power supply, I have zero room up top for cables really! The grey bit with text on it next to the PSU is the CD drive (jumper positions) not the case shelf which you can't see at all.

1vKXfh2h.jpg

M-ATX 370 boards with ISA are very expensive if you're not willing to wait for an actual auction to pop up. I got bored of waiting so I bought this ISA-less OEM board for £25. I also bought a 1GHz P3. I dug out of my sole Socket 370 cooler. It uses a quiet, modern fan. I put in my sole 133MHz SD-RAM stick (thankfully it's 512MB). The board has an i815 chipset and some kind of AC97 Analogue Devices audio chipset (which I won't be using).

yMJDxOMh.jpg

I built it in the case and thanks to all the drives and cables being stored up top, it looks pretty clean! The only annoyance is for some reason the CPU fan header has been put on a different continent to the CPU socket so it's a bit of an ungainly stretch for the fan cable. I've put the ubiquitous Sound Blaster Live SB0100 in there and my GeForce 3 ti 200, but it's well camouflaged in the picture!

s3S8ZIYh.jpg

All assembled it looks quite neat. Because it's an M-ATX build it can sit on my desk without being overbearing, and I can have an XP or Windows 7 PC under my desk. My monitor has VGA and DVI inputs and the speakers have two inputs. The PCs will share a wireless keyboard and the XP/7 PC will use the mouse that goes with the keyboard and the 98 PC uses a PS/2 mouse.

I think I'll be playing some late DOS games and Windows 98 games on this PC. However having used it, it doesn't feel as "special" as a slower Slot 1 PC with an ISA slot. It feels more like a (slow) Pentium 4 PC, as in, I might as well have just used that instead. Most of my games would run just fine on a say 650 Slot 1, or need 1.4GHz or something, 1GHz seems a strange speed!

lyQDR8Nh.jpg

But it's still a nice build =)

I can imagine it being a bit more bland compared to a Slot 1, if only because s370 is basically the first socket which (as a system) is fairly easy to build and quite reminiscent to more modern systems. Slot 1 and ISA are 2 things which are a lot more different from PCI and a socket which uses CPUs with pins like AMD is still manufacturing today.
And stuff before that had jumpers, nuff said! 😜
1 GHz is also quite a boring frequency, but historically also interesting. The 1GHz race was also arguably the end of all remaining 3rd party x86 desktop CPU manufacturing and design.

That is one tiny case indeed 🤣
Kinda odd for a manufacturer to manufacture a PC case with an external 5 1/4in drive bay which apparently can't even fit any external 5 1/4in external drive in it 😜
Btw, I'm not sure how a faster P4 would behave in such a tiny and less well ventilated case. Yes they are slower but I ended up liking the 1GHz P3 a lot. But I also agree with you that from a todays PoV, P4 perhaps makes more sense (faster and usually easier to work with due to better component compatibility except for a few things in certain situations like 3.3v AGP cards).

But perhaps it doesn't feel as special to you because you've already got quite a few systems already. Perhaps if you had build your P3 1GHz first and your other systems later, you would have looked at that system from a different perspective? Who knows?:P

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 4 of 9, by Almoststew1990

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Tetrium wrote on 2021-04-03, 13:19:

But it's still a nice build =)

I am on the hunt for a 478 M-ATX board with a SIS chipset - I had one before and it worked great. I bought a 2GHz Northwood a while back that is 50 watts or so, and the CPU (or perhaps more importantly the board VRMs?) don't actually get that hot on my ATX 478 board. But with a faster CPU I would "need" to put a faster, hotter GPU in too...

This build is growing on my however, especially as I've dropped a 440MX in there which is silent and most of the speed of the GF3 ti 200 as it's a 128bit version. I've had a day of trying to build an XP PC with various boards and potentially power supplies not working and the 1GHz PC has been sat on my desk working the entire time for music and viewing PDFs without issue, whilst also not taking up much space and being quiet.

Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | AMD 6800XT | 2Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
AMD DX2-80 | 16MB RAM | STB LIghtspeed 128 | AWE32 CT3910
I have a vacancy for a main Windows 98 PC

Reply 5 of 9, by Tetrium

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Almoststew1990 wrote on 2021-04-03, 17:18:
Tetrium wrote on 2021-04-03, 13:19:

But it's still a nice build =)

I am on the hunt for a 478 M-ATX board with a SIS chipset - I had one before and it worked great. I bought a 2GHz Northwood a while back that is 50 watts or so, and the CPU (or perhaps more importantly the board VRMs?) don't actually get that hot on my ATX 478 board. But with a faster CPU I would "need" to put a faster, hotter GPU in too...

This build is growing on my however, especially as I've dropped a 440MX in there which is silent and most of the speed of the GF3 ti 200 as it's a 128bit version. I've had a day of trying to build an XP PC with various boards and potentially power supplies not working and the 1GHz PC has been sat on my desk working the entire time for music and viewing PDFs without issue, whilst also not taking up much space and being quiet.

The s370 platform definitely grew on me as well ^^
I also spend considerable time trying to quit down my rigs without needing to spend a ton of money and as s370 CPUs have low power consumption and can fit much more adequate Athlon XP HSFs and (as you also have figured out) a passive, yet still powerful enough for it, graphics card is relatively easy to find.
I mean P3 should be able to run a beast of a sA CPU HSF with 7v for instance, or at least at significantly lower speed (thus making less noise).
I found the old stock copper-based AXP CPU HSFs (modded with slowed down fan) to be a cheap solution back then to suit my needs for it not making a ton of noise while providing adequate cooling and having 3 tabs lessening the risk of them breaking due to stress. It should work. The Arctic Cooling Copper Lite also should work, though unsure if it will work with s370 CPUs with IHS due to the mounting mechanism being harder to modify.

Only issue for me back then was finding a harddrive quit enough, but this is not much of a problem these days anymore now that I have plenty (laptop) harddrives with adapters in my stash.

It (the s370 platform) can be build in crappy cases and get away with 'mediocre' cooling. This is basically the hidden flexibility this platform has to offer. In a way it's a relatively easy no-bullshit platform 😜

I remember having used my 1GHz machine to watch downloaded videos and play music as well.

It's a nice little PC 😜

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 7 of 9, by Almoststew1990

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I completed the Unreal expansion Return to Na Pali on the PC and it handled it really well. I'm beginning to really like it and haven't turned on my XP PC for a day or two now! The wireless mouse (shares one usb receiver with the keyboard) has mysteriously started working so it's a fully "modern" feeling set up. I'm assuming I'll need the PS/2 mouse in DOS though.

I think I'll do the half life expansions on it too now I'm in the mood, and also try out Caesar 3 too.

Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | AMD 6800XT | 2Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
AMD DX2-80 | 16MB RAM | STB LIghtspeed 128 | AWE32 CT3910
I have a vacancy for a main Windows 98 PC