VOGONS


First post, by melbar

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This is my fastest PC with the operating system Win 98.
Sure, there are guys with even faster and higher clocked Win98 PC's, conroe architecture or newer.
But this variant is more about a high flexible Win98 PC for DOS and Win98.

The specs:

  • Pentium 4 2800 (northwood core), clocked in W98: from 1160Mhz to 3000Mhz , clocked in DOS: from 1400Mhz to 2800Mhz
  • socket 478/462/754/939/940 cooler, Zalman CNPS 7000B-AlCu, fan control with FAN mate
  • QDI PlatiniX 2D (P6I845/P2D-A) , Intel 845 chipset, 478 socket, UltraATA 100, 6 PCI, Sound Connector (PC-PCI / SB-Link)
  • 2x 256Mb DDR-RAM PC333, so a total of 512 Mb ram.
  • Albatron TI4280P - Geforce 4 Ti 4200-8X, 128 Mb DDR ram.
  • PCI sound card - Labway Soundboard D66 ESS Solo-1 ES1938S , connected via PC-PCI (not successful with given drivers, and register change via PCISET tool)
  • MPU401: - Dreamblaster S2
  • PCI sound card - Creative Soundblaster Live (CT4830)
  • IDE to SD adapter with a 64Gb SD card inside.
  • LG DVD writer optical drive
  • 3.5" disk drive
  • Enermax EG351P-V , ATX , Total power: 330W
    (with recapped capacitors), also replaced the PSU fan with two new 80mm silent fans)
  • 2x 80mm case fan's - Xsilence Red silent - with modifed with resistors
  • Chieftec midi tower ATX case - black

Possible clock speeds via mainboard jumper:
FSB 66Mhz --> 1400Mhz
FSB 100Mhz --> 2100Mhz
FSB 133Mhz --> 2800Mhz

Additionally possible clock speeds under Win98 environment:
FSB 55Mhz --> 1160Mhz
FSB 143Mhz --> 3000Mhz

Higher FSB speeds i don't have checked. 133Mhz or 143Mhz are out of specification to the i845 chipset anyway. 3 Ghz is more than enough...

(Previously, i had installed a Levicom PSU. The Levicom has a stronger 5V rail, so i have replaced it with the Enermax. Pentium 4 do not need these high 5V rails, they are more recommended for the athlon counterparts.
Options: different VGA's are available. GF4-Ti is mostly the best matching.)

Last edited by melbar on 2022-05-23, 17:12. Edited 2 times in total.

#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 1 of 20, by TrashPanda

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That's a nice build you have there, QDI did make some super nice boards around the P3/P4 Era.

Just recently bought myself a Ceadar Mill P4 661 3.5ghz CPU to add to my test bench, its got a E6800 in it right now but I wanted a single core P4 for some benchmarking, its quite amazing to see how much of a power leap the Core Uarch was over Netburst.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 2 of 20, by melbar

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The socket 478 platform:

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#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 3 of 20, by melbar

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The chosen CPU:

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#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 4 of 20, by melbar

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This is the CPU cooler i have selected. An unsed Zalman with Al - Cu combination.
The pictures are taken before i had to cut the plastic on the sides.

After installing the heatsink onto the CPU, the next disappointment ..... 🙁
Very noisy, even at the lowest setting of the FAN mate control.

Then i saw that the fan was spinning unbalanced.
I have removed the fan and the next step will be a 120mm fan mounted onto the zalman.

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#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 5 of 20, by H3nrik V!

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Must be damaged somehow. Back in the day, IIRC those Zalman coolers were known as being very nice and quiet ..

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 6 of 20, by pentiumspeed

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H3nrik V! wrote on 2022-05-11, 20:36:

Must be damaged somehow. Back in the day, IIRC those Zalman coolers were known as being very nice and quiet ..

Agreed! Had this also and was nice. This was one of my mods to quiet the PC down, had to make a adjustable voltage regulator on a prototype board for fans.

Another is Alpha PAL8045 heatsink with fan's voltage regulated down, still have this heatsink, only issue is weight.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 7 of 20, by melbar

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Here now the same with my VGA card. The original heatsink was too loud.
From china i had bought a cooler replacement, but again is little noisy to my purpose.

At the end, i come to the same solution than my previous built and i am using a dual 80mm fan slot bracket solution.

(The figure with white background is for comparison from a google search, can't remember it had exactly this heatsink.)

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EDIT

Last edited by melbar on 2022-05-22, 12:34. Edited 2 times in total.

#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 8 of 20, by melbar

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The chosen sound cards.

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#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 9 of 20, by mockingbird

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How did you get your SOLO to work with SBLink and the Platinix? I have the Platinix SDRAM version and there's no option to set plug and play OS to yes in the BIOS which they say is a requirement...

I also tried using PCISET per the thread that describes the process.

Yet every time I load the ESS Solo file it shows as being set in TDMA mode or something the other, and it stays loaded as a TSR.

The Yamaha YMF724 works flawlessly though with PC/PCI and the modified SETUPDS.

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Reply 10 of 20, by melbar

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I don't understand your problem completely i think.

I have initialized the card with 'essolo.com' in DOS mode. Then it is showing:

DMA Mode is TDMA
Current Solo PCI IRQ: 3 PCI IO Base: 9000

Current Solo SBPro Game Settings:
SB IO=220h IRQ=5 DMA=1
MPU401 IO=330h
Game Port IO=201h

I have checked the sound with TES Arena in pure DOS.

  • FX - soundblaster /or SB16 compatible setting, music - soundblaster /or SB16 compatible setting --> is working for both settings
  • FX - soundblaster /or SB16 compatible setting, music - general midi /MPU401 setting --> is working for both settings

Note:
According to this thread, Stainlesscat has stated, that the ESS Solo-1 does not need/use the TSR program to work in real DOS mode.

ESS Solo-1 - pure PCI vs. SB-link

#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 11 of 20, by mockingbird

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melbar wrote on 2022-05-15, 09:00:

<snip>
...
DMA Mode is TDMA

So this means your card is not making use of SBLink!

Here's an experiment, while a game is playing sound and music, disconnect the SB-Link cable from the motherboard. Does anything cut off?

Also, run "MEM /c" in DOS. Is ESSOLO.COM loaded as a TSR?

I heard some people have gotten SB-Link to work with the Solo and older motherboards. I've not seen anyone being able to get it to work with newer models.

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Reply 12 of 20, by melbar

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It is interesting.

Setting in BIOS before:

PnP/PCI configurations > Manual > IRQ resources > all IRQ's set to PCI device, except IRQ 5 = Reserved.

Then the text i have written before...

DMA Mode is TDMA
Current Solo PCI IRQ: 3 PCI IO Base: 9000

Current Solo SBPro Game Settings:
SB IO=220h IRQ=5 DMA=1
MPU401 IO=330h
Game Port IO=201h

Then also a TSR is loaded.

Next, i have set IRQ's to PCI device. Then after initializing this will be shown:

DMA Mode is TDMA
Current Solo PCI IRQ: 7 PCI IO Base: 9000

Current Solo SBPro Game Settings:
SB IO=220h IRQ=7 DMA=1
MPU401 IO=330h
Game Port IO=201h

Then no TSR is loaded anymore.

I have checked both setting with playing music in TES arena. If i disconnect the cable it plays the music anyway.

Is this the proof the the ESS solo-1 is working DDMA ??? I don't know.

Would it be possible that the card itself can switch it either to the correct mode?

#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 13 of 20, by mockingbird

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melbar wrote on 2022-05-15, 14:09:

I have checked both setting with playing music in TES arena. If i disconnect the cable it plays the music anyway.

Is this the proof the the ESS solo-1 is working DDMA ??? I don't know.

Would it be possible that the card itself can switch it either to the correct mode?

Yes, it is working TDMA or DDMA, no, it won't switch dynamically.

I think you can get the ESS Solo to work in SB-Link mode on an older motherboard, like a BX motherboard, by using PCISET, see my post here.

I don't remember what cuts out, either the music or the sound, but I ran this test with my Yamaha YMF724 and something cut in and out as I disconnected and replaced the cable...

I had the same plan as you months ago, almost identical system, but with a Vortex2 instead of the SB Live (EAX was far inferior to A3D)... I ended up going with a YMF724 and a Chill and Phill adapter out the game port of the YMF724 with an E-Wave (ES692 Wavetable daughterboard)...

Yes, it would be nice if someone could figure out how to get ESSOLO.COM working with SB-Link, because there's also ADPCM support with the Solo and an internal wavetable header... The looping back of the audio with the Chill and Phil makes things a little noisy when nothing is playing.

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Reply 14 of 20, by melbar

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OK, thanks for the info.

Too bad that it's not working out of the box. Then i have to go with DDMA.

These modifications within the registers seem to me a little complicated. I guess it is the same problem like yours with the i845 platform.

#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 15 of 20, by Stainlesscat

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Hi there folks, i believe to get the solo-1 working on higher chipsets with sb-link. you'll need to use kamerat's pciset initialization script he has here on vogons. once you set the bits for serial interrupts policy (S-IRQ) and set the dma mode to PC-PCI.
The card should work in dos as normal although you may need to reserve some resources in the bios in order to get the sound blaster emulation to work properly.

if you can't seem to free any interrupts for Serial IRQ, feel free to use ESS's TSR program to emulate an edge level triggered IRQ but your success may vary in some motherboard chipsets.

It's worth noting that once you use that custom script to intialize the card, you don't need to use ESS's dos driver at all. if you do use it over the script, it will just reinitialize with it's own settings.

Reply 16 of 20, by melbar

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Here the inside pictures, before i have removed the PC-PCI cable.

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#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 17 of 20, by melbar

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Stainlesscat wrote on 2022-05-18, 13:56:

once you set the bits for serial interrupts policy (S-IRQ) and set the dma mode to PC-PCI.

I have tested it now half a day. Find out the settings, which to change according to the values from kamerat`s script.

At the end, i had no success, when i try to enable the ISA serial IRQ + PC-PCI settings.
Doesn't matter if T-DMA or PC-PCI is selected.
But when you enable ISA serial IRQ , you have called it "serial interrupts policy (S-IRQ) " , then the game it's crushing with a black screen.

For now i'm removing the PC-PCI cable, because i can't see here a successful real T-DMA via PC-PCI cable.

#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]

Reply 18 of 20, by Jura Tastatura

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Just wanted to say I had various results with various drivers regarding switching to tdma or ddma mode. It's probably best not to use generic drivers but search for the manufacturer's drivers for the specific card. It wasn't hard to find for mine since it's Terratec version of Solo-1, but did lost some time until figured it out.

Reply 19 of 20, by melbar

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The PSU was changed previously from Levicom to Enermax.

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#1 K6-2/500 [VIA MVP3]
#2 Athlon1200 [VIA KT133]
#3 Celeron1000A [i815EP]
#4 P4-2800 [i845]