VOGONS


First post, by OSkar000

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

About twenty... five? six? seven... ? Errhhh.. many years ago I learned that there was a CPU called Pentium Pro and that it was very very fast. Since the I have been wanting one and a while ago I got a great offer that I couldn't resist.

IMG20220713111204.jpg
Filename
IMG20220713111204.jpg
File size
1.04 MiB
Views
2167 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

A beige/white and very anynomus desktop case that not too many would think contains any interesting hardware.

IMG20220713111157.jpg
Filename
IMG20220713111157.jpg
File size
832.25 KiB
Views
2167 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Until you see the little sticker with the Pentium Pro logotype.

Hardware
Cpu: Pentium Pro 200, 256k cache (upgradable to dual Pentium Pro with an extra cpu-card)
Ram: 80mb edo, 168-pin dimm. Seems to be ECC memory.
Graphics card: Matrox Mystique 220 (upgrade)
Motherboard: Dell with Intel 440FX chipset.
Network: 3com 100mbit, onboard
Sound: SoundBlaster 16 Vibra, onboard

IMG20220705184917.jpg
Filename
IMG20220705184917.jpg
File size
1.2 MiB
Views
2167 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

It came to me with a very bad sounding Quantum Fireball at about 2gb so that was the first thing to replace. A serious workstation from this period should of course have a SCSI harddrive so I found a suitable 9.1gb drive from Fujitsu. Not the fastest but good enough for this computer.

IMG20220713110540.jpg
Filename
IMG20220713110540.jpg
File size
1.46 MiB
Views
2167 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Another thing that got replaced as soon as I had tested the computer was the graphics card. It came with a S3 Trio64v+ and that wasn't really enough for my needs. A Matrox Mystique 220 was the first card I found that I thought was suitable for this machine.

There are still a lot of things to do with this computer and lots of things to test and explore. And probably some more upgrades too... 😀

Reply 2 of 20, by OSkar000

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
bofh.fromhell wrote on 2022-07-23, 15:53:

That's a great find!
Got any more pics? =)

Sure 😀

Its not a very large case but it has plenty of room in it and it is really easy to work with.

IMG20220713110358.jpg
Filename
IMG20220713110358.jpg
File size
1.9 MiB
Views
2145 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
IMG20220713110447.jpg
Filename
IMG20220713110447.jpg
File size
1.85 MiB
Views
2145 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
IMG20220713110439.jpg
Filename
IMG20220713110439.jpg
File size
1.73 MiB
Views
2145 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
IMG20220713111503.jpg
Filename
IMG20220713111503.jpg
File size
1.07 MiB
Views
2145 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
IMG20220713110345.jpg
Filename
IMG20220713110345.jpg
File size
1.92 MiB
Views
2145 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 3 of 20, by buckeye

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Was it that clean when you got it or did you give it a "bath"? At any rate it looks great!

Asus P5N-E Intel Core 2 Duo 3.33ghz. 4GB DDR2 Geforce 470 1GB SB X-Fi Titanium 650W XP SP3
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 80GB SSD Asus V7700 GF2 64mb SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
MSI x570 Gaming Pro Carbon Ryzen 3700x 32GB DDR4 Zotac RTX 3070 8GB WD Black 1TB 850W

Reply 4 of 20, by Errius

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I have a very similar machine, a Dell Poweredge 2100. Mine doesn't have onboard sound though.

Matrox Millennium II, 180 MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM, and Sound Blaster AWE64.

ETA: Mine can't take a second CPU either.

Is this too much voodoo?

Reply 5 of 20, by OSkar000

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
buckeye wrote on 2022-07-25, 15:58:

Was it that clean when you got it or did you give it a "bath"? At any rate it looks great!

It was in good shape when I got it so I just removed the largest dust bunnies 😀

Errius wrote on 2022-07-25, 17:50:

I have a very similar machine, a Dell Poweredge 2100. Mine doesn't have onboard sound though.

Matrox Millennium II, 180 MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM, and Sound Blaster AWE64.

ETA: Mine can't take a second CPU either.

Finding the cpu card will be a challenge. I have still not even found the part number for it 🙁

I don't think it was a common option in this model. But if its shared with other Dell Pentium Pro machines it might be less impossible to find 😀

Reply 6 of 20, by Errius

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I also see that yours has USB, which is very cool. It must be one of the very first machines with USB. (USB 1.0 of course.)

I put a 82C861 card in mine.

https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/D/D … PTIPLEX-GX.html
https://www.cnet.com/tech/tech-industry/dell- … ne-of-desktops/

The new models also come with an option for a dual Pentium Pro processor-design, an option intended to let customers choose between a "mainstream desktop and powerful workstation," Dell said. The line also includes options such as 8X CD-ROM drives.

Is this too much voodoo?

Reply 7 of 20, by OSkar000

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

The combination of Pentium Pro and USB isnt something that I was expecting to see.... and I don't really know what to use it for. It seems to be disabled in the bios by default.

Its about time to do some upgrades now, starting with more memory.

This machine uses EDO dimms, ECC but I have not figured out if they should be buffered or not... or if both works. Any ideas?

I also have to figure out why the sound output is prettt bad. Lots of noise and even more when I move the mouse...

Reply 8 of 20, by Errius

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Oh yes, onboard sound in those days was horrible. Have you connected the CD audio cable to the motherboard? I remember that made it much worse.

Are you planning to put Windows NT on?

I have a single KMM372F1600BK-6 module in my machine.

ETA: I assume yours came with two 32 MB modules and one 16 MB? Mine came with 320 MB total, two 128 MB and two 32 MB. I assume it originally came with 64 MB and a previous owner upgraded it by adding the two 128 MB sticks. I removed all but one of the 128 modules. (The other 128 MB module was a MT18LDT1672G-6X )

Last edited by Errius on 2022-08-01, 10:28. Edited 1 time in total.

Is this too much voodoo?

Reply 9 of 20, by kaputnik

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Oh, the legendary Pentium Pro 😁 Would definitely get one if I had more room in my retro corner.

Assuming the CPU expansion card goes in the brown slot next to the CPU? Is the card installed now some kind of dummy/terminator? Will try to remember keeping an eye out and alert you if I stumble upon something against any probability.

OSkar000 wrote on 2022-08-01, 07:29:
The combination of Pentium Pro and USB isnt something that I was expecting to see.... and I don't really know what to use it for […]
Show full quote

The combination of Pentium Pro and USB isnt something that I was expecting to see.... and I don't really know what to use it for. It seems to be disabled in the bios by default.

Its about time to do some upgrades now, starting with more memory.

This machine uses EDO dimms, ECC but I have not figured out if they should be buffered or not... or if both works. Any ideas?

I also have to figure out why the sound output is prettt bad. Lots of noise and even more when I move the mouse...

Actually, USB support came already with the 430HX chipset IIRC. Never seen an S7 board with USB ports/headers installed from factory though. On the Gigabyte GA586HX in my P233MMX machine, only the pin header was missing, everything else was there. Soldered in a pin header, put together an expansion card bracket with ports, and enabled USB in BIOS. It's USB 1.0, so the usage is basically limited to a slim selection of low bandwidth stuff like keyboards, mice, etc, but it works perfectly with the few peripherals that supports it. Got an A-Trend ATC2000 430 HX board aswell, which also only seems to miss the header.

Must have been a very late decision to omit USB support. No idea why they did. Maybe they just thought USB would be some kind of short lived thing no one would care much for?

You might be able to find out which memory types are supported from the chipset/northbridge datasheet.

Assuming that you won't let DOS near a Ppro machine, I'd simply disable the onboard Vibra16, and stick a PCI sound card in it. There are a few that works with NT 3.51 too, if that's what you're planning to install.

Reply 10 of 20, by Errius

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Did USB peripherals exist in 1996? When was the first USB compatible mouse released? (Microsoft only released a USB Intellimouse in 1999)

It seems to have been Apple with the iMac in 1998 that made USB into a big deal.

(I remember it was a couple of years before I had anything to plug into the USB ports of my 1998 PC.)

Is this too much voodoo?

Reply 11 of 20, by OSkar000

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
IMG20220801125441.jpg
Filename
IMG20220801125441.jpg
File size
1.02 MiB
Views
1866 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

This is the memory that were installed when I got it.

The two ones on the left seems to be ECC unbuffered so thats probably what I should try to find.

Reply 12 of 20, by Errius

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Here's the user's guide and service manual

https://ia803404.us.archive.org/9/items/manua … 992/2494992.pdf
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/36727/Dell- … ?page=21#manual

It makes no mention of buffered/registered memory, so you can assume it uses unbuffered/unregistered. This is another difference between our machines then.

Is this too much voodoo?

Reply 13 of 20, by OSkar000

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Errius wrote on 2022-08-01, 14:27:
Here's the user's guide and service manual […]
Show full quote

Here's the user's guide and service manual

https://ia803404.us.archive.org/9/items/manua … 992/2494992.pdf
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/36727/Dell- … ?page=21#manual

It makes no mention of buffered/registered memory, so you can assume it uses unbuffered/unregistered. This is another difference between our machines then.

I noticed the same things when I read the service manual earlier.

Most (all?) 64 and 128mb memory modules seems to be buffered so I wounder if it works with both types.

Finding the part number for the cpu upgrade card is another thing that I have tried without any luck.

Reply 14 of 20, by OSkar000

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
kaputnik wrote on 2022-08-01, 08:58:
Oh, the legendary Pentium Pro :D Would definitely get one if I had more room in my retro corner. […]
Show full quote

Oh, the legendary Pentium Pro 😁 Would definitely get one if I had more room in my retro corner.

Assuming the CPU expansion card goes in the brown slot next to the CPU? Is the card installed now some kind of dummy/terminator? Will try to remember keeping an eye out and alert you if I stumble upon something against any probability.

OSkar000 wrote on 2022-08-01, 07:29:
The combination of Pentium Pro and USB isnt something that I was expecting to see.... and I don't really know what to use it for […]
Show full quote

The combination of Pentium Pro and USB isnt something that I was expecting to see.... and I don't really know what to use it for. It seems to be disabled in the bios by default.

Its about time to do some upgrades now, starting with more memory.

This machine uses EDO dimms, ECC but I have not figured out if they should be buffered or not... or if both works. Any ideas?

I also have to figure out why the sound output is prettt bad. Lots of noise and even more when I move the mouse...

Actually, USB support came already with the 430HX chipset IIRC. Never seen an S7 board with USB ports/headers installed from factory though. On the Gigabyte GA586HX in my P233MMX machine, only the pin header was missing, everything else was there. Soldered in a pin header, put together an expansion card bracket with ports, and enabled USB in BIOS. It's USB 1.0, so the usage is basically limited to a slim selection of low bandwidth stuff like keyboards, mice, etc, but it works perfectly with the few peripherals that supports it. Got an A-Trend ATC2000 430 HX board aswell, which also only seems to miss the header.

Must have been a very late decision to omit USB support. No idea why they did. Maybe they just thought USB would be some kind of short lived thing no one would care much for?

You might be able to find out which memory types are supported from the chipset/northbridge datasheet.

Assuming that you won't let DOS near a Ppro machine, I'd simply disable the onboard Vibra16, and stick a PCI sound card in it. There are a few that works with NT 3.51 too, if that's what you're planning to install.

Thats correct, its occupied with a dummy card when its not in use. The computer will not work without that card so don't loose it.

I will try to find some information about the memory compability with Intel 440FX. But I assume that there might be differenses within the bios too about what memory can be used. I tried some non-ECC modules and they don't work at all.

Dont worry about Dos, its running Windows NT 3.51 and will keep doing that. But I might add an IDE drive at some point just to try out some games on it... With a Voodoo 2 😉

Reply 16 of 20, by OSkar000

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
IMG20220813130349.jpg
Filename
IMG20220813130349.jpg
File size
1.01 MiB
Views
1536 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

It is time for a little update on this project. Windows NT 3.51 seems to run great on it and I have tried out some more or less relevant software.

Office 97, runs and installs without problems
Winamp, didn't like the installation but a copy of a installation runs as expected
Autocad LT 95, no problems
PaintShopPro 4, does not install
PaintShopPro 3, runs ok!
Windows Commander 5 (?), no problems

Unreal Tournament, a bit slow and no full screen

IMG20220803142452.jpg
Filename
IMG20220803142452.jpg
File size
659.71 KiB
Views
1536 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

I'm still looking for some memory that works in this machine but 80mb seems to be enough for most of my needs at the moment.

Reply 17 of 20, by foey

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I had no idea Unreal worked on NT3.51!

Great, well-built machines!

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**

Reply 19 of 20, by Pino

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

you guys are making me feel guilty, got this one this week and for some reason I don't love it

It's an IBM Intellistation Z PRO
Dual socket 8 MB
1 Pentium Pro 200Mhz 512KB cache installed
Intergraph Intense 3d 2200 MSMT440 Video card
5.1GB SCSI drive
192MB of EDO RAM
IBM Network card
Onboard Crystal CX4237 sound chip

I installed Win98 just to verify everything is working, but I guess I need to go Windows NT or Windows 2000 to have proper support for the video card.

Attachments