VOGONS


First post, by coppercitymt

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Picked up a 200Mhz Pentium Pro IBM system on eBay for 69 bucks. Good price for a rare system. It only has one CPU but can take two.
200 Mhz 128MB RAM 2.5gb CD-Rom S3 Trio64V+ graphics card

I know Win 9x don't use two cpu's, so I was thinking a nice singe cpu windows 95 box but the P pro don't have MMX, so maybe a DOS only system?

I don't anything about running games under NT 4.0, I know the OS will use dual CPU, will the games that run on NT use the dual CPU as well?

Reply 1 of 16, by ratfink

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very few games from that era will use dual cpus - possibly only quake 3, there was a recentish thread about this, and also one on nt gaming.

Windows NT 4.0

SMP enabled games (pre-2005)

Last edited by ratfink on 2012-02-25, 15:16. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 16, by AdamP

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As far as I know, the main differences between the Pentium Pro and the Pentium II are:

  • No MMX
  • Full speed L2 cache
  • Half as much L1 cache

So other than games, you could use it as you would a Pentium II system.

Back in the day, I think Pentium Pros were intended for servers.

Also as far as I know, games have to be written to take advantage of multiple CPUs, but I could be wrong.

Reply 3 of 16, by swaaye

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Yes, PPRO was Intel's first serious workstation and server CPU.You can certainly see this in the robust chipsets Intel built for it. However, it is also a powerful gaming chip in most cases. Its main weakness is 8/16bit legacy code, because the CPU designers targeted primarily 32bit software. Pentium II addressed this issue, added MMX and more L1.

A few games, like Build engine stuff, show the 8/16 bit slowdown. Win9x isn't really an issue though. Usually the slowdown makes it equal to PMMX at the same clock speed.

Early P6 chipsets and BIOSs have quirks with PCI performance that need attention for DOS gaming. FASTVID addresses this for video cards. If you don't use FASTVID or similar to set up the chipset properly, the video card has limited bus bandwidth. Windows video drivers often take care if this though. Newer BIOSs sometimes do too for DOS (afaik).

Reply 4 of 16, by lolo799

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Put a second PPro and install BeOS, it will happily use the two processors.
Change your graphic card for a Voodoo 3 if you want hardware accelerated openGL (using unofficial/leaked drivers) for the GLTeapot, Quake 1, 2 and 3.

Commercial games available are Civilzation:Call To Power, Corum3, official ports of Doom, Quake 1&2, Abuse, Elasto Mania and probably some other I forgot...
You can find emulators for 8/16 bits systems, there's also an old ScummVM port.
Games and softwares can be found at http://www.bebits.com/

Here's a compatibility list for x86 hardware:
http://www.tycomsystems.com/beos/x86_ready.html

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics

Reply 10 of 16, by coppercitymt

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Thanks everyone for your input, I think I will go with windows 95 and use it as a DOS and early windows gaming system. Since its the same as a normal PMMX. If I have any problems with I will check out that fast vid.

swaaye wrote:

Yes, PPRO was Intel's first serious workstation and server CPU.You can certainly see this in the robust chipsets Intel built for it. However, it is also a powerful gaming chip in most cases. Its main weakness is 8/16bit legacy code, because the CPU designers targeted primarily 32bit software. Pentium II addressed this issue, added MMX and more L1.

A few games, like Build engine stuff, show the 8/16 bit slowdown. Win9x isn't really an issue though. Usually the slowdown makes it equal to PMMX at the same clock speed.

Early P6 chipsets and BIOSs have quirks with PCI performance that need attention for DOS gaming. FASTVID addresses this for video cards. If you don't use FASTVID or similar to set up the chipset properly, the video card has limited bus bandwidth. Windows video drivers often take care if this though. Newer BIOSs sometimes do too for DOS (afaik).

Reply 11 of 16, by swaaye

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You should definitely look into FastVid if you plan on playing SVGA DOS games. FastVid can increase PCI bus bandwidth for the video card by several times and this definitely has an impact with some more demanding games.

I'm a bit of a PPro fan myself. I have an Intel VS440FX motherboard running a Pentium Pro 200 MHz (1MB L2 variety) at 233 MHz. This system can run Unreal rather well when combined with a 3dfx card of any sort. 😀

Reply 12 of 16, by sgt76

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Ppro FTW! I have one myself and it blows a 233 MMX away. I installed NT 4.0 when I first got it, but there's not many games for that o/s...though AoE plays nicely . Then I installed Win95, but too many features like USB and networking are missing. Then Win2000 just for lols. Finally Win 98SE, which I find strikes a nice balance, enough modern features + ability to play old 90s games. I also installed a Diamind MOnster 3d, which is a pretty underpowered card- very slow performance in Quake 2, nice for NFS2. But it's period correct from 1996 so there it sits.

Reply 13 of 16, by jaqie

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I'm another lover of the ppro. I have been looking for a single cpu SDRAM based mobo for one in working order for cheap for ages, I may find one someday... my luck lately seems to be on the upswing!

I know most of them took EDO DIMMs, but I personally have messed with one that took SDRAM, so I know they are out there...somewhere.

Reply 14 of 16, by swaaye

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Could you be thinking of EDO DIMMs? Some 440FX boards use them.

440FX does not support SDRAM though, so you'd need 440LX in that case. There are Socket 8 Slotkets for 440LX Slot 1 boards but they seem uncommon.