first post from a long time lurker here.
About 2 1/2 year ago my buddy and I started building a few retro systems. Whenever we had questions, Google would usually send us straight to Vogons. This forum is so full of useful information. You're doing incredible work here and have already helped us a lot.
We don't really care about period accuracy. Performance and reliability are more important for us. As long as it's 100% compatible, we're fine with combining old and new hardware. For example we use flash (either SSD or CF) on our builds. Also we would never use a period accurate PSU. That's total madness.
If the build has ISA slots, we use Enermax EG365AX or other sizes of the series. They are reliable, safe, quiet and pretty efficent for a PSU that still has -5V. We both snatched up a few of them cheaply and still have spare ones, in case one might fail.
Flexibility is also an issue, because we both are limited on space. He less than I am. So owning 20 builds is out of question.
We both have a Super Socket 7 "Time Machine". We even got the DFI K6XV3+/66 for a very reasonable price (less than 50 bucks). Not because Phil often showcases it on Youtube, but because it's (afaik) the only board with UDMA66 and three ISA slots. More sound cards! We don't need to overclock to 700MHz, since we have multiple builds.
We didn't go for Voodoo3 3000 like Phil, but went for GeForce2 MX400 + Voodoo2 SLI instead for even more flexibility. I currently only have one V2. Can't find a sister for a reasonable price. So I'll probably just sell it and get two Diamond ones instead. My buddy still has his SLI setup from back in the day.
He's also a bit ahead with ISA sound cards, because he earns much more than I do and is often impatient. But they will come with time. For now I have a SB 32 PnP plus a Vibra with genuine OPL3 chip, which is not bad at all.
My buddy is currently working on a Voodoo1 build. I don't have space for that. The five (?) games that benefit from a V1 seem unimpressive.
The next build I'm working on, is the "Time Machine PLUS". A flexible 486 build that lets you travel further back in time than the common SS7 build. Right to the earliest DOS days. I did consider opening my own thread, but this thread has answered many of my questions. So I just resurrect it.
jesolo wrote on 2015-04-07, 18:55:
After my last post, I acquired an AMD 5x86-133 CPU and tested it on my Asus PVI-486SP3 motherboard.
With the motherboard's jumpers set in write back mode for the CPU, the turbo switch does work but, the slow down in CPU speed is negligible (so much that it still out performs a 486 DX4-100).
5u3 wrote on 2015-02-15, 23:51:
I think the main reason why newer 486 boards rely on waitstates instead of actually reducing the clock speed when turbo is off is because of the VLB/PCI buses, which won't work properly at low clocks (VLB: <16 MHz, PCI: <20 MHz).
On old ISA-only boards, a real 8 MHz deturbo was common, after VLB/PCI was introduced, this feature was only found on certain brand-name OEM machines.
At this point you've completely ruined my plans. DX4-120, Trio64, PCI SCSI controller. All pointless now. But better now then when the build is complete. So far I got everything extremely cheap and can easily sell it for more than what I paid.
HighTreason wrote on 2015-02-15, 01:28:
I have a 486 who's deturbo can drag the CPU down to about 1.89MHz...
This is extremely interesting. What board/chipset are you using?
In general I would be thankful for hints to boards which would be suitable for my build. I want to be able to downclock it to IBM PC or 286 level with the fastest processor that can still handle it.
I could just use a 386, but I want a 486 so I can use the sound cards in that system for more modern games without having to swap them to my SS7.
jesolo wrote on 2015-02-15, 18:50:
That is true but, can sometimes become a cumbersome process since it requires a user to either open the case to change jumper settings and/or access the BIOS.
j^aws wrote on 2015-02-15, 19:05:
Yes, definitely cumbersome with changing jumpers. However, I have plans to build an external jumper switch-box for all controllable jumpers (audio/ video/ motherboard) when everything is finalised, hopefully. Otherwise, I personally wouldn't bother to open the case to change jumpers.
I had exactly the same idea. But I want it as a DIP switch on the front. And only for the turbo settings.
I did wonder if there is a plug and play solution. But guess there isn't. So it's DIY time.
Did you finish it? I'm curious and would like to see the result.