VOGONS


First post, by johnnynismo

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Howdy folks,

Today I ordered a Portwell PEB-7702G2A from eBay. It is a Pentium 4 motherboard with 4 PCI slots and 3 ISA slots. Here's a spec sheet:http://www.portwell.com/pdf/embedded/PEB-7702G2A.pdf
This board has easy-to-find Windows 98SE chipset and component drivers as Intel still hosts them on their site. I'm hoping it will shine as a vintage gaming machine. I got two Awe64 value sound cards for $4. The P4 CPU came out of a computer getting scrapped at work. Win98SE is...particularly cheap...if Microsoft still cares. The motherboard will luckily turn out to be a minor investment in this hobby of ours.

Have any of you tried one of these 'industrial' boards and what has your experience been? If none of you have then I'll gladly give it a try and write a review. The price of that board is a fraction of other similar boards that go for $300 to $500 so hopefully it turns out well. The seller claims to have around 30 in stock!

eBay link! http://www.ebay.com/itm/191077069858?_trksid= … K%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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Last edited by johnnynismo on 2015-10-06, 14:46. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3 of 31, by dr.zeissler

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I should have a P4 with ISA-Slots too.

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Reply 4 of 31, by TELVM

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Cap wise it looks great, all polys on the CPU VRM and on some other spots, and quality Chemicon lytics (plus two blue caps to the right of the SB that I can't identify).

Let the air flow!

Reply 6 of 31, by nekurahoka

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Great price for the board though. Most of these 478 ISA boards are going for 2 to 3 times as much money. Plop a 3.06GHz in there, a directx 9 card in the AGP and a Voodoo in a pci slot and you can run a huge swath of games.

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Reply 7 of 31, by xjas

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Looks like a great board! Nice find. Impressed with the 3 full ISA slots - just about all the post-P2 stuff I've seen only has one!
Does it support hyperthreading & dual-channel RAM?

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Reply 9 of 31, by shamino

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TELVM wrote:

Cap wise it looks great, all polys on the CPU VRM and on some other spots, and quality Chemicon lytics (plus two blue caps to the right of the SB that I can't identify).

I think those are Sanyo OS-Cons. The ones that I've seen with a vinyl wrapper are that light purplish color.

Reply 10 of 31, by mockingbird

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TELVM wrote:

Cap wise it looks great, all polys on the CPU VRM and on some other spots, and quality Chemicon lytics (plus two blue caps to the right of the SB that I can't identify).

The brown caps are not good quality. Yes, they're Chemi-Con, but I'm almost certain they are KZG, which is a dud series.

At least the VRM high and low is all polymer.

Still, for that price, it's well worth replacing those 20 or so capacitors, considering that the Soyo P4I845PEISA sells for almost 1000 dollars.

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Reply 11 of 31, by avx

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I am puzzled why this board has IT(e)8888 PCI ISA bridge. The youtube videos below suggest that this works atleast with SB/GUS for digital sound (so presumably DMA works), the other P4 industrial mobos do not have this chip. So I'm kinda wondering, does it increase the compatibility somehow or what purpose does it serve.

The only concern I have is how easily it works - after all in the video below with IT8888 there was some pretty "hardcore" hackery before the ISA soundcard were found.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlYXbxQneG8
&
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxTBq0zCfoQ

Is this necessary or does this MB bios map the ISA for you and what options does the BIOS have... like can you say underclock the P4 .. and how much? Could you configure this board to run at <200 Mhz and only 64 MB RAM seen in DOS? (based on some mentions I saw that there could be compat issues in faster/more memory configs, though probably there's some workarounds if one can bother to dig)

Reply 12 of 31, by johnnynismo

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I'VE BEEN LAZY and also have been traveling for work. I'm planning on taking some pictures this weekend and testing compatibility with my AWE32, AWE64, Turtle Beach Montego 2, and a few PCI and AGP graphics cards.

Good find on that iTE IT8888 PCI to ISA bridge. I just took a leap of faith and bought this board because the chipsets had such good Windows 98 compatibility and easy-to-find drivers. This bridge should make things interesting!

Reply 13 of 31, by avx

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I found that some of the other industrial board have 2 small winbond chips. The bridges I've seen are w83628f/g and IT8888F/G. There maybe also some other (or relabeled) that's found in some Dell expansions with isa.

Reply 14 of 31, by PCBONEZ

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You know, I've always kept my eye open for P4 boards with ISA slots BECAUSE THEY ARE COOL.
Never did find one cheap enough for me to justify forking over the cash for my own use.
In hind-sight, considering the almost nil load of ISA parts in more modern gear, a P3 Tualatin board will get the job done just fine and they are WAY WAY cheaper.

FYI:
Such boards exist because in factories, refineries and industrial machines there are custom made proprietary ISA add-in cards that would require designing a PCI card (and the associated software/drivers) from scratch to replace -and to which- the company that created the original card may not even be around anymore. (Creating Copyright and Patent issues.) Such an endeavor could easily cost a company 10's of thousands of dollars and that it was a huge problem when ISA first went away. Spending a few $100 for a motherboard was a quick-fix and a stop-gap measure while they (the equipment users) waited for whatever industry (the equipment suppliers) to come out with upgrade parts that did not require ISA.

A few years ago I worked on some proprietary Pentium 1 boards that had custom proprietary interface circuitry built right on the board and to which no one ever made an add-in card to replace.
These were used in fuel transfer stations at refineries and such. They controlled all the pumps and valves and so forth which had controllers that required the custom interface.
Changing the motherboard would have required a custom add-in card, new software and (if using good sense) replacing all the pump and valve controllers to industry standard parts.
Replacing one of those motherboards was in the range of $5000-$6000 from the manufacturer (who only had refurbed boards BTW) so they were quite willing to pay me a bunch to fix them.

I still keep my eyes out for good deals on ISA-P4 boards, but not for me anymore. I would flip them to someone else.

Very nice that the one you found has mostly solid polymer caps.
I may get one - just cause I'm geek and they are COOL.
.

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Reply 15 of 31, by feipoa

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In response to one posts question - since it only has 2 memory slots, I think that implies it is single-channel only.

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Reply 16 of 31, by PCBONEZ

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feipoa wrote:

In response to one posts question - since it only has 2 memory slots, I think that implies it is single-channel only.

Those are SDRAM slots (not DDR) so you are probably right.
http://www.portwell.com/pdf/embedded/PEB-7702G2A.pdf

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Reply 17 of 31, by feipoa

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The spec sheet you posted says they are DDR. But regardless, I am pretty sure that all motherboards with dual channel SDRAM or dual channel DDR require 4 memory slots.

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Reply 18 of 31, by PCBONEZ

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feipoa wrote:

The spec sheet you posted says they are DDR. But regardless, I am pretty sure that all motherboards with dual channel SDRAM or dual channel DDR require 4 memory slots.

Yes my mistake.

The TPS for the i845E MCH clearly says it supports 1 channel so even if it had 4 slots it would still be single channel.
http://download.intel.com/design/chipsets/dat … ts/29074201.pdf
.

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