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PC100 M747 - The bane of my existence

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Reply 40 of 64, by Skyscraper

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Here are the results with a "Covington" "Celeron" 300

"Celeron" 300 "Covington" 4.5x66, PC Chips M729 BXCel ALi Aladdin Pro II, 256MB PC66 CL3. S3 Trio64V+ 2MB, Windows 98SE.
(CL2 did not work with the release BIOS)

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(DOS 7.1)

Quake: 32.5 FPS
Doom: 27.94 FPS (2134 gametics in 2673 realtics)
3dbench2: 67.0 FPS
PCPbench: 37.4 FPS

Write Combining on (MTRRLFBE)

Quake: 40.6 FPS
Doom: 31.26 FPS (2134 gametics in 2389 realtics)
3dbench2: 230.0 FPS
PCPbench: 49.1 FPS

SuperPi1M: 15M 26s

VCD NTSC 23.976: OK
VCD PAL: ~23.5 FPS
MPEG1 512*384 23.976 MP2: ~12 FPS
"MPEG1 DVD" NTSC 720*480 23.976 MP2: ~8 FPS

K6-2 300 3x100, PC Chips M577 VIA MVP3 1MB L2 Cache, 256 MB PC100 CL2-2-2. S3 Trio64V+ 2MB. Windows 98SE.
(I had already benched this config or it would have been 4.5x66 MHz and CL3)

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No optimization utilities (DOS 7.1)

Quake: 53.9 FPS
Doom: 79.29 FPS (2134 gametics in 942 realtics)
3dbench2: 237.8 FPS
PCPbench: 98.4 FPS

SuperPi1M: 10m 16s

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 41 of 64, by sgt76

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I recently acquired an M729 as part of a jumble sale. In Malaysia, these sort of cheapo AT boards were quite popular with system builders well into the ATX era as you could use up AT case and psu stockpiles or as a cheap upgrade. People used to do anything just to get the coveted Pentium II/ III badge in front of their case. Sigh....

I think it would be quite interesting to build an "ugly duckling" build around it, or is this truly a waste of time?

Reply 42 of 64, by Skyscraper

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sgt76 wrote:

I recently acquired an M729 as part of a jumble sale. In Malaysia, these sort of cheapo AT boards were quite popular with system builders well into the ATX era as you could use up AT case and psu stockpiles or as a cheap upgrade. People used to do anything just to get the coveted Pentium II/ III badge in front of their case. Sigh....

I think it would be quite interesting to build an "ugly duckling" build around it, or is this truly a waste of time?

I have such a build but with a SiS chipset verion of the PC Chips AT Slot-1 board combined with a Geforce4 MX and it works just fine and I also own a M729.

The Doom performance in DOS with a PCI video card sucked when I tested the M729 but everything else ran fine. The slow Doom performance could probably be fixed with some BIOS setting, I did not really care enough to investigate.

This "BXCel" ALi Aladdin Pro II really benifits from MTRRLFBE (write combining) in DOS so be sure to use it. Use a fast CPU because the board isnt the fastest, I got a Katmai P3 550 running with the latest BIOS but not a Katmai P3 600.

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 43 of 64, by sgt76

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Thanks for the fast reply. Yes. I've read your experience with this board and those of others. Apparently Katmai 600 may be too much for the boards voltage regulators? Also, its apparently very picky with AGP cards. I'm thinking of using a Mendocino 500 and TNT M64.

Reply 44 of 64, by Skyscraper

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sgt76 wrote:

Thanks for the fast reply. Yes. I've read your experience with this board and those of others. Apparently Katmai 600 may be too much for the boards voltage regulators? Also, its apparently very picky with AGP cards. I'm thinking of using a Mendocino 500 and TNT M64.

Im not sure it has to do with the voltage regulators as the Katmai 550 ran just fine with no stability issues from what I could see but the board would not even post with the Katmai 600. Funny enough it I had exactly the same issue with the SiS chipset board, I think it could be some BIOS quirk.

A Mendocino 500 and a TNT M64 should work fine. It will be a totally awesome year 1999 PC Chips "high end rig"! 😀

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 45 of 64, by sgt76

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Skyscraper wrote:

Im not sure it has to do with the voltage regulators as the Katmai 550 ran just fine with no stability issues from what I could see but the board would not even post with the Katmai 600. Funny enough it I had exactly the same issue with the SiS chipset board, I think it could be some BIOS quirk.

A Mendocino 500 and a TNT M64 should work fine. It will be a totally awesome year 1999 PC Chips "high end rig"! 😀

I have a Katmai 550 too, but I think a Celeron and low end M64 is keeping in character with this build.. 🤣 This should be very interesting I think!

Reply 47 of 64, by FaSMaN

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I've been using a BXCell PC100 , I will try and upload a photo as that board is coming out today, there are several things to bare in mind with these boards they work pretty well at 66mhz bus speed, and Pentuim 2 CPUs , I ran a 333mhz in mine, there was a bug that that prevented UDMA from working stably on them, there is a software fix you can do, I found it by using thewaybackmachine also most of these boards can be cross flashed with other BXCell PC100 and the BIOS makes a HUGE difference in stability.

I avoided the AGP slot and opted for a Voodoo banshee which loved this motherboard for some reason.

Reply 48 of 64, by candle_86

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Pc-chips didn't improve later, I had a socket A with a km-400 that worked fine unless you had more than one stick of ram or tried to use a 333mhz CPU in it. I got it to replace a blown board in my moms computer with an Athlon XP 2600 and it was just terribly unstable, constant lockups, crashes, and sometimes it simply wouldn't post. So I grabbed a used xp-2200 and traded the dual 256 sticks for a single 512 and it worked fine. I used her ram and CPU in a computer for myself with an ECS KT600 board and never had an issue with the ram or CPU.

Phenom II X4 840T @ 4ghz - ASUS M3N72D-SLI - GTX 560 Ti- 4GB DDR2 1066 - 1TB HDD - Windows XP
Pentium 4 3.4C - MSI 865PE NEO2 - x850 XT PE - 2GB DDR 400 - 500GB HDD - Windows XP
Duron 1600 - ASUS A7N8X - 512MB DDR 266 - Radeon 8500 LE

Reply 49 of 64, by kanecvr

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I was fortunate to have owned a Lucky Star (Lucky Tech?) board in that period - and I have to say - although cheap, it never game me any problems. It ran my K6-II with a 100MHz overclock, as well as my V2 set and OPL3-SAx sound card. I don't remember ever having a bsod on that machine.

Reply 50 of 64, by Skyscraper

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I did experience lockups with my PC Chips SiS chipset Slot-1 baby AT board at 100MHz FSB but it was solid at 66MHz with a Celeron 500 on a slotket. I don't remember if I updated to the latest BIOS, probably not.

My PC chips M729 with "BXCel" ALi Aladdin Pro II is fully stable at 100 MHz FSB with the latest BIOS, at least as far as I could tell the few days I used it.

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 51 of 64, by BSA Starfire

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Just recently got given a PC with a M747 motherboard and Celeron mendocino 333, has 96 MB RAM and a 4.3 GB hard disk, running win98 original it is just fine using the on board crystal audio and SIS 6326 video, no crashes or weirdness whatsoever, chap who gave it too me said he used it for 5 years without problem too. Must have found a good one! But honestly all seems well with this particular machine.

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286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 52 of 64, by W.x.

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Hello. I've just got AMD k6-2 build (AT case), I had to take it fast, cause it was only for $22, so I've took it. (it looks very similiar, as case/build one post above, almost identical... it was for $22 so I though price is supergood, so I took it fast). Later, I found out, It has AGpro chipset, so I've found out, that it is probably PCChips M577 Super Socket 7 board ( https://www.phc.sk/p/32279/pc-chips-m577-super-socket-7 ), mentioned in this thread.

Or very similiar (look almost identical) Amptron PM-9900A ( http://www.motherboard.cz/mb/amptron/PM-9900A.htm )

Now as I've started to read this thread, I was freezed, I've bought problematic board, but later in thread, there is mentioned, that PCchips on MVP3 was not so bad, and it seems AGpro chipset is just rebadged MVP3 chipset.

So what's waiting me, problems? I could take also one more Super7 board, also noname, but it has directly MVP3 chipset on it. Should I take also this one, or this PCChips M577 board is decent one MVP3, and it is not much more worse than other MVP3 based board? Can I use it regulary as retro build for AMD k6-2/3 system? (in other words, does it have "exception" from PCChips boards, or should I rather take other noname MVP3, that has MVP3 chipset directly on it)

I provide picture of other noname super7 board, unknown brand. (It is at the bottom.)
It is worth to take it for another 15$ bucks? Or you would say they are equal, and I should not bother to take second one "just for case" PCChips dissapoints.
Which one would you use out of these two anyway, as retro build for super7 platform (I don't have money to compete for high-end boards on ebay, so answer "take ALI V chipset branded one" is not option right now)

(edit, seems noname one has disadvantage of one less ISA/PCI slot (as they are shared), also only 2 slots for memory. Also, unknown L2 cache amount, as PCchips has 1 MB, this can have 512 KB - it is risk.) . But it doesnt have integrated audio, it can be advantage, if I use my own ISA soundblaster (heard, when you disable PCChips onboard audio, and use your own ISA sound card, there can be problems)

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Reply 53 of 64, by ODwilly

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The M577 is a really solid board if it works. Might need a recap at this point. Id pick up the 2nd one just incase one or the other one doesnt work at all.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 54 of 64, by Skyscraper

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W.x. wrote on 2020-11-28, 07:42:
So what's waiting me, problems? I could take also one more Super7 board, also noname, but it has directly MVP3 chipset on it. Sh […]
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So what's waiting me, problems? I could take also one more Super7 board, also noname, but it has directly MVP3 chipset on it. Should I take also this one, or this PCChips M577 board is decent one MVP3, and it is not much more worse than other MVP3 based board? Can I use it regulary as retro build for AMD k6-2/3 system? (in other words, does it have "exception" from PCChips boards, or should I rather take other noname MVP3, that has MVP3 chipset directly on it)

I provide picture of other noname super7 board, unknown brand. (It is at the bottom.)
It is worth to take it for another 15$ bucks? Or you would say they are equal, and I should not bother to take second one "just for case" PCChips dissapoints.
Which one would you use out of these two anyway, as retro build for super7 platform (I don't have money to compete for high-end boards on ebay, so answer "take ALI V chipset branded one" is not option right now)

As I see it it's always worth picking up a working Socket 7 motherboard for $15. I would however use the PC Chips M577 as it's usually a good performing hassle-free motherboard.

I see ODwilly wrote pretty much the same thing while I wrote this.

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 55 of 64, by TheMobRules

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Yeah, as long as it's working that M577 should be a decent performer. Looking back, maybe I was overly harsh in my judgement of the M747 in the first post, and probably the conditions under which I ran it back then (100MHz FSB, Celeron 300A overclocked to 450, on a really crappy AT PSU) are the reason of all the instabilities. It was a terrible experience though, and there is something about the PCChips boards of that era that I have noticed: they seem to suddenly die in a very peaceful way, no explosions, smoke or burned components, it's like at some point they just give up to reach motherboard heaven. No recapping or VRM replacing seems to help... don't know how widespread that is, maybe just bad luck on my part.

And definitely get that other one for $15, it never hurts to have a backup.

Reply 56 of 64, by hyoenmadan

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TheMobRules wrote on 2020-11-28, 20:56:

... and there is something about the PCChips boards of that era that I have noticed: they seem to suddenly die in a very peaceful way, no explosions, smoke or burned components, it's like at some point they just give up to reach motherboard heaven. No recapping or VRM replacing seems to help... don't know how widespread that is, maybe just bad luck on my part.

Most probably cracking in the BGA bumps in these low quality chipsets. Would be nice to "bake" one of these death ones to see if the cracks are in the external package bumps, or in the internal ones (these boards are prone to chipset mechanical damage, because them are too flimsy... them bend with low pressure as if them were made of cardboard lolz).

The second cause would be cracks in internal board paths, 'cause the very same reason as with chipset mechanical damage. With the schematics would be possible to realize a postmortem with an oscilloscope, and see the real cause of these "peaceful deaths".

PD. I would like to know if PCChips/Hsing is the manufacturer of modern Crapple boards... Because their bad quality is so damn f*ck similar. Same flimsiness, and... Unlike all other manufacturers, they don't even properly coat the board with the typical color silkscreen conformal mask... But instead they only "tint" it with some chocolate color crap which gets corroded even with the sightless ambient humidity 😜

Reply 57 of 64, by Dmetsys

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hyoenmadan wrote on 2020-11-29, 04:50:

PD. I would like to know if PCChips/Hsing is the manufacturer of modern Crapple boards... Because their bad quality is so damn f*ck similar.

Most of their electronics are now made by Foxconn. Don't think they have made any hardware in house since the early 2000's.

BE6-II 1.0 | PIII-500 | 320MB | GeForce 2 MX400
P5A-B | K6-2 300 (100x3) | 256MB | GeForce 2 MX
ECS UM4980 | 5x86-P75 | 32MB | 90C33-ZZ (In progress..)
Toshiba Satellite Pro T2155CDS | Compaq Contura 400C
Macintosh Plus

Reply 58 of 64, by ODwilly

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I made the mistake of installing a socket a cooler on my m577. It ended up flexing the cpu socket and killing the mobo. I found a 2nd one for $15 but the socket tab is broken

That board ran a 233mhz P1 at 300mhz with 100mhz fsb and it was amazing. The K6-3 333 @400mhz really didnt seem thst much faster. And the board just worked with everything down to a K5 and original Pentium. With good AGP in AT with integrated ps2, usb, audio, seriel, parralel and IDE. The bios and jumpers are also really easy and fun to work with.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 59 of 64, by Skyscraper

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This is how well the PC Chips M577 can perform 😀

K6-3+ 6x100 PC Chips M577 Via MVP3 256MB
PCI S3 Trio64V+ 2MB

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Quake: 93.0 FPS
Doom: 90.97 FPS (2134 gametics in 821 realtics)
3dbench2: 319.5 FPS
PCPbench: 179.7 FPS

Some PC-Chips boards are really decent performers.

Main PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6ghz, Evga - SR-2, 48gb memory, Intel X25-M g2 SSD and a Nvidia GTX 980 ti.
Retro PC #3: K6-2 450@500mhz, PC-Chips m577, 256mb sdram, AWE64 and a Voodoo Banshee.