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Slot 1 CAD Workstation

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First post, by Jupiter-18

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Hey Everyone!
After discussing the idea of a SLot 1 PC in a separate thread here, I have determined that I want to focus the build toward year 2000 era CAD stuff. I have chosen my CPUs - two Intel Pentium III Slot 1 CPUs, but I have yet to choose a motherboard and graphics card. I have been keyed in to some workstation boards of the era:
Elsa Gloria II/III
3Dlabs Wildcat 4000/5000 Series
3Dlabs Oxygen VX1/GVX1/GVX210
Diamond FireGL 3000/4000
AccelGraphics Eclipse
(thanks SiliconClassics 🤣 )
I like the look of the Oxygen cards, because I can get an SGI 1600SW monitor for it, but I also want the most powerful 2000 - era CAD GPU.
Need help with the motherboard, however I am looking toward Tyan for them.
Thanks!

Reply 1 of 41, by Scraphoarder

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Seems to be hefty prices for dual slot 1 workstation boards, but among the cheapest out there are some Tyans. Have no experience with Tyan boards except a dual socket 7 Tomcat IIID i have. Its limited by only accepting dual 200Mhz non MMX cpus. Maybe for NT4 its ok, but i see no practical use of that. Now waiting for a Tyan Thunder 2500 and thats a different beast and will be the new home for my 2x Slot 1 1000/100 P3s. Want maybe to dualboot XP and 98SE so im now looking for a decent AGP card that perform good on both OS.

Also buyed earlier 2 new and dirt cheap Intel SE7520BD2 dual socket 604 boards, but sadly they ońly have PCI-E 8x slots and PCI-X. Will modify a 8x slot so it can physically take a 16x card.

BTW its a Gigabyte GA 686DLX on eBay now. Maybe thats ok?

Reply 2 of 41, by Jupiter-18

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I was considering a Tyan Tiger motherboard, perhaps the Tyan Tiger 2500. Trying to keep it around the year 2000, no later. My first order of business is to determine the graphics card(s) I will use.

Reply 3 of 41, by luckybob

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If its going to be a "workstation build", then I suggest the Intel OR840 motherboard: http://www.on-wing.de/Bilder/or840.jpg it has the all-important AGP PRO 4x slot.

I doubt your actually going to USE this setup for any real length of time, so get a vga card that looks nice. the 3dlabs wildcat 3 6210 should fit the bill nicely. http://vgamuseum.ru/gpu/3dlabs/3dlabs-wildcat-iii-6210/

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 5 of 41, by luckybob

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yes, but 4x is the fastest for slot 1. most slot 1 boards were 2x.

8x wasn't a thing until 2003+ ( P4 & athlon xp)

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 8 of 41, by GL1zdA

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3Dlabs Wildcat II 5110
Diamond FireGL1/2/3/4 (pre-ATI chips)
HP fx10
NEC TE4E
nVidia Quadro, Quadro2 Pro
SGI Cobalt (in the Visual Workstation 320/540)

Maya 4.0 hardware qualification chart sums it up pretty well (more 2001 like): http://download.autodesk.com/us/maya/qualchar … maya_40_NT.html

Also browse the past SPEC results like ProCDRS 2000-12.

getquake.gif | InfoWorld/PC Magazine Indices

Reply 10 of 41, by vlask

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Btw many profi cards supports only Win NT/2000/XP and mostly only OpenGL - so forget directx games (nvidia, some 3dlabs can do) and you have to stick with GLQuake and similar.... Also these cards are not soo good in games like more common gaming cards...See atachment for quick review of mine tests on MSI board with dual Athlon MP2400+. Now im benching them again with Tyan board, because MSI is incompatible with everything from 3Dlabs. If youre into real highend workstation stuff, you should get rather dual Slot Xeons 😎 Seen those years ago in refubrished Intergraph workstation mine coworker bought home for his mother internet use 🤣 (was cheap back then - got one of mine intergraph graphic card from him).

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Not only mine graphics cards collection at http://www.vgamuseum.info

Reply 11 of 41, by BSA Starfire

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I recently built a socket 462 AMD 750 Irongate system with a Diamond Fire GL2, all period correct for the turn of the century. OS is windows 2000 pro. It's actually a very capable machine compared with others of the same era.

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 14 of 41, by spiroyster

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Or get a MLA (Multi link adapter). Then your not limited to either Oxygen or #9, can use the 1600sw with any card.

Not mine... but you get the idea..
sgi_1600sw_17___3__wide_screen_1610_lcd_w_multilink_video_adapter_1_lgw.jpg

P.S All your questions seem to be pointing towards an sgi 320. Its a dual slot 1, aesthetically pleasing, bad-ass CAD muncher which absolutely wipes the floor with anything 2D of that day.

Reply 15 of 41, by SiliconClassics

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Honestly the 1600SW is an underwhelming display. It may have been unique during its time, but I've owned several and they've all had brightness uniformity problems in the lower part of the screen and droopy hinges that cause the panel to hang at a slight angle. They also can't hold a candle to modern LCDs with regard to brightness and contrast, and most software of that era was created for 4:3 or 5:4 screens which means it doesn't make good use of widescreen real estate.

I think you'd be better off with a decent CRT or a 5:4 LCD that runs native at 1280x1024, which was the most popular screen resolution for CAD at that time. It also means you're not limited to a video card that supports the 1600SW's oddball display interface. None of the really high-end cards supported it natively.

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Reply 17 of 41, by GL1zdA

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Jupiter-18 wrote:

Ok. Thanks! Good to know. If I could, I'd get an SGI 540. Quad Slot 2 Baby!

I have one, and honestly, think before you buy one. It's huge. It's heavy. It won't do Direct3D. It runs only NT 4.0 and 2000 (and a Linux without an accelerated framebuffer). It's FireWire ports are barely usable. It won't set records in Quake III. The OpenLDI adapter is optional (if you buy one without it, it will cost you dearly).The SDI ports are optional. You will spend months looking for 4 900 MHz Pentium III Xeons to max it out. And you will need hard to find VRMs to run them. RAM uses dedicated modules - you can't install regular DIMMs.
Mine is near maxed out (still looking for a heatsink for the last CPU) and it required a lot of time and cash to get it to this state.

getquake.gif | InfoWorld/PC Magazine Indices

Reply 18 of 41, by nforce4max

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Jupiter-18 wrote:

Ok. Thanks! Good to know. If I could, I'd get an SGI 540. Quad Slot 2 Baby!

You need to stop right there as you are biting off more than you can chew, dual slot 2 is one thing but these quad systems are another and none of them ever really used as workstations but as servers so a lot of features are limited or missing altogether.

Just stick to a proper workstation build (single or two way smp) and you will be much happier with the results plus it will be cheaper by several hundred bucks. Slot 2 xeon builds are rare for a number of reasons mainly due to how hard it is to source working boards and the cost of the builds. At the cheapest you will still be burning between $200 and $300 but expect costs to be in the $400 to $500 range if this a scratch build. Quad systems from scratch are nearly impossible as all that I am aware off are proprietary oem only with custom power supplies mounted in proprietary cases. Cost of purchase of complete systems plus the shipping if done online is not worth it, local finds can get one cheap but they are very rare.

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 19 of 41, by luckybob

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yea a quad slot 2 is something even I would hesitate to build. And I really get my rocks off on these server boards. Mostly because getting all the parts is highly difficult, and would be extremely expensive as these boards require special chassis. Do I WANT a Supermicro S2QR6? Oh hell yes. But unless it comes with memory board, and case LOCALLY I don't think I'll ever own one. Shipping a beast of that size and weight would EASILY be $100+. Something I can spend elsewhere.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.