VOGONS


First post, by Nodoyuna

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Hi

I'm building a retroPC, following the instructions from one of the Philscomputerlab.com videos

This is what I have:
-Super Socket 7 PCB
- K6-II / 500MHz
- 128Mb RAM
- Voodoo 3 2000 Grapics Card
- Audician 32 Sound Card
- Windows 98 (as is the last with pure DOS support)
- CD-ROM, IDE2CF Hard drive emulator and HxC Floppy Emulator

As in the video, enabling/disabling cache and multiplier, I will be able to run the computer as 386, 486, Pentium and Full (K6/500) modes

Also, I think I will be able to play 286 and XT games if they don't run too fast (I know there are program to slow the CPU, so I'll need to try them)

So, I don't think I will have major problems with pure DOS games. Of course, Windows 3.1 won't be a problem too (I think). But I'm not too sure about Windows 95 and Windows 98 games, given the hardware specifications I have. Of course, the main insterest for this retro PC is MS-DOS, but if I can play Win95 and Win98 games too, that will be a nice bonus

I'd like to know your opinion and what should I expect from it, regarding Windows games. Also, if you think I should add a second graphics card for Windows. I'd like to maintain the CPU as in the video it's a really good compromise to play DOS games

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Nodoyuna on 2018-06-09, 19:09. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 15, by gdjacobs

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Unless your CPU is a K6-2+ or K6-III+, you won't be able to change multipliers on the fly. If that's your situation, you may be able to change multi in your BIOS or install switches to change multi and FSB from outside your case (rebooting for the changes to take effect).

This build will be limiting as far as Win9x performance, so anything much faster than your V3 would really provide no benefit. Unless your interest is pretty much strictly with earlier programs, it's probably better to create a machine designed for Windows that can operate in the upper end of the performance scale.

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Reply 2 of 15, by Nodoyuna

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I've just checked again and it's a K6-2, not a K6-2+, so I'll change the multiplier through BIOS

What should be a good setup for a Windows machine? And which Windows versions would support?

Thanks in advance

Reply 3 of 15, by jheronimus

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Nodoyuna wrote:

I've just checked again and it's a K6-2, not a K6-2+, so I'll change the multiplier through BIOS

What should be a good setup for a Windows machine? And which Windows versions would support?

Thanks in advance

Socket/Super Socket 7 boards generally can't change multiplier through BIOS (I know some Abit jumperless boards, though) — only through jumpers on the board itself. So, to reiterate — without an AMD K6-2+/3+ the only way you can change your CPU modifier is by shutting down the PC, opening the case and reseting the jumpers. You won't be able to do this through software.

I'd like to know your opinion and what should I expect from it, regarding Windows games. Also, if you think I should add a second graphics card for Windows. I'd like to maintain the CPU as in the video it's a really good compromise to play DOS games

Well, it's roughly a low-end Pentium 2 in terms of performance. I've used a AMD K6-3+@450 with Voodoo 3 3000 which is a bit faster than your build, but not by a lot. Games like Half-Life, Unreal, StarCraft, Diablo 2 ran pretty well. However, NFS5, Deus Ex (especially) did not.

What should be a good setup for a Windows machine? And which Windows versions would support?

Something like a high-end Pentium 3 should be nice. Of course, there are people who build much faster Win98-only builds.

As to Windows versions — everything starting from Pentium MMX is okay for Win98 (your build included).

My Telegram blog about retro hardware (in Russian)

Pentium 133, 32 MB RAM, S3 Trio64V+, Crystal 4232, Dreamblaster X2 and Roland MT-32
Pentium III 1000, 512 MB RAM, Voodoo 5 5500 AGP, SB Live 5.1, SB32 CT3930, Gravis Ultrasound Max rev2.1

Reply 4 of 15, by Nodoyuna

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I have a machine with Windows 7 installed on a i7, with a Radeon graphics card with VGA output which I use for emulation
I have Windows 7 and a Radeon card because on that machine I've installed the CRT Emudriver
I think that would be enough for Win7 and WinXP games, but I don't know how's the compability between Win9X and Win7

Reply 5 of 15, by melbar

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jheronimus wrote:

Well, it's roughly a low-end Pentium 2 in terms of performance.

He has a 500MHz K6-2.

From my point of view, a low end PII has a clock of 233-300MHz with 66MHz fsb.
Looking at benchmarks, the 500 K6-2 performs next to the 350-400 PII (100 fsb) versions... This is medium-end, close to the high-end PII 450.

Reply 6 of 15, by .legaCy

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Ohh i really enjoy these time machine builds one K6-3+ would make it really really really awesome.

Useful links
[ How to Multiboot any OS | Rebuilding GOG Installer for Win9x | 486DX-4 Build | S7 Time machine Build |
twitch stream (in portuguese)

Reply 7 of 15, by gdjacobs

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jheronimus wrote:

Socket/Super Socket 7 boards generally can't change multiplier through BIOS (I know some Abit jumperless boards, though) — only through jumpers on the board itself. So, to reiterate — without an AMD K6-2+/3+ the only way you can change your CPU modifier is by shutting down the PC, opening the case and reseting the jumpers. You won't be able to do this through software.

I use SPDT switches for this, motherboard depending. What SS7 board will you be using?

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Reply 9 of 15, by gdjacobs

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Keep in mind, this is for the P5A and not the P5A-B.

For multiplier jumpers BF0, BF1, BF2
2.5 multiplier is 2-3, 2-3, open
4.5 multiplier is 2-3, 2-3, 2-3
For clockchip jumpers FS0, FS1, FS2, FS3
60 mhz FSB is 2-3, 2-3, 2-3, 2-3
75 mhz FSB is 2-3, 2-3, 1-2, 2-3 (30 mhz PCI)
100 mhz FSB is 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 2-3

I'd probably install three switches, one SPST on BF2, one DPDT for both FS0 and FS1, and one SPDT for FS2.

The possible CPU clocks would be:
150mhz, 270mhz
183mhz, 333mhz
250mhz, 450mhz

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Reply 11 of 15, by Nodoyuna

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.legaCy wrote:

Ohh i really enjoy these time machine builds one K6-3+ would make it really really really awesome.

I just bought a K6-III+, because with the CPU I had, I was not able to change settings on the fly and it would be easier that make switches and all...

Reply 12 of 15, by gdjacobs

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Excellent choice. I still highly recommend having switchable FSB settings for even more flexibility, but it's less important with the mobile CPUs.

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Reply 13 of 15, by jade_angel

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Considering that this is a medium-fast machine when fully spooled up, and the Voodoo3 is no slouch, you should be able to run most Windows games from the Pentium era, and some games that expect a Pentium II (even some that expect a PIII, but that's getting into territory where both the K6-2/K6-III and the Voodoo3 might not be enough). I've run games like Starfleet Command I, II and Orion Pirates successfully on machines with that spec. Something like, say, Homeworld will run but not extremely well. You should be able to run games like Unreal and Half-Life decently, too.

As for Windows versions, both Windows 98 and Windows 2000 will work, though most games that play nice under Win2k want something a little faster. I'd avoid Win95 - there's probably nothing it can do on a SS7 machine that Win98SE doesn't do equally well or better. WinME is an option, I suppose, but why? (NT4 is also an option, but it doesn't work well with games at all.)

The Voodoo3 is a really good choice for a video card - GLIDE support, great for DOS games, decently fast for early Direct3D games. I wouldn't bother with a second card for Windows. If you must, a G400 MAX, TNT2 Ultra or GeForce256 would work and allow 32-bit color, but they aren't much faster. The G400 MAX has dual outputs, but that's probably not interesting on a games box. Some later cards have issues with the AGP implementations on SS7 boards, though I've had no real trouble with early Radeons and GeForce2s (and their Quadro equivalents, which might be easier to get, and are equally fast or even slightly faster.) Still, I'd be more than satisfied with the Voodoo3. (Is that a PCI Voodoo3, though? If it is, you might get a bit more benefit from upgrading to a similarly-fast AGP card, but even if not, it's still a really good card for your intended use.)

Main Box: Ryzen-TR 1900X | GTX 1050/Radeon RX 580
98/2000 Box: PIII/766 |Quadro4 380 XGL

Reply 14 of 15, by oohms

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Your build is spot on. Keep your eyes open for a 2+ or 3+ to make your life easier, but otherwise great build! To be fair, I haven't needed to slow my system down yet as a lot of the older games don't seem to be speed sensitive

DOS/w3.11/w98 | K6-III+ 400ATZ @ 550 | FIC PA2013 | 128mb SDram | Voodoo 3 3000 | Avancelogic ALS100 | Roland SC-55ST
DOS/w98/XP | Core 2 Duo E4600 | Asus P5PE-VM | 512mb DDR400 | Ti4800SE | ForteMedia FM801

Reply 15 of 15, by someitguy

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I have recently built a K6-2 system. I have a Voodoo3 1000 AGP in it. It does fairly well. I have tried both Shuttle Baby Via chipset board and the Asus p5a ALI V. Much prefer the ALI V based one. The key is drivers. The ALI AGP drivers alone upped my frame rates 30-40% vs the built-in drivers in Windows 2000. I have a dual boot DOS 7.1 (based on 98SE boot disc) and Windows 2000. I found this combo to work well for my needs.

I am going to try a K6-2+ 500 replacing my K6-2 350 and see how the 128K cache helps. But very happy with the build.

Good luck. Love to hear about the results.