Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

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Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby Zack_1982 » 2019-3-10 @ 18:52

Hi

Very nice forum, I read a lot of useful material and I would need some more advices from way more expert than me :).

I am building a pc to play 80s and 90s DOS and Win games.

So far the pc is made up of:
- Asus P3B-F v.1.04
- PII 400 SL2S7 (15th week, so unlocked multipliers)
- 2 x Voodoo 2 with 110 MHz ram
- AWE 64 GOLD

I have some questions:
1) Is there a way to change the multiplier and bus of the PII without entering the bios and rebooting? I understood that for K6 there is way, is there the same for PII? Is there a way to force 50MHz bus?
2) My idea is to use the pc from 2x66 (133 MHz) with no L2 cache to 133x4.5 (600 MHz) with L2 active. Which AGP video card could I use? I have read that the TI4200 AGP 8x 128MB or 64MB can very well support the AGP bus out of specs. Is it correct and is there a particular brand suggested?
3) Long time ago, fixing a pc of a friend, I saw SDRAM PC133 with 6ns modules. Are still in the use market? Which brand I can select? I would look for CL2 modules.
4) I saw that there is still available the 32 MB expansion for the Awe 64. Is it useful for having better musing in DOS/Win gaming?
5) Is there a real improvement in using a PCI sound card for windows 98 games? I am planning to add also a Sound Blaster live if this could be good.

Thank you :)
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby gerwin » 2019-3-10 @ 20:04

Zack_1982 wrote:1) Is there a way to change the multiplier and bus of the PII without entering the bios and rebooting? I understood that for K6 there is way, is there the same for PII?

Pentium II Multiplier can only be set at "reset", either through Jumpers or the BIOS.

Zack_1982 wrote:Is there a way to force 50MHz bus?

Not on your motherboard. Only very few support 50MHz, and usually the ones that do are 1st generation non-coppermine motherboards.

Zack_1982 wrote:2) My idea is to use the pc from 2x66 (133 MHz) with no L2 cache to 133x4.5 (600 MHz) with L2 active. Which AGP video card could I use? I have read that the TI4200 AGP 8x 128MB or 64MB can very well support the AGP bus out of specs. Is it correct and is there a particular brand suggested?

I found my Geforce Ti4200 is not sufficiently tolerant to 89MHz AGP. A Voodoo 3 is.

Those were easy, the other questions are for someone else :)
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby PARKE » 2019-3-10 @ 20:24

Zack_1982 wrote re. ASUS P3B-F

Is there a way to force 50MHz bus?
>>
>>
As far as I know the clock generator of the P3B-F board supports fsb speeds from 66.8 up to 150 Mhz and the same goes for the P2B boards.
However, the P2B-L/P2B-S/P2B-LS boards support speeds from 50 up to 112 Mhz and if 50 Mhz is your holy grail then one of these boards fits your requirement.
FSB2.JPG

There are probably also other brands with 440BX chipsets that support 50 Mhz.

PS re Gerwin's comment: ASUS P2B-S boards revision 1.04 and higher support Coppermines and some of the revision 1.03 do as well.
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby gerwin » 2019-3-10 @ 20:41

I have an Asus P2B rev 1.04 with 50MHz supporting PLL. However, it is troublesome at 50MHz.
This board did not support coppermines but I changed the VRM to fix that.
Later revisions of this board have a different PLL without any 50MHz, but I don't remember exactly the changeover point.
Bottom line: Consider 50MHz on a i440BX a no-go unless you follow some success stories on vogons or are willing to dive into PLL documentation and experiments.
Last edited by gerwin on 2019-3-10 @ 20:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby PARKE » 2019-3-10 @ 20:45

I have an ASUS P2B-S rev. 103 that runs Coppermines without problem but I never tried the 50Mhz. setting. You make me curious ;-)
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby Revolter » 2019-3-11 @ 15:05

Zack_1982, try this utility for slow-down purposes. It forces the chipset to tell your CPU to skip active cycles (which is normally a thermal throttle feature present in ACPI) - making it go anywhere from XT to Pentium in terms of speed (depending on the throttle level and the state of L1 cache). Note: by default it also disables L1 cache, but with "-C" key it will leave it enabled.

In tandem with unlocked multiplier, your rig could become the most flexible DOS gaming platform in existence to have ever been available through regular consumer channels :)
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby Zack_1982 » 2019-3-12 @ 17:27

Thank you for the replies!!!

@gerwin: can you tell me which Voodoo3 model/brand do you have that has a good tolerance to AGP at 89 MHz?

Thank you Revolter for the utility, I will try it as soon as possible. I really hope to be able to be able to build a system extremely flexible. PII with unlocked multipliers and Voodoo2 with Ram at 110 MHz were not easy to be found.

Someone can guide me on the questions 3, 4 and 5? Any past experience?
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby retardware » 2019-3-12 @ 17:32

Q3: Yes but you have to do a lot of searching to get 60ns chips, and often the photos are only stock photos that do not help much.
Q5: Yes because the slow ISA soundcards' DMA seriously bogs down computers.
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby gerwin » 2019-3-12 @ 17:44

Zack_1982 wrote:@gerwin: can you tell me which Voodoo3 model/brand do you have that has a good tolerance to AGP at 89 MHz?

Aren't all Voodoo3s STB cards? Anyways it is the voodoo3 chip that is AGP overclock tolerant, reason being that it does not really use the AGP features.

Zack_1982 wrote:Someone can guide me on the questions 3, 4 and 5? Any past experience?

3) PC133 CL2 are the best SDRAM modules I have. Don't care much about brand in that regard. Also there is module brand and chip brand.

4) For DOS the AWE memory is pretty useless. In windows 9x it can be used, either for native windows games or for some DOS games in a Dos-box. It is possible you will eventually not be satisfied with this. Either way, this is a topic on itself and has been discussed many times over here on vogons.

5) In the past I used to combine one ISA Soundcard with a PCI one. But it does require some way to direct the sound output of both cards, as it is not practical to (un)plug sound cables all the time. Alternatively: A proper ISA Soundcard should work fine in Windows, often doing 16-bit at 44 or 48KHz. Like retardware wrote already: The ISA bus is way slower then a PCI bus.
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby vitalm » 2019-3-13 @ 06:12

Throttle does not work at my Asus P3B-F v.1.04. It acts as normal (shows no errors), but slowdown does not occur. Using speedsys 4.78 to check.
W98SE+NUSB3.3, 7AJA2 (KT133A+686B), Athlon XP-M (3x100-16.5x150 MHz), FX5900, Voodoo1, AWE64 ISA (VXD) connected to Line-In of Vortex2 rev.B0AAAA (VXD 2041) for DOS games CD Audio emulation by Daemon Tools 3.47 (volume can be changed in DT drive settings)
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby Deksor » 2019-3-13 @ 08:31

Fsb can be modified using softfsb for Windows
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby Revolter » 2019-3-13 @ 11:47

vitalm, that is seriously unusual. Is ACPI feature enabled in your BIOS? Which CPU and DOS expanded memory manager are you using?
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby vitalm » 2019-3-15 @ 10:52

Revolter, it is indeed. CPU is unlocked PII-300. In Win98 throttle does not work as well, while it does on all my other Slot1 and s462 boards.
W98SE+NUSB3.3, 7AJA2 (KT133A+686B), Athlon XP-M (3x100-16.5x150 MHz), FX5900, Voodoo1, AWE64 ISA (VXD) connected to Line-In of Vortex2 rev.B0AAAA (VXD 2041) for DOS games CD Audio emulation by Daemon Tools 3.47 (volume can be changed in DT drive settings)
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby Zack_1982 » 2019-3-15 @ 15:20

Thank you very much Gerwin.

I can see many model of voodoo3 (3000, 3500, with or without tv output), is there a suggested model that better supports AGP at 89 MHz?

I am not clear on the fact that ISA bus is slower than PCI... is there an impact on games due to this? So it would be better to have also pci card for windows games? Maximum i will reach 600MHz, is really ISA slowing it down the games?
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Re: Change multipliers/bus via software on unlocked PII-400 & FSB 133

Postby gerwin » 2019-3-15 @ 16:13

Zack_1982 wrote:I can see many model of voodoo3 (3000, 3500, with or without tv output), is there a suggested model that better supports AGP at 89 MHz?

Does not matter in that regard. All the same video chip. All the same AGP interface.

Zack_1982 wrote:I am not clear on the fact that ISA bus is slower than PCI... is there an impact on games due to this? So it would be better to have also pci card for windows games? Maximum i will reach 600MHz, is really ISA slowing it down the games?

I never benchmarked it, so I have no numbers to show as an example. Maybe someone else has numbers?
If you want to do everything with an ISA soundcard; just try it, You can decide on PCI sound in the future. Benchmark the most demanding game you want to run on that system and see how it goes.
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