Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby Kohaku » 2019-8-09 @ 06:42

So I'm new to building retro PCs and this site, I've tried to google a solution to my problem but don't have a clear answer and infact just more questions so I'd though I'd ask here. A month ago I started slowly buying parts to build a retro PC that would use windows 2000 and build my childhood Dream PC. I Grabbed a Voodoo 5500 AGP off ebay and a ASRock DualSata2 939 board with plans to use a Anthlon 64x2 CPU. But I've recently found out as the Motherboard is being shipped to me, that not all AGP slots were created equally, and that the motherboards x8 AGP slot is incompatible with the 3.3v Voodoo 5500. And I'd rather not press my luck and potentially fry the board and/or the card. I'd really love to use my Voodoo 5500, and not end up resorting to my old collection of Nvidia cards. I'm also not competent enough with my self to do any fancy soldering and rewiring. Looking online everyone seems to recommend socket 462 boards. But I really want to use a multi-core processor with this Voodoo 5. I realize its top heavy and the CPU will most likely be bottle necked by the much older GPU. So I ask is there any motherboard, Intel or AMD that can support a multi-core processor like the 64x2 or Core2 (possibly Extreme) that can run the 3.3v AGP Voodoo 5 card. I'd much rather buy a different motherboard, then get a different card.

However if worse comes to worse and literally no motherboard exist, or the few that do aren't listed on ebay or whatnot. I'll just bite the bullet and get a different AGP card, one thats supported by the Mobo then maybe a Voodoo 3 PCI later down the line or (or PCI Voodoo 4/5 if I ever find one, only ever saw AGP cards for sale at a reasonable price). So if anyone has recommendations for an AGP x8 (motherboard is once again a ASRock DualSata2 939) compatible cards with similar performance that would be appreciated. Probably the most demanding games I was willing to try on this PC were Halo 1, CnC Generals, and Voyage Elite Force if you want something to go off by, but the PC was mainly intended to run the much older games of Star Trek Armada and Lego Rock Raiders.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby kolderman » 2019-8-09 @ 06:57

I am surprised you would be willing to go back to v3 or nvidia rather than give up on your dreams of dual core...a pointless feature for this era. I would say the v5 is more awesome and if going back to s462/single core AthlonXP is what it takes....just do it. I think the AthlonXP/v5/vortex2 combination is one of my all time favorite retro builds.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-09 @ 07:00

I don't know of any dual core capable motherboard with universal AGP. You will need a PCI version to do what you are looking for.

Socket A supports the 3200+, which is far more CPU than you will ever need to drive that card. Most people pair it with a Tuatlatin 1400mhz or similar socket 370 or slot 1. If you really want to go crazy, you can try and track down a dual socket system with an AGP slot. Something like the Asus CUV4X-D.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-8-09 @ 10:19

AGP-to-PCI adapter. Works with 3dfx cards.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby dionb » 2019-8-09 @ 10:41

Indeed. Dualcore is nothing more than dual CPU integrated into one package. You won't find universal AGP with dualcore support. Go for dual CPU.

You can do better than dual So370 though, as both i860 (Rambus-based first gen Netburst Xeon chipset) and AMD760MPX support AGP4x and thus universal voltage. The i860/So603 platform maxes out at 3GHz Prestonia (i.e. 130nm 'Northwood'), the AMD760MPX officially supports max AthlonMP 2800+ (2133MHz) Barton. Both are hampered by low FSB relative to their desktop peers - the 3GHz Prestonia is crippled by a 100MHz (400MT/s) bus and 30x multiplier, the Barton slightly less so by a 133MHz (266MT/s) bus and 16x multiplier (plus a less bos-dependent architecturein the first place). The i860's 2x 800MB/s dual channel RDRAM theoretically offers 3200MB/s, 1.5x the bandwidth of the 760MPX' single-channel 2100MB/s, but there's a big gap between theory and practice, particularly because the Xeon's FSB is shared between both CPUs, where the AthlonMP's have separate point-to-point buses. In the end, reviews around the time this stuff came out showed that overall, a dual Xeon + i860 system performed very similarly to a dual AthlonMP + 760MPX system if you match Intel MHz with AMD Performance Rating, so a dual 2GHz Xeon performed similarly to a dual AthlonMP 2000+.

Back in the day there were almost tribal wars about the two platforms. Now, a few decades later, I'd say it all boils down to price and availability. My hunch is that absolutely nobody wants dual So603 systems now, and there were more of those to start with, so they should be both easier to find and cheaper. But if you can get a dual AMD system, by all means do. Both will be cheaper than a high-end DDR-based dual So370 Tualatin system, and perform far better than an affordable dual P3-1GHz rig.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-8-09 @ 15:23

The Serpent Rider wrote:AGP-to-PCI adapter. Works with 3dfx cards.


And if you get a motherboard with 66Mhz PCI slot(s), it should end up being the same speed as if you were using it in a real AGP slot.

I say this because I was doing a bit of testing a few weeks ago between an AGP and a PCI Voodoo 3-3000 and in DOS, the AGP card ended up being much faster than the PCI card.
This was with non-3d accelerated games.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-09 @ 18:04

The Serpent Rider wrote:AGP-to-PCI adapter. Works with 3dfx cards.


Does it really!? Where can you buy such an adapter?
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby SPBHM » 2019-8-09 @ 22:15

I remember some youtube videos of someone that moded I think an abit nf7s (1.5v agp 8x board) to run in 3.3v and it worked OK with a voodoo, it didn't look extremely complicated, perhaps it's possible with an lga 775 board?
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby Pawlicker » 2019-8-10 @ 00:02

The first question is, why would you want to run a Voodoo5 on a dual-core system? Chances are an integrated GPU or cheap PCIe/AGP GPU from that time period is going to destroy the Voodoo5 in anything, along with a Glide wrapper. Now if you want a system that can drive it, go grab a random old Socket 478 system. If you want to be period correct and have dual cores, grab a dual slot 1 or socket 370/462 board. Then once you see how everything is bottlenecked you'll want to buy a faster GPU that isn't a voodoo and use a glide wrapper.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby Kohaku » 2019-8-10 @ 02:37

Sorry for the late replies but I posted the question and went to bed. I orginally wanted to make a computer with a Voodoo 5 in init. To me back in the day 3DFX was the face of retro PC gaming. Even tho the 5500 got out shined by its competitors, just the idea of having a Voodoo 5 sounds way cooler then any ATI or Nvidia card to me. I wanted a Athlon X2 because it was the first DualCore CPU on the market, to me that just sounded cool, I didn't really care about bottlenecks coming from the GPU because the motherboard has a PCIe slot that I could use later down the line for more demanding game of the time period, but also the Games I care about playing on it would run fine on a Voodoo 3 anyway, any thing else like Voyager Elite Force was mainly just there to be a benchmark of the system since I can get it to run just fine on W10. I just assumed an AGP slot was an AGP slot. Much like PCI or PCIe I can take just about any GPU and shove it into any PCI or PCIe slot and it will work just fine (maybe some bottleneck with transfer rates but it won't fry the mobo), never crossed my mind that AGP would be any different, so I just garbed a socket 939 board with an AGP slot believing everything will just work. Wasn't until I looked up more info about the board that it had a warning about 3.3v AGP cards which the V5 happened to be. And to my surprise it seems as tho the AGP 8x non Universal slot is shared with just about every single socket 939 or LGA 775 board I could possibly get my hands on. I didn't really care much if I was being period correct either, I think I remember reading a while back that the 3DFX cards would offload some of the processing to the CPU (5500 included), and that a better CPU would help scale the cards performance, and thought hey a dual core form 4 years later is probably going to give it a nice kick.

My research on retro PC building was less about what works together and more of what sounds cool? Voodoo 5500, EAX sound card, Athlon64 x2, Windows 2000 on an SSD, why not? And none of the actual informative videos I've watched mentioned anything about incompatible AGP slots, they always just mentioned ATI or Nvidia Cards, and I never really understood why. I think this is something people should be more informed about before they go blowing money like I did.

One thing I'm confused by tho is the AGP to PCI slot converters. Why AGP to PCI?, AGP has a dedicated 266MBs Transfer rate, doesn't PCI 2.1 have a shared 266MBs transfer rate, if If I were to add a PCI sound card or USB controller would that bottleneck the card. I've seen them for sale but don't understand why AGP adapters only exist in a PCI format. PCIe to AGP would make much more sense to me since a PCIe 1.0 x2 slot has a Transfer rate of 500MBs that I assumed is not shared with the regular PCI slots.

One last thing I'd like to ask, how niche is building a retro PC? I feel like it gotten more popular in recent years, we have things like the PS Classic and NES Classic I know those a more of a plug n play thing,but surly out there somewhere is a Chinese manufacturer that could cater to a niche market with brand new custom 939, AM2 or LGA 775 boards, complete with updated PCIe slots and Universal AGP. Not saying there is massive untapped market potential, but I feel like there are enough people who are willing to drop money (including me) on a modernized motherboard that could do the stupid things I want to do, even if it has to be sold at a ridiculouss mark up. I'd rather pay more for a new board then ebay scalper prices for old hardware.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby kolderman » 2019-8-10 @ 05:15

> and that a better CPU would help scale the cards performance, and thought hey a dual core form 4 years later is probably going to give it a nice kick.

It will give it zero kick as no game from that era utilizes multiple processors /cores.

> Why AGP to PCI?

AGP is basically a variant of PCI. PCIe is much different.

> complete with updated PCIe slots and Universal AGP.

Well you can buy new p4 boards with ISA slots and AGP, not sure of universal AGP. They are for industrial systems. And the market is way too niche for a dedicated run of a retro motherboards....although it would be nice. One that could somehow slow down an AthlonXP to 8086 speeds (and everything in between), 3 isa slots, pci, 3.3v agp, ceramic caps, onboard YMF724 connected via SBLink and with SPDIF out, can handle modern power supplies, legacy/sata controllers, we can only dream.!
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby anthony » 2019-8-10 @ 09:44

if you have v5 pci, try to find mobo with 66mhz pci support. in case you own v5 agp, read carefully vsa100 datasheet in pair with agp 2x/4x specifications and mod it to agp 1.5v support, it is not a big deal, much harder to cut off notch in agp 4x mobo slot to fit v5. v5 scales perfectly with fast c2d cpus, despite of no use for second core:

https://d1ebmxcfh8bf9c.cloudfront.net/u ... 41054.jpeg
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby ph4nt0m » 2019-8-10 @ 10:35

kolderman wrote:> and that a better CPU would help scale the cards performance, and thought hey a dual core form 4 years later is probably going to give it a nice kick.

It will give it zero kick as no game from that era utilizes multiple processors /cores.

If they were compiled for Win9x, then yes, the games themselves were not multithreaded. However there are other processes running. The OS kernel, the device drivers, the network stack, etc. While the performance increase due to the second CPU or core may not be impressive like +10%, it matters still.

The V5 AGP is 3.3V only, so it needs an AGP 1.0 or universal slot. No dual core capable mainboard has such one, but there are many dual processor mainboards for Pentium 3 and Athlon MP which do. Athlon MP is a better choice because you can get 2800+ 2.133GHz CPUs and 3Gb of DDR 266MHz memory. It can handle even some modern everyday tasks.
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby ph4nt0m » 2019-8-10 @ 10:38

anthony wrote:if you have v5 pci, try to find mobo with 66mhz pci support. in case you own v5 agp, read carefully vsa100 datasheet in pair with agp 2x/4x specifications and mod it to agp 1.5v support, it is not a big deal, much harder to cut off notch in agp 4x mobo slot to fit v5. v5 scales perfectly with fast c2d cpus, despite of no use for second core:

https://d1ebmxcfh8bf9c.cloudfront.net/u ... 41054.jpeg

I suppose not everyone is skilled or brave enough to mod a V5 AGP this way. BTW can you post a photo of your mod?
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby dionb » 2019-8-10 @ 11:12

Kohaku wrote:[...]

My research on retro PC building was less about what works together and more of what sounds cool? Voodoo 5500, EAX sound card, Athlon64 x2, Windows 2000 on an SSD, why not? And none of the actual informative videos I've watched mentioned anything about incompatible AGP slots, they always just mentioned ATI or Nvidia Cards, and I never really understood why. I think this is something people should be more informed about before they go blowing money like I did.

It always pays to be informed, but we all have to start learning that the hard way...

In any event you have two epic bits of hardware, the V5-5500, last and greatest of the actually mass-produced 3dfx cards and the 939Dual-SATA2, probably the ultimate So939 board, and I for one have always had a weak spot for ALi/ULi chipsets. Not entirely a logical combination though, but you could manage it with AGP-PCI converters as already mentioned.
[...]

One last thing I'd like to ask, how niche is building a retro PC? I feel like it gotten more popular in recent years, we have things like the PS Classic and NES Classic

It has and it hasn't. Retro tech has always been popular, generally with people getting older and feeling nostalgic for the simpler, less polished tech they had had to work with in their younger years. A generation earlier that was about tube or early transistor stuff. My father was never really into that sort of stuff, but even he occasionally came home with an ancient tube radio and once there was a complete pinball table in the bike shed... so 'retro' isn't new in terms of motivation. What is new, is that the generation bashing around with mass-market PCs are now getting the nostalgia bug. And there were far more kids in the late 1990s and early 00s playing with or building PCs than had been doing so ten to fifteen years earlier.

On the other hand, the amount of tech you actually had to know in those days was dropping. With a 1970s computer, you needed to be able to basically build everything yourself, with a 1980s computer, it was generally pre-built, but you needed to configure everything you did manually. By the 1990s, the hardware had become easier due to standardization and things like PnP, but increasing operating system complexity meant just getting Windows to run with working drivers was still a serious challenge. By the 00s installation was getting less and less painful and more stuff 'just worked' out of the box. That won't dent the number of midlifers getting nostalgic, but might result in different outlets than the pretty technical building of old crap. We'll see...


I know those a more of a plug n play thing,but surly out there somewhere is a Chinese manufacturer that could cater to a niche market with brand new custom 939, AM2 or LGA 775 boards, complete with updated PCIe slots and Universal AGP. Not saying there is massive untapped market potential, but I feel like there are enough people who are willing to drop money (including me) on a modernized motherboard that could do the stupid things I want to do, even if it has to be sold at a ridiculouss mark up. I'd rather pay more for a new board then ebay scalper prices for old hardware.[/quote]
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby anthony » 2019-8-10 @ 14:25

ph4nt0m wrote:
anthony wrote:if you have v5 pci, try to find mobo with 66mhz pci support. in case you own v5 agp, read carefully vsa100 datasheet in pair with agp 2x/4x specifications and mod it to agp 1.5v support, it is not a big deal, much harder to cut off notch in agp 4x mobo slot to fit v5. v5 scales perfectly with fast c2d cpus, despite of no use for second core:

https://d1ebmxcfh8bf9c.cloudfront.net/u ... 41054.jpeg

I suppose not everyone is skilled or brave enough to mod a V5 AGP this way. BTW can you post a photo of your mod?


actually, basic soldering skills required. made it couple of times 3 years ago. at this time i have no v5 agp at my hand to make photo. only this old one (see barely visible wiring above goldfinger, this is 1 out of 3 essential pcb reworks) https://d1ebmxcfh8bf9c.cloudfront.net/u ... 41055.jpeg
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby Arctic » 2019-8-10 @ 17:13

What about a Pentium 4 3.06HT?
Would Hyperthreading "count" as "dual core" in this case?

There is also an AGP4x version of the Voodoo 5 5500 AGP.

With the AGP2PCI adapter you would lose 50% bandwidth in a regular PCI slot with the Voodoo 5 5500.
AGP1x = 266MB/s
PCI33 = up to 133MB/s (shared with other PCI "devices")
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Athlon XP 3000+ Barton @ 2.25GHz / 512MB DDR333 CL2 (2-2-5 1T) / Asus A7V333 2.0 / Voodoo 5 5500 64MB AGP 2x / Soundblaster 512 / Pioneer 105S / Win98SE
I am looking for Goldfinger Device - PM me!
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-8-10 @ 18:34

dionb wrote:
Kohaku wrote:[...]

My research on retro PC building was less about what works together and more of what sounds cool? Voodoo 5500, EAX sound card, Athlon64 x2, Windows 2000 on an SSD, why not? And none of the actual informative videos I've watched mentioned anything about incompatible AGP slots, they always just mentioned ATI or Nvidia Cards, and I never really understood why. I think this is something people should be more informed about before they go blowing money like I did.

It always pays to be informed, but we all have to start learning that the hard way...

In any event you have two epic bits of hardware, the V5-5500, last and greatest of the actually mass-produced 3dfx cards and the 939Dual-SATA2, probably the ultimate So939 board, and I for one have always had a weak spot for ALi/ULi chipsets. Not entirely a logical combination though, but you could manage it with AGP-PCI converters as already mentioned.
[...]

One last thing I'd like to ask, how niche is building a retro PC? I feel like it gotten more popular in recent years, we have things like the PS Classic and NES Classic

It has and it hasn't. Retro tech has always been popular, generally with people getting older and feeling nostalgic for the simpler, less polished tech they had had to work with in their younger years. A generation earlier that was about tube or early transistor stuff. My father was never really into that sort of stuff, but even he occasionally came home with an ancient tube radio and once there was a complete pinball table in the bike shed... so 'retro' isn't new in terms of motivation. What is new, is that the generation bashing around with mass-market PCs are now getting the nostalgia bug. And there were far more kids in the late 1990s and early 00s playing with or building PCs than had been doing so ten to fifteen years earlier.

On the other hand, the amount of tech you actually had to know in those days was dropping. With a 1970s computer, you needed to be able to basically build everything yourself, with a 1980s computer, it was generally pre-built, but you needed to configure everything you did manually. By the 1990s, the hardware had become easier due to standardization and things like PnP, but increasing operating system complexity meant just getting Windows to run with working drivers was still a serious challenge. By the 00s installation was getting less and less painful and more stuff 'just worked' out of the box. That won't dent the number of midlifers getting nostalgic, but might result in different outlets than the pretty technical building of old crap. We'll see...


I know those a more of a plug n play thing,but surly out there somewhere is a Chinese manufacturer that could cater to a niche market with brand new custom 939, AM2 or LGA 775 boards, complete with updated PCIe slots and Universal AGP. Not saying there is massive untapped market potential, but I feel like there are enough people who are willing to drop money (including me) on a modernized motherboard that could do the stupid things I want to do, even if it has to be sold at a ridiculouss mark up. I'd rather pay more for a new board then ebay scalper prices for old hardware.
[/quote]

I definitely fall into "those kids from the 90's" crowd. I have less of an appetite for messing with old stuff to get it to work, but I am interested in early DOS games and computers. New games all feel the same, new hardware is the same but marginally faster, and game design is moving away from me and what I am interested in (namely high polished multiplayer games that just feel bland and uninteresting). Old PCs have so much going on. It's fun to explorer. Huge money sink though :lol:
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby Kohaku » 2019-8-10 @ 23:59

anthony wrote:if you have v5 pci, try to find mobo with 66mhz pci support. in case you own v5 agp, read carefully vsa100 datasheet in pair with agp 2x/4x specifications and mod it to agp 1.5v support, it is not a big deal, much harder to cut off notch in agp 4x mobo slot to fit v5. v5 scales perfectly with fast c2d cpus, despite of no use for second core:

https://d1ebmxcfh8bf9c.cloudfront.net/u ... 41054.jpeg


I got the AGP version of the card, I'm fine with simple soldering if I have a detailed guide on what to do. But just looking at spec sheets I just wouldn't know what to do by my self. I saw a post in Italian where a guy modded a 4CoreDual-SATA2 board to handle the card, then used an AGP riser so he wouldn't have to cut anything out from the looks. Another guide from 3dfxzone, cut a little notch out so it would fit into the x8 slot then manually set the slot to use 1.65v but it only ran a single vsa100 chip instead of 2. It then said in the next tutorial well show you how to improve this mod but there is no next tutorial. It looks possible with hardware modding, if I can get a detailed guide, I'll give it a shot. But I mentally can't comprehend the raw documentation of AGP and the vsa100 chip, all my brain can process is "Pretty picture, wall of text, a²+b²=c², If you have a a bucket that holds 3gal and a bucket that holds 5gal how many buckets do you have?"
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Re: Any way to run a Voodoo 5 with a Dual Core CPU

Postby Kohaku » 2019-8-11 @ 23:59

So until I can find a guide that can walk me through the process I ended up buying a GTX 295, I realize that now I'm leaving the Processor behind, where was before the V5 was being carried by the CPU. But Dual GPU cards like the GTX295 and 3870x2 were the only thing that could salvage this disappointment for me, as they are some of the few cards I find interesting that I couldn't afford back in the day, and I was planning on getting one of those cards for the PCIe slot anyway, I wasn't just going to settle for some everyday ATI 9800xt even tho its more era appropriate. I've tried to search around some more to try and get a understating of what to do. I think I know whats going on with the card modding when it comes to that Italian post. But I have 0 idea with the modifications to the motherboard are for. And the hard part is getting my hands on a AGP riser card, the Italian post links to a Chinese site that looks like it hasn't been update in years. But I believe I have narrowed down the part number to be the SH08A-124S-v4. Something gets soldered to its pin called A34 then that is connected by a single wire to a Molex Female plug. An Orange cable from a Sata Power cable (I think its stated that its a 3.3v wire) is then connected to a Male Molex plug and connected into the female cable on the riser card. From what I can gather this helps it get its needed 3.3v of power so it can power the 2 vsa100 chips. I think somewhere down in the post its mentioned that the V5 card its self also had some modding done, but I can't find what he has done to it other then add some custom cooling. Thats powdered by an independent molex cable. That just leaves the motherboard modding in question, either he doesn't go into too much detail or something is lost in the translation because I don't understand at all what he has done from the pictures. I might get a voodoo 4 4500 if I can find it for under $250 if its compatiable with an AGP8x slot, I noticed that the connector is different from the 5500. I still want a Voodoo Card for this system. I might have to come back to it a year later, but one way or the other I'd love to get it working on this motherboard.

To to bring back the "Custom retro parts" discussion, maybe a motherboard is too farfetched because of a lot of factors like how many ISA slots, Socket types, AMD vs Intel, what people do and don't care about. But I've seen trays of just plain old vas100 chips being sold, not just a few laying around, like they are sold by pallet it seems. Is someone still producing these things, where did they come from, because it doesn't looks they they will run out anytime soon? I have heard several people around the internet talking about having to buy new vsa100 chips to solder on there broken Voodoo 4/5 cards. I know Nvidia owns the production rights to all of 3DFXs old stuff. But maybe they could do a nostalgia fueled anniversary release of the 5500 and 6000. From the looks they don't even have to produce vsa100 chips, they just need need to buy a decent enough stock. 3DFX is a big name in retro PC gaming, I feel like they could easily break even selling reproduced 5500 and 6000 cards that are AGP 8x compatible or even PCIe variants. But at the very least, I think someone could draw up a DIY vsa100 AGP 8x or PCIe board, just buy the parts, solder them here and there, and in the age of the internet a dedicated team of developers can make a BIOS for the card and put it on github, download, flash done. A man can only dream.
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