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Intel SE440BX-2 / Issues

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First post, by NyLan

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Hi

I'm putting here some info, any advice / comment are welcome 😀

Windows 98SE
Mobo : Intel se440bx-2 with P10 Bios
Chipset Driver : Intel 3.20.1008
CPU : PIII 850 : 850/256/100/1.7V S1
Spare CPU : PIII 450 : 450/512/100/2.0V S1 ( In case of issues like bios update that refuse the PIII 850 )
RAM : 2x128MB + 1x256MB
Graphic Card : AGP Nvidia RivaTNT2 64 ( Nvidia Vanta )
Voodoo 2 Card ( when it works - see below )
Sound Card : ISA SoundBlaster CT4170
Sata Card : Sunix Sats4000 Silicon Image Sil3114a

IMG-20200710-220812.jpg
Running Bios 5.4.03
IMG-20200711-181105.jpg

First issue : Bios / CPU
I'm currently running Bios P10 as it's the last one that support my PIII 850. I tried all of them up to P17, none of them support this CPU.

Second issue : Voodoo 2
Sometimes the motherboard refuses to see it. It works fine for some times, and suddenly it's like the Voodoo is not here anymore. Both DOS and Windows don't see it like it's just no present.
I'm still troubleshooting this issue. The Voodoo2 is working fine on another build

Third issue : Disk Speed !

I have some spare SSD Drives, most of them are Samsung drives, and a Sandisk one, results are pretty closed
Under DOS ( SpeedSys results below ), the speed looks good to me 86MB/s on linear speed
Under windows 98, results are pretty bad, and not really consistent. Sometimes good read, sometimes not, writes always very low.

Using the SATA Card : ( without any drivers or with drivers installed results are exactly the same )

Roadkil Bench with PIII 850 :
Roadkil-SSD-Sata-850.jpg

SpeedSys with PIII 850
Speed-Sys-SSD-Sandisk-Sata-850.jpg

ATTO with Sandisk and PIII 850:
SSD-Sandisk-Sata-850.jpg

ATTO with Samsung and PIII 450
SSD-Sata-450.jpg

ATTO with Samsung and PIII 850
SSD-Sata-850.jpg

Connected to IDE with this adapter, speed is still really low, but at least read and write speed are closer :

IMG-20200713-161048.jpg
IMG-20200713-161107.jpg

With PIII 450 :
SSD-IDE-450.jpg

With PIII 850 :
SSD-IDE-850.jpg

My Intel SE440BX-2 Intel's website Mirror : Modified to include docs, refs and BIOSes.

Reply 1 of 33, by bearking

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BIOS version P16 should "see" your CPU. In my board I'm running 1 GHz skt370 coppermine on a slotket...
I found that version P16 is the most flexible version regarding CPU support...

Reply 2 of 33, by brt02

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I dont have my SE440BX2 bench set up at the moment so I'm not sure on the BIOS options, CPU support etc....

Might be able to help with your SSD speeds though...

Windows 98 by default does not play nice if you have your IDE channels and add in SATA cards running simultaneously. This might explain the decent speeds in dos and poor speeds in windows

I think that your drives might be running in DOS compatibility mode. Right click on my computer > properties and click on the performance tab. Check that it states "your system is configured for optimal performance"

On my 8xx series intel chipset boards installing IAA (intel application accelerator) fixes this, not sure what options are there for 440 based boards - there might be an intel ATA driver that you can install to replace the built in windows ones

I will try and have a look for you.

Last edited by brt02 on 2020-07-13, 17:52. Edited 1 time in total.

Intel OR840 | Dual P3 1GHz - 1GB PC800 RDRAM - ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - Creative Audigy 2ZS - Lian Li PC-65 - W98/W2K

Reply 3 of 33, by darry

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brt02 wrote on 2020-07-13, 17:35:
I dont have my SE440BX2 bench set up at the moment so I'm not sure on the BIOS options, CPU support etc.... […]
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I dont have my SE440BX2 bench set up at the moment so I'm not sure on the BIOS options, CPU support etc....

Might be able to help with your SSD speeds though...

Windows 98 by default does not play nice if you have your IDE channels and add in SATA cards running simultaneously. This might explain the decent speeds in dos and poor speeds in windows

I think that your drives might be running in DOS compatibility mode. Right click on my computer > properties and click on the performance tab. Check that it states "your system is configured for optimal performance"

On my 8xx series intel chipset boards installing IAA (intel application accelerator) fixes this, not sure what options are there for 440 based boards - there should be an intel ATA driver that you can install to replace the built in windows ones

I will try and have a look for you.

It looks like the DMA checkbox is not checked in disk properties in Device Manager when running off the board's integrated IDE controller.

Reply 4 of 33, by brt02

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bearking wrote on 2020-07-13, 17:25:

BIOS version P16 should "see" your CPU. In my board I'm running 1 GHz skt370 coppermine on a slotket...
I found that version P16 is the most flexible version regarding CPU support...

Yeah, and there are other examples of this board running with 1ghz CPUs, both with SLOT1 and S370/Slockets

Keep in mind that CPU support can depend on board version. I have attached the PDFs that I have for the board - BIOS changelog, manual and specification updates

The specification update pdf lists board versions that support faster CPUs. I expect that with later BIOS' intel prevented certain boards from booting with faster CPUs

Attachments

Intel OR840 | Dual P3 1GHz - 1GB PC800 RDRAM - ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - Creative Audigy 2ZS - Lian Li PC-65 - W98/W2K

Reply 5 of 33, by brt02

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darry wrote on 2020-07-13, 17:38:

It looks like the DMA checkbox is not checked in disk properties in Device Manager when running off the board's integrated IDE controller.

Worth checking that too

Intel OR840 | Dual P3 1GHz - 1GB PC800 RDRAM - ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - Creative Audigy 2ZS - Lian Li PC-65 - W98/W2K

Reply 6 of 33, by bearking

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Re: Intel SE440BX-2 Bios
Here you can find some pics with my board running the 1 GHz P3, maybe the version of the board is readable(the white label on the top)... just for comparition...

Reply 7 of 33, by chinny22

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Agree with darry, you probably need to enable DMA. Cant remember if you needed to install chipset drivers first or not for Win98 (but you should install them anyway)

Your after 3.20.1008.zip
https://www.philscomputerlab.com/intel-chipset-drivers.html

This is for onboard IDE which personally is my preferred method with the IDE to SATA converter, keeps things simple.
If you want to use the SATA card, you'll need to find the Win98 drivers for that.

Who knows it may fix the disappearing Voodoo as well?
If not you can try different drivers, Personally I usually use reference or FastVoodoo
http://falconfly.3dfx.pl/voodoo2.htm

Reply 8 of 33, by NyLan

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Adding more infos !

IMG-20200714-115322.jpg

Regarding the Bios update 16 and 17, I tried both and both return the same error ( talking about voltage incompatibility ) and stop after post.
On the white sticker : IMS292201688 AA 720940-213 and on the motherboard ( don't know if it's relevant ) E139761

For the Chipset driver I'm already using 3.20.1008 which is the last one for 440Bx and there's no IAA for this chipset 🙁

For the SSD Issue, I also noticed the Compatibility Warning :
compatibility-warning.jpg

I disabled the IDE ports completely.
First bench with no drivers installed for the Sata card :
Sata-Only-no-drivers.jpg

Second bench with Sata Card drivers. Interesting, I feel previous test without any drivers was better !
Sata-Only-Pci-drivers.jpg

Last test, with the IDE/Sata adapter and I removed the Sata Card... and the warning is gone !
compatibility-warning-gone.jpg

As some of you suggested, DMA was not enabled under Windows... Enabling it shows better results :
IDE-Only-with-DMA.jpg

For the Voodoo2 issue, it has nothing to do with Windows Drivers because when it disappear, I can't even see it with Speedsys !
I should maybe try to update the BIOS to P16 or P17 to see if it fixes this issue.

My Intel SE440BX-2 Intel's website Mirror : Modified to include docs, refs and BIOSes.

Reply 10 of 33, by NyLan

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Yes, I posted some pictures. With or without drivers for the Sata Card, results are erractic the same way. And sometime betters without drivers.

My Intel SE440BX-2 Intel's website Mirror : Modified to include docs, refs and BIOSes.

Reply 13 of 33, by NyLan

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I did all previous test with Voodoo2 removed. The wierd thing concerning the Voodoo2 is that it works for a while, then stop to be recognized. Sometimes if I switch to another PCI Port it works back for few days, sometime not.
I'm currently reinstalling Win98 to make some tests with the Sata card so see if changing slots and drivers helps.

My Intel SE440BX-2 Intel's website Mirror : Modified to include docs, refs and BIOSes.

Reply 14 of 33, by brt02

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That version (AA 720940-213) of your board does not officially support coppermine P3s. So you are stuck with older BIOS versions (P13 might also work for you though)

Are you using an IDE CD drive? If so is it detected by windows? Check device manager too. Are there any warnings on the IDE ports with the PCI SATA card installed?

Intel OR840 | Dual P3 1GHz - 1GB PC800 RDRAM - ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - Creative Audigy 2ZS - Lian Li PC-65 - W98/W2K

Reply 15 of 33, by NyLan

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Yep I'm using an IDE CD Drive, no issue. Just unplugged while testing the SSD. No warnings at all even when the PCI SATA Card is installed

My Intel SE440BX-2 Intel's website Mirror : Modified to include docs, refs and BIOSes.

Reply 16 of 33, by doogie

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Here is the SE440BX-2 system I built a couple of years ago - all hardware specs are in the below imgur post however the board revision is not in the pictures best I can tell (sadly). You could assume it was a pretty late revision board I suppose given NOS but I do not know for sure.

https://imgur.com/a/ZzgDQ

I sold this system complete as pictured, in large part because it was so boring. It booted every single time and gave me zero hassles once I stopped fooling with the hardware, and I think that's what I mostly enjoy - tinkering with hardware!

A couple of things that tripped me up early with the board:
-It absolutely will not run 133MHz processors
-I needed to replace the CMOS battery and then reset the BIOS settings before it would reliably boot

I also realize that this does not solve your problem, but only to say it is possible (and perhaps for example what slots I installed the cards in might be helpful).

Reply 17 of 33, by NyLan

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Hey Doogie, really nice setup !

For the SATA Pci Card I actually can't update the Bios as it's not recognized by the Silicon Image flashing tool. I tested 2 different drivers, same results and always showing the attached drive as MS-DOS Compatibility Mode. Also tested on different PCI port, same results.
I noticed something "interesting" when using CrystalDisk Mark, if I select only 1 pass for the Read Seq, the speed is like 5-8 MB/s but if I select more passes, it goes from 5-8 to 80MB/s ( the write speed remains anemic )

I'll try to buy another IDE to Sata adapters from another brand and another SATA Pci Card as well later this summer to confirm if it's just this card that's crappy.

My goal here is not only to fix my issues, but also to share this experience, just in case someone faces the same issues 😀

My Intel SE440BX-2 Intel's website Mirror : Modified to include docs, refs and BIOSes.

Reply 18 of 33, by darry

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NyLan wrote on 2020-07-15, 13:28:
Hey Doogie, really nice setup ! […]
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Hey Doogie, really nice setup !

For the SATA Pci Card I actually can't update the Bios as it's not recognized by the Silicon Image flashing tool. I tested 2 different drivers, same results and always showing the attached drive as MS-DOS Compatibility Mode. Also tested on different PCI port, same results.
I noticed something "interesting" when using CrystalDisk Mark, if I select only 1 pass for the Read Seq, the speed is like 5-8 MB/s but if I select more passes, it goes from 5-8 to 80MB/s ( the write speed remains anemic )

I'll try to buy another IDE to Sata adapters from another brand and another SATA Pci Card as well later this summer to confirm if it's just this card that's crappy.

My goal here is not only to fix my issues, but also to share this experience, just in case someone faces the same issues 😀

My tentative recommendation, based on personal experience, for currently available IDE to SATA adapters is the SinLoon brand ones that are base on the Jmicron JM20330 chip . They are available on Amazon and probably elsewhere . That said, you will never get more than 33MB/second out of the integrated IDE ports on your board, no matter which adapter you use so I don't see much use in going in that direction . Also, the BIOS on your board likely will not properly handle drives greater than, at most, 127GB (if even that), connected to its onboard IDE ports .

As far as SATA PCI cards go, the Promise SATA150 TX2 PLUS is a good choice, if you can find one at a reasonable price and . If you can get a working one a SIL3114 should work well too . Keep in mind, though, that since you are using an SSD, the SIL3114 based cards will not pass TRIM commands under DOS at least (using RLOEWE's TRIM utility) .

Reply 19 of 33, by NyLan

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That's a very good point. I'm using 256GB SSDs, no issues to report so far, in DOS or Windows. I just use my main computer to format drives in FAT32.
I take note of your recommendations. The Promise looks hard to find. I just check ebay, almost only SATA II 150 or SATA300 which don't seems to be win98 friendly 😀

Edit : For the TRIM it's also something I had in mind but I have a lot of 256GB SSD laying around, so it's not a big deal if some of them have their lifespan reduced 😀

My Intel SE440BX-2 Intel's website Mirror : Modified to include docs, refs and BIOSes.