VOGONS


First post, by Parni

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Hi,

Im looking for a Socket7 mobo that fits a baby-at case and supports 200MHz MMX CPU.
Any recommendations?

Reply 1 of 17, by dionb

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That's probably about half of them - literally hundreds...

It would help if you were a bit more specific:
- what are you looking for in a board? (nostalgia? classic designs?)
- brand preference?
- is highest performance for the CPU relevant?
- are you aiming for a specific year?
- what kind of RAM do you intend to use? and how much?
- how many PCI and ISA slots?
- AGP desired?
- PCB colour?

That should narrow down the field a bit.

Reply 2 of 17, by Namrok

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IMHO, the one you can get that works.

I actually have a Shuttle HOT 591p that was new old stock, but the caps bulged as soon as I started using it. So that needs recapping. Also, PCI cards that were too long got in the way of the CPU socket. But it was Baby AT, worked with a Pentium 233 MMX, and even had pins on the mobo for USB ports and a PS/2 mouse. Had an AGP slot too, and while I heard horror stories about the Super Socket 7's AGP support, using the driver combinations recommended by Phil's Computer Lab, I had zero issues what so ever.

Well, no issues until the caps began bulging and my system stability plummeted. But I'm sure when/if I recap it, it'll be a solid workhorse.

In the meantime I'm using a PC Partner MVP3BS7. It's even smaller than the Shuttle board, and the CPU socket isn't in the way of any slots. Gets pretty damned close to the AGP slot through. My CPU heatsink just barely avoids touching the TNT2 I put in there once. Never got the USB working, but it's the same chipset as the Shuttle HOT 591P, and I've been retro gaming on it every night for about 3 months now. Also needed the VIA PCI Latency driver for the SBLive I plugged in to behave properly. A seemingly totally random smattering of games crackled horribly, as well as anything that actually used EAX.

Reply 3 of 17, by Parni

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dionb wrote on 2020-12-09, 20:13:
That's probably about half of them - literally hundreds... […]
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That's probably about half of them - literally hundreds...

It would help if you were a bit more specific:
- what are you looking for in a board? (nostalgia? classic designs?)
- brand preference?
- is highest performance for the CPU relevant?
- are you aiming for a specific year?
- what kind of RAM do you intend to use? and how much?
- how many PCI and ISA slots?
- AGP desired?
- PCB colour?

That should narrow down the field a bit.

Maybe we can narrow it down with this 😀

- what are you looking for in a board? (nostalgia? classic designs?)
Stability mainly and AT power supply
- brand preference?
Shuttle, Asus, FIC
- is highest performance for the CPU relevant?
I have a bunch of Intel 200MHz MMX available so I would like to utilize them, no need to go higher
- are you aiming for a specific year?
Maybe 1996, same year as Intel 200MHz MMX and Voodoo was released 😉
- what kind of RAM do you intend to use? and how much?
I have a lot of 168pins available, so mainly those, just wondering does so old mobos support 256mb memory modules?
- how many PCI and ISA slots?
Two PCI and Two ISA is enough
- AGP desired?
Nope
- PCB colour?
Doesnt matter 😀

I have one ultimate requirement, the BIOS battery needs to be CR2032, I hate to tweak those dallas RTCs 😀

Reply 4 of 17, by vetz

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A board that was highly recommended back in 1996/1997 was ASUS P/I-P55T2P4

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/motherbo … YG3vxMSfhbr3JPw

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Reply 5 of 17, by dionb

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Parni wrote on 2020-12-09, 20:42:
[...] […]
Show full quote

[...]

Maybe we can narrow it down with this 😀

- what are you looking for in a board? (nostalgia? classic designs?)
Stability mainly and AT power supply
- brand preference?
Shuttle, Asus, FIC
- is highest performance for the CPU relevant?
I have a bunch of Intel 200MHz MMX available so I would like to utilize them, no need to go higher
- are you aiming for a specific year?
Maybe 1996, same year as Intel 200MHz MMX and Voodoo was released 😉
- what kind of RAM do you intend to use? and how much?
I have a lot of 168pins available, so mainly those, just wondering does so old mobos support 256mb memory modules?
- how many PCI and ISA slots?
Two PCI and Two ISA is enough
- AGP desired?
Nope
- PCB colour?
Doesnt matter 😀

I have one ultimate requirement, the BIOS battery needs to be CR2032, I hate to tweak those dallas RTCs 😀

Right, that does narrow it down a bit - and it's probably too narrow: no 1996 board is going to support 256MB DIMMs. The very first SDRAM chipsets were released in 1996 (i430VX and Via VPX), and they could handle max 16Mb chip densities, so max 32MB DIMMs (with 16 chips). If you want 256MB, you need to go up to at least 1997 and the i430TX. Officially it supports max 256MB with 2x 128MB (with 64Mb chips), but it has the same mem controller as the i440EX and can handle 128Mb chips, so 256MB will work if it has 16 chips and they're 16Mx8, not 32Mx4, for a total of max 512MB. If your 256MB modules have 8 chips, they are 256Mb density, and will work, but only half will be available, so they will be detected as 128MB each.

But... i430TX can only cache 64MB of RAM. The performance hit depends on what OS you are running. Linux and WiNT/2k/XP fill memory from the bottom up, so the most-used RAM will be cached and the impact minimal. DOS and Win9x do so top down (seen from memory controller perspective). There the hit will be bigger, particularly in Win9x - around 5% or so. If you accept that, go for an Asus TX97(-E) , Shuttle HOT-569 or similar.

Best choice for 256MB DIMMs is the Via MVP3 chipset, but you're firmly in 1999 territory there with AGP to boot. FIC-VA503+ would be the obvious choice, but Shuttle HOT-591P

As far as I'm aware all these boards have CR-2032 batteries.

Edit:
Personally I'd also consider an ASUS P/I-P55T2P4 about the best pairing with Pentium MMX, but:
- no SDRAM support in the i430HX chipset, so you'd need to source 72p EDO
- Dallas/Odin RTC.

Reply 6 of 17, by waterbeesje

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About the mvp3 and Pentium 200mmx:
I have a super 7 board with this chipset and have ran it for a while with a 200mmx. It's great for overclocking! Add the biggest socket A sink that will fit and run the MMX at 100MHz fsb. It'll at least do 250MHz but io will improve a great deal. Would be my choice 😀

If you're going for pure Socket 7, the tx chipset would be great. Also the Aladdin IV would be an ok chipset. My IBM aptiva has the Aladdin IV and with any MMX, K6 or MII at 66MHz fsb it's solid as a rock. Those don't have AGP. I think that makes the choice for graphics a bit less interesting if you don't put in a voodoo.

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 7 of 17, by dionb

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ALi Aladdin IV - yes, hard to find but possibly the best choice. It's also clock-for-clock the fastest So7 chipset, suports 128Mb SDRAM chips and with an 11b tag RAM it can cache up to 512MB (watch out: 8b is more common, that's limited to 64MB). WIth 83MHz bus speed you could run Pentium MMX up to 290MHz, which the later OPGA (black, non-ceramic) CPUs can generally easily handle. Only problem is board vendors - no Asus, Shuttle or FIC. The three options I'm aware of are Biostar M5ATA, MSI MS-5164 and an number of PC Chips boards where it's relabled "TXPro", like the M560.

Reply 8 of 17, by vetz

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I've done some benchmarks here on Socket 5 and 7 motherboards:
Socket 5 & 7 Motherboard VGA Benchmark comparison

SDRAM only gives noticable performance boost on SS7 motherboards. If you want to go for 1996 and use a MMX cpu, then a 430HX board is your best bet.

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Reply 9 of 17, by Dmetsys

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Just my few cents;

If you are looking to explore your knowledge with a broad range of Socket 7 CPU's, the MVP3 and Aladdin V based boards (SS7) are going to be your best bet. Pentium P54C to AMD K6-III+ support, across the board.

The 430TX and 430HX can accept 66 MHz FSB K6-2's, but not the 100 MHz FSB variants. In some situations, you won't get an 430TX/HX board to go past 83 MHz FSB. YMMV, arguments will be stated, but sometimes its best to go with what was offered at the end of the lifecycle for any given socket.

If you're in a pinch, and have no choice to go with the an Intel chipset based board, ASUS TXP4 and TX97-E hands down. There are also modified BIOS' out there for them that support 128GB hard disks.

Last edited by Dmetsys on 2020-12-10, 00:59. Edited 1 time in total.

BE6-II 1.0 | PIII-500 | 320MB | GeForce 2 MX400
P5A-B | K6-2 300 (100x3) | 256MB | GeForce 2 MX
ECS UM4980 | 5x86-P75 | 32MB | 90C33-ZZ (In progress..)
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Macintosh Plus

Reply 10 of 17, by dionb

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vetz wrote on 2020-12-09, 23:10:

I've done some benchmarks here on Socket 5 and 7 motherboards:
Socket 5 & 7 Motherboard VGA Benchmark comparison

SDRAM only gives noticable performance boost on SS7 motherboards. If you want to go for 1996 and use a MMX cpu, then a 430HX board is your best bet.

Agreed, but he currently has SDRAM, not EDO. I'd go for P55T2P4 all the way myself 😉

Reply 11 of 17, by waterbeesje

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Agreed, my Ali IV is IBM branded, an Acer OEM product with the horrible 8 bit tag. And yes, adding more will drop performance noticeably. Even with pc133 mem it won't boot past 75MHz fsb... Even with a K6-2 400 that runs fine with a 100MHz bus (on Ali V).

Fun fact: if you get a late AMD K6-2 (CxT version) and set the multiplier to 2 it runs a multiplier of 6. So my aptiva did run the K6-2 fine at 400 @ 66x6 😀
Just like both K6 and MMX accept 1,5x to run 3,5x multiplier.

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 12 of 17, by alvaro84

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For a PMMX CPU and SDRAM I'd probably go with some Asus Tx97* or TXP4. As for 256MB DIMMs, well, 16-chip ones will show up in their entire size but won't be fully cached. TX's cacheable range is a mere 64MiB which is not a problem under DOS as it, unlike win9x builds from bottom up! Some older titles may complain about not having enough memory, though, which will make you manually allocate some to make it see an intelligable amount, and you might end up using the uncached area, losing some performance, which you may won't even notice in this particular case...

For caching 256M+ you may need a diffrrent chipset, like VIA MVP3 with 1MB+ L2 cache or the new revision of ALI Aladdin V (which opens a new can of worms with K6-2+/3+ CPUs).

Shame on us, doomed from the start
May God have mercy on our dirty little hearts

Reply 13 of 17, by Parni

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Wow! Thanks for all the answers, this place is amazing! 😁 Long live Vogons!

Coming back how this thread started, I'm not locked to use the DIMM modules I have, could also go with EDO as I found a bunch of those as well 😁 (it's amazing what you find when you clean old drawers)

I could explain a bit more why i'm asking this, I will build actually four machines for LAN purposes. So far I have the baby-at cases, CPU's (200Mhz MMX), either 168 or 72 pin memory) and Voodoo1:s
So I'm not really looking for overclocking or stuff like that, just average motherboard that does the job.

Ps. Any recommandations for 2D-graphics cards from 1996 to run parallel with the voodoos? I currently have a bunch of S3 Trio64/+ cards

Reply 14 of 17, by vetz

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Parni wrote on 2020-12-14, 13:55:

Ps. Any recommandations for 2D-graphics cards from 1996 to run parallel with the voodoos? I currently have a bunch of S3 Trio64/+ cards

The S3 cards are a good match.

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Reply 15 of 17, by douglar

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I love my P5I430TX TITANIUM IB+ because

  • jumperless voltage and multipler settings in bios
  • supports large hard drives
  • customizable POST images.
  • EDO and SDRAM

Downsides are non-standard usb pin blocks and that it only goes up to 83Mhz.

DFI P5BV3+ /E is the best 100Mhz that I have. Compact, has switches instead of jumpers, AGP, and works with a K6-III, but it's still not as cool as the jumperless Titanium.

Reply 17 of 17, by SodaSuccubus

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Parni wrote on 2020-12-14, 13:55:

Ps. Any recommandations for 2D-graphics cards from 1996 to run parallel with the voodoos? I currently have a bunch of S3 Trio64/+ cards

S3 if you really care about perfect DOS compatibility, although for Voodoo builds of this kind, I usually prefer suggesting Matrox cards for the extra video quality and VESA speed.

Matrox compatibility issues are blown out of proportion. Hell, the Mystique I have will run obscure Japanese DOS games like Rusty fine, and those to my knowledge often use some custom display stuff.