VOGONS


Reply 80 of 200, by BitWrangler

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Falcosoft wrote on 2022-02-19, 00:43:
Warlord wrote on 2022-02-19, 00:31:

I'm not convinced. More granularity is only important at the low end of speeds. It is virtually irrelevant if you can get few MHz differences at the high end. There are no speed sensitive software that can run at PII equivalent of 400 Mhz but do not at 450. And on SS7 platform you can use lower FSB and with a VIA southbridge you get twice the granularity with throttle. So K6-2/3+ with a VIA chipset is very flexible at the low end.

Agreed, if I were designing a retro x86 CPU from scratch it would get a bunch of settings below 200Mhz, and only one per hundred or two hundred Mhz above that.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 84 of 200, by j^aws

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bloodem wrote on 2022-02-16, 06:33:

As a follow-up to a discussion that started here, I've decided to create a separate thread where I (we) can make an accurate comparison (based on empirical data) between VIA C3 and other platforms.
...

I did these tests years ago, and the conclusion for 'best' slow platform with the largest CPU range without using tools like Moslow and Throttle:

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Re: WIP 2: The 6-in-1 Turbo-switched Socket 7 - from XT to 500MHz; dual Tseng powered...

Most flexible from slowest:

1) K6III+ with a S7 supporting appropriate and active Turbo switch (not a SS7)
2) Slot 1/ S370 with an EZRA-T overclocked to 1200+ MHz
3) S7 and K6III+ with board that can change write thru from write back cache for L1 (an extra parameter)

After this, you can use a second board with an unlocked Core2Duo S775 that scales from 600MHz to 3000+MHz, covering 3D games.

Or an unlocked PIII Tualeron/ Tualatin instead of the above, from 200 MHz to 1400+ MHz. Or an AMD Athlon flavour.

Notable mentions:

A) Nehemiah and Slot1 / S370
B) SS7 and K6III+
C) Unlocked PII and Slot 1, with ability to switch write thru from write back L1 cache (extra parameter)

Reply 87 of 200, by j^aws

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Warlord wrote on 2022-02-20, 20:42:

so unless your SS7 has a turbo switch that works well, than it's not more flexible than a ezra-T, th.anks for confirming .

Yes, this info looks to be buried from years ago with all the SS7 hype.

Reply 88 of 200, by bloodem

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j^aws wrote on 2022-02-20, 20:37:
I did these tests years ago, and the conclusion for 'best' slow platform with the largest CPU range without using tools like Mos […]
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I did these tests years ago, and the conclusion for 'best' slow platform with the largest CPU range without using tools like Moslow and Throttle:

Most flexible from slowest:

1) K6III+ with a S7 supporting appropriate and active Turbo switch (not a SS7)
2) Slot 1/ S370 with an EZRA-T overclocked to 1200+ MHz
3) S7 and K6III+ with board that can change write thru from write back cache for L1 (an extra parameter)

After this, you can use a second board with an unlocked Core2Duo S775 that scales from 600MHz to 3000+MHz, covering 3D games.

Or an unlocked PIII Tualeron/ Tualatin instead of the above, from 200 MHz to 1400+ MHz. Or an AMD Athlon flavour.

Notable mentions:

A) Nehemiah and Slot1 / S370
B) SS7 and K6III+
C) Unlocked PII and Slot 1, with ability to switch write thru from write back L1 cache (extra parameter)

Thank you, @j^aws. Yes, that's basically my experience as well.
Anyway, this is the main idea of this thread: I'm trying to prove that, no matter how one looks at it (from a flexibility/performance/stability standpoint, etc), the Ezra-T + 440BX is superior to a SS7 build.
That does not mean that SS7 builds are bad, far from it. As I said, I also love this platform and have a bit too many SS7 systems myself. However, having used both the Ezra-T/440BX and a multitude of SS7 PCs, I can attest without any doubt in my mind that the former is just better in every way.

Anyway, will get to the flexibility comparisons in a future video, but for now I want to focus on the performance side of things.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will now switch to SS7 for one or two videos, so I have built the following system:

FULL SYSTEM SPECS:
MB: Asus P5A rev 1.04
CPU: AMD K6-2+ 550 MHz OC @ 633 MHz / FSB105 & 6 multi
RAM: 128 MB SAMSUNG SDRAM PC133 (there are actually 2 x 128 MB modules, but only half the size is detected by the motherboard; using more than 128 MB of RAM decreases performance by 5 - 10%, even when using a chip with on-die cache).
VIDEO: Asus V7700Ti GeForce 2 Ti (OC @ GeForce 2 Ultra clocks)
SOUND: Creative Sound Blaster Live 5.1 SB0220
SOUND2: ESS AudioDrive ES1688F (non-PNP / irrelevant for this test).
HDD: Seagate 40 GB IDE/PATA

I'm planning on doing the benchmarks sometime next week, so I figured that I should first ask for a few suggestions regarding the testing procedure, to avoid being accused that I'm favoring one platform over the other 🤣

A bit of context: this is my second fastest SS7 build. My fastest build also has an Asus P5A rev 1.04, with a K6-3+ 400 running @ 633 MHz (FSB115 x 5.5 multi), however it's currently in storage ~300 km away from my current location. That build is generally ~10% faster than this one - so a faster SS7 build than this one is possible but only if one is very, very lucky with both the CPU and the motherboard.

Having said that, the build I'm using for the upcoming tests is also extremely fast for a SS7! Unfortunately, this particular motherboard does not like FSB speeds higher than 105 (it does work @ 112, but it's not 100% stable, there will be an occasional crash in certain games - particularly Unreal). After investigating, I've concluded that the motherboard cache is the issue (when disabling the external cache it's perfectly stable, but slower).
Still, it's a very fast platform as it is, but I should mention (and I can't stress this enough): the speed of this build is not the norm for SS7, not even close. In fact, I have yet to find a faster motherboard than the Asus P5A (and, boy, have I tested many!). Bottom line, 99% of SS7 builds out there will be slower than this one (some by quite a lot), so keep that in mind.

The CPU I'm using is very overclockable (better than average), so I'm going to ignore one of the rules that I set for myself (I mentioned in the initial thread that overclocks are totally fine - and recommended, actually - since they allow us to better understand what a CPU's true potential is, but I will stick to clocks which should be achievable with most/all CPUs of that particular type). So, yeah, just this one time, I will ignore this rule and go with a chip that is more overclockable than usual.

So, before doing the actual video, I'm open to suggestions regarding what other games I should test. I do have a very important rule: the game must have a benchmark mode that is repetitive and easy to run.
One idea is to test all games with and without sound (because, especially on SS7, there is a HUGE difference between the two). Of course, my main focus since the beginning has been testing with sound, for obvious reasons (people who want to buy these PCs are interested in the real-world performance numbers, and that certainly includes sound as well).

As a reminder, this is the current list of games/benchmarks (in the exact order I've been running them):
- GLQuake (low resolution)
- Quake 2 (low resolution / high resolution / software mode)
- 3DMark99 (default settings)
- 3DMark2000 (default settings)
- MDK2 (low resolution / high resolution)
- Expendable (low resolution)
- Unreal (low resolution)
- Quake 3 (with / without sound + low resolution/high resolution)

If the list of tested games changes dramatically, I will of course revisit the Ezra-T to run the new benchmarks.

Last edited by bloodem on 2022-03-12, 04:03. Edited 2 times in total.

1 x PLCC-68 / 2 x PGA132 / 5 x Skt 3 / 9 x Skt 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Skt 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Skt 370 / 8 x Skt A / 2 x Skt 478 / 2 x Skt 754 / 3 x Skt 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 90 of 200, by bloodem

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Doornkaat wrote on 2022-03-11, 16:40:

Welcome back, bloodem! The discussion was slightly OT but did you see the result of my SMB vs. CUBX-E test? (last post on page 4)
It didn't appear to do anything but give bogus readings.

Hi, Doornkaat! Thank you, "good" to be back in full-blown winter @ -15 degrees C 😅 I won't complain, though... at least my country is not at war...
Regarding your test, thanks for the heads-up, I missed that post!
It's too bad that it hasn't worked (even though it should have). So, back to square one: the GA-6BXC continues to be the only board that we know of where software FSB control works flawlessly.

1 x PLCC-68 / 2 x PGA132 / 5 x Skt 3 / 9 x Skt 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Skt 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Skt 370 / 8 x Skt A / 2 x Skt 478 / 2 x Skt 754 / 3 x Skt 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 91 of 200, by Doornkaat

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bloodem wrote on 2022-03-11, 16:47:
Hi, Doornkaat! Thank you, "good" to be back in full-blown winter @ -15 degrees C :sweat_smile: I won't complain, though... at le […]
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Doornkaat wrote on 2022-03-11, 16:40:

Welcome back, bloodem! The discussion was slightly OT but did you see the result of my SMB vs. CUBX-E test? (last post on page 4)
It didn't appear to do anything but give bogus readings.

Hi, Doornkaat! Thank you, "good" to be back in full-blown winter @ -15 degrees C 😅 I won't complain, though... at least my country is not at war...
Regarding your test, thanks for the heads-up, I missed that post!
It's too bad that it hasn't worked (even though it should have). So, back to square one: the GA-6BXC continues to be the only board that we know of where software FSB control works flawlessly.

I turned off the radiators in my flat when the war started in Ukraine because the house's central heating uses fossil gas and I don't want to fund a war. Lucky it only goes below zero at night and it's sunny during the day so room temps haven't gone below 15°C.

Anyway, back to the previous OT: I think I have a later rev GA-6BXC and at least one GA-BX2000+ somewhere and I definitely have got a GA-6BX7. When I manage to dig those up I'll look what clock gen they use and test them as well.

Reply 92 of 200, by Bendejo

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Do I have to use a 440BX socket for the Ezra-T or a normal Slot 1/370 gets me there? Just asking since I went ahead and ordered a Socket 370 LEGEND QDI P6V693A/A9 ADVANCE 9 MOTHERBOARD, since it had an AGP slot and 2 PCI slots. I figured I would want those for a super flex all in one DOS/Win98 build. I also got parts for doing a SS7 build with the K3+ I haven't put together yet. Was thinking of building the 2 systems and doing some benchmarking as well.

Reply 93 of 200, by TrashPanda

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Bendejo wrote on 2022-03-11, 21:48:

Do I have to use a 440BX socket for the Ezra-T or a normal Slot 1/370 gets me there? Just asking since I went ahead and ordered a Socket 370 LEGEND QDI P6V693A/A9 ADVANCE 9 MOTHERBOARD, since it had an AGP slot and 2 PCI slots. I figured I would want those for a super flex all in one DOS/Win98 build. I also got parts for doing a SS7 build with the K3+ I haven't put together yet. Was thinking of building the 2 systems and doing some benchmarking as well.

The motherboard needs a chipset that can change FSB/Multipliers via software not all boards are capable of this or are compatible with the software that can do this.

I put my Ezra build aside till I can source the parts I need, either I use a slotket with the board suggested or I find another board capable of it, there are other boards but well you tend to have to wait on eBay availability where I live.

Reply 94 of 200, by Bendejo

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-03-11, 22:10:
Bendejo wrote on 2022-03-11, 21:48:

Do I have to use a 440BX socket for the Ezra-T or a normal Slot 1/370 gets me there? Just asking since I went ahead and ordered a Socket 370 LEGEND QDI P6V693A/A9 ADVANCE 9 MOTHERBOARD, since it had an AGP slot and 2 PCI slots. I figured I would want those for a super flex all in one DOS/Win98 build. I also got parts for doing a SS7 build with the K3+ I haven't put together yet. Was thinking of building the 2 systems and doing some benchmarking as well.

The motherboard needs a chipset that can change FSB/Multipliers via software not all boards are capable of this or are compatible with the software that can do this.

I put my Ezra build aside till I can source the parts I need, either I use a slotket with the board suggested or I find another board capable of it, there are other boards but well you tend to have to wait on eBay availability where I live.

I still haven't gotten my Ezra-T CPU yet. But the motherboard I got was pretty expensive so I'm stuck with it. I will still put it together when I get all the parts but I guess I should expect the chance of it not to work as intended. You mentioned there are other boards? Is there something specific to look for? Or just look at the boards that been suggested on here?

Reply 95 of 200, by TrashPanda

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Bendejo wrote on 2022-03-11, 23:22:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-03-11, 22:10:
Bendejo wrote on 2022-03-11, 21:48:

Do I have to use a 440BX socket for the Ezra-T or a normal Slot 1/370 gets me there? Just asking since I went ahead and ordered a Socket 370 LEGEND QDI P6V693A/A9 ADVANCE 9 MOTHERBOARD, since it had an AGP slot and 2 PCI slots. I figured I would want those for a super flex all in one DOS/Win98 build. I also got parts for doing a SS7 build with the K3+ I haven't put together yet. Was thinking of building the 2 systems and doing some benchmarking as well.

The motherboard needs a chipset that can change FSB/Multipliers via software not all boards are capable of this or are compatible with the software that can do this.

I put my Ezra build aside till I can source the parts I need, either I use a slotket with the board suggested or I find another board capable of it, there are other boards but well you tend to have to wait on eBay availability where I live.

I still haven't gotten my Ezra-T CPU yet. But the motherboard I got was pretty expensive so I'm stuck with it. I will still put it together when I get all the parts but I guess I should expect the chance of it not to work as intended. You mentioned there are other boards? Is there something specific to look for? Or just look at the boards that been suggested on here?

You can check out the web pages of the software that changes FSB/Multiplier and they will tell you what chipset/ICs the board needs to have for the software to work.

The software is mention in this thread, not sure if the QDI board will work but its a great board all the same even if the software doesnt work with it, itll make a nice build.

Reply 96 of 200, by enaiel

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Bendejo wrote on 2022-03-11, 21:48:

Do I have to use a 440BX socket for the Ezra-T or a normal Slot 1/370 gets me there? Just asking since I went ahead and ordered a Socket 370 LEGEND QDI P6V693A/A9 ADVANCE 9 MOTHERBOARD, since it had an AGP slot and 2 PCI slots. I figured I would want those for a super flex all in one DOS/Win98 build. I also got parts for doing a SS7 build with the K3+ I haven't put together yet. Was thinking of building the 2 systems and doing some benchmarking as well.

As luck might have it, I am actually writing a FSB utility for VIA chipsets that runs in DOS. Why should only 440BX owners have all the fun? So far, it only works with one PLL - ICS94211. Let me know what PLL your board has, and I will try to add support for it. Decoding PLL datasheets and adding support is hard work though, and may take some time. Especially since "real life" has a bad habit of delaying hobby projects.

#1 VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0GHz / MSI MS-6368 / Voodoo2+ViRGE GX / SBPro2+YMF744+AWE64+SC-7
#2 Pentium III-S Tualatin 1.40GHz / QDI A10T / Voodoo3 3000+GF4 Ti4200 / Audigy+AU8830+SC-50

Reply 97 of 200, by bloodem

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-03-11, 22:10:

The motherboard needs a chipset that can change FSB/Multipliers via software not all boards are capable of this or are compatible with the software that can do this.

Well, it doesn't really need it, it's just needed if you're looking to squeeze every drop of performance out of it.
Most motherboards should support a lower FSB - like 124 MHz, and all (or most) Ezra-T CPUs will boot just fine at this frequency (124 x 10 = 1240 MHz), even at default voltage. It will be a bit slower than at 133 MHz, but still quite fast.
There are some Ezra-T CPUs out there that even boot properly and are stable at 133 MHz (1.33 GHz). I only have one that does, but it needs 1.55V to be completely stable. Of course, you don't even need it to be completely stable, you just need it to be stable up to the Windows loading screen. At that point you can add setmul to the autoexec.bat file and decrease the multiplier to "9.5" before Windows finishes loading.

Now, regarding the software multiplier control, the motherboard has nothing to do with this. No matter the motherboard/chipset (be it Intel or VIA), you can still adjust the Ezra-T multiplier with setmul from within DOS or Windows.

So, what I'm trying to say, is don't be afraid to try any 440BX motherboard that you can easily find. It won't be the *best*, but chances are it will still be stable, fast and flexible. I have tested these chips on quite a few 440BX motherboards (and even VIA motherboards), and they worked fine on all (even if they're not even detected properly by some motherboards/BIOS versions). There's only one hard requirement: the motherboard must support Coppermine voltages, otherwise you will get no POST.

Anyway, since this has caused some confusion, I think it would be good to also test the following two scenarios in the near future:
- the Ezra-T on a normal 440BX motherboard (one that doesn't support softfsb control), booting at 124 MHz FSB.
- the Ezra-T on a VIA motherboard (just to see what the performance difference would be). Spoiler alert! it will be slower. 😀

Doornkaat wrote on 2022-03-11, 18:27:

I turned off the radiators in my flat when the war started in Ukraine because the house's central heating uses fossil gas and I don't want to fund a war. Lucky it only goes below zero at night and it's sunny during the day so room temps haven't gone below 15°C.

You're a better man than I am, Doornkaat!

1 x PLCC-68 / 2 x PGA132 / 5 x Skt 3 / 9 x Skt 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Skt 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Skt 370 / 8 x Skt A / 2 x Skt 478 / 2 x Skt 754 / 3 x Skt 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current PC: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Backup PC: Core i7 7700k

Reply 98 of 200, by TrashPanda

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I wish I could hand some of the hot weather over to you guys .. then you wouldn't need heating !

Might need AC tho . .wait does Europe use AC like Australia does ? (I shouldn't Assume .. it could be US . .I know they dont use AC quite like Australia does)

Here pretty much every house/building has some form of reverse cycle AC.

Reply 99 of 200, by Doornkaat

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bloodem wrote on 2022-03-12, 06:40:

You're a better man than I am, Doornkaat!

It's not -15°C outside here though.😅

TrashPanda wrote on 2022-03-12, 07:23:

I wish I could hand some of the hot weather over to you guys .. then you wouldn't need heating !

Might need AC tho . .wait does Europe use AC like Australia does ? (I shouldn't Assume .. it could be US . .I know they dont use AC quite like Australia does)

Here pretty much every house/building has some form of reverse cycle AC.

Things like this are often very different between european countries. In Germany the vast majority of residential buildings does not have AC while some form of heating is basically guranteed. It's usually only uncomfortably warm for a few weeks a year here while winter can get pretty cold for multiple months.