VOGONS


Reply 40 of 88, by Shponglefan

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2023-07-05, 07:30:

Interesting. I'm curious as to why, since AT power supplies in good condition are difficult to come by these days. I suppose one could use a modern ATX PSU with an adapter, but in that case, might as well go for an ATX board.

It's a combination of nostalgia for the AT-era, case aesthetics, and general reliability. I've had better success with AT-era hardware from the 80s and 90s than the capacitor plague era of the 2000s. The biggest issues I've run into with AT hardware tend to be leaky batteries and those annoying Dallas clock chips.

Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
486 DX4-100 with 6 sound cards
486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards

Reply 41 of 88, by Shponglefan

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Jo22 wrote on 2023-07-05, 01:51:
Anyway, I'm just glad that there's a rational explanation for the difference in dates. I was already starting to question all m […]
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Anyway, I'm just glad that there's a rational explanation for the difference in dates.
I was already starting to question all my memories. 😅

Edit: I've also read the rest of your response.
Thanks a lot for your explanation and understanding. 😃👍

Thank you too, I appreciate the discussion. We do come at this from different perspectives and experiences, so glad we could reach a mutual understanding. 😀

Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
486 DX4-100 with 6 sound cards
486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards

Reply 42 of 88, by HanSolo

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Jo22 wrote on 2023-07-05, 01:51:
Edit: One of the most sophisticated freeware games that I found was an arcade-like game called "Betamax" in the late 90s. It rem […]
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Edit: One of the most sophisticated freeware games that I found was an arcade-like game called "Betamax" in the late 90s.
It remember it, because it required a hot-rod 486 with VLB graphics. It claimed so, at least.
It had connections to the demo scene, I believe.
- I also ran those demos, too, of course. They were on the shareware CDs, after all.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ-h3OZ_8Cc

Funnily that's written by me, so thanks 😀
The most performance-hungry part is of course the cloudy background and with it the full-screen updates at 70 fps
Betamax v1.1

Reply 43 of 88, by Bancho

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I'd like to think I have a good candiate for a machine that you could pair with your Pentium 3. I've had this build for a number of years now, and its evolved throughout that time, but this is how it is at the moment.

Intel Pentium 233mmx
40MB Ram
Gigabyte 586HX motherboard
STB Riva 128 4MB PCI card
Orchid Rightous 3D Voodoo Card
Sound Cards.

With this machine, I have incoperated a DIP switch (Red Square in the Case Badge Location) that allows me to control the Multipliers and the FSB (60/66Mhz) and this board has a Turbo header which i connected to the turbo button, which sets the FSB to 50mhz. The FSB changes in realtime while the Multi requires a reboot. Ironically, I'm yet to map the full speed range of this machine (lots of combos, with Setmul on top!) but is something i do plan on doing in the future.

May give you some ideas on what can be achieved?

MK3iPTEh.jpg

Reply 44 of 88, by retep_110

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jheronimus wrote on 2023-07-05, 10:53:

Maybe a 486 build with a ZIF CPU socket? Then you could get a few common chips (like DX-33 and a DX2-66), maybe find a DX4 overdrive later on. Any 486 board will fit this profile, it's a very common configuration. A lot of 386-specific games will work using turbo.

This way, your main P3 build will work with late DOS games, 16-bit sound (SB16 or WSS), your 486 will cover early 90s stuff with SB Pro/AdLib and (if you care about it) MT-32.

Seems like the least overlap between two builds.

Thanks for your recommendation. I will look into that option as well.

@bancho your rig really looks interesting. Worth considering for sure.

The Gigabyte 586HX motherboard seems to be quite nice and it is also not that expensive. But socket 7 motherboards are not expensive in general. Which is good.

The MMX cpu also do not cost furtune as well.

STB Riva 128 4MB PCI card and the Voodoo 1 would be the most expensive components.

But that's alright. I was clear from the get go that if want to get voodoo card I need to spend more money.

Reply 45 of 88, by megatron-uk

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As you have no doubt found from the replies so far... There is no magic unicorn machine that will cover the entire DOS gaming era and be accurate at everything.

The reason you get so many recommendations - all the way from 486 through to P3 - is because people have their 'own' particular eras of gaming that are more important to them than others! For someone it may never be accurate enough for a cache less P3 to play an early CGA or EGA game, conversely a 486 would be no good to someone who was wanting to play late era 3d games like Wing Commander 3.

Really it's about what you like the most. You can always build another system later for a different era.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 46 of 88, by dormcat

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retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-05, 15:17:

The Gigabyte 586HX motherboard seems to be quite nice and it is also not that expensive. But socket 7 motherboards are not expensive in general. Which is good.

The MMX cpu also do not cost furtune as well.

They are relatively more expensive than many Core 2 Duo CPU on LGA775 motherboards that are piled up in e-waste recycling centers or even at roadside. I've literally picked up two such machines lying on the street in my neighborhood.

Reply 47 of 88, by retep_110

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dormcat wrote on 2023-07-05, 18:05:
retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-05, 15:17:

The Gigabyte 586HX motherboard seems to be quite nice and it is also not that expensive. But socket 7 motherboards are not expensive in general. Which is good.

The MMX cpu also do not cost furtune as well.

They are relatively more expensive than many Core 2 Duo CPU on LGA775 motherboards that are piled up in e-waste recycling centers or even at roadside. I've literally picked up two such machines lying on the street in my neighborhood.

That's right they are cheaper parts out there but compared to some intel 440bx motherboards the socket 7 mb are reather cheap.

megatron-uk wrote on 2023-07-05, 16:35:

As you have no doubt found from the replies so far... There is no magic unicorn machine that will cover the entire DOS gaming era and be accurate at everything.

The reason you get so many recommendations - all the way from 486 through to P3 - is because people have their 'own' particular eras of gaming that are more important to them than others! For someone it may never be accurate enough for a cache less P3 to play an early CGA or EGA game, conversely a 486 would be no good to someone who was wanting to play late era 3d games like Wing Commander 3.

Really it's about what you like the most. You can always build another system later for a different era.

Having options is good thing. I will look deeper into the games I want to play and then I am going to chose the tech that suits to my interests.

Reply 48 of 88, by Kouwes

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My “daily driver” DOS 6.22 machine is a pentium 233MMX with an S3 Virge, 32MB and an Audio Drive ES1688F card with dreamblaster X2GS.
But I also use 3 different 486 machines and 3 other pentium PC’s for DOS games.
They all have specific soundcards for games that support the card, like the GUS Classic for example.
The only one that’s obsolete (for me, that is) is a pentium 60.
I never use that thing and might as well sell it.
And I only use a Voodoo Monster 3D in a pentium 166 - only for Tomb Raider 1 😉
For all the other Voodoo supported games I use a Pentium 3 with a Voodoo 5: way better than a V1.

Reply 49 of 88, by retep_110

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Kouwes wrote on 2023-07-06, 07:45:
My “daily driver” DOS 6.22 machine is a pentium 233MMX with an S3 Virge, 32MB and an Audio Drive ES1688F card with dreamblaster […]
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My “daily driver” DOS 6.22 machine is a pentium 233MMX with an S3 Virge, 32MB and an Audio Drive ES1688F card with dreamblaster X2GS.
But I also use 3 different 486 machines and 3 other pentium PC’s for DOS games.
They all have specific soundcards for games that support the card, like the GUS Classic for example.
The only one that’s obsolete (for me, that is) is a pentium 60.
I never use that thing and might as well sell it.
And I only use a Voodoo Monster 3D in a pentium 166 - only for Tomb Raider 1 😉
For all the other Voodoo supported games I use a Pentium 3 with a Voodoo 5: way better than a V1.

Yes having many different machines to be prepared for all circumstances would be the best way to really play everything. But for now i am looking for just one single does Machine I can on daily basis.

Having a 486 machine for earlier games would be interesting on a theoretical level but I think as starter socket 7 pentium mmx system is the easiest way to start.

I will also look into the cyrex cpu and the amd k5 as alternative.

But so far I am more inclined using a mmx cpu.

Reply 50 of 88, by Joseph_Joestar

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retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-06, 21:19:

But so far I am more inclined using a mmx cpu.

Phil just posted a new video showcasing a Pentium MMX 166 and its slowdown capabilities, if you want to see it in action.

BTW, the other components that he uses in that build are an excellent starting point for a DOS system. Highly compatible and very easy to set up.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 51 of 88, by retep_110

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2023-07-07, 13:32:
retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-06, 21:19:

But so far I am more inclined using a mmx cpu.

Phil just posted a new video showcasing a Pentium MMX 166 and its slowdown capabilities, if you want to see it in action.

BTW, the other components that he uses in that build are an excellent starting point for a DOS system. Highly compatible and very easy to set up.

Thanks a lot for sharing the video. It was very interesting to watch and the build from phil with the gigabyte 586 motherboard seems to be great starting build indeed. The S3 graphics card he is usin also seems to be quite nice.

It is very solid starting point for Dos games I would say. At same poin the future I might also get voodoo 1 card for some early glide win 95 games at some point in the future.

Reply 52 of 88, by retep_110

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The project is moving forward. Like I have already mentioned in the purchase I thread I got the mb for my next system already the Gigabyte 586HX.

I am also looking for the pentium mmx 166mhz for a good price.

I have another question about the cpu though.

The bennefits of the pentium MMX 166 mhz are very clear like you guys and also phil in the video has already mentioned.

But like I said already I also might be interested in trying to get a Voodoo 1 card to get glimpse of the early glide games.

Phil mentioned in his video that the 166mhz might be only good for the earliest 3d games.

Would it be still powerfull enough to play some early glide games with a Voodoo 1 like Tomb Raider, Decent and some other games?

Reply 53 of 88, by Joseph_Joestar

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retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-10, 06:15:

Would it be still powerfull enough to play some early glide games with a Voodoo 1 like Tomb Raider, Decent and some other games?

It's good enough for the vast majority of DOS Glide games. Even if we're talking about early Win9x stuff, it's still a pretty decent CPU, up to and including most 1997 games. But if you move into 1998, with titles like Unreal and Half-Life, then you'll start seeing that CPU struggle.

Also, you'll be GPU limited in most cases anyway. The Voodoo1 is a slow card (by today's standards) so don't expect 60+ FPS. More like 30+ most of the time (with a few exceptions) regardless of which CPU is used. That was the norm back then, and it was considered fairly playable at the time. Some games like Tomb Raider even have a built-in 30 FPS limit.

If you're interested, I wrote down my experiences with some early Glide and D3D games on a Pentium MMX 166 + Voodoo1 system here. You can find my full system specs in the first post of that thread as well.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 54 of 88, by kaputnik

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Bancho wrote on 2023-07-05, 15:02:
I'd like to think I have a good candiate for a machine that you could pair with your Pentium 3. I've had this build for a numbe […]
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I'd like to think I have a good candiate for a machine that you could pair with your Pentium 3. I've had this build for a number of years now, and its evolved throughout that time, but this is how it is at the moment.

Intel Pentium 233mmx
40MB Ram
Gigabyte 586HX motherboard
STB Riva 128 4MB PCI card
Orchid Rightous 3D Voodoo Card
Sound Cards.

With this machine, I have incoperated a DIP switch (Red Square in the Case Badge Location) that allows me to control the Multipliers and the FSB (60/66Mhz) and this board has a Turbo header which i connected to the turbo button, which sets the FSB to 50mhz. The FSB changes in realtime while the Multi requires a reboot. Ironically, I'm yet to map the full speed range of this machine (lots of combos, with Setmul on top!) but is something i do plan on doing in the future.

May give you some ideas on what can be achieved?

MK3iPTEh.jpg

Done something similar with my P233MMX/GA-586HX system, using separate toggle switches though. Also did a dual BIOS/RTC setup, to be able to switch between the original Award BIOS and MR BIOS 😀

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retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-10, 06:15:
The project is moving forward. Like I have already mentioned in the purchase I thread I got the mb for my next system already t […]
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The project is moving forward. Like I have already mentioned in the purchase I thread I got the mb for my next system already the Gigabyte 586HX.

I am also looking for the pentium mmx 166mhz for a good price.

I have another question about the cpu though.

The bennefits of the pentium MMX 166 mhz are very clear like you guys and also phil in the video has already mentioned.

But like I said already I also might be interested in trying to get a Voodoo 1 card to get glimpse of the early glide games.

Phil mentioned in his video that the 166mhz might be only good for the earliest 3d games.

Would it be still powerfull enough to play some early glide games with a Voodoo 1 like Tomb Raider, Decent and some other games?

If you're going for a 166MHz CPU because you read the compatibility list in the mobo manual, you should know that it's possible to use a 200 or 233MHz one with a small mod. The problem description here is applicable to the GA-586HX aswell. BF0 on MMX CPU:s doesn't have internal pullup, so you have to pull it high with an external 3.3V source to access the 3x and 3.5x multipliers.

On my board (rev. 1.53) a couple of pins of the undocumented header JP4 were connected to the VCC3 plane. Wired it up JP4 -> 1kOhm resistor -> switch on front panel -> BF0 multiplier header pin. Don't remember exactly which pin on JP4 it was, but you should verify the connection yourself before doing the mod anyways in case there are differences between our mobos. I simply inserted a sewing needle in a VCC3 hole in the CPU socket and tested away until I found continuity.

If you don't feel like doing the mod now, you could still get a P233MMX in case you want to do it later, and run it at 166MHz until then.

Reply 55 of 88, by dormcat

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retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-10, 06:15:

The project is moving forward. Like I have already mentioned in the purchase I thread I got the mb for my next system already the Gigabyte 586HX.

I am also looking for the pentium mmx 166mhz for a good price.

What's the revision version of your GA-586HX? Rev. 1.55 is required for 200 MHz CPU.

EDIT: Wow, didn't know it could be fixed with kaputnik's method.

Reply 56 of 88, by retep_110

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2023-07-10, 07:44:
It's good enough for the vast majority of DOS Glide games. Even if we're talking about early Win9x stuff, it's still a pretty de […]
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retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-10, 06:15:

Would it be still powerfull enough to play some early glide games with a Voodoo 1 like Tomb Raider, Decent and some other games?

It's good enough for the vast majority of DOS Glide games. Even if we're talking about early Win9x stuff, it's still a pretty decent CPU, up to and including most 1997 games. But if you move into 1998, with titles like Unreal and Half-Life, then you'll start seeing that CPU struggle.

Also, you'll be GPU limited in most cases anyway. The Voodoo1 is a slow card (by today's standards) so don't expect 60+ FPS. More like 30+ most of the time (with a few exceptions) regardless of which CPU is used. That was the norm back then, and it was considered fairly playable at the time. Some games like Tomb Raider even have a built-in 30 FPS limit.

If you're interested, I wrote down my experiences with some early Glide and D3D games on a Pentium MMX 166 + Voodoo1 system here. You can find my full system specs in the first post of that thread as well.

Thanks a lot for the info. I do not plan to move beyond 1997 games with my second build. From 98 onwards I have my p3 build. I might be curious to test some games from 98 like Unreal or Half Life on the build to see how they run. But I would not expect any miracles of course.

Thanks for your link. I will check your thread out.

dormcat wrote on 2023-07-10, 09:55:
retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-10, 06:15:

The project is moving forward. Like I have already mentioned in the purchase I thread I got the mb for my next system already the Gigabyte 586HX.

I am also looking for the pentium mmx 166mhz for a good price.

What's the revision version of your GA-586HX? Rev. 1.55 is required for 200 MHz CPU.

EDIT: Wow, didn't know it could be fixed with kaputnik's method.

Thanks for the info. My motherboard is Rev. 1.55 according to seller. I won't be able to tell if that's true before the mb arrives at my place in few days.

But it is really good to know that it could be fixed on a earlier rev motherboard as well.

Thx for the info @kaputnik.

This knowledge might come in handy in case the motherboard is earlier revision and I might get interested in replacing the mmx 166 with something faster in the future.

As of know I feel the Pentium MMX 166 MHZ is to right choice but I migth ge tempted to play some more power in the future.

The same happened already with p3 800mhz. Despite the fact that I am happy with the peformance of the 800 mhz Coppermine I am still interested in going up to 1 GHZ in the future just for fun.

Reply 57 of 88, by Bancho

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kaputnik wrote on 2023-07-10, 09:40:

Done something similar with my P233MMX/GA-586HX system, using separate toggle switches though. Also did a dual BIOS/RTC setup, to be able to switch between the original Award BIOS and MR BIOS 😀

Thats really cool! Can you elaborate on the AWARD/MR.BIOS mod? Sound interesting!

Reply 58 of 88, by kaputnik

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retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-10, 10:09:

As of know I feel the Pentium MMX 166 MHZ is to right choice but I migth ge tempted to play some more power in the future.

You could future proof by getting a 233MMX, and jumper it to 166MHz if that's the speed you want now 😀

Bancho wrote on 2023-07-10, 15:55:
kaputnik wrote on 2023-07-10, 09:40:

Done something similar with my P233MMX/GA-586HX system, using separate toggle switches though. Also did a dual BIOS/RTC setup, to be able to switch between the original Award BIOS and MR BIOS 😀

Thats really cool! Can you elaborate on the AWARD/MR.BIOS mod? Sound interesting!

Well, basically I just replaced the original 1Mbit EEPROM with a 2Mbit one, and installed an interposer made from a DIP32 socket between BIOS EEPROM and mobo. The interposer lets me control the highest addressing pin (A17) manually with a switch, effectively letting me select the first or second half of the EEPROM to read from.

The BIOS saves the "CMOS settings" to memory in the RTC. Without a second one, I'd have to reconfigure the BIOS each time I switch between them. It's just two DS12885 RTC:s connected in parallel, sharing a battery. They're selected by pulling /CE low on either chip with the switch. The same approach could be used for the BIOS EEPROM(s) aswell, if you rather want two 1Mbit than one 2Mbit chip.

The connector for the RTC module socket on the mobo is made from another DIP socket, some hot glue, and a 3D printed shell.

Electrically it looks like this. Good thing I took the time to draw up a diagram:

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And a couple of photos:

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Couldn't find any pics of the interposer, but it's not much to see anyways. Just a 32 pin DIP socket and a resistor 😀

Reply 59 of 88, by Shponglefan

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retep_110 wrote on 2023-07-10, 06:15:

Would it be still powerfull enough to play some early glide games with a Voodoo 1 like Tomb Raider, Decent and some other games?

Yes, you shouldn't have any issues with performance with a Pentium MMX 166 and Voodoo 1 for that era for gaming.

Our family computer back in 1997 had that exact combo and we played a lot of 3D games back then.

There are always going to be faster options (Voodoo 2, faster processors, etc.), but then it becomes a question of whether you're looking for an authentic period correct experience, or just the fastest performance possible for a particular set of games.

Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
486 DX4-100 with 6 sound cards
486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards