Please criticise my first retro rig.

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby Amigaz » 2008-7-23 @ 06:27

I'd say about 20 percent of early 90's games have speed related problems, ranging from really minor glitches up to timing-related unplayability.
Since PC games use a great variety of methods to keep everything in sync, there are many causes for trouble, not only raw CPU speed.


And 90% of those games were made by Origin?

:wink:
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-7-23 @ 07:54

To 5u3:

Thanks very much for the throttle link. I gave it a quick try just now, and it looks extremely promising. It could even be the answer to my "speed problems". I need to test this more thoroughly today - I'll report back with some results. (I have Ultima VI - I think that game will prove a useful test aid!)

Also, looking at your "hardware signature", I note with particular interest these two items:

486 DX4 64MB FPM - Whoa! :shocked: :happyhappy: 64mb of RAM on a 486 mobo! Imagine buying that amount of memory new back in those days - you'd need to remortgage your house/apartment! :lol:

GUS PnP - Whilst I am still "ineligible" to the prestigious LAPC-I club (because I haven't sufficient funds to be the winning ebayer bidder!), I am soon to be a GUS PnP owner! (I'm just waiting for it to arrive.) It's a Pro version with 8mb of RAM, but I don't know what revision the board is.

To leileilol:

Thanks a lot for the AT case and AT PSU tip.

To Amigaz:

Please can you tell me (us) how many PCs you have? Just curious! :happy:
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby Amigaz » 2008-7-23 @ 10:59

retro games 100 wrote:To 5u3:

Thanks very much for the throttle link. I gave it a quick try just now, and it looks extremely promising. It could even be the answer to my "speed problems". I need to test this more thoroughly today - I'll report back with some results. (I have Ultima VI - I think that game will prove a useful test aid!)

Also, looking at your "hardware signature", I note with particular interest these two items:

486 DX4 64MB FPM - Whoa! :shocked: :happyhappy: 64mb of RAM on a 486 mobo! Imagine buying that amount of memory new back in those days - you'd need to remortgage your house/apartment! :lol:

GUS PnP - Whilst I am still "ineligible" to the prestigious LAPC-I club (because I haven't sufficient funds to be the winning ebayer bidder!), I am soon to be a GUS PnP owner! (I'm just waiting for it to arrive.) It's a Pro version with 8mb of RAM, but I don't know what revision the board is.

To leileilol:

Thanks a lot for the AT case and AT PSU tip.

To Amigaz:

Please can you tell me (us) how many PCs you have? Just curious! :happy:


So you were the guy that snatched the 150eur BIN GUS Pro? :happy:

How many PC's I have? think there's a thread about what rigs you own here that lists the one's I have
Problem is that i cannot decide which one's to keep...have been trying lots of 386/486 systems to find which one that suits my needs the best
Have 20-30 Amiga computers too and a Mac Pro 8 core system :happyhappy:
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-7-23 @ 11:14

Amigaz wrote:So you were the guy that snatched the 150eur BIN GUS Pro? :happy:


Hehehe well yes, um, after a little bit of negotiating! :happyhappy:

Amigaz wrote:Have 20-30 Amiga computers too ...


:shocked: How many? :shocked:

Amigaz wrote: ... and a Mac Pro 8 core system :happyhappy:


Don't know anything about Macs. Ignorance is bliss, as the saying goes! :wink: :lol:
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-7-23 @ 11:50

I've just spent a happy hour or so testing the motherboard chipset slowdown utility called "Throttle". I tested it out on the following rig -

Pentium III CPU (500mhz)
Supermicro board (P2 or P3 CPU, slot 1, 440BX chipset)
100 FSB (can be set to 66 if required)

Running the utility gave me 7 speed options to choose from, ranging from 12.5% throttling of the system, all the way up to 87.5% throttling of the system.

Test 1) I ran Ultima 6 without using "Throttle" at all. In summary, the game ran way too fast.

Test 2) I ran throttle and selected 50% slowdown. Running Ultima 6, I could see a notable slowdown in speed, but the game still ran too fast.

Test 3) Set Throttle to 75% slowdown. The game seemed a fraction too fast, but I felt like I was definitely "getting there"!

Test 4) Set Throttle to 87.5% slowdown, which for my system was the maximum amount of slowdown that Throttle could offer. The game now seemed a bit too slow!

So, for my Intel 440BX chipset-based motherboard, 75% throttling seemed to be the best choice. It wasn't perfect, but so much better than not using Throttle at all.

According to the Throttle readme file, alternative chipset-based motherboards to the Intel 440BX (such as VIA) allow the Throttle user to select about twice the number of slowdown increments, which would allow the user to more finely-tune the throttling amount.
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby Amigaz » 2008-7-23 @ 12:05

retro games 100 wrote:
Amigaz wrote:So you were the guy that snatched the 150eur BIN GUS Pro? :happy:


Hehehe well yes, um, after a little bit of negotiating! :happyhappy:

Amigaz wrote:Have 20-30 Amiga computers too ...


:shocked: How many? :shocked:

Amigaz wrote: ... and a Mac Pro 8 core system :happyhappy:


Don't know anything about Macs. Ignorance is bliss, as the saying goes! :wink: :lol:


well.....13 PC's :dead:
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-7-23 @ 13:16

Amigaz wrote:So you were the guy that snatched the 150eur BIN GUS Pro? :happy:


Actually I just remembered - it was $150US, and I got it reduced to $130US, which is 82eur. Without a doubt, the most I have ever paid for any legacy PC component, but they don't appear on ebay very often, so I felt that I just had to put in an offer for it...
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby 5u3 » 2008-7-23 @ 23:37

retro games 100 wrote:486 DX4 64MB FPM - Whoa! :shocked: :happyhappy: 64mb of RAM on a 486 mobo! Imagine buying that amount of memory new back in those days - you'd need to remortgage your house/apartment!

You're right, nobody bought that much RAM for their humble 486 boards, but those big FPM modules were quite common in serious workstations and (later) printers. I got my two 32MB sticks from a friend, don't ask me where he pulled those out.
The funny thing is, I'm not aware of any common 486 chipset that caches more than 32 MB, and hardly any software able to run on 486 machines uses that much memory. However, I've found that the extra memory comes in very handy to be used as RAMdisk.

retro games 100 wrote:GUS PnP - Whilst I am still "ineligible" to the prestigious LAPC-I club (because I haven't sufficient funds to be the winning ebayer bidder!), I am soon to be a GUS PnP owner! (I'm just waiting for it to arrive.) It's a Pro version with 8mb of RAM, but I don't know what revision the board is.

Well, the club of LAPC-I owners really seems to have become an illustrous circle lately. It's unbelievable how much money some people are prepared to spend on that card.

Congratulations on the GUS PnP! Good luck configuring this nasty piece of stubbornness in a PC full of other resource-hogging sounddevices. Try not to go spare :lol:

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retro games 100 wrote:I've just spent a happy hour or so testing the motherboard chipset slowdown utility called "Throttle". (...)

Thanks for posting your results! I'm sure this is going to be useful for many people.
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-7-24 @ 12:13

5u3 wrote:Congratulations on the GUS PnP! Good luck configuring this nasty piece of stubbornness in a PC full of other resource-hogging sounddevices. Try not to go spare :lol:


I will soon discover just how :evil: this card really is!
I hope it won't make me too :depressed: or :angry:

To make life easy, I'm going to start off by putting the GUS PnP in a mobo with no other cards! :happy:
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby Amigaz » 2008-7-27 @ 10:45

Here's your chance

Looks identical to my mobo but not made by Elitegroup...even seem to have the same BIOS chip...a 64k BIOS chip in a 128k socket

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Intel-486cp ... dZViewItem
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Re: Please criticise my first retro rig.

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-7-27 @ 13:47

Amigaz wrote:Here's your chance

Looks identical to my mobo but not made by Elitegroup...even seem to have the same BIOS chip...a 64k BIOS chip in a 128k socket

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Intel-486cp ... dZViewItem


That looks like a very nice piece of kit!! :happy:

Unfortunately however, on this particular occasion, it looks as if the seller only ships to within his/her country of origin, being the USA.

But thanks very much for pointing out this item, it just looks great to droole over those cool looking pics!! :happy:

Actually, I may be in luck. Someone on the net (who gave me a GUS classic) may have an old 486 going spare! I hope to find out the details in the next 2 or 3 days time. Fingers crossed, I could be all set up with a 486 by this time next week!! :happyhappy:
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