Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Tetrium » 2017-7-31 @ 22:36

Elia1995 wrote:
tizzdizz wrote:Can you post a picture of your test setup? Also one of the whole motherboard would be helpful too. I had a similar issue with an AT machine recently, and not all AT power supplies and motherboards are created equal! Ask me how I know... POOF...


I put the motherboard on the box, plugged in the AT PSU and then what ? I can't find where to plug the POWER SW anywhere on the board, I can only find the pc speaker, reset button, leds and "keylock" which I have no idea what it is.

Image

I missed this, but when testing parts on a workbench, use just the cardboard box but do not lay the to-be-tested hardware on ESD bags, these bags could be conductive.

The AT board, it's not surprising you couldn't find a PWR_SW as these boards don't have any :D
These power directly from the PSU, the AT PSUs had a larger mechanical switch that had lots of current running through them. The heavier sounding clicking noise of the power button (or switch! :D) is part of the charm of going AT :)

And I noticed that particular case contained an A7V133, nice! I had one run even with a 2000+ Palomino and a couple other earlier sA CPUs (including a Duron 800 I think).
These were tricky when combining different memory modules, but these boards come with universal AGP, which is nice :)

edit: Your Sempron 2600+ is a different animal compared to your Sempron 2800+. The 2600+ you have is a s754, an Athlon 64 board, you could replace the Sempron with a real Athlon 64, if you wanted to.
These Semprons run lower clock frequencies for their rating compared to the sA Semprons (which were basically just renamed AthlonXPs).
Very lovely platform, the early A64s. Only thing I did dislike is that sometimes the stock HSFs seem to be very hard to remove. I even think I'm doing something wrong here, but I really dislike removing some of these HSFs, it's as if something is stuck or designed in a stupid way or something.
One can't wiggle the heatsink around like one can with sA and earlier.
But when it comes to actual cooling, the A64's solution is superior compared to the earlier sA ones.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-7-31 @ 22:52

Tetrium wrote:Only thing I did dislike is that sometimes the stock HSFs seem to be very hard to remove. I even think I'm doing something wrong here, but I really dislike removing some of these HSFs, it's as if something is stuck or designed in a stupid way or something.
One can't wiggle the heatsink around like one can with sA and earlier.


Not sure what's meant by this. It certainly doesn't jive with my experience. Usually the Socket 754/939/940/AM2 HSF mounts are very easy to work with. Every one I've seen uses a lever to release the spring clip, so there's no worries about screwdrivers slipping and wrecking your motherboard.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Tetrium » 2017-7-31 @ 23:04

gdjacobs wrote:
Tetrium wrote:Only thing I did dislike is that sometimes the stock HSFs seem to be very hard to remove. I even think I'm doing something wrong here, but I really dislike removing some of these HSFs, it's as if something is stuck or designed in a stupid way or something.
One can't wiggle the heatsink around like one can with sA and earlier.


Not sure what's meant by this. It certainly doesn't jive with my experience. Usually the Socket 754/939/940/AM2 HSF mounts are very easy to work with. Every one I've seen uses a lever to release the spring clip, so there's no worries about screwdrivers slipping and wrecking your motherboard.

I'll try to explain (sorry, not a native English speaker here).
It's about the demounting of the heatsink (the block of metal) after I already used the latch.
It will sometimes be harder to lift the heatsink up, as one end of the clip will put itself back onto the latch and at the same time I can't lift up the heatsink, which may be due to TIM that sucks the heatsink back onto the top of the CPU and I can't wiggle it loose due to the heatsink having virtually no room to manoeuvre due to the black dquare thingy that is part of the HSF assembly and is mounted directly to the motherboard.
I'd need to use lots of force, but it sucks to have to do it this way.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-8-01 @ 12:26

Tetrium wrote:It will sometimes be harder to lift the heatsink up, as one end of the clip will put itself back onto the latch and at the same time I can't lift up the heatsink, which may be due to TIM that sucks the heatsink back onto the top of the CPU and I can't wiggle it loose due to the heatsink having virtually no room to manoeuvre due to the black dquare thingy that is part of the HSF assembly and is mounted directly to the motherboard.
I'd need to use lots of force, but it sucks to have to do it this way.


Probably the TIM on the IHS more than anything.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-8-01 @ 17:03

Today I hardcore stressed the AMD Duron PC with a lot of 3D games and I measured the motherboard and CPU temperatures with Motherboard Monitor 5 (SpeedFan doesn't work on Windows 98SE for me).
The motherboard temperature was a costant 32°C, while the CPU was 52 to 55°C, never got higher than 55°C, but it was at 53-54°C for the most time.

I didn't change the thermal paste on that computer, these are the temperatures with the same old thermal paste I got the computer with, they don't look so much bad for an early 2000 build, perhaps 55°C was much hotter than it is considered nowadays ? I also take in consideration that it is an AMD CPU and their fame is for being much hotter than Intel CPUs.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Tetrium » 2017-8-02 @ 11:34

I know later Athlons (the sA ones) had a maximum temp as part of their part number, my Barton 3200+ officially had a max temp of 80°C or so.
The problem with Thunderbirds of that era is their lacking thermal protection. I had a Palomino fry because I installed the HSF without any TIM and it burned up..well..basically right away. Not even POST, the screen kept black. So the cooler, the better :)

Yes, 55°C under load...I'd say you're not in immediate danger, but anyone feel free to chime in.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-8-02 @ 14:06

Interesting, I just brought that AMD Duron PC in my room to finally start the recording session and now it's giving me nightmares.

I've inserted and installed the drivers of my nVidia GeForce FX 5500, which is the only AGP graphics card I have with DVI (which I can easily convert to HDMI for my Avermedia live gamer HD lite), everything's fine on my second monitor plugged in via VGA, but the drama is all on the capture card (which would be like a "monitor" for the computers, no ?!) first of all, it glitches like hell in the BIOS and the boot, until I reach the "Add New Hardware Wizard" screen for Plug and Play monitor stuff
Image

after I hit next and let it use Windows' plug and play drivers, which ALWAYS worked fine, even with that 32" TV I was using until less than an hour ago, it asks for the plug and play drivers for the Syncmaster, which is my second monitor, after I let him use the plug and play drivers for that as well, I got this BSOD:
Image

I then restarted in safe mode with only the DOS prompt and I went to C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND
did scanreg /restore
and restored the only registry I had, which was probably the first ever boot, in fact when I restarted it restarted without any drivers loaded, lucky thing I still had my nusb36e.exe on the desktop (desktop was intact, every file was still there, it just reloaded like the first ever boot without any drivers), so I installed it, inserted my flashdrive and reinstalled the nVidia drivers.
I rebooted and did again the plug and play monitor thing (from which that screenshot was from) and now apparently is working again, on both monitors (my second monitor and capture card).

BUT... for some reason I don't even understand how the heck it happened, THIS happened:
Image

WTF ?! Why does it show up as "Windows ME" in the system properties, but it's 100% Windows 98SE ?!


Here's a video of how the BIOS and all the boot thing looks like on the capture card: https://youtu.be/xSQfiHH1BB8
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Tetrium » 2017-8-02 @ 16:38

I don't know where you got your A7V133 rig from, but something must've gotten mixed up. Did you or the previous owner perhaps do a 98SE2ME thingy or something? Or did you do some other stuff of your own?

The fact you're working on tons of different rigs all jumbled up in a single thread, makes it hard for me to keep track of what you're doing.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-8-02 @ 17:20

Every PC was without hardisk except for the AST Bravo 486/25.

When I started working on the A7V-133, I first installed Windows 95 but I had issues with drivers, so I moved to Windows 98SE, every driver was working fine since then.
Everything was perfectly working, no errors, no BSODs, nothing ever until I moved the PC from my living room where I was using it hooked up to my TV to here in my room where I hooked it up my second monitor via VGA and my capture card via DVI with a DVI-HDMI adapter.

After those 2 quick restores, it is now working again fine and dandy, with rare freezes, might also be due to the room temperature difference between my living room and my room and the fact that I haven't put some fresh thermal paste on his CPU yet... yes, this might also be it.

As for graphics card, I've been using only my nVidia RIVA TNT2 M64 32MB in my living room and then I switched it with this nVidia GeForce FX5500 256MB DDR for the DVI port. I uninstalled the previous GPU's driver and installed the only Forceware driver compatible with my FX5500 and Windows 98: 81.98_forceware_win9x_international

Currently it is working fine, as I just wrote, except for those random freezes while I install some games.

Also a very interesting fact is that while some games worked with the much crappier RIVA TNT2 M64 which has only 32MB, those same games do not work at all or even lag like they did with the TNT2 on this FX5500, for example Tomb Raider III works with my RIVA TNT2 M64, but with this FX5500 it doesn't even show up the main menu, just freezes the whole computer at the main menu background picture.
Or Demolition Racer, it works fine with the TNT2 (just a bit laggy), while with the FX5500 it loads up, works perfectly until I start a race, in that case it crashes with this error:

Image

It just makes no sense at all, why would games crash or work worse with a much better and newer graphics card ?! 32MB vs 256MB !!!

Overall FPS increased on 3DMark99Max benchmarks though and Quake III Arena which was unplayable on the TNT2, now it is much smoother... so the graphics card actually "works", just it seems to not be compatible with certain games, then.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Tetrium » 2017-8-02 @ 17:30

Elia1995 wrote:Every PC was without hardisk except for the AST Bravo 486/25.

Doh! You're correct, I forgot about that. But in that case it's pretty clear you created another franken-OS (like I have done in the past once :D).

Perhaps your newer graphics cards are drawing more power, which causes issues with delivered power. Perhaps either caps on the motherboard or the PSU, very perhaps the cooling of your CPU or the rest of the rig. Could also be the memory, I remember these boards being very tricky to get stable.
Is the CPU installed by automatic settings or manually? And how's the CPU coltage set?
Iirc that board also had tweaks available for the memory. Setting these voltages slightly higher may solve or improve crashes and lockups.
Also using only similar memory modules seemed to help with this board. You are trying with just a single memory module? And make sure it's in the 1st memory slot (the one with the lowest number).
And disable that RAID, controller, if it's not already disabled or simply missing from your board.

What revision is your board btw?
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby liqmat » 2017-8-02 @ 17:35

Elia1995 wrote:Every PC was without hardisk except for the AST Bravo 486/25.

When I started working on the A7V-133, I first installed Windows 95 but I had issues with drivers, so I moved to Windows 98SE, every driver was working fine since then.
Everything was perfectly working, no errors, no BSODs, nothing ever until I moved the PC from my living room where I was using it hooked up to my TV to here in my room where I hooked it up my second monitor via VGA and my capture card via DVI with a DVI-HDMI adapter.

After those 2 quick restores, it is now working again fine and dandy, with rare freezes, might also be due to the room temperature difference between my living room and my room and the fact that I haven't put some fresh thermal paste on his CPU yet... yes, this might also be it.

As for graphics card, I've been using only my nVidia RIVA TNT2 M64 32MB in my living room and then I switched it with this nVidia GeForce FX5500 256MB DDR for the DVI port. I uninstalled the previous GPU's driver and installed the only Forceware driver compatible with my FX5500 and Windows 98: 81.98_forceware_win9x_international

Currently it is working fine, as I just wrote, except for those random freezes while I install some games.

Also a very interesting fact is that while some games worked with the much crappier RIVA TNT2 M64 which has only 32MB, those same games do not work at all or even lag like they did with the TNT2 on this FX5500, for example Tomb Raider III works with my RIVA TNT2 M64, but with this FX5500 it doesn't even show up the main menu, just freezes the whole computer at the main menu background picture.
Or Demolition Racer, it works fine with the TNT2 (just a bit laggy), while with the FX5500 it loads up, works perfectly until I start a race, in that case it crashes with this error:

Image

It just makes no sense at all, why would games crash or work worse with a much better and newer graphics card ?! 32MB vs 256MB !!!

Overall FPS increased on 3DMark99Max benchmarks though and Quake III Arena which was unplayable on the TNT2, now it is much smoother... so the graphics card actually "works", just it seems to not be compatible with certain games, then.


As I have said in another post v81.98 is a bug-ridden piece of shit. Use v77.72. Light years more stable in my experience.

viewtopic.php?f=61&t=54774#p596186
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-8-02 @ 19:35

Tetrium wrote:
Elia1995 wrote:Every PC was without hardisk except for the AST Bravo 486/25.

Doh! You're correct, I forgot about that. But in that case it's pretty clear you created another franken-OS (like I have done in the past once :D).

Perhaps your newer graphics cards are drawing more power, which causes issues with delivered power. Perhaps either caps on the motherboard or the PSU, very perhaps the cooling of your CPU or the rest of the rig. Could also be the memory, I remember these boards being very tricky to get stable.
Is the CPU installed by automatic settings or manually? And how's the CPU coltage set?
Iirc that board also had tweaks available for the memory. Setting these voltages slightly higher may solve or improve crashes and lockups.
Also using only similar memory modules seemed to help with this board. You are trying with just a single memory module? And make sure it's in the 1st memory slot (the one with the lowest number).
And disable that RAID, controller, if it's not already disabled or simply missing from your board.

What revision is your board btw?


I have no idea what revision this board is at the moment, it must be written on the board itself, I'll give a look at it better tomorrow when I'll finally change the thermal paste.
I can respond to all other questions reading directly from the BIOS here.

I'm using 2 SDRAM sticks of 256MB each: 512MB total (although Windows 98SE sees only 511MB, but in the BIOS and at the boot it shows 512MB), I must put them in the second and third slot because the first slot doesn't seem to work at all, any RAM I put there just makes the PC beep and never start, even a single SDRAM on the first slot (which is the one on the left, they're placed like [CPU] 3, 2, 1, #1 doesn't work at all).
So I have 2 SDRAM sticks of 256MB each in slots 3 and 2.
Those RAMs have a sticker that says PC-100, so they've got a sluggish 100 MHz awful frequency, the CPU Vcore setting is set as Auto, L1 and L2 caches are both enabled (128 and 64 respectively), "Operating Frequency Setting" is set as Standard, CPU Clock Multiplier is 8.0x and the frequency is 100 MHz, so it's working at 800 MHz, they're greyed out so I can't even modify them.
Here are the voltage informations exactly as I see them in the bios:

Code: Select all
VCORE Voltage: 1.63V
+3.3V Voltage: 3.49V
+5V Voltage: 4.75V
+12V Voltage: 11.55V
-12V Voltage: [Ignore]
-5V Voltage: [Ignore]


They don't seem to be editable though, only switchable between monitoring or ignored.

CPU temp at the BIOS is at 53°C, while motherboard's at 38°C
JTPWR Temperature is N/A

As for RAID and other things, I can't find them at all here in the BIOS.


EDIT: It's REVISION 1.05, on the sticker it says A7V-133-C REV.1.05
Last edited by Elia1995 on 2017-8-03 @ 12:52, edited 3 times in total.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby chinny22 » 2017-8-03 @ 12:23

First of all this is an amazing haul! congratulations, Took me while to post as wanted to read at all!

I also quite like the simple mistakes your making, Like not recognising the modems, game port, etc. its SO good to see someone NEW getting into this rather then majority of us who grew up with it. I suspect a lot of this stuff will die out when we do as it holds no nostalgia for younger generations.

Did you do a fresh install on windows after swapping the graphics card? Win9x is hopeless at hardware changes best of times, let alone an installation that thinks it WinME!
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-8-03 @ 12:48

No, I didn't format the HDD when changing the graphics card, although I removed the previous drivers via safe mode.
It actually worked and the FX5500 "kinda" worked with those unexplained mysteries.

Now someone suggested that the 81.98 drivers are bad and advised to try 77.72, well I'm now downloading them and I'll see what will happen.

I also managed somehow to get Windows 98 on that hardisk work on another of those computers (the Pentium III one), without even formatting, I plugged the hardisk and it worked, no BSOD and no random freezes...
although now most games don't seem to recognize the graphics card (which is still the same FX5500 with the drivers), for example Re-Volte gives the famous Z-Buffer error and 3DMark99Max can't detect any 3D Accelerator, while in the properties -> appearance, it is detected perfectly, even nView still works...

well, gotta try these drivers, now.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby liqmat » 2017-8-03 @ 13:27

chinny22 wrote:I suspect a lot of this stuff will die out when we do as it holds no nostalgia for younger generations.


Don't be so sure. Having gone to PRGE (Portland Retro Gaming Expo 2015 & 2016), SRGE (Seattle Retro Gaming Expo) 2016 and various run-ins with young tech heads it amazes me how many are fascinated with the the old 80s and 90s tech.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-8-03 @ 14:59

I managed to remove the nVidia Display Driver from Safe Mode (somehow I couldn't uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs), I now installed only 77.72, but it is still being "half" detected.
It's fully detected by the system per se, as I see the "Monitor on nVidia GeForce FX5500" in the Display Settings, I even got the gradients on the title bars and "True Color 32-bit" at 800x600.

When I try to launch for example Re-Volt, I now get the Z Buffer error, Sim Theme Park World doesn't start at all, doesn't do anything at all when I double click the icon and Demolition Racer crashes right away instead of letting me get on the menu and crash when loading the track.
Windows 3.11 games seem to work, although some games like Disney's storybooks lag graphically.


Edit: I just installed the AGP drivers and now the card works like yesterday, still crappy for 256MB card on these old games though...
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby KCompRoom2000 » 2017-8-03 @ 21:17

Elia1995 wrote:I managed to remove the nVidia Display Driver from Safe Mode (somehow I couldn't uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs), I now installed only 77.72, but it is still being "half" detected.
It's fully detected by the system per se, as I see the "Monitor on nVidia GeForce FX5500" in the Display Settings, I even got the gradients on the title bars and "True Color 32-bit" at 800x600.

When I try to launch for example Re-Volt, I now get the Z Buffer error, Sim Theme Park World doesn't start at all, doesn't do anything at all when I double click the icon and Demolition Racer crashes right away instead of letting me get on the menu and crash when loading the track.
Windows 3.11 games seem to work, although some games like Disney's storybooks lag graphically.


Edit: I just installed the AGP drivers and now the card works like yesterday, still crappy for 256MB card on these old games though...

I've heard that nVidia drivers newer than 56.64 can cause issues with certain motherboards, if this is the case you can try the 45.23 Detonator drivers instead to see if that fixes anything, what DirectX version do you have? I believe newer video card drivers require DirectX 8.1 or newer to operate correctly so I'd probably update DirectX if you haven't done so already.
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-8-03 @ 22:41

I have installed DirectX 9.0


Edit: I've now installed the 56.64 version of the nvidia drivers and they seem to work much better, Demolition Racer now works, Tomb Raider 3 still freezes when it's supposed to show the main menu, Tonic Trouble has only some HUD glitches but the game works perfectly AT 60fps at 800x600

I also scored higher than the previous one on a new 3dmark99 Max benchmark

Some Win3.11 Disney games have choppy animations, but I'm not sure if they're like that or they're lagging, I don't remember them.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby chinny22 » 2017-8-04 @ 12:06

Honestly just format the thing and start again.
Blue screens, strange versions, etc, Windows was already broken even before changing hardware.

If it was me, I'd have a 2nd partition with Windows install files, drivers, etc. That way it'll be much quicker/easier to format c:\ and start again. and if your changing hardware around you'll probably end up doing it a few times till you find the right combination of drivers that work
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Re: Just got a lot of new retro stuff to make new content for the community

Postby Cyrix200+ » 2017-8-04 @ 14:28

Elia1995 wrote:
tizzdizz wrote:Can you post a picture of your test setup? Also one of the whole motherboard would be helpful too. I had a similar issue with an AT machine recently, and not all AT power supplies and motherboards are created equal! Ask me how I know... POOF...


I put the motherboard on the box, plugged in the AT PSU and then what ? I can't find where to plug the POWER SW anywhere on the board, I can only find the pc speaker, reset button, leds and "keylock" which I have no idea what it is.

<removed the images>

<removed some text>



Nice big load of retro hardware you have there! As someone before me also remarked, you have so much going on in this post and you're working on all systems at the same time, so it's hard to keep track of what you are doing. You might want to create separate posts for some of the systems? Also if I were you I would pick two systems to work on and keep the rest aside for later. You are relatively inexperienced, so I feel it is better to concentrate on two or three systems at a time.

Now, about the AT system with the Cyrix CPU. There really should be a power switch attached to the AT power supply on a separate cable, like in this picture: http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/amamax/h ... e-ps-2.jpg . Be a bit careful with that, there will be main voltages going through that switch. Could you maybe post a picture?

Some more to consider for that system:
- Put in a CMOS battery CR2032. I have some boards that won't POST without one
- Please put a heatsink and fan on the CPU. These Cyrix CPU's need one
- If you connect a speaker you might get beep codes to help you with diagnosing any problems
- The board and CPU were originally together right? So the jumpers should be configured in the right way
- The Cyrix CPU uses a 75MHz bus speed, which is officially out of spec for that motherboard. It should be fine though, but some PCI cards might not like the slightly higher PCI bus speed.

EDIT: I see you have an Asus TUV4X motherboard, nice! That is Tualatin compatible!
Retro workhorse: Asus P2B-LS | Tualatin Celeron 1400MHz | Matrox G400
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