Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Feel that you haven't shown off the l33tness of your system enough in your profile? Post your full system specs here to be oogled at!

Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby whturner » 2012-8-16 @ 00:59

All but finished with the 1st stage of the project - no overclocking yet. The only thing I need is a better PCI Video Card which is compatible with my system. At least 2 recommended cards are not! I started with my old system which I used for many years developing a Fortran program.

A summary of what I have now:

Motherboard - Intel PR440FX Dual CPU - latest and last Bios update
Dual PII Pentium Pro Overdrive CPUs
1Meg 50ns System EDO Memory
Win XP sp2
Rosewill E-Sata 4 port PCI Adapter with ---
Samsung 830 256 SSD (Boot drive)
Belkin 4 port USB PCI Adapter (MOBO has 2 onboard but they are USB 1)
The usual CD and Floppy Drives
WD 350 GB (IDE) drive
Intel 8255 Ethernet and sound on board
There is a SCSI adapter on MPOBO not used now.
Radeon 7000 series Video - slow slow!

The issue I still have is a good replacement for the video board. I tried two PCI boards but both are incompatible with the setup. It is not a driver nor operating system issue, neither will get far enough in the boot sequence to need drivers. One specifically says that a P4 is the minimum, so maybe it the the PII MMX that is the problem?

But for operations not involving redrawing a screen the operation is pretty snappy.

Cheers
Warren
whturner
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 2012-7-12 @ 16:01

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby nforce4max » 2012-8-16 @ 01:17

This system really isn't going to support any really serous card except for what was around in the later years of the p3 and very early p4.
You could try a 6200 pci edition but I doubt you will get enough out of it unless you are running win 2k or xp to make use of the second cpu. For win 98 you will need to make due with only one cpu active.
On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.
User avatar
nforce4max
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1023
Joined: 2012-5-05 @ 22:55

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby swaaye » 2012-8-16 @ 01:29

The options for PCI 3D cards are indeed limited. Radeon 7000 really isn't that bad of a choice considering the CPU power there. Those cards are usually somewhat faster than a NVIDIA TNT2 Ultra.

What other cards have you tried? My guess would be you may be running into a problem with new cards on an old PCI bus design.
Last edited by swaaye on 2012-8-16 @ 01:36, edited 1 time in total.
swaaye
Moderator
 
Posts: 5446
Joined: 2002-7-22 @ 21:24
Location: WI, USA

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby whturner » 2012-8-16 @ 01:36

Both CPUs are active - XP 2p2
whturner
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 2012-7-12 @ 16:01

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby swaaye » 2012-8-16 @ 01:37

Assuming you are trying to play games, back then SMP was almost completely useless for gaming.
swaaye
Moderator
 
Posts: 5446
Joined: 2002-7-22 @ 21:24
Location: WI, USA

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby whturner » 2012-8-16 @ 01:49

No games (unless they are pretty primitive for the Grandkids) As one example I merely want the pages to scroll faster when I am reading a document and and in general redraw faster. I have another computer for games and such.
whturner
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 2012-7-12 @ 16:01

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby whturner » 2012-8-16 @ 02:01

For those more techie than me - here is what the Intel spec was when introduced. I have no Idea what the added Overdrive system does is anything.
Intel 82440FX PCIset
PCI and Memory Controller (PMC) and Data Bus Accelerator (DBX)
82371SB PCI/ISA IDE Xcelerator (PIIX3)
whturner
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 2012-7-12 @ 16:01

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby dirkmirk » 2012-8-16 @ 11:07

Is it even possible to overclock a pentium 2 overdrive? It would be news to me if any Pentium Pro motherboard supported higher than 66 fsb, im running a 6200 pci card in my Pentium 2 overdrive system, works great if not serverly CPU starved.
dirkmirk
Member
 
Posts: 443
Joined: 2007-5-20 @ 03:00
Location: Australia

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby whturner » 2012-8-16 @ 14:36

It apparently is - check this link.
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/show ... el+PR440FX
The main difference is that he is overclocking the original PPro cpu, not the overdrive substitute. I am going to post my info on that board to see if I can get any suggestions.
What MOBO are you using?
whturner
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 2012-7-12 @ 16:01

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby swaaye » 2012-8-16 @ 17:05

When I've run XP on Pentium Pro hardware at 233 MHz, I have found it to be sluggish. I think that Win2K or even NT4 is probably a better choice for this hardware.

By the way, your description up top says you have 1MB RAM. That's unlikely. How much do you have? XP needs a minimum of 256MB for a pleasant experience running applications.

Also what programs are you trying to run? Many modern apps will surely choke a PPro of any speed.

Something you can try is turning off the visual effects in the System settings. These increase the load on the CPU and graphics card. Also try running 16-bit color depth. You could also try newer video drivers although the XP in-box Radeon 7000 drivers should be fine.
Image
swaaye
Moderator
 
Posts: 5446
Joined: 2002-7-22 @ 21:24
Location: WI, USA

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby dirkmirk » 2012-8-16 @ 20:31

whturner wrote:It apparently is - check this link.
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/show ... el+PR440FX
The main difference is that he is overclocking the original PPro cpu, not the overdrive substitute. I am going to post my info on that board to see if I can get any suggestions.
What MOBO are you using?


MICRONICS W6-L1

http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=32443
http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/M/MICRONICS-COMPUTERS-INC-Pentium-Pro-W6-LI.html

On that link he found 70mhz so that would make 350mhz on our P2 Overdrives, a nice round number, I'll have a play around tonight.
dirkmirk
Member
 
Posts: 443
Joined: 2007-5-20 @ 03:00
Location: Australia

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby whturner » 2012-8-17 @ 00:00

Hi Swaaye

Thanks for the tips - I have already applied them to this and my Win7 computer.
I do indeed have 1Gb Ram - and inexpensive! Partly offsets the cost of the overdrives.

" .....very rare 256MB EDO ECC 50ns DIMMS that work on this board, they are genuine Micron modules made with 36 chips on them and will allow you to get a maximum of 256MB x 4 = 1GB of memory. I can sell them to you for only $10 each x 4 = $40"

The motherboard supports two DIMM speeds: 50 ns and 60 ns.
Table 7. Jumpers for DIMM Speed
Memory Speed Jumper Block Setting
50 ns J12B2-M Up (pins 1-2)
60 ns J12B2-M Down (pins 2-3) (Default)

When I changed the jumper for the 50ns there was a noticeable increse in performance. This raises a question - does that also change the CPU speed?.
"System Properties" show Pentium II processor, and 349MHz 1GB RAM. With a multiplier of 5.0, does that mean the equivalent PPro CPU Bus speed would be 70MHz? And would that change the cpu speed?

What programs am I going to run? Don't know yet, depends on what the system prefers. I have my regular computer for anything heavy duty, like rendering videos, processing vinyl records and the like.
Internet Browsing is more dependent on my DSL speed, but I would like to be able to run Videos from You Tube, so the kids can watch Bugs Bunny and the like.
At any rate video improvement is my current focus. Downloading the latest drivers for the Radeon 7000 made a small improvement, but looking at benchmarks for PCI adapters, it looks like there is a potential at a reasonable cost for about 2x speed improvement (which still will not break any records)

Cheers
Warren
whturner
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 2012-7-12 @ 16:01

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby swaaye » 2012-8-17 @ 02:54

With regards to Youtube, I don't think it's possible to make that play fluidly on a Pentium II-class PC. A Pentium II can barely play a MPEG2 DVD, let alone H.264 that's being piped through inefficient Adobe Flash.

I think that DVD playback should be fine though because your video card has DXVA MPEG2 hardware acceleration.
swaaye
Moderator
 
Posts: 5446
Joined: 2002-7-22 @ 21:24
Location: WI, USA

Re: Another Retro Project Intel PR440FX Board

Postby whturner » 2012-8-17 @ 05:33

We will have to see where this goes! This system ought to be somewhat faster than a single CPU Pentium II computer. Of course it may be a moot point, since my DSL is so slow it may be hard to sort out what is what. Some You Tube videos don't even run perfectly on my Core I7 win7 64 bit computer with an ATI Radeon HD 4800 card when the DSL is slow!.

At present, You Tube is more or less watchable full screen most of the time with no serious dropouts in either the picture or audio, albeit a bit ragged. But there is a lot of variation between the videos.
I am hoping the dual overdrive processors with a SSD boot drive and a faster video card, may speed up play. Also, the page file is on an SSD.
and don't forget 1 Gb of 50ns ram.

Task Manager shows that both CPUs are just barely maxed out when there is a lot of full screen action going on with the display at 1280 x 1024 - 16 bit color @ 60 hz. If a better video card can unload some of the processing, and speed things up some, it might be good enough! (to watch the coyote fall off the cliff while trying to catch the Roadrunner!). Cartoons and the like are not highly demanding action with a lot of complex graphics. I expect lowering the resolution is a possibility too.

I can't interpret all that task manager is showing- maybe you can

Cheers
Warren
Attachments
Bugs Bunny.JPG
Screen Capture while You Tube video is playing
Task manager CPU and page file Performance.
(79.58 KiB) Downloaded 156 times
whturner
Newbie
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 2012-7-12 @ 16:01


Return to System Specs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests