Troubleshooting 386, Considering 686 or K6-2 Build

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Troubleshooting 386, Considering 686 or K6-2 Build

Postby sheath » 2018-8-06 @ 15:39

I've got a bug to build old PCs that I've been stalling on since my move last year.. I've troubleshot my old ATX towers I saved from the escape of Texas, in addition to my PIII / Slot 1 "99box" one is my old PC from 2007, final upgraded to an Athlon X2 6400+. The other is a full tower that has an Abit IS7 motherboard and a Pentium 4 something in it. Two of my three old PSUs died on the shelf, including the one in my formerly working 99Box. The PSU in the full tower Abit /P4 has blown caps, the other works for now in the X2 6400 machine. I spent Saturday transferring the PSUs from one case to the other until I got two working machines, the 99box and the Athlon X2 6400, both still have my old working Windows installs and files on their HDDs. I've got my old 98 ASUS P2B motherboard and a Celeron 300A or PII 400 to choose from, currently in the broken full tower. I've also got to troubleshoot 386sx system from '89 that my college roomate donated to me.

So far I've ordered two PCI Sata controllers and a new PSU. I just need to decide what I'm going to build in that full tower. I am debating ignoring the Abit IS7 and Asus P2B motherboards for now and just going for a Cyrix 686 build or an K6-2 build to offset my PIII / Slot 1 '99Box'. The purpose of the later would be to use my Ati All In Wonder 7500 for its video capture capabilities on old game systems, as I currently do not have a system I want to leave that video card set up in. The purpose of the 686 system would be to replicate my first Windows PC, complete with the Matrox Mystique that is currently unused or underused as a backup PCI card in the '99box'.

If anybody has read this far and is wondering why I wrote all of this out, I'm currently stumped on how I could organize all of this hardware to create decent benchmark and gaming systems for their respective eras. If I can get the 386 machine working, the Matrox ISA card in it blew a cap in spectacular fashion on my last power on, I'd like to know if the motherboard also supports 486, and I'd test everything gaming wise up to Doom just to see how it runs. Anything on the 3DO and PC would be fair game. For the 686 machine I'd go up to about 1998 just to see how far I can push it with my Matrox Mystique, M3D and Voodoo1 combo. The K6-2 would just be a comparison machine with the PIII / Slot 1 99Box, using everything I've got from the Riva TNT to the TNT 2 Ultra and Geforce 256 or even the Hercules 3D Prophet Kyro II, Geforce 2 MX and Radeon 7500, I haven't decided.

Some pics of the currently non working 386 machine:
P_20180803_224510.jpg
386sx Machine


P_20180803_224753.jpg


P_20180803_224608.jpg
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sheath
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Re: Troubleshooting 386, Considering 686 or K6-2 Build

Postby chinny22 » 2018-8-08 @ 15:25

I'm not quite sure what your asking. If its just what games will work on what systems then.

Basically Dos gaming will work on anything with an ISA slot as PCI soundcards have pretty bad dos support.

Win9x gaming is more dependent on Video card. If the game supports Glide, you'll want a Voodoo card
If its Direct X/D3D then ATI or Nvidia cards are what your after.

Of course you always get the exception to the rules. Here is a list of games that demand specific hardware.
https://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/Li ... tive_games
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Re: Troubleshooting 386, Considering 686 or K6-2 Build

Postby sheath » 2018-8-09 @ 02:36

Oh, sure, I have the means already to tell what game runs better in DOS versus 98SE. What I would want to test is the performance of the various processors. What I think I am asking is whether I can build one machine that will span multiple generations of hardware in an historically accurate way. I think I've seen one youtuber who claims to have gotten a Super Socket 7 board to work as a 386, 486, K6-2+ and K6-3 system, mostly with down clocking I think. I might go for that if it legitimately runs at the speed of a 386, which I will be able to test once I've finished troubleshooting my 386 machine. Then if I can determine whether that machine can be upgraded to a 486DX I'd really be in business for benchmark comparisons.

Anyway, i'm just offering it up for discussion, I've already got tons to read and research on my lonesome but would love to add to the stack based on solid recommendations around here.
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Re: Troubleshooting 386, Considering 686 or K6-2 Build

Postby sheath » 2018-8-12 @ 20:34

For a minor update on the older PC troubleshooting, I've made progress. The new PSU came in but not the AT adapter cables. I've ruled the P4 A-bit IS7 motherboard dead. It won't post or even cause the speaker to beep with nothing hooked up. My good ole Asus P2B 440BX board is still going strong, as are both my Slot 1 CPUs. Using a PCI SATA controller I've installed Win98SE on the Samsung SATA drive that was left in this computer.

My Promise SATA300 TX2, Fastrack TX2300, and Sil3114 all have problems loading drivers in 98SE though. I'm hoping I won't have to track down something more expensive for this adapter.

My goal for this machine will be to see if I can underclock either my Celeron 300A or PII 400 to 100mhz and get reasonable gaming results comparable to an actual P1. I also intend to use it for my ATI AiW 7500, as I recall that card having superior video capture compatibility with Composite game console outputs.

-edit-

A couple of reinstalls of Win98SE later I was able to get the Sil3114 working with the drivers available here on Vogons, thanks all!
Last edited by sheath on 2018-8-12 @ 23:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Troubleshooting 386, Considering 686 or K6-2 Build

Postby Koltoroc » 2018-8-12 @ 20:56

I wouldn't rule the abit a board a lost cause just yet. Considering it was made during the capacitor plague era, it might need a full recap.
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Re: Troubleshooting 386, Considering 686 or K6-2 Build

Postby sheath » 2018-8-12 @ 21:55

Yeah, I won't be tossing it. But I won't be recapping a full motherboard until I manage to spring for a desoldering unit. I've got a Jaguar CD Developer unit, a Sega CD Model 1 and a Game Gear ahead in line besides.
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