Pentium III Katmai SL35E Build (Update)

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Pentium III Katmai SL35E Build (Update)

Postby athlon-power » 2018-12-07 @ 01:37

This is an update post to my prior one about this system, here's the link: (It's still on the main page a little below this one, entitled "Pentium III Katmai 500 Build," but I also know that things won't stay that way forever)

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=63828

In that thread, I got some comments about temperature management with the Katmai. This was something that I was honestly unaware of- I thought the Pentium 4's were bad for heat production, and had no idea the early Pentium III's were that way too. This caused me to enact some changes, mainly replacing the old, decaying thermal pad on the Katmai's heatsink with new Arctic Silver stuff. I decided to put a very high RPM case fan in the back of the case, right beside the Katmai's passive heatsink, to hopefully induce some airflow, and therefore, cooling. This fan was also incredibly loud, and it was honestly irritating because it sounded like a muted vacuum cleaner, like there was one in the next room.

I switched it out with a Pentium III Coppermine 600MHz I had laying around, and used the system that way for a while. When running CPUBurn, I found that I could barely detect heat from the heatsink on the Coppermine, with fresh thermal paste. That heatsink had a dead fan when I got it (it came in a PC that was in a local auction house, and it had sat, under a desk, running the software that the kitchen used to track purchases and the such, since Y2k. The system finally "died," and so I inquired about it and they gave it to me. Inside of it was horribly coated in dust, and the fan barely worked. It stopped working fully shortly thereafter. I have no idea how that Coppermine survived that), and so I got ahold of a small fan meant to cool a Pentium 4 heatsink out of a Gateway PC circa 2002. As a result, the fan is quite burly- it was overkill for the Coppermine. I noticed this, and I decided to take the Coppermine out and switch heatsinks with the Katmai, and surely enough, when running CPUBurn, I finally felt some heat being blown out the sides of the heatsink at ~40mph, unlike with the Coppermine. I ran the thing for around 5 minutes that way and it didn't get any hotter. I have to emphasize that I felt some heat, that fan is meant for a Pentium 4 on a somewhat worryingly small heatsink, so it seems great for the Katmai. I highly doubt that the processor will ever put out that much heat in normal use, the program is built to make a Pentium III output as much heat as possible.

I also added a Rosewill case fan that I screwed a metal cage thingy I got from a dead PSU in the system to help cool the ASUS V3800M. It's very easy for the air to be drug through the front panel, there's big grates at the bottom to let air in, and there's quite a large amount of room for air to flow through the actual metal frame of the case.

Here's the specs of the system:

Intel SE440BX-2 Motherboard
Intel Pentium III Katmai SL35E 500MHz/512K Cache/100MHz FSB
256MB PC133 RAM @ 100MHz (I ran memtest86+ and found that the 128MB stick of RAM I had was bad, so I took out all 192MB and replaced it with a single 256MB stick, which the mobo recognizes)
ASUS AGP-V3800M 32MB SDRAM (nVidia Vanta TNT2 M64)
AOpen AW744L II Sound Card
Samsung 48 Speed IDE CD-ROM Drive
Standard 1.44MB 3.5" FDD

I also had a thread over Half-Life GOTY performance issues, and at that time I was using the Pentium III Coppermine @600MHz. I know this will probably slow down gameplay, but this is an early 1999 build, and the Coppermine I was using was released in October of 1999. I know it's splitting hairs, but I want to keep time-accuracy for this build, and the ability to have 'proper' cooling for the Katmai, which allows me to be more time-accurate, overruled the advantages of the faster CPU. It's faster by a small margin, but it is noticeable in benchmarks like 3DMark 2000, increasing scores around a hundred points or so if I remember correctly.

Sorry this post went on for so long, I just had a lot to explain. I'm also thinking of upgrading this PC's storage options and abilities- I've got a free 3.5" bay, and two free 5.25" bays. I was wondering if you guys had any recommendations for a good use of those free bays.

[EDIT]

Took better pictures of it.

Also, I just did mental math, and this thing has ended up costing me roughly US$185. It's sort of insane to think about because at launch, just the processor was worth US$696, let alone the motherboard and other components. Still, I think this is the most money I've ever spent on a vintage PC project, and I have to say that I'm happy to have finally built one- I started this project February, so the amount of time I've put into this is probably a scarier amount than what it ended up costing monetarily. I plan on starting a 2003 build here in a little while.
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Re: Pentium III Katmai SL35E Build (Update)

Postby FFXIhealer » 2018-12-08 @ 03:33

Nice build. Very similar to my Windows 98 gaming rig.

MB: ASUS P2B Revision 1.02
CPU: Intel Pentium III "Katmai" 600MHz Slot1, 100MHz FSB
RAM: 256MB SDRAM (2x 128MB)
AGP: Diamond Viper V770 (NVidia Riva TNT2 32MB)
3dfx: 2x STB-1000v 12MB Voodoo2 cards in SLI
Sound: Creative Labs AWE64 Standard ISA
HDD: 40GB Western Digital
OS: Windows 98 SE
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Re: Pentium III Katmai SL35E Build (Update)

Postby athlon-power » 2018-12-08 @ 04:15

I forgot to mention, but I have a WD400 Caviar HDD as well. Your processor was released roughly 6 months after mine, give or take. I thought for a split second that you were OC'ing because I thought 500MHz was the cap for Katmai, and I luckily second-guessed myself and looked it up.

The biggest difference here is that you're using 2 VooDoo 2's for your 3D rendering, I'm using just the TNT2 M64. I also ended up being very close to getting a similar ISA card, but I didn't because I didn't feel like I knew enough about the cards at the time. So I'm using that AW744L II, and I fear that it's too new for my build. I plan on converting everything to parts released at that time, minus the PSU.

I'm also using a single 256MB stick because I'm pretty sure that the 128MB stick that died was the only 128MB stick I had, everything else is 32MB, 64MB, and 256MB. Like I said earlier, I was using 192MB of RAM, but I found out that the 128MB stick was dead in memtest86+.

Quick question, how does Half-Life run on that machine? I started a thread a little while back wherein I was having odd performance issues with Half-Life (and I sort of still am), and it was determined that it was because the game was very CPU-intensive. I'm curious as to whether or not the VooDoo 2's might be drawing a bit of the load off of the processor, because I would certainly look into getting a couple for SLI. It's just that they are so expensive, it'll be hard to acquire two of them, let alone two compatible models.
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Re: Pentium III Katmai SL35E Build (Update)

Postby FFXIhealer » 2018-12-08 @ 04:32

I don't really have a way to monitor FPS output in Windows 98, but it seems to run smoothly enough to play in 1024x768 resolution using the Voodoos. I haven't tried testing it on the TNT2 card yet.

But you gotta realize that I remember first playing Half-Life back in 1999 on a 350MHz Pentium II, 128 MB of RAM @100MHz, and an 8MB Intel i740 AGP card. Ran smoothly enough back then too at 800x600. Tell you what - I'll hook that system back up tomorrow and play a bit and seen if I can give you something of a report.
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