VOGONS


First post, by okenido

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Hello

Just wanted to share with you my new retro build. I've already got a PIII rig, I didnt plan to build another old computer but I found someone selling a nice case with a slot1 mobo in it, I couldn't resist getting it and see what I can do.

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It's a white/beige case with a sliding front panel. I've added the CD-Rom drive and the floppy drive. The plastic 5.25 covers are missing, I have many of them but none will fit perfectly... seems there is no standard clips !
I didnt see on the seller's pictures how rusty the case was on the inside. I had to clean up everything with white vinegar then take the whole case to the shower 🤣
Fortunately, the mobo which was inside didnt have any traces of rust 😀

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I like the power/hdd leds

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The case came only with the motherboard, which is an Abit BX6 (rev1)

It put the following parts into :
- A Pentium II 450mhz
- A single 128MB ram stick... I feel Windows98 is faster with 128 than 256.. is it really possible ?
- A Geforce4 mx440 (64MB / 128bit)
- A sound blaster AWE64
- A Pioneed CD-Rom drive, chosen between a dozen because it's very quiet and fast
- A 300W 'FGI' power supply
- A Seagate 80GB hard drive, very quiet
- A Sony floppy drive
- A plastic thing that goes near the PC speaker, allowing to put a 80mm fan in it and providing holders for very long ISA cards (okay I probably never use one.. 😁 )

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I upgraded the bios to the last version and on the next boot I nearly had an heart attack, the BIOS re-detected the CPU voltage and it was set to 3.5V ! 😵 I put it back to 2.0V. Wondering if it was really putting 3.5v or if it was just a glitch.

Last edited by okenido on 2018-04-12, 00:39. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 11, by okenido

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it's working 😀

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The Geforce 4mx440 had a dying fan so I replaced it with a passive heatsink, from another mx440 that was junk (64bit bus)

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The output was also quite blurry @75hz on Windows, so I searched a bit and found this topic talking about a mod to remove too much filtering on the vga lines : http://www.overclock.net/forum/69-nvidia/1442 … ce-8400-gs.html

I did the same thing as this guy : removing the capacitor and shunting the coil for each R,G,B output lines, except my card has two of them for each line (2x capacitors, 2x coils) :

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And... whoa it works ! Now the VGA output is perfectly sharp. I don't know why those components were put there if they degrade the image quality.

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HEAVILY BOTTLENECKED 🤣

Reply 3 of 11, by okenido

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Yeah ! I need to try more DOS games.

I ran 3D Mark again, this time with a Pentium III 650 (coppermine)

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The result is 2.3 times better than with the PII 450. While the PIII clock being only 1.44 times faster. It's efficiency per cycle is much better

Reply 4 of 11, by RogueTrip2012

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Nice work. Did you try just removing the capacitors to see if that fixed the issues without jumping out the coils?

> W98SE . P3 1.4S . 512MB . Q.FX3K . SB Live! . 64GB SSD
>WXP/W8.1 . AMD 960T . 8GB . GTX285 . SB X-Fi . 128GB SSD
> Win X . i7 4790k . 16GB . GTX1070TI . 256GB SSD

Reply 6 of 11, by PCBONEZ

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Those components were there to prevent RF EMI picked up by your monitor cables (which act like antennas picking up RF) from entering your video card.
A strong enough radio transmission (walking talkie, passing cop car, service truck w/radio) can now possibly fry your video card. - In theory at least.
.
For that matter a cell phone could do it.
I once worked on a system that rebooted anytime a cell phone rang within 5 feet of it.
.

Last edited by PCBONEZ on 2018-04-25, 16:04. Edited 1 time in total.

GRUMPY OLD FART - On Hiatus, sort'a
Mann-Made Global Warming. - We should be more concerned about the Intellectual Climate.
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Reply 7 of 11, by okenido

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Eh, that makes sense. A better solution would be to modify the filter instead of removing it, except if the frequencies it has to filter are the same as those we need to get a good image quality...

Reply 8 of 11, by PCBONEZ

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okenido wrote:

Eh, that makes sense. A better solution would be to modify the filter instead of removing it, except if the frequencies it has to filter are the same as those we need to get a good image quality...

No, I think RF is much higher frequency. - I'm out of practice with that sort of thing and I could be wrong.

Other cards seem to pull it off just fine. Clearly there is a compromise that works.
.

GRUMPY OLD FART - On Hiatus, sort'a
Mann-Made Global Warming. - We should be more concerned about the Intellectual Climate.
You can teach a man to fish and feed him for life, but if he can't handle sushi you must also teach him to cook.

Reply 9 of 11, by RogueTrip2012

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The caps should help any voltage drops from the signal imo

Then coils in general are to help resist and current/voltage change

Many higher quality cables have shielding and ferrite beads on them. These items are to help with rf/emi

I would suspect the caps create resonence in certain frequncies that can show up as ringing in the picture.

> W98SE . P3 1.4S . 512MB . Q.FX3K . SB Live! . 64GB SSD
>WXP/W8.1 . AMD 960T . 8GB . GTX285 . SB X-Fi . 128GB SSD
> Win X . i7 4790k . 16GB . GTX1070TI . 256GB SSD

Reply 10 of 11, by PCBONEZ

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RogueTrip2012 wrote:

The caps should help any voltage drops from the signal imo

Then coils in general are to help resist and current/voltage change

Yes caps do that too but caps have multiple jobs simultaneously.
As part of an LC filter the inductor resists the current changes while the cap shunts the noise (EMI/Ripple) to ground.
The L & C values determine which frequency (ranges) get dumped to ground and which don't.

RogueTrip2012 wrote:

Many higher quality cables have shielding and ferrite beads on them. These items are to help with rf/emi

Those help a lot.

RogueTrip2012 wrote:

I would suspect the caps create resonence in certain frequncies that can show up as ringing in the picture.

I think that can happen with poorly chosen values of L & C and I think that might be part of the problem with this card.
.

Last edited by PCBONEZ on 2018-04-27, 00:42. Edited 1 time in total.

GRUMPY OLD FART - On Hiatus, sort'a
Mann-Made Global Warming. - We should be more concerned about the Intellectual Climate.
You can teach a man to fish and feed him for life, but if he can't handle sushi you must also teach him to cook.

Reply 11 of 11, by RogueTrip2012

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🤣, earlier I was thinking why they don't use a diode or zener for shunting but was forgetting we are only using 1v p-p signals most of the time.

At sometime I'd like to look at a "good" design vs. a not "good" design. Seems like alot of manufacturers cheapened out during Geforce 1 to 4 series from my previous readings. I had thought they fixed most around the Geforce 5 series but that 8xxx shows a different story aside from poor cable quality and high res/refresh rates.

> W98SE . P3 1.4S . 512MB . Q.FX3K . SB Live! . 64GB SSD
>WXP/W8.1 . AMD 960T . 8GB . GTX285 . SB X-Fi . 128GB SSD
> Win X . i7 4790k . 16GB . GTX1070TI . 256GB SSD