The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Showcase your Retro PC / Build logs.

The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby Munx » 2018-5-30 @ 19:06

Why are the Pentium 4's so hated? Is it their super high clock-speed that AMD fanboys could only dream of? SSE2 instructions that future-proofed these CPU's and allow them to work with Steam, something that even Athlon XP's can't properly do? Or maybe it's because S423 motherboards are made for a newer ATX standard an don't require hunting down ancient 5V PSUs to work? Lets find out with the help of this 1500MHz Pentium 4, the FASTEST CPU of Y2K!
P4.jpg


A good CPU deserves a good motherboard - ASUS P4T-I, loaded up with 512 Megabytes of PC800 RDRAM! Delivering a whopping 3.2GB/s of bandwidth, something the Athlon losers still stuck on ancient PC133 RAM can only dream of!
RAMBUS.jpg


A build this powerful needs a beastly graphics card. Looks like a perfect job for Geforce FX!
FX5900XT by XFX will make sure that any game on this machine will be played The Way its Meant to be Played™!
FX5900 XT.jpg


Lastly, we will need some accelerated 3D sound, something the integrated sound chip can't provide...
Should I go with Vortex 2 and A3D to get the best possible sound for the 90's? Or look to the future with a Creative Audigy and EAX?
Why not both? AND for 1/10th the price? Presenting the Genius Sound Maker with the CMI8738 chipset, supporting all the 3D sound standards you could ever wish for!
CMI8738.jpg


To finish this build we'll need an OS. What better choice for a new millennium build than Windows ME! Not only is this OS the last DOS-based one from Microsoft, which means it's perfected and refined for stability, but it's also packed with modern features, like system restore!
desktop.jpg


With the build assembled, it's time for some testing!
Image


Now for the little more serious part of this post...
As you probably figured out, all the components in this build have been received mostly negatively. Personally I haven't actually used or remember using any of these parts or Windows ME back when they were new (except for Geforce FX. Gaming on an FX5500 was a pain I would not wish upon anyone).
When I got lucky a little while back and got a cheap Socket 423 motherboard, the first idea that came to my head was: "can this really be that bad?"
Within the next few days I should be able to finish up with the benchmarks and we'll be able to see just how bad/good this build is! :cool:
Last edited by Munx on 2018-6-06 @ 16:04, edited 3 times in total.
My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4
User avatar
Munx
Member
 
Posts: 426
Joined: 2015-3-21 @ 19:36
Location: Kaunas, Lithuania

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby Munx » 2018-5-30 @ 19:12

So how do things run on this thing? Lets begin!

3Dmark99 gives us 7287 3dmarks and 19449 CPU 3dmarks @ 1024x768 with 32bit color
Image

3Dmark2000 is showing some weird glitches and eventually crashes at default settings with 16bit color and z-buffer, however runs fine with those settings turned up. 7603 3Dmarks! Clearly, this rig is way too powerful for such low settings...
Image

3Dmark2001 SE gives 7750 3Dmarks @ default settings
Image

3Dmark03 manages to get 4483
Image

Lets move away from synthetic benchmarks and onto some games! For older Windows games the newer FX5900XT can add high levels of AA and texture filtering, making them look better than ever. Every older game here will have eye-candy added to it.

Quake 2 1280x960 demo1 gives us 78.1 FPS. The game runs smooth with 0 hitches.
Image

Quake 3 can get 114.9 FPS @ 1280x1024. Runs mostly ~90 FPS with some drops to 60s in a heated bot match.
Image

Daikatana runs smooth. FPS can drop to 40s in large areas, however it remains very playable throughout. Truly, the best gaming rig for becoming Romero's bitch.
Image

A repeating pattern with Unreal Tournament, as the game runs very smoothly and looks good doing it.
Image

Even with chaotic matches filled with bots and gibs flying all over the screen, the game remains more than playable
Image

Quake3 engine powered Return to castle Wolfenstein also runs smooth and looks good doing it
Image

Last of the older games would be Counter-strike. Let us activate the 3D sound for ultimate camping and begin!
Image

Having many bots in the game and on screen causes frame dips, especially in the start of the round when bots try to maneuver among themselves and away from the walls they got stuck on. however it is still playable.
Image

Beyond that, the games runs and looks good.
Image


Time for some more advanced, newer games! Will be disabling Nvidias control panel AA and filtering for these.


Battlefield 1942 1280x960 @ max settings showing high framerates. Not surprising, as getting this game to run smooth was pretty easy back in the day, even on my FX5500 that I had at the time.
Image

That is, until the AI in the bot-match start engaging one-another and then the game not only drops to sub-20 fps, but starts stuttering, making it a pretty bad experience...
And changing the settings does nothing, indicating a CPU bottleneck. SPOILER: we might see this happening again...
Image

Next up - Half Life 2. 1024x768, high settings. Running in DX8.1 mode as...well...DX9's overrated and stuff and NOT because it wont even let me change it in the options as FX series is a bit...unfriendly with DX9...
Though to be fair, it looks fine in DX8.1. I'd probably wouldn't notice unless I'd be looking.
Image

Yeah...smaller areas can get over 30 fps, but that's it. The framerate takes a beating when entering a large area, engaging the physics engine with explosions or just having a higher number of AI. Changing the graphics settings does nothing.
Example: This area has some crow and a zombie AI. Look at the frame counter.
Image

Now see what happens when the crows are scared away and I walked over to the zombie that's sitting against the wall in the dark area and killed it.
Image

Next up is Doom 3 @ high settings 1024x768, where the superior OpenGL performance of Nvidia can shine! Timedemo 1 manages to produce 23.7 FPS
Image

Many areas showing 25-40 fps. Quite impressive!
Image

Until, you guessed it, AI is involved...Making the game run @ even sub-15 FPS at times. Lowering the graphics and resolution did not produce any significant gains.
I'm beginning to think the 1.5GHz minimum requirement stated on the box might not have been for Intel CPUs...
Image

Now, I'm starting to believe that clockspeed just might not be a good way to measure CPU speed...If only out there was a game that would rekindle my faith in Netburst...A game that ran on P4's favorite Quake 3 engine and had brain-dead AI and laughably basic physics...
Image

I think we have a winner!
Call of Duty runs quite well at high settings at 1280x1024. This is also the game where I turned off EAX even though I had the option. It functions fine, however the effects are way too pronounced for my liking and i would have loved it for them to be more subtle. Example, looking up with make your footsteps sound muffled.
Image

Next up is a game where I live out my fantasies of being Paul Walker and/or Vin Diesel.
Image

Need for Speed Underground looks to be actually maxing out the graphics card before the CPU, as max setting with all the road reflections and other effects tank the framerates to sub-20. Lowering the settings to medium @ 1024x768 gives a very steady framerate that remains in the 30s.
Image

Decent framrates from FarCry @ 1024x768 with medium settings, as it runs 20-30 FPS consistently, with some drops to low-20's in larger engagements.
Image

Last, but not least is Unreal Tournament 2004! 1024x768, medium settings. Framerate depends VERY much on the map and the number of AI opponents. Having the match filled up with bots or playing large map like Fallen City will tank the FPS to 10 or even lower. Again, changing the graphics settings does nothing. 1v1 small matches run fine though, with framerates being in the 30-40 range.
Image

Final thoughts?
The CMI8738 sound card worked as it should. Sounds ok, like most Live! cards. No glitches, driver issues or anything. The only problem with the card is that the EAX/A3D effects are very pronounced and don't sound as good as on real EMU10K or Vortex. For me, on this card A3D does sound a bit better out of the two, so I used that whenever possible.

Nvidias Win9x/Me drivers for the FX 5900XT are quite wonky. Looking online it seems that every driver revision brought new problems while fixing others. The final ones (81.98) worked the best for me, though I still couldn't get Unreal to run in DirectX or OpenGL. 3Dmark 2000 crashes on certain settings. On the plus side, the ability to add AA is quite useful for older games. Anything 2004 or earlier this card will handle no problem. It's just too bad that terrible PS 2.0 and DX9 performance limits it to games of that time and many games made in 2005 and later will still run on a 9800pro, but will struggle on an FX card. I'd stick with Windows 2000 or XP for this card.

Windows Millennium was a very pleasant surprise for me. Going in I though I'd have to deal with constant crashes and instability, yet nothing like that happened. I just cant find anything to complain about. Small things like out-of-the-box flash drive support made my experience very positive.

Lastly we have the Socket 423 Pentium 4. The two big pluses that I got out of it are the stability that Intel chipsets provide and the fact that it can use the newer ATX 12V-heavy PSUs. However, performance is a different story. While more than enough for 90's 3D games, it struggles with anything newer that's not running on the Quake 3 engine. I would love to get my hands on a 1.9 or 2GHZ version to see if that would make things any noticeably better. I will try to get one if they ever come up on Ebay or other places for a cheaper price and give a performance update if i do.

If I was shopping around for PC parts at the time I would have not even looked at it's general direction. Not only the CPU's, but the whole platform with the Rambus memory made everything very expensive. And then S478 made it all an obsolete dead-end. Meanwhile on AMD side, a cheap Duron 800 would have served just as well for all games of that time. And once stuff like Doom3 and Half-Life 2 came out, Socket 462 was well and alive and so an upgrade to an Athlon XP was a very viable choice. So for an overall lower price, you could have gotten a way better experience by going AMD.

This round goes to AMDorks I guess... :depressed:
Last edited by Munx on 2018-6-05 @ 14:23, edited 11 times in total.
My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4
User avatar
Munx
Member
 
Posts: 426
Joined: 2015-3-21 @ 19:36
Location: Kaunas, Lithuania

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby keenmaster486 » 2018-5-30 @ 19:53

Lo, my face doth turn crimson with envy.
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
Very silly indeed: https://audaxeundum.wordpress.com
User avatar
keenmaster486
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1100
Joined: 2016-2-16 @ 02:04
Location: Atroxus

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-30 @ 19:56

1) Why Athlon fans are losers?
2) Why Athlon must be with PC133 obligatory? A lot of DDR chipsets exist.
3) Willamette didn't get frequencies which let it be better than Thunderbird+DDR.
4) Pentium 4 must have very high frequency to be ~equal Athlon with lower frequency. Not all depends on GHz.
5) The best i850 motherboards are with socket-478, Northwood 2,4+ support and FSB533+RIMM1066 support. Only such configuration can be faster than most of Athlons (expect fastest models on fastest chipsets like nForce2 or KT880).
6) All you have wrote consists of more emotions, less pragmatic. I would choose s478+RIMM1066/32ns+Northwood at least 2,4ghz.
User avatar
PARUS
Member
 
Posts: 292
Joined: 2013-4-14 @ 04:03

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby derSammler » 2018-5-30 @ 20:30

Munx wrote:Lets find out with the help of this 1500MHz Pentium 4, the FASTEST CPU of Y2K!

First of all, let me say that I have a P4 1.3 GHz in my retro collection as well, also socket 423 with RAMBUS memory, and I love it. However, you were just fooled by the old marketing trick that Intel did back then. No, it was *not* the fastest CPU in 2000! It was the CPU with the highest clock speed. That's not the same as being the fastest. The P4's NetBurst architecture was very ineffective by design because of the long pipeline and many other flaws. It was hardly faster than a P3 running at the same clock speed.

As for memory speed, my P4 does 2.4 GBytes/second with PC800 modules.
derSammler
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1594
Joined: 2017-4-14 @ 11:30
Location: Germany

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby RichB93 » 2018-5-30 @ 21:00

PARUS wrote:1) Why Athlon fans are losers?
2) Why Athlon must be with PC133 obligatory? A lot of DDR chipsets exist.
3) Willamette didn't get frequencies which let it be better than Thunderbird+DDR.
4) Pentium 4 must have very high frequency to be ~equal Athlon with lower frequency. Not all depends on GHz.
5) The best i850 motherboards are with socket-478, Northwood 2,4+ support and FSB533+RIMM1066 support. Only such configuration can be faster than most of Athlons (expect fastest models on fastest chipsets like nForce2 or KT880).
6) All you have wrote consists of more emotions, less pragmatic. I would choose s478+RIMM1066/32ns+Northwood at least 2,4ghz.


Woosh. That's the point, he's trolling!

This is a real junker! But I can kinda see why you enjoy it, in a a sadistic way :lol:
User avatar
RichB93
Member
 
Posts: 306
Joined: 2011-7-16 @ 07:43
Location: UK

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby CarlHopkinsUK » 2018-5-30 @ 21:05

Ahh I miss the days of AND vs Intel trolling...
Almost as fun as Amiga vs Atari
Image
User avatar
CarlHopkinsUK
Newbie
 
Posts: 49
Joined: 2018-5-09 @ 22:40

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby F2bnp » 2018-5-30 @ 21:28

Lol @ the joke flying over everyone's heads :lol:
User avatar
F2bnp
l33t
 
Posts: 3452
Joined: 2007-9-23 @ 10:19

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby leileilol » 2018-5-30 @ 21:39

You'd better get some Daikatana GOTY Edition and Clusterball going on that rig!

For further 2000 hype period piecing I'd bump the video card down appropriately to the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500. the FASTEST VIDEO CARD EVER MADE PERIOD everyone else is wrong nvidiatiodots 3dFx VooDoo Grafik's Rule'z .
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
386DX vs SX isn't about a missing FPU
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
Old PCs aren't 'aesthetic'
User avatar
leileilol
l33t++
 
Posts: 9250
Joined: 2006-12-16 @ 18:03

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby wiretap » 2018-5-30 @ 23:25

haha. It needs some blue cathodes to make it run cooler and faster though.
User avatar
wiretap
Newbie
 
Posts: 76
Joined: 2018-5-17 @ 08:26
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby SW-SSG » 2018-5-31 @ 00:29

I look forward to learning how fast slow it is ;p
Last edited by SW-SSG on 2018-5-31 @ 04:23, edited 1 time in total.
[ThinkPad A30] PIII-M 1133MHz, 256MB PC-133, 30GB 4200RPM, ATI R7000 16MB, 15" 1024x768px, WinXP Pro+Win98SE
User avatar
SW-SSG
Member
 
Posts: 368
Joined: 2016-9-29 @ 03:44
Location: Canada

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby Munx » 2018-5-31 @ 04:23

wiretap wrote:haha. It needs some blue cathodes to make it run cooler and faster though.

Blue ones only make it run cooler. You need red ones to make it run faster.

leileilol wrote:You'd better get some Daikatana GOTY Edition and Clusterball going on that rig!

For further 2000 hype period piecing I'd bump the video card down appropriately to the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500. the FASTEST VIDEO CARD EVER MADE PERIOD everyone else is wrong nvidiatiodots 3dFx VooDoo Grafik's Rule'z .

Sadly that card is not an option, not only due to the AGP incompatibility, but also because of the same reason I could not get my first choice for the video card - the mighty FX5800 Ultra. I guess it's only fair that the best cards are priced the highest and are the equivalent of bitcoins.
Also as outdated as the 5500 was when it released, it was doing everything it was made for just fine. Rage Fury Maxx would be a better fit here :lol:
My builds!
The FireStarter 2.0 - The wooden K5
The Underdog - The budget K6
The Voodoo powerhouse - The power-hungry K7
The troll PC - The Socket 423 Pentium 4
User avatar
Munx
Member
 
Posts: 426
Joined: 2015-3-21 @ 19:36
Location: Kaunas, Lithuania

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-31 @ 05:54

RichB93, first tell please where I'm wrong. I'm agree with derSammler. All know that NetBurst is a slowest compared to Intel P3 or AMD K7 on a same frequencies. Therefore if you want to build real fast machine with NetBurst CPU you should take processor with high frequency and Willamette is not good choice. Then, RDRAM 800 has very slow 40/45 ns and can be bottleneck in some cases. It is better to take RDRAM 32 ns.

I have myself i850 machine too and I like it. But I built it on S478 motherboard and fast Northwood high freq CPU. S423 is interesting for tests but there is no logic to position it as really fast system.
User avatar
PARUS
Member
 
Posts: 292
Joined: 2013-4-14 @ 04:03

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby leileilol » 2018-5-31 @ 07:31

Do I hear more "wooshes"?
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
386DX vs SX isn't about a missing FPU
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
Old PCs aren't 'aesthetic'
User avatar
leileilol
l33t++
 
Posts: 9250
Joined: 2006-12-16 @ 18:03

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby pico1180 » 2018-5-31 @ 10:24

That was pretty funny. The sad part is, if you didn't live through that time you wouldn't get it. ME was historically one of the worst, if not THE worst OS Microsoft ever released. Notorious for its instability and lack of refinement, despite how long they had to make that platform rock solid. And RAMBUS was one of the worst ideas in PC manufacturing history.
pico1180
Newbie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 2018-5-23 @ 03:38
Location: USA

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby DonutKing » 2018-5-31 @ 12:20

I was enjoying your build up until you said you put windows ME on it. Seriously dude. You crossed the line. lol

I was always intrigued by RAMBUS systems because I never came across them, they were so expensive over here they were pretty much out of reach for the average user. all the Willamettes I saw had SDRAM and felt quite sluggish as a result.

Also IIRC the 5900XT was actually considered a pretty decent card at the time, in terms of performance vs value? The rest of the FX series was mostly arse but the 5900XT was pretty good if you couldn't afford a Radeon 9800 pro.
If you are squeamish, don't prod the beach rubble.
User avatar
DonutKing
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: 2008-1-03 @ 03:23
Location: Australia

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby dr_st » 2018-5-31 @ 13:27

pico1180 wrote:ME was historically one of the worst, if not THE worst OS Microsoft ever released. Notorious for its instability and lack of refinement, despite how long they had to make that platform rock solid.
Was it really worse that 98SE in terms of stability and refinement? Never mind the lost pure DOS mode.
User avatar
dr_st
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1264
Joined: 2015-4-09 @ 07:18

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby Beegle » 2018-5-31 @ 16:24

leileilol wrote:Daikatana GOTY Edition

My drink is all over my monitor now. Urgh. Where are the cleaning products?
The more sound cards, the better.
AdLib documentary: Official Thread
User avatar
Beegle
Member
 
Posts: 416
Joined: 2013-12-01 @ 02:15
Location: Canada

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby firage » 2018-5-31 @ 17:53

dr_st wrote:
pico1180 wrote:ME was historically one of the worst, if not THE worst OS Microsoft ever released. Notorious for its instability and lack of refinement, despite how long they had to make that platform rock solid.
Was it really worse that 98SE in terms of stability and refinement? Never mind the lost pure DOS mode.

Probably wasn't as bad with all new hardware and new drivers, but then 2K and XP were the real deal.
User avatar
firage
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1050
Joined: 2013-1-06 @ 21:43
Location: Finland

Re: The millenial troll PC - A Socket 423 Rambus build

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-5-31 @ 18:09

Beegle wrote:
leileilol wrote:Daikatana GOTY Edition

My drink is all over my monitor now. Urgh. Where are the cleaning products?


Who cares. John Romero is about to make everyone his bitch.
User avatar
gdjacobs
l33t++
 
Posts: 5339
Joined: 2015-11-03 @ 05:51
Location: The Great White North

Next

Return to System Specs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: beniwtv and 6 guests