VOGONS


First post, by detritus olentus

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I am not one with the ability to share massive wordy posts so here goes! I stop by a couple of municipal recycle piles on the way to and from classes so once in a while I check whats there. The other day I picked up this unassuming NEC machine with a "Designed for Microsoft Windows 98 Sticker" and didn't think it was anything unusual until I powered it up and saw it had a Cyrix processor in it. I have never had a PC with one so its been kinda neat playing around with it, though I wish I had taken a few pictures when I took it apart to dust it. Does seem to live up to the reputation of producing a lot of heat and the really wacky placement of the PSU appears to be aimed at removing heat from the CPU. Motherboard is also upside-down. Thought it might be something fun to share and I'm always excited when I can save something from the scrap heap. And of course Millennium, because its my schtick.

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NEC Ready 9851

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Not entirely sure why its named "CyrixInstead" when I named it Cyrix in setup. Maybe its an inbuilt insult.

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Reply 1 of 21, by Madc0w

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Really like the look at that front plate, very cool.

I have a compaq presario with a cryix MII and I think its actually kind of nice, it just works for late dos/early windows games. I would probably recommend windows 98SE on that build but you do you.

Reply 2 of 21, by detritus olentus

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I mostly just do ME as a troll at this point but I also have a legit upgrade disk for it and I like the slightly newer drivers it carries and slightly newer core files. It lets the office compatibility pack partially install with kernelex so I can use XML DOCX files also.

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Reply 3 of 21, by zyga64

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detritus olentus wrote:

Not entirely sure why its named "CyrixInstead" when I named it Cyrix in setup. Maybe its an inbuilt insult.

It will be "GenuineIntel" for Intel CPU, and "AuthenticAMD"for AMD respectively. It comes from CPUID.

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s

Reply 4 of 21, by F2bnp

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Nice find! Can't tell much from the screenshots, but apparently you've got an SiS motherboard in there, probably one based on the SiS 5582 or 5592. Out of curiosity, I think you should remove the heatsink and take a look at the CPU itself, it might have been configured incorrectly and you might actually be running it underclocked 😁.

Reply 5 of 21, by amadeus777999

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Very nice case.

These Cyrixs are good performers for old (non fpu'd) software... albeit I couldn't observe any speed advantage when compared to a Pentium of similar clock. Does the 5582/5592 perform as well as the 5591?

"Coolest" vendor ID was "CentaurHauls"... kinda miss all those different companies and their tacky strings.

Reply 6 of 21, by feipoa

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Oh, that case is just gorgeous, so much so that I typed "NEC Ready 9851" into eBay search to see if there were more.

Anyone ever get busted liberating equpiment from recycle scrap piles? Where I live, there are cameras and dire warnings everywhere.

Cyrix MII builds get no respect 'round these parts. Its too bad. They aren't all that bad from today's point of view. Just play the games that play well on it. If too slow for you, play that game on one of your other 3 dozen systems.

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 7 of 21, by oeuvre

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I love those old NEC Readys, so cool! They're a bit quirky but they're good retroboxes.

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
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Reply 8 of 21, by derSammler

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amadeus777999 wrote:

These Cyrixs are good performers for old (non fpu'd) software... albeit I couldn't observe any speed advantage when compared to a Pentium of similar clock.

I tried building a Cyrix MII-based retro PC for a friend a few days ago and failed. The MII caused so many problems that I replaced it with a Pentium MMX in the end and all problems were gone at once. First, the BIOS failed to enable the L1 cache so I had to use SETMUL. Second, not a single 3dfx Glide game would run. They all triggered a blue screen. Third, mouse cursor was corrupted unless hardware acceleration in Windows was set to the second lowest setting. So sorry to say, but those late Cyrix CPUs are a piece of crap. It had very nice benchmark scores, but who cares it you don't get a stable system.

Reply 9 of 21, by canthearu

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derSammler wrote:

I tried building a Cyrix MII-based retro PC for a friend a few days ago and failed.

Hmmm, I never really had any problems with the Cyrix 6x86/MII processors.

But I have only used the MMX versions (6x86MX), which fix a few bugs, and I've always used motherboards that have proper support for them.

Reply 10 of 21, by oeuvre

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i'd love to somehow mod an old NEC tower like this into... sleeper.

I've got a thing for sleepers.

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
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Reply 11 of 21, by amadeus777999

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derSammler wrote:
amadeus777999 wrote:

These Cyrixs are good performers for old (non fpu'd) software... albeit I couldn't observe any speed advantage when compared to a Pentium of similar clock.

I tried building a Cyrix MII-based retro PC for a friend a few days ago and failed. The MII caused so many problems that I replaced it with a Pentium MMX in the end and all problems were gone at once. First, the BIOS failed to enable the L1 cache so I had to use SETMUL. Second, not a single 3dfx Glide game would run. They all triggered a blue screen. Third, mouse cursor was corrupted unless hardware acceleration in Windows was set to the second lowest setting. So sorry to say, but those late Cyrix CPUs are a piece of crap. It had very nice benchmark scores, but who cares it you don't get a stable system.

Most likely a BIOS issue or it's just that some boards are unreliable when its sucking power from their rail... which board were you installing it on? I remember, in 2000 or so, also having issues with them but the memories are really faint and back then the Cyrix's,despite being kind of cool, never left any big impression. It was after all the time where more was better. I hoped for slightly better integer performance but it "just"seemed to be up to par with the pentium - at least with the software I tested it with.

A few months ago, all boards I have tested worked flawlessly with a 166(L?) and a MII 333 part. I even overclocked the 333 part from 250 to 290 and cooled it using an AthlonXP heatsink.

Reply 12 of 21, by feipoa

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The MII 400GP appears to run fine in at MII 433 speeds in my Tyan board with Voodoo3. It runs Win98SE, W2K, and WinXP-SP3

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 13 of 21, by Prisoner416

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This is the PC I spent most of my childhood on until it got killed by the CIH virus, regret not saving the chassis and the hard drive was reformatted before I knew you could save the data that virus caused.

Doubtful, but if you're ever interested in selling, I'd be interested. Been looking for this for a while just to play some old games and relive my youth. I'm mainly after it for the nostalgia, there are far better options with Windows 98, but this... this is the one I grew up with and I would cherish the hell out of it.

Reply 14 of 21, by feipoa

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Good looking case. I wish they had made the front symmetrical though.

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 15 of 21, by Prisoner416

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I thought it was symmetrical but I'm remembering from like... 1998, 1999.

Shame the HD was rewiped, but I'm sure there's CD restore images to fix it up. I wonder if it has the same 10gb drive I remember.

There was other stuff bundled with it too, like a weird "NEC Assistant" program. I can make a doodle of it, I've never found documentation on it or any evidence it existed other then my memory.

OP is in New Jersey. I wonder how much it would cost to ship to PA. I'm in a serious nostalgia kick.

Reply 16 of 21, by detritus olentus

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I've just moved to Bucks County PA and haven't updated my profile, where ya at in PA?

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Reply 17 of 21, by Prisoner416

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detritus olentus wrote:

I've just moved to Bucks County PA and haven't updated my profile, where ya at in PA?

I'm in Harrisburg. I'd probably have to source a monitor that worked with it... sadly, a lot of my old stuff got lost or tossed over the years. I still have the box for the CRT from back then, but it's likely long gone. I honestly didn't remember it as a Cyrix until my brother mentioned it. It handled most of the games pretty well that I had. Rainbow Six, Streets of Simcity... never really tried 3d programs. I don't recall it giving me many problems in running anything.

I'm wondering how much of the hardware on it is original. My harddrive that came from that PC had a special metal shield for static prevention or some other claim.

Reply 18 of 21, by detritus olentus

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The hard drive certainly is not original as it didn't have one when I found it. I've got 7 CRTs back in Jersey in my parents basement if you wanted one.

Last edited by detritus olentus on 2019-10-30, 08:54. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 19 of 21, by Stiletto

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Prisoner416 wrote:
detritus olentus wrote:

I've just moved to Bucks County PA and haven't updated my profile, where ya at in PA?

I'm in Harrisburg.

am also in the general area, who woulda guessed one of the VOGONS founding members was from these parts? 😁

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