VOGONS


First post, by dormcat

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Last week when I took out garbage I saw a man few years older dumping an XP-era laptop. I tried to intercept it but an old recycler lady took it away first. I chatted with the guy and he told me that he got an old P4 desktop if I was interested. Sure!

The next day he came with a huge silver chassis. Man that was a Gigabyte 3D Aurora! With three 12cm chassis fans and water cooling sockets (not installed though)!

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Me: "Are you sure giving this to me for free? Seriously? Even the heavy empty case worth a few dollars."
Him: "Sure, just take it. It's collecting dust in my house for many years anyway."
I thanked him again and took it home, walking; should have ridden my motor scooter out.

Opening it up, it had no HDD (naturally), no video card, but MB, CPU, RAM, ODD, PSU, and various cables were all there.

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MB: Asus P5GDC-V Deluxe, Intel 915G chipset

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CPU: P4-520 2.8GHz, "Prescott" 90nm, LGA775
RAM: Kington 512MB DDR x2
ODD: Pioneer DVD-multi
PSU: 500W; 5V rail at 40A (!)

Pros:
The interior is VERY clean
MB booted up nicely
PSU has large current at 5V rail

Cons:
With 84W TDP, P4-520 is not exactly an efficient CPU. I already have two much faster builds (C2D E7400 and A64X2 5000+, 65W TDP for both) for WinXP.

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For Win98SE, even my existing Sempron 2800+/3100+ are faster under single core:

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Besides, Asus provided no native Win98SE driver for the chipset. While it could be found at Phil's, the PCIe slot limits possible graphic card selections to GF6 series or Radeon R(V)370/4x0 series (X300-X800), the only two series of PCIe cards that support Win98SE.
The DVD-multi is not reading.
Last but not least: the CPU fan is as noisy as a hair dryer.

So now I've got a problem: I'm not sure what to do with it. Under WinXP it's much slower than my existing XP builds; under Win98SE it's wasting energy and not faster than a 1.6GHz Sempron either, and I might have to look for a video card I don't have.
"Beggars can't be choosers," but right now I'd say the most valuable part is the PSU. 🙁 I'm reluctant to have it sitting in a corner collecting dust just like before.

Last edited by dormcat on 2021-07-25, 08:13. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 1 of 18, by chinny22

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LGA775 = XP in my book but you say you already have more then 1 existing XP builds. More then 1 build is always nice but seems you already have this covered.
You could try Win2k just for something different. It's got better backwards compatibility then XP but truth is apart from stability I doubt it'll offer anything your Sempron 9x build cant do.

I'd probably just use the case for a different project and keep or sell the motherboard etc on. 775 doesn't go for much right now but I think demand will increase when building XP retro machines become more common in 5-10 years.

Reply 2 of 18, by dormcat

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-23, 15:38:

LGA775 = XP in my book but you say you already have more then 1 existing XP builds. More then 1 build is always nice but seems you already have this covered.

That's what I think as well. My very first WinXP experience (no pun intended) back in 2003 was AthlonXP 2200+ (1.8GHz) "Thoroughbred" on Asus A7N8X Deluxe with 2x 256MB DDR and 80GB PATA HDD.

What bugs me, however, is that Asus designed this early LGA775 MB in 2004 when many home users were still using Win9x yet provided no driver. My Sempron build based on Asus K8V-MX, designed a year later, fully supports Win9x. I could only guess that Asus might have been asked by Intel to drop Win9x support for 915 chipset.

Speaking of other XP builds, the Core 2 Duo E7400 on Gigabyte GA-P31-ES3G was retired by a friend of mine and given to me. Equipped with 2x 2GB DDR2 RAM, Radeon HD 5670, and 120GB SATA SSD, it is my primary XP build and runs DX9 games at 1600x1200 with ease.

The other one, Athlon64 X2 5000+ on MSI K9A2 Platinum, was also a "trashcan pick" six months ago.

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The outer case was heavily corroded and discarded; fortunately the MB was not damaged. It is now stored as a reserve XP build.

Being designed in the Vista era (2008 and 2007, respectively) those two MB handle XP with ease and can run Win7 if necessary, although I wouldn't bother as most Win7 games and programs are not considered "retro" and can be run on modern Win10 computers with no compatibility issue.

chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-23, 15:38:

You could try Win2k just for something different. It's got better backwards compatibility then XP but truth is apart from stability I doubt it'll offer anything your Sempron 9x build cant do.

To be honest I don't have a copy of Win2K. 😅 I did see unopened Win2K OEM packages in a recycling center but didn't purchase them for the reason you just said. For the record, I dug out the CPU-Z benchmark of my Sempron build and it was 18-20% faster than this P4-520 under WinXP; E7400 and A64X2 5K are 4.2 times and 2.4 times faster, respectively.

chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-23, 15:38:

I'd probably just use the case for a different project and keep or sell the motherboard etc on. 775 doesn't go for much right now but I think demand will increase when building XP retro machines become more common in 5-10 years.

The solid aluminum slab of 3D Aurora "drive bay door" is 6.5mm thick in the center and 3.5mm thick in the border. Really stylish, yet takes a lot of space and weighs a ton. 🙄

Reply 3 of 18, by Hezus

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It sure was nice of the guy to give it to you for free, although now you've also adopted his problem: "what am I going to do with it?" 😁

Since that case is quite nice, maybe you could use it for one of your other builds?

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Reply 4 of 18, by dormcat

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Hezus wrote on 2021-07-23, 19:45:

It sure was nice of the guy to give it to you for free, although now you've also adopted his problem: "what am I going to do with it?" 😁

Since that case is quite nice, maybe you could use it for one of your other builds?

Ironic, isn't it? 😅

Had I grabbed that Epox EP-51MVP3E-M Super Socket 7 MB...... (didn't do so because the CPU was only a P166MMX, not a K6-2/3)

Reply 5 of 18, by speeddemon

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-23, 15:38:

LGA775 = XP in my book but you say you already have more then 1 existing XP builds. More then 1 build is always nice but seems you already have this covered.
You could try Win2k just for something different. It's got better backwards compatibility then XP but truth is apart from stability I doubt it'll offer anything your Sempron 9x build cant do.

I'd probably just use the case for a different project and keep or sell the motherboard etc on. 775 doesn't go for much right now but I think demand will increase when building XP retro machines become more common in 5-10 years.

Does your opinion change though if it's an LGA 775 board with AGP?

I had the same opinion originally until I realized that my LGA 775 board (Intel 865PE) didn't have any downsides compared to my Socket 478 board (Intel 875P) in Win98.

PC#1: K6-3+ 500 / Asus TX97-X / Voodoo3 / Orpheus + PCMIDI + WP32 / Win98
PC#2: P4 HT 670 / Asus P5P800 / FX5950U + V2 SLI / Audigy 2ZS + Vortex2 + X2GS / Win98
PC#3: i7-3770K / Asus P8Z77-V Pro / TITAN X / X-Fi / WinXP
PC#4: i9-9900K / Gigabyte Z390M / GTX 1070 / X-Fi Ti HD + SC-88 / Win10

Reply 6 of 18, by dormcat

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speeddemon wrote on 2021-07-26, 18:05:

I had the same opinion originally until I realized that my LGA 775 board (Intel 865PE) didn't have any downsides compared to my Socket 478 board (Intel 875P) in Win98.

IMHO the chipset driver is the key element here: CPU simply provides the computing power, but if the chipset has no proper driver support then there's not much can be done. Many newer MB with Intel 8xx or other chipsets (VIA, nForce, etc.) offer more choices of CPU and/or OS.

Reply 7 of 18, by vad4r

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Take some P4 and OC the hell out of them 😁

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vae victis!

Reply 8 of 18, by BitWrangler

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Every system has a niche use... ... ... even if it's running it in a small greenhouse for late season tomatoes.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 9 of 18, by H3nrik V!

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vad4r wrote on 2021-07-26, 19:49:

Take some P4 and OC the hell out of them 😁

17_11_28 4500_kl.jpg

Funny, that when you look around the internet, it seems that Prescott architecture "easily" overclocks past 4GHz, that Intel never released it above 3.8. Must be political TDP reasons ..

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 10 of 18, by chinny22

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speeddemon wrote on 2021-07-26, 18:05:
chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-23, 15:38:

LGA775 = XP in my book but you say you already have more then 1 existing XP builds. More then 1 build is always nice but seems you already have this covered.
You could try Win2k just for something different. It's got better backwards compatibility then XP but truth is apart from stability I doubt it'll offer anything your Sempron 9x build cant do.

I'd probably just use the case for a different project and keep or sell the motherboard etc on. 775 doesn't go for much right now but I think demand will increase when building XP retro machines become more common in 5-10 years.

Does your opinion change though if it's an LGA 775 board with AGP?

I had the same opinion originally until I realized that my LGA 775 board (Intel 865PE) didn't have any downsides compared to my Socket 478 board (Intel 875P) in Win98.

Nope.
Even S478 doesn't "feel" right with Win98.
But I fully agree in using such a motherboard (or any AGP based board) as a overkill 98 build rather then XP which is much better off with a PCIe card

Reply 11 of 18, by BitWrangler

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Seems socket 478 beat XP to market by nearly a couple of months, so if you want a tightly focused "September 2001" build, it might be a 2Ghz Willamette 2.0 on socket 478 board, and run 98SE. Northwoods were next year though. I think 98SE continued as option on Compaq Evo desktops with P4s for a couple of years after that for the corporate folks. 775 feels solidly XP though.

Though looking through the historical place of various P4 it occurs to me that the crappy 1.5 CPU I got last month was the highest release speed of the P4, so maybe I will conserve that one in a late year 2000 P4 build. I dunno though how things will play in the future, after all not many people want an early 486, they want a glory days DX2-66. Maybe 3ghz on 478 will be the classic sweet spot. Though I could put something like that together too... then a dual core Pentium D on 775 would top off the P4s for me. However, I gots this rambus system and wanna see "max potential" on it 🤣... I don't even know much about that, got given it, peeked inside, went "Oh RAMBUS P4, weird..." and stacked it a decade ago and have not touched it.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 12 of 18, by cyclone3d

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The driver listing on Phil's site shows that version 6.3.0.1007 supports 915p for Win9x.
https://www.philscomputerlab.com/intel-chipset-drivers.html

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Reply 13 of 18, by speeddemon

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-27, 11:14:
Nope. Even S478 doesn't "feel" right with Win98. But I fully agree in using such a motherboard (or any AGP based board) as a ov […]
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speeddemon wrote on 2021-07-26, 18:05:
chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-23, 15:38:

LGA775 = XP in my book but you say you already have more then 1 existing XP builds. More then 1 build is always nice but seems you already have this covered.
You could try Win2k just for something different. It's got better backwards compatibility then XP but truth is apart from stability I doubt it'll offer anything your Sempron 9x build cant do.

I'd probably just use the case for a different project and keep or sell the motherboard etc on. 775 doesn't go for much right now but I think demand will increase when building XP retro machines become more common in 5-10 years.

Does your opinion change though if it's an LGA 775 board with AGP?

I had the same opinion originally until I realized that my LGA 775 board (Intel 865PE) didn't have any downsides compared to my Socket 478 board (Intel 875P) in Win98.

Nope.
Even S478 doesn't "feel" right with Win98.
But I fully agree in using such a motherboard (or any AGP based board) as a overkill 98 build rather then XP which is much better off with a PCIe card

I totally get that and agree if we’re talking feel and period correctness.

With that said, I had a Pentium 4 back in 2001 that I dual booted Win98 and WinXP on. I can’t remember specs or socket type but Pentium 4 was at least briefly a thing for me personally on Win98.

Pentium 4 was also the last contemporary processor architecture I ran Win98 on. I think that’s why I had fun using an LGA 775 spec for my “overkill” build and stability has been excellent. There’s also nothing wrong with playing 1998-1999 games at >100fps.

PC#1: K6-3+ 500 / Asus TX97-X / Voodoo3 / Orpheus + PCMIDI + WP32 / Win98
PC#2: P4 HT 670 / Asus P5P800 / FX5950U + V2 SLI / Audigy 2ZS + Vortex2 + X2GS / Win98
PC#3: i7-3770K / Asus P8Z77-V Pro / TITAN X / X-Fi / WinXP
PC#4: i9-9900K / Gigabyte Z390M / GTX 1070 / X-Fi Ti HD + SC-88 / Win10

Reply 14 of 18, by dormcat

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Personally I'm not very into "period correctness" because

1) Limiting hardware within a small time frame, while fun, can be very difficult as retro hardware degrade much faster due to high humidity in Taiwan; vintage PCB in good condition can be scarce and expensive.
2) Most Win98SE / DX7 games support up to 1600x1200 resolution on modern monitors; with the exception of flagship hardware (along with price tags) period correct builds would have a hard time outputting enough frames per second.

My "dream" (i.e. unreasonable) Win98SE build would be a 939/AM2 CPU (I'm definitely not a NetBurst fan) + PCIe graphics like GF 6800 Ultra or X850 XT; naturally they would be very rare and pricey, so I'd say any 939 CPU with AGP 8X graphic would still be a very nice build. I ended up with Socket 754 Sempron 3100+ on Asus K8V-MX and a 9600 Pro (GV-R96P256D), surely not the best (no DDR memory controller is the key disadvantage) but still an overkill for most Win98SE games.

Back to the P4-520 build: that Cooler Master CPU fan is unbearably noisy; disconnecting it from MB results in error beeps and no POST, and I don't have another spare 10cm 4-pin CPU fan lying around. Guess I'll have to look for one this weekend.

Reply 15 of 18, by chinny22

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I'm not into period correct either partly for reasons 1 and 2 and partly because I just like the idea of windows running on hardware much more powerful then intended.
I happen to have a S478 based Win98 machine with a GF6800 ultra. I stared buying parts for that in 2012 and only finished it in 2018 but honestly I never use it and it was a bit of a disappointment in the end.

Games that start demanding hardware like that like GTA3 will work just as well in WinXP which has even more processing power and you can really max out things like Anti Aliasing.
Then the games like NFS3 that don't like XP run just fine on the P3 with max settings plus the P3 has ISA so doubles as a dos rig.

Reply 16 of 18, by Stainlesscat

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Btw win9x does not need any chipset drivers to actually function, unless if your board has an agp slot then you'll need something like an chipset agp gart driver for some video cards to work properly. I have an overkill win98 build using an lga 775 g31 + ich7 motherboard by biostar. No ide issues after installing rloew's sata patch and im able to do everything just fine from play dos games to playing dx7-9 & older opengl games.

I rather say for modern motherboards, the addon hardware is most important because it dictates what you can actually do on the computer. (aka sound, network & graphics cards)
Then chipset is second priority to see if the hardware will play ball with it. (ex. chipset compatibility)

Also to note; PCI & PCIe video cards, don't need chipset drivers for them to work without issues unlike AGP ones so in reality there is nothing stopping you from running win9x on a newer platform aside from hardware incompatibility by the mainboard chipset Which is only common if you using a way to new motherboard from 2015 and after that is not legacy friendly. Older examples of hardware incompatibility are like early nforce chipsets do not play nice on win9x but work fine on linux & or later NT OS's

Reply 17 of 18, by dormcat

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Update: Just found a few leaky caps:

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Didn't see them until now as they were located between the PSU and that gigantic heatsink.

With leaky caps I don't think I'll use it for any "workhorse" build i.e. install OS and run games and programs on it. OTOH its unique DDR/DDR2 dual type memory slots design, as well as floppy controller (suitable for MemTest86) and VGA output built-in (so no graphics card needed to boot), I'd leave it as a test bench for DDR/DDR2 DIMM sticks.

Reply 18 of 18, by Errius

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-07-27, 13:08:

Seems socket 478 beat XP to market by nearly a couple of months, so if you want a tightly focused "September 2001" build, it might be a 2Ghz Willamette 2.0 on socket 478 board, and run 98SE.

I built a new computer in October 2001 which had exactly these specs, however when I took it to a LAN a few weeks later, everybody there bugged me to install Windows 2000, and so I did. I never again ran Windows 9x on that system.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"