VOGONS


First post, by gn0me

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I'll just state up front that I'm basically a grey beard. Not the oldest, I suppose but I modified my first PC in 1992 at the age of 10, and built my first custom PC in 1996 during junior high school. This build represents a vision of the ultimate PC I wanted during my high school years circa 1999-2000, and shortly after. I'm also taking some liberties due to the age of certain period correct components.

All the equipment has been purchased, just waiting for it to arrive in the mail before I get to building, so I figured I would get the build log started.

Motherboard: Supermicro Super P6DGE dual slot 1 -> This will be likely upgraded with a better Slot 1 or a S370 board
Processors: Intel Pentium III 600 x2 -> Future upgrade to a pair of 1GHz Coppermine CPUs, either Slot 1 or S370
Memory: 512mb PC133 SDRAM x4 (2GB total)
Graphics: Aopen Geforce3 Ti200 128MB AGP 4x -> Restricted by 2x AGP on motherboard
Graphics: ATI Radeon 7000 PCI -> Secondary and Tertiary monitors
Communications: D-Link 10/100/1000 NIC
Multimedia: Turtle Beach Aureal Vortex w/ Dreamblaster S2
Storage: Compact Flash to IDE PCI mount, 32GB CF card -> Boot Drive
Storage: 2x 5.25" to 3x 3.5" Hot Swap
Storage: 3x 500GB SATA HDD -> Mass Storage
Storage: LSI MegaRAID 4x SATA controller
Connectivity: PCI USB 2.0
Storage: Power Supply: 650w 80+
Storage: Chassis: Antec Sonata III

Depending on DOS game support using VDMSound, I'll be using Windows 2000 or XP for SMP support. If I don't like how all of this plays out, I'll get a single slot 1 motherboard and run windows 98. If that's the route I go down, I'll swap out the Turtle Beach for my ISA AWE64, as I'm also in the middle of building a rackmount version of a mt32-pi, and ditch the Dreamblaster S2.

Keeping the above for posterity. Decided to make a shift in project goals after realizing that I really wanted to run Windows 98 natively, which makes the dual slot motherboard useless due to lack of SMP support. I had considered installing Linux and using a combination of DosBox + DBGL and PlayonLinux to support the games I wanted to install but.... it's just not the same. So back to the drawing board I went, hopped onto eBay at 3am (which is always the best time to make irresponsible purchasing decisions that you can chalk up to sleep deprivation later) and came up with the following build:

Motherboard: Asus P4T i850 Socket 423 Pentium 4, seems to be a decent overclocker so hopefully I can squeeze a bit more out of the cpu
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 1.8 GHz
Memory: 256mb PC800 RIMM x4 = 1GB total. I'll also be applying the 9x mem patch: (https://archive.org/details/PATCHMEM)
Graphics: Aopen Geforce3 Ti200 128MB AGP 4x -> Reusing since I've already purchased it and it fits the timeframe still, but the mobo opens up all of the 8x AGP GPUs in the future
Graphics: 2x STB BlackMagic Voodoo2 12mb in SLI -> A friend of mine is selling them to me well below market value. Couldn't say no! Also purchased hard PCB SLI bridges from Serdaco
Communications: Startech 10/100/1000 NIC -> I discovered the previous D-Link NIC was not Win98 compatible, this one is
Multimedia: NOS Voyetra Turtle Beach Montego A3D Xstream (Aureal Vortex) w/ Dreamblaster S2 -> Couldn't resist the urge! DBS2 for now, X2GS in the future
Removable Media: Basic 1.44" Floppy drive
Removable Media: E-IDE DVD-RW
Removable Media: Iomega Zip Drive 250MB capacity w/ NOS sealed 8x 250mb Zip Drive disks
Storage: Crucial BX 120GB SSD w/ Sata to IDE adapter board -> Boot drive, I already have this on hand so might as well use it
Storage: Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD w/ Sata to IDE adapter board -> Game drive, already on hand
Connectivity: PCI USB 2.0 w/ Internal headers -> Already purchased
Power Supply: EVGA Non-modular, sleeved 650w 80+ -> Already on hand
Chassis: Antec Sonata III -> Already on hand

I think with my previous build I was trying to do too much with a single unit, this build is a much more single purpose gaming PC and I think will be more enjoyable overall. I could have easily gone with a socket 478 motherboard, but that kind of felt like cheating. Besides, I don't plan on playing any games much beyond 2002, maybe 2003 with this PC.

The Antec is a temp case, I have a mod plan mostly conceptualized. Just need to plan it out a bit more, then I'll be modding a modern case to fit the theme I've chosen.

More progress once all parts have been assembled!

Last edited by gn0me on 2021-08-15, 21:08. Edited 15 times in total.

W95 SE440BX2/P2 233MMX/128MB SDR/Riva TNT2/Voodoo1/AWE64 Gold
W98 P3B-F/P3 800/512MB SDR/ATI AIW 8500DV/Voodoo2 SLI/Audigy2ZS
XP P4P800/P4 3.0/2GB DDR/ATI X1600 PRO/X-Fi
W7 nForce 790i/E8600/8GB DDR3/GTX 285 SLI/X-Fi Ti HD

Reply 1 of 17, by gn0me

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Reserved

W95 SE440BX2/P2 233MMX/128MB SDR/Riva TNT2/Voodoo1/AWE64 Gold
W98 P3B-F/P3 800/512MB SDR/ATI AIW 8500DV/Voodoo2 SLI/Audigy2ZS
XP P4P800/P4 3.0/2GB DDR/ATI X1600 PRO/X-Fi
W7 nForce 790i/E8600/8GB DDR3/GTX 285 SLI/X-Fi Ti HD

Reply 3 of 17, by Gmlb256

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I recommend keeping the PCI sound card for A3D and DirectSound3D support on Windows and add the AWE64 ISA as a secondary sound card for better DOS compatibility.

Also you don't need to disable one sound card for the other to work on Windows unless it causes conflicts with the AdLib port, you can select the default audio device for use on Windows and this does not affect the DOS compatibility except the BLASTER environment which can be mitigated by setting the proper one on a batch file.

Reply 4 of 17, by Anonymous Coward

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C'mon, man! You're old enough to know better than to have nostalgia for a P4....with Windows 98.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 6 of 17, by Anonymous Coward

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I agree that P4 with RAMBUST is way more interesting, but at the same time it's also doubling down on the stupidity.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 8 of 17, by mkarcher

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-08-13, 14:19:

I never dealt with rambus much but did it ever live up to its expectations/hype?

It basically did live up to the initial expectations when introduced. Because it failed in the market (it was just way to expensive), development of faster versions stopped and it never lived up to the potential that was seen in the technology, though.

Reply 9 of 17, by BitWrangler

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2021-08-13, 13:24:

I agree that P4 with RAMBUST is way more interesting, but at the same time it's also doubling down on the stupidity.

"We put a long pipeline with your long pipeline so you can long pipeline while you long pipeline." :- Xzibit probably.

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 10 of 17, by The Serpent Rider

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I never dealt with rambus much but did it ever live up to its expectations/hype?

Initially - yes. But Rambus memory didn't scale well due to high operating temperatures and prices for RDRAM didn't get lower as fast as DDR. So in less than 2 years later it was more economically justified to just make DDR motherboard with dual channel memory controller. And so they did.

To be fair, even single channel DDR333 motherboards from SIS already showed comparable to RDRAM performance. But you can always blame i850 chipset for that =P

Personally, I think Pentium 4 and RDRAM were just born for each other. Both were trying to win "Mhz race" by completely ignoring everything else, including performance.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 11 of 17, by Errius

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The Rambus company got greedy, and started charging monopoly prices before actually having a monopoly. If they had been more far-sighted, and been willing to forego quick profits, they might have pulled it off.

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

Reply 12 of 17, by gn0me

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Y'all are absolutely correct, and it's exactly why I decided on this specific build - just the sheer rarity of a system like this, most folks usually go the DDR route and socket 478/XP when talking about P4's or stick to P3 based systems for '98 builds. If built back in the day, this system likely would have been used at most for 2-3 years, from 2000-2003. Beyond that it starts to show its age a bit.

Fortunately for me after 2003 there weren't many new games being released that I was interested enough in to warrant building a new PC, except maybe for Doom 3, and Half-Life 2 which this system should mostly be able to handle. I don't think it was until 2007 that a new game game out that really made me want to build a new gaming PC, which was Crysis.

Thankfully due to my years of hoarding I have enough socket 775 gear here to assemble a decent XP Retro PC, look for that thread soon 😉 Had to order a few select parts and those will be coming in soon, but that build will have to wait until after I've received everything for this build first.

W95 SE440BX2/P2 233MMX/128MB SDR/Riva TNT2/Voodoo1/AWE64 Gold
W98 P3B-F/P3 800/512MB SDR/ATI AIW 8500DV/Voodoo2 SLI/Audigy2ZS
XP P4P800/P4 3.0/2GB DDR/ATI X1600 PRO/X-Fi
W7 nForce 790i/E8600/8GB DDR3/GTX 285 SLI/X-Fi Ti HD

Reply 13 of 17, by gn0me

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2021-08-10, 07:36:

C'mon, man! You're old enough to know better than to have nostalgia for a P4....with Windows 98.

Well, I am a contrarian by nature and known for doing whacky/random/idiotic shit 😀

W95 SE440BX2/P2 233MMX/128MB SDR/Riva TNT2/Voodoo1/AWE64 Gold
W98 P3B-F/P3 800/512MB SDR/ATI AIW 8500DV/Voodoo2 SLI/Audigy2ZS
XP P4P800/P4 3.0/2GB DDR/ATI X1600 PRO/X-Fi
W7 nForce 790i/E8600/8GB DDR3/GTX 285 SLI/X-Fi Ti HD

Reply 14 of 17, by H3nrik V!

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I've been reading a lot of early P4 reviews lately, and it seems that the RDRAM was troubled by latency? But this was mitigated by running in dual channels. So in terms of data transfer, I guess the RDRAM was meeting expectations, but with regards to latency, some improvements may have been preferred?

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

Reply 15 of 17, by The Serpent Rider

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But this was mitigated by running in dual channels

Dual channel does not mitigate latency, especially not with RIMMs requirement for termination in all available RAM slots. But P4 had fast L2 cache to solve that, at least partially.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 16 of 17, by H3nrik V!

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2021-08-16, 15:21:

But this was mitigated by running in dual channels

Dual channel does not mitigate latency, especially not with RIMMs requirement for termination in all available RAM slots. But P4 had fast L2 cache to solve that, at least partially.

Yeah, I might have gotten something wrong. I was also puzzled that more channels should result in lower latency. It seems that the phrasing might have been that the bandwidth of dual channels to some extend makes up for the higher latency of RDRAM .. 😀

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

Reply 17 of 17, by H3nrik V!

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https://www.anandtech.com/show/757/6 as I read this about memory latency, the i850 chipset with RDRAM has a latency of 297 cycles on 32MiB data blocks vs. the Athlon XP's 245 cycles on the VIA chipset ..

However - if this is measured in CPU cycles rather than FSB cycles (which I expect it to be, as if not, the measurements in cache would be useless), the RDRAM is still faster than the DDR measured in time (1.7GHz P4 vs 1.33GHz Athlon XP) giving the P4 system 174.9 nanoseconds of latency and the AlthlonXP system 184.2 nanoseconds. Interesting ..

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