VOGONS


First post, by pete8475

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Recently I found an interesting AT case on ebay and ordered it straight away. I probably paid way too much (as usual) and after it arrived I had to find something to do with it. So I decided to build a better version of the first PC my parents purchased in 1996. That machine was a socket 7 430VX based machine so I started from there and have assembled the following PC.

Specs
TechMedia AT case (Coolermaster ATX power supply with AT adapter)
Asus VX97
AMD K6-2+ 450 (75mhz x 6 multiplier)
128MB EDO RAM (4x32MB)
Radeon 7000 PCI (wanted DVI)
SB AWE64
3COM ISA NIC
Promise Ultra 133
64GB Compactflash for storage
LG CD-RW

So far I haven't done much with it yet aside from assembly. I have also loaded windows and updated to a modded BIOS version that properly supports K6-2+ processors (did this with an Intel 233MMX cpu in the board).

I think I'm going to probably install Hover from the Win 95 CD and try out some other old games from that time in my childhood over the next few weeks.

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Last edited by pete8475 on 2021-11-14, 00:39. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 1 of 52, by dormcat

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That's a nice build, although IMHO K6-2+ 450 could be paired with a newer MB, as VX97 officially only supports up to 75 x 4 = 300 MHz. How did you set the multiplier jumpers (BF0, BF1) to 6?

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Reply 2 of 52, by pete8475

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dormcat wrote on 2021-10-25, 04:45:

That's a nice build, although IMHO K6-2+ 450 could be paired with a newer MB, as VX97 officially only supports up to 75 x 4 = 300 MHz. How did you set the multiplier jumpers (BF0, BF1) to 6?

VX97_manual_p15.gif

Oh k6-2 processors treat a 2x multiplier setting as 6x. It’s like how 233mmx pentiums treat 1.5 as 3.5.

Also to get 2 volts for a cpu like this remove all jumpers from the voltage pins.

Reply 3 of 52, by dormcat

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pete8475 wrote on 2021-10-25, 04:54:

Oh k6-2 processors treat a 2x multiplier setting as 6x. It’s like how 233mmx pentiums treat 1.5 as 3.5.

Also to get 2 volts for a cpu like this remove all jumpers from the voltage pins.

Didn't know that; thanks for the info! 😀

Reply 5 of 52, by pete8475

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Jasin Natael wrote on 2021-10-25, 20:29:

Driver overhead on that Radeon might prove a bit harsh on that K6/2+

But that is a cool build for sure.

Thanks!

That card is probably just temporary it was the first PCI card with DVI I found in my box old parts that actually posted in this board.

Reply 6 of 52, by pete8475

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Did some more playing around with this machine today and decided to run Quake 3 for laughs. It runs the timedemo (640x480 16bit color) at a massive 9.8fps! 😁

Also took a screenshot with CPU-Z vintage edition of the CPU page.

EDIT - I'm also looking for a decent K6-2 or 3 desktop wallpaper, if you have anything please post!

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Reply 7 of 52, by Repo Man11

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As the VX chipset only caches 64 megabytes of RAM, you'll likely have better performance if you disable the motherboard's cache.

"Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

Reply 8 of 52, by pete8475

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-10-26, 02:26:

As the VX chipset only caches 64 megabytes of RAM, you'll likely have better performance if you disable the motherboard's cache.

This is a K6-2+ though so that L2 has now become L3 and the limited amount of cacheable ram is no longer an issue (or so I’ve read). I will go do some benchmarks to compare though.

Reply 9 of 52, by pete8475

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Running Some benchmarks:

MB Cache On:
3dmark 99 - 1388 3dmarks, 4906 cpumarks
3dmark 2k - 805 3dmarks, 42 cpumarks
Quake 3 - 9.8 fps
3dbench 1.0c - 348.3
Chris's 3d Benchmark - 466.8 (280.0 fps)
Chris's 3d Benchmark 640x480 - 103.1 (61.8 fps)
Quake timedemo - 65.2 fps
Landmark System Speed Test - 585 MHz AT with a 721 MHz 80287
Topbench - 282

Speedsys 4.78 (don't know what I'm looking for in here tbh):
Processor Benchmark - 509.67
Memory Bandwidth - 119.87 MB/s

MB Cache Off:
3dmark 99 - 1230 3dmarks, 4403 cpumarks
3dmark 2k - 631 3dmarks, 35 cpumarks
Quake 3 - 8.1 fps
3dbench 1.0c - 347.8
Chris's 3d Benchmark - 430.1 (258.0 fps)
Chris's 3d Benchmark 640x480 - 84.4 (50.6 fps)
Quake timedemo - 59.2 fps
Landmark System Speed Test - 585 MHz AT with a 721 MHz 80287
Topbench - 279

Speedsys 4.78 (don't know what I'm looking for in here tbh):
Processor Benchmark - 509.67
Memory Bandwidth - 119.87 MB/s

EDIT - So this is just 20 or 30 minutes or so of playing around with becnhmarks and I think it's safe to conclude that in this case motherboard cache turned on is much faster. Also if there's any specific test you want me to do please let me know and I'll run it!

Last edited by pete8475 on 2021-10-26, 05:39. Edited 8 times in total.

Reply 10 of 52, by Doornkaat

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The motherboard cache is still impacted by the cacheable area. It's just not that big of a deal when it is becomes L3 cache because the CPU brings its own L2 cache. Couple percent performance penalty in most applications.

Reply 11 of 52, by H3nrik V!

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Maybe the same set of tests, with cache enabled and 64 vs 128 MiB - that would give us a clue?

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

Reply 12 of 52, by Repo Man11

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it was definitely worthwhile to test it to be sure. I've a TXP4 with a K6-3+ @ 500 MHz with 256 megabytes of RAM (128 megabyte cacheable) and with that combination all 3D Mark benchmarks scored lower (though not all that much) with the motherboard cache enabled.

"Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

Reply 14 of 52, by matze79

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ASUS SP97-V

AMD K6-2 400@450 (No+!)

Radeon 7000 PCI 32Mb:
Catalyst 3.1 - 3DMark2000 - 686 (6x75Mhz)
Catalyst 6.2 - 3DMark2000 - 641 (6x75Mhz)

Driver overheat of Radeon is a lot.

Rage 128 SG-RAM does perform actually better.

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 16 of 52, by Brawndo

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Funny, I bought the same case on ebay, probably from the same seller. 🤣 I also paid more for the case than I probably should have, but how often are you going to find a NOS AT case? Mine is still in the box, no idea what I'm going to use it for yet. I have an ASUS TX-97 mobo laying around not currently in service, guess I'll use that.

Reply 17 of 52, by pete8475

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Brawndo wrote on 2021-10-26, 23:09:

Funny, I bought the same case on ebay, probably from the same seller. 🤣 I also paid more for the case than I probably should have, but how often are you going to find a NOS AT case? Mine is still in the box, no idea what I'm going to use it for yet. I have an ASUS TX-97 mobo laying around not currently in service, guess I'll use that.

Awesome! I'm sure it was the same guy if it was in the box, mine was too.

Onto the 64meg benchmarks:

64MB with motherboard Cache On:
3dmark 99 - 1430 3dmarks, 4837 cpumarks
3dmark 2k - 805 3dmarks, 41 cpumarks
Quake 3 - 10.0 fps! TEN!
3dbench 1.0c - 348.3
Chris's 3d Benchmark - 466.8 (280.0 fps)
Chris's 3d Benchmark 640x480 - 103.1 (61.8 fps)
Quake timedemo - 66.6 fps
Landmark System Speed Test - 585 MHz AT with a 721 MHz 80287
Topbench - 282

64MB with motherboard Cache Off:
3dmark 99 - 1203 3dmarks, 4429 cpumarks
3dmark 2k - 625 3dmarks, 35 cpumarks
Quake 3 - 7.8 fps
3dbench 1.0c - 347.8
Chris's 3d Benchmark - 430.0 (258.0 fps)
Chris's 3d Benchmark 640x480 - 84.5 (50.7 fps)
Quake timedemo - 59.2 fps
Landmark System Speed Test - 585 MHz AT with a 721 MHz 80287
Topbench - 279

EDIT - I bolded all the values that scored highest of all in this post, please keep in mind all tests were only run ONCE in each config though. Really good testing should be 3 or more runs and averaged but I just don't have time for that.

Reply 18 of 52, by pete8475

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Here's a pic I took of the ports on the back of the PC.

Very easy to get the PS/2 port and USB ports working I had a pair of each that matched with the pin layout of this board in my box o stuff.

I have no need for a parallel port on this machine so it was very nice to see the USB ports fit in there perfectly. You can also just see the extra screw I added to hold my Promise IDE controller in the top PCI slot. You could potentially have 7 expansion cards in this board but the case only has openings for 6! So I measured the proper spacing for another screw and drilled one in there, then I tapped it by running a case screw into it a few times. Worked very nicely I must say.

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Reply 19 of 52, by H3nrik V!

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So, a bit faster few places with 64 vs 128 megs? But as for what I can see, there is nothing being slower with 64 megs? It looks like then, that it might be that the L3 actually only can cache the first 64 megs ..

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