VOGONS


First post, by Allanar

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Hi, I need advice, I want to assemble a PC from 1997, built on Pentium MMX 166Mhz socket 7 ,something in the middle class not the maximum of that time .
I don't know which processor model is best,motherboard,RAM,CD-rom,graphics card,sound card.

PC will be in the baby AT tower.

Thanks 😀

Reply 1 of 14, by RandomStranger

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1997 is Klamath Pentium 2 territory. The maximum of the time would be the 300MHz Klamath and middle class would be the 233MHz. With Pentium MMX, you can freely go all out with a 200 or 233MHz model.

What you build is more like a 1996 PC. Not that people stopped using Pentium MMX, I'm commenting on the sentiment.

As for the rest, it depends on what's accessible and how impatient you are (e.g. how much are you willing to spend).

For reference I have a something very close to what you're about to build:
https://gamesystemrequirements.com/user/rando … /devices/289365
Almost every part of it was manufactured in 1997 or before, except the mobil rack and probably the PSU (and maybe the motherboard being rev. 1.2 it's a tight fit).
You can replace the Mystique with either a Riva128 and the hard drive also has a bad name.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 2 of 14, by Cuttoon

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Hi, that's pretty much the golden age of tinkering to me - lots of options from lots of manufacturers.
After all, that was the last platform that combined CPUs from Intel and AMD, then came Slot/Socket 1 and A, all with their own chipset.

Keep it simple. Try getting a major brand, if not even one that still exists and has customer service like manual and BIOS downloads. Asus, Gigabyte, MSI come to mind.
FIC, Soyo, Abit - probably all fine as well.

MMX 166 sounds just right, no need to contemplate alternatives. There was more advanced stuff around in '97, but real people bought just that.

What comes to mind, if you buy a used board from back then, there were those in 1997 with linear voltage regulators that just burn off the excess power in front of the socket.
And there were the slightly more modern ones with switching regulators.
You can tell the former by a big ass heat sink:
http://www.amoretro.de/wp-content/uploads/fic … vpx_chipset.jpg
And the latter by the one or two little coils next to the socket:
http://www.amoretro.de/wp-content/uploads/soy … _vx_chipset.jpg
Not much difference in practice, but the cleaner solution and probably more stable.
So, that puts the board safely in 1997, not earlier.

Chipsets, see the big-ass chip in the last pciture, that says "437VX"
See this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_c … entium_chipsets
The last three chipsets were known as HX, VX and TX.
They vary in features, but can't make much wrong with those.
Via VP/VPX chipset based like the former will also do fine.

The latter board has the longer, 168 pin RAM socket, besindes the older 72 pin ones. No difference in use, but modules, larger ones, are much easier to source. But, not much point in using more than 64 MB of RAM, so 4 x 16 MB of 72 pin ones will be easy to find.

Try getting a board with a button battery, like those I linked to. Long story.

Sound, VGA, a matter of faith. Nvidia Riva 128, Ati Rage something, S3 virge, 3DFX Voodoo in case of money.

Sound, if you want easy, Soundblaster anything. Cheap: ALS100 or ESS based, generic ISA card.

Have fun!

I like jumpers.

Reply 3 of 14, by leileilol

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"Middle class 1997" :

- P100-166 (holding over from that luxorious pentium pc from the year(s) prior, which most likely would be a Gateway/Compaq/PackardBell)
- K6 200-233
- 6x86MX PR200
- Diamond Stealth video cards (of either the ViRGE or Rendition variety)
- SB16 (read: not a SB16)/SB32/AWE64 Value
- 16-32MB
- Matrox M3D (depending on which Stealth you're frustrated by the end of september)

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 4 of 14, by Sphere478

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Allanar wrote on 2022-03-09, 14:08:
Hi, I need advice, I want to assemble a PC from 1997, built on Pentium MMX 166Mhz socket 7 ,something in the middle class not th […]
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Hi, I need advice, I want to assemble a PC from 1997, built on Pentium MMX 166Mhz socket 7 ,something in the middle class not the maximum of that time .
I don't know which processor model is best,motherboard,RAM,CD-rom,graphics card,sound card.

PC will be in the baby AT tower.

Thanks 😀

Some of the p mmx 166 chips were unlocked and supported 3.5x multi.

I had some fun the other day with two I have and overclocked them in dual to 233

A mobo that I really like is the p55xb2

Five pci slots! :p

But only supports up to 75mhz bus.

Sphere's PCB projects.
-
Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
-
SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
-
Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 5 of 14, by BitWrangler

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In 1997 I had a Cyrix 6x86 PR166 CPU... that's all, just the CPU... I was still running a 5x86@2x60, but I got a killer deal on the 6x86 at a show... so I had it late in '97 sometime, waited for a deal on a board, and waited... and finally installed it in a machine my wife to be had in '98.

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 6 of 14, by appiah4

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I upgraded from a 486 DX4-100 in 1997, what I got was a respectable but also sensible system:

430VX Motherboard
Intel Pentium 133 (maybe 100 or 122, I can't remember very clearly)
16MB RAM
S3 Trio64 2MB
Sound Blaster 16
1.x GB Quantum Big Foot HDD
2x Creative CD-ROM Drive
14" CRT Monitor

This was around the time I grudgingly switched from OS/2 Warp 3.0 to Windows 95. QuakeWorld was the reason for the upgrade and the switch.

Last edited by appiah4 on 2022-03-11, 10:46. Edited 2 times in total.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 9 of 14, by Allanar

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Thanks,this will be an assembly without a usb port,Win 95, mouse serial with 9 pin din and keyboard PS2.

PC Magazine from 16.12.1997 -between 166Mhz and 200Mhz the difference is 300 $, i want a lower class

to play games i have a pc from 1999

this set will only be nostalgic from my childhood 😀

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Reply 10 of 14, by Jo22

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Hi! My Pentium 133 PC was assembled in 1997.
There's a stamp imprint on the bottom of the case that says so..

Anyway, that's likely not what you had in mind.
The latest tech in '97 were Pentium Pro/MMX/II.. And AGP. 😉

Personally, I was still using a 286 as my main PC.
But so were the 90s. PCs you bought were outdated just about when you left the store.
No seriously. Technology was evolving so fast that PCs were obsolete after about 6 months.

That's why people kept upgrading their existing systems so often, I guess.
So it wasn't so unusual to see a 486 PC next to a Pentium II. Or an XT system as a cash register in a store.

In fact, computer databases for ICs/semiconductors or warehouses were still plain DOS applications back then.

Anyway, maybe that LGR video is helpful. 😀

"Assembling a 1997-era Socket 7 system [..] Of course, it's also packing a 3dfx Voodoo card,
a wavetable-capable sound card, and good old Windows 95. And it plays POD. Lovely!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yT9KPQqBtE

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 11 of 14, by Cuttoon

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-03-10, 07:55:
I upgraded from a 486 DX4-100 in 1997, what I got was a respectable but also sensible system: […]
Show full quote

I upgraded from a 486 DX4-100 in 1997, what I got was a respectable but also sensible system:

430VX Motherboard
Intel Pentium 100 (maybe 120 or 133, I can't remember very clearly)
16MB RAM
S3 Trio64 2MB
Sound Blaster 16
1.x GB Quantum Big Foot HDD
2x Creative CD-ROM Drive
14" CRT Monitor

This was around the time I grudgingly switched from OS/2 Warp 3.0 to Windows 95. QuakeWorld was the reason for the upgrade and the switch.

Since everyone is doing it, well, I want to belong, so:

Intel 430VX motherboard (linear voltage regulators, 1 DIMM socket, USB)
Intel Pentium (P54cS, non-MMX) 133 MHz
2 x 16 MB 72-pin FPM RAM
Matrox Mystique 4 MB
Sound Blaster 32 pnp
2,5 GB HDD
14" 70 kHz Hyundai CRT
Beat up mini tower case bought with an old VLB 486-80 inside because that was cheaper than buying a new case.

- My exact setup from January 1997. Boy was I proud.

I like jumpers.

Reply 12 of 14, by Anonymous Coward

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-03-10, 04:58:

I was still running a 5x86@2x60

If I had something like that in '97, I would have just stuck with it. I've experimented with 5x86@2x60 in the past, and I was pretty surprised how powerful it is. Socket7 wouldn't have been enough of an upgrade to really make it worth while (unless you wanted to play quake).

1997 was an interesting year, because the market was flooded with options. But, as I've said in other threads, a pretty lousy time to plonk down a lot of money on a powerful PC. I thought the PII was going to be another unaffordable workstation class CPU, but I was really caught off guard by how quickly the prices dropped.

"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 13 of 14, by BitWrangler

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2022-03-16, 15:08:
BitWrangler wrote on 2022-03-10, 04:58:

I was still running a 5x86@2x60

If I had something like that in '97, I would have just stuck with it. I've experimented with 5x86@2x60 in the past, and I was pretty surprised how powerful it is. Socket7 wouldn't have been enough of an upgrade to really make it worth while (unless you wanted to play quake).

I did basically stick with it until 99. 6x86 replaced a P100 in my wife's box. If I was doing it all over again with knowledge gained since though, late 95 early 96 I might have gone for P75 system, because despite all the magazines (only real source of curated tech info back then) being down on it, saying it was no better than a fast 486, and portraying it as a dead end, I found out later how well they overclock. One bought around then should have gone to 100 easily, maybe even 120. I've had one that will do 150 even, but that was maybe a little later chip and a silicon lottery win. Anyway, I thought I was saving myself $30 or so getting the 5x86 for same performance initially, then stretching it to somewhere between P90 and P100. That rig was an "instant online argument generator" nobody believed it. Years before I joined up I was linking the vogons thread about 60mhz bus operation to ppl calling me a liar 🤣

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 14 of 14, by flupke11

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2022-03-16, 15:08:
BitWrangler wrote on 2022-03-10, 04:58:

I was still running a 5x86@2x60

If I had something like that in '97, I would have just stuck with it. I've experimented with 5x86@2x60 in the past, and I was pretty surprised how powerful it is. Socket7 wouldn't have been enough of an upgrade to really make it worth while (unless you wanted to play quake).

1997 was an interesting year, because the market was flooded with options. But, as I've said in other threads, a pretty lousy time to plonk down a lot of money on a powerful PC. I thought the PII was going to be another unaffordable workstation class CPU, but I was really caught off guard by how quickly the prices dropped.

The PII 233 was frightfully expensive when it came out, and my reflections were alongside yours. Intel just replaced its PPRO, which was already too expensive for the masses, with yet another strange contraption (Socket 8 and Slot 1 were not mainstream at all) at a similarly high cost. I suppose we have to thank AMD yet again for providing stiff competition and keeping Socket 7 alive so that Intel had to quickly bring the PII down to affordable levels.
Once I finally got a PII-266, I was very happy with the speed difference over my old P150. With the PII, mainstream ATX and the first AGP-chipset, there will always be a 440LX based system in my set of systems. It just oozed innovation.