VOGONS


First post, by pojo

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Hi all!

I want to get back into retro PC gaming and I got my hands on an old Optiplex GXi with the following specs:

Dell OptiPlex GXi (small form factor desktop model)
Intel Pentium 166MHz, 256KB L2 cache memory
32MB EDO RAM
20GB HDD
On Board Video: S3 Trio64V
On Board Audio: Crystal CS4236-KQ Chipset

I looked a bit in the user guide here: ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esupr … Guide_en-us.pdf

New Microprocessor Options: OptiPlex GXi Dell offers the OptiPlex GXi system with 166-, 200-, or 233-MHz Intel® Pentium® microp […]
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New Microprocessor Options: OptiPlex GXi
Dell offers the OptiPlex GXi system with 166-, 200-, or 233-MHz Intel® Pentium® microprocessors with MMX™ technology.
The Pentium microprocessor with MMX technology is specifically designed to handle complex multimedia and communications software. This microprocessor includes
new instructions and data types as well as a technique called Single Instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) that allows the microprocessor to process multiple data elements
in parallel, thereby improving overall system performance. The Pentium microprocessor with MMX technology has twice the internal cache memory (32 KB) as the
standard Pentium microprocessor.

CAUTION: The Pentium microprocessor with MMX technology has different voltage requirements than other Pentium microprocessors. Do
not install a Pentium microprocessor with MMX technology in a Dell OptiPlex computer system other than the OptiPlex GXi and OptiPlex
Gs/Gs+ systems.

The microprocessor-speed jumper settings on the system board are the same for the Pentium microprocessors with MMX technology as for the standard Pentium
microprocessors. Current application programs not designed specifically for MMX technology should have a small improvement in performance when run on a Dell
OptiPlex GXi system that has a Pentium microprocessor with MMX technology. Software written specifically to take advantage of MMX technology (usually labeled
"Designed for Intel MMX") shows greater performance improvement, depending on the type of application program.

Does that mean that I can safely upgrade the CPU to a Pentium 233MHz MMX?

Reply 1 of 10, by Mau1wurf1977

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Looks like it!

You can visually check the motheboard for a voltage regulator. There are also ways to measure the voltage with a multimeter. And printed on the PCB might be clues as well as you will have to adjust the multiplier anyway.

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Reply 2 of 10, by leileilol

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But will it be worth the trouble?

MMX was a bit of a crashed hype train early on, you'd make better use of a Pentium II for MMX-based games instead.

And finally it's a Dell, which can easily have that electric frying smell...

apsosig.png

Reply 3 of 10, by idspispopd

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The Pentium MMX is faster than the original Pentium, not because of MMX but because of larger L1 cache and better branch prediction. And you get the option of an official 233 MHz model.

Reply 4 of 10, by Mau1wurf1977

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Pentium MMX 233 is quite decent. For some 640 x 480 games you want the best CPU and for this machine, the MMX 233 is it 😀

Great for games like Wing Commander II and Descent 2.

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Reply 7 of 10, by Old Thrashbarg

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I believe the GXi will automatically sense MMX chips and adjust the voltage appropriately, so pretty much all you'd need to do is drop a 233 chip in there and set the speed jumpers. Since the 233MMX chips are common and cheap, there isn't much reason not to do the upgrade.

Reply 8 of 10, by pojo

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Thanks all. I received the Dell now and everything seems to work quite well.

I read the jumpers on the motherboard, and there were (IIRC):

* 133
* 166
* 200
* PWD
* BIOS

No 233 jumper - does that mean there's no point of installing anything beyond 200MMX? Also, can I reuse the heatsink or should I install a heatsink with fan assembly?

Reply 9 of 10, by Robin4

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Maybe the setting is already been programmed in the bios?? So i guess you need to use the *BIOS option??

~ At least it can do black and white~