VOGONS


Best (Super) Socket 7 motherboard?

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Reply 80 of 148, by Tetrium

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Nemo1985 wrote on 2021-03-06, 19:06:
devius wrote on 2021-03-06, 12:30:
Nemo1985 wrote on 2021-03-06, 12:13:

I wonder why noone mention the Gigabyte GA-5AX, the best ss7 board without doubt.

It was mentioned. Check the rest of the pages.

Well people keep saying the asus p5a as best ss7 board, while the gigabyte it's a bit faster at the same settings, it supports the tillamook, it doesn't have issues with k6-x+ cpus as the latest asus revisions, furthermore it allows (in later revisions) to reach higher fsb.

Not in this thread though.
Personally I loved using my GA-5AX ^^
I do have at least one P5A (and a single P5A-B which I never ended up using) but I don't think I did more with them than booting them up? The GA-5AX was the only ss7 rig I ended up using somewhat consistently and it seemed like a solid build (I killed my SiS530 board before I could finish a build with it -_- ).

But I do get that (for whatever reason) ASUS has developed a bit of a cult following, somewhat reminiscent to how 3DFX also had a following even before they became the popularities they are today, even though not all ASUS boards are equally great. There's plenty of underrated stuff in the retro PC world as well (like 440LX or perhaps Cyrix for instance).

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
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Reply 82 of 148, by Nemo1985

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Tetrium wrote on 2021-03-06, 20:17:
Not in this thread though. Personally I loved using my GA-5AX ^^ I do have at least one P5A (and a single P5A-B which I never en […]
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Not in this thread though.
Personally I loved using my GA-5AX ^^
I do have at least one P5A (and a single P5A-B which I never ended up using) but I don't think I did more with them than booting them up? The GA-5AX was the only ss7 rig I ended up using somewhat consistently and it seemed like a solid build (I killed my SiS530 board before I could finish a build with it -_- ).

But I do get that (for whatever reason) ASUS has developed a bit of a cult following, somewhat reminiscent to how 3DFX also had a following even before they became the popularities they are today, even though not all ASUS boards are equally great. There's plenty of underrated stuff in the retro PC world as well (like 440LX or perhaps Cyrix for instance).

I didn't mean you, I was referring to general consesus, but I get what you mean and agree with you, asus with all others manufacturers made great cards and other not so great.

kolderman wrote on 2021-03-06, 20:42:

I think 3 isa slots are required to be the *best *.

That's interesting I usually use just a isa slot for the sound card, what cards do you use to need 3 isa slots? Network card?

Reply 83 of 148, by kolderman

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Nemo1985 wrote on 2021-03-07, 02:13:

.

kolderman wrote on 2021-03-06, 20:42:

I think 3 isa slots are required to be the *best *.

That's interesting I usually use just a isa slot for the sound card, what cards do you use to need 3 isa slots? Network card?

HardMPU/MusicQuest
Sound card
Second sound card (e.g. GUS) or maybe a gameport card

Gives you options.

Reply 85 of 148, by ruthan

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kolderman wrote:

HardMPU/MusicQuest
Sound card
Second sound card (e.g. GUS) or maybe a gameport card

This is sound freaks category, i understand that such people are here, but they are not majority. I never got into it, i was glad that i got some SB compatible card, after years pc speaker only gaming.

Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough raw HW.

Reply 87 of 148, by Tetrium

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ruthan wrote on 2021-03-07, 05:15:
kolderman wrote:

HardMPU/MusicQuest
Sound card
Second sound card (e.g. GUS) or maybe a gameport card

This is sound freaks category, i understand that such people are here, but they are not majority. I never got into it, i was glad that i got some SB compatible card, after years pc speaker only gaming.

Having multiple ISA slots on a ss7 board is probably better for those that use this platforms for DOS slowdown builds. And personally I never saw the need for having 5 or more PCI slots except perhaps so I could leave more slots empty between the graphics card(s) and the sound card to give the graphics card(s) bit more room to breathe.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 88 of 148, by vmr_

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I love SS7 stuff, have a bunch of motherboards including P5A (and -B variant), 5AX and AX59PRO - all rock solid. I prefer the AX59PRO as is easy to setup for quick tests involving CPU swapping 😁👍

Retro builds & sandbox
IBM XT 5160 | 286 | 386 | 486 | S4 SI5PI AIO & S4 Batman + P60 SX828
S8 & PPro 200 | SS7 FW 5VGF & Asus P5A & AOpen AX59PRO K6-III+ 550MHz
Slot A Asus K7M Athlon 1Ghz GDF | Slot 1 Pentium III 1GHz SL4KL...

Reply 89 of 148, by Jose_Luis

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kanecvr wrote on 2016-10-05, 02:52:
After a few years of testing super socket 7 mobo + CPU combinations, here's my top 4 pics: […]
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After a few years of testing super socket 7 mobo + CPU combinations, here's my top 4 pics:

No 1: Aopen AX59PRO

Specifications and highlights:
- ATX form factor
- VIA MVP3 + 686B
- up to 2MB of L2 cache
- 3 SDRAM slots for up to 768mb of ram
- dip switch selectable voltage and mutliplier - no finicky jumpers
- FSB from 60 up to 124Mhz
- voltage range from 1.3 to 3.5v in 0.5v increments
- Supports HDDs up to 160GB (tested with a seagate DB35)
- Native AMD K6-III support
- some revisions have a CPU thermal sensor
- 4x PCI, 2x ISA

PROs:
- great AGP performance and compatibility. Dispite CPU limitations, lots of games are perfectly playable at 1600x1200 with a fast video card (I use a Geforce 2 GTS).
- excellent memory compatibility - the AX59PRO will run anything you put in it.
- great overclocker - most my K6 CPUs regardless of model will OC from 25 to 50% and more on this board
- very comprehensive BIOS

CONS:
- memory performance is average for an MVP3 board - tops out at 250mb/s using 2t 100mhz ram
- some revisions have the via ultra-dma bug common on apolo pro socket 370 boards (uses the same southbridge). Fortunately the one I currently use does not.
- bad FDD connector position. Makes cable management messy.

No 2: Lucky Star P5MVP3-XX or MSI MS-5184*

Specifications and highlights:
- AT form factor with dual ATX and AT power connectors. Will fit in an ATX case.
- VIA MVP3 + 686B (only the XX and XE models - the rest have the slower 686A)
- 512kb to 2MB of silly fast L2 cache, depending on version
- 2 SDRAM slots for up to 512mb of ram - will take sigle sided 256mb ram modules as well
- FSB from 66 up to 112Mhz
- voltage range from 1.9 to 3.5v
- Supports HDDs up to 160GB (latest beta bios)
- AMD K6-III support (bios update required on most boards)
- 3x PCI, 3x ISA

PROs:
- AGP 2X selectable in BIOS - and actually working (tested with RivaTuner and 3dmark 01), as well as AGP Master 1 WS Read / Write - on this board they don't affect stability and improve perfomance when enabled.
- excellent AGP performance and compatibility - best out of all super 7 boards I've tested regardless of chipset
- good memory compatibility
- best memory performance out of all tested MVP3 boards - up to 280-300 mp /sec
- good overclocker. Only limided by the few voltage increments, but 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4 and 2.6 are selectable options. Other then that, most fast K6-2 and K6-III CPUs have no trouble running at 550 and even 600MHz stable.
- dual AT and ATX power connectors - you can use this board in a standard ATX case or use an AT case to save space

CONS:
- overclocking limited by few voltage options - running low power laptop K6-2+ and K6-III CPUs, you might as well overclock since you're stuck at 1.9v (some chips are rated to as low as 1.6v - like the K6-IIIE+ 400ATZ)
- not the best jumper layout
- some boards require bios update for larger hard drives and AMD K6-2+ / K6-III CPUs
- most early boards come with 512kb l2 cache and the 686A southbridge witch is only capable of ATA33.

* believe it or not the MSI MS-5184 and the Lucky Star P5MVP3 are allmost the exact same board. Both are made by Lucky Star Inc. and have the same layout sans the MS-5184's extra PCI slot - BUT the latest P5MVP3-XX (the late 99 revision with the ATA66 southbridge) has 4 PCI slots as well. Late revision P5MVP3-XX boards are IDENTICAL to the MS-5184 but usually have a green PCB where the MSI is brown and most lucky star boards are orange / brown. This version also comes with the label "P5MVP3-AT" and is sometimes branded "Viking 3". Oddly enough some Viking 3 boards use the MVP4 chipset but somehow retain the AGP slot. On-board Trident Blade 3D can be disabled in BIOS. These are EXTREMELY rare.

No 3: FIC PA-2013+ REV 2.1

Specifications and highlights:
- ATX form factor
- VIA MVP3 + 686B (newer revisions, earlyer ones come with the slower 686A)
- 512kb to 2MB of L2 cache
- 3 SDRAM slots for up to 768mb of ram
- FSB from 60 up to 124Mhz
- voltage range from 1.8 to 3.5v in 0.1v increments
- Supports large HDDs
- Native AMD K6-III support
- 4x PCI, 2x ISA

PROs:
- atx form factor
- 3 SDRAM slots - supports up to 768mb of ram
- good AGP 2x implementation***
- good memory compatibility
- good overclocker - allows voltage increase in 0.1v incements
- fast ATA66 IDE controller
- good jumper layout

CONS:
- *** rev 2.0 and lower has no AGP voltage regulator, and as such can't handle some video cards - particularly fast voodoo 3 cards like the 3500 and later nvidia cards
- has trouble running chips at 600MHz. Selecting 2x multiplier sometimes yields an odd 201Mhz clock, other times it hags the machine after posting - this behavior apparently only occurs when using chips with on-die L2 cache
- BIOS updates can be hard to find.
- slow L2 cache.

No 4: Asus P5A

Specifications and highlights:
- ATX form factor
- ALi Aladdin V chipset
- 3 SDRAM slots for up to 768mb of ram***
- FSB from 66 up to 120Mhz
- voltage range from 2.0 to 3.5v
- Supports HDDs up to 80gb - even larger with beta bios
- AMD K6-III support
- 5x PCI, 2x ISA, one PCI and one ISA share a bracket
- some boards come with a decent on board sound solution with good DOS compatibility - useful if you need to save an expansion slot.

PROs:
- ATX form factor
- AGP 2X capable
- good memory compatibility
- best memory performance out of all super 7 boards - exceeds 350mb/sec.
- great layout
- excellent expansion options with 5 PCI slots and 2 ISA slots
- voltage is selectable in 0.1v increments

CONS:
- ***can only cache 128mb of ram - a limitation of the ALi Aladdin chipset. I personally run 256MB on my AX59PRO witch helps with Firefox 2.0 (grabbing patches, drivers etc). 128mb is not enough and using more then that makes the P5A silly slow. I'm not sure if using a K6-III cpu bypasses said limitation - I don't think so, since I tested the board with 256Mb of ram and a K6-III and it seemed just as slow as with a K6-2.
- poor AGP performance and compatibility
- some AGP cards will have trouble running correctly (tested with Geforce 2 Ultra and Voodoo 3 3500) - works fine with a TNT2 pro, geforce 2 MX or a voodoo 3 2000. For some reason refuses to post with a Voodoo 4 (powercolor evilking 4)
- rather sensitive boards - the ALi Aladdin northbridge is easily damaged by overclocking and in some cases AGP cards.
- idiotic FSB jumper positioning - requires you to remove AGP cards to get to the jumpers.
- slow ATA33 IDE controller

As for other boards, the gigabyte GA-5AX is SLOW - I don't recommend this board at all. Came across two in my time collecting retro gear, and they both showed poor AGP performance as well as mediocre (at best) memory performance. The shuttle HOT-591P is a mediocre board - it doesn't stand out with either speed, overclockability or features.

I've heard good things about the DFI K6XV3+/66, but haven't had the chance to test one myself. The Chaintech 5AGM2 is also a very good board - great PCB design and more capacitors then any MVP3 I've seen. I used to have one back in 2001 running router software - the thing was on continually for 3 years and didn't act up once. The EPOX EP-MVP3G2 and EPOX EP-MVP3G5 are also supposedly very good but I've never been able to test one.

Hi kanecvr,

I'm sure the P5A rev 1.06 1MB cache is the best Super 7 motherboard has ever made, it's the cacheable area 4GB with the Aladdin V revision G chipset. It can manage 768MB of SDRAM at the same speed to 384MB. EP-MVPG5 rev 1.4 can work with 640MB and rev 1.1 can work with 768MB but both of them are half cache/memory speed with 512MB or 768MB comparing to 384MB. P5A with 768MB is almost double faster than EP-MVP3G5 and PA-2013. On the other hand the best AGP graphic card you can use on the EP-MVP3G5 is the ATI Radeon 9800SE with 256MB DDR, on the other hand the P5A can manage a Geforce 7600GS with 512MB DDR2 even with Windows 7 Professional. I tested it with a K6-III/475@500.

Does anybody know another Super 7 motherboard which can manage an AGP graphic card with 512MB DDR2 and Windows 7 Professional?. Thank you.

I've just tried another challenge, I tried one of my two Asus P5A Rev 1.06 with a Geforce 7600GT with 256MB GDDR3. I didn't expect that worked since the EPOX EP-MVP3G5, one of the best super7 motherboard doesn't work with any AGP 8X and DDR2 memory, nor GDDR3. It was unbelievable because that motherboard worked perfectly with a Geforce 7600GT AGP 8X, 256MB GDRR3 and Windows 7 Professional.

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Last edited by Jose_Luis on 2021-07-01, 19:50. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 91 of 148, by cyclone3d

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kolderman wrote on 2021-05-06, 23:14:

Eh it doesn't support k6-2/3+ chips.

It does with a simple mod:
K6-2/3+ Success on Asus P5A 1.06 - simple mod

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 92 of 148, by Jose_Luis

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-05-07, 03:03:
kolderman wrote on 2021-05-06, 23:14:

Eh it doesn't support k6-2/3+ chips.

It does with a simple mod:
K6-2/3+ Success on Asus P5A 1.06 - simple mod

Yes, you're right. Thank you. I added some photos to my post.

Reply 93 of 148, by vmr_

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Adding Freeway FW-TI5VGF mobo 😁, to be tested soon

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Retro builds & sandbox
IBM XT 5160 | 286 | 386 | 486 | S4 SI5PI AIO & S4 Batman + P60 SX828
S8 & PPro 200 | SS7 FW 5VGF & Asus P5A & AOpen AX59PRO K6-III+ 550MHz
Slot A Asus K7M Athlon 1Ghz GDF | Slot 1 Pentium III 1GHz SL4KL...

Reply 95 of 148, by Sphere478

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rmay635703 wrote on 2021-03-07, 03:01:

There are several boards that were rock solid at 133mhz FSB

I would argue those are some of the best

Which ones?

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

Reply 96 of 148, by Sphere478

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Bancho wrote on 2021-03-06, 19:20:
I think this board had been mentioned in this thread already but I think the Iwill XA100 Plus (Rev 1.3) had to be up there as on […]
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I think this board had been mentioned in this thread already but I think the Iwill XA100 Plus (Rev 1.3) had to be up there as one of the best Super Socket 7 boards. Really stable, K6 + support and what I think is its defining feature is the SoftFSB in the bios.

I run my K6-3+ 450 on this board at 550mhz (5x110fsb with all caches enabled). Its the SoftFSB in combo with setmul which really makes this board a winner.

IAqdgP8l.jpg

That’s super handy!

There is of course this thing as mentioened above.. 🤤

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

Reply 97 of 148, by Batyra

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majestyk wrote on 2021-11-06, 08:39:

The Freeway seems to have just 1MB L2 Cache and the older MVP3 southbridge that´s capable of ATA33 only. Not very convincing...
If you really need 5 or 6 PCI slots it might be an option.

It has 2MB for sure. Second chip is on other side.

Visit my website: http://www.collection.batyra.pl
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Reply 99 of 148, by Living

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add 1 more vote for the AX59 Pro, it was my daily driver back in 2000 with a k6-2 500Mhz and a Aopen PA3000 AGP (tnt2 m64 32mb),

it was the fastest k6-2 computer i have ever seen easily beating my current k6-2 500 retro computer for a solid 15-20% (Soyo 5EHM V1.3, CF 16GB, Voodoo 3 2000 16MB PCI)

American Mcgee's Alice was the game that made me sell that combo and make the jump to an Athlon Thunderbird 900Mhz + Soyo K7ADA in mid 2001, a MASSIVE gain in performance