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Dos gaming with 233mmx rig?

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First post, by buckeye

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Decided to ratchet down my P3 rig to play DOS games from 94 on up. Planning to use a 233mmx Pentium on a SE440BX board with a Starfighter 3D 8MB AGP, 64MB ram, 40GB hard drive, SB 32pnp. Still will run win98SE for early 98 games and such. My question is will I still have speed problems with the DOS games and if so can messing with the Bios help?

Intel D865GL Pentium 4 2.4ghz. 512MB DDR 400 Geforce2 GTS 64MB SB Audigy 500W 98SE
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 40GB Voodoo 3000 16MB SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
MSI x570 Gaming Pro Carbon Ryzen 3700x 32GB DDR4 Zotac RTX 3070 8GB WD Black 1TB 850W

Reply 2 of 22, by alexanrs

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If you REALLY want a do-it-all machine you should build something like a K6-2+ or K6-3+ machine (and yes, the plus sign is important). Those processors can change their multiplier through software and give you better native slowdown capabilities so you can go down to 386 levels (all caches off, lower multis) up to full power. 8088s/slow 286s are a bit harder to replace.

Reply 3 of 22, by buckeye

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I do have some slow down apps - bremz, moslo, and myslo. Never tried any of them, which one is easiest to use for DOS?

Intel D865GL Pentium 4 2.4ghz. 512MB DDR 400 Geforce2 GTS 64MB SB Audigy 500W 98SE
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 40GB Voodoo 3000 16MB SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
MSI x570 Gaming Pro Carbon Ryzen 3700x 32GB DDR4 Zotac RTX 3070 8GB WD Black 1TB 850W

Reply 4 of 22, by mmx_91

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Maybe you have missed that both Pentium MMX and K6s are socket 7, whereas 440 boards are slot 1/ socket 370.

If you finally choose to use this platform, you'll need a S7 board. For this, I'd choose an Aladdin V motherboard because it allows to use AGP graphic cards and 100Mhz FSB for K-6 2+/3+. A plain Pentium MMX can also run at this speed in most cases if you prefer the Intel option.

Reply 5 of 22, by alexanrs

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mmx_91 wrote:

If you finally choose to use this platform, you'll need a S7 board. For this, I'd choose an Aladdin V motherboard because it allows to use AGP graphic cards and 100Mhz FSB for K-6 2+/3+. A plain Pentium MMX can also run at this speed in most cases if you prefer the Intel option.

So would a good MVP3 chipset-based board... kind of. Neither are that good at AGP, so a Banshee/Voodoo3 are the safest choices for a SS7 machine with AGP.

Reply 6 of 22, by meljor

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There is also a p2 233mhz and since it supports mmx it is a 233mmx 🤣

I would use the p 350 and run it at 66fsb (233mhz) so you can always beef it up a bit if you want to. For dos the socket7 or super socket 7 is your best bet with older games.

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Reply 7 of 22, by chrisNova777

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i did exactly this recently with my Abit BE6 440BX board - i downgraded the cpu from a pIII 700Mhz slot 1 to the first generation "Klamath" type 233Mhz Pentium II.

http://soggi.eu/mbs/abit/BE6.htm

Last edited by chrisNova777 on 2016-02-03, 21:35. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 8 of 22, by mmx_91

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alexanrs wrote:

So would a good MVP3 chipset-based board... kind of. Neither are that good at AGP, so a Banshee/Voodoo3 are the safest choices for a SS7 machine with AGP.

Agree! I mentioned the Aladdin because is the one I have more experience working with. For a DOS system you don't need much gpu power, so V3/Banshee are good choices. A TNT2/Geforce MX would be perfect options as well.

Reply 9 of 22, by clueless1

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buckeye wrote:

Decided to ratchet down my P3 rig to play DOS games from 94 on up. Planning to use a 233mmx Pentium on a SE440BX board with a Starfighter 3D 8MB AGP, 64MB ram, 40GB hard drive, SB 32pnp. Still will run win98SE for early 98 games and such. My question is will I still have speed problems with the DOS games and if so can messing with the Bios help?

As mmx_91 said, you can't use a 233mmx on an SE440BX.

Given that you are starting with a P3, I'm guessing your speed problems are related to old games playing too fast?

I will tell you that on my Pentium 133, there are some DOS games that need more CPU to run smoothly. For example, Descent2, System Shock, US Navy Fighters, Duke Nukem 3D, and Cybermage all suffer from varying degrees of lag or low FPS. I have a faster DOS machine (Celeron 333) that runs all of these games smoothly. The reason I am sticking with the Pentium 133 for now is because using SETMUL to disable cache, I am able to drop the speed to just about perfect for running Wing Commander. The Celeron 333, when run with SETMUL, actually becomes too slow for Wing Commander. So my plan is to finish WC1, then swap systems. 😀

That said, I'm not sure how the 233mmx will fare with SETMUL. That's what you should try first (assuming you have a motherboard that cpu will run in). I imagine the 233mmx will be enough for the more demanding DOS games, just not sure how it will work with slowdown methods. Let us know!

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Reply 10 of 22, by badmojo

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buckeye wrote:

I do have some slow down apps - bremz, moslo, and myslo. Never tried any of them, which one is easiest to use for DOS?

I've never had much luck with slow down apps - even slowing a 16MHz 286 down to the equivalent of an 8MHz 286 is hit and miss, let alone putting the brakes on a PIII. BIOS options and turbo buttons are workable for some motherboards, but it depends on the game to some extent too. Ultima7 for example will turn your cache back on while you're not watching 😒

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Reply 11 of 22, by Tetrium

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meljor wrote:

There is also a p2 233mhz and since it supports mmx it is a 233mmx 🤣

You are perfectly correct Meljor 🤣!
However, since no P2 CPUs ever came without MMX the MMX part is usually left out as it makes no difference in loosing important info...well...one 'could' state the Pentium Pro put in one of those vaporware Socket8 to Slot 1 adapters and overclocked to 233MHz could be seen as some sort of Pentium 2 without MMX 🤣, think of all the options 😁
Of course most of us know there's Pentium 1 chips with and also without MMX, which makes the distinction rather important in this case.

buckeye wrote:

Decided to ratchet down my P3 rig to play DOS games from 94 on up. Planning to use a 233mmx Pentium on a SE440BX board with a Starfighter 3D 8MB AGP, 64MB ram, 40GB hard drive, SB 32pnp. Still will run win98SE for early 98 games and such. My question is will I still have speed problems with the DOS games and if so can messing with the Bios help?

You can, but only the earlier Pentium 2 chips actually had a non-locked multiplier. I know of no Pentium 2 350MHz chips without a locked multiplier though some specific 400MHz Pentium 2s were at least unlocked downward.
300MHz and below more often had multipliers which could be adjusted downwards, but your motherboard BIOS also will need to support using multiplier adjustment by BIOS with these chips (some could be problematic, so to say).

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Reply 12 of 22, by meljor

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That's exactly why the p2 350@66mhz fsb is a good option. It gives you 233mhz but also 350mhz (@100fsb) when you need it to be faster (and they are very easy to find).

asus tx97-e, 233mmx, voodoo1, s3 virge ,sb16
asus p5a, k6-3+ @ 550mhz, voodoo2 12mb sli, gf2 gts, awe32
asus p3b-f, p3-700, voodoo3 3500TV agp, awe64
asus tusl2-c, p3-S 1,4ghz, voodoo5 5500, live!
asus a7n8x DL, barton cpu, 6800ultra, Voodoo3 pci, audigy1

Reply 13 of 22, by Tetrium

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meljor wrote:

That's exactly why the p2 350@66mhz fsb is a good option. It gives you 233mhz but also 350mhz (@100fsb) when you need it to be faster (and they are very easy to find).

This is correct, though a P2 with a non-locked multiplier would be preferable.

And I know it's a longshot, but I just mentioned this thread SetMul - Multiplier control for VIA C3 / AMD K6+7+8 Mobile / Cyrix 5x86 to someone else on Vogons today.
It's about VIA C3, it can also have it's multiplier changed by software. There are of course some issues with these chips. First of all VIA C3 isn't renowned for its speedy computational power, no matter how high it clocks and VIA C3 motherboard support is kinda sketchy (particularly on older motherboards, including most BX boards I reckon). And then of course are a few more not so critical problems, like having to use a slotket and getting a HSF to mount on the taller heatspreader without any of the socket's tabs breaking due to excess stress and of course those VIA C3s aren't as common as those mobile chips are (especially that 400 ATZ everyone here probably already has a couple of 😁) but hey! Who could possibly resist that fresh golden color and that nice print these VIA CPUs came with! It just got to be good for something...it just gotta be 🤣!

Or just find a non-locked Pentium 2, the 400MHz one would be best. That one can even be underclocked to 133MHz (lower if he can get the FSB below 66MHz, but that was more for LX and BX often didn't go that low on the FSB).

The 350MHz one would be easiest though, but in the end I'd think a K6+ would be best...or just get some ES which has no locked multiplier at all.

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Reply 14 of 22, by buckeye

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I've confirmed my cpu is Pentium 2 233mmx. So with this one I can't fiddle with the bios (cache) to slow it down? Specifically I'm trying to play some older football games - All American College Football (1994) and NFL Pro League Football 1995.

Never messed with AMD chips before, might look up some K6-2+/3+ bundles and have a go at it.

Intel D865GL Pentium 4 2.4ghz. 512MB DDR 400 Geforce2 GTS 64MB SB Audigy 500W 98SE
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 40GB Voodoo 3000 16MB SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
MSI x570 Gaming Pro Carbon Ryzen 3700x 32GB DDR4 Zotac RTX 3070 8GB WD Black 1TB 850W

Reply 15 of 22, by gerwin

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buckeye wrote:

I've confirmed my cpu is Pentium 2 233mmx. So with this one I can't fiddle with the bios (cache) to slow it down? Specifically I'm trying to play some older football games - All American College Football (1994) and NFL Pro League Football 1995.

It sounds kinda contradictory, because it is either the Pentium 233 mmx or the Pentium II 233MHz. The latter has mmx too, but is usually not called a Pentium mmx. Since you mention a SE440BX mainboard it must be the Pentium II.
On a flexible mainboard you can slow down this pentium II to 100MHz, by adjusting the multiplier and the FSB-speed. Unfortunately the intel SE440BX is not a flexible board. Reliable: yes ; Fast: yes ; Compatible: yes ; Flexible: no. Intel doesn't like people changing settings and you cannot get below 233MHz on this motherboard.

The Computer can still be slowed down by other means, Like Throttle. But some games will not run smooth when using this.

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Reply 16 of 22, by buckeye

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gerwin wrote:
It sounds kinda contradictory, because it is either the Pentium 233 mmx or the Pentium II 233MHz. The latter has mmx too, but is […]
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buckeye wrote:

I've confirmed my cpu is Pentium 2 233mmx. So with this one I can't fiddle with the bios (cache) to slow it down? Specifically I'm trying to play some older football games - All American College Football (1994) and NFL Pro League Football 1995.

It sounds kinda contradictory, because it is either the Pentium 233 mmx or the Pentium II 233MHz. The latter has mmx too, but is usually not called a Pentium mmx. Since you mention a SE440BX mainboard it must be the Pentium II.
On a flexible mainboard you can slow down this pentium II to 100MHz, by adjusting the multiplier and the FSB-speed. Unfortunately the intel SE440BX is not a flexible board. Reliable: yes ; Fast: yes ; Compatible: yes ; Flexible: no. Intel doesn't like people changing settings and you cannot get below 233MHz on this motherboard.

The Computer can still be slowed down by other means, Like Throttle. But some games will not run smooth when using this.

Ok - ran the s/n and it showed Pentium 233mmx. So it looks like my choices are: get a more flexible mobo for current cpu, get a K6-2 set up, or get a rig with something along the lines of a 166mhz cpu.

Intel D865GL Pentium 4 2.4ghz. 512MB DDR 400 Geforce2 GTS 64MB SB Audigy 500W 98SE
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 40GB Voodoo 3000 16MB SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
MSI x570 Gaming Pro Carbon Ryzen 3700x 32GB DDR4 Zotac RTX 3070 8GB WD Black 1TB 850W

Reply 17 of 22, by idspispopd

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buckeye wrote:

I've confirmed my cpu is Pentium 2 233mmx. So with this one I can't fiddle with the bios (cache) to slow it down? Specifically I'm trying to play some older football games - All American College Football (1994) and NFL Pro League Football 1995.

You can disable the CPU cache, either in the BIOS or with other tools. The downside is that a P2 will be slowed down to 286 levels which is too slow for a lot of games.
All-American College Football: Mobygames only has one entry from 1991 for a game with this name. It requires an 8088/8086 so 286 speed should be OK.
The other game requires a 386 so it would probably run too slow.