Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

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Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby Carlos S. M. » 2016-6-18 @ 00:14

I started this thread about Socket 423 for mainly everyone who had experiences with Socket 423 builds and/or share your thoughs, opinions, suggestions, commnets about these systems.

Last monday (13th June), i got a lot of PC parts which in one of them appeared an old ECS P4ITA Socket 423 motherboard with 256 MB PC800 RDRAM (2 sticks + 2 CRIMMs) and the 1.5 Ghz Pentium 4 with the Intel stock cooler for Socket 423. Later, i decided to build a PC with that board, picked two more PC800 RDRAM sticks to upgrade the RAM to 512 MB, i installed everything on the case and installed an old 60 GB HDD, a Geforce 2 MX, USB 2.0 PCI card and a 300 watt PSU. I installed Windows XP and everything works like a charm. CPU-Z missdetects the Socket 423 as "Socket 423 mPGA" when Socket 423 is a larger PGA socket (just called PGA)

Socket 423 systems weren't really that bad, but they were very expensive at the time, mainly because of the only chipset choice (Intel 850) which hardlimited the user to buy more expensive RDRAM untill the Intel 845 was released, another issue was the first Pentium 4s (lower than 1.7 GHz) werren't really competitive against the fastet Pentium III and the Athlon of the time (Pentium III 1 Ghz Coppermine and Athlon 1.2 Ghz Thunderbird) except in some applications and games like Quake III. Also the lack of upgradebility left many socket 423 users in a dead end forcing many users to upgrade the whole plataform to get a faster Pentium 4 (although Socket 423 to 478 existed). I think Socket 423 systems are interesting not only to be unique and becoming rare nowadays (at least in my country/region they are very rare), also for to be the first plataform used for the Pentium 4 and test bed for very early P4s and probably some old ES P4s like the Willamette pased P4 1.x Ghz

Main limitations:
- Only a limited ranged of Pentium 4s are supported (Willamette 1.3-2.0 Ghz), although it could get work with socket 478 FSB 400 Northwoods (and Willamettes as well) via a Socket 423 to 478 adapter
- Very few chipset choices. Mainly the Intel 850 with Rambus or the Intel 845 with PC133 which bottlenecks the Pentium 4, DDR based Socket 423 systems existed, but are very rare
- Limited to USB 1.1, ATA-100, AGP-4x (although 8x doesn't really provide much of an improvement). None of the Socket 423 chipsets supported USB 2.0, ATA-133, SATA and AGP 8x
- RAM choice, mostly Rambus, i845 with SDRAM is still an option, but limits perfomance

There a pic of my motherboard, i'll upload pics of my build later
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20160613_170231.jpg
My ECS P4ITA Motherboard
Last edited by Carlos S. M. on 2016-6-18 @ 20:02, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby stamasd » 2016-6-18 @ 00:49

I recently did a s423 build based on a QDI PlatiniX 4X motherboard with p4-1.8GHz CPU and 2x256MB RDRAM. HAs only 4 PCI slots but that's more than enough for what I need. I got that motherboard specifically because it has a SB-link header and thus good DOS compatibility with Yamaha sound cards.

I discussed the build a little bit in this thread viewtopic.php?f=46&t=48553
Last edited by stamasd on 2016-6-18 @ 01:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-6-18 @ 01:10

I don't have a single 423 board, but I think it's a great alternative to the Pentium III.

I do have heaps of 478 boards and you can get 1.4 GHz processors for that socket and there are lots more options for chipset and all of that.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby Sutekh94 » 2016-6-18 @ 02:01

I've had very limited experiences with S423-based systems. All of the ones I've seen have used RDRAM and the 850 chipset, and they seemed to be decent-performing systems. Though, I'd say if you just wanted to build a Pentium 4 system, go with S478. Lots of better options than the 850/845 S423 chipsets, especially once you get into 865/875 territory.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby mr_bigmouth_502 » 2016-6-18 @ 02:46

Sutekh94 wrote:I've had very limited experiences with S423-based systems. All of the ones I've seen have used RDRAM and the 850 chipset, and they seemed to be decent-performing systems. Though, I'd say if you just wanted to build a Pentium 4 system, go with S478. Lots of better options than the 850/845 S423 chipsets, especially once you get into 865/875 territory.

LGA775 is even better. ;)
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby stamasd » 2016-6-18 @ 03:42

However, past chipset 845 DOS sound support is practically inexistent.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-6-18 @ 03:47

stamasd wrote:However, past chipset 845 DOS sound support is practically inexistent.


Not quite what I found. Aureal Vortex 2 to the rescue :happy:

Works great with 865 chipset boards.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby Imperious » 2016-6-18 @ 05:07

I tested my Aureal Vortex 2 in my P4P800 dlx and it worked very well in pure Dos.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby stamasd » 2016-6-18 @ 10:33

PhilsComputerLab wrote:
stamasd wrote:However, past chipset 845 DOS sound support is practically inexistent.


Not quite what I found. Aureal Vortex 2 to the rescue :happy:

Works great with 865 chipset boards.


Except for MIDI I assume.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-6-18 @ 10:50

stamasd wrote:Except for MIDI I assume.


Why?
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby stamasd » 2016-6-18 @ 11:47

PhilsComputerLab wrote:
stamasd wrote:Except for MIDI I assume.


Why?


All the posts I have read on this board and elsewhere say that the Aureal Vortex 2 doesn't emulate a MPU401 in DOS.
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With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-6-18 @ 11:51

stamasd wrote:All the posts I have read on this board and elsewhere say that the Aureal Vortex 2 doesn't emulate a MPU401 in DOS.


Haha, you got to link a few of them :)

Edit: Vortex 2 is a MINT MPU401 card. Even has a wavetable header.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby stamasd » 2016-6-18 @ 12:00

And again, all posts I've read say that the wavetable and external MIDI only work in Windows, and the DOS drivers don't even try to emulate MPU401.

(edit) sample post viewtopic.php?f=46&t=22351&p=165624&hilit=aureal+vortex2+midi#p165624[/quote]
Last edited by stamasd on 2016-6-18 @ 12:36, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby rick6 » 2016-6-18 @ 12:01

I have a few retro rigs assembled right now, each one representing a period in time about computers that deeply interests me. One of which is from 2001, is based on the socket 423 and is one of my favorite machines. It's a Pentium 4 1.7 Ghz Williamate, with a Geforce 3 ti500, about 640mb of RDRAM, and it performs quite well for what it is. It scores something around 7100\7200 3Dmarks 2001, and i would love to have it back in the year 2001 :)
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby Darkman » 2016-6-18 @ 12:40

Ive got an S423 system with a 1.7Ghz P4 , 2GB of RDRAM (i850 chipset) , a Quadro4 900 graphics card and an Audigy ES.

its a decent enough system but its obviously very limited in terms of upgrading the CPU without an adapter (those 2Ghz chips are quite rare it seems)

and yes , that P4 is slower (at least in benchmarks) than a 1.4Ghz Tualatin or Athlon , I suspect some of the newer games will run better on it (more P4 optimization) and it will run Doom3 at over 20fps at medium detail , which is a pleasant (though not useful) surprise.

Its quite a nice Warcraft III machine , I will give it that :P
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby Carlos S. M. » 2016-6-18 @ 15:39

PhilsComputerLab wrote:I don't have a single 423 board, but I think it's a great alternative to the Pentium III.

I do have heaps of 478 boards and you can get 1.4 GHz processors for that socket and there are lots more options for chipset and all of that.


Yes, Socket 423 motherboards are more uncommon than Socket 478/775 ones, i already around 14 Socket 478 motherboards (some like MSI 645E Max2, ASUS P4P800-E Deluxe, GIgabyte 8IPE1000-G, Abit AI7 and some more boards) and some LGA 775 Pentium 4 boards, but this ECS P4ITA is the only Socket 423 i have

Sutekh94 wrote:I've had very limited experiences with S423-based systems. All of the ones I've seen have used RDRAM and the 850 chipset, and they seemed to be decent-performing systems. Though, I'd say if you just wanted to build a Pentium 4 system, go with S478. Lots of better options than the 850/845 S423 chipsets, especially once you get into 865/875 territory.

Yes, i know, my good Socket 478 builds uses the Intel 865PE chipset mostly, although my FSB 533 builds uses ethier the Intel 845PE or the SiS 645DX/648. But for the best perfomance in Socket 423 P4, i845 SDRAM must be avoided.

rick6 wrote:I have a few retro rigs assembled right now, each one representing a period in time about computers that deeply interests me. One of which is from 2001, is based on the socket 423 and is one of my favorite machines. It's a Pentium 4 1.7 Ghz Williamate, with a Geforce 3 ti500, about 640mb of RDRAM, and it performs quite well for what it is. It scores something around 7100\7200 3Dmarks 2001, and i would love to have it back in the year 2001 :)


That is a good build for the era

Darkman wrote:Ive got an S423 system with a 1.7Ghz P4 , 2GB of RDRAM (i850 chipset) , a Quadro4 900 graphics card and an Audigy ES.

its a decent enough system but its obviously very limited in terms of upgrading the CPU without an adapter (those 2Ghz chips are quite rare it seems)


Nice build, and yes, the 2 Ghz Socket 423 P4s are rare, an chinese ebay seller has 3 of them listed for $ 38 USD (33,78 € here), but still kinda expensive for me knowing i got the whole Socket 423 (mobo + CPU + cooler + RAM) system along with other PCs parts for only 15 €

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PEMTIUM-4-2-0GH ... 35aa174f11
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby NJRoadfan » 2016-6-18 @ 16:21

Back when these rigs were current, Socket 423 machines seemed to have very high failure rates. Coupled with the fact the platform only had a short life on the market, they are pretty rare these days. The most common machine you will find that was Socket 423 is the Dell Dimension 8100. Most of the ATX boards seemed to burn out after a few years, mostly due to the high heat of S423 CPUs. This resulted in a fairly large cache of RDRAM at the computer store I used to work at. It was later sold off at a profit.
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby Carlos S. M. » 2016-6-18 @ 16:39

Here are pictures of my Socket 423 build.

The current specs as today are:
Pentium 4 1.5 Ghz with Intel Stock Cooler (i have antoher 1.5 Ghz P4 in Socket 423 and also an 1.7 GHz one)
ECS P4ITA (Intel 850)
512 MB PC800 RDRAM
Geforce 2 MX 400 64 MB
60 GB HDD + 40 GB HDD
Realtek 8139 PCI Ethernet
VIA USB 2.0 PCI Card
Windows XP SP3

NJRoadfan wrote:Back when these rigs were current, Socket 423 machines seemed to have very high failure rates. Coupled with the fact the platform only had a short life on the market, they are pretty rare these days. The most common machine you will find that was Socket 423 is the Dell Dimension 8100. Most of the ATX boards seemed to burn out after a few years, mostly due to the high heat of S423 CPUs. This resulted in a fairly large cache of RDRAM at the computer store I used to work at. It was later sold off at a profit.


Well, i heard also that thermal desgin limitations prevented the plataform to reach over 2 ghz acording to some articles (i'm not really sure, could be also Willamette limitations as well), although it was possible to insert +2 Ghz FSB 400 Northwoods via an adapter
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Socket 423 PC build
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Inside
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CPU area
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby rick6 » 2016-6-18 @ 16:51

Post some benches if possible :D
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Re: Experiences and thoughts with Socket 423 systems

Postby vetz » 2016-6-18 @ 17:02

stamasd wrote:And again, all posts I've read say that the wavetable and external MIDI only work in Windows, and the DOS drivers don't even try to emulate MPU401.

(edit) sample post viewtopic.php?f=46&t=22351&p=165624&hilit=aureal+vortex2+midi#p165624
[/quote]
That is totally incorrect. External midi devices work under DOS, even the wavetable. Just have to load the TSR.
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