VOGONS


First post, by britain4

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I’ve just done a “new” Windows 98 build out of some parts I had laying around. The P3 and board I had from a previous PC, as with the case, and the rest was harvested from a broken P4 office PC - the GPU is currently “borrowed” from my WinMe system as the one from the P4 was toast.

Had a fun time with the BIOS on the MSI 6119 board as the latest AMI one doesn’t support large hard drives. Had to flash to the Award one which thankfully worked fine.

Anyway my question is the MSI site is a bit contradictory as it says the latest BIOS supports Coppermine but then it says elsewhere on the same page that only boards with a blue sticker on the I/O chip (which my board doesn’t have) support it. But I don’t know if the sticker just means the board was flashed with that BIOS by default or if there’s some sort of hardware requirement?

If I can’t go to Coppermine it probably isn’t worth changing from a 450 Katmai to a 600...

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 2 of 15, by britain4

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Because I don't have the CPU to hand, I'd have to buy one, and though I could possibly sell it on and get my money back I'd like to save the hassle if possible 😀

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 4 of 15, by britain4

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The BIOS I have flashed lists on the MSI site that it's compatible with Coppermine but I am just confused about the blue sticker thing in case there's some hardware incompatibility there (I think it was originally a PII board)

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 5 of 15, by Tetrium

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britain4 wrote:

The BIOS I have flashed lists on the MSI site that it's compatible with Coppermine but I am just confused about the blue sticker thing in case there's some hardware incompatibility there (I think it was originally a PII board)

If it's a BX board that was released before the release of Coppermine, chances are your board can support Coppermine even if it doesn't do so officially. It has to do with the minimum voltage the board can supply to your CPU.

My ASUS P2B rev 1.10 did not officially support Coppermine, but it did have the voltage regulator chip that did support Coppermine. I ended up flashing the BIOS to one that did support Coppermine (similar to what you already done so far), switched the CPU to the Coppermine one and it worked 😀

And the sticker could also be missing or something.

I don't know from top of my head which ones supported Coppermine or not (the ones that can go down to 1.3v can support Coppermine and the usually older ones went down to 1.8v or so, not low enough for Coppermine), so you'd have to look up the part numbers.

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My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
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Reply 6 of 15, by appiah4

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I have 440BX boards and revisions that don't do Coppermine, you have to find the voltage regulator on the board then look up its datasheet to see if it really does go down as low as Coppermine specs require.

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

Reply 7 of 15, by shamino

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appiah4 wrote:

I have 440BX boards and revisions that don't do Coppermine, you have to find the voltage regulator on the board then look up its datasheet to see if it really does go down as low as Coppermine specs require.

I agree, this is the safest way to proceed. The chip in question is something like 20 pins or so, it will be near the CPU next to the 3-legged MOSFETs, inductors, and caps.
If the regulator IC doesn't understand Coppermine voltage IDs then one of two things will happen:
A) It will refuse to power the Vcore rail (Safe)
B) It will attempt to provide some wacky over-voltage due to misinterpreting the signal (Dangerous)
Fortunately I think A is the most common reaction, but it's risky to assume that.

If the VRM doesn't support Coppermine voltages then it can be worked around with a slocket that lets you manually set the voltage to the supported minimum of 1.8V. But this will not happen automatically - to get 1.8V the VID signal has to be manually overridden.

Reply 8 of 15, by britain4

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OK, I’ve had a look at the board and there’s no sticker to be found. Nor is the voltage chip one that officially supports less than 1.8v. I have however, found someone on here with the exact same revision of the same board with the same chip who I believe is running a Tualatin or a Coppermine in it just fine... so I’ve ordered a slocket (with voltage jumpers) and a cheap Coppermine just to try it out.

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 9 of 15, by appiah4

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britain4 wrote:

OK, I’ve had a look at the board and there’s no sticker to be found. Nor is the voltage chip one that officially supports less than 1.8v. I have however, found someone on here with the exact same revision of the same board with the same chip who I believe is running a Tualatin or a Coppermine in it just fine... so I’ve ordered a slocket (with voltage jumpers) and a cheap Coppermine just to try it out.

You will likely get a blank screen and no POST, but you can always use the slotket with another motherboard later so don't worry.

Be on the lookout for higher end Katmai Slot 1 CPUs, a P3-600 Katmai will actually really be noticably faster in line with its clockspeed bump in pretty much everything that system does, it's a good investment. My 550MHz Katmai is a lot faster than my 450 MHz Katmai, which in turn is a lot faster than my 350 MHz Descutes. Keep in mind that 100 MHz bumps or these processors translate to around 30% increases. Kind of amazing considering what small annual IPC gains we have these days.

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

Reply 10 of 15, by britain4

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appiah4 wrote:

You will likely get a blank screen and no POST, but you can always use the slotket with another motherboard later so don't worry.

Be on the lookout for higher end Katmai Slot 1 CPUs, a P3-600 Katmai will actually really be noticably faster in line with its clockspeed bump in pretty much everything that system does, it's a good investment. My 550MHz Katmai is a lot faster than my 450 MHz Katmai, which in turn is a lot faster than my 350 MHz Descutes. Keep in mind that 100 MHz bumps or these processors translate to around 30% increases. Kind of amazing considering what small annual IPC gains we have these days.

Yeah. Not sure what to expect from it, maybe he has a "lucky" board but apparently it will run every P3 he has tried in it.

A600mhz Katmai I'm sure would do me just fine if it comes to it and all the better if I can overclock it a bit. Hopefully I will get similar results to the other one of these boards I have heard about - same revision as mine and will run a Coppermine just fine - but we'll see.

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 11 of 15, by Skyscraper

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If flashed with a Coppermine friendly BIOS pretty much any Slot-1 i440BX board regardless of voltage regulator should run a Coppermine CPU as long as the board is beeing asked to provide a voltage the votage regulator actually can support. With BX motherboards manufactured in 1998 the lowest you can go is normally 1.8V, newer boards almost always support voltages as low as 1.3V.

This is why member shamino suggested a slotket with VID selection jumpers. As long as the MS 6119 actually "likes" the slotket (compatibility issues exist) and the sloket (with VID selection ---> 1.8V) is Coppermine capable it should work. Pin modding a Slot-1 Coppermine CPU-cartridge edge connector to change the VID is another option.

Many boards will even accept newer CPUs without BIOS support. There is no reason a P6 generation motherboard could not work with unknown CPUs with similar enough arcitecture other than the BIOS programmer deciding that it would be wise if an unknown CPU caused the system to halt to avoid any unknown compatibility issues.

A good example for showing just how adaptive a motherboard can be is the Intel VS440FX. It's a Socket 8 Pentium Pro i440FX motherboard from 1996 but works with any P6 architecture CPU you somehow can adapt to fit in its socket, even the Pentium III-S Tualatin from 2001. The board even correctly identifies and activates the L2 cache on every CPU I have tried, and this is with a BIOS dated late 1996... I have not yet tested my 1996 VS440FX Tualatin system with a 32bit OS but if I would have to make a guess my bet would be on it working just fine.

Some boards/brands/BIOS-types I know of that will refuse to POST (or not manage to complete POST) with unsupported / unknown CPUs nu matter what.

The motherboard in i440LX IBM Aptiva computers (the board is made by Micron I think).
Many (but not all) Intel motherboards.
Otherwise decent motherboards with locked down OEM BIOS versions. A crossflash can often save the day.
Anything with Compaq written on it.
Many Award BIOS versions.

New PC: i9 12900K @5GHz all cores @1.2v. MSI PRO Z690-A. 32GB DDR4 3600 CL14. 3070Ti.
Old PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6GHz, EVGA SR-2, 48GB DDR3R@2000MHz, Intel X25-M. GTX 980ti.
Older PC: K6-3+ 400@600MHz, PC-Chips M577, 256MB SDRAM, AWE64, Voodoo Banshee.

Reply 12 of 15, by britain4

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Skyscraper wrote:
If flashed with a Coppermine friendly BIOS pretty much any Slot-1 i440BX board regardless of voltage regulator should run a Copp […]
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If flashed with a Coppermine friendly BIOS pretty much any Slot-1 i440BX board regardless of voltage regulator should run a Coppermine CPU as long as the board is beeing asked to provide a voltage the votage regulator actually can support. With BX motherboards manufactured in 1998 the lowest you can go is normally 1.8V, newer boards almost always support voltages as low as 1.3V.

This is why member shamino suggested a slotket with VID selection jumpers. As long as the MS 6119 actually "likes" the slotket (compatibility issues exist) and the sloket (with VID selection ---> 1.8V) is Coppermine capable it should work. Pin modding a Slot-1 Coppermine CPU-cartridge edge connector to change the VID is another option.

Many boards will even accept newer CPUs without BIOS support. There is no reason a P6 generation motherboard could not work with unknown CPUs with similar enough arcitecture other than the BIOS programmer deciding that it would be wise if an unknown CPU caused the system to halt to avoid any unknown compatibility issues.

A good example for showing just how adaptive a motherboard can be is the Intel VS440FX. It's a Socket 8 Pentium Pro i440FX motherboard from 1996 but works with any P6 architecture CPU you somehow can adapt to fit in its socket, even the Pentium III-S Tualatin from 2001. The board even correctly identifies and activates the L2 cache on every CPU I have tried, and this is with a BIOS dated late 1996... I have not yet tested my 1996 VS440FX Tualatin system with a 32bit OS but if I would have to guess my bet would be on it working just fine.

Some boards/brands/BIOS-types I know of that will refuse to POST with unsupported / unknown CPUs nu matter what.

The motherboards in i440LX IBM Aptiva computers (the boards are made by Micron I think).
Many (but not all) Intel motherboards.
Otherwise decent motherboards with locked down OEM BIOS versions. A Crossflash usually saves the day.
Anything with Compaq written on it.
Many Award BIOS versions.

Member kaputnik has the exact same board revision and slotket as me... and he says it works fine, I believe he’s running a 1.4ghz Tualatin in there. So I’ll just be on the lookout for S370 only, the slotket I’ve ordered does have the jumpers on it for voltage control.

According to him the board actually works fine down to about 1.3v despite the chip (which is the same as mine) not “supporting” less than 1.8... go figure. I have no idea how to pin mod a slot 1 Coppermine but I’m not sure if I will need to anyway now. I have flashed the latest BIOS which specifically lists Coppermine support so I should be OK on that front at least.

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 13 of 15, by kaputnik

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Yep, been running a 1.4GHz Tualeron (and played around with a 1133 MHz Tualatin PIII @ 840MHz/112 MHz FSB) in my MS-6119. Not anymore though, a Via C3 in it now 😀

And yes, for some reason the SC1152CS voltage controller, at least the one on my board, does voltages down to 1.3 volts, despite the datasheet specifying it to be Intel VRM 8.1 guidelines compatible, and supporting only 1.8-3.5 volts.

The problem is really that there's no way to set the Vcore manually on the bare MS-6119. A Slot 1 Coppermine will request whatever voltage between 1.6 and 1.75 it's made for. If the controller understands the signals for voltages lower than 1.8V it will work just fine, otherwise the VRM won't output anything at all, and the computer won't boot. There's one exception, the Slot 1 1133MHz Coppermine requires 1.8V, and will work with a VRM complying to the 8.1 design guidelines out of the box. One of those is gonna be very expensive though, can't say I've ever seen one for sale even...

Using a Socket 370 CPU in a slotket with voltage clamp jumpers works around this problem, since you get a way set the voltage manually, and give the VRM the 1.8V signal. A 1.75V Coppermine will work just fine with 1.8V, the overvoltage is very slight. The BIOS is the same for all revisions of the board, so the microcode for Coppermines will be installed regardless of VRM version.

So, in short, any MS-6119 board will work with a S370 Coppermine in a slotket with voltage clamp jumpers, no matter of which revision it is. It'll just run it slightly out of spec, and I guess thats why MSI can't brand them as compatible officially.

Theoretically you could run a Tualatin in any MS-6119 board too, it's only a question of 1.8V being a little too far above the 1.45-1.5V Tualatins wants to my taste. The board also won't identify those correctly, so it'll report wrongly during POST, but thats purely cosmetical. It would boot and work just fine anyways.

Reply 14 of 15, by britain4

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Thanks to the excellent advice above I received by PM from kaputnik I have now tried a CPU in a slocket just to see if the board can supply below 1.8v and it can! Boots up down to 1.6 (but the CPU is a 2v Celeron so I’m assuming that’s the limiting factor)

So the project is going ahead with this board and hopefully I will be running either a 1.4ghz Tualatin PIII or Celeron soon!

- AMD K6-II 400MHZ, PCChips M598LMR, Voodoo
- P-MMX 233MHz, FIC PA2013, S3 ViRGE + Voodoo
- PII 400MHz, MSI MS6119, ATI Rage Pro Turbo + Voodoo2 SLI
- PIII 933MHz, ECS P6IPAT, Voodoo5 5500
- Toshiba Libretto 110CT, 300MHz, 96MB RAM

Reply 15 of 15, by dukzcry

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Unmodified Ver 1.2 board with SC1152CS controller runs Coppermine (original 1.65V cartridge) and Tualatin (1.45V via modified slotket without dedicated VRM).
But who knows how long motherboard will work, since it runs out of specs. VRM MOSFETs and controller are warm, its better to put heatsinks on them.
But at least you don't need to override VID, original slot1 Coppermines run just fine.

Mobo: MSI MS6119 (Slot1) | CPU: Pentium 3 550Mhz (Katmai) | RAM: 512Mb PC133 | GPU: GeForce FX5500 | Audio: Vibra 16S (OPL3) | Storage: SIL3112 + 128 Gb SSD | WiFi card, CDROM, Floppy, USB | OS: Win98 SE