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Dual CPU Socket 5/7 Boards

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First post, by Predator99

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As requested here 😉

Bought these (retro) hardware today

Just arrived and couldnt wait to test it.

Its a Gigabyte GA586ID Rev. 3A PCI/EISA Dual Socket 5 AT.

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Good condition, but had to straighten some legs on a IC with a cutter.

Seems to be quite picky about RAM and CPU...

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...but after some tries its running:

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Not much more to say about it, without an OS supporting the 2nd CPU its quite standard. Maybe I try to boot a Linux CD later.

Will also report here about my other acquirement
Bought these (retro) hardware today
once arrived.

Last edited by Predator99 on 2018-10-13, 14:57. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 88, by dionb

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Wow, it's alive 😀

Be aware you'll need a relatively old Linux LiveCD - recent Linux requires i686 and frequently SSE2 as well. I'd recommend Knoppix 2.4 or similar.

As for "picky about RAM" - could it be you were trying to feed it EDO? The i430NX only supports FP and will refuse to boot with EDO...

As for OSs, it's a toss-up between old Linux (theoretically most practical, but given the way Linux distros generally work with online repositiories could be a pain if you need/want to add software to the install), Windows NT (3.5 is ancient and should run fine, 4.0 is pushing it a bit for this hardware, unless you manage to find some 64MB FP SIMMs to max it out at 256MB RAM) or OS/2 Warp 3 or 4 with SMP patch. Or go quirky and run BeOS, which is near-useless, but great fun, particularly in the way you can enable and disable CPUs on the fly. Watch GLTeacup speed up & slow down 😜

Come to think of it, there is one 'modern' (i.e. supported and secure) OS that would run on this with SMP support: NetBSD.

In any event, you'll want much more RAM with any of the options mentioned.

Reply 2 of 88, by Predator99

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dionb wrote:

Wow, it's alive 😀

As for "picky about RAM" - could it be you were trying to feed it EDO? The i430NX only supports FP and will refuse to boot with EDO...

In any event, you'll want much more RAM with any of the options mentioned.

Yes, dont know how to distinguish EDO/FPM, therefore also tried some EDOs. But some were labeled as FPM and didnt work anyway.

Dont have any prcatical use for this board. Will plug in some EISA cards I was never has been able to test and then it goes back into storage 😉

Reply 3 of 88, by FuzzyLogic

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dionb wrote:

Wow, it's alive 😀
Be aware you'll need a relatively old Linux LiveCD - recent Linux requires i686 and frequently SSE2 as well. I'd recommend Knoppix 2.4 or similar.

As for "picky about RAM" - could it be you were trying to feed it EDO? The i430NX only supports FP and will refuse to boot with EDO...

It doesn't have to be that old. I'm using Slackware 14.2 on a Neptune based chipset and it works fine. And even though it took 24+ hours, I recompiled the kernel (4.4.14.) To speed up booting, I set the kernel compression to gzip and disabled udev because it takes forever otherwise.

The Neptune chipset needs parity FPM RAM. I've had no problem as long as the RAM is FPM and parity.

Predator: That board looks sweet. Slap two Pentium MMX Overdrives in there and max out the RAM and that puppy would make a nice retro rig. If you don't want it, I'll take it!

Reply 4 of 88, by JidaiGeki

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FuzzyLogic wrote:

The Neptune chipset needs parity FPM RAM. I've had no problem as long as the RAM is FPM and parity.

Predator: That board looks sweet. Slap two Pentium MMX Overdrives in there and max out the RAM and that puppy would make a nice retro rig. If you don't want it, I'll take it!

The Neptune doesn't need parity RAM, at least the Asus dual Socket 5 motherboard I've got with the same chipset doesn't need it.

Also, sadly the MMX Overdrive isn't SMP capable, so that idea won't fly 🙁 Best the NX chipset will give you is Pentium 166 support, if the 2.5x multiplier works, but more likely 133 (2x). Mine has dual 133s running at 120MHz, but I need to change the crystal on that board, it's only a 60MHz one.

Reply 5 of 88, by dionb

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You can probably get away with dual P200 if you 'mod' the relevant pin on the sockets or CPUs for the second multiplier bit. Then again, I wouldn't do it - the i430NX is so much slower than even an i430HX that you're not going to be using the board for anything practical that is performance-hungry, so you might as well keep it authentic.

Reply 6 of 88, by wouterwashere

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Just for info, there are some Linux distributions still offering i586 packages, look on Distrowatch. Only question is how it will run on such a system. Being instruction-compatible doesn't mean that it will work well.

Another option is searching for iso-files of old distributions. They should be available on the net at least somewhere. If you are really stuck and willing to get it running, I have at least Red Hat 6 / 7 and some SuSE from late 90s laying around somewhere.

Reply 7 of 88, by luckybob

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Predator99 wrote:
dionb wrote:

Wow, it's alive 😀

As for "picky about RAM" - could it be you were trying to feed it EDO? The i430NX only supports FP and will refuse to boot with EDO...

In any event, you'll want much more RAM with any of the options mentioned.

Yes, dont know how to distinguish EDO/FPM, therefore also tried some EDOs. But some were labeled as FPM and didnt work anyway.

Dont have any prcatical use for this board. Will plug in some EISA cards I was never has been able to test and then it goes back into storage 😉

General rule of thumb, EDO typically uses fewer memory chips on a board. At least until you get to the server size simms. You can always google the part number and find out pretty quick from data sheets.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 8 of 88, by Predator99

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The 2nd one arrived today: Gigabyte GA-586DX Dual Socket 7, but just ATX. One cap is broken, but in overall it looks very good. Will test when I have more time...

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Reply 10 of 88, by Predator99

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SETBLASTER wrote:

wow i never saw one of those boards

Hehe...no time to fix that cap, but doenst seem to be neccessary 😎

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Good deal...seller agreed to sell me this piece from his scrap lot seperately 😎 😎 😎

Reply 11 of 88, by RJDog

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Came here expecting a board with a Socket 5 and a Socket 7 (as kind of an upgrade option thing)... was not disappointed. Great stuff.

Last edited by RJDog on 2018-10-12, 14:45. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 88, by feipoa

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What's the extension on the PCI slot for? Special RAID card?

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Reply 13 of 88, by tayyare

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feipoa wrote:

What's the extension on the PCI slot for? Special RAID card?

A PCI-X slot?

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Reply 14 of 88, by gdjacobs

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feipoa wrote:

What's the extension on the PCI slot for? Special RAID card?

Yeah, RAID offload for the onboard SCSI chipset.
https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/support/_ … aid/aro-1130u2/

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 15 of 88, by feipoa

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That's what I figured. I could never get my ARO-1130U2 working properly. It cannot find any hard drives although the MB's onboard SCSI controller works fine.

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Reply 16 of 88, by Predator99

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I did some Linux testing in the Socket 7 board. Was esaier as in the 1st board as it has IDE onboard and the BIOS can boot from CD.

I have tested some Linux Live distributions but must of them didnt have SMP build in the default kernel. A working one is VectorLinux 5.9:
http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-5.9/iso-release/

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Reply 17 of 88, by pearce_jj

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I used to run NT4 in production on SMP Pentiums, the second chip meant we could enable NTFS compression but keep the file server performance pretty much the same. Cost effective and simple disk capacity upgrade 😀

Reply 18 of 88, by meljor

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luckybob wrote:
Predator99 wrote:
dionb wrote:

Wow, it's alive 😀

As for "picky about RAM" - could it be you were trying to feed it EDO? The i430NX only supports FP and will refuse to boot with EDO...

In any event, you'll want much more RAM with any of the options mentioned.

Yes, dont know how to distinguish EDO/FPM, therefore also tried some EDOs. But some were labeled as FPM and didnt work anyway.

Dont have any prcatical use for this board. Will plug in some EISA cards I was never has been able to test and then it goes back into storage 😉

General rule of thumb, EDO typically uses fewer memory chips on a board. At least until you get to the server size simms. You can always google the part number and find out pretty quick from data sheets.

Another ''rule'' (not strict but works most of the time) : if the top NUMBER on the chip ends with zero's (like ''4400'' in the example picture) it is most likely a fastpage chip.

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Reply 19 of 88, by Predator99

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Next one arrived today 😎

Tyan S1564. Discovered in a scrap lot and asked the seller to ship it seperately for a few €.

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Did a quick test and its running:

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Very nice 😎