VOGONS


First post, by f1etch

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Hi

I have been trying to sort out my vintage computer stuff recently due to moving to a smaller house, and would appreciate any suggestions anyone has on how to make the most of what I have, and maybe reduce how many different machines I have...

I enjoy old DOS games, like battle isle (1,2,3, Incubation), Daggerfall, Heretic, TIE Fighter/X-Wing etc
I also enjoy old Windows games like NWN, Morrowind, Diablo, Diablo2, KOTOR etc

I have a bunch of old systems, graphics cards and soundcards, and am trying to find the best combinations, in the fewest machines...
I could really use 2 machines for most games, as multiplayer is always more fun!
Here's what I currently have to work with...

AGP Systems...

Asus P2B-B (Baby AT) BX100 based, Slot1 P3-650 - Nice quiet machine, oldest non-laptop I have

Biostar M7MIA-R v2.0, AthlonXP 1900 - My favourite, DDR ram and an ISA slot... Currently working well, although expect the capacitors will go one day...
Epox 8K7A+, Althon XP 2400 - Still going although again, capacitors will probably go one day...
ECS K7S5A, Althon 1200 - Boots but seems unstable, caps are bulging a bit, could be on it's way out.

HP D230 MT - 845GE chipset, P4 2.8GHz DDR333- Should be 98SE compatible, need to try it, nice and quiet for a P4
HP XW4100 - 875P chipset, P4 3.0GHz, DDR400 - Same as above, more powerful, SATA HDD support, but very noisy.

Graphics cards...

Voodoo1
2x Voodoo2, (with the SLI cable)
Voodoo3 2000 PCI
Voodoo3 3500 AGP (Compaq OEM variety, not the TV)
Voodoo3 3500 TV AGP

ATi AIW 128 PCI (Rage 128 based)
Radeon 9700 AGP
Radeon 9700 Pro AGP

GeForce 6200 AGP (works in the P2B-B)
GeForce 6600GT AGP

Sound Cards...

2x AWE32
1x AWE64 GOLD

2x Live5.1 PCI
1x Audigy2 ZS PCI

I think I'd like to get down to 3 machines...

BX100 - Most retro for oldest stuff
M7MIA-R - Best machine with an ISA slot for the AWE64 Gold
One of the HP P4s - Best machine that can still run 98SE, but could probably run XP & Win7 32bit as well...

I do have some very old Thinkpad Laptops, (Pentium133 through to Pentium-M 1.7GHz) which I sometimes use for Retro Gaming on the go, but prefer the desktops for 3DFX, AWE soundcards etc.

So, if you had that set of ingredients, how would you set it up?

Thanks in advance for any advice / suggestions!

F1etch

Reply 1 of 11, by kixs

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You don't have that much stuff 🤣

Get rid of some complete PC's - you know best what to keep. And keep all the components unless you need some cash as video and sound cards don't waste much space.

No idea about laptops... I have a few but ultimately don't have any use of them...

My Amibay: SALE | BUY - Updated on 2021-07-06

Reply 2 of 11, by keenmaster486

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Put the Voodoo 3 3500 AGP and the AWE64 Gold in the P3-650, and you'll have yourself a good machine for all-around gaming for the entire 1990's.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 3 of 11, by f1etch

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Hi,

Got a PM from hard1k asking if I still have the Biostar M7MIA motherboard, but I'm unable to reply due to having too low post count.

Just in case they still would like to know, yes, I do, and at the risk of soundling like Rick Astley, I'm never gonna give it up!
What makes you ask?

Thanks,

F1etch

Reply 4 of 11, by dionb

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f1etch wrote on 2021-07-21, 09:07:
Hi, […]
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Hi,

Got a PM from hard1k asking if I still have the Biostar M7MIA motherboard, but I'm unable to reply due to having too low post count.

Just in case they still would like to know, yes, I do, and at the risk of soundling like Rick Astley, I'm never gonna give it up!
What makes you ask?

Thanks,

F1etch

Maybe he wants a BIOS dump, more likely he wants you to let it go. Too bad 😜

Out of interest, what system(s) did you eventually build 2 years ago?

Reply 5 of 11, by croton64

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f1etch wrote on 2019-02-27, 14:46:

BX100 - Most retro for oldest stuff
M7MIA-R - Best machine with an ISA slot for the AWE64 Gold

You already have these two in some way... maybe 6600GT for the M7MIA-R .

One of the HP P4s - Best machine that can still run 98SE, but could probably run XP & Win7 32bit as well...

I'll go for HP XW4100 - maxed out memory - 9700pro - Audigy2 and some really nice Headphones.. nice for winter and keep your neighbours awake 😆

Thanks in advance for any advice / suggestions!

My suggestion... let all your hardware go (to vogoners) and keep it only in your heart 👅

Reply 6 of 11, by f1etch

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Hi,

Well, the whole downsizing the collection didn't go so well, I now have more stuff than ever, but have had a lot of fun building and testing lots of stuff!
Really should let some of it go to a good (Vogon) home one day.

The main stuff I have set up at the moment is:

Asus P2B-B, PIII-650E (or 433 with FSB set to 66) With Diamond Savage4 16MB, and Diamond Monster 3D Voodoo, AWE32. - Savage4 for S3TC/DOS compatibility, Voodoo1 for DOS 3DFX stuff. 433 Seems to be slow enough for the speed sensetive Voodoo1 games like Incoming. Thinking of trying to get my Diamon Vortex1 card to run alongside the AWE32 for A3D games, like Unreal Tournament (using S3TC).

Biostar M7MIA-R Athlon XP 1900 with Voodoo3 3500 (Compaq OEM) and AWE64 Gold. Used for DOS and Windows stuff, especially when 650MHz isnt enough

EPoX 8K7A+ Athlon XP 2400 with ATi Radeon 9100 and SQ2500 Vortex 2. Use it for real hardware TruForm/A3D2 stuff like HalfLife, NWN, Morrowind etc

Asus P5PE-VM Pentium E5800 3.2GHz, 2GB DDR400, FX5900XT, Audigy2ZS - Crazy DOS/Win98/XP/7/10 PC, able to run TIE fighter Collectors edition in real DOS, and Windows 10... Just to see if it could! Good for pushing old games as far as I can.

Still got all the other hardware, I'm trying to set up a GA-6BXE with a P3-1GHz and Voodoo2 SLI, and crazy projects like setting up Win98 on a G41 motherboard with an X850XT and a CS4630 Soundcard for TruForm/A3D2/Sensaura/EAX...
Well, it keeps me out of touble... mostly!!

F1etch

Reply 7 of 11, by Socket3

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2019-02-27, 17:58:

Put the Voodoo 3 3500 AGP and the AWE64 Gold in the P3-650, and you'll have yourself a good machine for all-around gaming for the entire 1990's.

I second this.

Reply 8 of 11, by darry

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Socket3 wrote on 2021-07-22, 16:19:
keenmaster486 wrote on 2019-02-27, 17:58:

Put the Voodoo 3 3500 AGP and the AWE64 Gold in the P3-650, and you'll have yourself a good machine for all-around gaming for the entire 1990's.

I second this.

Sounds like a solid plan to me too . Setmul will help with some very early 90s speed sensitive titles .

EDIT : Possibly counter-intuitive, but a faster CPU (P3 1GHz) might actually be better when playing early 90s speed sensitive games requiring the use of Setmul as these games might actually otherwise be a bit too slow with caches disabled .

Reply 9 of 11, by Socket3

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darry wrote on 2021-07-22, 16:40:

EDIT : Possibly counter-intuitive, but a faster CPU (P3 1GHz) might actually be better when playing early 90s speed sensitive games requiring the use of Setmul as these games might actually otherwise be a bit too slow with caches disabled .

Yeah, but 100MHz FSB 1GHz slot 1 pentium 3's are rather rare and will cost an arm and a leg. If your mainboard supports 1.7v you could get away with a 750 or 800MHz socket 370 p3 with a 100MHz front side bus. A fancy slotket that will let you run a 1GHz socket 370 p3 or a tualatin is also very expensive and fiddly - not worth the hassle in my opinion - especially since the 440BX chipset does not officially support FSB 133 and you will not have a correct multiplier for the AGP slot at that bus speed.

If you want to benefit from setmul fully, source a socket 370 motherboard - preferably one based on the VIA Apollo 133 (693A or 693T) because they have an ISA slot - and a VIA C3 CPU since they're fully supported by setmul (cache and multiplier). A VIA C3 cpu is 25-35$ on ebay. Clock per clock is half as fast as a pentium 3, but say a 1200Mhz C3 should be more then fast enough for what you want to play.

Reply 10 of 11, by ragefury32

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f1etch wrote on 2019-02-27, 14:46:
Hi […]
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Hi

I have been trying to sort out my vintage computer stuff recently due to moving to a smaller house, and would appreciate any suggestions anyone has on how to make the most of what I have, and maybe reduce how many different machines I have...

I enjoy old DOS games, like battle isle (1,2,3, Incubation), Daggerfall, Heretic, TIE Fighter/X-Wing etc
I also enjoy old Windows games like NWN, Morrowind, Diablo, Diablo2, KOTOR etc

I have a bunch of old systems, graphics cards and soundcards, and am trying to find the best combinations, in the fewest machines...
I could really use 2 machines for most games, as multiplayer is always more fun!
Here's what I currently have to work with...

AGP Systems...

Asus P2B-B (Baby AT) BX100 based, Slot1 P3-650 - Nice quiet machine, oldest non-laptop I have

Biostar M7MIA-R v2.0, AthlonXP 1900 - My favourite, DDR ram and an ISA slot... Currently working well, although expect the capacitors will go one day...
Epox 8K7A+, Althon XP 2400 - Still going although again, capacitors will probably go one day...
ECS K7S5A, Althon 1200 - Boots but seems unstable, caps are bulging a bit, could be on it's way out.

HP D230 MT - 845GE chipset, P4 2.8GHz DDR333- Should be 98SE compatible, need to try it, nice and quiet for a P4
HP XW4100 - 875P chipset, P4 3.0GHz, DDR400 - Same as above, more powerful, SATA HDD support, but very noisy.

Graphics cards...

Voodoo1
2x Voodoo2, (with the SLI cable)
Voodoo3 2000 PCI
Voodoo3 3500 AGP (Compaq OEM variety, not the TV)
Voodoo3 3500 TV AGP

ATi AIW 128 PCI (Rage 128 based)
Radeon 9700 AGP
Radeon 9700 Pro AGP

GeForce 6200 AGP (works in the P2B-B)
GeForce 6600GT AGP

Sound Cards...

2x AWE32
1x AWE64 GOLD

2x Live5.1 PCI
1x Audigy2 ZS PCI

I think I'd like to get down to 3 machines...

BX100 - Most retro for oldest stuff
M7MIA-R - Best machine with an ISA slot for the AWE64 Gold
One of the HP P4s - Best machine that can still run 98SE, but could probably run XP & Win7 32bit as well...

I do have some very old Thinkpad Laptops, (Pentium133 through to Pentium-M 1.7GHz) which I sometimes use for Retro Gaming on the go, but prefer the desktops for 3DFX, AWE soundcards etc.

So, if you had that set of ingredients, how would you set it up?

Thanks in advance for any advice / suggestions!

F1etch

Re-cap the AthlonXP (M7MIA) and swap the CPU for an XP-m (the laptop version of the XP) so you can downclock it using cpuspd - that would probably allow you to slow it down for the oldies and one-shot eliminate all of the other desktops. I mean, I like the BX machines, but P2/P3s don’t have the granular speed controls of the Athlon/K6 mobiles.

As for the laptops, see if they can do PCI docks - you can park a Voodoo/V2 on some of the oldschool IBM/Dell docks, and unless you did battery rebuilds or run them using USB-PD power injectors and a power bank, they are not really mobile anyways.

Reply 11 of 11, by f1etch

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Hi

Thankfully, the M7MIA is currently still going strong, so I'll leave re-capping it until it starts having problems
The latest official BIOS for the board only claims support up to Palomino based Athlons which are 1.75v. I'm not sure if the board will do the 1.65v needed for the XP-m.
I'll see if I have a "spare" Thoroughbred Athlon to try on it, see if it does the 1.65v with that.

Thanks for the suggestion 😀

F1etch