VOGONS


First post, by cyclone3d

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I am in dire need of offloading some of my old hardware.

I have multiple Super Socket 7 boards and got to thinking that maybe I should just go ahead and sell my regular Socket 7 boards.

Is there any real reason to keep a Socket 7 board or two since I have plenty of Super Socket 7 boards?

Are there maybe some specific compatibility issues with SS7 boards that I wouldn't see with regular Socket 7 boards?

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Reply 1 of 15, by feipoa

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Unless you are in desperate need of space or money, I'd hold onto them for collection value appreciation. As far as I know, Intel didn't make chipsets for SS7 boards, so Intel chipsets of the S7 flavour hold some interest.

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Reply 2 of 15, by dionb

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Tbh though, most of the more interesting So7 boards had non-Intel chipsets. At the time, the i430FX was spectacular, single-handedly making the Pentium faster than 486 at last, with i430VX pushing the envelope a bit further and the expensive i430HX offering unheard of RAM support. Then the i430TX came along and was rather underwhelming. In retrospect though, the i430FX and VX are common as muck with little to commend then, the i430TX is a solid reliable performer, but very non-Super in the SS7 era, leaving only the i430HX as interesting, at least, if you have one with a second TagRAM. Also, none actually introduced any new features to the platform, except the i430VX adding SDRAM support - yet it was slower than EDO on contemporary i430HX and SiS5571. Some, like linear burst, AGP, UMA and dual-channel memory controllers, never made it to Intel So7 chipsets, others, like EDO, SDRAM and UDMA support were introduced by other vendors. Finally, the absolute performance crown, both per MHz and overall, was earned by non-Intel chipsets.

For interesting stuff, I'd go for the OPTi Viper-M (first to support Linear Burst), Via chipsets' extreme memory flexibility (any number of SIMMs, any slot - even a single 72p SIMM would work), SiS' pioneering UMA designs with the 5511+6202 and later integrated into the 5598. Performance was shitty, but this was bleeding-edge at the time. Finally, ALi's Aladdin IV was the fastest chipset per MHz, and people are still arguing about whether the Aladdin V or MVP3 is the fastest overall chipset, although I suspect that the dual-channel SDRAM controller of the Aladdin 7 might beat both...

Reply 3 of 15, by cyclone3d

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So basically keep non-Intel chipset based boards. Maybe I will keep 1 or two for testing purposes.

I;m not sure why there is even an argument between ALI Aladdin V and MVP3. Back in the day, when they were actually current, I tested them both ad nauseam and the Aladdin V always came out on top.

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AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 4 of 15, by RaverX

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For me it's simple: do I like something? (motherboard, cpu, videocard, doesn't matter). If I do like it, I try to keep it. Of course it's not always simple, maybe I like something, but not too much. If that thing is taking a lot of space and I need the space... and/or if I need money and I can sell that thing for a good price, well, you get the point.

Of course, in the future the value of something might go up, but it also might worth almost nothing. Right now old hardware because it's somehow trendy and there is demand for "vintage"/"retro" stuff. But in the future that might change, the kids from now will probably won't buy old hardware, they will see old hardware as "junk".

Socket 7 motherboards were quite common and didn't bring anything special (in my opinion), but I still like them. Why? Because I was a teenageer during that time. When I see a socket 7 motherboard I always have a nice, fuzzy feeling. When I see a socket 3 motherboard I'm like - meh, it's ok, "retro" and that's all. Or when I see a socket 478 motherboard. Someone older than me or younger than me will probably like more the socket 3 and the socket 478 board.

Reply 5 of 15, by feipoa

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Were there any Intel branded Socket 7 motherboards? If there are, I'd keep those. I suspect Intel branded boards will hold some value compared to generic.

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Reply 6 of 15, by Unknown_K

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People seem to like the SS7 boards more but I kind of like Socket 7 HX chipset boards. I even snagged a dual socket 7 for fun.

Anyway I tend to look at how much something would cost me 5 years down the road with inflated ebay prices if I ditch it now and if I don't care then its gone.

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Reply 7 of 15, by appiah4

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İ430TX is possibly the most reliable S7 chipset and S7 with cache manipulation can cover pretty much anything from 90 to 96 without requiring esoteric hardware (a lot of pci sound cards have flawless dos sound on them) so keep them they will only appreciate.

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Reply 8 of 15, by mixerjdp

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Hello i think that you can rethink again about that. In my opinion Super Socket 7 boards dont have enough compatibility with ISA 8 Bit ancient video cards. Some time ago i tried to connect a hercules video card to super Socket 7 with AGP integrated video without any kind of success. Probably socket 7 are more compatible with these old isa 8 Bit cards.

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Reply 9 of 15, by dionb

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mixerjdp wrote:

Hello i think that you can rethink again about that. In my opinion Super Socket 7 boards dont have enough compatibility with ISA 8 Bit ancient video cards. Some time ago i tried to connect a hercules video card to super Socket 7 with AGP integrated video without any kind of success. Probably socket 7 are more compatible with these old isa 8 Bit cards.

Greets

Thing is, technically "Super Socket 7" doesn't exist. "Super" is a marketing term that came to imply AGP, SDRAM and 100MHz bus speeds support, but in terms of pure technical standards it's all Socket 7 regardless, so there is no difference there.

That said, I've also had a lot of 'fun' with resource management (PnP) vs ISA cards with very late So7 boards (i.e. Asus' P5A). That's not in any way related to any specification, but simply an indication of a move to expecting PnP-aware OSs to be run on these boards and sloppily assuming no legacy. You saw the same thing on contemporary board with different platforms (i.e. Sl1/So370) around 1999.

Anyway, we've been theorizing too much here - OP, how about telling us *which* board you actually have. That way we can at least tell you which *we* would want to keep (or not).

Reply 10 of 15, by ph4nt0m

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Intel limited cache size to 512Kb and cacheable range to 64Mb on their Triton chipsets. 430HX was somewhat an exception because it was a kind of workstation level, but many motherboard manufacturers didn't care to install the second tag chip for extended cacheable range, so it was very much like 430FX in this case. On the other hand, there were some nice non-Intel chipsets for Socket 7 which supported up to 1Mb cache, extended cacheable range and 75MHz system bus. One or two of them were even SMP capable.

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Reply 11 of 15, by SirNickity

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I've noticed quite a variation in bus speeds and multipliers that you could select on various S7 boards. So you might slim down your collection with an eye toward flexibility. Keep some high-speed Pentium / K6 boards, and some low-speed boards, and any that have unique features. Sell off the redundant stuff. That's what I would do.

I have my workhorse board running an MMX 166, a lower-speed Asus board that can run 1.5X multipliers for a 75 or 90, and a SS7 board with MVP chipset and all the bells and whistles for bench testing. I feel like I'm covered with that.

Reply 13 of 15, by SpectriaForce

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For me the SS7 Asus P5A is all I 'need'. It doesn't work with a few CPU's (e.g. Pentium 75 MHz) but that's one disadvantage compared to a whole list of advantages. A socket 7 board is really only interesting if 1) nostalgia / a period correct system is important for you, 2) if you give two cents about additional ISA slots and 3) if you have a limited budget.

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Reply 14 of 15, by dionb

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The P5A plays very badly with a lot of ISA cards, so even if you don't need more slots you might get into trouble with it. I kept another simple i430FX system alongside my P5A for my multi-sound-card build for that reason - but I'm replacing that with an So4 build once I fix a few things on the motherboard.

Reply 15 of 15, by cyclone3d

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Well, after actually taking inventory of my boards, here are what I have:

Intel based:
TX (I think) - in system - in storage
TX
FX
VX

Non-Intel based:
Biostar M5ATA v 1.0 - ALI Aladdin IV
G586 VPS Rev.C1 - VLSI
FIC PA-2001 - Via

I also have a board in another system.. think it is Intel based but not digging it out of storage right now. It is a single socket system, but was a board that had an option for a second socket. Pretty sure it has 8 slots for RAM.

I also have a bunch of SS7 boards... might get rid of the one or two that don't have settings for more than 100Mhz FSB.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header