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First post, by lalakobe

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Hello guys!

Some help needed with choosing Socket 7 motherboards. My old Pentium 100 MB died today, fixing it would take some time, so I decided to purchase something new from the same era.

Read some info, now kinda confused.

Don't want to go too high to MMX/Pentium Pro/PII era. I want to be able to install fastest non-MMX Intel Pentium processor - that would be P54CS FV80502200? Or am I wrong? Also, nothing too fancy like AGP or DIMM slots or double AT/ATX power needed.

What can you advise?

Any help appreciated!

Reply 2 of 12, by .legaCy

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lalakobe wrote:
Hello guys! […]
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Hello guys!

Some help needed with choosing Socket 7 motherboards. My old Pentium 100 MB died today, fixing it would take some time, so I decided to purchase something new from the same era.

Read some info, now kinda confused.

Don't want to go too high to MMX/Pentium Pro/PII era. I want to be able to install fastest non-MMX Intel Pentium processor - that would be P54CS FV80502200? Or am I wrong? Also, nothing too fancy like AGP or DIMM slots or double AT/ATX power needed.

What can you advise?

Any help appreciated!

Well AT/ATX power isn't fancy, it was quite common for PCChips(that made pretty cheap boards), non super socket 7 boards will not have agp, i have one Asus SP97-XV and it is rock solid, never gave me problems,there is also ASUS TX97, Gigabyte GA-5AA, and at least on my country there is a flood of PCChips socket 7 boards, they are cheap as i told earlier.
i gave a quick look on ebay and the prices are pretty high nowadays.

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Reply 3 of 12, by dionb

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The fastest non-MMX P54CS will run on any So7 board. Not So5 (without modification) as it needs the second multiplier pin for 3x multiplier. So that gives you a lower limit. As for the the upper limit, you say no AGP and no DIMM. That means you are limited to the latest chipset without SDRAM support. AT vs ATX is a motherboard thing, not a chipset thing, so just avoid ATX regardless.

Given So7 but no DIMM, you have a limited choice in chipsets:

ALi Aladdin III
Intel i430FX, i430HX
OPTi Viper-M
SiS 5511, 5571, 5586 (although the latter has integrated VGA, which you probably also don't want)
Via VP1

Out of that lot the i430HX is probably the all-round best, with support for:
- PLB cache
- 512MB EDO
- a second tagRAM for up to 512MB cached (otherwise 64MB as with other Intel chipsets)
- SMP (so dual So7)
- very high EDO performnce

The SiS 5571 comes a close second, with (very slightly) lower performance, no SMP and no 512kB caching.

Biggest non-chipset choice is async vs PLB cache. That makes a BIG (~15%) difference in performance, so if you want max performance, go PLB. If you prefer the 'authentic' old feel, go async - although by the time of the P200, PLB was starting to become the default, certainly for high-end systems like the ones a P200 would be used in.

Reply 4 of 12, by Gixxxer

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I have a tc-97-e Socket 7. I like it gives you alot of options in general. AT and ATX connectors, SIMM and DIMM slots, takes multiple processors from P54c 75mhz, to k6-2 233 or pentium mmx 233 and some cyrix chips. Has pci and 3 ISA. I was lucky enough to find one on the side of the road one day. My only complaint is that there is one DIN and one PS/2. I would prefer 2 PS2 over a DIN but the adapter I am using was only like 6 bucks. I attached the manual if your interested in reading.

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Reply 5 of 12, by .legaCy

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Gixxxer wrote:

I have a tc-97-e Socket 7. I like it gives you alot of options in general. AT and ATX connectors, SIMM and DIMM slots, takes multiple processors from P54c 75mhz, to k6-2 233 or pentium mmx 233 and some cyrix chips. Has pci and 3 ISA. I was lucky enough to find one on the side of the road one day. My only complaint is that there is one DIN and one PS/2. I would prefer 2 PS2 over a DIN but the adapter I am using was only like 6 bucks. I attached the manual if your interested in reading.

Well idk where else to look but the prices on ebay for this particular board are obscene, i mean i have seen ibm 5150 in great condition for about the same price.

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Reply 6 of 12, by Gixxxer

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I hadnt honestly check till you mentioned it. The listing below isn't too bad if you add in everything there or resale it. Also I do not own now know who owns the auction.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Asus-TX97-E-AMD-K6-2 … 3sAAOSwNphcPV9O

Reply 7 of 12, by dionb

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.legaCy wrote:
Gixxxer wrote:

I have a tc-97-e Socket 7. I like it gives you alot of options in general. AT and ATX connectors, SIMM and DIMM slots, takes multiple processors from P54c 75mhz, to k6-2 233 or pentium mmx 233 and some cyrix chips. Has pci and 3 ISA. I was lucky enough to find one on the side of the road one day. My only complaint is that there is one DIN and one PS/2. I would prefer 2 PS2 over a DIN but the adapter I am using was only like 6 bucks. I attached the manual if your interested in reading.

Well idk where else to look but the prices on ebay for this particular board are obscene, i mean i have seen ibm 5150 in great condition for about the same price.

Hang on... you said no SDRAM and no ATX connectors... this i430TX board has SDRAM and ATX connectors. Did you miss that or move the goalposts?

Anyway, eBay is hugely overpriced, particularly on 'brand name' stuff like Asus. If you can't find anything locally for better prices, take a look on Amibay. Much more community-oriented with prices to match (at risk of sounding spammy: I can be sure of that as I have something matching your original specs on sale there myself for a fraction of the price)

Reply 8 of 12, by lalakobe

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Windows9566 wrote:

what motherboard was in the Pentium 100 PC that just failed today?

it was on i430VX chipset

dionb wrote:

The fastest non-MMX P54CS will run on any So7 board. Not So5 (without modification) as it needs the second multiplier pin for 3x multiplier. So that gives you a lower limit. As for the the upper limit, you say no AGP and no DIMM. That means you are limited to the latest chipset without SDRAM support. AT vs ATX is a motherboard thing, not a chipset thing, so just avoid ATX regardless.

great explanation, thanks!

Was looking at pictures of i430HX motherboards, they all seem to have Dallas RTC, was there motherboard without it?

Reply 9 of 12, by dionb

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Dallas RTCs were popular back then, but fortunately not everyone used one. FIC was an early adopter of CR-2032 coin cells. Not sure about their HX boards, but the FIC PT-2003 i430FX board certainly uses one. Don't worry too much about RTCs if they're socketed, you can buy a new replacement for about EUR 10. It's only a pain if they're soldered - or if it's a DS1387, which has no modern equivalent.

Reply 10 of 12, by alvaro84

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lalakobe wrote:

Was looking at pictures of i430HX motherboards, they all seem to have Dallas RTC, was there motherboard without it?

I have two: DTK PAM-0055I-E0 and Zida 5DHX. Both have coin cell batteries and 4 SIMM slots.

The DTK does only support 3.3V CPUs and has issues with K5 above PR133.

The Zida, on the other hand, supports MMX CPU but it's the third piece I found - the first one had dead cache and the second one only had 256k. This one has full and working 512k with external tag IC.

Good question if it automatically means that it can cache all the RAM I throw at it. One thing is sure, the BIOS has the 512MB cacheability option and I set it. I put 4*32MB modules in both boards so it's possible to test them 😕

Shame on us, doomed from the start
May God have mercy on our dirty little hearts

Reply 11 of 12, by .legaCy

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Gixxxer wrote:

I hadnt honestly check till you mentioned it. The listing below isn't too bad if you add in everything there or resale it. Also I do not own now know who owns the auction.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Asus-TX97-E-AMD-K6-2 … 3sAAOSwNphcPV9O

Its really not too bad, but still overpriced.

dionb wrote:
.legaCy wrote:
Gixxxer wrote:

I have a tc-97-e Socket 7. I like it gives you alot of options in general. AT and ATX connectors, SIMM and DIMM slots, takes multiple processors from P54c 75mhz, to k6-2 233 or pentium mmx 233 and some cyrix chips. Has pci and 3 ISA. I was lucky enough to find one on the side of the road one day. My only complaint is that there is one DIN and one PS/2. I would prefer 2 PS2 over a DIN but the adapter I am using was only like 6 bucks. I attached the manual if your interested in reading.

Well idk where else to look but the prices on ebay for this particular board are obscene, i mean i have seen ibm 5150 in great condition for about the same price.

Hang on... you said no SDRAM and no ATX connectors... this i430TX board has SDRAM and ATX connectors. Did you miss that or move the goalposts?

Anyway, eBay is hugely overpriced, particularly on 'brand name' stuff like Asus. If you can't find anything locally for better prices, take a look on Amibay. Much more community-oriented with prices to match (at risk of sounding spammy: I can be sure of that as I have something matching your original specs on sale there myself for a fraction of the price)

Agreed, finding locally is pretty hard on some places in the world(like where i live for example) but often the prices are great.

Useful links
[ How to Multiboot any OS | Rebuilding GOG Installer for Win9x | 486DX-4 Build | S7 Time machine Build |
twitch stream (in portuguese)

Reply 12 of 12, by lalakobe

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Ended up buying ECS P5SV-B rev 2.0 motherboard on SiS 5571 chipset in very good condition. While in transit, somehow keyboard port fuse got broken, so the keyboard wouldnt work. Not sure what caused this, the fuse itself looks good. Good thing this can be fixed easy.

It came with Pentium MMX 200, which I want to replace. Am I right that I should be looking for P54CS (FV80502200) 200MHz? Or there was something faster?