VOGONS


First post, by Señor Ventura

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Hello... this is my first post here. I've been searching for information since a couple of days, and google brought me here. This forum is hugely big, so i hope it works.

I have an IBM APTIVA 2134 (351 SL-A), with a pentium 120, 12MB of RAM, 850MB of hard disk, and an G40 monitor.

My objectives are upgrade it with:
-Pentium 200 MMX (or pentium 233 MMX if possible).
-64MB of RAM
-256KB or 512KB of L2 cache coast module
-An sound card.
-An 2D graphic video card.
-An 3D graphic video card.
-¿4GB of hard disk?.
-¿Replacing the power supply?

The questions are:

1) Do i need to change the jumpers in order of install an pentium 200 MMX?, Which configuration?, Could i install an pentium 233 MMX?.
2) What is the recommended amount of RAM for DOS games, and mid early 90's WIN 95 games?.
3) Would this L2 cache module work in my IBM APTIVA? (the manual says that it must have 160 connectors, 64 bits, and 15ns):
s-l1600.jpg

4) I've thought about an soundblaster AWE64 according of some things i had read around here, but my question is, Wich sound card reachs the most an roland MT-32 without external hardware?
5) I need an SVGA card, but i don't know if there is any specialized with an 2D engine, or something anti-sttutering... What about the VESA standart problem?, Is there any card that includes ir by hardware?.
6) I think an voodoo 2 is allright working together with the 2D graphics card... Is there any 2D/3D all in one recommended out there?.
7) Old HDD's are pretty noisy, Could i install a modern one? (formatted with maximun directionable of a 32 bit machine, of course).
😎 I consider important to change the power supply... Is a modern one valid?.

Thanks in advanced 😀

Reply 1 of 43, by BushLin

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Typical of an IBM HMM (Hardware Maintenance Manual), you will find a comprehensive guide in the following PDF
http://ps-2.kev009.com/pccbbs/aptiva/94h5153.pdf

In the parts listing, the fastest CPU is a regular P200. I don't know if it's possible to run anything newer.
Nvidia GPUs are pretty safe bet for 2D/3D combo with good compatibility in VESA DOS modes also.
There are various IDE to SATA or Conpact Flash options. I don't know of a definitive brand to recommended, not something I've used personally, appears to be a bit of a crapshoot with unbranded adapters.

Screw period correct; I wanted a faster system back then. I choose no dropped frames, super fast loading, fully compatible and quiet operation.

Reply 2 of 43, by AvalonH

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2) 32MB of ram is more than enough for DOS/WIN95 games up to 1998. DOS games can fail to load when more than 32MB is detected but it is very rare. For games after 1998 more memory won't help as much as a faster processor.

7) As above, buy a Compact flash or Secure Digital card to IDE adapter from ebay/amazon for $3-4. Faster, less power and easier to transfer files between computers with a cheap usb adapter. Use Fat32 and Dos7.1, far easier.

😎 A modern / new ATX PSU and buy an ATX to AT Power Supply Adapter like this
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20P-ATX-To-2-Port- … LkAAOSwtfhYtXPH
The pair of green/black wires plug into the back of the on/off switch on the case of the Aptiva.

Reply 3 of 43, by Señor Ventura

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Thank you for answering so quickly.

A quick question... Do an AWE 64 gold with 4MB sounds better than an AWE 32/64?.

I mean, with 4MB fits more instruments, and possibly it could be better if the game setup options support it... Has it any sense?.

BushLin wrote:

In the parts listing, the fastest CPU is a regular P200. I don't know if it's possible to run anything newer.

According to this page (and maybe i'm reading too fast), it seems to admit an pentium 233MMX:
http://aptivasupport.com/mmx_od.html
http://aptivasupport.com/uas/cpu/

66.66mhz x 3.4= 226,664mhz

Is it correct?

BushLin wrote:

Nvidia GPUs are pretty safe bet for 2D/3D combo with good compatibility in VESA DOS modes also.

Those are the magic words (saving one ISA slot, and compatibility with VESA in DOS under 2D functioning).

What nvidia cards should i look? (and thank you for yopur tips).

AvalonH wrote:

2) 32MB of ram is more than enough for DOS/WIN95 games up to 1998. DOS games can fail to load when more than 32MB is detected but it is very rare. For games after 1998 more memory won't help as much as a faster processor.

So, installing 64MB could have been a mistake.

What is better?, 4 modules of 8MB, o 2 modules of 16MB.

AvalonH wrote:

7) As above, buy a Compact flash or Secure Digital card to IDE adapter from ebay/amazon for $3-4. Faster, less power and easier to transfer files between computers with a cheap usb adapter. Use Fat32 and Dos7.1, far easier.

Ok, got it. I will miss that characteristic sound, but clearly it will be worth it.

DOS 7.1 and fat 32 lacks some compatibility with games?.

AvalonH wrote:

😎 A modern / new ATX PSU and buy an ATX to AT Power Supply Adapter like this
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20P-ATX-To-2-Port- … LkAAOSwtfhYtXPH
The pair of green/black wires plug into the back of the on/off switch on the case of the Aptiva.

This information is pure gold, a new power supply is in fact the center of all this whole thing, thank you very much 😀

Reply 4 of 43, by BushLin

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Señor Ventura wrote:

According to this page (and maybe i'm reading too fast), it seems to admit an pentium 233MMX:
http://aptivasupport.com/mmx_od.html

Note this is for the overdrive version of the CPU, not the regular MMX chips.

Señor Ventura wrote:

3) Would this L2 cache module work in my IBM APTIVA? (the manual says that it must have 160 connectors, 64 bits, and 15ns):

The FRU from that picture is in the parts listing, I guess so.

Señor Ventura wrote:

What is better?, 4 modules of 8MB, o 2 modules of 16MB.

All the games I run have no issue with 512MB RAM. I can't say that'll be the case for every title but your system supports a max of 128MB and max 32MB modules. Personally, I'd go with 32MB sticks but it's your system with your software and your wallet.

Señor Ventura wrote:

DOS 7.1 and fat 32 lacks some compatibility with games?.

I doubt this but it's possible, having said that, I run all DOS software under 6.22 and everything fits on a 2GB partition easily. Although I do overwrite EMM386.EXE and HIMEM.SYS with the versions from Win98/Dos7.1 because they have bug fixes and run nicely with every memory tweak and program I've thrown at them. This page has a lot of helpful information:
https://www.legroom.net/howto/msdos
EDIT: not everything applied directly to my system, most of my profiles use entries like this in CONFIG.SYS
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE noems highscan notr i=b000-b7ff

I use separate primary partitions for different operating systems and use PLOP or XOSL as a boot manager to have DOS, 98 and NT4 on the same drive. I see little value in Windows 95 over Windows 98 other than the UI and NT4 has that anyway.

Señor Ventura wrote:

What nvidia cards should i look? (and thank you for yopur tips).

I've not recommended anything specific because they're generally all good for VESA https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/
What I should say is that if you went with something really powerful or too new, your system would struggle to make use of it. Something like a Geforce 6200 isn't going to benefit you and will have crappy driver support.
You're limited to PCI at most so you can narrow down the options from here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_N … rocessing_units
I can't see your PCI slots to see if they'll happily take 3.3v and/or 5v cards so I'd say this is the most important factor, that and what's available cheap. I have a sneaking suspicion that your slots will be 5v, check this before purchasing. A TNT2, Geforce 2 or Geforce 3 ti200 would probably be my choice if I could find a good one that will definitely work in your system.

Screw period correct; I wanted a faster system back then. I choose no dropped frames, super fast loading, fully compatible and quiet operation.

Reply 5 of 43, by FFXIhealer

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Let me see if I can give my own take on this...

First, I assume you're going to be installing Windows 95 on the system, which includes DOS 7 as a consequence. I have done the same on one of my older machines as well, so it's fairly fresh in my mind.

Second, let's address your CPU. You said your MB came with a Pentium 120 in it. That means the CPU voltage is between 3.4v and 3.6v. With this voltage, you can go up to a Pentium 200 (P54c), but you will NOT be able to go to the MMX line (200/233, the P55c chips) without adjusting the CPU voltage on the MB. If there are jumpers for this, awesome. If not, I know MY motherboard has a Voltage Regulator Module socket designed for a plug-in module to do this for me, but I do not have one of those, so I was limited to a Pentium 200...which works GREAT for DOS and early Win9x games. You would also need to adjust your Front-Side Bus (FSB) speed, as the Pentium 120 runs on 60MHz bus and the Pentium 200/233 and all of those run on a 66MHz bus, slightly faster. I'm sure there's a jumper somewhere on your MB for this, at least. Also, your CPU Multiplier will go from 2x (on the Pentium 120) to 3x (for the Pentium 200).

60 MHz FSB x 2 = 120 MHz CPU
66 MHz FSB x 3 = 200 MHz CPU

Third, your memory. 32MB is very good for DOS and early Win9x and hits a sweet spot for compatibility. But my MB had 40MB on it (2x16MB + 2x4MB). So, me being me, I maxed the MB out with 64MB (4x16MB). Windows is perfectly happy with this, but for DOS, I set up emm386 for 32MB Extended Memory and 32MB Expanded Memory when running in pure DOS. This not only prevents those DOS games from failing to start like someone mentioned earlier, but it ALSO means I don't have to reconfigure it every time I want to play one of the rare games that expects Expanded memory instead of Extended. This way, I don't have to use one of those multi-boot selectors like Phil's computer lab uses on his DOS machines. I also always natively install Mouse, Sound, and CD-ROM drives, as it's not like they take up a lot of my 32MB space. The important part was freeing up as much Convention Memory as possible, and I got it to 632KB out of 640KB free, loading all of my drivers and most of DOS into high memory with only the minimum amount of Conventional Memory taken up to get all that working.

Fourth, let's talk about video. Surely, you're more concerned about DOS compatibility than Windows. For this, I'm going to direct you to watch a bunch of "Phil's Computer Lab" on YouTube. He's done A LOT of work comparing different graphics cards from this era and is very knowledgeable on the topic. For myself, a helpful forum member sent me an ATI Rage IIc 2MB PCI card and it works great. I paired it with a Diamond Monster 3D Voodoo 4MB PCI card (yes, it was rather expensive around $55 USD) and a good 1-foot VGA pass-through cable that I got on Amazon. The ATI card has good compatibility with DOS games - I haven't had a single one complain yet or have any kind of graphics issues and the performance is pretty good.
Why did I choose a Voodoo? Well, back in this time period Glide was king. And to use Glide, you really needed a Voodoo card.
Why did I choose a Voodoo (1) over a Voodoo2? Because a Pentium 1 at these speeds couldn't possibly feed enough data into a Voodoo2 card to show any kind of performance gain over the Voodoo 1, AND I had to deal with the fact that Tomb Raider 1 refused to work on my Voodoo2 card, no matter what I did, but it immediately worked perfectly on the Voodoo 1 card when I got it. So for DOS game compatibility, the original Voodoo1 card can't be beat.
On my own personal IBM Aptiva computer, which runs on a 300MHz AMD K6-2 chip, the MB has a Rage II+DVD chip on it as well as 2MB of video memory, so I didn't need to bother with a discrete graphics card - I just slapped a Voodoo2 card in there and Windows 98 and was done.
So it really depends. Does your MB have a built-in graphics chip? You'd know if it did because then you'd have a 15-pin D-Sub VGA port on the MB. I'd try that out with DOS games to see how it behaves before I spent any money on a discrete 2D card. But it's up to you.

Fifth, it's hard to find good/working HDD from this time period. My Win95 system's MB has an 8GB HDD storage limit and I only had a 20.4GB drive, so I used the Maxtor Drive Overlay software to be able to use it. Basically, since the BIOS can't read or use anything over 8GB, when it first boots and sees the HDD (which it think's is only 8GB in size), it tries to boot the boot sector of the HDD, which lies this overlay software. The software runs resident in the system memory and allows you to use the full 20.4GB of storage space on the drive. It also points to the new boot sector after it loads, so Windows 95 boots properly, DOS works properly, etc. It only adds about 10 seconds to my boot-up times, but as I didn't have to deal with multiple-partitions, I found this to be an acceptable annoyance.
Also, I'm going to point you once again to Phil's Computer Lab, as he's done A LOT of testing of SD-adapters, Compact Flash adapters, SATA-to-IDE adapters, etc. It looks like Compact Flash would be your best bet for compatibility with DOS, but you have to deal with availability of parts in your area.

I use a brand-new low-wattage power supply for all of my retro builds except when dealing with Pentium 4 and AMD Athlon XP processors, as I need a strong 5v rail for those. None of these early retro systems are going to pull enough power to even begin worrying about amp loads on 5v or 12v rails.

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Reply 6 of 43, by Señor Ventura

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BushLin wrote:

The FRU from that picture is in the parts listing, I guess so.

Ok,i will have to try with some of these anyway.

It seems to me that my motherboard doesn't have preinstalled cache (photos below), so the preferable thing should be to get one module of at least 512KB, but i only see ones of 256KB.

BushLin wrote:

All the games I run have no issue with 512MB RAM. I can't say that'll be the case for every title but your system supports a max of 128MB and max 32MB modules. Personally, I'd go with 32MB sticks but it's your system with your software and your wallet.

Anyway this would be a deeper debate, so better is to pass it for now.

The point is that supposedly more modules with less quantity is faster, but these cpu's are of simple core, so, probably i'm talking without a great idea of it.

BushLin wrote:

I see little value in Windows 95 over Windows 98 other than the UI and NT4 has that anyway.

I remember windows 98 being more stable than windows 95... that's another thing to have in mind (and native use of the usb ports, very important too).

BushLin wrote:
I've not recommended anything specific because they're generally all good for VESA https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/ What I shou […]
Show full quote

I've not recommended anything specific because they're generally all good for VESA https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/
What I should say is that if you went with something really powerful or too new, your system would struggle to make use of it. Something like a Geforce 6200 isn't going to benefit you and will have crappy driver support.
You're limited to PCI at most so you can narrow down the options from here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_N … rocessing_units
I can't see your PCI slots to see if they'll happily take 3.3v and/or 5v cards so I'd say this is the most important factor, that and what's available cheap. I have a sneaking suspicion that your slots will be 5v, check this before purchasing. A TNT2, Geforce 2 or Geforce 3 ti200 would probably be my choice if I could find a good one that will definitely work in your system.

Very good info, thank you so much 😁

I don't know what voltage provides the board for the isa/pci's cards, there is nothing writed... but i think i would prefer a voodoo for the "glide factor" (games like the need for speed III had its own graphic effects with 3dfx).

FFXIhealer wrote:

Second, let's address your CPU. You said your MB came with a Pentium 120 in it. That means the CPU voltage is between 3.4v and 3.6v. With this voltage, you can go up to a Pentium 200 (P54c), but you will NOT be able to go to the MMX line (200/233, the P55c chips) without adjusting the CPU voltage on the MB. If there are jumpers for this, awesome. If not, I know MY motherboard has a Voltage Regulator Module socket designed for a plug-in module to do this for me, but I do not have one of those, so I was limited to a Pentium 200...which works GREAT for DOS and early Win9x games. You would also need to adjust your Front-Side Bus (FSB) speed, as the Pentium 120 runs on 60MHz bus and the Pentium 200/233 and all of those run on a 66MHz bus, slightly faster. I'm sure there's a jumper somewhere on your MB for this, at least. Also, your CPU Multiplier will go from 2x (on the Pentium 120) to 3x (for the Pentium 200).

60 MHz FSB x 2 = 120 MHz CPU
66 MHz FSB x 3 = 200 MHz CPU

I have done some photos of my motherboard. These are a little large, so i put the link of every part of the MB in detail directly instead the photo:
https://i.ibb.co/vjQQGqC/zzzz.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/cCbkdsr/456etrg54766rted.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/K67SGVV/9998ufg095ohgakuqg4.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/PMgZc4t/20190626-043814.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/B4HfLYC/20190626-043906.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/pztYGMH/j8873h5nfnfkwa8457.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/XDFsH8f/89567lsdkfhs3245.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/hmn7dgv/20190626-044102.jpg

I'm a little bit lost here, i've been taking a look, and i didn't see any jumper to control the voltage of the cpu, and not even a memory caché L2 in it 🙁

What can you tell me about this SIS chipset?

0004557wehgfj.jpg

FFXIhealer wrote:

Third, your memory. 32MB is very good for DOS and early Win9x and hits a sweet spot for compatibility. But my MB had 40MB on it (2x16MB + 2x4MB). So, me being me, I maxed the MB out with 64MB (4x16MB). Windows is perfectly happy with this, but for DOS, I set up emm386 for 32MB Extended Memory and 32MB Expanded Memory when running in pure DOS. This not only prevents those DOS games from failing to start like someone mentioned earlier, but it ALSO means I don't have to reconfigure it every time I want to play one of the rare games that expects Expanded memory instead of Extended. This way, I don't have to use one of those multi-boot selectors like Phil's computer lab uses on his DOS machines. I also always natively install Mouse, Sound, and CD-ROM drives, as it's not like they take up a lot of my 32MB space. The important part was freeing up as much Convention Memory as possible, and I got it to 632KB out of 640KB free, loading all of my drivers and most of DOS into high memory with only the minimum amount of Conventional Memory taken up to get all that working.

Do it is better to have 32MB i four modules than 32MB in two modules? (in terms of perfomance).

I don't know what to think about it ^^u

FFXIhealer wrote:
Fourth, let's talk about video. Surely, you're more concerned about DOS compatibility than Windows. For this, I'm going to dir […]
Show full quote

Fourth, let's talk about video. Surely, you're more concerned about DOS compatibility than Windows. For this, I'm going to direct you to watch a bunch of "Phil's Computer Lab" on YouTube. He's done A LOT of work comparing different graphics cards from this era and is very knowledgeable on the topic. For myself, a helpful forum member sent me an ATI Rage IIc 2MB PCI card and it works great. I paired it with a Diamond Monster 3D Voodoo 4MB PCI card (yes, it was rather expensive around $55 USD) and a good 1-foot VGA pass-through cable that I got on Amazon. The ATI card has good compatibility with DOS games - I haven't had a single one complain yet or have any kind of graphics issues and the performance is pretty good.
Why did I choose a Voodoo? Well, back in this time period Glide was king. And to use Glide, you really needed a Voodoo card.
Why did I choose a Voodoo (1) over a Voodoo2? Because a Pentium 1 at these speeds couldn't possibly feed enough data into a Voodoo2 card to show any kind of performance gain over the Voodoo 1, AND I had to deal with the fact that Tomb Raider 1 refused to work on my Voodoo2 card, no matter what I did, but it immediately worked perfectly on the Voodoo 1 card when I got it. So for DOS game compatibility, the original Voodoo1 card can't be beat.
On my own personal IBM Aptiva computer, which runs on a 300MHz AMD K6-2 chip, the MB has a Rage II+DVD chip on it as well as 2MB of video memory, so I didn't need to bother with a discrete graphics card - I just slapped a Voodoo2 card in there and Windows 98 and was done.
So it really depends. Does your MB have a built-in graphics chip? You'd know if it did because then you'd have a 15-pin D-Sub VGA port on the MB. I'd try that out with DOS games to see how it behaves before I spent any money on a discrete 2D card. But it's up to you.

I have decided to go for a 4 MB voodoo 1 for 3D, but for a 2D card i'm still doubting, although i'm finding good references, so i'm good with it xD

A last question, but this time about the sound cards... i'm seeing that an AWE64 is the best option for me, but i'm not deciding if an value, or an gold. How can use the 4 MB of the gold to add instruments? (for example for that horrible guitars in doom).

P.D: And thank you to you too, thanks to all for your tips and your time 😀

Reply 7 of 43, by BushLin

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Er... do you have a riser board to go in the expansion slot? The actual cards will slot into the riser board by the looks of your board / chassis.
This is the keying which identifies voltage:

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It's usually better to run two RAM modules rather than four, choosing the slots with the shortest path to the chipset but the change in required minor timing differences are so small that it's often already within the default tolerances of what a BIOS will auto select on a pre-built system. It's also usually better to have more RAM if that's what you're choosing between.

Screw period correct; I wanted a faster system back then. I choose no dropped frames, super fast loading, fully compatible and quiet operation.

Reply 8 of 43, by Señor Ventura

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BushLin wrote:

Er... do you have a riser board to go in the expansion slot? The actual cards will slot into the riser board by the looks of your board / chassis.
This is the keying which identifies voltage:

pci.gif

All right.

The "small pin connections" are sided to the right, so, the voltage is 5v and i will not have problems with any graphic card (according to my cpu), right?.

About the vesa, for DOS i need a 2D card with a vesa version 2.0 or greater to not having problems of compatibility, Do it is correct?. The problem is that it has to be ISA.

BushLin wrote:

It's usually better to run two RAM modules rather than four, choosing the slots with the shortest path to the chipset but the change in required minor timing differences are so small that it's often already within the default tolerances of what a BIOS will auto select on a pre-built system. It's also usually better to have more RAM if that's what you're choosing between.

Got it, two modules of 16MB if i won't to loose time configuring the memory conditions to keep the DOS compatibility, or two modules of 32MB if i don't care to fight a while with the memory managers 🤣

And from it to go on until 128MB (although i don't think i reach that quantity).

Thank you again (and sorry for my english if i broke it a little xD).

Reply 9 of 43, by FFXIhealer

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Señor Ventura wrote:

What can you tell me about these SIS chips?

SIS 5511 - Host/PCI Bridge
SIS 5512 - Data Path/PCI Local Data Buffer
SIS 5513 - PCI/ISA Bridge + IDE Controller

Collectively, these three chips on the motherboard are your Northbridge control.

SIS 6205 - Graphics Chip

This is your built-in VGA chip that enables the VGA port on your motherboard to display anything.

https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/I/I … 4-2176-A-1.html
Have a look at this website. This is your motherboard, complete with Jumper information. Your CPU Multiplier jumpers (JP10/JP11) are right next to the CPU and the Cache slot. The FSB jumper block (JP35) is more in the middle of the board.

I see nowhere on the board for you to alter the CPU voltage, so don't try. You'll just fry any 200/233 MMX CPU you stick in there. Only use CPU chips that can handle 3.6 volts.

Señor Ventura wrote:

Is it better to have 32MB in four modules rather than 32MB in two modules?

Your board is looking at 4 72-pin SIMM slots, so it doesn't matter at all. Normally what I would suggest is to always install memory units IN PAIRS. The problem is that the above website details how you can set your memory slots, so it looks like this system isn't so finicky with RAM combinations. So my recommendation would be to either plan for a future upgrade to your memory... or resign yourself to a single design and never deviate from it. If you put 2x 32MB SIMMs in there, then you have 2 open slots where you can double your memory from 64MB up to 128MB if you want later. I will say that 64MB is the most amount of memory I've EVER run Windows 95 on and it's severe overkill.

Señor Ventura wrote:

I'm seeing that an AWE64 is the best option for me, but I haven't decided between the value or the Gold versions. How can I use the 4 MB of the Gold to add instruments?

I had a "GOLD" version of the Creative Labs AWE64 back in 1999-2003 and while it was a very good sound card, I almost NEVER loaded wavetable fonts into the card's memory, so there was no point in me worrying about doing so again. The AWE64 Gold comes with 4MB of memory installed with pins to attach a bigger memory module to get up to around 32MB of memory. I never used any of it. So when I rebuilt my Windows 98 gaming rig and I no longer had that audio card, I got just the AWE64 "standard" (with 512KB of memory) and I haven't bothered loading anything either.

The difference will be that having more memory available will allow you to load bigger, more detailed soundfonts. This may or may not be important to you. The soundfonts do not add instruments - they change how the MIDI synthesizer sounds while outputting music. Larger soundfonts will obviously sound better, or more authentic. It really wasn't a big deal to me, but it's a HUGE deal to others.

But what I was going to say was do not necessarily limit yourself to Creative Labs sound cards. Phil's Computer Lab reviewed a bunch of sound cards, some from ESS, some from Roland, etc. Creative Labs isn't necessarily the best, just the most well known brand. Ask around in the Audio sub-forum.

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Reply 10 of 43, by Señor Ventura

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FFXIhealer wrote:

SIS 6205 - Graphics Chip

This is your built-in VGA chip that enables the VGA port on your motherboard to display anything.

According to this link, the SIS 6205 is VESA 2.0 compatible, so games like the 11th hour should run without any shareware vesa drivers:
http://w3.sis.com/support/support_faqs_4.htm

And the neighbour chip, the ATMEL AT29C020 is a 2MB cmos flash memory, but seeing its positioning, the most probably thing is that it is the VRAM:
https://www.futurlec.com/Datasheet/Memory/AT29C020.pdf

So, VESA 2.0 is good for MS-DOS, and 2MB is good for 640x480 resolutions (minimun). I think i can save myself the searching of a 2D graphic card.

But i do the question, Would you search for another 2D graphic system than that SIS 6205?.

FFXIhealer wrote:

https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/I/I … 4-2176-A-1.html
Have a look at this website. This is your motherboard, complete with Jumper information. Your CPU Multiplier jumpers (JP10/JP11) are right next to the CPU and the Cache slot. The FSB jumper block (JP35) is more in the middle of the board.

This link explains a lot, thank you.

But it doesn't leave clear to me if the caché memory is near the "rise board port", or in the "rise board card".

It says clearly until pentium 200mhz, but the caché L2 part, speaking about 256 or 512, is not very clear.

FFXIhealer wrote:

I see nowhere on the board for you to alter the CPU voltage, so don't try. You'll just fry any 200/233 MMX CPU you stick in there. Only use CPU chips that can handle 3.6 volts.

Yes, a pentium 200 mhz without mmx is not a bad thing also.

FFXIhealer wrote:

I had a "GOLD" version of the Creative Labs AWE64 back in 1999-2003 and while it was a very good sound card, I almost NEVER loaded wavetable fonts into the card's memory, so there was no point in me worrying about doing so again. The AWE64 Gold comes with 4MB of memory installed with pins to attach a bigger memory module to get up to around 32MB of memory. I never used any of it. So when I rebuilt my Windows 98 gaming rig and I no longer had that audio card, I got just the AWE64 "standard" (with 512KB of memory) and I haven't bothered loading anything either.

The difference will be that having more memory available will allow you to load bigger, more detailed soundfonts. This may or may not be important to you. The soundfonts do not add instruments - they change how the MIDI synthesizer sounds while outputting music. Larger soundfonts will obviously sound better, or more authentic. It really wasn't a big deal to me, but it's a HUGE deal to others.

But what I was going to say was do not necessarily limit yourself to Creative Labs sound cards. Phil's Computer Lab reviewed a bunch of sound cards, some from ESS, some from Roland, etc. Creative Labs isn't necessarily the best, just the most well known brand. Ask around in the Audio sub-forum.

I supose it all depends on the ease of the way of adding instruments, or if it is compatible wit enough games...

Thank you for your opinion 😀

Reply 11 of 43, by FFXIhealer

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Actually, that page I linked was quite clear about where the L2 cache is - it's on a small riser board that plugs into the brown slot next to your CPU. And the jumpers are to configure how much cache is installed or allowed to be used. If you have a 512KB cache board to install, you can play with either 256KB or 512KB settings. If you only have 256KB cache, then set it to 256KB and leave it be.

If I planned to install a 4MB Voodoo card into the system, no. I would not bother looking for another 2D card. There would be no real point.

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lhbar1.png

Reply 12 of 43, by Señor Ventura

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FFXIhealer wrote:

Actually, that page I linked was quite clear about where the L2 cache is - it's on a small riser board that plugs into the brown slot next to your CPU.

Yes, that is the SL2 for extra memory modules... like this?: https://i.ibb.co/f80qgDC/s-l1600.jpg
The thing is about a preinstalled memory cache in the motherboard, but i'm seeing that there is nothing.

Another thing is the amount of VRAM of the SIS 6205, I foundout there is 2MB, but i've reading here in the forum that there is only 1MB... Which quantity is the correct one?.

I decided to buy:
-Pentium 200mhz (a new one, not used).
-32MB of RAM.
-256KB of cache L2 (i can't find 512KB, is impossible, so i can't support 64MB of RAM)
-Voodoo 1

Still deciding:
-AWE64 or 64 gold
-2D graphic card (depending of my SIS 6205 amount of VRAM).

Reply 13 of 43, by FFXIhealer

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Señor Ventura wrote:

Yes, that is the SL2 for extra memory modules... like this?: https://i.ibb.co/f80qgDC/s-l1600.jpg
The thing is about a preinstalled memory cache in the motherboard, but i'm seeing that there is nothing.

That slot IS for your cache. There is none on the board.

Señor Ventura wrote:

Another thing is the amount of VRAM of the SIS 6205, I foundout there is 2MB, but i've reading here in the forum that there is only 1MB... Which quantity is the correct one?.

That depends. This chip uses the system RAM you installed as video memory, so there's probably going to be a BIOS setting where you can specify 1MB or 2MB.

Señor Ventura wrote:
I decided to buy: -Pentium 200mhz (a new one, not used). -32MB of RAM. -256KB of cache L2 (i can't find 512KB, is impossible, so […]
Show full quote

I decided to buy:
-Pentium 200mhz (a new one, not used).
-32MB of RAM.
-256KB of cache L2 (i can't find 512KB, is impossible, so i can't support 64MB of RAM)
-Voodoo 1

Still deciding:
-AWE64 or 64 gold
-2D graphic card (depending of my SIS 6205 amount of VRAM).

The size of your L2 cache has NOTHING to do with how much memory you can install. Nothing. Get 64MB if that's what you want.

292dps.png
3smzsb.png
0fvil8.png
lhbar1.png

Reply 14 of 43, by Señor Ventura

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FFXIhealer wrote:

That depends. This chip uses the system RAM you installed as video memory, so there's probably going to be a BIOS setting where you can specify 1MB or 2MB.

It has sense, since the pdf link that i put before tells that is a CMOS memory chip.

To take the video memory from ram probably would be slower, but at least is vesa 2.0.

Thank you for your helping, i have a lot of information to know what to do.

Reply 15 of 43, by Señor Ventura

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I already have:
-Sound Blaster AWE64 gold
-Voodoo 1 4MB (texas instgruments DAC version 😎 )
-S3 trio64v+ (stealth 64)
-256KB of L2 cache

It remains to get:
-64MB of RAM (4x16)
-Pentium 200mhz
-Power supply

...so, about the microprocessor, it is supossed to be correct choosing this cpu for my motherboard, right?:
https://www.ebay.es/itm/INTEL-FV80502200-SY04 … 5kAAOSwPBFa3yQT
http://www.cpu-collection.de/?tn=0&l0=md&l1=1997&l2=Intel

Do is the voltage correct?

Last edited by Señor Ventura on 2019-07-14, 01:14. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 19 of 43, by DoutorHouse

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Sorry for reviving this thread, but i just acquired a second-hand IBM Aptiva (model 2134-440) and apparently the psu was faulty...

It worked great for a few days, then the computer started randomly freezing, and displaying garbled images, etc. First, I thought it could be an issue with one of the ISA/PCI cards i was using, so I tried a bunch of different PCI vga cards... Was still getting the same random freezes.
Then I decided to test the computer without any cards, just using 1 slot of ram and booting using the internal video card. The random problems continued, so I started to think they had nothing to do with the ISA/PCI cards.

Now i'm 99% positive it's the power supply unit so i decided to remove it: the PSU fan seemed to work fine, etc, but the whole unit always seemed "cold"... Maybe that's a sign that it's damaged or maybe they never heat much...

That's when i noticed it's an unusual PSU. I took a bunch of pictures of the mainboard before disconnecting the PSU, because i'm really no expert at trying stuff like this, but now I can't use a regular PSU i have from another computer, to replace it as it is missing some connections...

I'm especially worried about that Power Supply Aux. 3-pin connector right next to the Power Supply 2-pin connector (on/off switch)... From what i can tell, most modern PSUs don't have that one...
Even that cable shown on one of the posts above doesn't have the 3-pin connector, i think...

Maybe there's a way to fix this? I thought of buying an exact same model but they all seem older than mine and could be faulty too... I'm really open to suggestions here and really could use some help and advices, maybe on how to add a modern psu to this old IBM! Thanks!!!

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