VOGONS


First post, by JSO

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Greetings to everyone.
For the first time in my life I have a complete package for the first Athlon.
I went on December of 2001 from K6-2 to Athlon XP 1900+. And I never had the opportunity to mess with the platform.

I added to my collection the Asus K7M motherboard and the K7750MTR52B cpu.
I was wondering if I should make the switch from the K6-3+ build with Voodoo 3 and SB Live! to the Athlon.
I have some questions.

a) Caches can be disabled to achieve slower systems, using setmul like on the sy-5ema+ with K6-2,3,+ and etc? Or from bios?

b) Pure DOS works without issues with this combination? I will install and the ISA Yamaha OPL3-SA3, just in cause some games have issues with the SB Live!

Thank you.

DOS IS THE POWER OF OUR CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!

Reply 1 of 12, by Joseph_Joestar

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JSO wrote on 2020-07-29, 12:41:

I was wondering if I should make the switch from the K6-3+ build with Voodoo 3 and SB Live! to the Athlon.

I think your K6-3+ may be a bit more versatile in DOS games, but the Athlon will pack a lot more power in late-era Win9x games like Deus Ex and Thief 2. I have a similar build if you want more details.

a) Caches can be disabled to achieve slower systems, using setmul like on the sy-5ema+ with K6-2,3,+ and etc? Or from bios?

On my rig, SetMul only allows disabling L1 cache, but Throttle gives me a much wider range of slowdown options.

b) Pure DOS works without issues with this combination? I will install and the ISA Yamaha OPL3-SA3, just in cause some games have issues with the SB Live!

Yes, I'm using an ISA sound card in pure DOS without any problems. Some older games need the system do be slowed down or their sound won't work. Specifically, that happens with the floppy version of X-Wing in my case.

Build #1: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744 / SC-155
Build #2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
Build #3: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 2 of 12, by JSO

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Thank you very much. I have tested and benchmarked the last two years my SS7 build, even using an ATZ K6-3+ processor and now it's time to test the K7 platform. I also have an i486Dx2 VLB build ready to boot up, if I need better compatibility with speed sensitive games.

On my Socket A build back on 2001 - 2002, I was playing some DOS games, like Beneath a Steel Sky, Legend Of Kyrandia, Indiana Jones and the Fate Of Atlantis, Ultimate Doom, from Windows 98 SE DOS prompt (I installed XP when I build the Athlon XP, but some drivers, like the one for the ISDN modem didn't work, so I reinstalled Windows 98SE and running them until 2004) without issues and the sound was working, but I realized later that this was occurring because the Audigy had DOS drivers...

Back on those days I didn't gave much of importance to the fact that PCI sound cards had issues with DOS support. My k6-2 build had SB PCI64 (ES1370) and DOS games running well.

But I remember some games didn't run at all due to the speed of the Athlon XP and had audio distortion.

I'll give it a shot, because I can run all the Windows 9x games until 2001 without issues.

For later games I have an Athlon Xp 3200+, Radeon 9600 Pro, Audigy 2ZS, Asus A7v880.

DOS IS THE POWER OF OUR CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!

Reply 3 of 12, by swaaye

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I've used the K7M quite a bit. I found the best GPU choices were 3dfx cards like Voodoo3 or better, or NVIDIA TNT2. Newer NVIDIA cards had AGP compatibility problems and so do Radeons. They automatically switch to AGP 1x I believe but still can be unstable.

Though I also remember GeForce FX cards being more stable than prior GeForce cards. Maybe the auxiliary power connection, or they had improved AGP compatibility in some manner. I remember forcing AGP 2x via Rivatuner and not seeing problems.

Reply 4 of 12, by JSO

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swaaye wrote on 2020-07-29, 17:41:

I've used the K7M quite a bit. I found the best GPU choices were 3dfx cards like Voodoo3 or better, or NVIDIA TNT2. Newer NVIDIA cards had AGP compatibility problems and so do Radeons. They automatically switch to AGP 1x I believe but still can be unstable.

Though I also remember GeForce FX cards being more stable than prior GeForce cards. Maybe the auxiliary power connection, or they had improved AGP compatibility in some manner. I remember forcing AGP 2x via Rivatuner and not seeing problems.

I'm aware of this and I believe from 1999 to 2001 for Windows 98 and DOS the best card is the Voodoo 3. My K6-2 from 1999 to 2001 had a Voodoo 3 2000 AGP.

Thank you!

DOS IS THE POWER OF OUR CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!

Reply 5 of 12, by JSO

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K6 (2-3+) DOS - Windows 9x gaming machine is history.

I've just been upgraded to Athlon 750 Mhz and I'm very happy!

Everything works great on pure DOS with SB Live! or Opl3-SA3 ISA Yamaha sound card...

5005 3dmarks on 3Dmark 99 with Voodoo 3 on 1024x768...
3dmark 2000 , 2903 3Dmarks
3dmark 2001 SE, 1505 3Dmarks

Are these good scores?

When I disable the caches through bios I have a 386 class machine.

Only issue due to CPU speed, Desert strike has the divide overflow error.

Setmul cannot disable both the caches, maybe it's not compatible with my board.

A I recall first Athlons were locked for overclocking?

DOS IS THE POWER OF OUR CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!

Reply 6 of 12, by cyclone3d

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Only overclocking available is fsb without either opening up the CPU casing and changing the resistor locations or using a goldfinger device (for both multiplier and L2 cache divider settings).

Chances are, and really good at that, that 750 you have is actually a higher binned CPU that was sold as a 750. You could have up to a 950.

See here:
https://www.ocinside.de/workshop_en/amd_slot_a_oc/

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
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 7 of 12, by pixel_workbench

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JSO wrote on 2020-08-17, 14:38:

When I disable the caches through bios I have a 386 class machine.

Only issue due to CPU speed, Desert strike has the divide overflow error.

Setmul cannot disable both the caches, maybe it's not compatible with my board.

What do you mean cannot disable both caches? Disabling L1 cache turns off the whole cache system, you can't have L1 disabled and L2 enabled. Disabling just L2 is often available in bios on boards from that era, but the performance impact is minimal for DOS games. It would still be too fast with or without L2 if the game is speed sensitive.

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Reply 8 of 12, by The Serpent Rider

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K7 has huge L1 cache and disabling L2 cache (which is slow anyway) has even less impact than on P6 CPUs.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 9 of 12, by JSO

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I was stuck to the fact that on my K6-2, 3+ build with the Soyo 5EMA+ motherboard I was able to disable L1 or L2 cache, or both. So I had a 386 and a 5x86+ class system according to speedsys...

Disable both caches I have a 386 at about 50 MHz.

Throttle is more suitable.

DOS IS THE POWER OF OUR CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!

Reply 10 of 12, by kalohimal

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With K7 you're quite limited in choice in terms of slowing down the CPU, with only cache & throttle available. With K7 mobile (XP-M, Geode NX) you'll get multiplier control in addition to cache & throttle.

Slow down your CPU with CPUSPD for DOS retro gaming.

Reply 11 of 12, by The Serpent Rider

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Quite a lot of desktop Thunderbird, Thoroughbred and Barton CPUs were fully unlocked. Mobile K7 versions just let you change multiplier in realtime.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 12 of 12, by JSO

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I have and an Abit KT7 socket a motherboard with ISA slot, but I've always wanted a slot a build.

Throttle works great for my purposes.

Few games need to slow down the cpu speed.

For hard circumstances I will use my 486Dx2 VLB build.

DOS IS THE POWER OF OUR CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!