VOGONS


First post, by brian105

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Hey everyone. I wanted to upgrade my Presario 5284 a bit more so I could play some late 9x games smoothly. However, vintage parts cost a crap ton, so I'm not sure which upgrades I should focus on more.
Specs:
K6-2 450
Some Mitac OEM MVP3 motherboard, kinda baby AT sized
Mitac 110W PSU
nVidia GeForce4 MX 440 SE PCI
Quantum Bigfoot TS 19.2GB (has a SMART warning but still works)
96MB PC100 RAM

The system scores 2300 3Dmarks and 5500 CPU 3DMarks in 3Dmark 99 Max.

I thought upgrading the CPU first would be the best bet, since there's a few K6-2+'s on eBay for $30. I'm not sure if that's a good deal, but I've been searching for K6-3+'s and they're much more expensive, and only a bit better. Alternatively, I could upgrade the dog slow hard drive first, with either a CF card + adapter or SATA SSD + adapter. Both ways cost $30 on eBay.

Anybody have better advice for upgrading the system? Thanks in advance.

I cut my finger on a modem
Presario 5284: K6-2 450AHX, 96MB PC100, GeForce4 MX 440 SE PCI, Quantum Bigfoot TS 19.2GB (lol), MVP3
Presario 2100: MediaGX 133, 24MB EDO, Quantum Bigfoot 2GB (l o l)

Reply 1 of 19, by ODwilly

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Maybe more ram if the board will take it? 256mb or so would be nice.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 2 of 19, by brian105

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ODwilly wrote on 2021-02-14, 06:05:

Maybe more ram if the board will take it? 256mb or so would be nice.

I think the board maxes at 384MB, and with 3 slots that means 128mb per slot. Definitely a cheaper upgrade though, looks like it's around $10 for 3 sticks. Will it help with games much?

I cut my finger on a modem
Presario 5284: K6-2 450AHX, 96MB PC100, GeForce4 MX 440 SE PCI, Quantum Bigfoot TS 19.2GB (lol), MVP3
Presario 2100: MediaGX 133, 24MB EDO, Quantum Bigfoot 2GB (l o l)

Reply 3 of 19, by bloodem

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No, it will just decrease performance. 😀
Games that benefit from 256 MB or more are not meant to be played on SS7.
I for one stick to 128 MB on SS7 (which is usually the max cacheable amount on most boards).

4 x Socket 3 / 4 x Socket 7 / 6 x Super Socket 7 / 5 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 4 of 19, by Pierre32

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In my K6-2+ 550 system with PCI MX440, I could barely squeeze 2000 out of 3Dmark99. But I dropped it into a PIII system this weekend and scored 6200. No doubt plenty of variables at play, but my monkey brain says more CPU! Go as far as the board will let you, spare no expense! This is not financial advice.

Reply 5 of 19, by bloodem

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In your case, the issue is the MX440 which requires much newer drivers that were never optimized for SS7.
Stick with GeForce 2 MX (with driver version 7.76) or Voodoo 3 (if you have a spare one) and you should have a score of ~ 3500 points in 3DMark99 (which will also translate to improved performance in all games).

4 x Socket 3 / 4 x Socket 7 / 6 x Super Socket 7 / 5 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 7 of 19, by Pierre32

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bloodem wrote on 2021-02-14, 06:59:

In your case, the issue is the MX440 which requires much newer drivers that were never optimized for SS7.
Stick with GeForce 2 MX (with driver version 7.76) or Voodoo 3 (if you have a spare one) and you should have a score of ~ 3500 points in 3DMark99 (which will also translate to improved performance in all games).

Good info 😀 I was hobbled by a low profile case, but OP will have many more options available.

Reply 8 of 19, by brian105

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bloodem wrote on 2021-02-14, 06:59:

In your case, the issue is the MX440 which requires much newer drivers that were never optimized for SS7.
Stick with GeForce 2 MX (with driver version 7.76) or Voodoo 3 (if you have a spare one) and you should have a score of ~ 3500 points in 3DMark99 (which will also translate to improved performance in all games).

Didn't know drivers impacted performance that much. I'm currently using 45.23. The problem is unfortunately finding cheaper PCI GPUs... the only other available one I can find is the FX 5500. I got the MX 440 SE because it was the only one other than the FX 5500, and doesn't come from China with 3 year shipping.

bloodem wrote on 2021-02-14, 06:27:

No, it will just decrease performance. 😀
Games that benefit from 256 MB or more are not meant to be played on SS7.
I for one stick to 128 MB on SS7 (which is usually the max cacheable amount on most boards).

Doesn't that limitation go away if you use the K6-2+/3+/3?

Another weird limitation is that I can't overclock the GPU... tried with RivaTuner, nVidia settings and Powerplay, and even though the higher clocks apply, performance in 3dmark is identical. It seems to apply since if I set memory too high the system crashes.

I cut my finger on a modem
Presario 5284: K6-2 450AHX, 96MB PC100, GeForce4 MX 440 SE PCI, Quantum Bigfoot TS 19.2GB (lol), MVP3
Presario 2100: MediaGX 133, 24MB EDO, Quantum Bigfoot 2GB (l o l)

Reply 9 of 19, by red-ray

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brian105 wrote on 2021-02-14, 07:41:
bloodem wrote on 2021-02-14, 06:27:

No, it will just decrease performance. 😀
Games that benefit from 256 MB or more are not meant to be played on SS7.
I for one stick to 128 MB on SS7 (which is usually the max cacheable amount on most boards).

Doesn't that limitation go away if you use the K6-2+/3+/3?

As those CPUs have an on-chip 128KB/256KB L2 cache the motherboard cache becomes a L3 cache which I suspect will have little if any effect on performance. To check disable the motherboard cache in the BIOS and re-run your benchmark then make decision about memory.

Reply 10 of 19, by bloodem

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red-ray wrote on 2021-02-14, 08:18:
brian105 wrote on 2021-02-14, 07:41:

Doesn't that limitation go away if you use the K6-2+/3+/3?

As those CPUs have an on-chip 128KB/256KB L2 cache the motherboard cache becomes a L3 cache which I suspect will have little if any effect on performance. To check disable the motherboard cache in the BIOS and re-run your benchmark then make decision about memory.

Well, the OP has a CPU without L2 cache. However, even with a K6-2/3+, there is still a 5% performance hit. For some people this is acceptable, for others (who want to squeeze everything out of SS7), it's not. 😀

brian105 wrote on 2021-02-14, 07:41:

Didn't know drivers impacted performance that much. I'm currently using 45.23. The problem is unfortunately finding cheaper PCI GPUs... the only other available one I can find is the FX 5500. I got the MX 440 SE because it was the only one other than the FX 5500, and doesn't come from China with 3 year shipping.

You don't need PCI GPUs (unless you have one of the rare SS7 boards with no AGP?)...
Most SS7 boards (both VIA MVP3 / ALI Aladdin V) can be fine tuned to work perfectly stable with an nVIDIA GeForce 2 AGP GPU.
Not to mention that a Voodoo 3 AGP usually works perfectly out of the box, since it doesn't use any AGP features (unless you have a SS7 board with weak AGP power delivery, that does not handle the 15W required by the Voodoo 3 card).
All in all, I have 6 x SS7 PCs and have tested probably 20+ boards over the past years. I was able to make all work fine (with the right combination of video card/AGP driver/VGA driver/BIOS settings).

4 x Socket 3 / 4 x Socket 7 / 6 x Super Socket 7 / 5 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 11 of 19, by red-ray

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bloodem wrote on 2021-02-14, 09:35:
red-ray wrote on 2021-02-14, 08:18:
brian105 wrote on 2021-02-14, 07:41:

Doesn't that limitation go away if you use the K6-2+/3+/3?

As those CPUs have an on-chip 128KB/256KB L2 cache the motherboard cache becomes a L3 cache which I suspect will have little if any effect on performance. To check disable the motherboard cache in the BIOS and re-run your benchmark then make decision about memory.

Well, the OP has a CPU without L2 cache. However, even with a K6-2/3+, there is still a 5% performance hit. For some people this is acceptable, for others (who want to squeeze everything out of SS7), it's not. 😀

Why is the current CPU relevant when the question was about "K6-2+/3+/3" all of which do have a L2 cache? Clearly the first upgrade is to get a CPU with an L2 cache and the next sensible step is to measure what impact the L3 cache has before going above 128MB of memory . It's also possible his board is one of the ones that can cache more than 128MB.

Reply 12 of 19, by frudi

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If you can get a cheap K6-2+ for $30 or less, that's the simplest way to go. Then if it's not already a 550 MHz model, overclock it to 550 or 600+ MHz, depending on what maximum FSB settings your motherboard supports (since it's an OEM board, I doubt it goes above 100 MHz, but who knows, maybe you're lucky and it does). That should give you a decent boost for little investment. Perhaps also replace your current multiple (likely slow) memory sticks with one or two 128 MB PC133 stick(s), then tighten up the memory timings to as low as the board lets you. Optimising your memory timings along with upgrading the CPU should give you a boost in performance up to perhaps about 50%.

I personally wouldn't bother with a K6-3+, since they're usually so expensive that you're better off upgrading to a Pentium 3 for the same price.

Reply 13 of 19, by bloodem

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red-ray wrote on 2021-02-14, 10:26:

Why is the current CPU relevant when the question was about "K6-2+/3+/3" all of which do have a L2 cache? Clearly the first upgrade is to get a CPU with an L2 cache and the next sensible step is to measure what impact the L3 cache has before going above 128MB of memory . It's also possible his board is one of the ones that can cache more than 128MB.

Point taken. For some reason, I missed the "K6-2+" upgrade part.
However, that cheapo board that he mentioned absolutely can't cache more than 128 MB. 😀

4 x Socket 3 / 4 x Socket 7 / 6 x Super Socket 7 / 5 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 14 of 19, by dionb

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Haven't you already asked this question before?
Some help appreciated for K6-2 Compaq

Tbh there's not much more you can do here. You've already added the fastest video card that you can. Beyond that...

The problem is that you're already close to the max you can get out of that motherboard, and it's a non-standard board and case ("kinda baby AT sized"), so upgrade isn't really an option, unless Compaq made a Slot 1/So370 board that supports Coppermine CPUs, fits in exactly the same case and can work with the same power supply. That's a big ask, and I know by later Coppermine era Compaq had abandoned these non-standard designs and moved to plain old uATX.

Yes, you could bump CPU up to 600MHz, but it's still a K6-2-design. Possibly a K6Plus might run, but Compaq's BIOS might also refuse to boot. In any event, the difference in performance is measurable, but hardly earth-shattering. It's not going to turn an unplayable experience into a pleasant one. Extra RAM will help desktop performance, but won't make a big difference in games that work smoothly with these CPUs.

Remember that this Presario was a very low-end design from the period when Windows 98 was just released. It could just about handle stuff that was around then, but can't be expected to handle anything in the Win98 era (1998-2001) that required high performance. For that you want a 2001 system, so late P3, early P4 or Athlon, in any event with AGP VGA at say GeForce2 level. My 'ultimate Win98SE' system has a P3-1400S, 512MB RAM and Geforce3Ti-200 - and I still occasionally think it's on the slow side for some games...

Reply 15 of 19, by bloodem

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Nice catch, dionb. I actually forgot that I pretty much answered his question before 😀

4 x Socket 3 / 4 x Socket 7 / 6 x Super Socket 7 / 5 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 16 of 19, by brian105

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How well will a K6-2+ 450ACZ overclock? That's the cheapest one on eBay. Planning on doing a 6x100 overclock, can't do anymore since the FSB can't be changed past 66/95/100. I'll probably get a RAM upgrade with it.

I cut my finger on a modem
Presario 5284: K6-2 450AHX, 96MB PC100, GeForce4 MX 440 SE PCI, Quantum Bigfoot TS 19.2GB (lol), MVP3
Presario 2100: MediaGX 133, 24MB EDO, Quantum Bigfoot 2GB (l o l)

Reply 17 of 19, by bloodem

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O... K...

4 x Socket 3 / 4 x Socket 7 / 6 x Super Socket 7 / 5 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 18 of 19, by dionb

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brian105 wrote on 2021-02-14, 20:14:

How well will a K6-2+ 450ACZ overclock? That's the cheapest one on eBay. Planning on doing a 6x100 overclock, can't do anymore since the FSB can't be changed past 66/95/100. I'll probably get a RAM upgrade with it.

One way to find out. With good control of voltage and FSB, you can squeeze the most out of a CPU like that. Unfortunately this board won't let you do that. It might do 600MHz, it might not.

Reply 19 of 19, by chinny22

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I agree you have pretty much reached the limit with this system.
Don't really see the point of overclocking, yeh you may squeeze a little more performance out of it but in this day and age why not jut get another machine that better suits your needs?

If part of your enjoyment is maxing out the hardware and pushing it as hard as it can go that's a totally different matter.