VOGONS


First post, by pentiumspeed

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have the PIII 800 in my collection waiting to be used. Other option is socket 754 AMD 64 CPU build. Back in the day, I had PII 350 and had lot of fun with it. how is the PII 400 or 450 useablity?

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 1 of 33, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

how is the PII 400 or 450 useablity?

Strictly for period correct nerds (yep, for those few month when PII 450 was the king). Although PII 400 with unlocked multiplier is nice.

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

Reply 3 of 33, by Tetrium

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
The Serpent Rider wrote on 2021-03-10, 21:34:

how is the PII 400 or 450 useablity?

Strictly for period correct nerds (yep, for those few month when PII 450 was the king). Although PII 400 with unlocked multiplier is nice.

^This

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 4 of 33, by drosse1meyer

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Pentium II is great for using Win98 OS and later 90s MSDOS games. Obviously you won't be able to take advantage of accelerated graphics in dos, for the most part and depending on the vid card you chose, but games that rely on software rendering will run that much better (quake for example) compared to p5 mmx machines. Most of them will also run fine in an MSDOS window. Some p3 boards may be missing older compatibility (ISA slots for example). I mostly ran Win2k on my P3 back in the day.

Last edited by drosse1meyer on 2021-03-12, 21:51. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 5 of 33, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
The Serpent Rider wrote on 2021-03-10, 21:34:

how is the PII 400 or 450 useablity?

Strictly for period correct nerds (yep, for those few month when PII 450 was the king). Although PII 400 with unlocked multiplier is nice.

P3-450 was only fastest CPU for a few months, but few people actually bought the fastest CPUs and it was a solid mainstream option for a lot longer. My subjective observation is that it's probably the commonest Katmai CPU out there. So people nostalgic for what they had in late 1999 or even early 2000 (as a more mid/low-end option) might well have had a P3-450. That's why they're so common now too.

Aside from that, if you're looking to build a system to clock down for older titles, a fixed 4.5x multiplier is better than a fixed 6x or 8x multiplier. And some boards simply don't take CuMine, so they Katmai is the fastest option - although a 500/550/600 would also be an option there of course.

Reply 6 of 33, by vetz

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I agree with what has said before. PII-450 is only good if you care about period correctness (for instance want to build a 1998 or 1999 specific build) or its for nostalgia reasons (you had it back in the days).

3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)
3D Acceleration Comparison Episodes

Reply 7 of 33, by Unknown_K

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

To me the major difference is Slot-1 to socket 370 motherboards and what is available cheaper.

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 8 of 33, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

If you are not after period corectness and just want the most flexibility, consider getting a motherboard that allows setting FSB to 66MHz, 100Mhz or 133MHz . A multiplier locked CPU with a 133MHz FSB can easily be slowed down to half its speed, if necessary, in addition to the option of playing with caches .

Reply 10 of 33, by RandomStranger

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I think the argument "it's only good if you care about period correctness" is true for just about the entire vintage computing hobby. If we wouldn't care at least somewhat, we'd run everything on significantly more modern hardware that are still compatible or even current hardware with emulators and wrappers. Why spend 500$ to (re-)build a 486 PC for DOS if you can just use DOSBox? Because it's part of the experience.

The Pentium 2 450MHz is a good CPU with plenty of power for the late 90s. Probably not the best in terms price/value ratio since it's the TOP P2 and sellers always ask more for those, but it shouldn't disappoint.

sreq.png

Reply 11 of 33, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I think the argument "it's only good if you care about period correctness" is true for just about the entire vintage computing hobby.

Not at all. Emulation is still lacking. And Slot 1/Socket 370 platform is considered universal choice for DOS/Win9x era games, due to flexibility and easy access to ISA bus.

The Pentium 2 450MHz is a good CPU with plenty of power for the late 90s

Hardly. PII 450 Mhz was barely enough for modern standards of playable frame rate, especially in 3D RTS or heck, even vanillla Half-Life. PIII 1Ghz+ is much more solid option.

Why spend 500$ to (re-)build a 486 PC for DOS

Agree, you can easily buy Socket 7 setup for a fraction of that price, even in ATX form-factor, to reduce hassle.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2021-03-11, 07:35. Edited 1 time in total.

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

Reply 12 of 33, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
RandomStranger wrote on 2021-03-11, 06:36:

The Pentium 2 450MHz is a good CPU with plenty of power for the late 90s.

Generally speaking sure, but there are some late-era Win9x games that are CPU intensive and would benefit from something faster. Meaning, if you want 60+ FPS, you need a better CPU.

Notable examples include Unreal Tournament '99, Deus Ex and Thief 2.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 VirgeDX / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 13 of 33, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
RandomStranger wrote on 2021-03-11, 06:36:

I think the argument "it's only good if you care about period correctness" is true for just about the entire vintage computing hobby. If we wouldn't care at least somewhat, we'd run everything on significantly more modern hardware that are still compatible or even current hardware with emulators and wrappers. Why spend 500$ to (re-)build a 486 PC for DOS if you can just use DOSBox? Because it's part of the experience.

The Pentium 2 450MHz is a good CPU with plenty of power for the late 90s. Probably not the best in terms price/value ratio since it's the TOP P2 and sellers always ask more for those, but it shouldn't disappoint.

Depending on how you define it, I believe it is perfectly possible to enjoy retro computing without caring about "period correctness" . My take is that hardware should be chosen to run old software as "well" as possible ("well" is subjective and can mean many things, including fastest performance, "best" (again subjective), most faithful to one's memories audio, newer/"better"sound card but still compatible . etc ) .

Here is my opinion on the subject, from another thread .

darry wrote on 2020-07-01, 12:20:
Period correctness is a concept that came about after the fact when people wanted to have a machine be representative of a certa […]
Show full quote

Period correctness is a concept that came about after the fact when people wanted to have a machine be representative of a certain time period .

In real life, except when buying a complete new machine, hardly anything ever was or stayed "period correct". People often re-used older monitors and peripherals when upgrading to a new machine . Even after buying a completely new machine they often upgraded parts like RAM, video cards CPUs, etc over the months/years . Additionally, at the time of a game's launch, the hardware available did not necessarily allow the said game to run at it's full potential; using later hardware could be beneficial .

Period correctness is a concept that is nice if all you want is a machine that is a snapshot of a given moment in time, museum style .

In practice, if you actually want to run software/games that span a few years, the approach is sub-optimal, unless you actually can manage to have a period correct machine for each year of the time span that you are addressing. IMHO, a much better and practical approach, from a usability point of view, is to base your hardware build decisions on the software you want to run and choose your components so that they allow comfortably running the more demanding/newer applications/games that you have in mind while still working properly with less demanding/older ones . Obviously, you can't cover all time in one build, but planning that build based on what it is able to do, rather than a specific year, makes more practical sense, IMHO .

Reply 14 of 33, by Errius

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I have 3 machines running the 450 P2. But then I'm nostalgic for that era, when, as others have said, the 450 was the peak of performance -- and expensive to match.

If you don't remember those times then it's not going to appeal to you.

Eta: https://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/relea … 98/dp082498.htm

Last edited by Errius on 2021-03-11, 13:02. Edited 1 time in total.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 15 of 33, by gerry

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
RandomStranger wrote on 2021-03-11, 06:36:

I think the argument "it's only good if you care about period correctness" is true for just about the entire vintage computing hobby. If we wouldn't care at least somewhat, we'd run everything on significantly more modern hardware that are still compatible or even current hardware with emulators and wrappers. Why spend 500$ to (re-)build a 486 PC for DOS if you can just use DOSBox? Because it's part of the experience.

The Pentium 2 450MHz is a good CPU with plenty of power for the late 90s. Probably not the best in terms price/value ratio since it's the TOP P2 and sellers always ask more for those, but it shouldn't disappoint.

true, if we could get a 'perfect' emulation or some SBC that had a late 90's PC on a single board it would be pretty cool!

Reply 16 of 33, by amadeus777999

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

From what I remember the PII 450 was an expensive luxury back then as it cost around 700$+ here. After I bought two CeleronA300s for 160$ it was of course not so tempting anymore.
Nowadays I would go for the PII 450 as it used to be a kind of "end of an era" cpu.

Last edited by amadeus777999 on 2021-03-12, 14:56. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 17 of 33, by Tetrium

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
RandomStranger wrote on 2021-03-11, 06:36:

I think the argument "it's only good if you care about period correctness" is true for just about the entire vintage computing hobby. If we wouldn't care at least somewhat, we'd run everything on significantly more modern hardware that are still compatible or even current hardware with emulators and wrappers. Why spend 500$ to (re-)build a 486 PC for DOS if you can just use DOSBox? Because it's part of the experience.

The Pentium 2 450MHz is a good CPU with plenty of power for the late 90s. Probably not the best in terms price/value ratio since it's the TOP P2 and sellers always ask more for those, but it shouldn't disappoint.

Though Pentium 2 450MHz is perhaps the least interesting top CPU out there 🤣
The Katmai 450Mhz is basically virtually identical except perhaps for SSE and that RNG that nobody these days talks about anymore.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 18 of 33, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Nowadays I would go for the PII 450 as it used to be a kind of "end of an era" cpu.

PII 450 doesn't fit even into that category. That would be Slot 1 PIII 600.

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

Reply 19 of 33, by LunarG

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Hope this isn't going to offend anyone, but if the one and only purpose of a retro system is as a tool to run old software, then it truly is pointless, as you can do it just fine with PCEm, DosBox or other virtualization software. So if the only goal you are aiming for is to be able to run the software, then go that route. Much cheaper, fewer frustrations etc.
For me, a large part of building and tweaking old systems, is because I enjoy the hardware side of things. Today's hardware is a bit samey. If you buy a motherboard, your choice of CPU is pretty much set. And there's only one really meaningful choice when it comes to brand of graphics card... "Is it a GeForce or a Radeon?" Asus, MSI, EVGA, etc... It doesn't REALLY matter. They're all pretty much the same.
Back in the 90's, you could buy a motherboard, and you might have half a dozen brands of CPUs to choose from... Intel, AMD, Cyrix, UMC, IDT, Rise etc. That's not even mentioning the Cyrix derivatives from Thomson ST, IBM, Texas Instruments. And for graphics card? Yikes... Matrox, Tseng, S3, Nvidia, ATI, 3Dfx, Cirrus Logic, ARK Logic, Avance Logic, Paradise/WD, Number Nine, and the list goes on. And I've not even mentioned sound cards.
Does it make "practical sense" to use a retro system compared to using DosBox if I only wanted to play games? No, obviously not. Could I do the same things on a SBC? Mostly, yes.
But it's the fun of trying out different hardware that I never had the opportunity to do back in the day, and the fun of testing different weird configurations, and benchmarking... In short, retro systems are a hobby, not a tool.

So what usefulness does the PII 450 offer? It's great if you want to build a '98 build and see what the best of the best back then could do. This is something you can't do with a Pentium III 800, as that didn't come out until December '99. So sure, the Pentium III can run all the same stuff, but that doesn't matter, because if you're interested to see what could be done in '98, then anything released after 1998 is irrelevant.

WinXP : PIII 1.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 73GB SCSI HDD, Matrox Parhelia, SB Audigy 2.
Win98se : K6-3+ 500MHz, 256MB RAM, 80GB HDD, Matrox Millennium G400 MAX, Voodoo 2, SW1000XG.
DOS6.22 : Intel DX4, 64MB RAM, 1.6GB HDD, Diamond Stealth64 DRAM, GUS 1MB, SB16.