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A "broad spectrum" 90s build?

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Reply 80 of 88, by 2mg

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-07-20, 09:41:

This era and RAM still makes my brain hurt trying to work it all out to this day as well!

This is why I'm here on this forum, so you do all the heavy work, and I just plop stuff in 😉
Which I appreciate so much so far!

GigAHerZ wrote on 2021-07-20, 09:47:
For "no fuzz dos+win98 machine", i have been getting components for some kind of machine like that: […]
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For "no fuzz dos+win98 machine", i have been getting components for some kind of machine like that:

Socket 370 Pentium 3
mATX board with integrated ESS Solo-1 sound (saves a slot), AGP slot and at least one ISA slot
Some kind of GeForce 2 based video

Not maybe the most authentic, yet i can still experiment with all kinds of dos and windows setups and do it fast. Fallback is a Slot-1 based machine with Pentium 2, with all other requirements the same.

I have yet to put this machine together, so maybe i'm missing something here that will come out later with experience. But for now, i think that would be a nice machine. 😀

I've literary obtained a S.370 PIII 500 platform, but pretty much everything can be "upgraded". And then "downgraded" if needed.
Currently, it's okay as it is for anything pre-2001 - I'm even limiting stuff to max 1999 release if possible, for max "authenticity", tho I will get stuff from USB floppy emulators to GeForce2 GTS just for the sake of having those options.

Reply 81 of 88, by svfn

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Socket 370 is a great choice, still flexible enough if it has an ISA slot, a lot of the platforms overlap so if you keep hunting, eventually you'd have 3-4 builds for different periods like most here do haha.

Socket3's advice is valuable, I would have avoided 440BX platform (if I wasn't set on buliding a Pentium II PC for POD) since the prices for these boards are not cheap on ebay and they are harder to find in good condition, easier if you are able to solder. It seems like a Socket 7 build for DOS games, ISA sound cards and setmul for some earlier ones + a fast Pentium 3 on Socket 370 is all I really need, the latter for fast Glide experience and late 90s games. I set out to hunt for a PII on slot 1 but ended up with a SS7 + K6-2, then S370 + P3 and finally some yet to be put together P2/440BX parts.

2mg wrote on 2021-07-20, 17:08:

I've literary obtained a S.370 PIII 500 platform, but pretty much everything can be "upgraded". And then "downgraded" if needed.
Currently, it's okay as it is for anything pre-2001 - I'm even limiting stuff to max 1999 release if possible, for max "authenticity", tho I will get stuff from USB floppy emulators to GeForce2 GTS just for the sake of having those options.

Socket3 wrote on 2021-07-14, 10:31:

Yes it would - but don't get a P3, get a VIA Cyrix C3 CPU - it's supported by setmul, and you can get one for 20-35$ off ebay. Also I recommend you stay away from the 440BX slot 1 platform even tough lots of users are recommending it. To get a slot 1 motherboard to run faster CPUs (socket 370 p3) they use Slotkets (adaptor from slot 1 to socket 370) witch are a pain in the but - most are passive, requiring a CPU the 440BX can run (like a mendocinno celeron), while others have a voltage regulator allowing you to run the fastest pentiu 3 cpus. The difference is voltage and pin re-routing on the socket itself. A typical 440bx board supplies 2v for a pentium 2 chip. Some can do as low as 1.7. A Coppermine p3 needs 1.65-1.75v, at 2v it will cook. Also the 440bx does not support FSB133, witch means you'll have to look for 100MHz fsb p3 chips, limiting your choice. A slot 1 1000MHz p3 with 100MHz fsb is rare and VERY expensive. Active slotkets are also rare and expensive. In my opinion the 440bx platform is not worth the hassle, especially for someone just getting into the hobby. You can get a Via Apollo 133 / Intel 815 board for a lot less money then a 440bx + active slotket, and the socket 370 board will just work - no messing around and no modding required. Also note that Tualatin chips are only officially supported by the intel 815t and Via apollo 133t (693T) chipsets. You can run them in other socket 370 and even slot 1 boards, but that means active slotket or pin modding (the tualins require 1.45-1.5v).

SS7: K6-2/350 | FIC PA-2013 2.1 | 32MB PC-100 | 3dfx V3 2000 AGP | AWE64 CT4520 | Win98SE
On MobyGames

Reply 83 of 88, by Socket3

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An important note about the VIA Apollo chipsets :

As some users pointed out, some VIA chipsets can be a pain the butt when it comes to their AGP implementations - namely early slot 1 / socket 370 Apollo and Apollo PRO chipsets (VT82C691 and VT82C692). Specifically, they will not run properly in AGP 2x mode with some nvidia cards.

For example I have a system build around an AT form factor VT82C691 chipset board and a Geforce 2 GTS that will freeze after showing the desktop in windows if set to AGP 2x from bios. It works perfectly fine in 2x mode with a radeon 7000 or a 3dfx voodoo 3, but not with any nvidia card newer then a TNT2 m64. This is partly due to an incompatibility between some versions of nvidia forceware drivers and via 4in1 chipset drivers. There are combinations of drivers that allow for AGP2X operation on this chipset, but I can't remember off the top of my head.

The point is the VT82C691 and VT82C692 are not really worth the hassle when you can get an Apollo PRO 133 (VT82C693 and VT82C693A) witch also has ISA and has proper AGP2x/4x support. Other newer VIA chipsets are not affected - like the aforementioned VT82C693, or the KT133/266/333/400 and up.

Another chipset that you may encounter issues with is the VIA MVP3. This is not a fault of the chipset itself, but poor motherboard design. Some MVP3 (VT82C598AT) motherboards (FIC-PA2013 for example) have really buggy AGP implementations (don't remember why, I think it's due to the board being unable to supply enough power to the AGP slot, but don't quote me on that) while others function perfectly with any AGP card (Aopen AX59 PRO, Lucky Star P5MVP3 for example.)

Reply 84 of 88, by 2mg

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It is a S370 Via Apollo 133 (non-A), 3 ISA, 4PCI, 1AGP, ATX, I'm gathering parts now, current issues are a broken CPU fan, S3 3D/X2 that will get replaced, and that 256MB RAM works only in 128MB since it is one-sided (something about high/low density).

BIOS has L1 and L2 cache ON/OFF options, plus it's a 500Mhz PIII that will be set aside if I need it for "slowdown", but a 733Mhz will supplant it.

Reply 85 of 88, by BitWrangler

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I am a bit lost in following what you were originally running with what, but a later Apollo chipset may see all of the 256MB.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 86 of 88, by gdjacobs

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AlexZ wrote on 2021-07-18, 12:18:
2mg wrote on 2021-07-18, 08:52:

All right, I'mma list a bunch of cheap-ish stuff I found:

...

Pretty please pick ~3 of them. I'd prefer ones that do DOS as good as the do W9x, but DOS is primary here, as I can (should I?) get some 5.1 Live! for W9x exclusively. Plus I already have that AV511 CM8738, which as I noticed by Vogons is bad?

I would recommend to pick YMF719E-S, one of ESS cards and one of Aztech cards if you want more than one.

I agree with this. If you can find a SB16 with real OPL3 (in a Yamaha YMF289, YMF262, or CT1747 bus chip) for cheap, get one of those too.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 87 of 88, by 2mg

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-07-21, 14:12:

I am a bit lost in following what you were originally running with what, but a later Apollo chipset may see all of the 256MB.

P3 Coppermine, VIA 133 non-a Apollo. Current issue is that a single-sided 256mb stick is seen as 128mb, will purchase dual-sided and see.

Reply 88 of 88, by teclillass

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Hi guys,
I like this idea of trying to play the titles from 1990 to 2000.

My PC favorite is this:

Asus P2B v.1.10
Pentium 3 1ghz 100fsb socket 370
512mb ram (256mb + 256mb)
geforce 3 ti200
audigy + awe 64 gold
pci ata133 + hd 127gb ide

I originally wanted to be on the correct date of 1999 but the geforce 3 far outperforms the voodoo 3000.
The 1ghz pentium is perfect for anything.
So, in order not to punish myself a lot, I usually add + -2 years to the initial date.

My games range in dates from deus ex (2000) to 1994/1995.
Going down to 1990 is quite a challenge 🤣

What pc have you formed as a starting point?

If I can help with something, test a game, try something, say so.