VOGONS


First post, by TheWeekendSlice

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Hi everyone,
So recently I got the urge to build a Windows 98 retro PC.
I already have a Gigabyte GA-7N400 nforce2 socket A (462) motherboard, an Athlon XP 2600 + (333 FSB so I think it's a Thoroughbread) and some RAM plus a Gainward GeForce 4 Ti4200.
I already have a Thermaltake TR2 500W PP PSU from back in the day with 28A on the 5V rail. I was planning on using this PSU to power the PC, but I've seen quite a few posts online on a number of forums where people said that this line of PSUs was terrible. And I've had it for quite a while now as well (since 07-08) so it's a little old.

I bought a new case, fans to keep it all nice and cool, I have an SSD coming soon (120GB).
I mistakenly bought a Seasonic GC-500 PSU 80+ Gold with these specs: it has 20A on the +3.3V, 20A on the +5V rail, 41A on the +12V rail, 3A on +5 Vsb

Question 1: Would this PSU be enough to power the following system?
- Athlon XP 2600+
- 512 or 1024 MB RAM DDR-333
- 1 120 mm fan (connected to the motherboard)
- 3 120 mm fans (with molex connectors (can use sata-to-molex for them))
- 2 80 mm fans (molex-to-sata),
- 1 DVD-RW, 1 Floppy,
- 1 120 GB SSD (if the adapter works, if not I'll use an 80 GB WD HDD),
- Geforce 4 TI 4200
- AOpen Yamaha 744 soundcard

Or would a TX650M from Corsair be better? +3.3V 25A, +5V 25A, +12V 51A , -12V 0.8A, +5Vsb 3A.

I also found a seller with a Voodoo 3 2000 AGP for sale at an ok price and pictures of it working. I jumped at the chance to buy it without realizing that it doesn't work in the above mentioned system. I've looked everywhere for an APG 1 motherboard for sale locally, but can't find anything trustworthy. Then I stumbled on a forum post here that said that the ECS EliteGroup P4S5A motherboard has an universal AGP Slot that would work with Voodoo cards. I looked around and found someone from another country selling a kit made up of:
ECS EliteGroup P4S5A Rev 1 2A
Pentium 4 1.7Ghz
RAM 256 Mb (1X256mb) DDR included.
Backplate I/O Shield Included.

The seller says that it's working.
Price + shipping = 56 USD.

So here I am planning a Pentium 4 build as well.
Would that motherboard be considered of good quality? Or is the ASUS P4S533-E a better choice?
I can get an ASUS P4S533-E for 64 USD but it comes without a CPU, RAM or I/O Shield (the shield is a question mark, but it's definitely not mentioned in the ad.

So for system 2, what kind of power supply would be enough? PhilsComputerLab on Youtube mentioned that P4 systems can work with modern PSUs.
So let's take this example:
- Pentium 4 1.7Ghz
- ECS EliteGroup P4S5A Rev 1 2A
- 2 x 256 DDR1
- Voodoo 3 2000 AGP
- 1 x 120 GB SSD (or an HDD if the adapter for the SSD doesn't work)
- 1 x 60mm fan (mounted to the Voodoo 3 by me with zip ties) (molex)
- 4 x 120 mm fans (molex) (don't know if the motherboard has any fan connectors)
- 1 x DVD-RW
- 1 x Floppy

Would the Seasonic GC-500 PSU 80+ Gold PSU be ok for this PC? (again, it has 20A on the +3.3V, 20A on the +5V rail, 41A on the +12V rail, 3A on +5 Vsb)
I was considering getting the TX650M for the Athlon PC and using the Seasonic GC-500 in the Pentium 4 one.

The TX650M is the cheapest PSU I could find that has more than 20A on the +5V rail. It's 110$.

For a while I was considering just switching between the Athlon XP+motherboard+Geforce 4 TI4200 and the Pentium 4+motherboard+Voodoo 3 within the same case, but I found a cheap Deepcool case that has what I need (fan placement + optical drive bays for the floppy drive (with an adapter) and the dvd-rw. So I just need to sort out the PSU situation:
- should I use that Thermaltake TR2 500W PP PSU for the Athlon PC?
- if not, would the Seasonic GC-500 be enough for the Athlon PC?
- if yes, would the EVGA BR 450W (https://eu.evga.com/products/product.aspx?pn=100-BR-0450-K2) (20A on the +5v rail) be enough for the Pentium 4 PC? I don't have the EVGA BR 450W, but I was considering it for the P4 system
- if the Seasonic GC-500 is not enough for the Athlon PC, would the Corsair TX6550M be enough for the Athlon PC?
- and then (using the TX650M in the Athlon PC) would the Seasonic GC-500 be ok for the Pentium 4 PC?
Do you know any other PSU under 100$ with 25A on the +5V rail?

So please go over the above and let me know your thoughts, input, advice, it would be highly appreciated. I know the post above is messy as heck, but it's kind of what's going on in my head right now.
I know all of the above has been discussed all over this forum, but there's so much to read that after a few days I just decided to gather all my questions in one place.
Please keep in mind that for both of the systems discussed above I just want to use them to play a few games on Windows 98 (the Voodoo 3 is for 2-3 Glide games) and I have no plans to upgrade them down the line, I just need them to be functional and stable for 4-8 hour gaming sessions.

Last edited by TheWeekendSlice on 2021-07-22, 14:09. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 1 of 11, by TheWeekendSlice

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P.S. The kicker is that I don't even know for sure if the Voodoo 3 works. When I got to the seller (we met in front of his apartment place) he looked kind of shady and said that he had sold a lot of these and that I should be careful taking it home as some of the ones he had had died according to him, due to transportation (I call bullcrap). So while he did have a Voodoo 3 up and running in the ad (pictures, tests, etc), I can't be sure that mine works and I wasn't comfortable enough to ask him to go up to his place and test the card he handed to me. There's no warranty and no refund options. It was 55$ though.

Hmm, 5 different stores here are reporting that the Corsair TX850m has 50A on the +5V rail, but the Corsair website has it at only 25A https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Prod … A#tab-downloads . (You have to download the manual to see the specs). I wonder if these stores have maybe an older revision? Or would they all have gotten bad info from the local distributor?

LATER EDIT: Mystery of the TX850M solved: Re: I need help with picking a psu for my Pentium 3 build?

LATER EDIT 2: The thread I linked to above recommends the RM850x from Corsair as it as a total power of 150W on the 3.3V +5V rails. Based on the manual https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Prod … A#tab-downloads the RM750x is capable of the same thing. Not cheap. WARNING: the 2018 model has those specs, the 2021 model seems to be down to 20A for 3.3V and 5V

The recommendation in that thread was for a dual Tualatin build. Wouldn't either of the PCs I listed above be less power hungry than that?

Last edited by TheWeekendSlice on 2021-07-22, 13:04. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 11, by BitWrangler

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Seasonic should work on the NF2 methinks, by nforce2, socket A boards were switching to 12V for the regulator draw anyway, and most nforce use 12V. Socket 478 DDR boards should all be 12V boards too. Only trouble you run into I think with P4s, is the high power prescott system over 2.8Ghz, when you get a split rail supply where the rails are split stupid, like 15A and 25A and the 15A is marginal for thirsty CPU plus many cards. But there weren't too many like that and it was only a couple of years they were available.

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 3 of 11, by TheWeekendSlice

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-07-22, 13:00:

Seasonic should work on the NF2 methinks, by nforce2, socket A boards were switching to 12V for the regulator draw anyway, and most nforce use 12V. Socket 478 DDR boards should all be 12V boards too. Only trouble you run into I think with P4s, is the high power prescott system over 2.8Ghz, when you get a split rail supply where the rails are split stupid, like 15A and 25A and the 15A is marginal for thirsty CPU plus many cards. But there weren't too many like that and it was only a couple of years they were available.

I've seen some people say that the nforce2 motherboards with the additional 4 pin connector use that to provide 12V power to the CPU while others say that not all of them do and that strong +5V rail is still needed. Mine has that 4 pin connector.
I don't plan to use a high end P4 in that Voodoo 3 system. All the info I've seen is that there's no point in going over 1 GHz with a Voodoo 3 and I'd be able to get a 1.7 GHz P4 in that combo I mentioned above.

I might just install the Seasonic in the Ahtlon XP system when the SSD gets here and test it. That PSU should have enough protection to shut itself and the PC off in case of overload, right? (right?)

Reply 4 of 11, by Doornkaat

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I can't tell wether the EliteGroup P4S5A uses the +5V rail to generate Vcore. It apparently does not have the P4 connector so I'm cautious. The ASUS P4S533-E does have the connector and the brand is more reliable so I'd rather go with that.
Both boards use a standard ATX I/O-shield so it should not be a problem getting a replacement. At the prices you mention I'm hesitant to recommend getting either board but if I had to choose I'd go with the Asus board, especially because it should work with modern PSUs that are light on+5V.

25A @ +5V should be enough for the Athlon XP system you propose but I don't know enough about the Seasonic PSU to recommend it for that build. Generally I would rather recommend buying a high quality contemporary PSU and recapping/refurbishing it.

Reply 5 of 11, by TheWeekendSlice

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Good catch on the ECS EliteGroup P4S5A not having the 4 pin connector. At least the version in this pic doesn't have one: http://hw-museum.cz/data/mb/pic/ECS_P4S5A-DX+_F.jpg

BTW, I found this link on this forum: http://www.playtool.com/pages/agpcompat/agp.h … lagpmotherboard
It lists the AGP versions for each motherboard chipset, so that's how I came to choose the ECS & ASUS motherboards. Plus there were posts from 2 people with motherboards with that kind of chipset (SIS 645DX) that said their Voodoo cards worked on them.
That, combined with what PhilsComputerLab said about P4 systems working with modern PSUs is what made me look for a P4 motherboard with that chipset.

MSI 645E Max2 MS-6567 seems to be another option with a 4 pin connector. The manual for it lists "One AGP (2x/4x) universal slot" https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/645E_ … ax2#down-manual

The ASUS manual says that it has an AGP 4x slot that supports AGP 4x/2x Cards BUT when it comes to VGA troubleshooting it advises the installation of a 1.5 V AGP Card . Then it says that the AGP slot can run AGP 1x/2x cards even when in 4x mode setting in the BIOS so while it was recommended on this forum in other threads for Voodoo cards, the manual is quite confusing. https://www.asus.com/it/supportonly/P4S533-E/ … elpDesk_Manual/

The manual for the ECS P4S5A says that it has "One 4xAGP slot for AGP 2.0-compliant interface. The 4xAGP slot is used to install a graphics adapter that supports theSlot4xAGP specifications and has a 4xAGP edge connector" https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1020863/Ecs … lected=3#manual

Here's one of the posts about the ASUS board working with Voodoo:

nforce4max wrote on 2012-08-05, 23:28:
Abit Sa7 (SiS645dx) Rev. 1.2 and Asus P4S533-E (SiS645dx) Rev. 1.04 […]
Show full quote
elfuego wrote:
nforce4max wrote:

Not according to an online search listed a few sis equipped socket 478 (northwood era) boards that support 3.3v agp. In another search confirmed one of those boards (an asus) is safe to use with a v5 6000.

This actually sounds interesting. Can you provide the details? Which exact asus P4 model is that one? I always thought KT333 was the limit, but I really dislike that chipset so I use KT133A instead for V5.

I may update my V5 rig if that asus board proves decent enough 😀

Abit Sa7 (SiS645dx) Rev. 1.2 and Asus P4S533-E (SiS645dx) Rev. 1.04

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sis-645dx,435.html

http://www.3dfxzone.it/enboard/topic.asp?TOPI … 626&whichpage=1

In the long run if you want better then start looking into modding boards for 3.3v support. I am thinking about one mod that I had seen elsewhere that had the agp slot powered straight from off the 3.3v rail on the psu. Just a wire mod from the atx connector along the underside of the board to the slot. Thinking further, disconnect the power vrm that supplies power to the slot via removing the inductor and cutting one or more traces.

I could also get a Shuttle AK12 VIA KT133A motherboard (those are supposed to have 3.3 V AGP slots as well) and I think that I have an Athlon (not XP) for it in a box somewhere, BUT then I'm back to the issue of finding a proper PSU for it as those motherboards don't have a 4 pin connector.

This is weird the Shuttle AK12 manual says that it supports AMD Athlon Processor with 100MHz DDR FSB and AMD Duron Processor with 100MHz DDR FSB
Even the Athlon 1 Ghz seems to be 200 MHz FSB.

UPDATE: Don't have an Athlon. Just two 2 Athlon XP CPUs (1700+ and 1800+) (besides the Athlon XP 2600+ mentioned above). And a dual core Pentium E2160 (socket 775 ). Also the Athlon CPUs (non XP) are REALLY expensive (for me) on ebay, hence another reason to go for a P4 build.

The question is, would a Seasonic 500W 20A on the +5V rail PSU be enough for a P4 build using the ASUS P4S533-E and a 2GHZ or lower P4 + Voodoo 3 (see the original tweet for full system)?

Reply 6 of 11, by TheWeekendSlice

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UPDATE: Found a seller on ebay with new old stock hardware for sale.
I've put in an order for an ASUS P4S533-E, socket 478 P4 2.53 GHZ and 2 x 512 sticks of DDR1 333 . According to the listings = all new.
There are more ASUS P4S533-E motherboards and other P4, Athlon motherboards, CPUs etc for sale all listed as being new.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/chipcenter/m.html?_n … =1&_ipg=&_from=

Reply 7 of 11, by TheWeekendSlice

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Also, I think I've found a solution to the PSU conundrum.
I have access to 2 Windows 10 PCs. One with an RM750X and the other with a TX650M, at least I think those are the PSUs.
Plan =
1) get a new PSU to replace the RM750x and use the RM750X in the AMD Athlon PC as it has 25A on the +5v rail and the combined output of the 3.3V & 5V rails = 150W (according to Corsair)
2) replace the TX650M with the Seasonic 500W I already have (should be sufficient for that PC) and use the TX650M in the Pentium 4 build. It also has 25A on the 5V rail, but the combined output of the 3.3V +5V rails is 125W.

The ASUS P4S533-E I just ordered and the Gigabyte GA-7N400 I already have for the Athlon both have the supplemental 4 pin connectors so I hope the above will work.

Feel free to chime in if you think it will not.

The manual for the Gigabyte GA-7N400 says this about the 4 pin ATX 12V connector:
ATX_12V (+12V Power Connector)
This connector (ATX_12V) supplies the CPU operation voltage (Vcore).
If this "ATX_12V connector" is not connected, system cannot boot.
Can't find any PSU recommendations in the manual.

The manual for the ASUS P4S533-E says this about the 4 pin ATX 12V connector:
In addition to the 20-poin ATXPWR connector this motherboard required that you connect the 4-pin ATX +12V power plug to provide sufficient power to the CPU
Make sure that your ATX 12V power supply can provide at least 8A on the +12V lead and at least 1A on the +5 Volt standby lead +5VSB. The minimum recommended wattage is 230W or 300W for a fully configured system. The system may become unstable and may experience difficulty powering up if the power supply is inadequate.

The TX650M that I hope to use for the P4 PC has the following specs:
+3.3V - 25A
+5v - 25A
(+3.3V & +5V combined = 130W)
+12V - 51A
-12V = 0.8A
+5Vsb - 3A

Based on what the manual says, this should be fine for the P4 build.

Reply 8 of 11, by darry

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By the way, the 2021 version of the Corsair RMx series tops off at 20A max for each of the 3.3V and 5V rails and either 130W or 150W combined for those rails (depending on model).
In contrast, the 2018 version of the Corsair RMx series tops off at 25A max for each of the 3.3V and 5V rails and either 130W or 150W combined for those rails (depending on model).

2021 version :
https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Prod … p/CP-9020200-NA
https://www.corsair.com/corsairmedia/sys_mast … 2021_QSG_AA.pdf

2018 version :
https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Prod … p/CP-9020180-NA
https://www.corsair.com/corsairmedia/sys_mast … 2018_Manual.pdf

Reply 9 of 11, by BitWrangler

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Other members have been observing incompatibility between ATX 2.x standard PSUs and anything ATX 2.0 and lower.. Any advice on a new PSU for an ASUS P4S533

I tell ya, I'm about up to just saying screw it and testing ancient PSUs by inspection for leaks, then running them for a while hooked up to automotive filament lamps to within 10% of rating and if they survive, and show no excess ripple (use small cap to drop DC out and measure on lowest AC range of multimeter) then passing them fit and using them. ... I got away with 250W Deer Brand units on KT133 systems back in the day. DDR systems you really want 300 or 350 oldskool Watts though. Newschool watts who knows, maybe they trip on high inrush currents or some crap.

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 10 of 11, by darry

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BitWrangler wrote on Yesterday, 04:40:

Other members have been observing incompatibility between ATX 2.x standard PSUs and anything ATX 2.0 and lower.. Any advice on a new PSU for an ASUS P4S533

I tell ya, I'm about up to just saying screw it and testing ancient PSUs by inspection for leaks, then running them for a while hooked up to automotive filament lamps to within 10% of rating and if they survive, and show no excess ripple (use small cap to drop DC out and measure on lowest AC range of multimeter) then passing them fit and using them. ... I got away with 250W Deer Brand units on KT133 systems back in the day. DDR systems you really want 300 or 350 oldskool Watts though. Newschool watts who knows, maybe they trip on high inrush currents or some crap.

I will soon know if my Asus P3B-F will work with an ATX v2.4 RM750x .

The Enermax EG465P-VE PSU I was using had a little "accident". This accident involved an unused SATA power connector and the curiously designed backside of a Seagate 1TB SATA drive . You see, this drive's back has an indentation, which means the drive's top cover plate overhangs on top of that indentation. This overhang is just wide enough and deep enough for an unused SATA power connector to have somehow become lodged against it in a way that caused a short (I have trouble visualizing how exactly that happened, to be honest) .

I realized all this when I powered on the PC and heard a beep and turned the machine off so. I took only a few seconds (less than 20), but the both the connector and the insulation on various spots the SATA cable had started to melt . The PSU and the PC still seem to work (only had 1 video card, RAM and 1 HDD in it at the time), but I definitely do not trust this PSU any more as

a) Overcurrent protection did not kick in. I have accidentally caused a short 2 times before in my life (admittedly on newer) PSUs but I had never seen this kind of symptom as the PSU immediately shut off
b) I don't really know what damage this might have caused to the PSU, nor do I want to start replacing power cables .

So, the RM750x is coming out of my spares bin and will hopefully rise up to the occasion .

EDIT : The rail that shorted is the 3.3V one, based on the fact that the orange cable is the one with melted insulation .

Reply 11 of 11, by Limpem

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Really curious to see if you can get the ASUS P4S533-E to work with a modern PSU.
I own a P4S533 (I think the -E version is slightly newer) and have a lot of issues getting a modern PSU to work, so I hope it's caused by something that's fixed with the -E version.
In that case I might consider an upgrade to solve my issues.