VOGONS


Reply 21 of 36, by Oerg866

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Tualatin to me is one of the most interesting CPU generations of all time, with some of the most interesting boards created, connecting many different technology eras together. It came quite late in the Pentium III's life cycle and are hard to get motherboards for. Native tualatin motherboards are hard to come by, and affordable Pentium III boards - while fully capable of running them in theory - require some modifications to run them. The reason for that is while they share the same socket as their Coppermine predecessors, the bus protocol "changed" slightly. There's not much reason for this, and was probably done in a deliberate attempt to force people to buy new motherboards. The reason for this is that you can simply modify existing motherboards which can run them very stable indeed. I will give you a quick example.

A quite popular method to run these back in the day was by using a Slot 1 to Socket 370 adapter, also called slocket or slotket, and then using them in a I440BX motherboard. I440BX was probably the most popular chipset of its time - it has vastly superior memory performance compared to its VIA, SiS and ALi counterparts, and unprecedented stability and compatibility. A popular slotket which you can still find on auction sites is the MS-6905 MASTER, many versions of it can be modified to run Tualatins on i440BX or other SLOT 1 boards. This may give you reduced AGP bandwidth, but as I said, I440BX boards are among the fastest of any Pentium 3 generation, it runs well at 133MHz, too. There are even dual SLOT 1 boards where you can do this. The ASUS P2B-DS can run with two Tualatins in this way. My favourite though is the P3B-F which is a single slot 1 i440bx board.

As mentioned, this requires some hardware modding so you may not want to do this. They're very fast and very stable if you manage to get it working though. I intend to build a dual BX system with these someday and have run many solo SLOT 1 tualatin systems.

Then you can get one of the classic i815 boards, (Like ASUS TUSL2). These only let you use up to 512MB which is a real bummer and is NOT even faster than a 440BX. Also - You need i815 B Stepping to run Tualatins without modification.

There is a VIA consumer chipset that runs it unmodified: VIA 694T (Apollo 133T). They support lots of memory, but have some AGP 4x stability issues as well as poor memory bandwidth compared to even the old 440BX.

But here is where it gets interesting. There's also the Apollo Pro 266T which not only supports the Tualatin, but also gives you a much improved 4x AGP slot as well as DDR memory support. It also supports SMP so you can get dual socket 370, AGP 4X motherboards. AND it has a 266MB/s V-Link, so you can use the onboard IDE channels and get extremely good hard drive performance. However, these boards are VERY rare and usually quite expensive. I own one of these (MSI MS-9105 aka. Pro266TD Master), and it's absolutely fantastic.

Bonus: There's onboard LAN so your precious PCI slots can be used for other things. Sadly this was just before the transition to ATA133 and USB 2.0, so the USB is still 1.1 and maximum IDE transfer rate is 100MB/s.

Some ServerWorks workstation / server boards were made for it; while they also support DDR memory they usually lack AGP and have other stability problems. Elianda might be able to chip in on that note.

So the possibilities are quite varied, but running it natively might cost you a bit 😀

EDIT:

As far as DOS gaming goes - It does take a bit of configuration effort, but in the end my dual 1.4GHz Tualatin system turned out to be a great DOS performer, I have a SoundBlaster Live and a ESS SOLO-1 in the machine and between the two I do not have any games that refuse to play sound (or to work at all). 😀

Reply 22 of 36, by drosse1meyer

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Intel boards D815EEA2 (and their derivatives) support Tualitans

P1 Build: Packard Bell - 233 MMX, Voodooo1, 64 MB, ALS100+
P2 Build: Dell Dimension R400 - 400 Mhz, GeForce2 32 MB, 128 MB
P3 Build: PIII @ 1 Ghz, 128 MB, GeForce2 GTS 64 MB
Macintosh: Performa 630CD - 6300 board @ 120 MHz, 64 MB, triple boot

Reply 23 of 36, by W.x.

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Hello. If I can give you advice, if you want to use only 1 retro computer, and are you willing to pay so much (150$ and more), definetly go for Slot 1 motherboard, and slotket adapter. This way, even BX motherboards can support Tualatin CPUs. Don't go for i815 chipset, use good and old BX chipset, and Slot 1, so you can downclock your CPU, to for example Pentium II 400, which some of them are unlocked, and thus you can go to 66x2 = 133 Mhz. I have Tualatin Celeron 1.4 Ghz working through adapter in Gigabyte BX Slot 1 motherboard, I think it's GA-BX6C or something like that. If you dont move computer , you can even put it there without retention brackets, and easily swap if needed. Thanks to this, you can easy cover all frequencies from lets say 133 Mhz, to 1400 Mhz, and even there you can overclock it.
BX motherboards have also native ISA, SB-link, for good old ISA soundblaster and sound cards, so you will be compatible with DOS gaming at maximum level.

To the graphic card, MX400 is really not much, particulary, when you are building system capable of playing late windows 98 games, or even early XP ones, from 2003. You don't need 512 Kb L2 cache, it's really minor upgrade from 256 Kb L2 cache Pentium 4, and I would not pay premium for extra. Pay extra only for good motherboard and good slotket adapter.
As graphic card, I would take higher FX series card, because they have native Windows 98 drivers, so you will be maximum compatible. They still fit into AGP 2x slot, and performance drop is not so big, when you're not using your card in 4x or 8x mode. If you insist on AGP 4x, then take Via Apollo pro 133A cipset motherboard, with ISA slot. One of the best is Asus P3V4X. Maybe you will get more AGP bandwidth with it, but you will get less stable cipset (Via Apollo pro 133A is decent thought, but worse than BX or i815), so I'm not sure, if that's good trade off, because bandwidth from AGP 2x is usually enough. Anyway on Via Apollo pro 133A you'll get Universal AGP slot, so you can use there any AGP card, which is good... still AGP 8x cards will run only in AGP 4x mode.

Latest BX motherboards were designed to run at 133 Mhz in mind, although it is overclocked mode, with AGP slot overclocked, with later AGP cards, were designed, so they can run stable even on higher frequencies. Particulary NVidia cards from year 2000 and later era, count with it, that many users have their AGP slot overclocked because of BX motherboards running at 133 Mhz FSB, or more. With AGP 2x slot overclocked, you'll get additional bandwidth, so AGP 2x with BX board overclocked to 133 Mhz doesn't suffer with limited AGP performance as common AGP 2x slot. In otherwords, you'll get 33% additional bandwidth, so you have basicaly speed of AGP 2 + 1/3. (so 33 % on the way to AGP 3x speed). This is, why I recommend you to take BX board. You'll get good stability, and flexibility, and speed is enough for Morrowind.
Btw, if you don't want to pay much for graphic card, look for good FX5200 or MX440, the good one is with 3.6 ns memory. This way, after overclocking, you'll get more than you think. Good FX5200 after overclocking is very close to FX5200 Ultra. They underestimate this card, because they usually pick slow 64-bit version, sometimes with 266 Mhz DDR memory (original should have 400 Mhz ... your with 4 ns or 3.6ns memory, can go even to 550 - 575 mhz DDR1), and core often to 300-315 range (FX5200 Ultra have 325 core and 650 memory). Just pick 128-bit version. Sometimes, its difficult to identify it. If you don't want to have problems, just lick FX5600, they are always 128-bit, but they are little bit pricey already. FX5200 and MX440 are one of the cheapest AGP cards around,if you pick right one, it can pleasantly suprise (that bad reputation is not justified , in my opinion), you'll get decent card for 1024x768 gaming even on Morrowind. Anyway, for 2003 and later games, you need really something more powerfull, like 4200 ti, or FX 5700 / 5700 Ultra, 5800/ 5800 / 5900 etc, or Radeon equivalent of same power.
For even later games, from 2004, you will need SM powerful card, that is 6000 generation, but they will not fit into BX AGP slot. They need minimal AGP 4x slot. This is, where VIA apollo 133A would win it, because here you can use even 6000 generation cards, but here CPU and FSB and memory limitation will hinder your performance anyway... it's definetly not powerful enough for later Windows XP games. For that, you would need P4 system, socket 478 or socket 775 , or socket A, but there you'll lose precious ISA slot, if you don't mind and also, it can be too fast for some games. So my favourite and recommended for retro computer is BX platform with slotket adaptor, and two processors - one fast Tualatin in slotket, and one unlocked Slot 1 Pentium II.

Reply 26 of 36, by pixel_workbench

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Good advice in this thread, but if you're going for a Via chipset motherboard (which still support ISA slots and >512MB RAM, unlike Intel 815) then might as well go with the AMD Athlon instead of Tualatin. Use a mobile CPU, and you have unlocked multipliers, low power consumption, along with faster CPU options.

My Videos
P2 400 unlocked / Asus P3B-F / Voodoo3 3k / MX300 + YMF718

Reply 27 of 36, by zapbuzz

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If you own a Pentium 3 Tualatin chip, cool, but if not I'd recommend to go for a Pentium 4.
Cheaper, newer, faster, energy efficient and comes in similar frequencies.
The ATA133 IDE spec gives the option of more commonly available disks that come up to 1 TB and some motherboards with built in SATA.
When I got my Pentium 3 system finished, I was so happy - they have plenty of life still, but a Pentium 4 does more with same software.
I use SATA rather than the built in IDE because the newest SATA 3 is backwards compatible with SATA 1 PCI.
In Aussie land, not many PATA disks worth buying up to the usual 120 GB cap.

Reply 28 of 36, by darry

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-09-02, 15:11:
If you own a Pentium 3 Tualatin chip, cool, but if not I'd recommend to go for a Pentium 4. Cheaper, newer, faster, energy effi […]
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If you own a Pentium 3 Tualatin chip, cool, but if not I'd recommend to go for a Pentium 4.
Cheaper, newer, faster, energy efficient and comes in similar frequencies.
The ATA133 IDE spec gives the option of more commonly available disks that come up to 1 TB and some motherboards with built in SATA.
When I got my Pentium 3 system finished, I was so happy - they have plenty of life still, but a Pentium 4 does more with same software.
I use SATA rather than the built in IDE because the newest SATA 3 is backwards compatible with SATA 1 PCI.
In Aussie land, not many PATA disks worth buying up to the usual 120 GB cap.

Pentium chips 4 can definitely be faster than Pentium 3 as they are available with much higher clock speeds . However when running at the same clock speed, https://youtu.be/x3dcuLVW6A0?t=758

As for Pentium 4's "efficiency", that luckily improved somewhat when Intel went from 180nm to finer process scales , but initially the Pentium 4 sucked on that front (and arguably still sucked after that).

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/p … 33-mhz-fsb.html
Intel® Pentium® III Processor - S 1.40 GHz, 512K Cache, 133 MHz FSB : TDP 32.2 W

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/p … 00-mhz-fsb.html
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 1.40 GHz, 256K Cache, 400 MHz FSB : TDP 54.7 W

That said, getting a fast (later gen) Pentium 4 can be a fine choice, as long as one is aware of the limitations and caveats .

Reply 30 of 36, by BitWrangler

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Of course you can completely ignore P4s and have a nice Athlon XP system, or if you want the dizzying performance of late Presler... Athlon 64. But yeah it really took seeing Northwoods at 2.4Ghz and above to make a clear gap between well tuned up and clocked up Tualatins and P4s.

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 31 of 36, by retardware

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Well, the OP wanted to use a P3...
Then came suggestions of P4, then Athlon...
You can do it with even more modern retarded stuff 😀
Currently building a DOS gaming machine with i5-4670T (3.3Ghz only, but 6MB cache), Nvidia Quadro NVS280 in PCI-E slot and Soundblaster AWE32 in ISA slot... 🤦

Reply 32 of 36, by Deksor

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This is probably not complete, but here's a list of tualatin capable motherboards from our database http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboards/?cpuSo … 10&platform1=44

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit Ultimate Retro - Project's thread The Ultimate Retro project - a stason.org/TH99 alternative

Reply 33 of 36, by Boohyaka

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As mentioned before the most important point is do you want an ISA slot or not. For me the answer was yes, and I've settled for an ASUS P3B-F. They are great motherboards, but are well known and therefore popular, so price will be on the higher end. I'm running it with FSB 133, with a modded Tualatin 1.4 on a MSI MS-6905 slotket and it is perfect. All GFX cards I've thrown at it are fine with the AGP overclock. In terms of performance, the difference with a "native" S370 motherboard is negligible so it really feels to me like the ideal compromise. The only pain point is of course the CPU mod. I bought mine already modded off eBay because doing it myself was most probably out of my league, but maybe you'd be able to do it yourself?

Reply 34 of 36, by Bancho

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ISA was important for me with my 1400S build so I went a not so common board, ITOX/DFI GC60-BX/C1. Its a Socket 370 BX board which I used with a Modded 1400S. Pretty solid BX board. Runs my 1400S at 140mhz fsb no problem. I have a Leadtek Geforce 4 Ti4600 in mine with a boat load of PCI/ISA Sound cards in it.

Another possible contender is the Abit BX133. Granted these are all BX boards so the CPU will need to be modified etc.

Reply 35 of 36, by valnar

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I would get something with the i815EP chipset as it's slightly better than the plain 815E. It doesn't have integrated graphics which you wouldn't use. The ASUS TUSL2-C was the best example of the time.

Snookeroo wrote on 2021-08-29, 01:45:

Why are ISA slots so important? Is it just for having a DOS era sound card?

That's one reason. I have an ASUS P2B with the venerable 440BX chipset. With a Slotket adapter, I can run a Celeron Tualatin processor, but only at 100Mhz FSB. That's fine though, because anything close to that speed is more than I need for Win98 era games. But what I GAIN is SB-PCI and DDMA support for DOS era games. I don't even have an ISA card, but use a Yamaha and Aureal SQ2500 PCI card (with Roland SCD-15) which gives me nearly flawless sound options from DOS through Windows 98. Beat that you native Tualatin chipset!! he he
https://web.archive.org/web/20180308055127/ht … pgrade_faq.html

I don't run any speed sensitive DOS games like Wing Commander, and if I need to, DOSBox is available. But THIS hardware PC allows me to run almost anything from the later DOS glory days to Windows 98. I could overclock it for a 133 FSB, but there is no reason. Anyone doing so is doing it for bragging rights (yeah, I said it).

Reply 36 of 36, by zapbuzz

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valnar wrote on 2021-09-03, 18:51:
I would get something with the i815EP chipset as it's slightly better than the plain 815E. It doesn't have integrated graphics […]
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I would get something with the i815EP chipset as it's slightly better than the plain 815E. It doesn't have integrated graphics which you wouldn't use. The ASUS TUSL2-C was the best example of the time.

Snookeroo wrote on 2021-08-29, 01:45:

Why are ISA slots so important? Is it just for having a DOS era sound card?

That's one reason. I have an ASUS P2B with the venerable 440BX chipset. With a Slotket adapter, I can run a Celeron Tualatin processor, but only at 100Mhz FSB. That's fine though, because anything close to that speed is more than I need for Win98 era games. But what I GAIN is SB-PCI and DDMA support for DOS era games. I don't even have an ISA card, but use a Yamaha and Aureal SQ2500 PCI card (with Roland SCD-15) which gives me nearly flawless sound options from DOS through Windows 98. Beat that you native Tualatin chipset!! he he
https://web.archive.org/web/20180308055127/ht … pgrade_faq.html

I don't run any speed sensitive DOS games like Wing Commander, and if I need to, DOSBox is available. But THIS hardware PC allows me to run almost anything from the later DOS glory days to Windows 98. I could overclock it for a 133 FSB, but there is no reason. Anyone doing so is doing it for bragging rights (yeah, I said it).

nothing wrong with bragging rights i mean i gots a dual cpu p3 so i can do smp with xp or run dos box on a 1tb 4 disk sata raid 0 whoah baby brag brag brag 🤣