VOGONS


New processors for old sockets.

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First post, by Sphere478

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We live in a world where you can download a coffee mug from the internet and print it on your desk, you can design circuit boards on your computer and send it off to china and in a few weeks it shows up at your door step, there are people on this forum designing their own sound cards, new memory sticks, changing chips on motherboards. Doing crazy awesome things!

Can we have a faster processor for socket 3 than the pentiun over drive, socket 7 faster than the k6-3+, a faster processor for 370 than the tualitin?

Can we not make a device now that plugs into these sockets and provides not only faster performance but sse1,2,3 cmov, etc

You guys are so creative, I can’t be the first to wonder this?

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Reply 1 of 134, by Tiido

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It is a whole lot harder to make something like that than all the other things. Making a whole new chip is not trivial and costs a huge amount of money. FPGAs are not quite magic either though they will let many interesting things to be possible.... now if that silicon shortage stopped being a thing 🤣.

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Reply 3 of 134, by majestyk

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Even if we were able to do that there would soon appear other bottlenecks limiting performance gains. The FSB or the speed of the PCI bus come to mind here. In other words you would have to replace chipsets next and rediseign mainboard layouts to really make the new CPUS have any significant effect on performance.

Reply 4 of 134, by Doornkaat

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-Take some mobile Ryzen APU and build an SBC with regular ISA card dimensions. Graphics, sound, storage, network is all on board.
-The SBC runs Windows/Linux with PCem.
-The SBC has an ISA connector which allows it to communicate with antiquated PCs.
-The SBC has also got a simple frame buffer built in and connected via the ISA BUS that the antiquated PC can use to output a picture to the monitor.
-The antiquated PC boots an interfacing software that triggers the SBC to switch the image output from the antiquated PC's frame buffer to the SBC's APU. (This way you get to see the antiquated boot screen and all that good stuff.)
-The interfacing software also passes on HID inputs to the SBC via ISA. The SBC also runs a software that translates those inputs into HID inputs. (This way you get to use you antique HID stuff.)
-There is an option in the interfacing software that will perform ramdom seeks on the antiquated PC's HDD when there's disk activity on the SBC. (Gimmick for the retro drive enthusiasts.)

Boom! You now have the ultimate [insert x86 CPU generation] PC that isn't really a [insert x86 CPU generation] PC anymore.

Ultimate retro PC upgrade kit?

Reply 5 of 134, by Nexxen

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-11-09, 06:24:
We live in a world where you can download a coffee mug from the internet and print it on your desk, you can design circuit board […]
Show full quote

We live in a world where you can download a coffee mug from the internet and print it on your desk, you can design circuit boards on your computer and send it off to china and in a few weeks it shows up at your door step, there are people on this forum designing their own sound cards, new memory sticks, changing chips on motherboards. Doing crazy awesome things!

Can we have a faster processor for socket 3 than the pentiun over drive, socket 7 faster than the k6-3+, a faster processor for 370 than the tualitin?

Can we not make a device now that plugs into these sockets and provides not only faster performance but sse1,2,3 cmov, etc

You guys are so creative, I can’t be the first to wonder this?

A lot of us thought the same.
Pimping those old sockets to the max. The point was that it would cost a lot to a few crazy old-timers.
Maybe reissuing old cpus could be more interesting, with bugs removed and other stuff not requiring a new bios.

In fact, except chinese motherboards (that come with newer mobos sockets), I don't think we'll ever see that happening. A waste of resources.

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Reply 6 of 134, by Sphere478

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Tiido wrote on 2021-11-09, 06:39:

It is a whole lot harder to make something like that than all the other things. Making a whole new chip is not trivial and costs a huge amount of money. FPGAs are not quite magic either though they will let many interesting things to be possible.... now if that silicon shortage stopped being a thing 🤣.

Yeah, I’m not well versed on such things but aren’t fpgas basically programmable processors? Seems like even doing it like that with today’s tech would still be faster than the fastest socket 7 processors

Didn’t gigabyte basically make the iram controller this way?

Warlord wrote on 2021-11-09, 06:43:

let me know when you want to build one.

A coffee cup? :p or a processor?

majestyk wrote on 2021-11-09, 07:11:

Even if we were able to do that there would soon appear other bottlenecks limiting performance gains. The FSB or the speed of the PCI bus come to mind here. In other words you would have to replace chipsets next and rediseign mainboard layouts to really make the new CPUS have any significant effect on performance.

Of course, we already have diy motherboards out there.

I mean this is all for fun and because we can or none of us would mess with this stuff, we would all just run virtual machines on our windows 10 tablets 🤣

There is something to be gained by doing things on actual hardware in ways that never was intended or done before

Doornkaat wrote on 2021-11-09, 09:23:
-Take some mobile Ryzen APU and build an SBC with regular ISA card dimensions. Graphics, sound, storage, network is all on board […]
Show full quote

-Take some mobile Ryzen APU and build an SBC with regular ISA card dimensions. Graphics, sound, storage, network is all on board.
-The SBC runs Windows/Linux with PCem.
-The SBC has an ISA connector which allows it to communicate with antiquated PCs.
-The SBC has also got a simple frame buffer built in and connected via the ISA BUS that the antiquated PC can use to output a picture to the monitor.
-The antiquated PC boots an interfacing software that triggers the SBC to switch the image output from the antiquated PC's frame buffer to the SBC's APU. (This way you get to see the antiquated boot screen and all that good stuff.)
-The interfacing software also passes on HID inputs to the SBC via ISA. The SBC also runs a software that translates those inputs into HID inputs. (This way you get to use you antique HID stuff.)
-There is an option in the interfacing software that will perform ramdom seeks on the antiquated PC's HDD when there's disk activity on the SBC. (Gimmick for the retro drive enthusiasts.)

Boom! You now have the ultimate [insert x86 CPU generation] PC that isn't really a [insert x86 CPU generation] PC anymore.

Ultimate retro PC upgrade kit?

I like the way you think. 🤔

Slightly different idea than what I was going for but sounds super cool none the less!

SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
-
Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)
-
Socket 5/7/SS7 (Motherboard) Tweaker
-
The coolest socket 7 motherboard that you’ve never heard of

Reply 7 of 134, by waterbeesje

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Although it seems a waste of money and time, I think it would be fun to see what's basically a socket 3 500MHz 486 (50x10) with 32MB L2 cache on die :p

Any half decent Pentium 2 should outrun it any way, but for reasons and lolz ofc

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 8 of 134, by AppleSauce

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The closest someone has gotten to backyard cpus that i know of is this guy

https://youtu.be/IS5ycm7VfXg

And that's like late 60s level tech at 1000 transistors, its going to be quite a while before someone can spin up a pentium clone in their garage.

Reply 9 of 134, by Jasin Natael

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Interesting idea, but I just don't see it being realistic.
Microarchitecture from even 25 years ago is crazy complicated. It might seem archaic compared to the latest and greatest you find in your new smartphone or gaming console, and it is.
But it is still by and large way out of reach of the average person without some serious intellect, R&D costs and access to the right materials and manufacturing.

Think of it this way, a basic internal combustion engine is relatively simple in mechanics and operation.
Most people can understand the basics, air/fuel in, sparks makes fire, combustion/compression stroke valves open to either allow or exhaust air. This drives the rotating assembly so on and so forth.
Most people with the right tools and training and can work on these or even assemble these from parts with relative ease.

However almost no one out there can manufacture engine blocks /cylinder heads, camshafts and pistons to the extremely precise tolerances needed for them to be usable.
This takes raw resources as well as tons of understanding how to actually cast or forge the parts. Only special machine manufacturers are able to do this for a reason.

And microarchitecture is far, far more complex than internal combustion engines.

Reply 10 of 134, by mothergoose729

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I think the mister is capable of emulating something close to a mid range 486 right now. Maybe if it didn't have to also emulate i/0 and the bus and everything else you could get it up to POD speeds. Emulating a super charged 8088 or 286 probably wouldn't be too hard. Similar stuff has already been done on the amiga. Would be pretty fun to have an IBM 5150 with a processor running at 150mhz.

Reply 11 of 134, by Tiido

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-11-09, 11:48:

Yeah, I’m not well versed on such things but aren’t fpgas basically programmable processors? Seems like even doing it like that with today’s tech would still be faster than the fastest socket 7 processors

All the FPGAs that can do anything are 3.3V and less, without any 5V tolerance which adds difficulties in interfacing of things. Other thing is that all the affordable chips are essentially low end things, which are not going to squeeze any great performance out of a complex design like x86 CPU and they will likely not even be able to hold a Pentium1 level chip much less something closer to modern. Of course there are high end chips too, that cost as much as a car or even a house, which could possibly hold something along the lines of a modern CPU, but that's a bit unrealistic to pursue 🤣. And someone still has to develop all of the stuff that goes inside the FPGA...

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 12 of 134, by Paadam

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I could see someone shoehorning a faster Pentium CPU into soc3 using some sort of interposer but that would be about it.

As a side note, several years ago some chinese enthusiasts developed a motherboard series for older Thinkpads (brand new bolt on system board with core i7 etc) and these are available for sale too. But that is way easier than custom CPU for reasons pointed out above.

Many 3Dfx and Pentium III-S stuff.
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Reply 13 of 134, by Big Pink

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I, too, would love to see something like this happen. But as said above, there's a huge leap from gathering old discrete chips to make new sound or graphics cards to fabricating your own microprocessors. If CPU microbreweries were viable, global production might not be a mess right now. Speaking of VIA, Intel still might not want you poking around PGA370 😉

I thought IBM was born with the world

Reply 14 of 134, by rmay635703

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This topic brings me back to a very old concept that is likely more “possible “ than burning new masks and fabbing modern dies.

I was always told that folks would remove all the dram and use SRAM (cache) in place of dram on old PC XT systems to gain a bit of performance, obviously you can’t put sram in dram dipp sockets.

Even though I historically knew a person with a system setup that way I cannot find any evidence of how it was done.

Fast forward, I own a Tandy 1000RLX, it’s purposely crippled to block more than 1mb of ram and only has an 8 bit slot, despite being a 286.

Megabytes of obsolete but faster than needed Cache memory is easily available in this modern era, sometimes as a single chip.

How would I build a little board that includes 4mb of “memory “ (sram) and a socket for my 286 that would fit in place of my existing 286 in the processor socket?

Can I just wire the cache to the address and data pins off the cpu?
Any voltage/ground/chip select would need to be sorted but what am I missing?

There are several systems I have encountered that have very limited motherboard ram address limits that could be bypassed if such a setup were possible.

Given the motherboard can’t set the memory size properly I’m not sure how to get dos to see the extra memory even if I can manually address it via special utility.

My final thought is that I could potentially use a faster crystal on the daughter board to run an identical but higher clocked CPU on a little board like this up to the zero wait state limit of the cache while running async to the system clock.

Let me know your thoughts

Reply 15 of 134, by BitWrangler

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Jasin Natael wrote on 2021-11-09, 17:33:
Interesting idea, but I just don't see it being realistic. Microarchitecture from even 25 years ago is crazy complicated. It mi […]
Show full quote

Interesting idea, but I just don't see it being realistic.
Microarchitecture from even 25 years ago is crazy complicated. It might seem archaic compared to the latest and greatest you find in your new smartphone or gaming console, and it is.
But it is still by and large way out of reach of the average person without some serious intellect, R&D costs and access to the right materials and manufacturing.

Think of it this way, a basic internal combustion engine is relatively simple in mechanics and operation.
Most people can understand the basics, air/fuel in, sparks makes fire, combustion/compression stroke valves open to either allow or exhaust air. This drives the rotating assembly so on and so forth.
Most people with the right tools and training and can work on these or even assemble these from parts with relative ease.

However almost no one out there can manufacture engine blocks /cylinder heads, camshafts and pistons to the extremely precise tolerances needed for them to be usable.
This takes raw resources as well as tons of understanding how to actually cast or forge the parts. Only special machine manufacturers are able to do this for a reason.

And microarchitecture is far, far more complex than internal combustion engines.

The hobbyist who is furthest ahead on this, with a chip foundry in his garage, is about ready I think to do something like a 4004, in 5 years he might be up to 8080.

Edit: Link to guy I was thinking about https://thenewstack.io/meet-the-college-stude … -his-own-chips/

Last edited by BitWrangler on 2021-11-24, 04:35. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 16 of 134, by Deksor

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Something I've been thinking of that's similar to this and that's been made on Amigas would work for XT-class machines :
Have a raspberry pi emulate a 386 or 486 and shove it in the 8088's socket 😆

It's been made with the Amiga so I can see it happening for an XT machine.
Just imagine your old IBM 5150 running doom with the original board (and a futuristic computer shoved in the CPU socket)

For socket 7 however, I highly doubt this is possible.

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Reply 17 of 134, by Sphere478

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In the year 2040 whomsoever is reading this thread sign up and resurrect this thread we will be old farts, but hopefully we will finally get our socket 7 upgrade cpus :p

SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
-
Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)
-
Socket 5/7/SS7 (Motherboard) Tweaker
-
The coolest socket 7 motherboard that you’ve never heard of

Reply 18 of 134, by cyclone3d

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waterbeesje wrote on 2021-11-09, 12:02:

Although it seems a waste of money and time, I think it would be fun to see what's basically a socket 3 500MHz 486 (50x10) with 32MB L2 cache on die :p

Any half decent Pentium 2 should outrun it any way, but for reasons and lolz ofc

There is already stuff out there like this. I have basically a 480 SOC board that uses SDRAM and has ISA and PCI slots but it only does 100Mhz without a heatsink. It supports 133Mhz but it is not stable as-is. I will try it with a heatsink whenever I get around to building a system with this eval board. It is the STPC Consumer II:

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There are also must faster SOCs available such as the Vortex86 DX3 which runs at 1Ghz, is dual core, and has DDR3 for RAM but also supports ISA. Might work with PCI as well , but the main interface is PCIe and I haven't looked into the specifics of what can be done with the Vortex86 chips though you can get some different PC-104 boards with Vortex86 chips on them.
https://www.vortex86.com/products/Vortex86DX3

As for new CPUs for older boards... not gonna happen unless somebody has the time and money to dump into it for basically a very niche product.

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Reply 19 of 134, by retardware

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rmay635703 wrote on 2021-11-09, 22:48:

This topic brings me back to a very old concept that is likely more “possible “ than burning new masks and fabbing modern dies.

You made me remember the DTACK Grounded newsletter that was photocopied and exchanged between friends back then in my local enthusiasts community.