VOGONS


First post, by debs3759

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Getting ready to test a load of CPUs in the new year, and realise I don't have a socket 754 motherboard, or even know what chipsets they used. What is the best chipset for overclocking them, and what skt 754 motherboards are good? Not overly concerned what slots they have, just want something that runs well, has overclocking potential and has on-board LAN.

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 1 of 31, by dionb

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Which OS are you targetting? And which video card type?

Big choice is older AGP 8x or PCIe 1.0 for video. The PCIe chipsets were never designed for So754, but because the Athlon64 CPUs use HyperTransport to link to chipset, there's nothing stopping a motherboard vendor from using a chipset designed for So393 or later.

Keeping with AGP, you have a limited number of choices, as it was a short-lived platform. Basically it's nVidia nForce3 and its derivatives vs SiS 755, Via K8T800, ULi M1689. Generally I'd say nVidia nForce3-250 - but problem is that support for that was dropped by nVidia with Vista, so it works fine with XP and older, or indeed newer Linux distros, but it's a dysfunctional wreck with Windows Vista or later. Similarly, nVidia dropped support for ULi after taking them over, so no late driver support there. If you want to run them, go with Via. However none seem to have full drivers past Vista, which means big problems without specific AGP GART.

PCIe:
Lots of choices, mainly the nForce4 family and ATi Radeon Express 200 family and the ULi M169x-chipsets. With all these options driver support also dwindles to nothing past Vista, difference is that without AGP to worry about default OS drivers work much better. Personally I really like the ULi chipsets, but you'll only find ULi PCIe chipsets for So754 on obscure Asrock boards.

Reply 2 of 31, by luk1999

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debs3759 wrote on 2021-12-07, 21:46:

Getting ready to test a load of CPUs in the new year, and realise I don't have a socket 754 motherboard, or even know what chipsets they used. What is the best chipset for overclocking them, and what skt 754 motherboards are good? Not overly concerned what slots they have, just want something that runs well, has overclocking potential and has on-board LAN.

If good overclocking is your main requirement, then you should focus on motherboards built with NForce 3 250 (AGP, Win98 support) or NForce 4 (PCIE, without Win98 drivers). GeForce 6100 was also quite nice (PCIE, iGPU, no Win98 drivers), but it was mostly used in low-end boards.

It would be easier, if you'd define more detailed requirements:

  • How high HTT do you need? Semprons with E6 revision are able to do 2600-2800 MHz stable after increasing voltage and some of them have really low multipliers like 7x (2500+) or 8x (2600+ / 2800+).
  • How much vCPU do you need? 1,55 V should be enough for most users for 24/7 overclock, but for benchmarking it would be nice to have more...
  • Is it 2,8 - 2,9 V for RAM enough for you? If you'd like to play with Winbonds BH5/6 or CH5/6, then it will be nice to be able to set 3,2 V or more.
  • Memory timings - do you need something more than CR, tCL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRFC?

If you want to get as much as you can, then DFI LanParty UT nF3 250Gb or Infinity Nforce-4x is the best choice. But DFI boards are quite expensive and a lot of them didn't have easy life, so they might be in bad condition.

If you can't afford or find DFI, then there's a lot of interesting boards, but you should generally avoid mATX boards, as they have usually stripped-down BIOSes.
Some examples (starting from my favorites 😉):

  • Epox (eg: EP-8KDA7I, EP-8NPAJ) - they should be very close in overclocking capabilities to DFI, but check carefully caps before buying 😉
  • Abit on NForce 4 (eg: NV8) - it might be a bit worse in terms of overclocking comparing to Epox, but still very good
  • Gigabyte (eg: K8NS series) - voltage ranges are lower than on Epoxes or Abits on NF4, but they can do high HTT (especially under Windows)
  • Biostar TForce 6100 for s754 - mATX board with quite nice overclocking capabilities. It was probably a first mATX board with serious overclocking options and potential
  • Abit on NForce 3 (NF8 series), ASUS (eg: K8N series), MSI (K8N series) or Abit AX8 (VIA K8T890) - they will usually have lower ranges for CPU or RAM voltage, but most of them should be able to do at least HTT 290-300 from BIOS and more when you'll increase HTT under Windows (using Clockgen or similar software).
Last edited by luk1999 on 2021-12-10, 21:49. Edited 1 time in total.

Pentium 4 2400 + ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe + 2 GB RAM + GF FX5700 128 MB AGP + SB Audigy + Tagan TG330-U01 + Win XP SP2
Duron 1000 + Soltek SL-75DRV4 + 256 MB RAM + Voodoo 3 2000 16 MB AGP + FM801 + FSP 400-60PFN + Win 98SE

Reply 3 of 31, by appiah4

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VIA K8T800 is my favorite simply because it has fantastic DDMA support with its VT8237 southbridge. My favorite board is ASUS K8V Deluxe.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 4 of 31, by debs3759

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I'll be using XP (possibly comparing XP32 to XP64). Peripherals and graphics card etc are less important to me, but PCI-E 6800 series is probably what I'll go for. The primary purpose of this build will be to test and overclock the CPUs, not for gaming or other work. At least, not until I have finished testing CPUs 😀

Thanks for the chipset and motherboard suggestions, gives me a good starting point for ebay searches.

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 5 of 31, by ODwilly

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If OCing isn't a major concern Compaq used a Asus ULI chipset matx AGP board in some of their Presario's that I really enjoyed using for a short while with XP and a Radeon 9550.
The only annoyance was that it REFUSED to work with 2gb of ram. 1.5gb was fine, but using any combination of 2 1gb sticks of ddr 266, 333, 400mhz would just BSOD.

Might be able to dig it out and find a model number.

Main pc: Asus ROG laptop. I7-6700HQ, GTX 960M 4gb, 16gb DDR4.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 6 of 31, by debs3759

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ODwilly wrote on 2021-12-08, 23:07:

If OCing isn't a major concern Compaq used a Asus ULI chipset matx AGP board in some of their Presario's that I really enjoyed using for a short while with XP and a Radeon 9550.
The only annoyance was that it REFUSED to work with 2gb of ram. 1.5gb was fine, but using any combination of 2 1gb sticks of ddr 266, 333, 400mhz would just BSOD.

Might be able to dig it out and find a model number.

If you reread my post, OCing and CPU performance are my primary requirements.

Memory performance is a close second, everything else is negligible, as the system will be mainly for testing CPUs in my collection. S754 is the only socket missing from my motherboard collection (other than most server boards). Most sockets I have multiple boards, but this socket has always been overlooked, although I did have a board when new - I just don't remember which 😀

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 7 of 31, by nd22

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Socket 754 has 3 chipsets to choose from: Via KT800 pro, Nvidia nforce3 250GB and Nvidia nforce4-4x. All are really good but the first 2 are AGP only so I hope you have some high end AGP video cards to test with! For ease of use I would choose a motherboard based on nforce4 simply because pci-express video cards are easier to find and cheaper. I did some preliminary testing with KT800 PRO and NFORCE3 250GB and both are about equal in performance so unlike the situation on socket 462 where nforce2 ultra is the best chipset.
I have 3 boards: Abit KV8 PRO, NF8 PRO, NV8. They are all really good; KV8 and NF8 use AGP so even with a geforce 7900gs 512mb the limit is around 2004 +/- 1 year - that is the games that you can play at max settings! In my opinion 2005 is already pushing it as the video card is severely limiting performance in most games. For the CPU there is the ATHLON 64 3700 with 1mb L2 cache which is the best processor for socket 754 according to Wikipedia however good luck finding one! I would choose an Athlon 64 3400 Venice - in my tests is around 5% better than a Clawhammer which is about equal to a 3700. I have both 3400 Clawhammer and Newcastle and they perform the same in synthetic tests such as 3dmark and games.

Reply 8 of 31, by dionb

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There's a lot more than just those three. Via and nVidia alone had multiple versions of the ones you mention (non-Pro, non-250 for starters) and you're leaving out ATi, SiS and ULi options. For PCIe, particularly ATi and ULi chipsets were more than comparable to nForce4, and with WinXP target, they all have decent driver support (not totally sure about XP64, but then that applies to just about anything with XP64). However when it comes to OC, the individual board design is at least as important as chipset, and despite So754 not being hugely sought-after yet, you can't exactly go to a shop and pick and choose, so I'd suggest just going for whatever PCIe board you can find with good OC build (VRM) and functions, and only worry about chipset if you have the luxury of choice. With memory controller on the CPU and HT to the rest it's far less relevant than in older platforms anyway.

Reply 9 of 31, by nd22

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I said I have those 3 not that those are the only ones! I only have Abit motherboards so can not comment about other brands! Regular K8T800 does not have an AGP/PCI lock so is useless at overclocking! I mentioned only the top chipsets form VIA and NVIDIA because I consider that only top boards based on those are decent overclockers! A cheap board with a really cheap chipset would not overclock very far. I would not recommend an ULI based board - I have KU8 and performance is seriously lacking!
If you go with a pci-express board I would choose NV8 with a 3400 Clawhammer if you can not find a Venice one because L2 cache can not be upgraded but the processor can be overclocked- decent memory and voltage options - please be aware that DFI has some socket 754 boards with many more options for overclocking than Abit or any other brand for that matter!

Reply 10 of 31, by debs3759

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I just bought an ASRock K8NF4G-SATA2. It has

GeForce 6100 NB
nForce 410 MCP SB (which I'm guessing is nForce 4 ?)
1 x PCI-E x16
2 x PCI
Integrated graphics (which I will disable)
4 x USB 2.0 0n rear panel
2 x SATA 2
2 x IDE 133
XP Drivers and latest BIOS still available online

£27 inc shipping and i/o panel

Hopefully I'll find it good enough for all my testing purposes (I have about 30 S754 CPUs, and should have a couple od 1GB DDR400 moduless

If I find it not powerful enough, I'll have to save in the new year 😀

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 11 of 31, by nd22

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Two more things:
First about the memory: do not use more than 2 dimms because with 3 the memory will automatically be set to DDR333. If you use XP you 2gb of RAM should be plenty even in the case of heavy use!
Second about the video card: limit yourself to cards with 1gb of VRAM max! I encountered sever stability issues when using 2gb cards!

Reply 12 of 31, by luk1999

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debs3759 wrote on 2021-12-10, 00:36:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I just bought an ASRock K8NF4G-SATA2. It has

GeForce 6100 NB
nForce 410 MCP SB (which I'm guessing is nForce 4 ?)

Nope, it's GeForce 6100, a newer chipset with iGPU.

This board should be OK - its performance should be similar to NForce 4.
But you will be limited in overclocking, as it has quite low voltage ranges: you wan't be able to increase CPU voltage more than 0,05 V over default vcore and RAM voltage will give you probably around 2,7 V when you set it to "High". But it should be able to do HTT 300 or so from BIOS.

The best GF6100 boards for socket s754 were: Biostar TForce 6100-7 and Jetway 754GT3 and 754GT6 series.
I had 754GT6-P and it was pretty good one - Vcore up to 1,55 V, RAM to 3,15 V (it played pretty good with Twinmoses on Windbond UTT chips) and it worked up to 320 MHz HTT from BIOS.

Pentium 4 2400 + ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe + 2 GB RAM + GF FX5700 128 MB AGP + SB Audigy + Tagan TG330-U01 + Win XP SP2
Duron 1000 + Soltek SL-75DRV4 + 256 MB RAM + Voodoo 3 2000 16 MB AGP + FM801 + FSP 400-60PFN + Win 98SE

Reply 13 of 31, by soggi

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luk1999 wrote on 2021-12-08, 19:08:

... Abit AV8 (VIA K8T890) ...

Just want to correct this.

The ABIT AV8(-3rd Eye) is a socket 939 board with VIA K8T800 Pro (not K8T890). I guess you mixed it up with the respective socket 754 board ABIT KV8 Pro(-3rd Eye).

kind regards
soggi

Vintage BIOSes, firmware, drivers, tools, manuals and (3dfx) game patches -> soggi's BIOS & Firmware Page

soggi.org on Twitter - talent borrows, genius steals...

Reply 14 of 31, by luk1999

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Actually I was thinking about AX8 (K8T890), because I was convinced that it is for s754. But it is s939 board. Sorry, my bad. I've fixed my previous post 😀.

Pentium 4 2400 + ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe + 2 GB RAM + GF FX5700 128 MB AGP + SB Audigy + Tagan TG330-U01 + Win XP SP2
Duron 1000 + Soltek SL-75DRV4 + 256 MB RAM + Voodoo 3 2000 16 MB AGP + FM801 + FSP 400-60PFN + Win 98SE

Reply 15 of 31, by debs3759

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nd22 wrote on 2021-12-10, 07:50:

Two more things:
First about the memory: do not use more than 2 dimms because with 3 the memory will automatically be set to DDR333. If you use XP you 2gb of RAM should be plenty even in the case of heavy use!
Second about the video card: limit yourself to cards with 1gb of VRAM max! I encountered sever stability issues when using 2gb cards!

The board I bought only has 2 DIMM slots, but good to know if I also buy an nForce 4 boards. Not sure what 6800 series boards I have off hand, but I'll bear that in mind. Thanks

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 16 of 31, by debs3759

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luk1999 wrote on 2021-12-10, 16:16:
Nope, it's GeForce 6100, a newer chipset with iGPU. […]
Show full quote
debs3759 wrote on 2021-12-10, 00:36:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I just bought an ASRock K8NF4G-SATA2. It has

GeForce 6100 NB
nForce 410 MCP SB (which I'm guessing is nForce 4 ?)

Nope, it's GeForce 6100, a newer chipset with iGPU.

This board should be OK - its performance should be similar to NForce 4.
But you will be limited in overclocking, as it has quite low voltage ranges: you wan't be able to increase CPU voltage more than 0,05 V over default vcore and RAM voltage will give you probably around 2,7 V when you set it to "High". But it should be able to do HTT 300 or so from BIOS.

The best GF6100 boards for socket s754 were: Biostar TForce 6100-7 and Jetway 754GT3 and 754GT6 series.
I had 754GT6-P and it was pretty good one - Vcore up to 1,55 V, RAM to 3,15 V (it played pretty good with Twinmoses on Windbond UTT chips) and it worked up to 320 MHz HTT from BIOS.

Thanks. Sounds like I might have to look for an nForce 4 board next time I have money to spend (probably next month) for overclocking, and keep this board for testing CPUs that are just for my collection 😀

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 17 of 31, by Horun

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Sounds like a good board ! Asrock did make some good ones. It has only two DIMM sockets so make sure you match the ram...it does only support one floppy (but many back then did 🙁 )

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 18 of 31, by Hoping

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Since nowbody mentioned it, I'll do it, all the nvidia chipsets fron that era are afected by the bumpgate problem, so wachout for the NB temperature, because if not it will die, soner than late.
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=94383
Nvidia admited the problem only on the most problematic chips, but they used the same process for all the chips they made during that era.

Reply 19 of 31, by soggi

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luk1999 wrote on 2021-12-10, 21:49:

Actually I was thinking about AX8 (K8T890), because I was convinced that it is for s754. But it is s939 board. Sorry, my bad. I've fixed my previous post 😀.

Blurred memories... 😀

BTW ABIT made these socket 754 boards back then:

  • KU8 (ULi M1689)
  • KV-80 (VIA K8M800)
  • KV-85 (VIA K8M800)
  • KV8 (VIA K8T800)
  • KV8 Pro(-3rd Eye) (VIA K8T800 Pro)
  • KV8-MAX3 (VIA K8T800)
  • NF8 (Nvidia nForce3 250Gb)
  • NF8-V (Nvidia nForce3 250Gb)
  • NF8-V2 (Nvidia nForce3 250)
  • NV8 (Nvidia nForce4-4x)

The NV8 is the only ABIT socket 754 motherboard with PCIe.

kind regards
soggi

Vintage BIOSes, firmware, drivers, tools, manuals and (3dfx) game patches -> soggi's BIOS & Firmware Page

soggi.org on Twitter - talent borrows, genius steals...