VOGONS


First post, by 386SX

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Hello,

I am trying an ECS P6BX-A+ i440BX mainboard with latest 2000 bios and it supports up to the early 600Mhz Pentium III. I already tried even this last cpu and it works but I am noticing now that the Pentium II 400Mhz I've got in Windows 98 First Edition is seen by most software as a Celeron 400Mhz. Windows see it as a Pentium II but even CPU-Z Vintage and Everest doesn't see the L2 cache. The older CPU-Z directly see it as a Celeron. 3DMarks too.
Can it be a software problem or the cpu L2 cache might be damaged? In the bios obviously the L2 cache is enabled. And I'm seeing now even Phil dosbench tests see only L1 cache and name it Celeron(TM).
Thanks.

Last edited by 386SX on 2022-01-21, 16:47. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 1 of 26, by 386SX

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Update: I am trying with a Pentium III 500Mhz (early core) and softwares now see its 512Kb L2 cache. I suspect that P2 400Mhz might have something wrong with the on board cache. I'll try again to clean the cpu pins connector.

Reply 2 of 26, by red-ray

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386SX wrote on 2022-01-03, 12:47:

Windows see it as a Pentium II but even CPU-Z Vintage edition doesn't see its L2 cache. The older CPU-Z directly see it as a Celeron.

As there are multiple versions of the CPU-Z Vintage edition and even more versions of older CPU-Zs I feel it would be wise to specify the version number.

My guess is that CPUID 00000002 is failing to report the correct L2 cache size, can you post a screenshot of the SIV V5.63 Beta-00 (or later) Menu->Hardware->CPUID->CPU-0 panel so we can see? It would also be interesting to see what L2 cache size is deduced by [Cache-0 Latency] and what the BIOS sets that [Machine] reports.

Reply 3 of 26, by 386SX

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red-ray wrote on 2022-01-03, 14:38:
386SX wrote on 2022-01-03, 12:47:

Windows see it as a Pentium II but even CPU-Z Vintage edition doesn't see its L2 cache. The older CPU-Z directly see it as a Celeron.

As there are multiple versions of the CPU-Z Vintage edition and even more versions of older CPU-Zs I feel it would be wise to specify the version number.

My guess is that CPUID 00000002 is failing to report the correct L2 cache size, can you post a screenshot of the SIV V5.63 Beta-00 (or later) Menu->Hardware->CPUID->CPU-0 panel so we can see? It would also be interesting to see what L2 cache size is deduced by [Cache-0 Latency] and what the BIOS sets that [Machine] reports.

Thanks, I think I've solved the CPU problem. It most probably was the cpu connector pins that weren't enough cleaned, never happened that needed such attention to it to work correctly. Now it reads both the benchmark and CPU-Z Vintae 1.0.3 version its 512Kb L2 cache! 😀

Reply 4 of 26, by 386SX

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I think I talked too soon.. the missing L2 reading seems to appear and solving once the cpu moves inside the socket. I know I don't have those plastic things to put on top of the vertical guides to keep the cpu blocked but I didn't expect it was that sensible. I suppose I must search for those cause if I move the case around the cpu will probably loose the L2 cache again.

Reply 6 of 26, by 386SX

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This never happened with the Pentium III 500 probably the connector is a bit different and stays there by itself. I wanted to keep this on the Pentium II level anyway so to test old AGP1x/2x time correct cards.. 😀 Anyway like the Socket 775 heatink, I can't imagine to engineer such connection.. I understand the idea of not having a socket with cpu pins that could easily break but I almost forgot how awful that Slot bus was.

Reply 7 of 26, by AlexZ

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You can make new supports out of a gum eraser to hold the CPU in place.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
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Reply 8 of 26, by 386SX

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Update: it's really strange but even with another cpu and their plastic clips, even after cleaning all contacts and pins, sometime the mainboard seems to not read the Pentium II (I suppose it might happen also with the Celeron) L2 cache two different cpus with a P2-400 and a P2-350 I tried. If I shutdown the o.s. and move the cpu and restart it seems the L2 is seen again until the next missing reading and every sw can't read it when missing (Everest, CPU-Z 1.03 etc..). I can't be sure is a contact problem because it might be a coincidence is read again after pressing the CPU in the Slot. Is it possible that something is wrong with the mainboard? I'm using the latest 2000 v5.6 beta bios cause it reads 40GB hard disks and is of course enabled in the bios. I'll try reinstall the o.s. but this never happened with a 440BX mainboard in the past, I'm not sure why it happen but it's not the cpu the problem while it seems to not do it with the Pentium 3 500 or 600. It might be the PCB of the CPU is a bit larger and make more contact? Anyway I don't move the case when this happen.

Reply 9 of 26, by TrashPanda

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Could be anything from flaky power delivery to the cache to a bad solder joint somewhere on the board, its hard to say unless you are willing to test all components and continuity on the board. Could also be a cold joint on cache on the CPU PCB or heck the cache chip itself might be flaky. Might even be something as simple as slight corrosion on the slot itself .. in the motherboard connector part.

I dont know if you have another way of testing the CPU in a different board, but I would do that and see if it does it there. If not then you have your culprit in the Motherboard itself at which point it might be cheaper to just replace it, if it does it on the new board then its the CPU thats damaged and you can just replace that.

It honestly sounds like a bad joint in the connector on the motherboard, could be a dry joint that works when the board is warm, as soon as it cools down a bit it'll lose contact till you press on it, if its the connector on the motherboard and unless you can do the reflowing yourself it will be cheaper to replace the board.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 10 of 26, by 386SX

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I tried two different cpu (with cleaned contacts) specifically cause I was thinking the P2-400 was the problem and instead it does the same thing with a Pentium 2 350 that has already the clips in its box and a passive heatsink and it stays well inserted in the slot, no movements. I'd not expect two cpu having the same problem on their pcb so I suspect a contact problem or a mainboard one but I cleaned even the Slot. I also checked looking into the Slot and all pins are at the same distance and there're no one that seems strange. I would update an older bios to see if this "beta" one might be the problem. There's also that possibility but I changed different vga, sound cards, ram. The PSU is a 5 volt powerful Enermax for Pentium 4 even with the -5V rail. I didn't see this happening with the Pentium III latest supported early versions. Is the Pentium III 500>600 PCB a bit different? Or having different pins schematic?

Reply 11 of 26, by TrashPanda

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Its likely one of the solder joints that connects the slot to the motherboard, all it would take is for one of them to be cracked slightly for it to cause the issues you describe, the fact it gets better when you reseat the CPU or press down on it makes me think bad solder joints are the likely cause.

You very likely wont be able to see the crack even if you looked but you can look on the back of the motherboard where the slot pins come through with a jewellers loupe or magnifying glass and check each pin joint and see if you can see any that look corroded, cracked or look sketchy. Its a long shot to find one that way but worth a go, you could also get a hot air gun and reflow the solder joints for the connector, just make sure you protect surrounding solder joints from the heat.

The thing to remember is that P2 era motherboards are fragile due to age and solder doesnt get stronger with age either so the more you insert and remove the CPU the more likely it is you can crack one of the connector joints. Also P2 era boards are from the capacitor plague era and the solder used from that time wasn't the best to begin with.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 12 of 26, by 386SX

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:09:

Its likely one of the solder joints that connects the slot to the motherboard, all it would take is for one of them to be cracked slightly for it to cause the issues you describe, the fact it gets better when you reseat the CPU or press down on it makes me think bad solder joints are the likely cause.

You very likely wont be able to see the crack even if you looked but you can look on the back of the motherboard where the slot pins come through with a jewellers loupe or magnifying glass and check each pin joint and see if you can see any that look corroded, cracked or look sketchy. Its a long shot to find one that way but worth a go, you could also get a hot air gun and reflow the solder joints for the connector, just make sure you protect surrounding solder joints from the heat.

Thanks, I'll see if I can find anything wrong, I didn't check the back side of the mainboard being installed right now but I suppose soon I'll put the 430VX I had back in this case. The slot idea for the CPUs never felt IMHO like the best one seen in consumer electronics considering how heavy and powerful CPUs became and how much power they needed... even back in those times I didn't even have a Slot based mainboard. Jumped directly from the K6-2 to the later Duron 750 socket version.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2022-01-22, 02:01. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 13 of 26, by TrashPanda

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386SX wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:15:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:09:

Its likely one of the solder joints that connects the slot to the motherboard, all it would take is for one of them to be cracked slightly for it to cause the issues you describe, the fact it gets better when you reseat the CPU or press down on it makes me think bad solder joints are the likely cause.

You very likely wont be able to see the crack even if you looked but you can look on the back of the motherboard where the slot pins come through with a jewellers loupe or magnifying glass and check each pin joint and see if you can see any that look corroded, cracked or look sketchy. Its a long shot to find one that way but worth a go, you could also get a hot air gun and reflow the solder joints for the connector, just make sure you protect surrounding solder joints from the heat.

Thanks, I'll see if I can find anything wrong, I didn't check the back side of the mainboard being installed right now but I suppose soon I'll put the 430VX I had back in this case. The slot idea for the CPUs never felt IMHO like the best one seen in consumer electronics considering how heavy and powerful CPUs became and how much power they needed... even back in those times I didn't even have a Slot based mainboard. Jumped directly from the K6-2 to the later Duron 750 socket version.

It was the reliability that did them in, they were prone to breaking the joints that connects the slot to the board either from CPUs being inserted roughly or incorrectly or removed with too much force, it was a horrible design that both AMD and Intel dropped fairly quickly.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2022-01-22, 02:01. Edited 2 times in total.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 14 of 26, by 386SX

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:17:
386SX wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:15:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:09:

Its likely one of the solder joints that connects the slot to the motherboard, all it would take is for one of them to be cracked slightly for it to cause the issues you describe, the fact it gets better when you reseat the CPU or press down on it makes me think bad solder joints are the likely cause.

You very likely wont be able to see the crack even if you looked but you can look on the back of the motherboard where the slot pins come through with a jewellers loupe or magnifying glass and check each pin joint and see if you can see any that look corroded, cracked or look sketchy. Its a long shot to find one that way but worth a go, you could also get a hot air gun and reflow the solder joints for the connector, just make sure you protect surrounding solder joints from the heat.

Thanks, I'll see if I can find anything wrong, I didn't check the back side of the mainboard being installed right now but I suppose soon I'll put the 430VX I had back in this case. The slot idea for the CPUs never felt IMHO like the best one seen in consumer electronics considering how heavy and powerful CPUs became and how much power they needed... even back in those times I didn't even have a Slot based mainboard. Jumped directly from the K6-2 to the later Duron 750 socket version.

It was the reliability that did them in, they were prone to breaking the joints that connects the socket to the board either from CPUs being inserted roughly or incorrectly or removed with too much force, it was a horrible design that both AMD and Intel dropped fairly quickly.

And I think I might have installed and uninstalled the cpu sometimes with too much force considering it's not really easy to remove. Too bad cause I don't have many AGP 1x/2x mainboard..

Reply 15 of 26, by Tetrium

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386SX wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:15:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:09:

Its likely one of the solder joints that connects the slot to the motherboard, all it would take is for one of them to be cracked slightly for it to cause the issues you describe, the fact it gets better when you reseat the CPU or press down on it makes me think bad solder joints are the likely cause.

You very likely wont be able to see the crack even if you looked but you can look on the back of the motherboard where the slot pins come through with a jewellers loupe or magnifying glass and check each pin joint and see if you can see any that look corroded, cracked or look sketchy. Its a long shot to find one that way but worth a go, you could also get a hot air gun and reflow the solder joints for the connector, just make sure you protect surrounding solder joints from the heat.

Thanks, I'll see if I can find anything wrong, I didn't check the back side of the mainboard being installed right now but I suppose soon I'll put the 430VX I had back in this case. The slot idea for the CPUs never felt IMHO like the best one seen in consumer electronics considering how heavy and powerful CPUs became and how much power they needed... even back in those times I didn't even have a Slot based mainboard. Jumped directly from the K6-2 to the later Duron 750 socket version.

My first PC was a Slot 1 one. Back then the Slot 1 concept was sold as the way forward, as progression. Because this way it was way easier to scale up CPU frequencies because the cache didn't need to be on-die anymore.
CPU power dissipation had increased somewhat, but at that time noone really saw the huuuge leap in CPU power consumption coming, so this was not something that was even a consideration when the CPU slot was designed. That and for a newer CPU it was quite typical a new cooling solution would be designed anyway, it just didn't matter at the time Slot 1 was released.
And tbf, Slot 1 was actually capable of mounting substantially beefier coolers compared to Socket 7. Some Slot 1 CPU HSFs were basically quite literally just 2 Socket 7 heatsinks with 2 5cm fans mounted on top, made suitable for mounting on a Slot 1 CPU instead of on a Pentium 1 ZIF socket.
Also swapping out CPUs is usually much easier compared to Socket 7 where the HSF will need to be unmounted and remounted every time a CPU using a corretly installed CPU HSF is swapped. So there is definitely something to say for Slot 1 being the superior solution compared to Socket 7, which is a comparison which was made somewhat commonly back in the day. Of course from hindsight things may look very different.

CPU slot design was more expensive, so as soon as the L2 cache could be put on the CPU die again with good enough yields (which happened when Intel made Mendocino), Intel made Socket 370 and soon enough the desktop Pentium 3 CPU went over to s370 entirely.

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Reply 16 of 26, by Tetrium

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:17:
386SX wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:15:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:09:

Its likely one of the solder joints that connects the slot to the motherboard, all it would take is for one of them to be cracked slightly for it to cause the issues you describe, the fact it gets better when you reseat the CPU or press down on it makes me think bad solder joints are the likely cause.

You very likely wont be able to see the crack even if you looked but you can look on the back of the motherboard where the slot pins come through with a jewellers loupe or magnifying glass and check each pin joint and see if you can see any that look corroded, cracked or look sketchy. Its a long shot to find one that way but worth a go, you could also get a hot air gun and reflow the solder joints for the connector, just make sure you protect surrounding solder joints from the heat.

Thanks, I'll see if I can find anything wrong, I didn't check the back side of the mainboard being installed right now but I suppose soon I'll put the 430VX I had back in this case. The slot idea for the CPUs never felt IMHO like the best one seen in consumer electronics considering how heavy and powerful CPUs became and how much power they needed... even back in those times I didn't even have a Slot based mainboard. Jumped directly from the K6-2 to the later Duron 750 socket version.

It was the reliability that did them in, they were prone to breaking the joints that connects the slot to the board either from CPUs being inserted roughly or incorrectly or removed with too much force, it was a horrible design that both AMD and Intel dropped fairly quickly.

Slot 1 was actually quite reliable, so not sure where you are getting this unreliability from. It's definitely not the main reason why Intel and AMD dropped the CPU slot design back then. CPU slot is simply more expensive and at that point because unnecessary.
CPU slots were born out of necessity and as soon as it wasn't needed anymore, it was dropped in favor for the more cheap and practical ZIF socket (even though Intel would move over to LGA a couple years after that).
And if you or anyone needs to use too much force to insert or remove any parts, then often something is not right anyway. Forcing stuff with these components will often end up with more broken components and I found this out the hard way back in the day.
If something doesn't want to move, don't get frustrated, take a deep breath, have a better look and often you'll see there's something that was overlooked.
Using too much force is user error, it's not Intel's and AMD's fault (usually because it is however that alas not all designs are created equally).

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Reply 17 of 26, by TrashPanda

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I'm getting it from all the slot based boards I had to try and repair and usually replaced, Intel boards had good reliability of the solder joints cheaper boards did not, the whole slot design was stupid from the start. It was never needed and initially was just a gimmick by Intel to stop AMD from using its sockets, in the end it worked and ever since AMD and Intel have gone their own way separating the market. (Which is what Intel wanted)

I dont think anyone would disagree with the reliability of slot based designs as they have aged, mostly the boards you find now are the ones that had more robust solder used the cheaper boards are all e-waste by now either from Capacitor Plague or the slot died from shit solder joints. (Solder from that era in general was terrible, once it dries out its only a matter of time and force before it fails)

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 18 of 26, by 386SX

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-01-23, 11:21:
My first PC was a Slot 1 one. Back then the Slot 1 concept was sold as the way forward, as progression. Because this way it was […]
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386SX wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:15:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-21, 17:09:

Its likely one of the solder joints that connects the slot to the motherboard, all it would take is for one of them to be cracked slightly for it to cause the issues you describe, the fact it gets better when you reseat the CPU or press down on it makes me think bad solder joints are the likely cause.

You very likely wont be able to see the crack even if you looked but you can look on the back of the motherboard where the slot pins come through with a jewellers loupe or magnifying glass and check each pin joint and see if you can see any that look corroded, cracked or look sketchy. Its a long shot to find one that way but worth a go, you could also get a hot air gun and reflow the solder joints for the connector, just make sure you protect surrounding solder joints from the heat.

Thanks, I'll see if I can find anything wrong, I didn't check the back side of the mainboard being installed right now but I suppose soon I'll put the 430VX I had back in this case. The slot idea for the CPUs never felt IMHO like the best one seen in consumer electronics considering how heavy and powerful CPUs became and how much power they needed... even back in those times I didn't even have a Slot based mainboard. Jumped directly from the K6-2 to the later Duron 750 socket version.

My first PC was a Slot 1 one. Back then the Slot 1 concept was sold as the way forward, as progression. Because this way it was way easier to scale up CPU frequencies because the cache didn't need to be on-die anymore.
CPU power dissipation had increased somewhat, but at that time noone really saw the huuuge leap in CPU power consumption coming, so this was not something that was even a consideration when the CPU slot was designed. That and for a newer CPU it was quite typical a new cooling solution would be designed anyway, it just didn't matter at the time Slot 1 was released.
And tbf, Slot 1 was actually capable of mounting substantially beefier coolers compared to Socket 7. Some Slot 1 CPU HSFs were basically quite literally just 2 Socket 7 heatsinks with 2 5cm fans mounted on top, made suitable for mounting on a Slot 1 CPU instead of on a Pentium 1 ZIF socket.
Also swapping out CPUs is usually much easier compared to Socket 7 where the HSF will need to be unmounted and remounted every time a CPU using a corretly installed CPU HSF is swapped. So there is definitely something to say for Slot 1 being the superior solution compared to Socket 7, which is a comparison which was made somewhat commonly back in the day. Of course from hindsight things may look very different.

CPU slot design was more expensive, so as soon as the L2 cache could be put on the CPU die again with good enough yields (which happened when Intel made Mendocino), Intel made Socket 370 and soon enough the desktop Pentium 3 CPU went over to s370 entirely.

I understand the cache point but I wonder if like in the past would have been that difficult to design an external fast L2 cache on sockets like the early Pentium that would have solved the L2 problem and still living on old style Socket when until the cpu beside the 1Ghz models with those huge heatsink, they didn't seems impossible to use some heavier heatsink on the socket. Let's see what they did on the Socket 462 and the power demanding various Athlon (1400.. XP 3200 etc..) and heatsink really heavy and large. I understand that the early Pentium II seems to have quite increased the power demand with the early core and that probably felt like a problem compared to the past cpu solution. But once new cores (P2-300/350? I don't remember) were released the temperature problem came back into a acceptable range imho. I don't know maybe I never really like those as a concept, while I understand the theorical positive side of having a cpu that couldn't have broken pins or similar but at least the Slot plastic bus should have been attached to the mainboard in so many points that should have been impossible to make any force on that. Also a different plastic guides logic migh have helped into removing them (like a Socket with a mechanism to help the user). For example similar thing happened over the years with the video card bus, now in metal, double slot etc.. But the video card logic make the bus less problematic to install or uninstall, those cpu had to stay there in a vertical position and possibly suffering also case vibrations or casual hit. Lately talking to a PC store (one of those few old stores remained having worked into this market since the 80's) manager, talking about the Slot cpus immediately said about the "problems with contacts" I didn't even know about but now I'm discovering cause not having Slot board in those times. To say that if even a common local repair store remembers that 20 years later maybe was a discussion subject for those who had them. 😉

Last edited by 386SX on 2022-01-23, 16:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 19 of 26, by TrashPanda

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Look at socket 8, it had the first Pentium 2 on it as a Pentium II overdrive, it worked fine but Intel being Intel saw a way to remove AMD and others from its platform, the slot1 based design which thanks to the chipset was locked to Intel CPUs and Intel refused to share it with AMD, AMD went and did their own slot format in slot A but from that point on the two never again used the same socket or platform, I cant say for sure if that was a good or bad thing but it certainly hasn't done either of them any harm.

I own a Pentium II overdrive, its not huge or incapable of being cooled and aside from the socket 8 platform only ever seeing major use in server boards it works perfectly fine.

The one thing I would have loved to see on the Slot connector was through board retention with a backplate, a way to take stress off the connector itself and apply it to the supporting structure which would have been stronger and not connected to the board by weak solder joints. As for damaging slots .. seen that way to many times with AGP and PCIe GPUs when people use a little to much lateral force and snap the slot right off the board or use to much force when removing it because they failed to unlock it which ends up tearing the slot off the board.

Slots by their very nature are more fragile than sockets.

PEBCAK exists and should be respected.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.