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First post, by Jones817

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Hello!

Unsure if this is where I put this but I recently purchased a Compaq Desktop EP on eBay.

Specs: Pentium 2 MMX 400MHZ
Sound Blaster 16
120mb RAM
PNY Geforce FX 5500 AGP - 2 VGA slots on back
Windows 98 SE

I have added 1 module of RAM for a total of 320 MB of RAM
and the GPU to the system to play retro games.

I cannot understand for the life of me why my 3D Mark 99 Score at 800x600 is 2966 and CPU score is 3845
I also cannot understand why I only get 29 FPS in 3D Mark even with DirectX8 and NVIDIA 9X drivers installed up to 81.85 Oct 2005

I can play most retro games just fine, but when I play RCT 1 if my park gets a bit crowded then it slows down.
When I play Escape from Horrorland I get flickery cinematics.
It seems when the PC comes under any serious 3D load, then I run into issues.

Please help! Any advice on upgrades is most welcome or any fixes.

Thank you!!

Reply 2 of 17, by CharlieFoxtrot

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You should first try much older drivers, especially with older stuff. 45.23 is a good starting point for win98 and GeForce and usually works quite flawlessly with most older titles.

As far the games you mentioned, neither have any 3D acceleration so they are fully 2d titles, if you mean RollerCoaster Tycoon with RCT1. That doesn’t mean that newer drivers wouldn’t cause issues with them.

As far as the 3dMark99 goes, I don’t think those scores are anything out of the ballpark, although older drivers might show improved performance. FPS on those tests is meaningless, they are designed to load systems for the period, which your P2 definitely is. High FPS numbers isn’t to be expected with P2, you’d need a much faster system.

Reply 3 of 17, by Jones817

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Interesting.
I appreciate the response. I also cannot play The Sims 1, my PC struggles with that as well. I am not sure why. Perhaps it’s the Pentium 2 that is slowing me down? I will try the driver fix and see if that improves performance.

CharlieFoxtrot wrote on 2023-09-25, 05:34:

You should first try much older drivers, especially with older stuff. 45.23 is a good starting point for win98 and GeForce and usually works quite flawlessly with most older titles.

As far the games you mentioned, neither have any 3D acceleration so they are fully 2d titles, if you mean RollerCoaster Tycoon with RCT1. That doesn’t mean that newer drivers wouldn’t cause issues with them.

As far as the 3dMark99 goes, I don’t think those scores are anything out of the ballpark, although older drivers might show improved performance. FPS on those tests is meaningless, they are designed to load systems for the period, which your P2 definitely is. High FPS numbers isn’t to be expected with P2, you’d need a much faster system.

Reply 6 of 17, by CharlieFoxtrot

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Jones817 wrote on 2023-09-25, 05:43:
giantclam wrote on 2023-09-25, 04:09:

Perhaps limited by it's 2x AGP port?

I thought about that also. Should I get a better gpu? If so, what?

No, there is pretty much zero benefit for trying to slap much faster gpu on a P2. And it would have zero benefit for the 2d titles you mentioned in any case.

Your Sims, is it a Complete edition or in general installed with addons? If so, don’t expect it to run fluidly on your system, you’d need probably a fast P4 or Athlon to do that. Even the base game had minimum of 233MMX so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d see some slowdowns with higher graphics settings or resolutions on a P2. With addons, it will be much, much worse as the game bloated to a whole new level with those.

Reply 7 of 17, by CharlieFoxtrot

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Jones817 wrote on 2023-09-25, 06:01:

Also, does anyone know if Pentium 3 is compatible with the Pentium 2 slot I have on the Compaq Deskpro?

It depends on the motherboard. There is a chance that it supports P3 at least Katmai, but it also may don’t and you max with P2. You need to check the MB you have and check the documentation.

Last edited by CharlieFoxtrot on 2023-09-25, 06:26. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 8 of 17, by wierd_w

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Jones817 wrote on 2023-09-25, 06:01:

Also, does anyone know if Pentium 3 is compatible with the Pentium 2 slot I have on the Compaq Deskpro?

very much HIT AND MISS.

Depends very heavily on many factors:

Which chipset are you dealing with?
Do you have the correct PGA->Slot-1 interposer?
Does your system's BIOS support that?
Which Pentinum III era chip are you trying to install? (Better stick to coppermine or older! At a minimum, your system needs to be able to do 100mhz FSB to use PIII chips.)

The "Let's keep this mostly inexpensive, and safe" answer is "no."

The "Nitty gritty, 'I dont mind high costs, hunting for vintage hardware devices of dubious quality, know I have a suitable chipset, and have a patched BIOS and am ready to go!' " answer is:

"In some edge cases, it's possible. They made special interposer boards to put PGA Pentium III coppermine based chips, and Celeron chips of the same era, into slot-1 systems, but the chipset needed to support that, and so did the bios. The boards are hard to find these days, but occasionally turn up on ebay. There are knockoff modern boards that do not have the correct voltage regulation hardware present. Caveat emptor!"

Reply 9 of 17, by CharlieFoxtrot

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wierd_w wrote on 2023-09-25, 06:13:
very much HIT AND MISS. […]
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Jones817 wrote on 2023-09-25, 06:01:

Also, does anyone know if Pentium 3 is compatible with the Pentium 2 slot I have on the Compaq Deskpro?

very much HIT AND MISS.

Depends very heavily on many factors:

Which chipset are you dealing with?
Do you have the correct PGA->Slot-A interposer?
Does your system's BIOS support that?
Which Pentinum III era chip are you trying to install? (Better stick to coppermine or older!)

The "Let's keep this mostly inexpensive, and safe" answer is "no."

The "Nitty gritty, 'I dont mind high costs, hunting for vintage hardware devices of dubious quality, know I have a suitable chipset, and have a patched BIOS and am ready to go!' " answer is:

"In some edge cases, it's possible. They made special interposer boards to put PGA Pentium III coppermine based chips, and Celeron chips of the same era, into slot-A systems, but the chipset needed to support that, and so did the bios. The boards are hard to find these days, but occasionally turn up on ebay. There are knockoff modern boards that do not have the correct voltage regulation hardware present. Caveat emptor!"

There is no need to use slotket, he can just buy the correct slot1 CPU if MB supports P3. If MB supports up to Katmai, he can go to 600MHz with native Slot 1 CPU. If there is support for Coppermine CPUs, in theory the cap is at 1100MHz with Slot 1 (100MHz BUS), although the fastest CPUs are very expensive these days and not all MBs support necessarily the fastest CPUs. I doubt that the Compaq board supports 133MHz bus speed, even if it supports P3.

For example, I have 800MHz/100 P3 Slot 1 Coppermine on my 440BX. No need to use slotkets.

Reply 10 of 17, by wierd_w

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I just remember BITD that finding Slot-1 PIII chips was difficult, and socket370 chips of similar vintage/prod run were plentiful.

You just needed to be mindful of what you were doing/buying when selecting a slotket, as not all were created equal, and not all socket370 chips were suitable for use.

If he can find a bonafide Slot-1 PIII, and his chipset/bios supports it-- by all means, that is the preferred upgrade. If he cannot, the slotket ***MIGHT*** (Be sure to research that system VERY carefully!) be a path.

---

Further reading/googling, it looks like if this is a DeskPro SFF, other posters here on Vogons have successfully used a Slotket, up to 900mhz. (Since it uses a BX chipset, and can handle coppermine on a slotket)
Compaq Deskpro SFF P3 500Mhz - Restoration (and loud "thinking noise" issues - would a PCI card improve?)

Reply 11 of 17, by Jones817

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Hey guys, I did find this regarding my MOBO.

It does look like it supports PIII

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If I install that PIII, would it be a significant enough upgrade to improve the overall PC?
And, what would happen if I put say, a Coppermine into it?

Thanks for all the help!

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Reply 12 of 17, by CharlieFoxtrot

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Jones817 wrote on 2023-09-25, 15:38:
Hey guys, I did find this regarding my MOBO. […]
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Hey guys, I did find this regarding my MOBO.

It does look like it supports PIII

Screenshot%202023-09-25%20at%208.35.19%20AM.png

Screenshot 2023-09-25 at 8.54.13 AM.png

If I install that PIII, would it be a significant enough upgrade to improve the overall PC?
And, what would happen if I put say, a Coppermine into it?

Thanks for all the help!

With same clock speed, P3 is only marginally better. However, if you for example replace that 400MHz P2 with 600MHz P3, you’d get naturally a significant performance boost.

What happens if you use Coppermine on a board that doesn’t support it? System most likely doesn’t work corrctly as BIOS doesn’t recognize the CPU. Boards which don’t support Coppermine may not have proper VRM to provide lower voltages for Coppermines (1,65V vs 2,05V). This means you may up frying the chip.

Reply 14 of 17, by CharlieFoxtrot

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Jones817 wrote on 2023-09-25, 16:34:

Mmkay,

Do those screenshots inspire any confidence in replacing my PII with a much better PIII?

I don’t know what you mean, but if that’s your board, you should be able to install 600Mhz Katmai at maximum on it. Faster CPU would be Coppermine and this board doesn’t support one.

Reply 16 of 17, by shamino

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If you want to be a little more adventurous, with a possibility it doesn't work:

The key question is whether the BIOS will support a Coppermine. Coppermine recognition/support may have made it's way into later BIOS updates but Compaq isn't likely to have ever mentioned it since it's not officially supported.

On most P2 motherboards, the reason Coppermines don't get listed as supported is because the motherboard wasn't guaranteed to have a compatible VRM. Older VRMs can only go down 1.8V at minimum, and Coppermines all request voltages more in the 1.60-1.75V range. When those unsupported voltages are requested, the older VRMs will refuse to power the CPU (so no POST).
In theory, it's also possible they malfunction and fry the CPU, but all the voltage regulator datasheets I've seen explicitly say they're safe against that, and will instead just output 0V.

The voltage issue can be worked around by using a PGA370 version in a slocket adapter that has VID jumpers on it. Those jumpers will override what voltage the CPU requests from the motherboard. Just set the jumpers for 1.80V and the motherboard will happily provide that. 1.8V will make a Coppermine run hotter than normal but it shouldn't kill it.

If this was a DIY type motherboard (Asus, AOpen, Gigabyte, etc) then this would almost surely work. However, prebuilt brands like Compaq sometimes have picky BIOSes that will refuse to use an "unsupported" CPU. So there is some question of whether the BIOS would allow it or not.

If it does work, then a Coppermine is a lot more desirable IMO. Even at 1.8V it probably draws less power than a Katmai at the same speed, they're usually faster, and they have higher clocked models as well. But the Katmai 600MHz is more of a sure thing.

Reply 17 of 17, by Ydee

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I had to use a modified slotket (wire mod) for Coppermine PIII and Celeron, but VRM is compatible thanks to the used Cherry Semiconductor CS5155 (1,34-3,5 Vcore) buck controller. It works perfectly with both Coppermine PIII 1000 and 800 MHz or Celeron 900 MHz with BIOS version 686T5, it's a smaller version of Deskpro EN SFF with the same i440BX chipset.
I suppose it could be similar for EP models.

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