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GeForce 4 vs. GeForce FX?

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Reply 100 of 112, by Joseph_Joestar

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bloodem wrote on 2022-01-15, 11:19:

Oh, OK! That would explain it, then. The thing is... I also tested with what should be a pretty early Thoroughbred 1700+ (year 2002 / week 36), but on my KT133/KT266 boards I get no post with lower multipliers. The same CPU works great on the KT400/KT600 boards that I have.

I've posted a picture of my CPU here in case it helps.

The date code seems to be 0302 so early 2002 maybe? Or is that second week of 2003. Not sure how to read the code.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 101 of 112, by bloodem

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-01-15, 11:38:

I've posted a picture of my CPU here in case it helps.
The date code seems to be 0302 so early 2002 maybe? Or is that second week of 2003. Not sure how to read the code.

Interesting, your CPU is actually newer than mine: 03 is the year, 02 is the week (Thoroughbred was launched in June 2002, so week 3 of 2002 is not possible, anyway).
So it's still a mystery how much the motherboard matters in this equation. Looking at this old Tomshardware forum post, it does seem like motherboards have a lot to do with the "unlocking" process, but it's hard to say if that information is accurate or not.

Looking at this Anandtech article, it does seem like even the earliest Thoroughbred CPUs were not exactly unlocked by default, which further reinforces the idea that the motherboard could play a big role in unlocking these CPUs without the need for conductive ink in order to join the L1 bridges.

One thing is certain, you have an Abit motherboard, and these were known to always be extremely flexible and feature-packed in terms of overclocking (or, in this case, downclocking) capabilities.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 102 of 112, by Joseph_Joestar

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bloodem wrote on 2022-01-15, 12:20:

So it's still a mystery how much the motherboard matters in this equation. Looking at this old Tomshardware forum post, it does seem like motherboards have a lot to do with the "unlocking" process, but it's hard to say if that information is accurate or not.

Interesting read. It could well be that motherboards play a certain role in this as well. That said, I was unable to downclock a Duron 700 in this exact motherboard, so there must be something on the CPU side as well.

One thing is certain, you have an Abit motherboard, and these were known to always be extremely flexible and feature-packed in terms of overclocking (or, in this case, downclocking) capabilities.

Very true. The KT7A has a "SoftMenu" section in the BIOS which pretty much lets you tweak CPU settings however you want. I've added a picture of that screen here.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 103 of 112, by bloodem

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-01-15, 13:15:

Interesting read. It could well be that motherboards play a certain role in this as well. That said, I was unable to downclock a Duron 700 in this exact motherboard, so there must be something on the CPU side as well.

Oh, the CPU also plays a big part, for sure! I know this for a fact, because later Bartons are definitely fully locked, even when using the same KT400/KT600/KT880 boards.
So there's definitely something specific to the Thoroughbreds that makes them very flexible (at least when used on certain boards?).

Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-01-15, 13:15:

Very true. The KT7A has a "SoftMenu" section in the BIOS which pretty much lets you tweak CPU settings however you want. I've added a picture of that screen here.

Yeah, I know it all too well. The menu is very similar to that of other Abit motherboards that I have, like the ST6 or even the older BH6. Great board you have there, I'm jealous! 😁

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 104 of 112, by pixel_workbench

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bloodem wrote on 2022-01-15, 10:31:

P4 is terrible when it comes to speed flexibility. There's no way of reaching 386 / 486 speeds, because even when disabling the L1 cache, the Netburst architecture is still too fast.

This is not completely accurate. The reason it appears so is because using "SETMUL L1D" on a P4 actually disables the L2 cache, and not the L1. I tested this on a board that can disable caches in BIOS, and then the P4 slows down to a level of a slow 486. Looking at the memory test graph in Speedsys supports this theory. Below are some DOS benches from my testing.

P4 2.8 Northwood 400MHz FSB, Soyo P4I845PE, 512MB DDR-266, Radeon 9550

Normal:
3dbench1.0c = 460.6
PCPbench = 406.1
Doom fps = 121.45

Using SETMUL L1D:
3dbench1.0c = 333.5
PCPbench = 132.1
Doom fps = 84.78

L1 & L2 caches disabled in BIOS:
3dbench1.0c = 21.5
PCPbench = 6.6
Doom fps = 10.36

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Reply 105 of 112, by bloodem

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pixel_workbench wrote on 2022-01-20, 04:31:

This is not completely accurate. The reason it appears so is because using "SETMUL L1D" on a P4 actually disables the L2 cache, and not the L1. I tested this on a board that can disable caches in BIOS, and then the P4 slows down to a level of a slow 486. Looking at the memory test graph in Speedsys supports this theory. Below are some DOS benches from my testing.

Awesome find, pixel_workbench!
True, I was disabling the L1 cache with setmul, because none of the socket 478 boards that I tested had the BIOS option to do so.
Anyway, although that slow 486 speed is actually very nice for me (I've found that most/all of my favorite early DOS games work just fine at this speed), this doesn't really change the fact that, overall, P4 platforms are still far from being flexible.

2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 12 x SS7 / 1 x Socket 8 / 14 x Slot 1 / 5 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 7 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: Core i7 7700k

Reply 106 of 112, by BitWrangler

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Hmmm wonder what it's like with an 800 Mhz FSB P4 when you do L1 off, Pentium class? then maybe L1 off at 533 is 486 and at 400 is nearer 386 (bearing in mind multi lower on 800 chip, so at 400 it's at early willamette clock speeds, but IPC might be higher)

Though I guess I could scare up the P4M 1.8 I thought I had kicking round somewhere, and see how speedstep behaves.

Edit: reviewing my options of hardware to play around with this on, and I don't seem to have a "goldilocks" CPU or motherboard combo, stuff that's either too good or too bad. Too good mainly meaning I've got different plans for it already. In investigating whether a 331 Celerunt would take 200/800Mhz I found that there's an additional FSB step that might be available on some socket 775 boards. Intel specced a 166/667 FSB which they never released a desktop CPU for, but only used on mobile. However, it might have been implemented with correct PCI/AGP dividers in some boards/chipsets, because MFers never knew Intel wouldn't release 166/667 desktop CPUs. Taping over a pad is meant to enable it. Useful to make settings more granular, modular, interactive-odular. Or because it's a huge leap between 533 and 800 if you've got 533 CPUs. 533 to 800 is possible but you need a low multi (slow) 533 CPU that's practically perfect.

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Reply 107 of 112, by BitWrangler

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Set up a new thread for discussion of P4 speed fudging etc.. Methods to enhance retro-flexibility on Pentium 4 class hardware...

Sorry/not sorry for the notifications from the quoting 😜

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 108 of 112, by Standard Def Steve

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pixel_workbench wrote on 2022-01-20, 04:31:
This is not completely accurate. The reason it appears so is because using "SETMUL L1D" on a P4 actually disables the L2 cache, […]
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bloodem wrote on 2022-01-15, 10:31:

P4 is terrible when it comes to speed flexibility. There's no way of reaching 386 / 486 speeds, because even when disabling the L1 cache, the Netburst architecture is still too fast.

This is not completely accurate. The reason it appears so is because using "SETMUL L1D" on a P4 actually disables the L2 cache, and not the L1. I tested this on a board that can disable caches in BIOS, and then the P4 slows down to a level of a slow 486. Looking at the memory test graph in Speedsys supports this theory. Below are some DOS benches from my testing.

P4 2.8 Northwood 400MHz FSB, Soyo P4I845PE, 512MB DDR-266, Radeon 9550

Normal:
3dbench1.0c = 460.6
PCPbench = 406.1
Doom fps = 121.45

Using SETMUL L1D:
3dbench1.0c = 333.5
PCPbench = 132.1
Doom fps = 84.78

L1 & L2 caches disabled in BIOS:
3dbench1.0c = 21.5
PCPbench = 6.6
Doom fps = 10.36

I'm surprised that disabling the L2 doesn't have a much larger impact on performance, given how tiny the P4's L1 is.
Plus, the P4's L2 cache is wicked fast. The difference in bandwidth between L1 and L2 is relatively small on a P4; much smaller than it is on a PIII, K7/K8, or even Pentium M.
Edit: Then again, this is DOS. Perhaps the difference between L2 on and L2 off would be much greater under a multitasking OS.

Last edited by Standard Def Steve on 2022-01-20, 23:00. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 109 of 112, by Jasin Natael

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I find it amusing that nearly any thread discussing the Ge(fail)force FX inevitably devolves into a P4 discussion thread.
They are a match made in heaven, both can be great but are stuck with a stigma of being terrible.
And I'll confess I have zero use for either product range.

Reply 110 of 112, by The Serpent Rider

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It's probably less about P4 itself and more about Intel S478 platform as a whole. Which is not riddled with bugs, poor I/O performance and other problems, usually associated with VIA, Nvidia and to lesser extend SIS chipsets.

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Reply 111 of 112, by kolderman

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The stigma makes it cool now IMO. The fact that something people would have vomited over in 2003 is now arguably the best build for retro gaming for that era is kind of awesome. And in case you forget, the noise roar will constantly remind you 😦

Reply 112 of 112, by The Serpent Rider

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have vomited over in 2003

Except it didn't at that time. P4 became a mess in late 2004, when it became obvious that Intel couldn't deliver scalability they've promised. Prescott was hot garbage.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me