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Cyrix MII-433GP Build

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First post, by feipoa

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Here we have my latest build: a Cyrix MII at 300 MHz. This system will soon be used to run the Ultimate 686 Benchmark Comparison.

This style of ATX case was very popular around 2001-2003 for generic and home-built PCs, however this particular case has a manufacturing date of 2006, so it is likely one of the last all white ATX towers. I just so happened to buy it new a few months ago from some old stock seller.

It is running a Cyrix MII-400GP at 300 MHz (4x75 MHz) on an AZZA PT-5IT v2.1 motherboard. The motherboard is based on the Intel 430TX chipset, so the max L2 cache size is 512 KB (pipeline burst), having a cacheable memory range of only 64 MB. For that reason, I only have a single 64MB SDRAM stick installed. The CPU is a bit beaten up as it came from a gold recovery salvage, however I do have another 400GP in a more pristine condition which I paid $5 in 2003.

This AZZA board seems to work fine with FSBs of 50, 55, 60, 66, 75, and 83 MHz. For a regular Socket 7 board, it supports quite a bit of core CPU voltages, 1.95, 2.0, 2.1, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, and 3.2 V. It also works with CPU multipliers of 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, and 6x. The BIOS was patched by Jans Steunebrink in 2011 to support K6-3, K6+, and Cyrix 4X CPUs. The motherboard natively works with many of the 6x86 features already enabled, except for NO_LOCK (which is easy enough to enable via software) and Cyrix Linear Burst Mode (which a 430TX does not support).

The Cyrix MII case badge did not come with the case, I sourced it from someone on the web selling badge stickers. The image of the monitor shows some really cheesy Cyrix-made screen saver.

Once the Ultimate 686 Benchmark Comparison is complete, I will replace this TX board with either a 2 MB cache VIA MVP3 board or an ALi5 board which has been proven to work well with a Cyrix MII. By replacing the board with a Super7 ATX board, I gain AGP graphics and 512 MB of cacheable memory range. An added bonus is the ability to run a 100 MHz bus, but I am uncertain if the MII-400GP will be long-term stable with a bus over 95 MHz. I also plan to swap out the graphics card to a Matrox G400 Max, G550, or Parhelia 128 AGP.

I personally made the back panel keyboard/mouse plate; there was some guy on eBay trying to sell thin plates for $20+ delivered, and I wasn't about to pay that. I cut a piece of 1/32" ordinary mild carbon steel to fit inside a common ATX panel cover, then JB welded it to the stock aluminium panel cover. I clamped it in a vice for 24-hrs to dry. I then lined it up with the motherboard and drilled the keyboard and PS/2 mouse port holes.

The ATX case has a momentary (non-latching) SPST power switch. There wasn't a convenient way to mount one of those bulky latching AT switches (10A AC) in it's place. I looked on digikey for a suitable latching switch to replace the case's momentary one, but nothing seemed to just drop in to my satisfaction. While there were some switches I could modify to fit, I decided I also wanted to be able to throw in an ATX motherboard later on without swapping out the switch again.

I set out to build a transistor based momentary-to-latching switch converter. It uses 12 resistors, 3 NPN BJT transistors, 2 PNP BJT transistors, and 1 capacitor. The circuit serves as a single-bit static memory element, looking only for a rising signal to change (output) memory states. This circuit layout is not a new concept, though I have added some transistor/resistors and tuned the resistor/capacitor values for this particular application. The solderboard might look a bit wonky because I decided to use all desoldered components I got off of a dead 1980's stereo receiver. This turned into quite a challenge because the transistors all had different base, emitter, collector pin-outs! The two 1 uF capacitors you see in the image are connected in parallel as to serve as a single 2 uF capacitor. On the schematic, "k" refers to kilo-ohms, and "M" refers to "mega-ohms". The ATX-to-AT latching switch converter has been working fine for a few weeks now.

As for mounting the solderboard in the case, I found it very convenient to replace one of the power supply screws with a stand-off.

My only real complaints with the case are the four 5.25" bays (it is overkill), and the vented side panel. The vented side panel had some plastic exhaust ducts for a Pentium 4 or newer CPU, which I didn't need. I removed the exhaust ducts. The disadvantage of the panel vent is that the case sounds a little louder when everything is powered up than it would otherwise.

Unfortunately the case's supplied USB external connector cable was a few inches too short to reach the motherboard header, so I had to extend it (yellow wire shown on bottom left corner of image). That was quite a time-consuming heatshrink/solder job.

The motherboard currently has a Matrox G200 w/16 MB SDRAM, an Intel Pro/100S network card, a Promise SATA150 TX2plus ATA controller, and a Creative Live! (or Yamaha 192XG) sound card (all are PCI). I had a 200 GB ATA drive laying around, so that is now hooked up to the SATA150 TX2plus with UDMA5 transfer rates. Lastly, I added an ATA Toshiba DVD-RW drive which is connected to the motherboard's IDE port, which is running at UDMA2 speeds. Windows 98SE with the unofficial service pack is currently installed in preparation for benchmarking

I am still trying to source some additional benchmark programs for the Ultimate 686 Benchmark Comparison. Something which specifically tests MMX features would be nice. I am open to suggestions/links for benchmark programs.

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    Inside the case with an AZZA PT-5IT motherboard.
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    The rear of the case with a custom AT-to-ATX back panel.
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    Beautifully matching white ATX case.
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Last edited by feipoa on 2012-02-28, 08:37. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 1 of 107, by feipoa

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A few more photos.

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Last edited by feipoa on 2012-02-28, 05:59. Edited 3 times in total.

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Reply 2 of 107, by jaqie

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No need to deal with all that overcomplication of a switch converter, just use one of these and if you insist on being a perfectionist, also a relay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/290571855393

This seller sells them in smaller packs, but I figure for $10 I'll never run out of latching atx compatible switches.

Reply 3 of 107, by feipoa

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Thank you for eBay link to the latching switches, however I was looking for something where I did not need to change out the switch when switching from an AT motherboard to an ATX motherboard and visa versa. For my particular case, the switch mounting is very hard to get at. While I realise I can use an AT switch setup with an ATX board, I would prefer to take advantage of ATX switching when an ATX board is installed. I have included the circuit schematic if anyone else out there is interested in this design.

This simple solderboard job fits my needs nicely. Some time after I made it, there was a eBayer selling ATX-to-AT cable converters with such an electronic converter packaged directly into the cabling. I believe this is it,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/130510801111

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Reply 4 of 107, by jaqie

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😮 this switch can be wired to the atx ps_on just like your circuit can. and it's not hard to get at, I had 3 of those cases when they were new, and just sold another two. the front panel comes off just to get to the side covers. It's an old enlight case.

Reply 5 of 107, by feipoa

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You are right, you can wire a latching switch from PS_ON to COM, and this is how most conversions are done. This conversion is for those who do not want to swap out the standard ATX momentary switch for whatever reason.

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Reply 6 of 107, by luckybob

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I HATE THAT CASE. I hate them with the burning passion of a 1000 suns. My high school used them in all teh computer labs and I cant count how many times I cut myself on them. Last time I got one used I took it to the mountains and shot it for target practice. I think I saved some pictures somewhere...

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 7 of 107, by feipoa

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Funny that you mention it, but I also cut myself on that case. The sheet metal around the expansion slots is terribly sharp. I have already ripped them all out. It is nice to hear the case brings back such fond memories; perhaps you can upload an image of the case scattered with buckshot?

Last edited by feipoa on 2012-02-28, 09:03. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 8 of 107, by SquallStrife

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feipoa wrote:

For a regular Socket 7 board, it supports quite a bit of core CPU voltages, 1.95, 2.0, 2.1, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, and 3.2 V.

😳

You absolutely must have a Tillamook MMX in your lineup!!

You could have a loan of mine if you need it. It's a 233, but runs quite nicely at 300 thanks to the low low voltage.

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Reply 9 of 107, by feipoa

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A new breakdown of which CPU's will be in the Ultimate 586/686 Benchmark Comparison (Socket 7). For instances where a duplicate frequency is noted (Cyrix MII @ 300 MHz), I may run a second comparison using a Super7 motherboard for this particular CPU.

This is the current potential line-up,

SOCKET 3

IBM 5x86c - 100 MHz (50 MHz x 2.0) - C
IBM 5x86c - 120 MHz (60 MHz x 2.0) - O
IBM 5x86c - 133 MHz (66 MHz x 2.0) - O

Intel DX4-WB - 133 MHz (66 MHz x 2.0) - O
Intel P24T - 83 MHz (33 MHz x 2.5) - C
Intel P24T - 100 MHz (40 MHz x 2.5) - O

AMD X5-ADZ - 133 MHz (33 MHz x 4.0) - C
AMD X5-ADZ - 160 MHz (40 MHz x 4.0) - O

SOCKET 7

Cyrix 6x86 - 75 MHz (75 MHz x 1.0) - U
Cyrix 6x86 - 83 MHz (83 MHz x 1.0) - U
Cyrix 6x86 - 100 MHz (50 MHz x 2.0) - U
Cyrix 6x86 - 110 MHz (55 MHz x 2.0) - U
Cyrix 6x86 - 120 MHz (60 MHz x 2.0) - C
Cyrix 6x86 - 133 MHz (66 MHz x 2.0) - C
Cyrix 6x86L - 150 MHz (75 MHz x 2.0) - C
Cyrix 6x86MX - 133 MHz (66 MHz x 2.0) - U
Cyrix 6x86MX - 150 MHz (60 MHz x 2.5) - U
Cyrix 6x86MX - 166 MHz (66 MHz x 2.5) - U
Cyrix 6x86MX - 200 MHz (66 MHz x 3.0) - C
Cyrix MII - 233 MHz (66 MHz x 3.5) - U
Cyrix MII - 250 MHz (83 MHz x 3.0) - C
Cyrix MII - 262 MHz (75 MHz x 3.5) - U
Cyrix MII - 292 MHz (83 MHz x 3.5) - C

Intel P54C - 75 MHz (50 MHz x 1.5) - C
Intel P54C - 90 MHz (60 MHz x 1.5) - C
Intel P54C - 100 MHz (66 MHz x 1.5) - C
Intel P54CQS - 120 MHz (60 MHz x 2.0) - C
Intel P54CS - 133 MHz (66 MHz x 2.0) - C
Intel P54CS - 150 MHz (60 MHz x 2.5) - U
Intel P54CS - 166 MHz (66 MHz x 2.5) - C
Intel P54CS - 200 MHz (66 MHz x 3.0) - C
Intel P55C-MMX - 133 MHz (66 MHz x 2.0) - U
Intel P55C-MMX - 166 MHz (66 MHz x 2.5) - U
Intel P55C-MMX - 200 MHz (66 MHz x 3.0) - U
Intel P55C-MMX - 233 MHz (66 MHz x 3.5) - C
Intel P55C-MMX - 262 MHz (75 MHz x 3.5) - O
Intel P55C-MMX - 300 MHz (75 MHz x 4.0) - O (extrapolated)
Intel Tillamook - 266 MHz (66 MHz x 4.0) - C
Intel Tillamook - 300 MHz (75 MHz x 4.0) - O
Intel Tillamook - 333 MHz (83 MHz x 4.0) - O

AMD K5 - 75 MHz (50 MHz x 1.5) - U
AMD K5 - 75 MHz (75 MHz x 1.0, if 1.0x supported) - U
AMD K5 - 83 MHz (83 MHz x 1.0, if 1.0x supported) - U
AMD K5 - 90 MHz (60 MHz x 1.5) - U
AMD K5 - 100 MHz (66 MHz x 1.5) - C
AMD K5 - 100 MHz (50 MHz x 2.0, if 2.0x supported) - C
AMD K5 - 117 MHz (66 MHz x 1.75, using 2.5x setting) - C
AMD K5 - 120 MHz (60 MHz x 2.0) - O
AMD K5 - 133 MHz (66 MHz x 2.0) - O
AMD K6 - 133 MHz (66 MHz x 2.0) - U
AMD K6 - 166 MHz (66 MHz x 2.5) - U
AMD K6 - 200 MHz (66 MHz x 3.0) - C
AMD K6 - 233 MHz (66 MHz x 3.5) - O
AMD K6 - 262 MHz (75 MHz x 3.5) - U
AMD K6 - 266 MHz (66 MHz x 4.0) - U
AMD K6 - 292 MHz (83 MHz x 3.5) - U
AMD K6 - 300 MHz (75 MHz x 4.0) - C

IDT Winchip - 200 MHz (66 MHz x 3.0) - C
IDT Winchip2 - 233 MHz (66 MHx x 3.5) - C
IDT Winchip2 - 240 MHz (60 MHz x 4.0) - O
IDT Winchip2 - 262 MHz (75 MHz x 3.5) - O
IDT Winchip2 - 266 MHz (66 MHz x 4.0) - O

RISE MP6 - 166 MHz (66 MHz x 2.5) - U
RISE MP6 - 166 MHz (83 MHz x 2.0) - U
RISE MP6 - 200 MHz (66 MHz x 3.0) - C
RISE MP6 - 233 MHz (66 MHz x 3.5) - O

SUPER SOCKET 7

Cyrix MII - 250 MHz (100 x 2.5) - C
Cyrix MII - 262 MHz (75 MHz x 3.5) - U
Cyrix MII - 266 MHz (66 MHz x 4.0) - U
Cyrix MII - 285 MHz (95 MHz x 3.0) - C
Cyrix MII - 300 MHz (100 MHz x 3.0) - O
Cyrix MII - 300 MHz (75 MHz x 4.0) - O
Cyrix MII - 333 MHz (83 MHz x 4.0) - O
Cyrix MII - 350 MHz (100 MHz x 3.5) - O
Cyrix MII - 375 MHz (83 MHz x 4.5) - O
Cyrix MII - 400 MHz (100 MHz x 4.0) - O

Intel P55C-MMX - 262 MHz (75 MHz x 3.5) - O

AMD K6 - 262 MHz (75 MHz x 3.5) - U
AMD K6 - 266 MHz (66 MHz x 4.0) - U
AMD K6 - 300 MHz (75 MHz x 4.0) - C
AMD K6-2 - 233 MHz (66 MHz x 3.5) - U
AMD K6-2 - 266 MHz (66 MHz x 4.0) - C
AMD K6-2 - 300 MHz (75 MHz x 4.0) - C
AMD K6-2 - 300 MHz (100 MHz x 3.0) - C
AMD K6-2 - 333 MHz (83 MHz x 4.0) - U
AMD K6-2 - 350 MHz (100 MHz x 3.5) - U
AMD K6-2 - 400 MHz (66 MHz x 6.0) - C
AMD K6-2 - 400 MHz (100 MHz x 4.0) - C
AMD K6-2 - 450 MHz (100 MHz x 4.5) - U
AMD K6-2 - 500 MHz (100 MHz x 5.0) - C
AMD K6-2 - 550 MHz (100 MHz x 5.5) - C
AMD K6-2 - 600 MHz (100 MHz x 6.0) - O
AMD K6-2+ - 400 MHz (66 MHz x 6.0) - U
AMD K6-2+ - 400 MHz (100 MHz x 4.0) - U
AMD K6-2+ - 450 MHz (100 MHz x 4.5) - C
AMD K6-2+ - 500 MHz (100 MHz x 5.0) - U
AMD K6-2+ - 550 MHz (100 MHz x 5.5) - C
AMD K6-2+ - 600 MHz (100 MHz x 6.0) - O
AMD K6-3+ - 400 MHz (66 MHz x 6.0) - U
AMD K6-3+ - 400 MHz (100 MHz x 4.0) - U
AMD K6-3+ - 450 MHz (100 MHz x 4.5) - C
AMD K6-3+ - 500 MHz (83 MHz x 6.0) - O
AMD K6-3+ - 500 MHz (100 MHz x 5.0) - O
AMD K6-3 - 500 MHz (100 MHz x 5.0, comparison with non + chips) - O
AMD K6-3+ - 550 MHz (100 MHz x 5.5) - O
AMD K6-3+ - 600 MHz (100 MHz x 6.0) - O

IDT Winchip2 - 233 MHz (66 MHx x 3.5) - C
IDT Winchip2 - 233 MHz (100 MHz x 2.33, using 5x setting) - C
IDT Winchip2 - 266 MHz (100 MHz x 2.66) - O

RISE MP6 - 200 MHz (66 MHz x 3.0) - C
RISE MP6 - 200 MHz (100 MHz x 2.0) - C

SLOT 1

Pentium II - 266 MHz (66 MHz x 4.0) - U
Pentium II - 300 MHz (75 MHz x 4.0) - U
Pentium II - 350 MHz (100 MHz x 3.5, if PII-400 mult. not underclock locked) - U
Pentium II - 400 MHz (100 MHz x 4.0) - C
Pentium III - 500 MHz (83 MHz x 6.0) - U
Pentium III - 500 MHz (100 MHz x 5.0, if 550 mult. not underclock locked) - U
Pentium III - 550 MHz (100 MHz x 5.5) - C
Pentium III - 600 MHz (100 MHz x 6.0) - C
Celeron - 400 MHz (66 MHz x 6.0) - C

6x86L = Low Power (low heat consumption) model + split voltage
6x86MX = MMX instructions supported
MII = Same as 6x86MX but select models support 75-100 MHZ FSB
U = underclocked setting
O = overclocked setting
C = correctly marked CPU in possession

Cyrix 6x86 and 6x86L support only integer 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x multipliers.
Cyrix 6x86MX and MII support 1x, 2x, 2,5x, 3x, 3.5x, 4x, 4.5x, 5x
WinChip2 - 2A supports multipliers of 2.33x (using 5x setting), 2.5x, 3.0x, 3.5x, 4.0x, 4.5x

From reports else where, it seems unlikely to get a 266 MHz Tillimock configured properly w/cache, so I will see how far I can take my 233.

Last edited by feipoa on 2012-03-25, 10:46. Edited 18 times in total.

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Reply 10 of 107, by swaaye

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That will be an exciting comparison. I am looking forward to it feipoa. Perhaps it would be a nice addition to run that PII 400 @ 66x4 as well.

I have an Enlight 7237 case which is very similar to your Enlight case. I actually bought it new just a few years ago. I thought it would be nice to have one again because it is what I used for my PIII and early K7 setups in 1999-2001. My case lacks the front USB and side vent.

Reply 11 of 107, by feipoa

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Thank you for the suggestions. The original idea behind adding the slot1 PII-400 was for normalisation of data, but I've now had a few requests for a some slot 1's to be added. Does anyone know if there are any PII's or slot 1 Celerons which allow for running multipliers below their rated settings?

For slot 1's at or below 600 MHz, I have:
Celeron (128 KB) 400/66 (6x)
PII (512 KB) 400/100 (4x)
PIII (512 KB) 550/100 (5.5x)
PIII (512 KB) 600/100 (6x)

Since the fastest Cyrix will run at 300 MHz, it would be nice to have a low-down between 300 MHz contenders, provided that I can get benchmark results with a Pentium 233MMX at 300 MHz and Winchip at 300 MHz, otherwise, 266 MHz will do. For that, I can run the PII at 75x4 (300 MHz), or as you suggest, 66x4 (266 MHz). If the Celeron's multiplier can be dropped to 4x, I can throw it in as well. I may just take the PII/III's up to 500 MHz since the AMD's are going up that high. I suppose I can run a PIII-600/6x at 83x6 (500 MHz) for proper FSB comparison with the AMD K6's.

Adding slot 1's will make this a cross-motherboard comparison, which I suppose is OK since Intel ceased consumer socket 7 CPU development with the P233. The slot 1 board will be an ASUS P3V4X (VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset).

This particular Enlight case is a 72500SZ, and it looks like somebody is still liquidating them in Canada,
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/320687282249

If I recall, I got mine $35 shipped.

I find the case can be a bit unattractive if the white shading of the floppy and DVD-ROM don't match up just nice with the rest of the enclosure. After some digging thru parts, I found two such that matched well. It is nice having front USB ports, but they are set in deep so that only USB cables and slimmer USB dongles can plug right in.

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Reply 12 of 107, by sliderider

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"IDT
Winchip - 200 MHz (66 MHz x 3.0) - C
Winchip2 - 233 MHz (66 MHz x 3.5) - C
Winchip2 - 266 MHz (66 MHz x 4.0) - O"

I wish I could get my hands on a Winchip2. The only Winchip I have is a 200mhz in my i-Opener.

It would be nice to see where a Rise mp6 fits in that comparison. There's someone on ebay selling some now, but they're a bit pricey. Does anybody have any they can test?

Reply 13 of 107, by swaaye

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feipoa wrote:

Does anyone know if there are any PII's or slot 1 Celerons which allow for running multipliers below their rated settings?

There are many PIIs with unlocked multipliers but there are also many that are locked. Klamath 233 is unlocked, 266 usually is and 300 may be. Deschutes chips from before a date in 1998 are unlocked too (limited range though).

More info:
Slowing a 440BX based PC
Which Pentium IIs can be underclocked?

I don't know if there are any unlocked Celerons...

Reply 14 of 107, by feipoa

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Thanks for the links. It looks like my matched pair of PII-400's are likely locked, so I'll just run the list as is (it has been updated). For all other multiplier issues, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

Images of Winchips CPUs to be used are attached. The markings of 2.33x may (or may not?) imply a locked multiplier as well, so I may need to rethink the Winchip test on this regular socket 7 board. From what I read, 2.0x or 5.0x is remapped to 2.33x, but I'm not sure about the other multiplier settings.

I could make an exception and try to test it on a SS7 board at:
100x2.33 (233 MHz),
105x2.33 (245 MHz),
110x2.33 (256 MHz),
112x2.33 (261 MHz),
115x2.33 (268 MHz),
120x2.33 (280 MHz), or
124x2.33 (289 MHz).
Those at least are the FSB options for the boards currently in my possession. I think a WinChip2 with a 3.5 or 4.0x multiplier option would be more desirable.

The other option is to split up the comparison, whereby 50/60 MHz FSB CPUs are tested on a regular socket 7, and 66+ FSB CPUs are tested on a Super7, though I was hoping to avoid that.

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Reply 15 of 107, by swaaye

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WinChip 2A is quite flexible with respect to multipliers. The original WinChip 2 only supports integer multipliers, but 2A has fractional as well.

WinChip 2A datasheet
(multiplier info on page 4-1)

Reply 16 of 107, by feipoa

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From that data sheet, it looks like my Winchip 2A will work with 2.33x, 2.5x, 3x, 3.5x, and 4x. This is good news.

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Reply 17 of 107, by feipoa

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sliderider wrote:

It would be nice to see where a Rise mp6 fits in that comparison. There's someone on ebay selling some now, but they're a bit pricey. Does anybody have any they can test?

I'll see about sourcing a Rise or two for the comparison. I don't really want to drop much more $ into this project. It is curious how the same eBay seller has $11 pieces, and then $25 working pieces of the same chip.

On a bleaker note, my Azza, which its Jan’s perfected BIOS, decided its time was up. It crashed during WinBench's graphics test and couldn't be revived.

I do have another TX board which I just measured out the jumper table for (Biostar MB-8500TTD, attached PDF), which is quite similar in features to the Azza, but I'll need to bug Jan Steunebrink again for a BIOS patch with K6-2, 3, +, and MII-4X support. So far, the board seems to work fine with CPUs besides those listed above, but that is kinda useless.

The one positive side to the Biostar MB-8500TTD over the Azza PT-5IT is that it has a socketed DIP-28 TAG RAM module, whereas the Azza had a non-DIP soldered 12 ns piece. For the Biostar, this means I was able to remove the 12 ns piece and replace it with a 10 ns one, which should bode well for 83 MHz operation.

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Last edited by feipoa on 2012-02-29, 23:41. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 18 of 107, by sliderider

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l33t++
feipoa wrote:

From that data sheet, it looks like my Winchip 2A will work with 2.33x, 2.5x, 3x, 3.5x, and 4x. This is good news.

What motherboards support 2.33x? I've never seen a 2.33x multiplier setting on any motherboard, only full and half steps.