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Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset

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First post, by Sphere478

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It used to say fastest but It says craziest 🤣

So this build needs a little bit of back story.
Back in 2004-2005 I came across a motherboard that I thought was pretty cool. At the time I was collecting socket 7 chips for fun and decided to try and put some of them to use in this board.

The board in question was the iWill p55xb2
I thought it was cool for having 5 pci slots, and support for AT, ATX power supplies, and both SIMMs and DIMMs anyway, I found a old ibm aptiva case and ripped the front panel off of it cause I thought it looked better without it! haha!

Anyway. I started to use it as a network file sharing computer, then got the idea to do what all the cool kids were doing and record my tv shows with it. At the time It was running I think 128mb of ram? And a p1 233mmx windows 2k and probably some 2D pci video card.

So it was time for some upgrades!

First of course I bought a tuner (then later a second for dual show recording)
Next on the docket was windows media center edition (windows xp)
Upgraded the ram to 256mb of sd ram
And finally, I went on ebay and found a k6-2+ 550 after talking to jan Steunebrink who runs the k6 upgrade website which is still live as of writing this in 2021. He was so awesome as to modify my bios to support the new cpu and it worked flawlessly! Next of course I was optimizing the heck out of the OS lots of disabled services. And finally I got a nice video card for it. At first a 6200 pci, then later on a x1300 if I recall?

But you know what after all was said and done, that socket 7 board was flying! It was recording two shows at once, sharing them on lan and even playing them on the old crt I had attached to it! I ran it like this for maybe a year, I’m not sure. Eventually around that time they switched over to digital signals or something rather and honestly I’m not sure despite my deepest pondering what happened to many of the parts from that computer. So far the only part that I have been able to recover from the original build is the 6200. A fiend of mine may have the cpu still but I haven’t heard back on that yet.

Anyway, fast forward to today. I’ve been wanting to put together a retro rig to play some old games (some of which I played on that computer in fact. halo, stratosphere, sim city 2000, etc of course as you know today’s computers don’t run the hardware/software that those games liked back in the day. And the thing some of my games really liked was windows 98se.

So my build formed a direction, continue the spirit of my old socket 7 build by getting a motherboard that can run socket 7 and a k6 2/3+ And modify the piss out of the poor bastard!

So my search began. At the time of beginning the search I remembered very little of the original specifics like part numbers etc.

I started scouring old posts I made online around that time on google until I found a reference to the specs. Boom! P55xb2 was the motherboard! Sweet!

Checked ebay, and to my surprise, a few were for sale. Next I started searching for someone to help me mod the bios, and guess what I found after a little searching! Not only was jan’s page still up which blew my mind (btw, I didn’t remember his name but when I stumbled across the page it all came back to me) but there on his page was the very bios he had helped me make and I had beta tested for him! I instantly downloaded it! Lol! Take no chances.. afterward I promptly shot over to ebay and clicked buy on a motherboard on the literal other side of the planet haha

So the build was alive!! It’s happening!

Now, what next?! There was so many things to get for it, and I was convinced to go as weird as I could get with this build haha! Just like the original build, screw period correct! 😈

So naturally, (prepare for laugh) I thought to myself it’s gonna need some modern kick in the pants help to squeeze some more performance. So why not SSD, in fact why not M.2 NVME on a pci to pci express on a pci express to m.2 adapter? muahaha!!

And that’s just the tip of the madness. ready? Let’s go!

Next up, gonna need a bios supported boot loader drive to find that m.2 and boot to it cause it can’t by it’s self . Why not use one of those tiny compact flash hard drives plugged dirrectly into the motherboard ide plug?

While I’m at it, I don’t want the other Ide plug to go to waste, so let’s plug a two port sata adapter into it!

Next up, gonna need some connectivity!
Ordered some pins to invert the usb header on the motherboard so a normal 2.0 usb header bracket could be used..🤔 ... eh too mundane! Pci to usb 3.0 card also!!

Next up, cpu!! So I was browsing Ebay and happened across a k6 2+ 570 which is super rare! So needless to say. Snagged that sumbich quick. But then the craziness struck again.. :,( browsing a few days later and there it was! The holy grail of socket 7 chippyness the coveted k6 III+ 550 in all it’s glory! And unfortunately that jerk seller knew what they had :,( yeah I got raped. But I got it! :p

So now I needed ram! And of course I couldn’t be bothered with plane jayne pc100 sticks! No no! Found some 256mb 18 chip ecc registered pc133 sticks. (And some regular ones as backup for when those don’t work and make that just one for when more than 256mb doesn’t work 🤣) point is I’m trying them! Lol

Now I’m Gonna need to cool the cpu.. 🤔 copper would be nice! enter the P3 cooler!!! In fact I remember eyeing this cooler up for the old build back in the day 🤣. (but Wait, too vanilla. Possible peltier being added to build soon.😁) I did also order a fancy rgb fan for it so far! But as of yet no peltier It’s worth noting that I actually passively cooed the original build. So all of this is totally without merit 🤣

Next the case! Going to need one of those.
Or do i🤔 the madness hasn’t stopped yet? Why stop now? Let’s build it on a space frame test bench!

One of the few parts I had laying around was a psu. When I got the “case” I checked it out and decided that mess of wires just won’t do. Time for a modular power supply. And that too has now come to pass for my pentium one motherboard build haha! But in honor of the original cpu cooler this psu is passively cooled! :p
Of course we can’t forget the sound card!!
Back in the day I had the beast of all sound cards the auzentech 7.1 x-fi pci prelude
Naturally, this socket 7 build needs one😂
I’m trying to track down my old one atm still

I guess that leaves the gpu. This has been a difficult call, and in fact I think I may run two.
On one hand I want one that supports glide, on the other I want one that supports windows 98 and on the third mutant arm/foot/hand combination limb sprouting out of my back I want the literal baddest ass card I can fit into it for some of the more modern games I’m going to humorously attempt to run on this poor socket 7 motherboard.
In benchmarks I’m seeing that it looks like the best pci gfx card for some older games is the geforce 5500 but the best ever seems to be the gt610 from zotec (though I’ve heard rumors of a 730?) I’m leaning toward these two cards (at once maybe, and using one in windows 98 and the other in windows xp or windows 7 with a glide wrapper.

Which brings me to what OS I intend to use. Don’t worry, I aim to astonish. None other than windows ME may actually be my windows 98 games platform because wtf, why not at this point amirite? Of course dual (triple) booted by ubuntu and windows 7 starter. It seemed back in the day I put linux on nearly every computer I had at one point in time. So this one is definitely getting it. As for windows 7 I want to try and run something modernish on it. I’m told that windows 8.0 may be the latest that will even install, and 8.1 is out cause of hardware instructions.

So getting these to run slow shouldn’t be too much of a problem right? Well not doing that is gonna be the trick! My ace in the hole for that is ram!!! Duh, but don’t worry. I’m gettin weird with it yet again!

I give you the gigabyte I ram drive!!! (Ethereal awwwing) this is where I will nestle my page file, swap file. To get at it as fast as possible it may get it’s own pci to sata card or pci to ata133 card with the sata to ide adapter in it I will aslo be attempting to use combinations of simms and dimms at the same time (believe it or not many boards support this to my surprise)in a likely futile attempt to break the 256mb limit of the tx chipset. I’ll also be trying it with motherboard cache disabled since with the k6 3+ it’s supposed to be faster and may help the memory problem. Also the registered dimms may help. (I’m trying everything) back in the day I failed to get past 256 but I’m trying again.

Anyway. As of time of post I have about 3/4 of the parts ready and as soon as the board gets here I’ll start testing and figuring out what if not anything about my plan stands the test of operating system install and driver setup.

Wish me luck! Post some cool ideas or add ons if you have ideas!

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Last edited by Sphere478 on 2021-03-24, 04:19. Edited 4 times in total.

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 1 of 120, by Sphere478

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Oh of course, the motherboard needed a speaker so it could beep so I got this💁‍♂️

Lol

Also should help me diagnose issues, and the display will look pretty cool

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Last edited by Sphere478 on 2021-01-13, 07:02. Edited 2 times in total.

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 2 of 120, by OzzFan

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K6-III+ @ 550. Pretty! I'm sure you paid a hefty price, as you said. 😀 This looks like it's going to be an awesome build. Can't wait to see when it's finished!

A (mostly accurate) listing of my computer systems: http://www.shelteringoak.com/OzzNet/

Reply 3 of 120, by Sphere478

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OzzFan wrote on 2021-01-13, 07:00:

K6-III+ @ 550. Pretty! I'm sure you paid a hefty price, as you said. 😀 This looks like it's going to be an awesome build. Can't wait to see when it's finished!

actually there is a 2+ 570 and a III+ 550. Both are rare, I can’t believe I found one let alone both. (I don’t have the III+ in my hand yet but that’s a seller pic of it I’m told) the other cpu in pic is a 2 500

My hope is to get it to 83 fsb 6x multiplier 500mhz but I’ve heard I will have to disable or not use some of the onboard components namely the ide interface and motherboard cache. Which will likely happen anyway. A pci to sata 150 or 300 or a ata 133 with sata adapter is likely in it’s future. There are a few things I haven’t ordered yet cause my friend may be able to hook me up witj them.

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 4 of 120, by Deksor

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We have your motherboard documented right here http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/4311
(The brand might be wrong but the rest is matching)

Can you please send us a photo of the POST string to confirm our suspicions about the brand (I think it's iwill) and a photo of the motherboard without a watermark ? 😀

Your project is pretty cool by the way !

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit Ultimate Hardware 2019 - Project's thread The Ultimate Hardware 2019 (UH19) project- a stason.org/TH99
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Reply 5 of 120, by Intel486dx33

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Can you post some benchmarks ( speedsys, topbench, doom benchmark, etc. )
I want to compare with my AMD K6 III+ 450 overclocked to 550mhz.
I have 512mb ram
I have a VIA chipset motherboard.
Link: AMD K6-3+@550mhz., Voodoo-3000 (tower)

Maybe you could overclock your 550 to 570mhz or higher.

Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2021-01-13, 14:00. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 7 of 120, by Repo Man11

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I've a TXP4 with a K6-3+ 450 @ 500, and 256 megs of RAM running Win 98 on a Promise ATA 100 card with a Teamgroup SATA SSD. The RAM limitation is built into the chipset, so there is no overcoming it. It is possible that you can have an issue with certain hardware when using the 83 MHz FSB since the PCI and ISA busses end up overclocked, but I've never had an issue with it having run quite a few different combinations of motherboards and hardware at 6x83.

Reply 8 of 120, by Sphere478

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-13, 14:27:

I've a TXP4 with a K6-3+ 450 @ 500, and 256 megs of RAM running Win 98 on a Promise ATA 100 card with a Teamgroup SATA SSD. The RAM limitation is built into the chipset, so there is no overcoming it. It is possible that you can have an issue with certain hardware when using the 83 MHz FSB since the PCI and ISA busses end up overclocked, but I've never had an issue with it having run quite a few different combinations of motherboards and hardware at 6x83.

Can you post pics and part numbers of the sata setup? Please 😀

Intel486dx33 wrote on 2021-01-13, 12:24:
Can you post some benchmarks ( speedsys, topbench, doom benchmark, etc. ) I want to compare with my AMD K6 III+ 450 overclocked […]
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Can you post some benchmarks ( speedsys, topbench, doom benchmark, etc. )
I want to compare with my AMD K6 III+ 450 overclocked to 550mhz.
I have 512mb ram
I have a VIA chipset motherboard.
Link: AMD K6-3+@550mhz., Voodoo-3000 (tower)

Maybe you could overclock your 550 to 570mhz or higher.

I will post benchmarks for sure but it will be a while. At the moment it appears I’ll be limited to 75mhz x 6x (450mhz)

Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-13, 13:53:

Holy crap! You found my old notes! I’ll be referencing that for sure when I set jumpers! :p

Any thoughts on the 83mhz problem?

A interposer wouldn’t help would it? Cause the fsb is on the motherboard..

Perhaps tapping the pins on the clock gen and finding the 83mhz trigger?

I thought I had remembered that 83 wasn’t stable, apparently I was never able to set it. Good find!

Now, how to set it...?

Deksor wrote on 2021-01-13, 10:48:
We have your motherboard documented right here http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/4311 (The brand might be wrong but the […]
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We have your motherboard documented right here http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/4311
(The brand might be wrong but the rest is matching)

Can you please send us a photo of the POST string to confirm our suspicions about the brand (I think it's iwill) and a photo of the motherboard without a watermark ? 😀

Your project is pretty cool by the way !

I don’t have the motherboard yet. Last I checked it was in new york so I should have it within a week would be my guess.

But yes, that layout looks correct. I do not believe it’s a baby AT? Didn’t those have less slots? It’s possible that the same board was used by multiple manufacturers. So I won’t go so far as to call it wrong but that does appear to be my iWill board.

Thanks ☺️

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 9 of 120, by Sphere478

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pll52c62-01xc Appears to be the clock gen, one of the problems I will face is that back in the day according to my notes there was no setting for 83mhz fsb that I could find.

If I can find a datasheet for this chip or find software support I would like to try higher frequencies on the fsb.

Can anyone help?

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 10 of 120, by pentiumspeed

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Hi there, I'm totally confused about the PCI to PCIe adapter card, what is this intended use on this TX chipset motherboard? Does that works?

If true, this would open up to using old PCIe video card used by early quadro video cards.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 11 of 120, by Deksor

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-13, 20:25:

I don’t have the motherboard yet. Last I checked it was in new york so I should have it within a week would be my guess.

But yes, that layout looks correct. I do not believe it’s a baby AT? Didn’t those have less slots? It’s possible that the same board was used by multiple manufacturers. So I won’t go so far as to call it wrong but that does appear to be my iWill board.

Thanks ☺️

Well this is a common misconception/language abuse ^^
Most people say "AT computers" but they actually mean what's called Baby AT because they're much more common and it's shorter to say.

Here's a AT motherboard :
http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/3765
they inherit the form factor of the IBM AT from 1984
http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/2912

Baby AT is actually identical as XT form factor except it's housing an "AT class" machine, that's why it's called Baby AT.
http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/2963

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit Ultimate Hardware 2019 - Project's thread The Ultimate Hardware 2019 (UH19) project- a stason.org/TH99
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Reply 12 of 120, by Sphere478

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-01-13, 21:06:

Hi there, I'm totally confused about the PCI to PCIe adapter card, what is this intended use on this TX chipset motherboard? Does that works?

If true, this would open up to using old PCIe video card used by early quadro video cards.

Cheers,

yes there is at least one video of a guy putting a video card in one

I may buy another and use it for a low profile card it's basically the same as what the zotec gt610 has built in. it has a pci to pcie bridge chip on the back

Deksor wrote on 2021-01-13, 21:09:
Well this is a common misconception/language abuse ^^ Most people say "AT computers" but they actually mean what's called Baby A […]
Show full quote
Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-13, 20:25:

I don’t have the motherboard yet. Last I checked it was in new york so I should have it within a week would be my guess.

But yes, that layout looks correct. I do not believe it’s a baby AT? Didn’t those have less slots? It’s possible that the same board was used by multiple manufacturers. So I won’t go so far as to call it wrong but that does appear to be my iWill board.

Thanks ☺️

Well this is a common misconception/language abuse ^^
Most people say "AT computers" but they actually mean what's called Baby AT because they're much more common and it's shorter to say.

Here's a AT motherboard :
http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/3765
they inherit the form factor of the IBM AT from 1984
http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/2912

Baby AT is actually identical as XT form factor except it's housing an "AT class" machine, that's why it's called Baby AT.
http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/2963

ah! okay gotcha I was confused cause I think I've seen some AT boards smaller than mine that I assumed were baby AT

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 13 of 120, by computerguy08

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-13, 06:16:

So naturally, (prepare for laugh) I thought to myself it’s gonna need some modern kick in the pants help to squeeze some more performance. So why not SSD, in fact why not M.2 NVME on a pci to pci express on a pci express to m.2 adapter? muahaha!!

And that’s just the tip of the madness. ready? Let’s go!

Next up, gonna need a bios supported boot loader drive to find that m.2 and boot to it cause it can’t by it’s self . Why not use one of those tiny compact flash hard drives plugged dirrectly into the motherboard ide plug?

If you can pull off this M.2 -> PCIe -> PCI thingy on a Socket 7 board AND make it bootable as well, you are a mad man! You got my attention.

Looking for a motherboard? You can find it in Ultimate Hardware 2019: http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/search
Join our UH19 Discord server here: https://discord.gg/HWWH7hsk2p

Reply 14 of 120, by Sphere478

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computerguy08 wrote on 2021-01-13, 22:58:
Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-13, 06:16:

So naturally, (prepare for laugh) I thought to myself it’s gonna need some modern kick in the pants help to squeeze some more performance. So why not SSD, in fact why not M.2 NVME on a pci to pci express on a pci express to m.2 adapter? muahaha!!

And that’s just the tip of the madness. ready? Let’s go!

Next up, gonna need a bios supported boot loader drive to find that m.2 and boot to it cause it can’t by it’s self . Why not use one of those tiny compact flash hard drives plugged dirrectly into the motherboard ide plug?

If you can pull off this M.2 -> PCIe -> PCI thingy on a Socket 7 board AND make it bootable as well, you are a mad man! You got my attention.

😁

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🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 15 of 120, by Repo Man11

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Holy crap! You found my old notes! I’ll be referencing that for sure when I set jumpers! :p

Yeah, I was the guy who sent you the PM suggesting you get in touch with Jan Steunebrink since not long before that he'd modified a BIOS for a DFI P5XV3 board I had ended up with.

Reply 16 of 120, by pentiumspeed

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Also, I'm curious how this be possible with differential signal of PCIe work with edge triggered PCI signaling?

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 17 of 120, by Sphere478

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-14, 01:09:

Holy crap! You found my old notes! I’ll be referencing that for sure when I set jumpers! :p

Yeah, I was the guy who sent you the PM suggesting you get in touch with Jan Steunebrink since not long before that he'd modified a BIOS for a DFI P5XV3 board I had ended up with.

nice! thanks again haha!

using that info from the old thread I've been working on the 75mhz problem

hacking a higher fsb on a phase link pll52c62-01xc clock generator

I think I can set 83 and 100mhz directly at the clock generator if I can for sure determine which pins to tap

pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-01-14, 02:21:

Also, I'm curious how this be possible with differential signal of PCIe work with edge triggered PCI signaling?

Cheers,

the secret sauce is on the back of the adapter 😉

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Last edited by Sphere478 on 2021-01-14, 03:46. Edited 1 time in total.

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 18 of 120, by Repo Man11

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AFAIK, the only way to get higher than 83 MHz FSB on a TX board is to replace the clock crystal. If anyone has actually done that, someone on this forum will likely know about it. With the PCI bus at 41.5 MHz at 83 MHz FSB, you're already right on the edge.

Reply 19 of 120, by Sphere478

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-14, 03:43:

AFAIK, the only way to get higher than 83 MHz FSB on a TX board is to replace the clock crystal. If anyone has actually done that, someone on this forum will likely know about it. With the PCI bus at 41.5 MHz at 83 MHz FSB, you're already right on the edge.

Edited above post.

Which crystal could I try? Won’t that mess up the system clock? Make it count too fast?

I could maybe use a removable crystal socket and an assortment of different ones?

Also, if you have ideas of how to get to 83 that would be great cause I’m stuck at 75 according to notes

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build