Socket 7 into 2011

Off topic chat and stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.
mikemex
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Socket 7 into 2011

Post by mikemex » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:48 pm

Hello everybody,

This is my first post in the forum. I've been lurking around for some time but didn't feel I had much to contribute. I'm not an old fan to be honest, my interest is recent.

It re-appeared because my first years in the computer world were in the days of Socket 7, dial up modem and single digit GB hard drives. I observed the transition from SIMMs to DIMMs, from AT form factor to ATX... from DOS based operating systems to true 32 bit ones. In my opinion, the computer world nearly froze when Windows XP was released and most of modern day products are a mere attempt to convince people to keep throwing money into things they don't really need.

Well, that and the fact that I've got a couple Socket 7 machines from friends to play with that I decided to restore to fully operational order and upgrade as much as possible. I'm realistic, I don't expect much from them but I've been astonished to find that youtube works (albeit a bit jumpy and on the lowest setting) without modifications.

A big issue today is that K6 processors aren't fully i686 compatible, they lack CMOV instructions and some modern software plain doesn't work. For example, with exception of Flash, MPEG-4 decoding is impossible to do because codecs are compiled for i686 or higher.

Linux... I don't know who got the "brilliant" idea of requiring i686 or higher as default, so many current distros doesn't work. Ubuntu, which is the most popular right now, simply doesn't work as support was explicitely dropped in 11.x. And future doesn't look bright... I hate to say it but you're better ofo with Windows than Linux at this point.

I received the system in this order:

Machine 1:
PC Chips M571 / SiS TX Pro II / 512K / 4PCI / 2 ISA / 2DIMM / 4SIMM
Pentium 166 MHz MMX
80MB RAM / 16 + 32MB SIMM and 32MB DIMM (mixed and all running fine)
4GB 5K4 HDD
Trio64V+ 1 (2MB upgraded) PCI Video card
AT From factor and AT power supply
(I upgraded this machine for my friend several years ago; had integrated video by the time and I this 16MB of RAM and I don't remember but the 166 MHz processor was also mine)

Machine 2:
Soyo 5EHM / Via MVP3 / 1MB / 3PCI / 3ISA / 1AGP / 2DIMM / 2SIMM
K6-2 400 AHX (2.4v, failed K6-3?)
102MB RAM / 16 + 64MB SIMM and 32MB DIMM (again, mixed and running fine)
No hard drive (failed)
ATI Rage Pro, Xper@Work 4MB with SO-DIMM slot
Hybrid AT/ATX form factor. Case is AT, power supply and button are ATX.

I've added quite a bit of stuff to them already. I'll post about it soon. Stay tunned!

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Tetrium
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Re: Socket 7 into 2011

Post by Tetrium » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:44 am

mikemex wrote: K6-2 400 AHX (2.4v, failed K6-3?)
Nah, just a 350Mhz part which is factory overclocked :P
GA-5AX rev 4.1
K6-III/400 AFR (Desktop 2.2v CPU)
256MB PC-100 cl2 SDRAM
TNT2 M64 16MB AGP
Voodoo 2 12MB (single card)
Windows ME (Yes, it rocks ;D)

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tazwegion
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Re: Socket 7 into 2011

Post by tazwegion » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:28 am

mikemex wrote:Linux... I don't know who got the "brilliant" idea of requiring i686 or higher as default, so many current distros doesn't work. Ubuntu, which is the most popular right now, simply doesn't work as support was explicitely dropped in 11.x. And future doesn't look bright... I hate to say it but you're better ofo with Windows than Linux at this point.

Well Windows XP support ended in 2009 (with the exception of the extended support program) so you're using an out-of-date OS anyway why limit yourself to XP when Ubuntu 10 is plenty powerful enough for your needs, additionally the OpenBSD OS supports i386 as does Fedora 15 to name but 2 alternatives ;)


BTW Welcome to the forums :D
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Jim
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RE: Re: Socket 7 into 2011

Post by Jim » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:11 pm

The expert has spoken. Pay heed.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

mikemex
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Re: Socket 7 into 2011

Post by mikemex » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:19 am

tazwegion wrote:
mikemex wrote:Linux... I don't know who got the "brilliant" idea of requiring i686 or higher as default, so many current distros doesn't work. Ubuntu, which is the most popular right now, simply doesn't work as support was explicitely dropped in 11.x. And future doesn't look bright... I hate to say it but you're better ofo with Windows than Linux at this point.

Well Windows XP support ended in 2009 (with the exception of the extended support program) so you're using an out-of-date OS anyway why limit yourself to XP when Ubuntu 10 is plenty powerful enough for your needs, additionally the OpenBSD OS supports i386 as does Fedora 15 to name but 2 alternatives ;)


BTW Welcome to the forums :D
Check this (Fedore 15):
1.3.1. Processor and memory requirements for x86 Architectures
The following CPU specifications are stated in terms of Intel processors. Other processors, such as those from AMD, Cyrix, and VIA that are compatible with and equivalent to the following Intel processors, may also be used with Fedora. Fedora 15 requires an Intel Pentium Pro or better processor, and is optimized for i686 and later processors.

Recommended for text-mode: 200 MHz Pentium Pro or better
Recommended for graphical: 400 MHz Pentium Pro or better
Minimum RAM for text-mode: 256 MiB
Minimum RAM for graphical: 640 MiB
Recommended RAM for graphical: 1152 MiB
By the way, Windows XP has the largest user base of all operating systems right now. I would hardly call it out-of-date.

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Tetrium
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Post by Tetrium » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:12 am

Can't really game using Linux though, which is kinda the whole reason for me to use computers :D
GA-5AX rev 4.1
K6-III/400 AFR (Desktop 2.2v CPU)
256MB PC-100 cl2 SDRAM
TNT2 M64 16MB AGP
Voodoo 2 12MB (single card)
Windows ME (Yes, it rocks ;D)

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jsc1973
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Post by jsc1973 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:28 am

The "extended support" thing only means that Microsoft will no longer backport new features and software to Windows XP. For example, they don't support new versions of DirectX or Internet Explorer on it. But they do continue to fix security problems and other issues on the existing codebase, and will continue to do so until 8 April 2014. I actually wouldn't be surprised if that is extended a year or two before then, like they did with Win98 when it was clear that 98 was still very popular as its "sunset" day approached. Until Windows 7 came out, they were still shipping XP on new netbooks.

There is no way I would try to run Ubuntu on a K6-class machine. I've got K6 machines that boot Windows 98, 2000 and XP, and Puppy Linux. I've never been satisfied with Ubuntu's performance on anything but fairly modern hardware, and prefer PCLinuxOS for that class of machines anyway.
FIC VA-503+, Rev. 1.2, AMD K6-III+ 450@550MHz, 80GB Seagate ATA-100, 3dfx Voodoo3 3500 TV, TB Montego II Quadzilla, Win98se, 384MB PC100

Compaq Presario 1273, AMD K6-III+ 450@400MHz 1.8v, 40GB Samsung 5400RPM, extremely hacked Win98SE, 288 (yes, 288!) MB RAM
(Also an AMD FX-8350, which does the heavy lifting these days...)

mikemex
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Post by mikemex » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:10 pm

Well, let's talk about Machine 1 (SiS TX Pro II).

Again, original configuration was as follows:

PC Chips M571 / SiS TX Pro II / 512K / 4PCI / 2 ISA / 2DIMM / 4SIMM
Pentium 166 MHz MMX
80MB RAM / 16 + 32MB SIMM and 32MB DIMM (mixed and all running fine)
4GB 5K4 HDD
Trio64V+ 1 (2MB upgraded) PCI Video card
AT From factor and AT power supply

First, I took out all SIMMs and DIMMs and replaced them with a couple of 128MB PC100 ones. Official statement is that this machine only supports 128MB of RAM using DIMMs but double sided (8 chips on each side) 128MB DIMMs can be recognized right away.

Since this is a Pentium Classic board, it only supports 66 MHz FSB. In order to increase memory peformance, basic tweaking was done in the BIOS:

CAS Latency set to 2.
10ns memory selected.
0 cycles refresh time.

I'm still looking for chipset register tweaks on this; I've read in www.m571.com/m571 (fantastic site by the way) that awesome gains in bandwidth can be obtained.

Well, the motherboard has integrated video but I disabled it long ago (I upgraded this for a friend before) and put a PCI card in. To be precise, it's a fantastic S3 Trio 64V+ from Diamond with a whopping 2MB (1MB upgraded) EDO videeo memory!

On board sound is connected but it's C-R-A-P. Works... but it's pain to configure it properly without conflicts. I'm disabling it because this machine is to become a NAS (server).

Well, original hard drive is still in place, providing faithful service after 13-14 years. It's a 4GB 5400rpm Seagate drive and performance seems to be rather good, specially for random access.

Well, interesting part begins. I obtained a K6-3 processor from a guy who gladly donated it. I built the PC originally for a kid friend of mine, but he was given a more modern computer soon afterwards and project went south. Oh well...

I found a custom BIOS for the M571 that allows both K6-3 and plus processors. I believe it also extends the IDE maximum size to 137GB but it doesn't mention it. The processor I got (K6-3 400 AHX) works with 2.4 volts, which the motherboard does not support. I added a 47K resistor between 2.8v pins to raise the voltage from 2.2 to 2.4 volts and the processor worked well.

With 400 MHz and 256MB of RAM the machine is fully upgraded and has reached its limit. I briefly exchanged the AT power supply for an ATX one, but it seems like the one I have lying around is failing so I left the original one in place. I also bought in the flea market a PCI sound card (ESS1373, original Creative PCI card) to replace the crappy integrated sound board but I'm sure if I'm going to use it because after installing Windows Server 2003 on it, it is not recognized and I'm too lazy to find the driver.

UPDATE:

K6-3 400 was replaced with a K6-3 350 MHz which runs fine at 366 MHz. It's probably the final upgrade because I prefer a 2.2 volt processor over a 2.4 volt one.

PENDING:

PCI SATA Card: Promise SATA TX2. I've read in this very same forum that it works with a 486, which probably has PCI 2.0 slots. M571 does not support 3.3 volt cards, so most new PCI cards doesn't work. I tried a PCI Gigabit ethernet card (most probably an overkill) and it wasn't recognized by the BIOS at all.

CONCLUSION:
I've read nothing but praise for the M571 board. It's a cheapo one, but I agree with everyone saying that it is quality hardware. It certainly must be to keep operating reliably after all this years.

Jim
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Post by Jim » Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:32 am

What chipset has it got ? If you can find the right PCR Files for your chipset you can use WPCredit on it to really raise performance. 50% memory read and 100% memory write gain is quite possible.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

mikemex
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Post by mikemex » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:02 pm

M571 says TX PRO II but from what I've seen it's a SiS 5597. One weird thing I've noticed about it is that it has the best IDE controller of any board I've tested (including modern hardware). With a 10GB 7K2 hard drive it reports nearly 30 MB/s of sustained transfer rate. The same disk in a 915GME (Pentium M) motherboard reports only 22 MB/s.

Jim
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Post by Jim » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:54 pm

I have never seen PCR files for that one; tyhough if you have the tech sheets for the chipset you could concievably create your own PCR files. Don Pedro did that for the SiS530 chipset.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

DonPedro
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Post by DonPedro » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:37 am

mikemix,

what brand and model is this 10gb 7200rpm harddisk? I can't believe that that it is able to deliver 30mb/s except when windows caching is left in activ state while running the benchmark - but the number you then get is not the raw speed of the drive.

also, what benchmark-tool did you use?

mikemex
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Post by mikemex » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:39 pm

@Don Pedro:

It's a Western Digital WD100BB. I use CrystalMark which is somewhat equivalent to CrystalDiskMark. I doubt it's a caching issue because in the datasheet (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/legacy/L ... el=WD100BB) it says the minimum data transfer from buffer to disk is 244 Mbit/s, which is roughly 30.5 MB/s. Maximum transfer rate is stated at 400 Mbit/s or 50 MB/s.

Well let's talk about machine 2. Again, original configuration:

Soyo 5EHM / Via MVP3 / 1MB / 3PCI / 3ISA / 1AGP / 2DIMM / 2SIMM
K6-2 450 AHX (2.4v, failed K6-3?)
102MB RAM / 16 + 64MB SIMM and 32MB DIMM (again, mixed and running fine)
No hard drive (failed)
ATI Rage Pro, Xper@Work 4MB with SO-DIMM slot
Hybrid AT/ATX form factor. Case is AT, power supply and button are ATX.

I removed all memory and replaced it by a 256MB PC133 DIMM and set the CAS latency and related settings in the BIOS to aggressive values (CAS 2, etc). I also took out a Sound Blaster 16 ISA sound card.

Then added a the K6-3 400 AHX, 2.4v processor to it. It worked right away but I noticed that the BIOS was way old. I dont remember which version was installed but I think it was 1AA2. It now has installed 1DA2 but let me tell you; it was a pain in the A$$ to get the old BIOS image. As you may already know, Soyo disappeared years ago. I've got the last BIOS file archived in the case someone is interested.

I also Installed the 10GB 7K2 hard drive on it, replaced the 40 wire IDE cables with 80 wire ones.

Windows XP wnt on it and everything seemed fine although a bit slow. I spent quite a bit of time trying to get the Rage Pro to work in Direct3D and OpenGL but it seems like it's not possible (more in this later).

I gave up and got a TNT-2 M64 32MB video card to replace the Rage Pro and it was pain to get it working. The only version of the drivers that seems to work properly is 45.23. All other versions crash after using the 3D features of the card.

I had a MVP3 motherboard back when I was younger, it was a LuckyStar P5MVP3. I remember that it was difficult to get working fine back then. After having several issues with the Soyo 5EHM the instability issues with the MVP3 chipset came again to my mind. It seems like the buses are flawed, both PCI and AGP.

First thing you notice is that Windows XP disables AGP texturing in the MVP3. Second, IDE drivers seem to be very conservatively developed, as if VIA was trying to make usable the chip. For example, maximum transfer rate is UDMA 1 (16.6 MB/s if I remember correctly) when UDMA 2 (33.3 MB/s) is supposed to be the real top. I've been unable to work around the issues so far.

Wanting to get a DVD player I replaced the TNT2 with a Radeon 7500 and it crashes right from the start. I installed everything possible and problem only goes away by replacing the CPU to AGP bridge in Device Manager by another driver. I'm thinking now that it's not the driver version at all, but that the AGP implementation is flawed and they never corrected it entirely.

On this I'd like to get as much advice as possible because it's getting into my nerves and I'm tempted to throw the thing through the window...

Jim
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Post by Jim » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:53 pm

Since this is an MVP3 board, I would suggest that you take a hard look at this thread :

http://www.k6plus.com/index.php?name=PN ... pic&t=1406

The motherboard drivers used were Via 4 in 1 448 Beta (Which I have a copy of the install for)

The video card used was an ATI 9000 AIW Radeon, though I had previously used a 7500.

Note : I would also reccommend MORE RAM. - at least 512 Meg, prefferably 768 Meg.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

mikemex
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Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:00 pm
Location: Mexico

Post by mikemex » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:40 pm

@Jim:

Before investing more time, I'd like to know if it is possible to run an MVP3 system fully functional and fully stable. Otherwise it doesn't seem like it's worth spending more time and money on it...

I was planning to add 256MB for 512MB but I stopped after having issues. I actually have a Radeon 9000 card too, but I feel it's an overkill. the Radeon 7500 seems nice enough and way, way cooler.

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