Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

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buckraban
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby buckraban » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:16 pm

Hello,

I wanted to document this build as it represents what I would consider to be almost a "dream machine" in it's day. It uses top quality components across the board and certainly something that would have been a very capable general purpose machine or even a gaming platform at the time.

Main Components :

Motherboard : AOpen Ax6BC Pro

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I've had this motherboard for years and it used to be the basis of my "main machine" back in the day, along with a Celeron 300A from memory...

You will notice that the CPU Holder is missing one of the arms - it broke years ago, so the first thing I needed to do was replace the cpu holder with something that would properly retain the Slot 1 CPU. Luckily I had rescued a CPU holder from an old dell machine with a faulty m/board. I set about removing the old broken holder and replacing it with the "new" one in all of it's lovely bold green glory...

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Ram : 512 MB SDRAM (2x128MB & 1x256MB)

Decided to populate all 3 memory card slots with 2 chips of 128MB BGA Kingmax Memory and 1 fairly generic 256MB SDRAM chip. The Kingmax ram was considered to be a premium ram at the time and I remember reading rave reviews about it back in the day...



CPU : Pentium III - 500MHz

A fairly conservative choice here - more dictated by what I had on hand in a Slot 1 configuration, but still a very capable CPU for this machine.

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More to follow......
Last edited by buckraban on Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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mwd
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Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby mwd » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:19 pm

Ah AOpen, nice motherboard. I think I had one back in the day. Supported a good range of CPUs and was very reliable. Looking forward to seeing the rest.

FYI I've increase the upload limit for images here so you can upload directly too if you want.

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Bam Stroker
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Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby Bam Stroker » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:52 pm

Nice! I did a very similar build last July also with a P3 500 but with an Intel SE440BX-2 mobo and 384mb ram.

I'll be interested what video card you're going with? I ended up with a 32mb Riva TNT2 Pro.

Also keen to know what you do vis a vis operating system(s) and any dual boot/partition type shenanigans you explore.

buckraban
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby buckraban » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:37 pm

Video card is a 32Mb Matrox Millenium G550 AGP Card. I've found that the graphics quality this thing produces, especially in regards to sharpness is second to none. Considering the slight degradation in signal quality the voodoo 2 cards introduce I wanted to go with a card that gave me the best display possible to begin with.

I also have a Riva TNT2 card as well, and while it would definitely give better performance, I want to check out the quality of the Matrox Card and compare the two before making a final decision on the configuration I will settle on..

With regards to Operating System, I definitely think Windows 98 (SE) is the better option, especially for Voodoo support, although considering I do have a couple of spare IDE hard drives, a dual boot system is definitely on the cards ... but definitely with 2 separate drives, rather than messing around with partitions.

It might be another few days before I get any more updates posted...

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Bam Stroker
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Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby Bam Stroker » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:11 am

Sounds like we have covered a lot of the same ground then. My original plan was to try to put together a 486DX4/100 but it proved difficult to source and I was pretty much limiting myself to pre-1995 games. As I did more research I decided on a Pentium 2 or 3 to give me as much coverage as possible with the one machine. It's proven able to run games from 1984 up to 2003.

I also was considering a 2 x 12mb Voodoo 2 SLI combo just for the old school cool factor but in the end I decided on a single card solution with a bit better performance overall and it was just easier to source a single card than look for 3. Hats off to you for doing it though.

I had originally planned on a Win98SE/DOS6.22 dual boot arrangement as well but after doing some research I learned that the implementation of DOS in Win98SE was actually very friendly with older titles. As such I've just been using a set of autoexec.bat and config.sys files to flip between booting up in Windows and booting up in DOS7. It's still really tempting to set up a dual boot with DOS 6.22 just for the authenticity and challenge but I need dig up an IDE cable for the second HDD first. :)

pax
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Location: Perth, WA

Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby pax » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:53 pm

Very similar to the build I'm putting together but still haven't settled on a CPU yet, using a slot 1/s370 Octek board but at the moment the fastest cpu i have is a s370 Celeron 433, putting it together with a 12 Meg Monster 3D II SLI setup and a TNT 2 M64 card.

Cheers,
Shane.

buckraban
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby buckraban » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:54 pm

Sorry for the lack of updates ....

On with the build....

Case : AOpen LX-45 (I think??)

I have had this case forever and was perfect for a setup from this era. I think from memory this is an LX-45 case, but I could be wrong - might be able to find the original receipt if I look back through my stuff...
Anyway, it's clean, nice simple layout and just spacious enough for everything I want to put in here ... and with the potential for something a little bit different, but more about that later...

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PSU : Ipex 200 Watt

Nothing special here ... perfectly adequate... I had it lying around ...move along ...
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ASSEMBLY and First Test Boot : It's alive !!

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Well, that was a relief.... everything works ... used a NVidia MX400 card to test, but will most likely be using a Matrox G550 Dual Head in the finished product

More to come ...

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mwd
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Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby mwd » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:58 pm

Case looks good :)

Of interest why a G550? I like matrox cards but just interested as to your reason for using one in this build.

buckraban
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby buckraban » Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:17 pm

Onwards ...

Floppy Drives : 5.25" AND 3.5" Drives - Whaaaaat ???

Ok. I know the 5.25" drive is probably going a step too far .... but I am more of a "why the hell not!" type of guy. I have about 400 or so 5.25" floppy discs from my university days that I would love to have a look at for purely nostalgic reasons, so it seems like the perfect opportunity to be able to finally look at them again.

I actually have 2 to chose from... one of them has a lot of exposed cabling and circuitry, the other a bit more enclosed - I went for the one with it's guts exposed for no other reason than it kinda looks extra retro !!

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The 3.5" drive is mounted in a very neat 5.25" to 3.5" converter that allows me to move the floppy drive up into the 5.25" bays and free up room for the possibility of setting up a dual drive, dual booting system.

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Coming up next .... DVD Drive and HDD ...

Washerman
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Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby Washerman » Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:23 pm

Cool components, and wow, 400x 5.25" saved?!!? I wish I'd kept all my 5.25" disks, so my hat off to you!

buckraban
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby buckraban » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:02 pm

mwd wrote:Case looks good :)

Of interest why a G550? I like matrox cards but just interested as to your reason for using one in this build.


I am going to be putting a dual Voodoo II SLI setup into this box. I've heard that the Voodoo cards introduce a bit of a "softening" of the image, so I want to start of with best possible quality to begin with and I know the output quality of the Matrox cards is superb. If the nVidia MX400 generates just as nice an image after running through the Voodoo's I will probably go with that just for the extra gaming capabilities....

Anyone have any feedback on this ?


Washerman wrote:Cool components, and wow, 400x 5.25" saved?!!? I wish I'd kept all my 5.25" disks, so my hat off to you!


Lol ...they are full of raw data files mostly, but also have some research papers and conference posters that I wouldn't mind keeping some copies on a more permanent storage solution.

As a side note, are they worth anything ?? Considering they were originally brand new verbatim disks and only ever were written to once, all in their "sleeves" - they are I guess, "Almost New". They have been stored in a relatively cool, dark, dry place (no I don't have a dungeon!!) for .... OMFG !! .... 20 Years (Since 1996!!)...

Washerman
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Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby Washerman » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:10 pm

It's a pretty cool achievement ;) I only have a handful of 3.5" from that era.

A little while back I bought about 100 sealed disks for $40, and that was off eBay, but a bulk lot of 400 disks would entice someone no doubt.

buckraban
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby buckraban » Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:27 pm

ok ... next up, DVD and IDE Hard Drive

DVD Drive : ASUS DRW-1604P (IDE)

Again, nothing too exciting here ... basic, gets the job done.

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Hard Drive : Western Digital 500GB (IDE)

Nice large Western Digital drive to keep all the gaming goodness on.

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Coming soon .... Voodoo II SLI cards, Sound Blaster Live Card, Ethernet Card.... but first, sleep....

buckraban
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby buckraban » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:33 am

Sorry for the lack of updates...

Onto the expansion cards.

AGP Graphics Card : Matrox Millenium G550 32GB

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Gives outstanding image quality especially on CRT monitors, so have gone with this for now. although I may end up switching to a NVidia MX400 to support a wider range of games if the image quality is just as good...will test with both, but Matrox for now.

3D Accelerator Cards: 2 x 3dfx Voodoo 2 Cards in SLI (Creative)

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Love these cards ... perfect for some retro PC gaming and an absolute must to get the best out of some classic games... SLI just makes it even better and supports higher resolutions..

Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live!

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Environmental Audio ..widely supported in the games this machine will play ...

Network Card: Gigabit Ethernet

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Gigabit speed just to speed up data transfers ...

It's going to be a bit of a cabling nightmare, but worth it ....

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Next updates will be Operating System Installation and Driver setup ...

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mwd
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Re: Slot 1 / Pentium III / Voodoo 2 SLI / SB Live! Build

Postby mwd » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:21 am

Looks good, I don't believe you need to double daisy chain the Voodoo 2s. The second V2 shouldn't need anything connected to it (except the internal SLI cable).

Also like the use of the Matrox, something a bit different :)


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