Rebuilding old systems, gpu compatibility? Nforce4 (socket939) and x58

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
1,548
It doesn't support UEFI, so I don't think you'll be able to boot from USB. A quick search shows nobody being able to boot from USB.

... USB booting has been a thing since almost as long as the USB standard has existed. You don't need UEFI to boot via USB. Whoever you found that said otherwise doesn't know anything about PC hardware. The earliest boards I've seen with USB boot support were way back in the later 90s, like Super Socket 7 boards and Slot 1 Pentium 3s. By the early 2000s, USB boot support was pretty widespread.

Even for BIOSes that didn't explicitly supporting from USB had the option to use a special boot loader like PLOP to boot from USB. Said people that said USB booting was not possible on older BIOS machines were probably confused because bootable USB devices on BIOS machines was often shown as a hard drive. You had to select hard drive or USB hard drive, and then go into the hard drive boot order and put the USB device at the top of the list. Sometimes they were also shown as USB FDD, USB ARMD or USB CDROM, it really depended on the BIOS vendor and board vendor to how it worked, there was no unified standard.

PCI express ports are backwards compatible, be it PCI Express 2.0-4.0.

While PCIe is supposed to be backwards compatible by design, early PCIe implementations had problems with newer PCIe cards. There was a big fiasco when PCIe 2.0 came out where motherboards with 1.0a and 1.1 slots would fail to boot with a PCIe 2.0 card installed. The fix was a BIOS update, but this was at the discretion of motherboard vendors and many motherboards never got the required update, forcing them to be stuck with older PCIe 1.x cards. I've run across this issue numerous times over the years, including on OEM systems from Dell and HP which never got the required BIOS update and were stuck with older PCIe cards. The boards that did receive an update usually worked fine afterwards and even worked fine with newer PCIe 3.0 cards as well that still had BIOS support.

there were some 939 boards with AGP.

There were boards with "AGP" in the 939 era, but many were fake and not really AGP slots. There weren't many 939 chipsets that officially supported AGP, so motherboard manufacturers jimmy rigged proprietary solutions that had varying rates of compatibility and performance. The lowest garbage solutions often just connected an AGP slot to the PCI bus.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Graphics_Port#Unofficial_variations
 

maro

Gawd
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
623
OH FUCK that board. Fuck that board hard. I had it.

dug this out just for you... I think it's an Opteron 165, with some mushkin ram and a 9800 pro... only about half the caps are bulging and NONE have popped (yet). You know you wanna revisit it and kick it's ass - just PM yer buddy maro. I got your fix :p
TRIGGER WARNING
 

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GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
1,548
dug this out just for you... I think it's an Opteron 165, with some mushkin ram and a 9800 pro... only about half the caps are bulging and NONE have popped (yet). You know you wanna revisit it and kick it's ass - just PM yer buddy maro. I got your fix :p
TRIGGER WARNING

Just in case you decide to use it again, replace the caps. Those inflated caps will fry the VRMs.
 

narsbars

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
2,202
Why won't a newer GPU run? PCI-E is backwards compatible, you'll most likely need a new PSU as well. Drivers are another issue - I don't think there are WinXP drivers for an RTX 3090. Then again, I doubt you're going to run your $3000 RTX 3090 in a S939 system.
Which OS? I'd bet that's going to limit you more than anything else.
On S939, PCI-E or AGP? If AGP, Radeon 3850 or Radeon 4670 are the top cards. They're in the $150 neighborhood on eBay though. You're not the only one with a lust for a retro rig ;)
1650 is Win7+ only.
There was an AGP 4850, and I THINK a PCI 4850.
 

narsbars

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
2,202
Nope. The only AGP cards in the HD4000 series was the 4650 and 4670 and these used bridge chips. There was no native PCI offering of any HD4000 series card, but there were a few PCI HD4350s that used a PCIe to PCI bridge chip like this one:
https://www.ebay.com/p/78579900?iid=174600940438
I stand corrected. Sorry to the OP. I did the research instead of leaning on my memory and facts win over bad memories.
 
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