Red Falcon's Retrocomputing Thread!

Discussion in 'All non-AMD/Intel CPUs' started by Red Falcon, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

    Messages:
    953
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Good news, its fixed:

    k9TzXo5h.jpg

    Bad news, hard drive is dead. Now I have the chicken and egg problem of I need a special hacked version of Drive Setup that doesn't exist to format a non-Apple branded IDE drive to work in it. That special version of Drive Setup doesn't exist, there are only instructions on how to make it with Res Edit, which requires writable storage greater than what's available on a 1.44 MB floppy.
     
    70 Polara, Red Falcon and D-EJ915 like this.
  2. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

    Messages:
    953
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Got a 120 GB drive working in it, got lucky with an old 700 MB external SCSI drive I had from 1988 that had a hacked version of Drive Setup 1.5 on it.

    Video of it booting and running Duke3D before putting it back together:


    It has 32 MB of RAM, which is a bit limiting when running some games or VirtualPC. Unfortunately it uses weird 168 pin EDO 5v DIMMs, unlike normal standard 168 pin 3.3v DIMMs using SDRAM in PC land. The only difference between the two memory sticks visually is the EDO DIMM has the middle notch orientated to the left side (vs center on SDRAM) and the side notch orientated to the middle (vs to the right on SDRAM.)

    I remember reading posts of frustrated Mac owners in the mid to late 90s where they bought normal PC SDRAM and were flummoxed when it wouldn't seat in the slot. There were a few of the "danger to themselves and everything else" types which weren't having any of it and opted to use a dremel or file to make the notches on the memory module larger to fit. Hilarity ensued with either the memory modules blowing up from the over voltage, logic board smoke or both.
     
    70 Polara and Red Falcon like this.
  3. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,117
    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Ah, I know exactly what you mean about those proprietary DIMMs.
    The SPARCstation 5 workstation featured on post 5 in this thread was the exact same way.

    It had 256MB of ECC FPM DRAM in 168-pin DSIMM modules, which is almost unheard of.
    Surprisingly, I have seen a few mid-1990s Intel workstations equipped with the 168-pin EDO DIMMs you are using as well.

    2F2016%2F178%2Ff%2F1%2Fsparcstation_5___internal_view_and_411_scsi_units_by_redfalcon696-da7sxlm.png

    ^ Those are the 32MB ECC FPM DSIMMs with 8 of them in total for 256MB.
    Running NetBSD, I was able to compile smaller programs with 64MB, but anything too big would dig into SWAP, and having the additional RAM made a huge difference.

    32MB on your Performa 6360 does look like it is getting the job done well, though!
    You are right, those voltage differences do make a massive differences, and it is probably a good thing that those DIMMs were keyed differently to help prevent magic smoke from appearing.

    You did a damned good job getting things going on the Performa 6360 (nice find on the SCSI HDD from '88, too), it looks and runs great, and the performance of Duke Nukem 3D was surprisingly good; colour me impressed! (y)
    That brings back a lot of great memories from the 1990s, and playing Duke Nukem 3D on the PowerPC ISA looks like a lot of fun.

    What is the maximum capacity of RAM that the Performa 6360 can take?
    128MB, or more?
     
    70 Polara likes this.
  4. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

    Messages:
    953
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    It has a Performa 6400/180 motherboard in it (hence the 6360/180, the normal 6360 is 160 MHz) and the maximum memory it can support is 136 MB (2 x 64 MB DIMMs + 8 MB on the logic board.)

    Finding 64 MB sticks at a reasonable price would be a pipe dream.
     
    Red Falcon likes this.
  5. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,117
    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Oh, gotcha, thanks for the info.
    I feel your pain, those 32MB DSIMMs were basically an arm, a leg, and a few fingers and knee cap. :D
     
  6. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,117
    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    The dark cyberpunk future of 2020 begins now... :borg:
    Happy New Year everyone, and stay retro! :cool:
     
    70 Polara, juanrga and xx0xx like this.
  7. 70 Polara

    70 Polara Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    20200111_022630.jpg
    It's time for a new vintage gaming box, this time trying to vaguely recreate my first 'real' computer after a string of the usual 80s stuff (Magnavox Odyssey, Atari 2600, TI994A, Atari 800). First real computer had an AMD 486 40MHz and 8MB, and ISA video (Diamond Speedstar Pro 1MB). This is another low budget build, and the case was basically saved from the trash like my Socket 423 build. It's a very cheap case with sharp edges everywhere, poor fit and finish, and flimsy construction. And it's beat up, full of corrosion where last motherboard died due to a leaky battery, and yellowed plastics. It's perfect, much like a 'rat rod'.

    I scrounged around quite awhile to find parts for this one as I wanted 40MHz, but really wanted to try the UMC U5 486 CPUs as they are known to be faster then Intel/AMD and in fact lost a court battle with Intel and stopped selling them in the US. The board I ended up with has a 40MHz UMC U5SX in PQFP package. I thermal glued a 486 heatsink to the CPU and attached a small fan in hopes of a stable overclock to 50MHz. Unfortunately no matter what I do, DOS and DOS games are perfect at 50MHz, but Windows (either 3.11 or 95A) aren't totally stable, so I'm at 40MHz with the fastest BIOS settings allowed. Doom at 50MHz would bench at apx 20-22FPS, and at 40MHz it's still an acceptable 18-20FPS. At 50MHz UMC CPU benches faster then an Intel DX2 66! I haven't messed with any other games yet, and decided on Windows 95A version as my OS as 3.11 sucked as bad a remember lol.

    I will get around to posting some benchmark info at some point, once I get a final software configuration figured out. Below is my parts list, again I have less then $100 in this system. It's going to perfect for a lot of early 90s stuff, and I plan on getting plenty of use out of. I find building this archaic stuff is far more enjoyable then building new stuff. Plans are to dig out my EPROM burner and try some BIOSs I found in hopes of getting the Award BIOS version some of these boards had. I have the AMI WinBIOS and it's from a 'fake-cache' board and shows 256kb L2 cache always, weather enabled or not, and this board has no cache lol.

    No-name cheap 90s AT mini-tower case with 'patina' (has speed readout on front, good enough for me to keep it)
    Delta 150W AT power supply (Japanese caps)
    Baby AT motherboard with integrated UMC U5SX CPU at 40MHz, no L2 cache, ISA only (overclocked to 10MHz)
    32MB EDO memory (1 72-pin SIMM)
    Tseng Labs ET4000 ISA video card with upgraded 512kb memory (early version card, 256kb from factory)
    Winbond ISA controller card (everything disabled except COM1, HDD, floppy)
    ESS ES1869F ISA sound card (ESS cards are great, very compatible and super easy to setup, minimal resource usage)
    'RodeoDrive' 36X IDE CD-ROM (had a broken belt, fixed with a rubber band lol)
    WD 3GB IDE hard drive
    3.5" 1.44MB floppy drive
     
    Red Falcon likes this.
  8. Starfalcon

    Starfalcon n00b

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2020
    Nice retro system, impressive you got it together without having to spend a fortune. It is scary how much people want for this stuff nowdays, when I started getting this stuff 20 years ago it was free or pennies....not anymore.
     
    70 Polara and Red Falcon like this.
  9. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

    Messages:
    953
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Look in second hand stores and estate sales, I can still semi-regularly find old gear for not too much. The local dump is also a great place to find stuff, especially around the holidays.

    Just after new years, I found all sorts of stuff for cheap at the dump:

    2 x 24" ACER 1080p monitors - $20
    Strange gaming rig/server with an ASUS P5E WS Pro, 4 GB OCZ DDR2-800, an E7200 and a Geforce 7100GS - $3
    Saibo 4 bay NAS with 4 x 640 GB drives - $10
    Buffalo 4 bay NAS with 4 x 1 TB drives - $10
    Hyper 212 Evo new in box - $3

    They also have a bunch of really old 90s laptops, but I'm not too interested in them. I've found 486 and Pentium machines there for just a few dollars. The best part is that people that trash these machines are idiots, they never wipe the machines so you usually get hundreds or thousands of dollars in free software. Sadly this is often accompanied with PI like SSNs, bank records, home addresses, etc. and needs to be disposed of responsibly. It's scary how much PI is on some of these machines, I've bought two that came from law enforcement and one had thousands of SSNs on it with a database of criminal records. Immediately ripped the drive out and smashed it with a hammer.
     
    70 Polara and Red Falcon like this.
  10. Starfalcon

    Starfalcon n00b

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2020
    I agree you can still find some stuff reasonably, but finding popular and wanted parts are not easy anymore. Heck most of the voodoo 5's I got for nothing back in the day because no one wanted them, the most i paid for one was retail for the PCI version I have. Now if I wanted to find those, I would be paying a lot of money.
     
    70 Polara likes this.
  11. 70 Polara

    70 Polara Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    20200114_142234.jpg 20200114_182010.jpg

    Ok, my 486 beast is all done. My phone takes crappy pics. Took alot of work to clean this old beat-up case up, and find some slot fillers for the 3.5" and 5.25" bays that kinda work as they were missing. Case had tape residue all over it that finally came off using water/isopropyl alcohol. Almost ruined the speed readout connecting it to 12V, it only needs 5. Had to solder a new resistor on it to fix it....ooops.

    Made only one change to finalize it, pulled the ESS sound card as I had trouble getting it to play music after a reboot. Tried everything I could think of, sometimes music worked, sometimes not. Sounds always played at least. Put in a CT2230 Sound Blaster 16 instead, which may be slightly more period correct anyways. Plus it simply 'works' every time though I think the ESS card may have actually sounded better.

    Currently playing through the original Rise of the Triad Dark War......runs very well. I look forward to other people's updates in this thread! Let's see some retro gear!
     
    Starfalcon and Red Falcon like this.
  12. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

    Messages:
    953
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Could be a tarnished card edge connector or ISA/PCI slot. Try spraying some deoxit gold in the slot and on the card edge connector and inserting/removing it a few times.
     
    Red Falcon and 70 Polara like this.
  13. 70 Polara

    70 Polara Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Hmmmm, I cleaned card edges with an eraser and then isopropyl alcohol on a cleanroom wipe when I assembled and motherboard was new in sealed bag. I have ran into similar behavior with these ESS cards in the past on another 486 I built a few years ago. I honestly suspect card doesn't like the ISA bus at 10MHz, as problem went away at 8MHz ISA speed. But 10MHz ISA literally gets me another 1FPS in the Doom timedemos so I don't want to lose that. So far SoundBlaster works fine at 10MHz ISA and 13.3MHz ISA, but 13.3MHz doesn't gain any more speed in VGA benchmarks so not worth risk of possible data corruption from the controller card or HDD not liking the high ISA speed.

    My Tseng ET4000 is a very early card with only 512kb (was 256kb before I installed two more memory chips) so I think it may be a slightly limiting factor. Supposedly later ET4000 cards with 1MB are faster. With my 40MHz CPU, not sure if a 'faster' ISA card would gain anything???????
     
  14. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

    Messages:
    953
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Don't do this, erasers are abrasive and damage the contacts. Only use an oxide remover like deoxit gold or electronics cleaning spray.

    ISA really never had a defined speed. Early "turbo" XT clones would run ISA at the bus speed of the CPU, which was usually the CPU clock and it could basically be anything from 7-20 MHz. Later machines used a clock divider off the FSB or PCI bus, which still had a range of clock speeds.

    Most cards behave between the original 4.77 MHz XT bus and around 10 MHz. Any further and compatibility rapidly drops off. If you aren't seeing any performance gains after a certain speed, then something else is going to be the bottleneck.
     
    70 Polara likes this.
  15. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,117
    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Sharing this since it is definitely the end of an era, farewell Windows 7! (y)

    zYmM1LTQ3MDktYjIzNy01NGJjOTM0YTZlMjAucG5nIn1dXSwiYXVkIjpbInVybjpzZXJ2aWNlOmZpbGUuZG93bmxvYWQiXX0.png
     
    Starfalcon likes this.
  16. 70 Polara

    70 Polara Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Yeah it is crazy that ISA never really had a set speed. It's interesting that this particular motherboard has a separate setting for the keyboard controller and the ISA bus. The keyboard defaults to 9.5MHz, and ISA defaults to 8MHz at 40MHz bus setting. This board has an AMI WinBIOS that leaves much to desired. When my EPROMs get here I'm going to burn some Award BIOSs I found on the internet. Looking at them in a hex viewer I think I found the Award BIOS I've seen some of these boards have, and if so it should be more flexible. It's personal opinion, but back in the day I always liked Award BIOS far more then AMI BIOS.
     
  17. Killahurtz

    Killahurtz Gawd

    Messages:
    643
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    a couple of mine:

    Abit BE6 i440BX , PIII 700 flip chip on Abit Slotket slot 1 adapter, Voodoo 3 3500TV , I forget the mem , creative sound

    IMG_5187.jpg



    Abit VP6 , 2 x PIII 1ghz @1140mhz , Voodoo 5500 AGP , dual boot W2K pro / XP pro , 2 gig Infineon memory , 3 x 18g scsi raid 0 , Kenwood TrueX 72x (the fastest CDR ever made)

    IMG_4275.jpg

    IMG_4282.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 7:46 PM
    Red Falcon and Starfalcon like this.
  18. Starfalcon

    Starfalcon n00b

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2020
    Nice systems, I have a ton of Abit boards myself...RIP Abit. Still use my BP6 300A@450 semi regularly, along with some of their socket A stuff. Plus I have a soft spot for duallie rigs, I have a ton of them in my collection.
     
    Killahurtz likes this.
  19. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,846
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    I had a good experience with my first Abit board, a BH6 1.0 plus Celeron 300A @ 450 in 1999. A year later, I added a Slotket and upgraded to a 533A running at 800mhz (used the BIOS upgrade trick to drop voltage range down to 1.6v.

    That served as my media server for several years. I stopped using it around 2005, then rebooted it in 2014 when folks on here started building throwback rigs. After I realized it would be in better hands, I sent it to them.

    I had more good experiences with Abit boards. I used an Abit KG7, a fairly stable implementation of AMD's 760 chipset.

    But after that, I had to ditch Abit for Asus A8V, as there were some poor reviews. But they were great in their time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 11:07 PM
    Starfalcon likes this.
  20. Starfalcon

    Starfalcon n00b

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2020
  21. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,846
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    That's ...insane. The most I ever did was throw some ISA/PCI/AGP cards in boxes, but I've bee clearing things out since then.

    I find that I cant's be bothered to assemble and test ancient equipment I've already tackled, so if I'm not using it anymore, it's either gifted to others, or trashed.
     
  22. Starfalcon

    Starfalcon n00b

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2020
    Yeah I know, lol....Ive been accumulating that stuff for 20 some years now. Plus the list hasnt been updated in a while...so there is more that isnt on it...
     
  23. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,846
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006

    And do you have it up and running, or is all all packed away in boxes?
     
  24. Killahurtz

    Killahurtz Gawd

    Messages:
    643
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    a couple more...a little newer

    here is the 775 box...on the right , Abit IP35pro , BFG 8800gtx OC , Corsair mem , Creative sound....runs great , runs period stuff crispy

    the left is 939 Athlon 64 X2 4400+ , Asus A8AR32-MVP Deluxe (first full 2x pcie x16) , AMD X1900 crossfire , Patriot mem , Creative sound




    IMG_5170.jpg
     
    Starfalcon and Red Falcon like this.
  25. Starfalcon

    Starfalcon n00b

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2020
    I have some systems together, but no way I could have all that built in sytems. A lot is stored in boxes, or stacked neatly...or not so neatly...