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Wanted: Pair of Slot 1 Pentium III CPUs - 750MHz and up

High_Treason

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I've been restoring an old workstation of mine lately, it has a SuperMicro P6DGU motherboard and two 500MHz CPUs at the moment. This thing was a beast but I would like to push it even further and as slotkets have failed me I have taken to the internet to try and locate some better cpus but to no avail.

So I figured I would try my luck here if anybody has any cpus of this type, even if you only have one feel free to say so and suggest me a price (unless you'd rather I made you an offer) as someone else may have another of the same model. - if you do this I want the model number though (i.e; SL5QV) as they must be exactly the same. If you feel more comfortable sending a PM than posting in the forum for some reason, that's fine.

I am only interested in CPUs of 750MHz or higher, they must be Slot 1, they must have an FSB of 100MHz. I'd prefer them to come with a heatsink but looking at the thermal ratings I can probably bolt the ones from my current processors onto them if I have to.

I am of course prepared to pay shipping and any customs charges that may arise if you are outside of the UK. I am only prepared to pay via paypal though. I can assure you I'm a reliable buyer.
 

Chuck(G)

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I run a P6DGE (no onboard SCSI) with two 1GHz/133 P3 Coppermine CPUs. At the default 100MHz FSB, they run at 750MHz.

However, the board's BIOS does have overclock settings and the 440GX chipset is certainly capable of a certain amount of abuse (arguably one of the best chipsets Intel has ever made). I have run this thing at 133MHz FSB, but look out--the weak point in all of this is the naked northbridge chip--even under normal operation, it gets pretty warm and it will pack up in short order when overclocked.

Adding a heat sink to it helps tremendously and a fan with the heatsink should be even better.

The default cooling arrangement for the CPUs is also somewhat inadequate--it relies on the little-fan-on-a-heatsink philosophy and the board is pretty cramped for good airflow. I use the "naked" heatsinks with a 120 mm fan positioned above both CPUs, blowing air down into them. That works a treat.

A bit of warning is that if you use ECC RAM, this thing seems to take forever to get through POST. On mine, I have only 1.5GB installed as there seems to be an issue with some operating systems leaving room for the AGP aperture.

I run Debian, XP and Win98SE (takes a bit of tinkering, but it works reliably). All in all, a great US-made motherboard.
 

luckybob

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i actually just won an auction for a Supermico P6DGH, so ironically... I'm in the same boat you are in now. However I've been told my board will only accept up to 600mhz katmai chips. :p
 

High_Treason

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@luckybob; It does only accept 100MHz CPUs (And 66MHz). Thanks, that page will be useful - I was using the list at Wikipedia which has poor formatting in places. Edit: Congrats on your purchase. Mine officially only supports 750 but I have seen people run 800Mhz chips in the P6DGU at least, I think this is due to the multiplier being fixed on the CPU.

@Chuck(G); I thought that would happen with those. I can actually get a pair of those cheap on ebay at the moment but was avoiding it in the hopes of getting something faster and I wasn't sure what they would do, I may grab those as for £10 it'll be worth it and I can always change them later. My BIOS has no overclocking options (the manual) but my chipset already has a heatsink - probably because of the extra features on the DGU boards adding heat to the case. I doubt I could fit a fan on there anyway.

My current processors run at 30°C under load, confirmed by external probe. Funny thing is, I was going to add a 120MM fan above them, because if I add some 90° meccano (seriously useful stuff!) there are some perfectly spaced holes in my case for it. This board has overheat protection anyway. Mine always takes a while to POST, even since I switched to non-ECC. I have the full 2GB installed and due to some trickery I can sort of use it all under Windows 98. XP runs fine as it is.

Indeed a quality USA product, I only ever use SuperMicro anyway... I'm a sucker for products made or designed in the USA :D
 

Chuck(G)

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Well, using 133MHz FSB 1GHz Coppermines will still get you 750MHz at 100MHz FSB, so I'd say the outlay if they're cheap is worth it. Mine are from an old IBM server, so they're even a pair.

As regards overclocking, we share the same manual and BIOS. Look at Chapter 5, page 5-13. See the "Manufacturer's Setting" and the "leave this at Mode 0" admonishment? I'll bet you never touch things with "wet paint" signs, either. At any rate, a few years ago, SuperMicro actually mentioned the overclocking capability of the P6G boards (it's not there any longer). But here are the FSB frequencies for that "Wet Paint!" menu choice:

Mode 0 - 100Mhz
Mode 1 - 100Mhz
Mode 2 - 106Mhz
Mode 3 - 112Mhz
Mode 4 - 83 Mhz
Mode 5 - 133Mhz

As far as a fan support, I was more brutal. This motherboard is in a 4U rackmount case with plenty of room topside. So I made a small fan holder out of a few strips of acrylic stock. These lock into the heatsink's ridges and support a fan right above the 2 CPUs. Since this is a rackmount case with several fans, I'm not worried about general case heating, just "hot spots".

Now, tell me how I can run 98SE with 2GB of memory... I've already applied the "unauthorized 2nd service pack".
 

luckybob

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Chuck(G)

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If Win98SE was all I wanted to run, then I'd agree. But as I mentioned, this is a triple-boot system (XP, Debian in addition), so I'd like to be able to use the extra RAM that I have. For Win98, I've already got a 1GB RAMDisk in upper high memory memory (using XMSMEM.SYS as the XMS driver and XMSDISK.SYS as the disk).
 

High_Treason

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Quick Edit: I wrote this before the two posts above appeared, you may be able to modify your existing RAM Drive, but it MUST be at the end of RAM.

Funny thing is, the reason I tracked down the manual was to find out what that did and was planning on testing it today. Now I know what it does, so I shall be attempting to run the CPUs at that speed.

To run Windows 98 with 2GB you will have to mess with the vitrual memory, it has the potential to actually decrease performance if you run a lot of large apps as you limit the memory size a lot, otherwise, it actually increases performance. This method is not practical on an OS that can address the memory properly.

First, open SYSTEM.INI in the Windows folder and find the line [386Enh] under which you either need to add or edit the line MaxPhysPage= so it reads MaxPhysPage=1FFFF - this will limit the OS to 512MB of RAM only. Make sure the OS still boots before continuing.

Download HIMEMX and install it somewhere (I use C:\Windows\Command\) and edit the CONFIG.SYS file, if you have HIMEM.SYS loaded, you don't need it anymore. Instead use DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\HIMEMX.EXE.

You may also need to add
DOS=HIGH
FILES=240
BUFFERS=64,8
FCBS=40,8
STACKS=18,256



You might want to edit your MSDOS.SYS with BootGUI=0 for troubleshooting.

Download XMSDSK and put it in C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\ before editing AUTOEXEC.BAT
Add the line LH XMSDSK 1536000 /T /Y (This is a little ocer 1.4GB, you can tweak it later) and reboot the machine. This was for a 2GB install, you would have to use a lower value... Maybe around 983040 (Try 980000 to be safe - assuming AGP Apeture is 64MB)

You should get a message saying which letter the disk is on. Assuming you did stop the gui boot and the ramdisk is E: you can EDIT C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI and go back to the [386Enh] section, now add or edit the line PagingDrive=E:

Back on the DOS prompt, type WIN to load Windows. Check the MS-RAMDRIVE in My Computer, there should be a WIN386.SWP on there. Leave the drive alone and try to run a few things. Windows may fail to boot and get an out of memory. This seems to be related to poor allocation and the AGP Apeture, lower the size on the XMSDSK line in Autoexec.bat. If everything works, you can try raising that value. The RAMDISK must be loaded BEFORE Windows.
 

High_Treason

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Eww, I'd blame anything that went wrong in the machine on that. Recently had a real hard time removing one from a single P3 system I use and it still freezes when I try to start 3D applications - no doubt I'll have to re-install the OS and spend a week setting my MIDI gear up again. I know they have a following and all, I can respect that even though I don't understand it, but I have never had a good experience when running 3DFX cards.

Oh, and if anyone is bothered, I bought these; http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PAIR-OF-I...Computing_CPUs_Processors&hash=item3c9ceab5f9 - (Caleb from Blood) "Hmm, this promises to be fun."
 
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Chuck(G)

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Here's my CONFIG.SYS as it now stands with 1.5GB installed:

Code:
DEVICE=C:\XMS\HIMEM\HIMEMX.EXE /NUMHANDLES=64
DOS=HIGH,UMB
FILES=50
LASTDRIVE=Z
DEVICEHIGH=TIMCD.SYS /D:MSCD0000

and then in AUTOEXEC.BAT:

Code:
C:\XMS\XMSDISK\XMSDSK.EXE S: 768000 /Y /T

Works fine with 1.5GB, but hangs at Windows GUI startup with 2GB.
 

High_Treason

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That's a mystery to me as I can't reproduce it without raising my disk size above 1.43GB, presumably something tries to allocate that memory or else the system simply can't allocate it.

All I can say is to play with it given that I'm still tweaking my own setup. I suspect the whole thing is kind of "hit-and-miss" as to wether it will work though. Keep in mind I only discovered this around two days ago (despite the idea being in my head for around a decade). Mostly because the system was running Windows 2003 the last time I used it and didn't require such things to be done.
 

High_Treason

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Right, I don't like double posting, but I'm also not sure wether to start a new thread, so I'll use this one. If admins/mods/whoever thinks otherwise, I'll create a new one.

So @chuck(g); My SL4BS processors arrived today, the system will not boot with these installed - blank screen although the keyboard LEDs flash, did I miss something?

I set the multiplier to 7.5 (jumpers seem to be right to left, but I tried it the other way too) and also set the FSB jumper to 100MHz (as opposed to auto) but neither combination seems to work. I have only one other S1 board capable of using P3's and it's not reliable though they seem to run in that one. I did update the BIOS with the newest one I could get from archives of SuperMicro's site (though as far as I can tell, R3.1 was the only release they ever did outside of R2.1 that the board came with) - oddly the POST screen still says R2.1

There are no beeps from the PC Speaker.
 

luckybob

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SL4BS processors are 133 fsb. Not 100. Also, if the bios revision did not change, you didnt flash it correctly.
 

High_Treason

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Apparently these will run at 750MHz at that FSB speed though, which is all I am targeting at the moment (though 133MHz is meant to be possible).

I guess flashing the BIOS again to be sure can't be a problem, but I think they just forgot to increment the number as dumping the ROM seems to create a file identical to the updated bios file and not the original. I'll try it when I've had some sleep.
 

luckybob

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Actually, I'd make sure you had the correct bios. As for the 133 running @ 100. I know that they SHOULD, but that's never 100%. Also, the bios is probably looking at SL4BS and saying "WTF do I do with this?" The 850 (SL43F, SL47M, SL4BW, SL4KH) was the last "official" 100mhz fsb chip. the 1000/100 I think was more of a fluke to be honest. Looking at us and uk ebay prices, people are wanting a premium for said 850's. A pair for $50us (34 eu) seems to be a "deal".
 

Chuck(G)

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Here's what I've got in my P6DGE.

BIOS is R3.1 (112100130)

Multiplier is set to x7 at JB1-4 (on-off-on-off)

CPUs are SL4BS 1000/256/133 1.7V S1 (IBM-branded with purple handles)

That's what I can see without disassembling the case (EIA rack-mount)

FWIW, I changed the video card to an ASUS TNT2-VANTA (It's what I had on hand)
 

High_Treason

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Seems I compared the wrong file, my BIOS was indeed not updated. I tried flashing again but the same thing happened.

Turns out if you put the SUPER.ROM backup on the same disk the system pauses before post and flashes that back over the BIOS... POST and the rest of the boot procedure got a nice speed boost too with the update and my DOS prompt doesn't start with ^@^@ anymore (It used to behave as if I had pressed keys during boot).

Now to test the CPUs... THEY WORK! Now, guess I'll be installing that active northbridge cooler (I found one on a dead KT266 board that fits plus the heatsink is twice as thick. Better take care of the CPUs first though, they have huge passive heatsinks on that I swear are made of steel... I never liked Dell.

I use a Radeon VE in my system... So really I don't have room to criticise other people's cards given that I and the people I hang about with consider those a bit of a joke - most OpenGL people do, it's mostly the fault of drivers. The reason I dislike 3DFX probably comes from being into the demoscene, sceners don't like 3DFX which is why you won't find many demos for them. Might put the GeForce 4 Ti in here though as I am parting out my Athlon 1400 system. I'll likely throw a YouTube video of the machine up in a few days anyway.

Thanks for the help, I shall report back if I need anymore.
 

Chuck(G)

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I haven't fooled with the multiplier jumpers, but I suspect that they probably don't do anything with later P3s.

Anyway, good to hear that you're getting past watching the fans spin.
 
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