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Old 12-13-2018, 10:08 PM   #1
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Default Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

No vintage pentium classic era collection is complete without a Pentium Pro system, well this thread is a 2-fer build....

Both builds are keeping true to my form, they are nothing less than dual CPU's. I picked up motherboard one (Intel PR440FX) from a local junk pile. This find was completely inadvertent....I wasn't even remotely looking for anything like this, it just happen to be there...'new old stock', and untested. I bought a pair of 200MHz 512k CPU's & 512mb parity/buffered ECC EDO DIMM's to test it....the board was good...but there was a problem.... A VRM was needed in order to run a second CPU.....and this is where it gets good!! Remember that unrepairable Intel dual P2 board Ratdude gave me? Well, I bilked the voltage regulator chip off one of the VRM's for THIS BUILD...but there was one left....this unrepairable board has now saved 2 other boards through the repurposing of its parts!! The VRM's are built by Delta, and I spec'd them out.....and hot damn, they're the right ones!

Build 2's P-Pro board was found cheap on ebay when scouting out CPU's. This one is a MSI MS-6107, dual socket8. I haven't received it yet....but it was shown working. The Dallas realtime clock is said to be bad, typical of old hardware of this era.

This will serve as an ongoing build thread, as these are low priority builds.....but Houston, we have liftoff!!

The board with its 2x new old stock coolers, still in the packages.



THANK YOU RATDUDE!!! VRM saved the day! These are nearly impossible to find nowadays!



YAY, it post's! 200MHz? hmmm....we'll see about that....back to this in a minute....



GPU is a Matrox Millennium that I bought new back in 1996 or so... 2mb with the 6mb upgrade, or maybe 4mb with 4mb upgrade....I'm not real sure, but its 8mb total.



Now we're cookin', mega overclock @ 233!!



Updated the BIOS, Intel still had it on their site. Tested everything, no problems!


That's as far as I got with this today....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ppro_2212.JPG (394.4 KB, 151 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2213.JPG (323.3 KB, 151 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2214.JPG (210.9 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2215.JPG (313.1 KB, 152 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2216.JPG (180.3 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2217.JPG (258.6 KB, 147 views)
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

aaaand what are you possibly going to use these for?
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Old 12-15-2018, 12:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
aaaand what are you possibly going to use these for?
Like most vintage builds......your best guess is about as valuable as your opinion of the build itself...
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

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THANK YOU RATDUDE!!! VRM saved the day! These are nearly impossible to find nowadays!
You are very welcome.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

I still have an old dual ppro board but its RTC battery died (one of those silly Dallas Semiconductor crap that are forced obsolescence because it was soldered; "was" is a key word...) The VRMs are on-board. Alas the board has 8 72-pin SIMM slots which makes it useless for me as there's no way for me to get to that 1GB sweet spot...
4PCI 3ISA (1 shared). It even has headers for USB-1 which is surprising...

Oh well.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

I remember building a dual CPU Pentium Pro machine for a friend of mine back in the 90's. Cool stuff. Nice to see one again!
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

First post from it. I originally inteded to install NT4, but for some reason the SCSI HDD on the Adaptec 2940U2W wasn't being seen when loading the driver, but it was fine in win2k... I remember vaguely having these issues with newer (at the time) SCSI controllers from installs done from the original media (pre SP1). I'll have to do a slipstream of SP6 and try again.

Win2k runs decent, but this system would shine with NT4...but the upside of W2K is working USB! The GPU kills it more than anything, but it is stable. Running FF12, which really makes that GPU hurl chunks!!

Anyway, a few more pics:







I may have to hunt down a better GPU, because this is just the beginning & testing phase for what will probably end up coming of this board/build!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ppro_2218.JPG (330.7 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2219.JPG (225.5 KB, 129 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2220.JPG (223.6 KB, 129 views)
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

Quote:
Originally Posted by eccerr0r View Post
I still have an old dual ppro board but its RTC battery died (one of those silly Dallas Semiconductor crap that are forced obsolescence because it was soldered; "was" is a key word...) The VRMs are on-board. Alas the board has 8 72-pin SIMM slots which makes it useless for me as there's no way for me to get to that 1GB sweet spot...
4PCI 3ISA (1 shared). It even has headers for USB-1 which is surprising...

Oh well.
Send it to me.....I'll make something of it.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

Gee, at that point, even a Radeon HD 5450 or any from near that period with a legacy-PCI variant, could be a star! Wouldn't be surprised if Windows 2000 was still supported at the time of that GPU model.

Actually, I would try to see if there's a legacy-PCI GeForce 9 series or get one from before that generation and of course, check for shit caps...
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

Geforce fx5500 256mb PCI cards are a dime a dozen....can be had all day long for under 30 bucks shipped...

The Matrox Millennium does keep it period-specific though....
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

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Geforce fx5500 256mb PCI cards are a dime a dozen....can be had all day long for under 30 bucks shipped...

The Matrox Millennium does keep it period-specific though....
Those could choke, even with just browsing, sadly. Even though I don't expect it to hurl chunks like the Matrox Millennium does. No guarantee that they are much better. They are just higher-clocked FX5200s, IIRC. I was thinking 6-series or 7-series. If they can come in old-PCI form.

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Old 12-16-2018, 05:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

I'm surprised Firefox 12 still works on today's websites, most HTTPS-based sites give a security error on older browsers due to the ever-changing encryption standards and the browser war where a new or facelifted version is out every few months or so (almost like the car industry), while blocking the older versions just for the sake of blocking the older versions.

Speaking of Firefox, apparently you can actually use much later versions on Windows 2000 (and also XP gold/SP1) by moving a few system files across from XP SP3. I haven't currently got a 2000 machine to test whether Firefox will work with a simple copy+paste though, but AFAIK the installer also does an OS check which may have to be patched if it is the case (of course Firefox only offers an installer and no other download option, it's too hard for people to decompress zip files in the 21st century).
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

^
I don't remember there being portable version of firefox. Waterfox OTOH did have, but they're 64 bit only....hell, if there were a 64 bit version of win2k, I'd still be running it mainstream!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJARRRPCGP View Post
I was thinking 6-series or 7-series. If they can come in old-PCI form.
There is no such animal. I'm really not too worried about it choking under load....it won't be used for anything mainstream...in the end its just a weird oddity & novelty....but with a little function.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

So the second board arrived today, MSI MS-6107....yup, Dallas RTC dead as can be, which means it won't hold settings....only boot option is floppy, which it boots from just fine.....but I couldn't get it to boot from cdrom to run diagnostics, but I don't really forsee issues. To my surprise, it has a matching pair of 200MHz 512k L2 CPU's in it, I was expecting 256k chips, those were the most common.

It also had BIOS v1.0 on it, which is known to be problematic (research I did pre-buy) for installing OS's and other graphics card compatibility issues. MSI removed all traces of this board from their site ages ago it seems. I searched and found MS-6107 BIOS v1.1 in some obscure place, so I downloaded it and tested it on a spare chip first to make sure it was legit, and it was..... I have attached it to this thread, so in the unlikely event anyone ever needs it in the future, it won't be so hard to find...and its been verified good/legit.

Anyway:

The board!




Flicked a couple DIP switches, on the first try, instant 233MHz!


...BIOS v1.1
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1545086544

...and for such an obscure board, I did track down the manual....
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1545110441

More later...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ppro_2221.JPG (333.0 KB, 112 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2223.JPG (471.4 KB, 109 views)
File Type: jpg ppro_2224.JPG (276.1 KB, 113 views)
Attached Files
File Type: rar ms6107v11.rar (125.3 KB, 2 views)
File Type: rar MS6107_Manual.rar (217.9 KB, 2 views)
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

Gotta love classic AMIBIOS.

Does yours do the "tick, tick, tick, buuzzzzz" RAM count?

IIRC, the 386 and 486 AMIBIOSes did. There was a 3rd party utility, AMISETUP, that could toggle CMOS options if your particular CMOS setup program didn't expose them.

With something like that, one could go in and manually set the "audible RAM test."

Late AT/ATX crossover boards with AMIBIOS did not have the audible count.

Don't sweat the graphics issue; PCI vs AGP kills performance more than the difference between any period cards.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

That AMI BIOS looks at least much like the one on my 486 motherboard, LOL.
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

Funny thing is, a lot of modern AMI BIOS's shortly before UEFI looked just like that. No, mem count doesn't 'tick', and it rolls through it pretty quick...and like any modern system, it can be skipped. The PR440FX OTOH, the mem count takes forever....and there's no skipping it....
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

and the old AMI bios editor still worked on alot of those, enable hidden features etc.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:52 PM   #19
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and the old AMI bios editor still worked on alot of those, enable hidden features etc.
You know what's funny, I've hacked up a lot of award bios's with cbrom and modbin, but I've never modded an AMI...
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Old 12-18-2018, 11:39 AM   #20
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Default Re: Topcat's Weird Pentium Pro Builds

I remember when I worked at the shop in fort worth. We had this investment company (small one) that contracted our work. (2010?)

The owner hired his old (really old) man as the it guy for this...like 5 person company.

They had a VPN connected between the lan and the old mans lan at his house. He backed up the dell xeon poweredge onto like 4 PPro servers at his house. You could tell this old guy had lost his skills. sooo much unnecessary crap. I know the cloud concept was kind of new then but shit, you could achieve the same backup with an expensive raided NAS, not these desktop-based servers.

last time I worked for him he refused to pay because he said *I* knocked their internet offline. I was going between the company and his house trying to figure it out when I noticed a bunch of guys were working up in an elevator. I wondered if the internet was down because they were doing maintenance on it or if the elevator work cut it off at his floor. The guys at work were already up the shaft and no one was around for me to question them if there was an interruption, an the old guy was impatient and telling me to come drive him home
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