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long live the 503+

 
 
farmuse
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      07-27-2005, 03:08 AM
Just finished building a computer based on the VA-503+ version 1.2a
from several defunct or unused systems. The CPU was a K6 2 450, which I
changed to a K6 III+ 450 once I noticed the BIOS was JE4333 APM and
could run that CPU. I then added 2x 128 MB Crucial PC133 CAS 2 modules,
a Promise Ultra 66 controller card, a Maxtor 7 GB drive, AWE 64 gold,
NIC, and a still respectable Diamond S220 PCI graphics card. I didn't
have any really good AGP cards that would have been good choices, but I
may look for Rage Fury Pro later. I then enabled USB, loaded Windows 98
SE, and then followed the suggested guidelines from an old friend from
this newsgroup, Jim Navas, and also some from Bill Lahr. Mt first
attempt was crap, I had forgot some of the tweaks you need to do to get
this board running well, but then recalled I had some articles from 1998
that Jim, Bill, and others had written and they helped a lot. Still not
sure why USB has to be enabled, but it did make a difference. I run the
double sided SDRAM at 100 MHz, CAS 2, fast speed, 4 bank interleave. The
other tweak that made a difference was to disable write cache pipeline,
because I was getting lockups when I defragmented the drive. Once write
cache pipeline was disabled the L2 cache was fine, and the system could
properly defragment. Overall the speed is VERY good. I also modded a
dual USB cable set to work with the board, most are set up wrong for
this particular board. I may also add another drive and dual boot to XP
pro as some have said the 503+ runs XP just fine. I have run XP home
with a 503A, no problems, so this should work too.

I guess I just wanted to prove a 503+ could still get the job
done, and would serve most users needs just fine. Not bad for a six year
old motherboard ! Long live the 503+ !

Cheers, John
 
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Roger Hunt
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      07-27-2005, 11:33 PM
On Wed, 27 Jul 2005, farmuse typed this :
> Just finished building a computer based on the VA-503+ version 1.2a
>from several defunct or unused systems. The CPU was a K6 2 450, which I
>changed to a K6 III+ 450 once I noticed the BIOS was JE4333 APM and
>could run that CPU. I then added 2x 128 MB Crucial PC133 CAS 2 modules,
>a Promise Ultra 66 controller card, a Maxtor 7 GB drive, AWE 64 gold,
>NIC, and a still respectable Diamond S220 PCI graphics card. I didn't
>have any really good AGP cards that would have been good choices, but I
>may look for Rage Fury Pro later.


A Hercules 3D Prophet 4500 64MB goes well.
>I then enabled USB, loaded Windows 98
>SE, and then followed the suggested guidelines from an old friend from
>this newsgroup, Jim Navas, and also some from Bill Lahr. Mt first
>attempt was crap, I had forgot some of the tweaks you need to do to get
>this board running well, but then recalled I had some articles from 1998
>that Jim, Bill, and others had written and they helped a lot. Still not
>sure why USB has to be enabled, but it did make a difference. I run the
>double sided SDRAM at 100 MHz, CAS 2, fast speed, 4 bank interleave. The
>other tweak that made a difference was to disable write cache pipeline,
>because I was getting lockups when I defragmented the drive. Once write
>cache pipeline was disabled the L2 cache was fine, and the system could
>properly defragment. Overall the speed is VERY good. I also modded a
>dual USB cable set to work with the board, most are set up wrong for
>this particular board. I may also add another drive and dual boot to XP
>pro as some have said the 503+ runs XP just fine. I have run XP home
>with a 503A, no problems, so this should work too.
>

It does, perfectly usable - I ran XP pro for a time on mine, shortly
before the Terrible Disaster.
> I guess I just wanted to prove a 503+ could still get the job
>done, and would serve most users needs just fine. Not bad for a six year
>old motherboard ! Long live the 503+ !
>

It will never die! I can see it in years to come - the post applauding
the performance of the twenty-five year old 503+
--
Roger Hunt
 
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farmuse
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      07-28-2005, 05:12 PM
Roger,

what happened ? sounds bad, you don't live in London do you ?

is that 4500 a Kryo chipset ? like it ? what version of Direct x is
that card ? really the S220 is not bad for 2D, I am running 1024x 768 24
bit and it is very sharp and fast. If you recall it uses a Rendition
V2100 chipset and has 4 MB of fast SGRAM, in it's day the 3D was almost
as good as 3Dfx. This computer won't be used for games much, more soho
type stuff.
 
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Roger Hunt
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      07-28-2005, 07:16 PM
On Thu, 28 Jul 2005, farmuse typed this :
> Roger,
>
> what happened ? sounds bad, you don't live in London do you ?
>

The Great Disaster? No, not terrorists but a melt-down of my 503+.
(Used to live in London and was bombed in 1981 anyway!)
> is that 4500 a Kryo chipset ? like it ? what version of Direct x is
>that card ?


It's a KyroII chipset and if I recall, from a couple of years ago, I
think it was a DX7 card, but ran OpenGL quite nicely.
>really the S220 is not bad for 2D, I am running 1024x 768 24
>bit and it is very sharp and fast. If you recall it uses a Rendition
>V2100 chipset and has 4 MB of fast SGRAM, in it's day the 3D was almost
>as good as 3Dfx. This computer won't be used for games much, more soho
>type stuff.


I've no experience of the S220 but it sounds pretty reasonable ... maybe
keep it?

I must go Googling ... either another 503+, or a PA-2013 would fit this
spare case well. Have all the internals already, and a K6-2+/533 CPU
sitting in a draw doing nothing.

Cheers!
--
Roger Hunt
 
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farmuse
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2005, 08:52 PM
sounds like a good plan Roger, put that cpu to use ! hey, the only
glitch with this set up is the video goes to scrambled screen when
windows powers down, wonder why ? like the refresh rate is not what the
monitor likes. very strange, the monitor is multi-sync for sure, maybe a
driver issue. these are the drivers that came with the card. the video
BIOS is cached, I don't believe the 503+ is the issue. anyone have any
ideas ?


Roger Hunt wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005, farmuse typed this :
>
>> Roger,
>>
>> what happened ? sounds bad, you don't live in London do you ?
>>

>
> The Great Disaster? No, not terrorists but a melt-down of my 503+.
> (Used to live in London and was bombed in 1981 anyway!)
>
>> is that 4500 a Kryo chipset ? like it ? what version of Direct x is
>>that card ?

>
>
> It's a KyroII chipset and if I recall, from a couple of years ago, I
> think it was a DX7 card, but ran OpenGL quite nicely.
>
>>really the S220 is not bad for 2D, I am running 1024x 768 24
>>bit and it is very sharp and fast. If you recall it uses a Rendition
>>V2100 chipset and has 4 MB of fast SGRAM, in it's day the 3D was almost
>>as good as 3Dfx. This computer won't be used for games much, more soho
>>type stuff.

>
>
> I've no experience of the S220 but it sounds pretty reasonable ... maybe
> keep it?
>
> I must go Googling ... either another 503+, or a PA-2013 would fit this
> spare case well. Have all the internals already, and a K6-2+/533 CPU
> sitting in a draw doing nothing.
>
> Cheers!

 
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Alex Zorrilla
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-02-2005, 07:18 PM
To my knowledge, the last set of reference drivers for the Rendition
V2000/V2100 can be found here:

http://www.micron.com/support/itg/v2x00.html

Rendition was taken over by Micron a long time ago. They are beta
drivers (version 3 beta 5), but something tells me you are not going to
find an official release anytime soon.

You may also try the reconstituted Diamond Multimedia at
http://www.diamondmm.com for drivers. They are probably older than the
ones on the Micron site, but they may be newer than the ones that came
with the card.

For whatever it is worth, we have a Geforce 4 MX 420 AGP card running
just fine on a VA-503A. It has very good DVD playback, even with a
K6-III 350 (which has since been upgraded to K6-III+ 400 overclocked to
550).

--Alex



farmuse wrote:
> sounds like a good plan Roger, put that cpu to use ! hey, the only
> glitch with this set up is the video goes to scrambled screen when
> windows powers down, wonder why ? like the refresh rate is not what the
> monitor likes. very strange, the monitor is multi-sync for sure, maybe a
> driver issue. these are the drivers that came with the card. the video
> BIOS is cached, I don't believe the 503+ is the issue. anyone have any
> ideas ?
>
>
> Roger Hunt wrote:
>
>> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005, farmuse typed this :
>>
>>> Roger,
>>>
>>> what happened ? sounds bad, you don't live in London do you ?
>>>

>>
>> The Great Disaster? No, not terrorists but a melt-down of my 503+.
>> (Used to live in London and was bombed in 1981 anyway!)
>>
>>> is that 4500 a Kryo chipset ? like it ? what version of Direct x is
>>> that card ?

>>
>>
>>
>> It's a KyroII chipset and if I recall, from a couple of years ago, I
>> think it was a DX7 card, but ran OpenGL quite nicely.
>>
>>> really the S220 is not bad for 2D, I am running 1024x 768 24 bit and
>>> it is very sharp and fast. If you recall it uses a Rendition V2100
>>> chipset and has 4 MB of fast SGRAM, in it's day the 3D was almost as
>>> good as 3Dfx. This computer won't be used for games much, more soho
>>> type stuff.

>>
>>
>>
>> I've no experience of the S220 but it sounds pretty reasonable ... maybe
>> keep it?
>>
>> I must go Googling ... either another 503+, or a PA-2013 would fit this
>> spare case well. Have all the internals already, and a K6-2+/533 CPU
>> sitting in a draw doing nothing.
>>
>> Cheers!

 
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farmuse
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-02-2005, 08:01 PM
thank you very much Alex, I had no idea Micron bought them out. I
was wondering what happened to them !

really it is a very good 2D card for what it is, and I will let
you know how the newer driver works out. I am working on another K6 III
and 503+ project, but the IRQ steering got corrupt, so I flashed the
BIOS to JE439 and will try again. this one is for the mother-in-law who
uses the computer for e mail and IM stuff. maybe store some images and
back them up to CD. should do fine.

thanks again, John


Alex Zorrilla wrote:
> To my knowledge, the last set of reference drivers for the Rendition
> V2000/V2100 can be found here:
>
> http://www.micron.com/support/itg/v2x00.html
>
> Rendition was taken over by Micron a long time ago. They are beta
> drivers (version 3 beta 5), but something tells me you are not going to
> find an official release anytime soon.
>
> You may also try the reconstituted Diamond Multimedia at
> http://www.diamondmm.com for drivers. They are probably older than the
> ones on the Micron site, but they may be newer than the ones that came
> with the card.
>
> For whatever it is worth, we have a Geforce 4 MX 420 AGP card running
> just fine on a VA-503A. It has very good DVD playback, even with a
> K6-III 350 (which has since been upgraded to K6-III+ 400 overclocked to
> 550).
>
> --Alex
>
>
>
> farmuse wrote:
>
>> sounds like a good plan Roger, put that cpu to use ! hey, the
>> only glitch with this set up is the video goes to scrambled screen
>> when windows powers down, wonder why ? like the refresh rate is not
>> what the monitor likes. very strange, the monitor is multi-sync for
>> sure, maybe a driver issue. these are the drivers that came with the
>> card. the video BIOS is cached, I don't believe the 503+ is the issue.
>> anyone have any ideas ?
>>
>>
>> Roger Hunt wrote:
>>
>>> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005, farmuse typed this :
>>>
>>>> Roger,
>>>>
>>>> what happened ? sounds bad, you don't live in London do you ?
>>>>
>>>
>>> The Great Disaster? No, not terrorists but a melt-down of my 503+.
>>> (Used to live in London and was bombed in 1981 anyway!)
>>>
>>>> is that 4500 a Kryo chipset ? like it ? what version of Direct x is
>>>> that card ?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> It's a KyroII chipset and if I recall, from a couple of years ago, I
>>> think it was a DX7 card, but ran OpenGL quite nicely.
>>>
>>>> really the S220 is not bad for 2D, I am running 1024x 768 24 bit and
>>>> it is very sharp and fast. If you recall it uses a Rendition V2100
>>>> chipset and has 4 MB of fast SGRAM, in it's day the 3D was almost as
>>>> good as 3Dfx. This computer won't be used for games much, more soho
>>>> type stuff.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I've no experience of the S220 but it sounds pretty reasonable ... maybe
>>> keep it?
>>>
>>> I must go Googling ... either another 503+, or a PA-2013 would fit this
>>> spare case well. Have all the internals already, and a K6-2+/533 CPU
>>> sitting in a draw doing nothing.
>>>
>>> Cheers!

 
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farmuse
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-08-2005, 01:29 PM
Thanks Alex, worked like a charm. Now the computer does not have a
garbled screen on power off, and it displays the correct message in 98.
Runs great, and I just about finished the second 503+ system for my
mother-in-law. I know I am taking a risk, it had best work right !
I could have gone the safe route with an more modern setup, but I like
making something out of nothing, and so far I have almost $18 invested,
and it comes with a nice 17 inch screen and a CD RW too, a good one.
That one does not display the 98 message saying it is now safe to shut
off your computer, so I have to troubleshoot that, but other than that
and the not so hot FX-3D ISA sound card, it runs great. Thanks again for
the help Alex.

cheers, John
 
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Roger Hunt
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-08-2005, 04:37 PM
On Mon, 8 Aug 2005, farmuse typed this :
> Thanks Alex, worked like a charm. Now the computer does not have a
>garbled screen on power off, and it displays the correct message in 98.
>Runs great, and I just about finished the second 503+ system for my
>mother-in-law. I know I am taking a risk, it had best work right !
>I could have gone the safe route with an more modern setup, but I like
>making something out of nothing, and so far I have almost $18 invested,
>and it comes with a nice 17 inch screen and a CD RW too, a good one.
>That one does not display the 98 message saying it is now safe to shut
>off your computer, so I have to troubleshoot that, but other than that
>and the not so hot FX-3D ISA sound card, it runs great. Thanks again for
>the help Alex.
>

The "It is safe to ..." message lives in the file ..\windows\logos.sys
The "Windows is shutting down" message is ..\windows\logow.sys

They are in fact 320w x 400h 256 colour bitmaps and the dimensions are
correct, despite looking odd in mspaint.
--
Roger Hunt
 
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Stanley Chu
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-11-2005, 11:52 AM
I have 3 desktop and 1 notebook computers at home. The one built with
VA-503+ is the most stable and it rarely crashes.

"farmuse" <(E-Mail Removed)> ???
news:eVCFe.9718$(E-Mail Removed) nk.net ???...
> Just finished building a computer based on the VA-503+ version 1.2a
> from several defunct or unused systems. The CPU was a K6 2 450, which I
> changed to a K6 III+ 450 once I noticed the BIOS was JE4333 APM and
> could run that CPU. I then added 2x 128 MB Crucial PC133 CAS 2 modules,
> a Promise Ultra 66 controller card, a Maxtor 7 GB drive, AWE 64 gold,
> NIC, and a still respectable Diamond S220 PCI graphics card. I didn't
> have any really good AGP cards that would have been good choices, but I
> may look for Rage Fury Pro later. I then enabled USB, loaded Windows 98
> SE, and then followed the suggested guidelines from an old friend from
> this newsgroup, Jim Navas, and also some from Bill Lahr. Mt first
> attempt was crap, I had forgot some of the tweaks you need to do to get
> this board running well, but then recalled I had some articles from 1998
> that Jim, Bill, and others had written and they helped a lot. Still not
> sure why USB has to be enabled, but it did make a difference. I run the
> double sided SDRAM at 100 MHz, CAS 2, fast speed, 4 bank interleave. The
> other tweak that made a difference was to disable write cache pipeline,
> because I was getting lockups when I defragmented the drive. Once write
> cache pipeline was disabled the L2 cache was fine, and the system could
> properly defragment. Overall the speed is VERY good. I also modded a
> dual USB cable set to work with the board, most are set up wrong for
> this particular board. I may also add another drive and dual boot to XP
> pro as some have said the 503+ runs XP just fine. I have run XP home
> with a 503A, no problems, so this should work too.
>
> I guess I just wanted to prove a 503+ could still get the job
> done, and would serve most users needs just fine. Not bad for a six year
> old motherboard ! Long live the 503+ !
>
> Cheers, John



 
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