Cyrix in a 503+

Discussion in 'FIC' started by farmuse, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. farmuse

    farmuse Guest

    Well, this is the third part in a three part story. The second 503+
    went to my mother-in-law, she's really happy with it. Her former
    computer was a P 1 100 MHz, socket 5. nuf said. This is the last 503+ I
    have, the reset doesnt work, and the sticker says 2900 I believe. ver
    1.1, no ATX connector. Anyway, I flashed it with a newer BIOS, and then
    found Cyrix M II 300 75 fsb in a box of free stuff from a donation here
    in town. Never used a Cyrix before, I popped it in there, found the last
    socket 7 heatsink I had, set the jumpers, no boot. Figured the 70ns 72
    pin ram couldn't handle the 75 MHz fsb, popped a stick of 32 MB PC100
    in, set the jumpers again, and finally got a screen . woo hoo ! Got the
    manual out, and then noticed I had left the voltage at 2.1 that I used
    for the previous K6 III+, and realized that was way too low. yep, top of
    Cyrix says 2.9, set that and all runs well. Enabled linear burst in
    BIOS, and I am off to the races. My question is, how well or how bad
    does this cpu perform ? No gaming here, just plain old fashioned
    computing. What would a MII 300 compare to ? P 133 ? ha ha. JK.

    Cheers, John
     
    farmuse, Aug 22, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. The 300-ish rating is actually fairly accurate, as long as you are
    talking about non-floating point calculations. My old roommate used to
    have one back in the day. He actually would play games on it, using a
    Voodoo Banshee 16 MB PCI card. For the time it was acceptable, but this
    isn't 1998 anymore. :p

    By the way, you can try running the CPU at (3.5x66)=233 instead of
    (3x75)=225 if you want to use that EDO RAM and save the PC100 for
    something else.

    --Alex
     
    Alex Zorrilla, Aug 22, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. farmuse

    farmuse Guest

    thanks Alex, yeah I may just try some EDO at 75, I have some Seimens
    that can run 100 MHz stable, but 4x 8 MB is not enough, so maybe I can
    find some larger sticks of EDO that can run 75. I am all out of SDRAM,
    the in-law has the vast majority of it. I have a boat load of EDO and
    fastpage, maybe a couple of 32 MB modules in there somewhere. I maybe
    try 3.5x 75 if the haetsink can cool it well enough, they say these
    chips are fairly fragile and are easy to toast. hey, you wanna see
    something funny ? check this out

    http://www.rabidhardware.net/index.php?id=44
     
    farmuse, Aug 23, 2005
    #3
  4. Ha ha. That's about right. I do remember that Cyrix chips ran pretty
    hot. Well, for the time, anyway. These days, they would probably be
    considered a low power CPU. At least coolers have gotten a lot better,
    so any generic Athlon XP cooler will do a better job than the fanciest
    cooler did back then.
     
    Alex Zorrilla, Aug 23, 2005
    #4
  5. farmuse

    Kyle Guest

    I have a MII300 somewhere (need a spare?) that I used for a brief
    spell. It ran just fine for everyday business type applications. I
    sort of recall overclocking it a bit to the 350 rating speed w/o
    problem.

    Speaking of fried, I had a HS fan fail on an old k6-233 CPU based
    system and when I touched the HS to check the temperature, it burned 3
    stripes on my finger, yet the CPU did not suffer any damage.
    Replacement of the fan returned the system to normal operation much to
    my amazement.

    --
    Best regards,
    Kyle
    | Well, this is the third part in a three part story. The second
    503+
    | went to my mother-in-law, she's really happy with it. Her former
    | computer was a P 1 100 MHz, socket 5. nuf said. This is the last
    503+ I
    | have, the reset doesnt work, and the sticker says 2900 I believe.
    ver
    | 1.1, no ATX connector. Anyway, I flashed it with a newer BIOS, and
    then
    | found Cyrix M II 300 75 fsb in a box of free stuff from a donation
    here
    | in town. Never used a Cyrix before, I popped it in there, found the
    last
    | socket 7 heatsink I had, set the jumpers, no boot. Figured the 70ns
    72
    | pin ram couldn't handle the 75 MHz fsb, popped a stick of 32 MB
    PC100
    | in, set the jumpers again, and finally got a screen . woo hoo ! Got
    the
    | manual out, and then noticed I had left the voltage at 2.1 that I
    used
    | for the previous K6 III+, and realized that was way too low. yep,
    top of
    | Cyrix says 2.9, set that and all runs well. Enabled linear burst in
    | BIOS, and I am off to the races. My question is, how well or how bad
    | does this cpu perform ? No gaming here, just plain old fashioned
    | computing. What would a MII 300 compare to ? P 133 ? ha ha. JK.
    |
    | Cheers, John
     
    Kyle, Aug 24, 2005
    #5
  6. farmuse

    farmuse Guest

    well I really don't know if the ram really is bad but memtest flunked
    the four modules of EDO I had in there, was having issues, could be the
    75 MHz fsb, gonna try two 50 ns EDO I have in reserve, that should run
    better. I am using a medium sized green anodized aluminum heatsink,
    never seen one like it, screws tighten the tabs, and silicone grease, so
    the cpu is cool enough. Not a bad idea though, I have several socket A
    heatsinks ! but they are huge compared to the current one, not sure I
    could mount one well enough. Anyway, ever onward ... as Jimmy would say
     
    farmuse, Aug 29, 2005
    #6
  7. farmuse

    farmuse Guest

    update : the memtest errors were errors, upon boot from memtest
    floppy the amount of total ram was 4 MB and the error list was
    continuous. Some motherboards don't show the correct amount of ram, and
    thus tests memory that isn't even there. I tried three different banks
    of edo and one know good module of sdram, all tested bad. I then set
    memtest to probe, and then all was good. I decided to leave the Samsung
    GH sdram and finish the computer install. The other fluke I ran into was
    when using windows update the machine would lock up when downloading. It
    was not the memory, but rather the fact that the old Fujitsu UDMA drive
    and the Maxtor UDMA drive do not play nice together on the same ribbon
    cable, and so I had to disable DMA in device manager. It is possible the
    VIA bus master driver is not the best choice, so I may remove that and
    either use windows bus mastering or perhaps highpoint, if they are still
    available. Any suggestions ? after I disabled DMA then update download
    went smoothly and the machine runs stable. That Cyrix does run hot, but
    still stable.
     
    farmuse, Aug 31, 2005
    #7
  8. It is indeed possible that the UDMA problems are because of the VIA
    driver. As an example, I have noticed in Windows XP with the VA-503A,
    UDMA devices do not run at their full speeds. For example, a Maxtor
    ATA33 drive (UDMA mode 2) only runs at UDMA mode 0, and the DVD drive
    (UDMA mode 2) runs at only UDMA mode 1. A Maxtor ATA100 drive (UDMA
    mode 5) only runs at UDMA mode 3.

    Keep in mind that my VA-503A uses the 686A southbridge, which is capable
    of up to UDMA mode 4 (ATA66). I believe your VA-503+ uses the 596B
    soutbridge (or something like that), which only goes up to ATA33/UDMA2.

    I ran into these problems, whether I used the VIA IDE drivers that came
    with WinXP or I downloaded the latest drivers from VIA. Then I came
    across a post in the VIA Arena forums that suggested using the default
    Microsoft IDE driver. I tried that, and BooM! All my drives were
    running at full speed, and I could feel the difference, too.

    --Alex
     
    Alex Zorrilla, Aug 31, 2005
    #8
  9. farmuse

    farmuse Guest

    Alex, thanks for confirming that, these are two older 2 and 4 GB
    drives, on the same cable. I may copy the primary to the better drive,
    and ditch the smaller primary, then load a better busmaster driver. Back
    in the day there were drivers made by highpoint, that could be used with
    the 503+. I may hunt them up and try them. Like I said a while back,
    this is all experimental and just for fun. I guess I am just trying to
    prove that older computers run plenty fast enough for average pc use. I
    just think that newer software is too bloated, is mainly multimedia
    oriented, and if one doesn't edit video, play newer games, run
    statistical programs, then a good P II or K6 2 is plenty. The Cyrix runs
    pretty well for business use like Kyle said. The fact that we now have
    to run anti-virus software, spyware detection software, and firewalls
    unlike we did back in 1998 take up even more resources from the cpu and
    computer overall. Why can't they make a smaller version of XP that won't
    hog resources ? seems like I read about a version to be released in
    Japan that is made for light duty computers. Myself, I have a lot more
    respect for someone who uses a somewhat less powerful machine properly
    than one who goes to Best Buy and buys the top of the line OEM part just
    to send e mail. Oops, sorry for the rant, but that is where this is all
    coming from. Yes I do run much more capable machines than these, but
    this is a whole lot more fun in some respect. Plus it costs me little to
    nothing. Thanks again !
     
    farmuse, Sep 1, 2005
    #9
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.