RAM and videocard for Soyo 6BA+

Discussion in 'Soyo' started by Dick Trace, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. Dick Trace

    Dick Trace Guest

    I have an old Celeron [email protected] on a Soyo 6BA+ BX motherboard, with 320MB
    RAM and a voodoo3 2000 AGP videocard.

    I'll buy a whole new system early next year (probably a socket 939
    AMD64 system), but for now i just want to upgrade the video card,
    since the voodoo cards driver situation sucks.

    The cheapest ones worth considering around here are:

    Radeon 7500 64MB/DDR AGP
    Geforce4 MX440SE 64MB/DDR AGP

    Which one?
    I guess that GF4 is a bit faster but the Radeon has better image
    quality.

    I only play half-life (counter-strike), but i've ran RTCW and MOHAA on
    my system (voodoos were great cards...).

    Is a FX 5200 card worth and will it work on a BX board (Soyo 6BA+)?
    Just to see DX9 slide shows :)

    And... do old BX boards (Soyo 6BA+) support 512MB SDRAM sticks? Will i
    see a reasonable performance boost by adding more 512MB of RAM on this
    system?

    Thank you in advance.
     
    Dick Trace, Sep 23, 2003
    #1
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  2. Dick Trace

    John Guest

    I would go Radeon 8500 or GF3 simply because you get direct X 8.1
    support and they are 3.3v AGP cards ~ someone correct me about the voltages
    if I am wrong. But I have run a GF3 on an older slot A board just fine, for
    example. Check the voltages.

    For ram, not many boards supported 512 MB modules until the early
    socket A and there were some socket 370 that did, just check the
    manufacturer web site for specification and BIOS upgrades

    I love older machines, simply because now I can get the cool older
    games for $5 and the hardware to run them for not much more, and they look
    and play very well ~ lots of fun
     
    John, Sep 23, 2003
    #2
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  3. Dick Trace

    Ixnei Guest

    BX chipset doesn't support high density SDRAM. The largest DIMM it will
    support is double sided 256MB (16 chips non-parity). 320MB should be
    enough, and in my opinion 512MB is optimal for the latest OS's (win2k or
    redhat 8/9). You will see more of a performance improvement related to
    increasing from 320MB if your hard drive is particularly slow (see
    bottom).

    Your memory is only running at 75MHz - is it PC100 compliant? If I were
    you, I'd seriously look into doing the tualatin celeron mod on a $10
    slotket (or pay $10 extra to get a slotket with this built-in), and pick
    up a celeron 1.4 from newegg or googlegear for $45. This way your
    processor doubles in speed, processor cache increases to 256KB (from 128KB
    I believe), and your memory bus goes from 75 to 100. This improvement
    will be huge, so much so that you may opt to put off your upgrade for 2+
    years. There have even been auctions for this exact slotket/celeron1.4 on
    ebay for around $100 which are pretty much guaranteed, but I personally
    would save the $50 and do it myself (being a pseudo-techie).

    You could also try to run above 100 if your board supports it, but finding
    celerons other than the 1.4 one now is tough, and their overclockability
    is pretty iffy. Also, soyo is notorious for having memory speed problems
    the more memory modules are populated, so this may not be possible. Try
    some google searches for this mod, and what slotket has it built in, etc
    (hint: search "tualatin celeron" articles with my name as author for my
    web page that has a document detailing one method for doing the mod)...

    I've run these mods on abit, asus and soyo mobos, using i815, i820 and
    440BX chipsets without problems. The motherboard needs to be able to
    supply 1.5V (or 1.55-1.7V) for the chip power supply. I have a 7is2 soyo
    mobo, and it detected the voltage settings I used in the socket 370 with
    no problems (your mileage may vary, but I suspect it would be fine)...

    As far as a video card goes, I'd recommend a geforce3 ti or geforce4 ti
    (either 64/128MB). I've managed to pick up a geforce3 ti500 64MB for $55
    shipped on eBay, and also a geforce4 ti4200 128MB for $70 shipped. In
    reality, you could probably pick up a geforce2 gts/ultra/pro/ti 32MB for
    $30 shipped, and be perfectly satisfied (64MB better, but more like $40).
    Stay the F&%^ away from geforce mx garbage (and the fx5200?) - slow and
    dodgey/disabled modes. My old geforce2 gts 32MB competes head to head
    with my brother's geforce4 mx440se ddr 64MB (using celeron 1.1A @ 1.5GHz
    systems, BX chipset 133MHz bus) - although his does get a 15% boost from
    the increased memory size in 3dmark2k1.

    A final note, if you're using an older hard drive less than about 15GB,
    you may have a lot of performance issues related to a drive with crappy
    media xfer rates. As an example, I have an old western digital 15GB hard
    drive WD153BA, which I'd deem marginal. It is 7200rpm, which helps - but
    the media transfer rate is about 15MB/s. Sure, it bursts from its 2MB
    cache at 66.7MB/s, but that's not what's happening the majority of the
    time the HD is accessed. I'd recommend eventually getting something like
    a 7200rpm 40+GB hard drive, maybe even one with the 8MB cache. Even with
    the older UDMA33 on that board, you should see on average xfer rates
    around 30MB/s (even with the newer UDMA100/133, you only see 40MB/s to
    50MB/s tops with the newest IDE drives). If you're using something like
    the older 5400rpm 4-6GB drives, you are hobbling at around 5-10MB/s xfer
    rates - quite crippling indeed!!!

    --
    We HAVE been at war with Iraq for 13 years now, bombing their
    country on at least a weekly basis.
    "U.S.-led sanctions have killed over a million Iraqi citizens,
    according to UN studies" - James Jennings
    3,000+ innocent Iraqi civilian casualties can't be "wrong"...
     
    Ixnei, Sep 23, 2003
    #3
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