So, this newsgroup finally died

Discussion in 'FIC' started by Stampir, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Stampir

    Stampir Guest

    Nothing but spam.

    Ah well, I just found out something interesting about my trusty old FIC
    VA503+.
    I don't know if it'll be news to anyone else but out of the box the
    motherboard
    was never reliable at ANY speed over 100Mhz (when memory speed is synched
    w/FSB). Anyway, I put my NF7s v2.0 active northbridge cooler on the 597 N.
    bridge and now I can install two 256MB DIMMs at 124Mhz.

    I was hoping to use this old motherboard to play DVD's and as a file server
    (I've installed a Promise ultra tx100 PCI card in it). Even w/a Geforce
    2/GTS
    overclocked and a K62-550 it's not enough to playback DVD's smoothly though.
    I'm going to try and use Kyle Brant's K6speed and see if that makes any
    difference (thanks Kyle), but I kinda doubt it.

    I've got a DFI K6bv3+ rev. A1 board for sale if anyone's interested. It
    supports
    three DIMM's (up to 768MB), has 2048KB L2 cache and UDMA 66. It doesn't
    seem to support any FSB over 100Mhz though :^(. There also doesn't seem to
    be
    anyway to enable writeback cache mode for the L2. I've got a K6-200 to go
    with it, 384MB of PC100 SDRAM and a USB 2.0 card. If anyone's interested
    just email me at andxornot <AT> gmail <DOT> com.
     
    Stampir, Mar 22, 2008
    #1
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  2. Stampir

    Carbon Guest

    I still check this newsgroup occasionally. I originally built an AT 503+
    for my wife when she was in school. For the last couple of years it has
    been running 24/7 as a linux firewall. When I stuffed it full of network
    cards I also installed the je433apm bios and it has been incredibly
    stable ever since.

    I rebuilt a box for a friend of mine and got a bunch of decent hardware
    in return. An xp2500 cpu, a gig of ram, etc. I just can't bring myself to
    replace the 503. It's perfect for what it's doing.
     
    Carbon, Mar 23, 2008
    #2
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  3. Stampir

    Kyle Guest

    | Nothing but spam.
    |
    | Ah well, I just found out something interesting about my trusty old
    FIC
    | VA503+.
    | I don't know if it'll be news to anyone else but out of the box the
    | motherboard
    | was never reliable at ANY speed over 100Mhz (when memory speed is
    synched
    | w/FSB). Anyway, I put my NF7s v2.0 active northbridge cooler on the
    597 N.
    | bridge and now I can install two 256MB DIMMs at 124Mhz.
    |
    | I was hoping to use this old motherboard to play DVD's and as a file
    server
    | (I've installed a Promise ultra tx100 PCI card in it). Even w/a
    Geforce
    | 2/GTS
    | overclocked and a K62-550 it's not enough to playback DVD's smoothly
    though.
    | I'm going to try and use Kyle Brant's K6speed and see if that makes
    any
    | difference (thanks Kyle), but I kinda doubt it.
    |
    | I've got a DFI K6bv3+ rev. A1 board for sale if anyone's interested.
    It
    | supports
    | three DIMM's (up to 768MB), has 2048KB L2 cache and UDMA 66. It
    doesn't
    | seem to support any FSB over 100Mhz though :^(. There also doesn't
    seem to
    | be
    | anyway to enable writeback cache mode for the L2. I've got a K6-200
    to go
    | with it, 384MB of PC100 SDRAM and a USB 2.0 card. If anyone's
    interested
    | just email me at andxornot <AT> gmail <DOT> com.
    |
    |

    Interesting comment on the heatsink and improved FSB speeds.

    DVD playback MIGHT work with a "+" type cpu, but I suspect there is
    insufficient memory bandwidth for DVD playback with a k62-550 and it's
    smaller onboard cache. Further, are you running the FSB and memory
    both at 124 MHz? 124 MHz may be too fast for a "+" type CPU, tho some
    claimed success at 112 MHz.

    Heh, my 503+ and my Soyo 5EHM systems (both k63+ 550 MHz systems) have
    been sitting idle for some time now, but I still use two Vigor branded
    mobos (both SS7 systems), one as a file server and one as a firewall
    box. I'm just too lazy to redo systems that work reliably to gain 5
    MHz on the FSB (the Vigor systems don't like 100 MHz FSB, the board
    must have been a bad layout design, 3 dimm sockets, had to mod board
    to add jumper for sync'ed FSB as jumper was not originally on board).
    Oddly, one of the Vigor systems has a k62+ that runs great at 6x95Mhz,
    but that same CPU will not even boot up at 100 MHz FSB in any system,
    no matter what multiplier I use. I darn near tossed that CPU as I
    thought it was dead, then tried 95 MHz just for grins, and it's worked
    for years at that speed. Sometimes I have to wiggle a memory stick in
    one of them after a power cycle to get the machine to boot, but once
    it boots, it runs solid.

    I also have a spare 503+ that I could part with if anyone needs it,
    make me an offer.
     
    Kyle, Mar 24, 2008
    #3
  4. Hey, Stampir.

    Wow, I thought the same thing about this newsgroup. That, and most tech
    support stuff tends to take place on forums now, instead of newsgroups.

    Anyway, the Geforce 2 GTS is killing you on the DVD playback, because it
    offers next to nothing in the way of hardware DVD acceleration. You are
    making the CPU do almost all the work. NVIDIA did not offer decent DVD
    acceleration until the Geforce 4 MX series (but not the Geforce 4 Ti).
    I can vouch from personal experience that the lowly Geforce 4 MX 420
    64MB AGP card works great in the VA-503A with a K6-III 350. DVD
    playback using PowerDVD is very nice and smooth.

    You can probably pick up an MX420 or MX440SE for cheap on Ebay.

    --Alex
     
    Alex Zorrilla, Mar 25, 2008
    #4
  5. Stampir

    Stampir Guest

    Thanks Alex. Yeah, PowerDVD cannot be described as smooth
    w/the GeForce 2/GTS.

    Would it be possible to use an X850xt AGP in a VA503+? I have
    one of those and I don't really want to waste any more money on this
    project.
     
    Stampir, Mar 28, 2008
    #5
  6. Stampir

    Stampir Guest

    I managed to get one stick of PC133 down to 2-2-2-5 timings w/complete
    reliability (in memtest and Sisoft Sandra's burn-in test at least)
    124Mhz synched. FSB = memory bus speed. I wish I had know about
    this 7 years ago.
    Thanks for K6speed Kyle, but it didn't seem to make any difference in
    my DVD playback stuttering problems. The memory benchmarks in
    Sisoft Sandra indicate 191MB/s which is pretty good for an MVP3 board.
     
    Stampir, Mar 28, 2008
    #6
  7. Stampir

    Marcus Coles Guest

     
    Marcus Coles, Mar 29, 2008
    #7
  8. Stampir

    Marcus Coles Guest

    It's not dead, it's just resting.I just retired my 503+ w K6-2 300 @ 3x112 after getting tired of
    watching it struggling with SETI@home with an average daily credit of
    about 15, for reference my modern version of fast and cheap a 3.24Ghz
    Q6600 gets around 4000.

    Now I'm going to have to drag it out of the archives and try the new
    demon mods.

    I'd better go and find my jumper tweezers at the same time. :)


    Marcus
     
    Marcus Coles, Mar 29, 2008
    #8
  9. Hey, Stampir.

    Unfortunately, a Radeon X850XT AGP card will not work, as that is an AGP
    3.0 card (1.5V/0.8V, 4x/8x speeds), and the FIC VA-503+ is an AGP 1.0
    motherboard (3.3V only, 1x/2x speeds). In fact, you could not even
    insert the X850XT into the VA-503+ even if you wanted to, since the AGP
    slots have keys in different locations (because of the voltage differences).

    If you happen to have any other ATI cards laying about your house, I
    think any Radeon card will probably do as long as it fits (Radeon 9100
    and below, I believe). In fact, I think ATI also had decent DVD
    hardware support as far as the ATI Rage 128, if you happen to find one
    of those laying about.

    Basically, anything with "iDCT" support in this table:
    http://www.cyberlink.com/english/products/powerdvd/hardware_comp_list.jsp

    --Alex
     
    Alex Zorrilla, Apr 3, 2008
    #9
  10. Stampir

    Stampir Guest

    Interesting, the documents I've read suggest that all the S3 Savage
    vid-cards had
    iDCT and motion compensation, obviously POwerDVD 4.0 is using it because
    it's so
    much smoother than my GeForce 2/GTS (which only has motion compensation).
    This
    despite the fact my S3 Savage4 is only running at 162Mhz core, 180Mhz memory
    and
    the memory is regular SDRAM, while my GeForce 2/GTS was running at 225Mhz
    core/180Mhz
    memory (360Mhz DDR). BOth cards have 32MB of local video memory.

    Of course my motherboard chipset (MVP3) isn't indicated as supported either.

    Thanks ALex. Strangely enough, I had an ancient S3 Savage4 Pro AGP card
    laying around and gave it a try. Even though the card was a dog for gaming
    it
    works MUCH better for DVD video playback. The difference is amazing, even
    in PowerDVD. Unfortunately, even w/this card I still get the occasional
    stutter.

    I've had to add so many fans to this system that it's now as loud as my
    gaming
    rig, I think it's time to give up on this project.

    What I wonder, and maybe Kyle B. or you can answer this question, is WHY
    the memory bandwidth is so unbeleivably bad on my VA503+. I'm running
    a single stick of 256MB of SDRAM at 124Mhz and the lowest latencies and
    I only get 192MB/sec. PC66 is supposed to get something like 528MB/s
    and I can't even get HALF that!
     
    Stampir, Apr 4, 2008
    #10
  11. Stampir

    Stampir Guest

    Thanks Kyle. It's just unreal though. An 8 byte wide bus running at 124Mhz
    and
    can only acheive 191MB/s!

    I managed to get my K62550 up to 620 (5 * 124Mhz), but it errors out in
    Memtest #7 (basically EVERY single quadword fails). The memory bandwidth
    actually increased noticeably over 560 when I did this too.

    I think a good vid-card w/hardware accelerated video (like Alex suggested)
    would
    get this system capable of playing back DVD's smoothly, but I've just
    noticed that
    while my DVD playback is much better w/the S3 Savage4 Pro the audio is
    *completely*
    screwed up so badly that I can't even make out the dialogue.
    AAAAAaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhh.

    I am using an ISA Soundblaster AWE64, but I figured the ISA bus was more
    than
    fast enough to keep up w/stereo, 16-bit sound sampled at 44Khz?

    If only I still had some working socket A surplus equipment, but it all got
    fried long
    ago (the stuff I didn't sell that is).
     
    Stampir, Apr 6, 2008
    #11
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