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20 years on - A K6 III / Rage 128/98se Build!

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by mAJORD, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Seems like ages since I've done a retro build - well it has been :(

    This one's been brewing for a while - I saw a few other people doing some Super7 builds some time ago had to not watch, as I knew I had not the time to join in on that little bandwagon :p .

    The timing has become quite appropriate - As we roll into 2019 it will be 20 years since both the Pentium III and K6 III hit the stage - The later supposedly getting a late name change from '3' to III to really drive home the point this is a P III 'alternative'. Also my GFX card of choice - a slightly unusual choice perhaps, the all new ATI Rage 128 hit shelves at the same time, to join the high end fight with the TNT and Voodoo 3

    We also recently celebrated Half Life's 20th Birthday - I'm keen to replay this once more , this time reliving it on a machine of the era, so this is naturally going to be the machine.

    All in all 1999 was a new phase for me personally I began the year with my first fulltime work, so actually had some money to spend on upgrading to modern parts - and SS7 was the platform I catapulted into through the year.

    The Parts:



    Mobo: This was thanks to Shane41 who helped me get this some time ago - all the way from russia? I have a thing for the old EPOX boards, and this one's a bit of a gem - an MVP3G2 . Technically the MVP3G would be a more period accurate model - this was a later revision of it.

    IMG_20181230_093016.png IMG_20181230_101145 (1).png

    Literally looked like NOS though id don't recall it being advertised as so - hopefully works as well as it looks. All cap's lookin good.

    This is a VIA MVP3 chipset as the name suggests. known to be the pick over the Alladin, but I do have to admit I have a soft spot for it too - tough.

    and when I opened the board box, I found a K6III 400+ undeneath ... Shane41 was this you? or did it come with it, I Can't remember! ;)

    Cpu: K6 III 400 (And 400+!)

    IMG_20181230_092929.png

    Spent a long time tracking down any original (i.e not the die shrinked + ) K6III of any clockspeed letalone the 450 i was hoping for.. I eventually scored a 400Mhz Model. So have two now haha.

    Ultimately there's no difference between them performance wise, The + runs a 1.6v default core, the original 2.4v I did want to see what the orginal would be like thermal wise, and OC wise. I will no doubt swap the + in to push clocks.

    Graphics:

    ATI Rage 128 (Fury) 32MB


    IMG_20181230_094235.png
    IMG_20181230_094247.png

    Why the Rage? Well to be honest, I orginally had considered one of my favorite/memorable cards - the Diamond Viper TNT2 , but I really am still earmarking this one for a K7 build down the track, it's also a bit new for this build's purpose , not really hitting shelves till mid year. As I'd mentioned above, this was available bang on the start of '99.
    The other obvious contenders were the TNT which at the time was cementing itself as the card to have - not really any different to the TNT though, just older, larger process.

    Voodoo 3 - an obvious choice maybe - but more of a sign of 3dfx's losing battle. Everyone does Voodoo builds.

    I'll be attempting to run HL in 32bit using the later released patch (To allow it) , since these cards had little perf impact -not sure how that will play out



    Sound Card

    Diamond Monster sound Aureal Vortex 2 . Nuff said I think , but we'll see how it plays with the SS7 platform - I recall some issues but I think it was with the Alladin chipset I used to run back in the day.

    IMG_20181230_104737 (1).png


    Love the old diamond branded gear - don't know why.

    RAM --> Need to trawl through my RAM box when I locate it! What to you guys think for a typical RAM cap ?


    PSU--> Looking to go completely new. I can pickup a brand new SEasonic 300w with classic 80mm rear fan for $120 from RS


    HDD-- ?? Again, not sure what was typical. I have a motherload of HDD's to trawl through

    Case-- still TBA - I have one in the cupboard of the era. and another somewhere



    To be of course continued
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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  2. Reaper

    Reaper Member

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    RAM - 64 to 128MB
    HDD - Around 5GB.
     
  3. MrMaestro

    MrMaestro Member

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    The Seasonic S12II is great for retro builds that load up the +5V rail. I have a 520W model in my Athlon 1400 Thunderbird box and that sucker needs all of the 24A the Seasonic puts out. You'd be looking at 1KW+ units to get that sort of +5V current out of a typical modern DC-DC PSU design.

    It doesn't have the old-school 80mm fan though.
     
  4. cdtoaster

    cdtoaster Member

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    i got a low wattage seasonic for retro builds, G series 80plus 360 watt. the problem is they generally cater for sata now (naturally) so you have to start going the other direction and get data to IDE power adapters lol.
     
  5. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Nice build! Very clean SS7 board you have there.

    The K6-3+ means you can run lots of RAM without hitting the cacheable ram limit (http://www.amd-k6.com/cacheable-ram-on-socket-7-platforms/). 128 to 256MB would be plenty though.

    The low power consumption means current ATX 2.x PSUs are fine, even with the heavy reliance on the 3.3 and 5 volt rails.
    My go-to basic ATX PSU is the SilverStone Strider Essential 500W since it uses Teapo caps which are acceptable, and it has 3 molex and 1 floppy connectors.

    An 8.4GB HDD would be era correct. Check out this mid 1999 Hard Drive roundup: https://www.anandtech.com/show/284
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  6. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    One thing I immediatly knew I forgot on my 'list of things to locate' was a HSF - Shit, I knew I had plenty of pentium to K6 capable S7 HSF's at a stretch , but these may be inadequate.. socket A coolers I had on hand seemed too big, the socket's crowded by some caps.

    So I walk upstairs thinking I'm gonna have to end up hitting someone up for a HSF, or pull some other skt A or 370 rigs apart, when I Walk into my retro room to find this literally just randomly sitting on top of the console TV - I cannot even think where it came from except maybe a bag of scrap CPU's i got a year ago


    IMG_20181230_223240.png IMG_20181230_223305 (1).png

    Looks like it's off a P-pro or something - Is built very server like, and has a loverly retention mech.

    Turns out to be a perfect fit, a Just need to get a lower power fan for it from Altronics tmrow.

    128 it is! I found a single Kingston 128MB PC-133 stick (that'll run at 100 obviously)

    Which after plugging the essentials in on the bench, has passed 2 runs of memtest

    IMG_20190101_003157.png

    looks like the board and CPU working too which is a bonus - so far. :o

    So far found these two in the collection

    IMG_20190101_214758.png


    both of the era it seems - and both in the Anandtech roundup of 99

    looks like I can run Powermax diagnostics on both of these - I guess i'll see how they are health wise, but which would you guys choose?


    And yeah, she is a nice board. I just had a closer look over it - more evidence it might be a virgin. Seems it's never been screwed down before.

    IMG_20190101_214419.jpg



    Thanks for all the PS suggestions - I've gone and ordered the one I mentioned - I'll be keeping that S12 in mind though for my K7 build down the track I think - 24A is indeed hard to find! (This one's 20 btw) I'm not that fussed about the 80mm fan.

    and yes, I think you're right Buubox - biggest issue is load imbalance on the 2.xx group regulated supply's if anything - they're set up for a heavy 12v load , so we'll see how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  7. BitAddict

    BitAddict Member

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    If that cooler is copper then it's probably a Kanie Hedgehog 238M!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    hah nah it's aluminium - definite resemblance though.


    OK So the Quantum doesn't spin up at all.

    Maxtor has passed 2 runs of PowerMax, so it's looking like a goer. Sounds nice too
     
  9. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    OK so here's the case I dug up, and kind of settled on. An early 'wide' ATX - full cover styles.


    IMG_20190103_221808.png
    IMG_20190103_221840.png



    Seems to be from a very late 97 early 98 build (PII) , judging by the mfg dates on things in there So early ATX style, PSU on the side, etc. About a year older than i'd like, but I dunno if that bothers me. given how Cases didn't exactly evolve at break neck speed.


    Part of me wants a slightly newer, conventional side panel style. The other half says, I don't have any other builds with this early style of case, so save newer looking case for the next build?

    Love some more opinions


    I've stripped it anyway and started cleaning up. Needs a mild Retrobrite.

    That's red dirt on the bottom not rust!
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Some updates

    New aquisitions / find's!

    PSU arrived

    IMG_20190104_212918 (1).png

    very happy with it - it's modern internally, but relatively old school externally - win.

    Dug up a relative enough 32x Sony CDROM
    IMG_20190105_222152.jpg IMG_20190105_222211.jpg

    rather yellowed and grubby, so will end up in the retrobrite Tub

    Tested out OK loading and running Ultimate Boot CD diagnostics, so seems to be in good order.


    IMG_20190103_223353 (1).png

    New Sunon Fan for the HSF - picked up from Altronics



    No RPM output obviously ( not too fussed for an old build like this) So the RPM wire just terminates under heatshrink of join to old loom


    And onto stripping down cleaning up the case..

    The I/O panel from the existing PII board fits -as was common back then for them to have the standard layout on the back of all motherboards.

    was full of surface rust though - so hit with converter


    and a very light coat of primer and paint

    IMG_20190104_230313.jpg



    Since the motherboard try slides out on these old cases, I fitted everything up to it as is obvious


    New fan fitted in this pic - it's noticablly slower and quieter which is good - still plenty of airflow though. During the various stress tests on UBCD, the HS get's only luke warm





    IMG_20190105_222324.png



    As for the rest of the case Cleanup time:
     

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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  11. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    ... (Clean up time)


    Check out the red soil
    IMG_20190105_225738.png


    and after a bath

    IMG_20190106_222949.png


    Front panel, and CDROM front panel after a mild dose of retrobrite - straight out of the rinse off.

    IMG_20190106_221336.png
     

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  12. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Very nice my man :) When you tubers started telling the common man a P4 is a retro box. Ebayers greed kicked into high gear.
    Prices prohibitively expensive, dodgy sellers & big shipping cost from overseas. The end ... no more purchases

    Still have my 2 atx style Epox. These are full recaps.
     
  13. pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    Looks like an Inwin A500
     

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  14. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    This is looking like a great machine :thumbup:

    Your retrobrite results are impressive - I noticed that one of my AT mini-towers is starting to look a little yellow but I'm more inclined to spray paint plastic these days after a few failed retrobrite attempts. More likely I'll just learn to live with it :D

    I've been working away on a Cyrix 6x86 based machine but I think it's going to fall short speed-wise - some SVGA games chug a little. Yours should handle that stuff well.

    Keep us updated!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    yeah I seem to remember shipping was a killer, hence bringing in a few at once

    Damn .. that's the one . Were these popular with PC shop builds at the time ? (which this clearly was - bubble sticker ftw)


    Thanks! - but i'm curious what went wrong with yours? did it re-yellow, or bad results up front?

    I've had plastic revert to yellow (though not as bad) , though I'm a bit hung on whether it will return with minimal UV exposure. All my machines are now in a 99% sunlight free room , so will be interesting to see.. I'm more concerned with keeping everything that hasn't yellowed from ever yellowing, hence the UV free room (incl no fluro's)

    I don't bother with very mild yellowing.

    i diluted down to about , I dunno 4 or so % Hydrogen peroxide, and only a tiny bit of oxy. took about 6 hours in semi overcast . Bit longer for the CDROM drive door. Full Submersion for both
     
  16. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    My results were either inconsistent (i.e. some areas left more yellow than others), or blotchy (i.e. I over did it), or not white enough to justify the effort. I've been lucky over the years to come across some nice cases old cases that were still beige but that's not easy (and getting harder), and those cases are slowly yellowing with use I think. Take the one below for example - perfect beige when I found it about 7 years ago, but it's yellowed slightly over that time. I do my best to keep my stuffs out of direct sunlight and I alternate machines, so they spent a fair amount of time in a cupboard. They do get hot in there though, on hot days.

    I've thought about giving them a spray with a clear finish but am too afraid of making them look awful. Ultimately I think I'll just have to live with it - not such a big deal in the scheme of things!

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    ]

    Honestly, can't see any yellowing worth worrying about there - ok a slight contrast against the newer speakers, but that's well within the 'wouldn't bother' realm for me.. neat setup!



    Anyway got a few updates -

    Everythings back together , just have some cable tidying to do!



    IMG_20190107_225427.png




    CPU HSF comes close to PSU - but not too bad - certainly not a problem.
    IMG_20190126_221636.png



    Monitor decided on!

    A Viewsonic 790s I picked up off the side of the road many yrs ago now. 19" , 0.22 dot pitch, up to 115hz @ 1024x768, 75 @ 1600x1200.. yeah, it's a beast despite being "period correct" :D


    I pulled it down, and cleaned it up before powering up - was Reasonably dusty. Forgot to take photo's inside, But yeah, I think i'll be sharing this beauty across a few machines going fwd.

    IMG_20190126_221625.png


    .. Can See in that pic i've been busy burning CD's

    IMG_20190121_230114.png

    IMG_20190125_224414.png

    98SE, ATI and Aureal drivers were fairly painless - probably helped by the fact I used later versions. But the aim is not to be tear my hair out with strictly period correct drivers!

    some files for MS networking seemed inaccessible or missing during 98 install, so I need to deal with that, but hasn't affected core OS


    annnnd first bog stock 3dmark99 MAX run

    IMG_20190126_234658.png


    hmmm. score is quite low. Although, this early version of the 128GL appears to be trhe 83Mhz vairent. This would not help. I do suspect some CPU bottlenecking so will see if we can expose that next. Be it OCing if I can, or underclocking..

    Then it's tidy up time I think. I've looped 3D mark 'as is', for good half our with no problems, so I think she is stable
     

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  18. Spearchucka

    Spearchucka Member

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    Love that slide out motherboard tray! Great toy on its own.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    I know! I reckon they should still be a thing

    So I went with the overclocking route, 100 x4.5 ,which in honesty I wasn't expecting to go so well on stock 2.4v vcore. But it's primed away for hours on UBCD tests, and has been looping 3dmark for another hour or so now, and seems stable.

    Scores went up around 7% - so certainly a bottleneck.. i'm just happy to have it an easy @ 450 regardless :)

    800x600:

    400mhz: 2877
    450Mhz: 3078

    640x400:
    400mhz: 2926
    450Mhz: 3127
     
  20. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Finished of the box this w/e since it's all working OK - well, as well as a win98 box can be expected to work...

    - Soundcard 'disapeared' at one point, but OK again now
    - have some input lag (mouse and KB) in Half life practice range, which I was using to make sure everythings AOK before investing to a new game! it comes and goes, so not sure what it is.




    so Inside did some pretty basic, no frills cable tidying, and called it a day


    IMG_20190202_230400.png
    IMG_20190202_230413.png





    and to finish it off, this little number - which I got from the US some time ago, after stumbling on it searching for actual K6-III's has been sitting in and envelope waiting for a home

    IMG_20190202_230740.png




    Looks quite large on the case! (large than the PII sticker that was on there prior)

    IMG_0132.png
     
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