View Full Version : New guy - Packard Bell Platinum 55 - just some questions

June 12th, 2012, 12:25 PM
Hey guys, just wondering if anyone has some information. I recently acquired a Packard Bell Platinum 55 in perfect condition. What I'm wanting to know is, It has a Intel 82439VX board in it, aka 430vx chipset with no voltage regulator (that I can see). What's my options on upgrading? Could I shove a K6-200 in it and be just fine? I already am assuming I cannot get away with a Pentium MMX in it though I could use an Overdrive if I could even find one.

It also has one of those nasty little Aztech Labs soundcard/modems in it. It's garbage - The IRQ's are funky so half the time stuff doesn't work, most dos games won't recognize it, or it crashes. What would be my best bet for an ISA soundcard? an AWE64?

Lastly, as I don't have the bones to shove out 100.00 on a Voodoo 2 card (wish I still had my 3d Blaster II) what should I go for that will give me the widest playability for such games as Unreal, GLQuake and so on. I know I'd want a glide card but I'm at a loss since I held onto my Voodoo 2 until the Radeon 7000 (radeon 64) came out.

Let me know guys, if anyone has anything and wants to trade lol let me know, trying to make this a nice "vintage gaming" machine without breaking the bank!

June 12th, 2012, 12:58 PM
For a soundcard, I've been quite impressed with my recently-acquired AWE32 - good compatibility plus expanded capability, and pretty good-quality sound output (supposedly you can even do an S/PDIF conversion.) You can find them fairly cheap, too, though you'll want to find one with a real OPL3 core (the folks at VOGONS (http://vogons.zetafleet.com/) can tell you about that.)

I don't know what motherboard the Platinum 55 uses (you can get a utility to find out here, (http://www.oocities.org/sjg/pbmother.html)) but I have a PB680-based system, and one of its quirks is that the BIOS is set to only accept Intel CPUs; if yours is the same, you're either going to have to hack the BIOS (good luck) or stick with a P166 or so.

June 12th, 2012, 01:33 PM
Well I checked and it registers as a 680. According to Ray's which I've viewed before it gives a listing of a maximum of 200/233. Unfortunately it doesn't list if it accepts only Intel or AMD's as well. Intel didn't make a 233mhz in a standard Pentium. So apparently reading from the voltage and the site I should be able to cram a 233mmx into it.

June 12th, 2012, 01:39 PM
Mmm...I can't recall if the P166 I've got in there now is an MMX or not, but I'd be surprised if yours suppots AMD when mine doesn't. You can certainly give it a try, though - I dropped in a K6-something-or-other and a Cyrix MII with no ill effects other than the BIOS complaining and refusing to boot. I dunno how Pentium compatibility works with higher-clocked processors on the same bus speed; does the board even know the difference? Will it care?

June 12th, 2012, 01:45 PM
There was a MR BIOS upgrade for the PB680 "Orlando" motherboard (BIOS version 1.xx.DN0R) that likely didn't have the Intel only CPU lock. The part number was V09AB5NI. Powerleap and others made a VRM socket adapter to provide the split voltages the MMX CPUs needed.

June 12th, 2012, 01:53 PM
Yeah apparently from what I've gathered the newest bios update for the PB680 allows 233mmx's but all in all, is the performance that great from a Pentium 200 to a 200 or 233 mmx? I know it'll be a slight jump from a 133mhz - I remember Mr Bios but I cannot find anything other than in german or spanish on it :(

June 12th, 2012, 02:19 PM
DN0R has the CPU lock, I have it on mine. I don't know about whether it releases any limitations on later Intel processors.

My question would be how much of a boost you really get from a 200+ MHz CPU when it's stuck with 16.66 MHz RAM anyway...

June 12th, 2012, 02:53 PM
Dunno, the speed increase is about 10% but I think I'm barking up the wrong tree. I have 2 old dell CPI laptops with PII's in them but the video card in them are garbage or actually the monitor/screen because it shoots everything into 800x600 I believe and leaves a black border. - I guess I'll keep this Platinum for really old stuff and try to build a PII 266+ system for the "heavy stuff". Maybe someone would want my Ibook in a trade lol..

I had forgotten how unupgradable PB's were. Never knew why my parents wasted their money on them.