View Full Version : IBM PC350-P90 System - CPU Advice

January 23rd, 2013, 01:10 PM
Its been over 14 years since I messed around with an old Pentium system and my brains a little fuzzy on the details.

As stated above, I've a PC350 desktop computer, which i've been using to play old games, get my mail etc. I'd really like to get the old X-files game working on it, but the game requires a P133 or better to run. I know some models of the PC350 did come with 133mhz Pentium chips, on the inside of the lid of my system the jumper settings only list P75, P90 and P100. I've overclocked the system to 100mhz and it seems to be running fine. However I'd like to know if i can stick a P150 in it :D

January 23rd, 2013, 01:23 PM
Or maybe a 180Mhz Pentium MMX


Might be worth considering - I'm not sure if any BIOS updates etc would be needed before hand though.

Old Thrashbarg
January 23rd, 2013, 02:38 PM
I had a PC350-P100 for awhile, and 133mhz was the highest it would go... basically only the BF0 pin was actually brought out to a jumper, so 1.5x and 2x multipliers were the only options. I suppose it might be possible to do some hardware modifications to enable other multipliers, but in typical IBM fashion the thing was pretty picky about hardware, so I wouldn't have great hopes of success.

It also refused to boot with non-Intel CPUs, and I can't remember for sure but I wanna say it didn't work with an MMX chip either.

January 23rd, 2013, 02:50 PM
Thank you Thrashbarg! Thats really helpful, did you ever expand the video on your 350? I tried installing an ATI rage 128 but it didn't work. I've a funny feeling it's because I've dug out an old apple mac card by mistake. Just want to know if it's possible to install a PCI video card, as the onboard video is only 2mb s3.

Old Thrashbarg
January 23rd, 2013, 04:36 PM
I never tried a different video card. I don't recall seeing any option for disabling the onboard video, though it could've been one of the couple undocumented jumpers, I suppose.

Honestly, I don't see much point in putting anything better into such a system... a 2MB S3 Trio is fine for a Win95 machine, IMO. If you want 3D, just put a Voodoo card in it.

January 24th, 2013, 10:12 AM
Just bought a P133 off ebay to throw in the old gal, also bought 2x64mb simms to max out the ram. Two main games i'd like to play on it, Starfleet Academy and X Files, both seem a little resource hungry and want to get this little system up to running them. I did think about a voodoo, but i thought that only worked if i was using 3Dfx games? I used to have one of those cards and I've forgotten how it works. Would the games I mentioned, benefit from the voodoo card being present?

Old Thrashbarg
January 24th, 2013, 11:55 AM
I'm not sure if that machine even supports 64MB SIMMs, but regardless, it has a 64MB cacheable limit, so anything more than that is going to slow it down quite a bit.

I know Starfleet Academy supports Voodoo cards (I believe software mode and 3Dfx mode are the only options). I'm not really familiar with the X-Files game... but since it looks to be basically an interactive movie, I suspect it doesn't really need 3D acceleration. I also suspect it's not going to run very well on a 133mhz non-MMX machine no matter what you do... minimum system requirements are a 120mhz Pentium, and the minimum requirements in those days tended to only mean that the game would start up and sorta run, not that it would be anywhere near playable.

January 24th, 2013, 03:07 PM
The paper on the inside of the case, says 2x64 is the max it can take. This machine is primarily for gaming and emails, so if i can get it running those games, that pretty much covers it. I think you hit something on the head with the voodoo card, ive been looking at ATI 128 cards. The voodoo might work easier with the S3 onboard.

Old Thrashbarg
January 24th, 2013, 04:00 PM
Now wait a second... I've been assuming you had the same thing I did, but mine listed a max of 4 x 32MB on the spec sheet, nothing about 64MB SIMMs. What is the exact model number of your machine? It'll be PC350-xxxx, but it's that second part that makes all the difference.

January 25th, 2013, 12:34 AM
Its actually a bit confusing to research these machines, as ibm seem to have been inconsistent when it came to fitting hardware. I have the Pc350 Model 6586, which seems to tally with what is on wiki. i have seen some people mention having USB and a Dimm slot. I dont have either of those.

Old Thrashbarg
January 25th, 2013, 07:31 AM
Yes, there were a bunch of different models under the 'PC350' heading, ranging from 486 to Pentium MMX machines, so it certainly can be a bit confusing.

But a 6586 is exactly what I had. So I wonder why the spec sheet on yours is different...

At any rate, what I know for sure about it is: It's a 430FX chipset, and thus has all the limitations present in that chipset. It can only cache 64MB of RAM so anything more than will take a performance hit (not as much as on later chipsets since the FX doesn't support pipeline-burst cache, but every little bit counts if you're running heavier games and such). It also doesn't support parity, though you can still use parity SIMMs. The IDE doesn't support individual device timing, so make sure you keep slower drives (CDROM, Zip, etc.) on the secondary bus and the hard drive on the primary.

January 25th, 2013, 10:09 AM
There is one explanation..that the board i have inside my machine isn't the same as yours. I will have to check when i get home tomorrow, as I'm staying at my GF's this evening. However the chipset you mentioned rings a bell, as i ran an old version of CPUID the otherday and i could sware thats the chipset it reported.

I've read on other sites listing my machine, that 128 is the max, but then I've read else where it saying 190 something megabytes. Could it be my bios is different? All I can tell you is that my model lacks the SDRAM slot, but has 4 simm slots. The inside label shows, if i remember various combinations of 4,8, 16,32 meg sims and finally 2x64.

Old Thrashbarg
January 25th, 2013, 10:21 AM
The 430FX supports EDO and FPM, up to 128MB max, with 64MB cacheable. That's in the chipset spec, regardless of the motherboard. So if your board has the FX chipset, it definitely doesn't support anything more than that.

January 25th, 2013, 11:53 AM
Interesting; same as Old T. I would have said that the maximum memory in a 6586 PC350 is 4x32; no mention of 64MB RAMs in any documentation that I can find (nor USB ports ;-) ). Maybe a really late model?

I think there were two base versions of the 6586 though; the 2/3/4/5 P75 to P100 board, and the 7/9 P133 to P166 board.

192MB max would be the 6587 AFAIK.

What's the full model number including the 3-character configuration code? Presumably 45F/H or 47F/H for a P90 with either a 540 or 850MB disk originally?

Does the motherboard look like this:


January 25th, 2013, 03:05 PM
Looks like i might be snowed in, so might be a delay in checking the board for a proper confirmation.

The board looks very similar to the one in that pdf, i cant say for certainty, as i have the funniest feeling the ide and floppy cable arent where they are pictured. Theres a good chance I'm mistaken mind :-P will know soon as i can get to the machine :-) Still the PDF says 75/90/100, just as it does on the label inside the case. Thanks guys for the help, anything learned about this computer is valuable in itself :-)

Aside from wiki and the label on the case, didnt know much about it.

January 25th, 2013, 08:21 PM


January 25th, 2013, 08:22 PM
The technical reference (ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/IBM_PC_BBS/commercial_desktop/s30h1721.pdf) shows the differences between the motherboards, but it also says your system board might look slightly different than the one shown.

January 25th, 2013, 08:37 PM
The technical reference (ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/IBM_PC_BBS/commercial_desktop/s30h1721.pdf) shows the differences between the motherboards, but it also says your system board might look slightly different than the one shown.Indeed ;-)

January 26th, 2013, 07:41 AM
Finally home and on the PC350 as we speak! :D

Ok the model no is 6586 - 4V1 serial no ZN551N6WH, I can't seem to find it in the list of systems in that PDF :-S Going to take another look, in case I missed it.

According to AIDA32, the mobo chipset is Intel Triton 82430FX

January 29th, 2013, 07:49 AM
Hi everyone, time for an update!

I've been looking over the PDF's the people linked me to and I finally found out something about this little system

65 = System is of the PC300 series
8 & 6 = Sytem has 5xSlots & 5xBays, the last digit '6' means it is a P75 - P166 system
4 = P90 CPU is installed
V = Base model built to order
M = Indicated memory or preinstalled software, however 'm' must be a european designation as it is not listed in the U.S manual.

Also I have has success installing a P133Mhz processor. I now not only have 256k of L2 cache appearing, but the system seems overall more responsive. I'm going to try installing a Voodoo 1 so that 3d games are better support as D3D does not appear to work on this S3 Trio64 lol.