Image Map Image Map
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: IBM Server 320 - help needed

  1. #1

    Default IBM Server 320 - help needed

    Hello everybody.
    First thread and first post... I hope it isn't against the rules...

    anyway.

    I'm about to buy an IBM Server 320 to replace my current vintage Pentium era setup (actually my only vintage computer). It has a dual cpu motherboard, probably an IBM 06H2173. The dual processor setup will probably be completely unnecessary, since I'll use it mainly as a retro gaming computer, I just want it to be as cool as possible. My plan is to put my Sb16 (maybe an Awe32 if I find cheap around here), my Voodoo 2 12mb (maybe find another one to pair with it), a new 2d PCI card (since my 1mb Trident is far from cool) and who knows, maybe some day I'm lucky enough to find a 3do Blaster (we can always dream). But I'm having a hard time finding information about it. And since it isn't as cheap as I would like it to be, I'd like to ask you some questions before I jump over it.

    The motherboard is probably this one (IBM 06H2173):
    lrgscalePicture 482.jpg
    It has EISA Architecture. If I understood it right, it's compatible with ISA. Is that truth? If it is, it's one less thing to worry.
    How much ram can I use with it?
    Do you guys know if it's compatible with MMX processors (preferably 233 MMX)? I already have one and it's cheap to find another. If the board isn't compatible with it, I may skip it (I'm not sure).
    Is there some thing else I should know about it?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by 81ramirez; June 22nd, 2013 at 10:27 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 81ramirez View Post
    Hello everybody.
    First thread and first post... I hope it isn't against the rules...

    anyway.

    I'm about to buy an IBM Server 320 to replace my current vintage Pentium era setup (actually my only vintage computer). It has a dual cpu motherboard, probably an IBM 06H2173. The dual processor setup will probably be completely unnecessary, since I'll use it mainly as a retro gaming computer, I just want it to be as cool as possible. My plan is to put my Sb16 (maybe an Awe32 if I find cheap around here), my Voodoo 2 12mb (maybe find another one to pair with it), a new 2d PCI card (since my 1mb Trident is far from cool) and who knows, maybe some day I'm lucky enough to find a 3do Blaster (we can always dream). But I'm having a hard time finding information about it. And since it isn't as cheap as I would like it to be, I'd like to ask you some questions before I jump over it.

    The motherboard is probably this one (IBM 06H2173):
    lrgscalePicture 482.jpg
    It has EISA Architecture. If I understood it right, it's compatible with ISA. Is that truth? If it is, it's one less thing to worry.
    How much ram can I use with it?
    Do you guys know if it's compatible with MMX processors (preferably 233 MMX)? I already have one and it's cheap to find another. If the board isn't compatible with it, I may skip it (I'm not sure).
    Is there some thing else I should know about it?

    Thanks in advance.
    I don't know that particular board, so I cannot comment on its CPU compatibility or RAM (but I bet parity is required, being a server), but I can tell you its a complete waste for vintage gaming, the only OS's that will use more than one CPU are Windows NT or Linux/Unix, and there's not much for vintage gaming on those platforms.

    That said, its a cool rig, I would build a vintage NT4 server out of it, and yes, EISA slots will take a ISA cards.
    My Vintage computer/blog site
    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RWallmow View Post
    ... the only OS's that will use more than one CPU are Windows NT or Linux/Unix, and there's not much for vintage gaming on those platforms.
    Or OS/2 for example.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TNC View Post
    Or OS/2 for example.
    My apologies, I forgot OS/2, but my point still stands, not of use to DOS or Windows 9x gaming
    My Vintage computer/blog site
    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RWallmow View Post
    My apologies, I forgot OS/2, but my point still stands, not of use to DOS or Windows 9x gaming
    Yes, I'm aware the second processor wont be used in DOS or Windows 9x gaming, that's the reason I want to make sure it supports the 233 MMX processor, so I can use it as a more embracing gaming rig anyway.

  6. #6

    Default

    This link suggests the board will take up to a 200MHz processor.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RJBJR View Post
    This link suggests the board will take up to a 200MHz processor.
    Looks like no MMX, unless you find an uber rare POD MMX, or one of those equally rare socket VRM "shims" (for lack of better description, installs between socket and CPU).
    My Vintage computer/blog site
    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RJBJR View Post
    This link suggests the board will take up to a 200MHz processor.
    Yeah... that's the information I had, but I hoped that maybe it could be more of a bios thing than anything else, that could be updated or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by RWallmow View Post
    Looks like no MMX, unless you find an uber rare POD MMX, or one of those equally rare socket VRM "shims" (for lack of better description, installs between socket and CPU).
    But wouldn't the motherboard throttle the performance anyway? I mean, would the MMX instructions pass through the adapter?

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 81ramirez View Post
    But wouldn't the motherboard throttle the performance anyway? I mean, would the MMX instructions pass through the adapter?
    I know it works with the POD MMX chips, I have a 166MMX POD and it passes the MMX extensions fine, I would imagine the manufacturer of the "shims" figured out how to do it too. Electrically I think the only difference between the non-MMX and MMX CPUs was a dual plane voltage, which a shim should be able to fix easily.

    Either way you go, both are about as rare as hens teeth these days, your best, and cheapest bet, for a gaming rig is to build around a MMX supporting socket 7 motherboard, that along with a bog standard 200MMX or 233MMX chip are both pretty darn common.
    My Vintage computer/blog site
    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

  10. #10

    Default

    Max RAM is 256 MB (8x 64 MB, parity or non-parity - the non-IBM Micronics version of the board is parity only). The "shim" just functions as a voltage regulator to provide the 2.8v the MMX chips require.

    The bigger problem is unless you have exactly the right hardware revision, the 320 might be clock limited to 133 or even 100 MHz, and if it has the above motherboard (a Micronics M54Pe with PS/2 keyboard and mouse, and customized flash ROM) 133 MHz is the max.

    Note also that the cache sockets take 3.3v parts, not the more common 5v parts. It might appear to work, but will be unreliable, and I have had issues with certain makes of cache chips shipped with these boards having a higher failure rate. Fortunately I have yet to see a failure in the base 256 KB cache, which is soldered to the board.

    I ran one of these as a NEXTSTEP system for many years, before I migrated to OS X. It's a solid board, but if you want it to run games, look elsewhere.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •