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Thread: Recommendations for a Pentium Pro Motherboard?

  1. #21
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    CPU VRMs on a daughterboard was a thing up into the Netburst Xeon days, and probably beyond. I had a Poweredge 2550 (dual PIIIs) which required a VRM for a second CPU and a option ROM on a SPI header to enable RAID support on the motherboard SCSI controller. I later worked on a Precision 650 which also required a much larger VRM for the second CPU socket.

    It's both a cost cutting measure and a market segmentation thing, they can and usually did artificially inflate the cost of the VRM modules for that extra profit margin.

  2. #22

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    If you haven't seen it already here is good read: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=62788

    Mostly selling to Vogons members via a private Discord channel who appreciate the Pentium Pro for what it is and its place in history. Almost all of it is new old stock. Yes there are more practical solutions, but to me vintage hardware restoration and preservation isn't about what's practical. The Pentium Pro was truly innovative for its time. I also don't think people realize that the Pentium Pro actually performed well in DOS with 32-bit protected mode games. I remember upgrading to a Pentium Pro 200/256K CPU in 1996 (CPU alone was $1200 at the time) and was taken back by how fast games like Magic Carpet 2, etc. were performing. So this notion that somehow the Pentium Pro is dog slow in DOS is a complete fallacy. Also, the Pentium Pro was a HUGE turning point in processor design and a very important moment in computing history AFAIAC.

  3. #23
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    A good dual PPro mainboard is the MSI MS-6107, E-ATX style.

    https://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/def_int/36835765.html

    If you want to use an XT/AT style chassis, then the MSI MS-6103 is an interesting dual PPro choice (it even fits in IBM 5150 chassis)

    https://picclick.com/Motherboard-Dua...196351306.html

    MSI MS-6104 was single PPro ATX style

    https://www.ebay.fr/itm/Nos-Pentium-...-/271679952400 (click on the "X", and you'll get a photo)

    MSI MS-6101 was single PPro AT style

    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Pentium-Pro-...:rk:3:razz:f:0 (This one seems to be an early prototype, Rev 0c, MSI was using the Achme brand name at that time in the US)

    For the dual PPro boards, Windows NT 3.51 or better 4 or early Linux OS (versions of about 1995-97) are recommended. MS-DOS and Windows 9x and applications/games based on these OS will not benefit from the 2nd CPU. For Windows 2000 there should not be enough performance with PPro.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    I remember upgrading a Compaq Proliant 6500 years ago, and at that time finding the voltage regulator modules turned out to be harder than finding the CPUs. If you are shopping for Pentium Pro system boards, try to make sure they come with the appropriate voltage regulators for the CPU you have, unless you know you'll be able to get them elsewhere.

    The Pentium Pro is the only system I can think of with these CPU-specific voltage regulator modules. I wouldn't be hugely surprised if there were other systems that did this but Pentium Pros were the only ones I worked with personally.
    Thanks for this tip! I thought it was strange they were not only not integrated into the board but also *removable*. If they're CPU specific then that does make more sense I suppose.


    Quote Originally Posted by 1ST1 View Post
    A good dual PPro mainboard is the MSI MS-6107, E-ATX style.

    https://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/def_int/36835765.html

    If you want to use an XT/AT style chassis, then the MSI MS-6103 is an interesting dual PPro choice (it even fits in IBM 5150 chassis)

    https://picclick.com/Motherboard-Dua...196351306.html

    MSI MS-6104 was single PPro ATX style

    https://www.ebay.fr/itm/Nos-Pentium-...-/271679952400 (click on the "X", and you'll get a photo)

    MSI MS-6101 was single PPro AT style

    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Pentium-Pro-...:rk:3:razz:f:0 (This one seems to be an early prototype, Rev 0c, MSI was using the Achme brand name at that time in the US)

    For the dual PPro boards, Windows NT 3.51 or better 4 or early Linux OS (versions of about 1995-97) are recommended. MS-DOS and Windows 9x and applications/games based on these OS will not benefit from the 2nd CPU. For Windows 2000 there should not be enough performance with PPro.
    Thanks for the links! The MS-6103 may work out fairly well.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by liqmat View Post
    If you haven't seen it already here is good read: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=62788

    Mostly selling to Vogons members via a private Discord channel who appreciate the Pentium Pro for what it is and its place in history. Almost all of it is new old stock. Yes there are more practical solutions, but to me vintage hardware restoration and preservation isn't about what's practical. The Pentium Pro was truly innovative for its time. I also don't think people realize that the Pentium Pro actually performed well in DOS with 32-bit protected mode games. I remember upgrading to a Pentium Pro 200/256K CPU in 1996 (CPU alone was $1200 at the time) and was taken back by how fast games like Magic Carpet 2, etc. were performing. So this notion that somehow the Pentium Pro is dog slow in DOS is a complete fallacy. Also, the Pentium Pro was a HUGE turning point in processor design and a very important moment in computing history AFAIAC.
    I have used PharLap extended DOS and Microway compilers since the late 1980s. The Pentium Pro was slower at certain 16-bit operations and was more sensitive to memory alignment than earlier processors. Switching to 32-bit protected mode with compilers that performed 32-bit alignment mitigated this issue. My codes- required packed structures, whether in Fortran or C. I used the -X89 switch in the Microway compilers to over-ride alignment. Everything works, is going to run slower- but not noticeable in real life.

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