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Bitchin' dual p-pro setup

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    Bitchin' dual p-pro setup

    After a DECADE of searching, I think I might have my Holy Grail of computers. For those that do not know, I recently was contacted by a nice person from Russia with an offer I could not refuse. If he decides to share his identity, I will let him do so. I was offered an ASUS P/I-P65UP8 with C-PKND Pentium II daughter card. I got it in the mail just a few days ago now. I would swear it was delivered at least part way via dogsled, but it arrived safely and in working fashon! I also got a few other parts, all arrived in the last few days. I debated finishing the setup and posting that, but I felt it might be a bit more fun if I included all of you in the adventure.


    First off, the star of the show; the ASUS P/I-P65UP8, it is the big brother of the ASUS P/I-P65UP5, and I mean that quite literally. The board is a FULL AT size board. I took a picture of the 8 next to the 5. The latter of which is a "normal" baby-at size. Really puts things into perspective. Both boards are fundamentally the same, at least at the core. Aside from the I960, and scsi the up8 is practically identical to the up5. Such is the wonder of the Intel 440fx chipset.





    So now just the board itself:



    The major difference between this board and just about ANY other board, is the inclusion of the Intel I960 I/O processor. (the silver square) It is designed to offload work from the cpu and thus improve performance. Provided the device you plug into it is compatible. The processor was VERY popular. It was used on many multi-channel scsi cards for years. There is a jumper to disable the smart buffering and turn the device into a dumb pci-pci bridge, but that's not any fun! There are two 72-pin simm slots slightly to the right of the I960. These are for the cpu in smart mode and will buffer data and commands. I have been told, between compatible devices, data moving between pci devices on the i960 will in fact never touch the pci bus, nor the cpu! Naturally I'm going to have to test this, so stay tuned. Next to the 2 simms slots is an out of palce pci slot. This was used for some future upgrade of the I960 and I can't seem to find any information regarding its use.


    You also might notice THREE scsi channels on the board. One is via Adaptec 7880 and a Symbios 53c876. I haven't done any sort of research on these chipsets as of yet. For the record, the Adaptec is on the 'normal' pci bus and the Symbios is connected to the I960. From what I've found out, the board cannot boot from any device on the I960 in smart mode. So it would seem that Asus included another scsi controller you can boot from. how nice! The onboard video chipset is an S3 trio64v2-tx or something. It is bog standard and is actually pretty nice to have on a "server" motherboard. As of this post, I did install another 2 chips of ram and it is upgraded to an earth-shattering 2mb! Everything else is standard fare. And for the record, the left 4 pci slots are under the I960 and the remaining 3 are normal.


    The fun doesn't stop there, the board is not complete without a daughter card!



    I bought the up8 with an C-PKND daughter card designed for a pair of slot-1 Pentium 2 processors. Which are just fine! Everybody loves the Pentium 2! I just happen to like the pentium pro better. Asus designed these moterboards to be interchangeable. The C-P6ND daughtercard is interchangeable with the C-PKND. There also is a dual socket 7 card, but from what I read, the up8 doesn't support it. While some people would be happy with the Pentium 2 card, I am not. The P2 can only cache 512mb of ram. Also the P2's cache only runs at half speed of the cpu. That just will NOT do. So I pulled the p-pro card from my up5, flashed the bios and dropped in a pair of p-pro overdrives. For the record, in addition of swapping the cpu card, you have to swap the bios.


    I had mentioned, the P2 can only cache 512mb of ram. And for 99.999% of the population, that would be fine. So I blew my retro-computing budget for the next 6 months and bought 10x 128mb 72-pin simms. 60ns EDO! Why 10? Because I can put the extra two into the I960 slots.





    Nothing quite like having 1gb of ram in a dual-cpu system. With that problem solved, You might be asking; "but what about a case and power supply?" Well, I have that covered. I had bought a full-tower AT case several years ago, and it was getting NO use. I had my UP5 board inside but it was little more than a storage case. I did not have a full-at power supply. Something I rectified. As if by some stroke of luck, I found on ebay a PC Power & Cooling SIX HUNDRED WATT power supply. It was also NOS. (New Old Stock) It was shipped from Israel, and even included the origional tag, manual, and an advert describing PCP&C's others offerings. I won't be using the 3.3v rail on this setup, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over that. With 70A on the 5v rail, I feel pretty confident, if something goes wrong, I can at least use the PSU as a welder. :P





    Obligatory post screenshot:

    I ran memtest overnight. 3 passes, no problems.


    So, this is where I stop writing for the night. The "plan" is to install NT4 on this beast. I'm going to play a array of games such as Fallout (and 2, maybe tactics), starcraft, diablo (and D2), maybe some Quake 3, and honestly anything else that strikes my fancy. I also intend to use a pair of Voodoo 2's. Mostly for Q3 and D2.


    I will update this thread as I go, also answering any relevant questions. I would like some input about the video and sound department. At this time, I'm not going to use this system for any DOS games. I want to keep the scope to the games above. I will also run any sort of benchmark people want. I will test to see if the I960 is worth anything.


    P.S. I will entertain any suggestions of a better name for this endeavour.
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

    #2
    If I'd known, I could have saved you a whole lot of trouble by selling you this IBM PC Server 704.


    It's got three power supplies. Don't recall the wattage.
    Be polite and I may let you live.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

    Comment


      #3
      Sounds cool, I have a couple dual PPro systems myself.

      What I kind of wanted was an ALR 6 PPro server but have no idea where I would put it if I found it let alone what to run on it. The one dual overdrive system (Intel PR440GX board) I have was used as a Win2k 24/7 server in my basement for a long time, it had 1GB of RAM (4x 256MB DIMMS). The second system I put together last year using an Asus W6-LI board and 256MB running NT4 with a cool old PCI CAD card.
      What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
      Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
      Boxed apps and games for the above systems
      Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

      Comment


        #4
        Awesome!

        Are those games able to take advantage of the multi-CPU setup? I seem to recall that it took several years before software came out that made an effort to use multiple CPUs.

        Comment


          #5
          nope. The other cpu is just going to warm the air. MAYBE Quake3 will do some smp work. That said, the other cpu will offload some of the other work so the game itself gets a whole cpu to run on. windows and whatever can run on cpu 2.
          It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

          Comment


            #6
            I got most of a dual PPro machine here and grafted into a case but I've yet to get around to finish the PSU conversion because while it is an AT form factor case and power supply it needs a 3.3v power source which AT power supplies didn't have.
            Has a nice Intergraph vidoe card though so anything OpenGL is going to scream.
            [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

            = Excellent space heater

            Comment


              #7
              I use to have a bunch of Dell 490 and 690 workstations and they use N750P-00 power supply that’s got a lot of twelve volt outputs, five volts at sixteen amps and three point three at thirty amps. They had a separate pigtail adapter that feed all the drives but P1 and P2 are standard stuff. Being that I am down to one last 690 and that’s going soon would be willing to let you have one of our bench spares for the cost of shipping.

              Comment


                #8
                Nah, I'm good.
                Better idea will be to put the guts of a modern ATX power supply and fit it in the AT form factor PSU enclosure. I just need more of the P1/P2 connectors to make adapters.
                [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

                = Excellent space heater

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by NeXT View Post
                  Nah, I'm good.
                  Better idea will be to put the guts of a modern ATX power supply and fit it in the AT form factor PSU enclosure. I just need more of the P1/P2 connectors to make adapters.
                  The power supply I bought for this, a PC power & cooling turbo cool 600, is a full AT style power supply, with 3.3v. The way it soft-powers with the mains switch, leads me to believe its actually an atx psu in an AT case.
                  It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Makes me wish I had kept the old Compaq Proliant server I had in the early 2000's, it was a quad P-Pro 180mhz, and had a whopping 1GB of RAM in it, I could never get linux working on it like I wanted to at the time, but I had Windows 2000 server running on it (2k Pro would not see all the CPUs) and used it as a file server for a while (5x 9.1GB drives).
                    My Vintage computer/blog site
                    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I got rid of my HP quad PPro server a couple years ago. That thing would suck down the power! It had 3 PSUs and 12 hard drives!

                      -J
                      My Site (under construction!) | My Apple Lisa 2/10

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by RWallmow View Post
                        Makes me wish I had kept the old Compaq Proliant server I had in the early 2000's, it was a quad P-Pro 180mhz, and had a whopping 1GB of RAM in it, I could never get linux working on it like I wanted to at the time, but I had Windows 2000 server running on it (2k Pro would not see all the CPUs) and used it as a file server for a while (5x 9.1GB drives).
                        See above.
                        Be polite and I may let you live.

                        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Yea, some machines are nice to mess with for an hour and that's about it (because of power draw and heat).
                          What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                          Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                          Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                          Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What's the problem with power draw?

                            I have a quad Pentium pro Dec server 7000. I havn't measured its power draw. It has 2 redundant PSU's at 450W 4 drives and only 2 CPU's installed (missing a memory riser board) I would estimate, as its not fully loaded it probably draws max 200W. I run it 24/7. I cant think it uses much more power than a modern Xeon system, or one of the multi-core i7 systems.

                            I pay approx 10p kw/h = 1p 100w an hour

                            200W draw is 2p per hour

                            200W draw is 48p per day

                            200w draw is 48p*365=17520p or 175.20 per year

                            That's not a huge amount of money, and that's 24/7/365. Have i missed something?

                            Also never need to heat my office! (Ok in summer it's a bitch)


                            A bit off topic, but does anyone know of any company that pays you for CPU time? Something like the SETI project, that doesnt need a backbone connection. It would be interesting to work out how economical it would be to heat a house using only computers!

                            BTW awesome board, i have been looking for one myself.
                            EISA .cfg Archive | Chip set Encyclopedia

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by NeXT View Post
                              I got most of a dual PPro machine here and grafted into a case but I've yet to get around to finish the PSU conversion because while it is an AT form factor case and power supply it needs a 3.3v power source which AT power supplies didn't have.
                              Has a nice Intergraph vidoe card though so anything OpenGL is going to scream.
                              Since someone bumped this thread I'm just going to put the record straight that I eat glue as a snack.
                              No it doesn't need 3.3v. That was for an OEM power supply. the Supermicro P6DNF will use a regular AT power supply, however use of the extra 5V header is recommended.

                              I have a quad Pentium pro Dec server 7000. I havn't measured its power draw. It has 2 redundant PSU's at 450W 4 drives and only 2 CPU's installed (missing a memory riser board) I would estimate, as its not fully loaded it probably draws max 200W. I run it 24/7. I cant think it uses much more power than a modern Xeon system, or one of the multi-core i7 systems.
                              I've found that a lot of older power supplies will draw almost their full wattage even with minimal load.
                              [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

                              = Excellent space heater

                              Comment

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