Author Topic: What I just bought....  (Read 1198 times)

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Offline Ampera

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What I just bought....
« on: February 22, 2018, 05:57:05 am »
https://www.ebay.com/itm/PT-2011-Socket-7-Motherboard-with-MEMORY-CPU-Heatsink-FAN-TESTED-TO-POST-ISA/232664284738?hash=item362bdf3e42:g:DesAAOSw4QdagutD

BOOM!

So what is this? This is a 40 dollar (didn't know they were so stupid cheap) Socket 7 board with a Pentium MMX 233. Now, why have I bought this?

I currently own, and it's one of my most beloved systems, a Socket 8 Pentium Pro 440FX machine. It's got 256k of on-chip L2 cache, 128MB of split FPM and EDO RAM (some jackhole sent me the wrong stuff before I could notice, if you buy from 1800-4memory, check what you get). It's 200Mhz, and has a monster load of cool as crap add-on cards.

So, what I want to see, is which is better? Now, the question is, what is the difference between these two CPUs, and which do I think is faster?

Well, the Pentium MMX is a more consumer-geared platform and CPU. It has Intel's MMX instructions, that can really help improve performance on a lot of 3D and multimedia tasks. It is, however, P5 architecture, and that's where the Pentium Pro has an edge.

The Pentium Pro, released two years earlier in 1995, is based on an entirely improved architecture. The main word is that 16-bit code and mixed 16/32-bit code is very slow on a Pentium Pro, but with 32-bit code execution speeds going as high as some of the early Pentium 2s. It also has on-chip cache, not limited by the FSB speed, and does not have any issues with a maximum amount of cacheable memory (that I know of).

Either way, the MMX 233 was a monster in it's own right, and I am excited to experiment. I plan to drop-in replace the Socket 8 board with this one, and compare benchmarks. What I will end up using, I have no clue, I may just swap the boards out as I see fit, I don't see that taking much more than 30 minutes of my time, each time.

I think the MMX 233 will be faster in gaming applications, especially older DOS-based titles. The Pentium Pro will absolutely dominate the MMX 233 in my configuration in all other tasks, and maybe even in just raw 32-bit performance. A two year gap is actually an eternity in the 1990's PC world, so this will be interesting to see how the two machines compare. I will report back.
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Offline dexters_lab

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Re: What I just bought....
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2018, 09:19:53 am »
the 233MMX was a very popular CPU in the day, i'm not surprised they are still readily available, i have a working system around somewhere

the MMX (vector) instructions really helped with games and the like, it'll be interesting what you make of it
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Offline Ampera

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Re: What I just bought....
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 03:53:07 pm »
The PPro was actually a lot more expensive (100 bucks for a similar combo, but it came with an S3 Virge, modem, and cheapie sound card)

The issue is that only programs written to use the MMX instructions, can take advantage of it, while the PPro has general performance improvements in 32-bit code over the P5 architecture.
C/C++/Java Programmer, Legacy hardware enthusiast, madman.
If it's broken, I probably did it.
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Offline Ampera

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Re: What I just bought....
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 11:01:17 pm »
Board works! I am seeing VERY minor performance improvements in some places. SimCopter runs faster, but that may be down to MMX. Quake seems to actually run slower in software mode, and 3dfx mode is of course identical.

No numbers yet, but one thing I have noticed is there is no bus crosstalk on this board. I have no clue why it was happening on my Socket 8 board, but the PCI/ISA buses would crosstalk like NUTS. Even something as far out and simple as the com ports could affect both the video card and modem. It's REALLY weird.
C/C++/Java Programmer, Legacy hardware enthusiast, madman.
If it's broken, I probably did it.
EEVBlog IRC: irc.austnet.irc #eevblog
 


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