No clue where to begin with all of this, but a few months back I ended up grabbing a Tyan Thunder K7X Pro motherboard from Germany, a pair of Athlon MP 2000+s, throwing them all together and building one of the most problematic and confusing systems I've ever dealt with, to date.
Where to begin?
First off, I'm using an AGP Radeon HD3650 1Gb on a early 2000s motherboard (one of those later ATI cards with the pcie-agp bridge chips), and second of all - this board is known to have awful, awful performance. I mean, think of the worst Socket A motherboard and you're nowhere near close. Not only is it unstable when using SMP, but it will outright refuse to post if I use my USB controller on anything but the top PCI slot. The poor AGP performance may come from the shitty ATI drivers for these later HD-series cards, or fact that the AGP miniport driver was last updated in 2004. Eitherway, the 760MPX chipset is an awful chipset and these SMP AMD boards should be avoided.
...Did I mention that HD3650 has to be run 225mhz slower than it runs at stock, for it to even have the slightest bit of stability? Tried playing with the AGP Drive strength a ton, changing the aperture size, nothing really helps. Considering the card is really designed for 8x boards, I believe it may be sending too much shit to the AGP chipset, flooding it in a way. No idea. Weirdly enough, the only game that was stable at full speed was Crysis.
3DMark2001SE scores barely above 8k points, considering that a P4 2.8+Geforce 6800 scores 18k, that's quite pathetic. I'd love to get a pair of MP2800+s (or just mod some XP/XPms) in the future but I'm really not sure if throwing more cash into this system will be a good idea.
UT'04/99, Q3A (under the ioquake3 engine), Darkplaces (advanced Quake engine) & Flatout 1/2 are good examples of games that run very well on this system, though. Some are even multithreaded, making use of the second processor quite decently, Flatout 2 for example can keep a solid 60fps at high settings on this system, thanks to the fact that it uses both processors.
Here's a little imgur collection of screenshots, will post more in the future but the HDD that this system was using failed on me, and all of my existing IDE drives are very slow, so waiting on some cash to get a sata controller for this rig. http://imgur.com/a/7GRZp
Posted 2017-04-25 12:25 PM (#533 - in reply to #531) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Hull, UK
When the Athlon was fading from relevance and the later Pentium IV and Athlon 64 processors were taking over I knew someone with an Athlon MP. It had already been replaced so he used it for testing more than anything and I don't remember much about it, but I do remember it not POSTing when he installed a DireWire card in all but one slot, a problem shared by my UP nForce 2 boards. I can only speculate that it has something to do with slot sharing or bus mastering. I also remember how it continually had this lingering smell of magic smoke that never resulted in anything, but did make everyone nervous when it was running.
Looks like an interesting system despite its problems, I have to admit that I find it intriguing how my lone 2800+ can outpace it in 3DMark. I also find it quite strange how the Barton 2800+ MP appears to be identically specced as well as being significantly older, yet has a lower TDP rating. I have to wonder if indeed the GPU is skewing this somewhat as it wasn't really made for older AGP slots and both the hardware and drivers probably aimed more at performance in later DirectX versions.
I'd suggest using SATA/IDE adapters so you could use a SATA drive with the internal IDE, but they're not always reliable and you may as well just go with a card, you'll probably get better performance that way anyhow, especially as it likely opens up the option to use more readily available drives and even SSDs later on. SATA isn't even really out of place in an Athlon machine as it came in whilst they were around and it was implemented on some boards, usually not well, but it was there.
Posted 2017-04-25 5:20 PM (#536 - in reply to #535) Subject: RE: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
I am kind of wondering if the EVGA is enough PSU for this. I don't know how much these dual socket A boards depend on the +5 rail, the single Socket A really needs a lot on the +5 rail, but these dual boards with the ATX12 connector, not sure on that. The power supply used with these boards originally was 29A on the +5v rail and people were using the Antec 510 PSU. I am just thinking what you describe with the video card needing to be underclocked for stability, sounds like it might not be getting enough power with everything else going on. Could possibly also be something to do with the AGP Pro 50/100 slot that the Radeon doesn't like.
Not sure about the USB/PCI slot issue, but the manual states there are tight pci timings on this board. I don't know if that is playing a role or if it can be changed in the bios.
I have this board, but mine is the version just prior to this where it uses that damn ATXGES power supply that AMD thought was such a brilliant idea to develop, so I've never been able to try it out.
Posted 2017-04-25 6:23 PM (#537 - in reply to #536) Subject: RE: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Wigan, UK
waybacktech - 2017-04-25 5:20 PM
The power supply used with these boards originally was 29A on the +5v rail and people were using the Antec 510 PSU. I am just thinking what you describe with the video card needing to be underclocked for stability, sounds like it might not be getting enough power with everything else going on. Could possibly also be something to do with the AGP Pro 50/100 slot that the Radeon doesn't like.
I am going to try using another power supply, just to power the GPU (via the floppy connector) to test this theory out, as I was thinking it might be the case aswell. Though, I have tried running with a single CPU and it's just as unstable.
Posted 2017-04-25 7:02 PM (#538 - in reply to #537) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Hull, UK
I did ponder that but noticed what appears to be an ATX12V connector. Then again, I heard some single CPU boards had the connector by practically did nothing with it, still powering the CPU and all from the 5V rail and using the 12V connector for pointless reasons, so it's not impossible that such oddities exist on SMP motherboards.
Your idea is worth a shot. I used to do that with the 9600GSO in my Presler workstation when the old PSU wasn't pushing as hard as it once did, I used an old µATX supply which was bolted into the bottom of the case and triggered it with a relay. Ultimately I replaced this setup but it worked until I could get a more healthy supply.
Posted 2017-05-03 2:25 AM (#550 - in reply to #538) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Wigan, UK
So, after some playing around with another PSU (with a much stronger 5V rail) I've realised that it isn't a power draw issue. What it seems to be is that well, this HD3650 really does need the full 8X bandwidth speed to operate properly, and seems to be choking the AGP controller in some way or another. Running 3DMark2001 at lower settings yields much, much higher performance (10k points @ 640x480), though the GPU really shouldn't be a bottleneck. The same happens with Quake 3, if I disable the cache (I assume it means the AGP memory cache, or something like that) Q3A Timedemo scores almost 133fps with SMP enabled, unlike with the cache enabled, where SMP in Q3Demo would cause a full lock up.
I have a Geforce 6600 currently in the mail, which should work with this board just fine, but I'll have to see.
Posted 2017-05-03 6:25 PM (#552 - in reply to #551) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Wigan, UK
Of course. I guess this board really just doesnt like these later Radeon cards, well, my Visiontek HD3650 atleast. I know a guy who has used his HD4670 on this board with little-no issues, though did have awful graphics performance in a lot of games/benchmarks.
Hopefully this 6600 works out for me, as I'll be able to use 98/2K on this system, as the HD3650 only has driver support for XP and above.
Posted 2017-05-05 8:34 PM (#560 - in reply to #552) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
I am noticing various problems with 8X AGP video cards in general with the AMD 762. My radeon 3650 has some visual glitches when moving the mouse around, and the driver isn't even installed at this point because I am using W2K and not been able to find a driver that will install. My 7800GS randomly shuts itself down, screen goes black. System isn't frozen or anything, just the card quits. Occasionally it will come back on but not usually. I have to force 2X agp in the bios for the card to work, even still, the graphics are totally broken in 3DMARK2001. The AGP miniport driver does play a factor because with that not installed, the video card works perfect, 3DMARK scores also go up a few hundred points when it is not installed, however, Quake 3 actually loses about 10fps when in SMP so the miniport driver is definitely a needed thing for performance, even though it doesn't reflect that in 3DMARK. I have had no problems with any 4x agp cards however.
Just FYI, My pair of 1600+ Mp's are pulling 190FPS in quake 3 smp with the 7800GS.
Quake 3 occasionally freezing with SMP enabled happens on the Tualatins as well, so it's not an AMD SMP thing
After patches and mods to Windows 2000, it plays Youtube pretty decently too.
Posted 2017-05-06 1:52 AM (#563 - in reply to #560) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Ok Rob, I have what I feel is the answer now to your question, along with card recommendation.
After trying several AGP cards, and having issues with only 8x cards, I noticed one common theme.
I dug out my Geforce 6800GT AGP card, which is an 8x card, gave it a go, and absolutely no problems in the
The answer Rob is this, all ATI cards after the 9800 series, and all nvidia cards after 6800 series that were produced are what I call "fake" agp cards. Fake agp cards are cards that actually have native PCI-E GPU's but use the AGP to PCI-E bridge, located somewhere on the card. ATI liked putting it on the back side most of the time, raw dog to the world with a little red thermal pad around it. nVidia cards usually on the gpu side, under a heatsink, separate from, or the same HSF used to cool the GPU. It is that bridge that is causing the problems with the AGP controller. Running the bus at 2x speed sort of works but that is not really a fix in my mind, not to mention, in my case that still causes graphic errors in 3dmark 2001.
Now, the 6600 you purchased is one of those "fake" cards. The 6 series era was when manufacturers started doing that, even though the true native AGP variant existed. There are real 6600's however, and finding one without the bridge should be pretty easy. You are looking for an NV40 GPU in any case, which went all the way up to the 6800 ultra extreme.
On the ATI side of things, 9800XT or Pro is all you are going to get that is still a true native AGP GPU.
Here are a couple screen shots of what my MP is scoring with the 6800gt.
Posted 2017-05-06 10:10 PM (#565 - in reply to #563) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Georgia, USA
I guess it's a good thing I just so happen to have a NV40 6800GT that I was going to send him anyway!
I remember offering it to Rob when he was first having issues with the HD3650 (that I sent him way back in 2015 when his main system was still a P4) saying that it would probably work much better than the 3650 with that chipset as I remember cards with the bridge chip being finicky about what they like to work on.
Posted 2017-05-13 10:55 PM (#586 - in reply to #531) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Wigan, UK
Nice board, if I recall this is the ealier version of the board I own. Also these boards seem to be really compatible with older Voodoos, like the 5500 and even 6000, if you're lucky enough to own one.
Posted 2017-05-13 11:14 PM (#588 - in reply to #531) Subject: Re: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Hull, UK
Indeed, and Tyan too, generally good boards.
Of course, I'd side with a 4 Ti for a machine like that, but a Voodoo 5500/6000 would certainly appeal to the wonderful completely pointlessly and overblown factor which such machines exhibit. I mean, if you're going to do something, overdo it, right?
Posted 2017-05-14 12:56 AM (#590 - in reply to #531) Subject: RE: Dual K7 beast - "Shambler"
Location: Wigan, UK
I've recently mounted two matching 80mm fans onto the heatsinks, using cable ties. The thing is pretty quiet now, only a little louder than my main system honestly. Also running a different PSU with a much stronger 5v rail than the EVGA one I previously used, which doesn't really make anything anymore stable, but it's more suited to being in here due to having a ton of molex connectors. Once I get the 6800 from SparksF0x things should be a lot faster, the performance of this system is pretty poor in it's current state.
Huh, I'm quite surprised I never came across these myself (I've visited this site before, though)
I'll give them a try sometime in the future, I've given up on using the HD3650 on this system (I'm starting to question if the card itself is defective, as I have to underclock it on another motherboard, too.)