Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs
RaptorZX3
Posted 2017-06-04 4:59 AM (#677)
Subject: Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs


Slow 8088

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For those who like the Pentium 3 procesors, try to keep an eye on those IBM Netvista A40 computers, they can be in tower or desktop configurations.

The Desktop one is actually inside a low-profile-like case with a tiny low-profile network card that goes in the 2nd PCI slot with an extra extension on the slot (regular PCI + extension for that proprietary network card), you can just take the board out and put it inside a MicroATX case.

Since it have an Intel 815 chipset on it, you can use a Pentium 3 Tualatin up to 1.4Ghz, but you might like to use thermal glue + heatsink for the chipset since it would most likely NOT have a heatsink on it.

i have an IBM Netvista A40 "Type 6648" board here, one thing that's annoying and i can't do a thing about it, is everytime i power on, or reboot the computer, the BIOS give me an error that wouldn't appear if i would keep the default CPU on it, so the error is kinda bogus, i just select "exit setup", the computer work just fine and shows the real CPU and speed in CPU-Z, it's just the BIOS being stupid i guess...
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-06-04 3:22 PM (#679 - in reply to #677)
Subject: Re: Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs



Pentium II

Posts: 457
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Location: Hull, UK
Never seen one of these in the wild at all. Government buildings here use either Dell (Offices, Council, Medical, Infrastructure) RM (Education - Primary and below) or Stone (Education - Secondary, Higher, Further) and there are few other places where large numbers of machines are found. Nonetheless, I shall keep my eyes open in case one shows up on the curb or something.

I expect your error is due to missing microcode in the BIOS. I'm not sure how to go about fixing that on a machine like that, as I'd guess IBM used a customized BIOS, but it probably won't cause any problems if you're willing to ignore the message anyway.

Admittedly I have no desire to run Tualatin's myself, I've always been happy with my Coppermines, they were fast enough at 750MHz and now at 1100MHz I can't find any reason to go faster as my Athlon fills that gap nicely. There was also the thing of 815 chipsets having some kind of deliberate crippling over the 440BX (In my case 440GX, basically the same) that I've always wondered about, as in, did it negate any advantage the faster CPUs might have offered... I dunno. Still, worth knowing and welcome to the forum.
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RaptorZX3
Posted 2017-06-05 10:48 PM (#681 - in reply to #677)
Subject: Re: Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs


Slow 8088

Posts: 3
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The biggest thing is the fact that the Pentium 3-S Tualatin actually have 512kb of L2 cache instead of 256kb.

Edited by RaptorZX3 2017-06-06 1:34 AM
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Loktai
Posted 2017-07-04 12:43 AM (#787 - in reply to #681)
Subject: Re: Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs


Fujitsu 186

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I have a P3-500 that I thought had that much cache. unsure. Its in my ibm 300PL

I know there is a pentium3-866 or something like that sitting out in the warehouse someplace. I should go try to take a look at it.
Im pretty sure its a netvista desktop. Im sure nobody will miss it if I take it to play with a bit. There is also a Pentium pro desktop there.
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Loktai
Posted 2018-06-23 7:09 PM (#1308 - in reply to #677)
Subject: RE: Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs


Fujitsu 186

Posts: 10
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So....

I have to say I feel terrible digging up this thread but I have an update. I did end up taking that Pentium III from the warehouse. Unfortunately it seems to have a bad system board as it reboots constantly even
when using different ram, different CPU or removing or disabling certain components, even with nothing in any slots using onboard video etc. Fortunately I WAS able to order another board for $12 USD but it hasnt
arrived yet.

What I can tell you though is that not all A40s are Tualatin compatible. The one I have has the i815 chip but only a stepping A. The Stepping B is required for use with Tualatin and the stepping A can only be used
with the use of a Tualatin adapter (which have become exceedingly rare) and even then its hit or miss depending on the BIOS of the system.

I will keep an eye out for a Netvista board with this i815e or B stepping i815 and see if that crops up but just as a heads up, not all of these A40s are created equal. I do have both an 866 and 1ghz P3 chip to put in there
so I will mess with that for fun, because lets be honest while the Tualatin was a beast and would have dethroned the Athlon T-Bird if it werent out of most peoples price range- the 1ghz coppermine isnt a slouch either
and especially when coupled with a videocard that is newer than the system like say a Geforce 4 ti or a Radeon 9600, 9700 etc it can do some serious gaming. I just happen to have an MX440 and a Geforce 4 ti4400
laying around.... so Ill see where that takes me once the new board arrives.




Edited by Loktai 2018-06-23 7:11 PM
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DXZeff
Posted 2018-06-24 10:23 PM (#1310 - in reply to #1308)
Subject: Re: Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs



Pentium II

Posts: 457
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Location: Hull, UK
Don't worry about it.

Sounds to me like either the capacitors have gone bad (this would have been just in the era of the 'capacitor plague' after all) or the PSU is going out.
Oddly the subject of Tualatins has been cropping up a lot lately elsewhere, in my case that I have owned or own various boards that are reported to work with them, are even demonstrated working with them, and yet none of mine will. Even with a BIOS update the most I ever got was an Asus board that made burning smells and never came back on.
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GlitchHiker
Posted 2019-05-06 5:01 PM (#1595 - in reply to #677)
Subject: Re: Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs


Harris 286

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I think I got hold of one of these in the minitower model back in the day. I remember it seemed "surprisingly" recent for how little I got it for, but P4 was the big noise. Think I got it CPUless. Now the catch was it had intel graphics, no AGP. I think this was very early noughts. Geeks had a ghz, but normal computing still chugged along on a few hundred. I slapped a 433 Mendocino in it "vidpinned" (Probably actually the FID pin b26 was it??) to 100Mhz and it ran that little celly balls to the wall at 650 for 5 years. I gave it to a fam member with usual instructions to send it back when no longer required, but it didn't get back. Otherwise that might have got tualeron-ed. No sign of cap fail on that one, at least it sailed through the period where systems in daily use were popping. Swapped out tually motherboards in a couple of Acers for that though, still got those boards to recap somewhere.

I think that one might have been an A rev chipset though, I was looking for tualatin boards around that time, but mostly I had abysmal luck with tually stuff. Think I've got a 1.1 or 1.2 CPU still that I never determined for sure if it worked or didn't. I know right, why didn't I recap those Acer takeouts, probably because it fell in the gap between "useful on current workloads" and "old enough to be vintagely interesting" . I guess you could still get stuff done on a well sorted tually with lightweight OS, but one gets to "I've got 10 faster CPU/mobo combos to mess with by now so why bother." for the daily drivery tasks.

Were those slot 1 desktop case IBMs with the blue accent swoopy front Netvistas? I think you can still buy those by the palette load, system integrators were fobbing those off on unsuspecting corps well into the 00s... though to be fair they were mostly replacing 386 and 486 boxes that were being used as terminals mostly, they wanted shit that barely ran 2000 or XP for the up to date security/networking then bunged it in console terminal mode to connect to the database on the big iron.

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DXZeff
Posted 2019-05-06 5:37 PM (#1596 - in reply to #1595)
Subject: Re: Tualatin fans: Keep an eye for IBM Netvista A40 PCs



Pentium II

Posts: 457
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Location: Hull, UK
I gave up on the Tualatin platform some time ago, it just doesn't seem to be worth the headaches which come with it. Intel crippled their chipsets on purpose, the other chipsets are full of issues, the CPU wasn't even for sale at retail back then and the K7 wasn't really all that expensive to get into.

Currently there isn't a single running P3 in the building as the Coppermine system I had died and I know any replacement would just seem lacking by comparison.
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