The perfect Pentium

In mid-'90s buyers could find themselves having surprisingly many options when it comes to buying a Pentium-class CPU. The original Socket 4 60 and 66 MHz Pentiums were replaced by more efficient 90 and 100 MHz models for Socket 5, but some old stock was still available for some time. Shortly after that Intel introduced [...]

Intel 430FX Triton L2 Cache

I've recently acquired an interesting motherboard with Intel 430FX Triton chipset. It has a feature I particularly wanted - sockets for asynchronous SRAM chips as well as a slot for COAST modules. Due to this, it allows for an interesting comparison of these two cache technologies. Test environment: Freetech 485F61 motherboard in different cache configurationsIntel [...]

Early Pentium Chipsets

In this post, I am comparing several options from the first wave of Pentium chipsets. The subject of the test is loosely defined as Socket 4 and Socket 5 PCI chipsets from Intel and other vendors from the 1993-1995 period. Specifically the following chipsets will be compared: Intel 430LX (Mercury)Intel 430NX (Neptune)Intel 430FX (Triton)Intel 430HX [...]

Pentium Overdrive Competition

Let's say you have four retro systems: Socket 3 - 486DX2-66 P24D on MSI4144 board with SiS496 chipsetSocket 4 - Pentium-60 P5 on Intel Batman's Revenge board, 430LX chipsetSocket 5 - Pentium-75 P54C on Intel Plato board, 430NX chipsetSocket 7 - Pentium-120 P54CQS on Gigabyte GA-586HX board with 430HX chipset Original systems They share the [...]

Pentium 66 MHz vs 75 MHz shoot out

Everybody knows the P75 is better right? Triton bonus Most benchmarks comparing these two are biased in favour of the P75 by running it with a mature P54-era chipset, such as the Intel 430FX (Triton). The Triton chipset was a big hit. It introduced pipelined-burst L2 cache significantly improving performance. Also present was EDO RAM [...]

VLB VGA Group test

This is an on-going project to assess the performance of various VESA Local Bus cards. Contenders SPEA V7 Mirage The first card in my roundup is SPEA made V7 Mirage based on S3 805 chipset. This was one of the better early VL-Bus VGA chipsets. The cards also come with 1 MB DRAM of relatively [...]

ECS SI5PI 2MB L2 cache upgrade

I've just got my hands on this beautiful Socket 4 motherboard - the ELITEGROUP (ECS) model SI5PI. The motherboard is using SiS 501 series chipset. It has one really unique feature - 16 DIP sockets for L2 cache + 2 extra sockets for cache tag chips. Furthermore, all these sockets are DIP32 sockets. That means [...]