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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Pentium 66 MHz vs 75 MHz shoot out

Everybody knows the P75 is better right? The 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 [...]

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VLB VGA Group Test

This is my ongoing project to assess the performance of various VESA Local Bus cards. Management summary In DOS type of use, which is defined as CPU originated low-resolution memory writes to Video RAM through VGA registers, there is only a little difference between various VL-BUS cards. Some chip designs are more optimised than others [...]

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L2 Size Cache Benchmarks

In this article I upgraded my ECS Si5PI motherboard to whooping 2MB of L2 cache. I was interested to see how much improvement the extra cache brings. I remember reading advice in old Pentium era magazines that further cache upgrades beyond 256kB give only small returns. So let's find out. The testbed is as follows: [...]

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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 [...]

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