[SOLVED] Dual Pentium III graphics upgrade

Matthew Renna

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Hi everyone,
I have an oppertunity to pick up a IBM eServer xSeries 200 for cheap. It has dual Pentium III's at 1ghz with 1gb of ram and 3x36 10k rmp SCSI drives.
The only problem is it doesn't have an agp slot, it only has pci slots.
I want to put a decent pci gpu in it, such as the gt 610, but I'm worried that the pci bus will bottleneck the heck out of the card.
I was just wondering how much the pci bus will impact performance of any graphics card that I put it?
Should I just find a machine that has an agp slot instead?

Many thanks
 
Hi everyone,
I have an oppertunity to pick up a IBM eServer xSeries 200 for cheap. It has dual Pentium III's at 1ghz with 1gb of ram and 3x36 10k rmp SCSI drives.
The only problem is it doesn't have an agp slot, it only has pci slots.
I want to put a decent pci gpu in it, such as the gt 610, but I'm worried that the pci bus will bottleneck the heck out of the card.
I was just wondering how much the pci bus will impact performance of any graphics card that I put it?
Should I just find a machine that has an agp slot instead?

Many thanks
There's been some interesting vids about this regarding using PCI graphics cards for retro gaming builds...

For example:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAcMvJSMWIs


I guess it all depends on what you want to get out of the machine, what operating system you intend to use and such... I mean the faster PCI cards are ample for most games up into the mid 2000's.... and whilst the PCI bus will bottleneck the card, so will the 1ghz Pentium 3.

Also keep in mind if you want to go for a period correct card, then really a P3 should be paired with something like a Voodoo 3 - and those work fine on PCI as they weren't fast enough to require AGP anyway.

Edit: Also if you are looking to get older drivers for cards for Win 98 SE / XP then I reccommend looking at Phils Computer Lab:
https://www.philscomputerlab.com/

He has an archive of old drivers as the options available direct from AMD / nVidia are limited (he also has a number of chipset drivers and so on, really helpful when setting up a retro build).
 
Hi everyone,
I have an oppertunity to pick up a IBM eServer xSeries 200 for cheap. It has dual Pentium III's at 1ghz with 1gb of ram and 3x36 10k rmp SCSI drives.
The only problem is it doesn't have an agp slot, it only has pci slots.
I want to put a decent pci gpu in it, such as the gt 610, but I'm worried that the pci bus will bottleneck the heck out of the card.
I was just wondering how much the pci bus will impact performance of any graphics card that I put it?
Should I just find a machine that has an agp slot instead?

Many thanks
There's been some interesting vids about this regarding using PCI graphics cards for retro gaming builds...

For example:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAcMvJSMWIs


I guess it all depends on what you want to get out of the machine, what operating system you intend to use and such... I mean the faster PCI cards are ample for most games up into the mid 2000's.... and whilst the PCI bus will bottleneck the card, so will the 1ghz Pentium 3.

Also keep in mind if you want to go for a period correct card, then really a P3 should be paired with something like a Voodoo 3 - and those work fine on PCI as they weren't fast enough to require AGP anyway.

Edit: Also if you are looking to get older drivers for cards for Win 98 SE / XP then I reccommend looking at Phils Computer Lab:
https://www.philscomputerlab.com/

He has an archive of old drivers as the options available direct from AMD / nVidia are limited (he also has a number of chipset drivers and so on, really helpful when setting up a retro build).
 

Matthew Renna

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Jan 24, 2017
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There's been some interesting vids about this regarding using PCI graphics cards for retro gaming builds...

For example:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAcMvJSMWIs


I guess it all depends on what you want to get out of the machine, what operating system you intend to use and such... I mean the faster PCI cards are ample for most games up into the mid 2000's.... and whilst the PCI bus will bottleneck the card, so will the 1ghz Pentium 3.

Also keep in mind if you want to go for a period correct card, then really a P3 should be paired with something like a Voodoo 3 - and those work fine on PCI as they weren't fast enough to require AGP anyway.

Edit: Also if you are looking to get older drivers for cards for Win 98 SE / XP then I reccommend looking at Phils Computer Lab:
https://www.philscomputerlab.com/

He has an archive of old drivers as the options available direct from AMD / nVidia are limited (he also has a number of chipset drivers and so on, really helpful when setting up a retro build).
Hi, thank you. Basically I wanted to get the best performance possible out of the system. So even if I got a fast pci card, the CPU would bottleneck it so the pci bus won't really matter?
Do you have any recommendations for faster pci graphics card that would take full advantage of the system?
 

Matthew Renna

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Jan 24, 2017
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"best performance possible"

For what use?
Just fooling around and playing mid-late 2000s games, also possibly seeing how well it handles the modern web. This isn't a system being used for anything useful, just something to have fun with. I just wanted to max out this systems capabilities and see what it was capable of.
 

USAFRet

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Just fooling around and playing mid-late 2000s games, also possibly seeing how well it handles the modern web. This isn't a system being used for anything useful, just something to have fun with. I just wanted to max out this systems capabilities and see what it was capable of.
Don't worry about the concept of "bottleneck". The CPU will be your limfac. It is what it is.
Find the best PCI GPU that will work within the power supply, and go for it.
 
Pentium 3 will be more suitable for late 90s and early 2000s games.

The GT610 PCI is nearly impossible to find, and even then it's very heavily bottlenecked by the PCI interface.

You can find an 8400gs PCI somewhat easier. It's an entry level card from the mid 2000s time period
 
Thank you all! Yeah I'm going to have to look for a sutible pci card. I'll probably for whatever I can get for a reasonable price.
For the age of machine, honestly a PCI FX 5500 (which are still sold as new pretty cheaply) would be ample. The only downside to going with the FX 5000 series card is they have terrible DX9 support (technically they can run DX9 games, but it's limited, the Geforce FX cards do perform well in DX 8.1 titles though which is more relevant for a PIII based machine anyway). The alternative is the PCI Geforce 6200, which will have better DX9 support.

That machine isn't really suitable for late 2000s games though as other have said, remember by the end of the 2000's we were on dual / quad core systems running at 3+ghz (Athlon 64 came out in 2006).

I have a Pentium 4 1.8ghz machine setup as a retro gamer and that cannot handle games later than ~ 2003 (I actually use this more for a bit of music production with a late 90's Midi keyboard but I have run a few older games on it). I'm not sure dual P3's would fare much better.

Edit: Link to FX 5500:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-FX5500-256MB-128bit-PCI-DDR-VGA-S-Video-Video-Card-FX-5500-3D/153180517459?hash=item23aa453453:g:DHgAAOSwIFRbm8Pt
 

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