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100 mhz bus or 66mhz

Posted on 1998-06-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I'm thinking of upgrading to a P2 and that smart thing would appear to be to get a BX chipset with a 100 mhz bus as they don't seem too much more expensive than a 66mhz. But..... I can only afford a 233 processor at the moment as 350 or 400's are silly money. Would a 233 work on a 100 bus. Also can I use the same PSU as I've already got on my p133.
ON A completely different theme, a friend of mine want's my old P133 motherboard to upgrade his DX4 100 commodore computer. Will his use the same PSU as mine and if not, will a new one for him be expensive.
thanks everyone
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Question by:dogberry
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mikecr earned 30 total points
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All Pentium II processors are designed to run on a 100mhz bus so that part wouldn't matter. The problem is the motherboard configuration. You would need to get an ATX case to be able to use the new motherboard configuration. Since would have to go this route then I would reccommend just pulling everything that you want to keep, i.e., the video card, modem, cdrom and such, and selling him or giving him your case with the motherboard already in it. You might as well give him the memory chips that you have on board also because they are probably 72 pin simms and the new PII boards only take SDRAM or DIMMS. PII's can be quite expensive but the good part about it is if you want to upgrade your 233 processor later, then all you have to do is unplug the old one and plug the new one in and your up and going already. I hope this answers your question. If you need any more information please let me know.

Good Luck!
Mike
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by:jhance
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"All Pentium II processors are designed to run on a 100mhz bus so that part wouldn't matter"

This is baloney, please reject mikecr's answer.

The REAL answer to your question is that you can configure a BX chipset MB to run the memory bus at 66MHz instead of 100MHz.  You may want to go ahead and buy the (about 2X more expensive) 100MHz SDRAM and then run it at 66MHz with your 266 PII.  When you get a new 350/400/450MHz PII, you can then switch the SDRAM bus to run at 100MHz.  

You might want to note that SOME PII 266Mhz may run OK with their memory bus at 100MHz but this is by no means a sure thing.  You also risk cooking your PII and voiding it's warranty.
I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying understand the risk to your wallet if you do.

As far as your PS situation, if you get a standard AT configuration BX motherboard (there are a few out there) then you can.  Most PII (and therefore BX) motherboards are ATX and need a different case and PS.  You old system may be ATX as Pentium systems were made both ways.
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by:mikecr
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After some investigating, I did make a mistake. Not all Pentium II processors can run on a 100mhz bus. Only the 350mhz and above processors will work on the 100mhz front side bus that is supported by the BX chipset. This could get kind of expensive though if your going to pay the xtra money for the 100mhz SDRAM that you can use later when you upgrade your processor. Have you thought about the Socket 7 compatible chips that IBM is coming out with that are socket 7 compatible that will run in the 800 to 1000mhz range?

Thanks,
Mike
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by:mikecr
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Oh, and by the way, Jhance don't be so ignorant when voicing your opinion. People are alowed to make mistakes but I guess you don't!

Mike
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by:dogberry
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Thanks for your help guys. But how do I find out if I have an ATX motherboard at the moment and what does it all mean anyway.
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by:mikecr
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I would have to say that if you have a socket 7 motherboard(which I'm sure your's is being a pentium 133) then you have a 95% chance of it being regular AT and not ATX. An ATX board is a bit longer than an AT to accomodate the new CPU configuration for a PII class processor. Like I stated before, for this to be painless, I would reccommend getting a Barebones kit that includes the motherboard, memory, case and power supply and maybe even a video card and swapping out your hard drive and sound card and other components that you have into this new kit. When you get the kit, it will already be assembled and all you will have to do is install your other components like the hard drive and such. I would also reccommend that you reinstall the operating system if you have Windows 95 or NT so that you can be sure that you don't have to wade through 100 different problems making everything work during the switch.
You will save money in the long run by buying the barebones kit and not each component at a time and you can probably make half your money back by selling your old pc to your friend. Like I brought to light before, you may want to hang on just a bit before you buy to see if IBM will be coming out with their new 800mhz and 1000mhz processors. These particular chips will be socket 7 compatible and will blow away the PII processors. But if they don't come out in time for you then the PII will suffice. Intel will be coming out with stuff that's better and faster anyway.
If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Good luck!
Mike
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by:Shrike
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It is possible to run older (below 350 MHz) chips at the full 100 MHz of the BX motherboard.  Intel uses one pin to to set the bus speed to 66 or 100 MHz, by putting nail polish or tape over that pin the motherboard is tricked into believeing that the chip is faster.  For full details see http://www.tomshardware.com/Celeronto100.html

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by:dogberry
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Mikecr.....What are these new 800mhz chips your'e talking about. I haven't heard of them. Will they have mmx instructions and cache etc.
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by:mikecr
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IBM, trying to keep up with Intel, is in the process of making history. While trying to patent their new Micron process for chip design, they will be creating the fastest chips on the market. The Micron process for the PII processors and below has been limited to .25 and above. IBM's new process will surpass that limitation and create a .22 and below Micron process. This enables the chips to run at 800 and 1000mhz respectively. These chips will be socket 7 compatible by design and will run on a 100mhz bus on a standart AT board. There supposedly, from what I read, won't be any limitations but I can't see how you can get superior speed if the memory chips can't keep up. You may want to go to IBM's web site and check it out for yourself. By shielding the chip and cutting down the actual size of the Micron process (data bus within the chip) it is feasible that they could even reach the 2000mhz range but if the shielding wasn't enough, then the processor would interfere with other components in the computer because of the signal strenght that it would be giving off. Oh, the chips are supposedly supposed to be out by no later than the end of July, but I wouldn't hold my breath because you'd be dead before you could enjoy it. Any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks,
Mike
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by:dogberry
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Thanks for all your help mike
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by:mikecr
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Your more than welcome sir! If you have any more questions, you know where you can find us.

Good Luck!
Mike
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