Page 1 of 1

FIC VA-503+ and K6-2/450?

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:21 am
by bizzybody
I have a VA-503+ that I can't get through setup on 98SE without it crashing. The chip on it currently is a 450Mhz K6-III.

Think it might behave if I swapped in an ordinary K6-2 450? (I'm pretty certain it would only be worse with a K6-2+ 500!)

I'm not attempting to overclock, the goal is just to have one more box running 98SE for old games.

If I had 128megs of SIMMs for this board I'd try that instead of a single 128meg DIMM. I might try a pair of 64meg DIMMs. I just need to get the thing to *work*. If something has to be slowed down a little it won't matter much for the games that will be installed. (Starcraft, Age of Empires, Quake II etc.)

I had one of these boards back when they were new, ran a Pentium MMX 200 at 225 with SIMMs, rock solid all day long and with an STB Velocity Riva 128 (which had a 230Mhz RAMDAC- faster than the reference design) could run Quake II at 30fps 800x600). When I upgraded to one 64meg PC100 DIMM it would not overclock at all and was twitchy at normal speed.

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:35 am
by cp
get the latest bios from here:

maybe a bios update helps.

i'd check ram with memtest86+ first and make sure to have conservative settings for mixed model/make rams. check the voltage, fsb and the cooling.

oh, and try disabling the L2 cache which should become L3 cache then..maybe it doesn't like to be degraded that way ;)

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:52 am
by bizzybody
*smacks forehead* I never thought of disabling L2 cache with the K6-III. Perhaps it can be turned back on once 98SE makes it through setup, if that lets it get through setup.

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:40 pm
by Denniss
There are two versions of the K6-III (excluding the K6-III+). Please remember to set the correct VCore, either 2.4 Volt (early version) or 2.2 Volt.
The 2.4V version draws a lot of current and needs a good cooler. It may be good to have some airflow to the board's voltage regulators.

If you want to update Bios make sure you pick the right Bios version (Bios flashrom is soldere-on). If you are unsure which to pick give us your Bios-ID including the Bios OEM message (on boot just below the Award Logo on top left just above the memory test line)

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:25 pm
by cp
needs a god cooler
oh yes, it does :)

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:02 am
by bizzybody
I got it working after a game of musical CPUs... ;) I dropped a K6-2 450 in place of the K6-III (which CPU-Z says is a III+ even though the hear spreader is not marked as a III+).

The *later* version 1.2a with some certification sticker is supposedly able to handle the 2+, III and III+ chips. This one doesn't have that sticker. I read some mention of a modification to make the early 1.2a board work with those chips but couldn't find anything on how to do the mod.

The BIOS it has is the final beta 4333 or something like it.

The next trial was finding a videocard it would accept. It would not work properly at all with any nVidia TNT series or GeForce 2 or 4 I tried, but is working fine with an older ATi Rage 128. :)

So it's all fine now, except for some reason the ES-1370 based soundcard... doesn't. No audio output at all, no conflicts. BLEAH! Have to find a different card.

I think I shall name this PC "ARRRGGHHHH!!!$#&*€@!!" for all the frustration it has been.