Mini upgrade for an olllllddd system

Hey all,

I have got my hands on an older system that I will be using for about 6 months b4 i build a brand new one. It is a Compaq (shudder) with an AMD k6 533 mghtz cpu, 128 meg ram, windows 98. Now i have 2 questions.

1. Upon entering the bios, I was unable to find a way to disable integrated graphics. I have been in the bios of several other system mbs, and have found the means to disable, but for this particular system , I see nothing except the video memory size config. Anyone have any ideas? Does this mean that one cannot put in a video card?

2. There is no AGP slot, so it has to be a PCI card. I saw a couple of cards, around 30$ or so, one had 128 meg ram but 64 bit mem interface, the other had 64 meg ram, 128 bit. Both are mx4000s. So seeing the crappy system it is, would it be better to go with the higher vram or higher bit bus?

I will be putting some more RAM in the computer (how much woulkd you all suggest I put in - i will be playing some older 3d games at low low quality)

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More about mini upgrade olllllddd system
  1. Any help? :cry:
  2. I'll look into it as someone recenetly gave me their old presario 7478 mini tower. It has a K63-533MHz in it. Maybe the same model as yours. I do remembering them telling me they had trouble disabling the integrated video and trying to use a PCI Radeon 7500 in it. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.
  3. Thanks i appreciate it :D
  4. I'd install unix and a coipy of Mame on it, or use it as a mail-server. It's painfully slow and no, the onboard video is your only option.
  5. Most Compaqs will make a PCI graphics card the primary display WITHOUT disabling the onboard graphics.

    If it doesn't make the PCI card the primary display, you can still use it, but you won't see the boot up screen. The easiest way to set it up in this case is to use a second monitor during the setup process and set the PCI display as primary in Windows. Once it's configured that way, everything should be fine using just one monitor, except of course the missing boot screen.
  6. ive personally tried on a couple old compaq for friends of mine

    1 model - no option to disable the onboard at all - but toss in a PCI card anyway like crashman said - no boot up screen

    other compaq i worked on had a jumper to disable it - find the model number and be prepared to search for a while (mabey you will get lucky) dig around on compaqs website - sometimes they have info on old systems there

    if you have to use a pci card without disabling the onboard - disable that video in the device manager in windows

    im thinking theres an FX5700 video card with PCI interface - might get the best of both worlds in your memory/bit path issue there (unless yur going for cheapest possible) some newer vid cards dont perform well with old CPUs anyway (always tons of things to concider)

    if yur using w98 i would say get 512 mb - might even concider using W2K - it works quite well on older CPUs/plus better support/better usage of available memory
  7. I also just inherited a Compaq 7478.

    Surely there must be a way to replace the BIOS in these things. It would make a decent client on my network. I am installing Debian Linux on it now. Seems to be going well. I tried Ubuntu earlier and it died at different places thru several attempts.

    Who made these motherboards? Was it Mitac?
  8. Why would you want to replace the BIOS?
  9. I wanted to get rid of the stupid Compaq BIOS. They only allow you very small control over settings and automatically load drivers for the on board hardware from a hidden partition on the harddrive.

    So I did it. I flashed the BIOS with that for the Mitac 5114vu board. Seems to have worked like a champ. I now have full control over the BIOS.

    BTW, I also found a PDF copy of the manual for this board.
  10. Quote:

    If the video RAM size and BIOS setting
    are not EXACTLY the same, your system
    will very likely be unstable.

  11. Wow, that has to be the BEST explanation I've EVER read for AGP Aperture. Bravo for finding it!
  12. Why the Carriage return fixation? I've noticed that on all your posts... Or is your monitor 6" wide, so it looks vaguely normal to you?

    And yes, as the others have said, AGP apeture size won't have any bearing on stability (except where there's some sort of weird BIOS or hardware bug of course... but those could crop up from anything really)
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