View Full Version : 512K PL-B L2 cache on generic Triton-430FX mbd.

09-01-2000, 01:44 AM
So I'm trying to update my old desktop Pent-1 120 Mhz to Win'98, 10 GB WD-EZDrive h/d, etc.

(Okay, finish laughing, and please regain your composure to answer my query)

The system has: 60MHz FSB, 48MB 60ns SIMM SDRAM, 8KB/8KB on processor L1 cache, Fugu Tech Mbd with Award BIOS ver 4.50 Triton-2A59CF54C-00.

I ordered a 512K Pipeline Burst cache module(Kingston P/N CTP512K/8) figuring all I had to do was plug it in and away I go. The thing wouldn't even boot -- h/d nor diskette! Although, the initial boot-up/BIOS table "sees" the cache, and recognizes it as 512KB. I did notice that depending on whether I en/dis-abled the external cache it was reporting a different size for my hard-drive.

Anybody have any suggestions in terms of:

1 - BIOS Setup settings?

2 - Will the 256K PL-B cache module work?

As for upgrading the BIOS, I have no confidence whatsoever in the dinky manual that came with the computer. FYI, Fugu Tech is out of business -- I wonder why?

Thanks in advance.

Charles Kozierok
09-01-2000, 12:13 PM
Sorry to hear about the troubles. Unfortunately, PLB cache modules are not universal - there are different types. What you should do is contact someone that sells them, and see if you can get them to specify a module particular to your board.

It might be that the 256 k module will be a different type and will work, but if it is the same the results will be as well. http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/frown.gif

Does the board currently have no cache at all?

Also, look for a jumper on the board that may be required to enable the cache module, I have seen those before.

Good luck.

Charles M. Kozierok ( ixlubb@PCGuide.com )
Webslave, The PC Guide (http://www.PCGuide.com)
Comprehensive PC Reference, Troubleshooting, Optimization and Buyer's Guides...

09-01-2000, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the suggestions.

I tried again last night, and only got the system to boot with the external PL-B L2 Cache WHEN the CPU Internal L1 Cache was DISABLED. Seems the External L2 cache is conflicting with the CPU Internal L1 cache. FYI, the on-chip 16KB L1 cache makes the system much faster than the external 512KB L2 cache (given my "either-or" predicament).

I guess I'm left with the conclusions that either the Mbd chipset doesn't support both L1 and L2 caches, or that the 4.50G Award BIOS isn't using the chipset fully. The first option would be to build a new desktop system (which I prefer to delay another year since I bought a 366 NB ten months ago), and the second would be to flash the BIOS (which isn't a good proposition based on the sketchy documentation I have for my system).

One last question: Here are the chips that comprise my mbd - N-bridge SB82437FX66, PIIX SB82371FB, DRAM data port 2x S82438FX. (Basically 1st generation Triton 430FX)

??? Does anyone have the same thing AND are USING BOTH the L1 and L2 caches???

No rush for an answer, I won't be flashing my BIOS until I'm close to building my new kick-#$*& system!

OKAY, now where did I put that Evergreen tel. no.? ;-)

09-02-2000, 02:32 AM
I have a 430FX motherboard running a P150 with 256K of PL-B L2 cache and it works fine. My Award BIOS version is 4.50PG dated December 1995.

Son of Zeus
09-02-2000, 04:11 AM
Can't offer u a lot of assistance. But for the record my i486DX4-S/100MHz PC has the same BIOS as yours.

After upgrading to 32MB FPM RAM & installing two larger, faster Seagate hard drives I still manage to run the following software quite comfortably:
 Windows 98 Second Edition (Build 4.10.2222 A);
 Internet Explorer v.5.5 & Internet Tools;
 Office 97 (SR2B) Professional Edition;
 Norton 2000 Anti-Virus;
 PartitionMagic v.5.01 (Build 195);
 Adobe Acrobat v.4.05c;
 Sharp ZQ-700 Electronic Organiser Connectivity Software.
 Encarta 95;
 Cinemania 95.

I go anywhere & everywhere I want on the WWW on a 56K modem, averaging 150-200 Hours per Month online. As Charles notes in The PC Guide the speed of your processor has little bearing on a PC's ability to use the Net.

Can u flash that BIOS? I'm in the process of trying to find info on it as I want to update my Hard Drives to newer, faster ones (again). So I will follow your upgrades with interest.



09-03-2000, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the info, my PC's BIOS has a date of 7/31/95 -- older than yours.

Anyways, I just bought an Evergreen MxPro 200 upgrade with full warranty and tech support. Also saw that they had a Cyrix 6x86L-166 closeout for 20 bucks, but no warranty nor tech support. Actually my present P-120 (overclocked from 100) works great for most of the stuff I do on the desktop except when ripping and encoding my CDs to MP3s -- there's noticeable clipping.

As for larger HD support, my motherboard documentation states that the BIOS can only handle up to 8.4GB, so I'm relying on Western Digital's EZ-BIOS. It loads between the regular BIOS and the OS, thus modifying stuff so the full capacity of the drive is used. Some tech support site told me EZ-BIOS works on Quantum drives (probably Seagate also), and it's a free download at "wdc.com". If that doesn't work, Unicore (unicore.com) offers an ISA card that adds a new BIOS to recognize larger drives -- that's right ISA, no need to waste a PCI slot. BTW, if you get one of those high RPM (>=7200) drives, lot of tech site's recommend you buy a cooler. Will probably get one for my 10GB 5400 rpm WD since I hope to have it for a very long time -- media files should be stored on CDs!

As for flashing my current BIOS, I'm leaning against it. If it gets screwed up, my only options would be to buy a cheap BAT motherboard on an auction site (or hope my system has BIOS boot block and scrounge around for an ISA video card!). If anyone wants to flash his/her BIOS, go to http://www.motherboards.com/bios.html there's a link there to Wim's site in Belgium with lots of info (incl. the AWARD BIOS flasher, and AWARD's ".bin" archive).

Hope this helps.

Son of Zeus
09-03-2000, 06:44 PM

not really experienced with the "flashing of BIOSs" but after much research online (towards designing my next system) I would hesitate to do it unless I had one of the newer motherboards that provides u with a BIOS backup.

Thus if the flash doesn't work or IF YOU PICK UP A VIRUS & you end up with a corrupted BIOS u have the backup to use to boot your system & copy the original one back from the Secondary to the Primary BIOS.

This I consider to be an excellent improvement & a definite must have in my next system.

Regard.......Son of Zeus.