lairdslair home TX97-E

 

 
I've had an old Asus TX97-E motherboard running in a second computer on my home network forK6-2 many years. The original processor, a Pentium 200MMX was still on the board without ever having having to utilize a hard drive recovery service.  I saw a page or something in a newsgroup about the ability of this board to run super 7 processors (100 Mhz) with a bios update and some new jumper settings.  While the TX97-E is not capable of a 100 Mhz bus speed, there are settings for 75 and 83 Mhz, as well as the default 66 Mhz speed used by the socket seven processors. I happened to have an AMD K2-500 CPU laying around so I decided to give it a go in the TX97-E.

 

Asus TX97-E motherboard BIOS version 0112e-1
with patch J.2 for AMD K6-2+ and K6-III+ support,
and for IDE HDDs up to 128GB (32GB bugfix).
06/25/2002
by Jan Steunebrink

The latest, and probably final, BIOS upgrade from Asus for the TX97-E is
version 0112e-1. This BIOS does not support the (mobile) K6-2+/III+ CPUs.
To overcome this problem, I have patched the 0112e-1 BIOS to include proper
recognition and handling of the K6-2+/III+.
I've made the following changes:
- Added detection of the K6-2+ and K6-III+ CPUs
- Expanded the various K6 support routines to be K6-2+/K6-III+ aware
- Changed the K6 Write Allocation feature to work also on the K6-2+/K6-III+
- Expanded the CPU Type display routine for correct display of the
AMD-K6(tm)-2+ and AMD-K6(tm)-III+ strings
- Added 6.0 x 75 (450MHz) and 6.0 x 83.3 (500MHz) CPU speed indication support for FSB overclocking.
Deleted the unused 50 and 60 MHz support to make room for this change.

In addition I have applied Petr Soucek's patch to remove the 32GB IDE harddisk
limit bug, and made another patch to remove an additional 64GB limit bug.
This patch J.2 BIOS supports now IDE drives upto 128GB, provided the harddisks
TYPE and MODE are set on Auto for drives larger than 64GB.
(Note: Due to another bug the BIOS SETUP hangs when manually inserting
HD parameters above 65535MB or when using the IDE HDD Auto Detection
function of the BIOS on drives larger than 64GB. Just set the Harddisks
TYPE and MODE to Auto for any drive above 64GB to avoid this error.)

For all other functions, my patched BIOS is identical to the original 0112e-1,
so you don't have to clear the CMOS if you upgrade from this BIOS.

The filename of the patched BIOS is 0112E_J2.BIN and you can flash it with
the flash program you normally use to flash a TX97-E BIOS upgrade.
Please take the usual precautions when flashing your BIOS.
Refer to Asus's web-site at http://www.asus.com/ if you need to download the AFLASH program.

Note that, although this patched BIOS has been tested on different TX97-E
systems without any problems, it is provided "as is" and you use it at your own risk.

I like to thank everybody who participated in testing this BIOS.
Jan.

Homepage: http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/J.Steunebrink/
E-mail : J.Steunebrink@net.HCC.nl

More information: http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/J.Steunebrink/k6plus.htm

 

I have been recommending awdflash.exe as a flash utility, but apparently the bios is too old now for it to work correctly.  Thanks to Dan Smith for advice on another utility that will work. Dan recommends pflash.exe.  Here's a link for that utility - PFLASH.EXE.  Dan also mentions another utility called UniFlash that may also work. Here's a link for UniFlash -  uf117b.zip  I took some bad advise, flashed the wrong bios, and had to purchase another chip with the correct bios. By the way, thanks to Jack Rowland at badflash.com for the new chip.  He charges $29.99 including the chip and gets it to you in a hurry. If you have Award bios issues, his pages are a great resource.

ISSUES:

  • Jumper settings enabling 75 and 83 Mhz bus speeds also increase the speed of PCI devices.  OK, in my case as my devices were designed for 100 Mhz bus and have been running underclocked on the TX97-E.
  • Ram will be overclocked something other than 66 Mhz. Again, I was running 100 Mhz ram on this machine anyway.
  • Bios MUST be flashed.  Here is a link for the latest bios upgrade for the TX97-E motherboard that includes support for large hard drives, 0112e_j2.zip 

Jumper Settings:

External (BUS) Frequency selection:

. 66Mhz 75Mhz 83Mhz
FS0 2-3 1-2 2-3
FS1 1-2 2-3 1-2
FS2 2-3 1-2 1-2

CPU to BUS Frequency Ratio (multiplier):

. 2(*) 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5
BF0 2-3 2-3 1-2 1-2 2-3 2-3 1-2 1-2
BF1 1-2 2-3 2-3 1-2 1-2 2-3 2-3 1-2
BF2 - - - - 2-3 2-3 2-3 2-3

(*) The AMD K6-II and K6-III will interpret the 2* multiplier setting as 6*

CPU Voltage Settings (Vcore):

. 2.1V 2.2V 2.4V 2.5V 2.7V 2.8V 2.9V 3.2V
VID0 1-2 - 1-2 1-2 2-3 2-3 1-2 2-3
VID1 2-3 1-2 - 2-3 2-3 2-3 2-3 2-3
VID2 - - - 1-2 1-2 2-3 2-3 1-2
VID3 - - - - - - - -

SUCCESS !  Here's a screenshot of my new bios information.

screen1

On boot, the motherboard reports an AMD K6-2 at 400 Mhz, Windows, Sandra, and WCPUID all report 500 Mhz.  Notice the clock multiplier of 6 below, giving 500 Mhz at 2.2 V with a bus speed of 83 Mhz.  The processor runs a bit hot, but no more than it did in my Asus P5A.  Running about 42C at idle and 50-51C at load.  Cooling the chip is an old fan/heatsink in conjunction with Radio Shack paste.  I'm also running Rain to help cool things down. Download Rain directly from lairdslair.

screen 2

TX97-E AMD K6-2 500 System Specs

  • Asus TX97-E Rev. 112 M/B

  • AMD K6-2 500 at 2.2V, bus 83 Mhz beta bios 0112e-1 

  • El Cheapo (but rather large) heat sink and fan with thermal paste 

  • 1 auxiliary case fan

  • 128 meg of generic PC100 ram

  • Diamond 16 meg Monster Fusion PCI display adapter

  • An ancient Sound Blaster ISA 8 bit sound card

  • 2 Western Digital hard drives, one 4 gig, the other a 2 gig

  • 1 floppy, 1 24X CD Rom

  • System runs Windows ME on a Netgear ethernet

Benchmarks (Sandra)

Benchmark 1

benchmark 2

What's Next? 

Probably a better fan and more cooling.  The 500 runs hot.  Outside of that, probably nothing.  The system is made up of odd bits left over from other machines that I've built and will do a fine job as part of my home network.  If you have any questions, you can email me if you'd like.

UPDATE

01/11/2001 - Added a Golden Orb heatsink and fan. CPU temp has dropped to 35 degrees C idle, and 44-45 C under full load. The system has remained rock solid with no blue screens since the build 6 days ago. I want to make note that the benchmarking screens above are from Sandra 2000 and not the latest version. It made sense to me to compare the new chip against the type of chip that would typically run in the TX97-E and not to 1 gig Athlons etc.

06/12/2005 - Parted company with this computer.  I gave it to a niece who needed a computer. As far as I know she still uses it and is now running Windows XP with some additional ram.

 

NOTE: This page was written many years ago.  The hardware described is now ancient but still capable of running Linux in 2010.  For that reason and because I still get quite a few inquiries about the procedure I continue to leave this page up.
 

Jan Steunebrink's Page

 
 
 
 
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