Pentium 200 MHz Review for DOS Gaming

July 31, 2019 posted by


Hey guys how’s it going. My name is Phil welcome to PhilsComputerLab. Today we’re having a look at another iconic processor. It is the intel Pentium 200. The processor launched in June of 1996 for the socket seven and have to P54CS core. The processor uses a 66 megahertz external frequency with 3x multiplier giving it a 200 megahertz internal frequency. The processor has 16 KB of Level one Cache. It requires a core voltage of 3.3 volts. The processor was quite expensive back in the day, it launched the price of 599 US dollars. Today this processor is quite cheap. I hade to look the other day and you’re looking at around 15 to 20 Australian dollars on the ebay and that includes shipping. In a previous video we put together a Cyrix 6×86 DOS retro gaming pc. Here are the system configurations and we’re going to use the exact same system all i have to do is swap out the processor and reconfigured the front side bus, the multiplier and CPU voltage. Let’s go straight into the benchmarks first up we’ve got 3DBench 1.0c Here we can see the Cyrix taking the lead. Whatever the reason 3D Bench runs really well on the Cyrix. Chris’s 3DBench runs faster on the Pentium 200, we’re looking at a score 144 compare 116. PC Player Benchmark at the 320 x 240 resolution also runs a little bit faster on the Pentium 200. Wolfenstein 3D runs really well on both machines, still the cyrix is actually able to be beat the Pentium which is quite interesting. In Doom the Pentium 200 pulls a little bit ahead but both processes offer a really smooth experience, remember the game is capped at 35 FPS. In Quake we can see that this Cyrix suffers because of the weak floating point unit. The Intel Pentium 200 is miles ahead it is really quite a difference. Let’s have a look at some actual gameplay we’ve got Tomb Raider running at 640 x 480, and while it runs a little bit smoother compared to the Cyrix, it is still quite choppy so it’s not a perfect experience, we definitely need something a lot more powerful to run this game smootly at 640 x 480. The same goes for System Shock. It does run a little bit smoother and it’s not quite as choppy compared to the Cyrix, but once again it’s far from optimal. The next few games have an FPS counter built-in. First up we got Duke Nukem 3D at 640 x 480, this is right at the beginning of the game and we can see the Intel Pentium 200 pulls a little bit ahead with the frame rate of 41 compared to 33. In Descent 2 a similar pattern emerges at 640 x 480 right at the beginning of the game we’re getting a frame rate of 33 on the Pentium 200 compared to only 23 on the Cyrix And the last game is Wing Commander IV the frame rates on the screen, these are the worst-case scenarios when you’re inside of the large ship within the second level on the flight deck. Once you get out of into space both processors run the game fine at 24 FPS but i thought why not include something that is extremely challenging so we have a bit of a benchmark for some of the faster processors down the track. We also got the results with the Caches turned off so you just go to the BIOS and turn off L1 and L2 Cache and you basically got yourself a 386. The Pentium 200 is quite a bit slower than the Cyrix, we’re looking at 10.4 FPS compared to 14.9 in 3D Bench 1.0 And in Wolfenstein 3D that translates to a performance of 23.5 compared to 28.9. And of of course I’ve done the Wing Commander test Turned off the Caches, tried Wing Commander and the game runs beautiful. Just the perfect speed, not too slow, not too fast even if you’re down to the last enemy. Looking at the benchmarks we can clearly see that the Pentium 200 is faster than The Cyrix 6×86 PR200+, However games that struggled on the Cyrix, especially the games at 640 x 480 are still struggling on the Pentium 200. Back in the Day, the Pentium 200 was actually a really saught after Processor and if you had a Pentium 133 for example and you were stuck on an older motherboard that didn’t support the more modern dual voltage design that example the Pentium MMX uses, then you were looking at the Pentium 200 as a really nice upgrade option but the Pentium 200 came out pretty late in the game and cost quite a bit at 599 US dollars launch price it was certainly not cheap and it was often cheaper or similar price to get a new motherboard and an MMX running at 166 MHz. The processor is also extremely compatible with motherboards I doubt you will find a socket 7 motherboard that does not work with this chip. Looking on eBay this processor doesn’t cost a fortune and it is still readily available. That’s it guys, thanks for watching and as always subscribe to my channel if you haven’t done so hit the like or the dislike button depending on how you feel about this video and give me some feedback down below always eager to hear from you and I’ll see you soon in another video.

72 Comments

72 Replies to “Pentium 200 MHz Review for DOS Gaming”

  1. RWL2012 says:

    3x 66 = 198… Where's my other 2MHz you LIARS!!!

  2. Necr0manceR says:

    Yes! DN3D! Ty so much! =)
    And can you help me? Do you know some port to play Doom on a Pentium 233Mhz MMX that i can use the mouse? I want to use the mouse in the same way when you activate +mlook on Quake.
    Ty.
    Love your channel!

  3. wildbilltexas says:

    Thanks for doing this test. Too bad Cyrix didn't try to improve the floating point for the later 6×86 MX and MII chips. I still have a K6 200 in my CPU collection.

  4. Summoner Arthur says:

    I still have one of these…

  5. jiddro33 says:

    I think I went from a P120 to the P200MMX, but I remember a friend had this P200.

  6. nastysdsi says:

    Thanks for adding Descent 2 🙂

  7. kanopus06 says:

    In 1996 I bought a pentium 166 MHz, with 32MB of EDO RAM and the 3D Blaster PCI (Rendition Vérité V1000), and I could run Tomb Raider and Quake @ 640×480 with smooth frame rates, even though it wasn't as fast as with a 3Dfx.

  8. 777anarchist says:

    Nice video. I thought pentium would be much faster than cyrix with same PR.
    You have used sis-based motherboard. How does perform compared to i430HX/TX?

  9. MV60 says:

    As someone who actually lived through that era and actually ran those cpus back in the day, it's good to see you're finally doing a real cpu. The cyrix sucked in real use. Looked good on paper but the intel dominated. Real mhz mattered, not ratings. Now see if you can clock yours to 300mhz. I used an Aopen ax59pro 512K cache version, bus speed 100mhz with 32mb 168pin sdram and an under volt of 0.1v and the graphics were the et6000 4mb 120mhz chips with a voodoo 1 and with a pci sound blaster and a netgear I think nic. That was in 1998. Was a beast. lol.

  10. blooder81 says:

    i also have pentium-s 200mhz rig
    abit ab px5 (i430tx)(up to AMD K6-2 333/366MHZ)
    64mb sdram pc133
    s3 virge dx 4mb with the memory at -50ns pci
    20gb hdd ide
    1.44mb fdd
    soundblaster 16pnp isa (vibra 16s)

  11. lightdark28 says:

    The Pentium 200 is indeed somewhat uncommon , quite a nice CPU for the late DOS games.

    Interestingly looking at those benchmarks, its interesting to note that my Pentium Pro 200 system got lower results in the Doom benchmark (usually around 77fps) , while the rest are at a higher level (even System Shock seems smoother than it does on the P200).

    This does make me wonder if it would be better to either go with something slower like a P133, or go up to a PII .
    Its sort of the same situation as the DX4 100 .

  12. kmi187 says:

    If you got lots of socket 7 / super socket 7 cpu's around, try an get a hold of a FIC VA503+ motherboard. Has unofficial 95/112 and 124 fsp jumper settings. There is also a modified beta bios for this motherboard that increases stability a lot.

    I had loads of funny with this buggy piece of crap 😀

    Clocked a P75 to P166 with a 112 fsb and 1.5 multiplier once. Ran as our dedicated quakeworld server for many years. Also clocked a K6-200 at 2×112 and a K6/2 300 at 336mhz. The fastest chip I tried on it was a P200mmx clocked 2.5×112, this was faster than a stock p2-300 in most scenario's. And there were K6/3+ and such mobile chips that would run in this board as well … those were even faster … but I never got to the point where I had enough money laying around to buy one. Fairly rare beasts though.

  13. TheSynrgy1987 says:

    Recently got a Pentium 200mmx to try in my p1 dos build, although with the motherboard i can only get it to run stable at 166, still a big boost from the pentium 120 that was in there originally seems to make a big difference going up to 640×480 in duke 3d, that's all i have had time to test so far, though i do have a different motherboard and amd cpu on the way to check out too 😀

  14. interlace says:

    Phil, if you're not done with these 2 machines yet… could you redo some of the games but with a Voodoo1/Voodoo2 included? I had a Cyix 6x86L PR150+ back in the day and a simple voodoo1 and opengl patches for tomb raider and quake changed my young gamer life back then 😀 I'm positive fps will be much higher at least, and maybe the cyrix can catch up a little. Maybe a follow-up?

  15. Das OSi says:

    bulid an Windows 98 machine =)

  16. Luis Mercado says:

    You made me doubt. All my life I've been saying my first machine was a Pentium running at 133 MHz. However according to your benchmarks that would be impossible since it ran Quake at 800×600 quite well. So maybe I had something newer? Whatever I had it hold quite well until my PIII at 550 MHz arrived many years later.

  17. Mike Glover says:

    Great video as always. Looking forward to another intel amd series 🙂

  18. BitAurora says:

    I got the impression from this era that 3D games are ugly and power-hungry.. Pentium is powerful enough to run very beautiful 2D games but shitty slow to run a ugly boring 3D games like Quake.

  19. MrGencyExit64 says:

    This might not be the best place to point this out, but… the Pentium brand has been revived by Intel 😉 Their dual-core CPUs are now called simply Pentium. Way to confuse consumers, Intel!

  20. Elios0000 says:

    you should take a look at the early Pentium 1 MMX cpus

  21. MRHOTCAKE says:

    I have an old HP vectra 500 it works its like new it has a pentium 75mhz socket 7, do you know whats the best cpu it can support? I was looking for a amd k5 or k6 but I think it doesnt support k6-2 and k6-3 cpu

  22. Stefan Johansson says:

    Good video, as always :)If you want an idea for another video, how does the non MMX processors compare to the MMX ones? At the same speed of course.I think people will like that one 😉

  23. Screw B says:

    The fastest Pentium was the 200 MHz Pentium Pro with 1mb L2 cache which could reach 233MHz on most systems. The fastest clocked pentium was the 233mhz Pentium MMX.

  24. omarsis81 says:

    Is the the MMX instructions optimized for DOS? Could a Pentium MMX 166 outperform a Pentium 200 if the game is MMX optimized?

  25. Mouldy CPU says:

    USD 15 for a Pentium 200 is crazy expensive if you think about it. I got a used Pentium 4 desktop without a monitor for USD 1 cheaper just a few weeks ago.

  26. PixelPipes says:

    Thumbs up before I'm even 30 seconds in

  27. J.D. Whited says:

    I am of the camp that the P55C at 233mhz was the true end of the Pentium era. I was very proud of the performance I was getting from Unreal with the 233MMX and a pair of Voodoo2 @1024×768 .. I was amazed with what I could do with so little (relative to the exotic new P-II that was emerging around the same time)

    Anyway, I just watched some REO Speedwagon videos before viewing this. I appreciate ya, Phil.

  28. Wagoo says:

    Try and run Destruction Derby II, I remember it being a slideshow on my P200mmx/64MB – when it was pretty much the fastest thing you could get!

  29. Mo Tee says:

    Hi Phil, great comparison. it would be awesome to see how performance jumps up on games when you use the similar era 3d accelerator cards popular at the time, especially Voodoo 1, 3D Rage or Riva128. Keep up the good work!

  30. Francois Roy says:

    Next up: Pentium 166MMX

  31. MrKillswitch88 says:

    I like this version and they are good overclockers leaving the old school ceramics in the dust plus they run cool.

  32. George Z88 says:

    Thanks again Phil. I still have mine somewhere, swapped it out for a 400mhz K6-2

  33. Wilker Novais says:

    233mhz?

  34. patg108 says:

    I'm disappointed there's no K-5 or gen 1 K-6 in this benchmarks! How did AMD compare prior to their big hit K-6 2? A comparison to the pentiums and their clones would be interesting. Granted earlier designs were near 1-1 as AMD were once offical clones of intel before being forced to be more distinct

  35. WaybackTECH says:

    interesting results with cache disabled. sort of looks like the cyrix design is a bit more efficient and not relying quite as heavily on cache as intel. would you say the performance of the cacheless cyrix 686 is around a 486dlc chip?

  36. Jason Saggers says:

    Amazing video as usual..
    Man some of these parts can get really expensive and some are really cheap.
    Was building myself a dual socket a setup and a pair of voodoo 2's isn't going to happen because of price.
    I loved computers from the early 90's until about 2006 or so, mixing and matching different ad-don video and sound cards, today I find everything rather boring hardware wise,.

  37. Animize says:

    Looking at the direct benchmarks of the cyrix against the P200 is very interessting, thanks for that. In retrospective it's too bad, it had such a weak floatingpoint unit – a 3rd competitor on the processor market would be very healthy nowadays.

  38. GeorgeCee says:

    I used to play Wing Commander back then. Great video !

  39. 3Dfx_Aslinger says:

    At back in the day, i had a Pentium 90, later overclocked to 100 MHz. The Voodoo graphics upgrade was amazing and gives the 90 MHz Pentium a new live! It was a socket 5 machine and the max. CPU support was a P 133. At later in the year 19998, a Pentium II 400 (high End at the time) comes in the house. 🙂

  40. CantankerousDave says:

    Ah, my very first PC ran one.of those. I bought it just before the updated version with MMX came out. Bad timing.

  41. Broccoli says:

    Not essentially related to the video, but, what would your recommendations be for someone who wants to build a Pentium 1-2 PC to play old games from their childhood? The oldest machine I have built is a AM3 so I'm not too familiar with older computers.

    Video itself was great btw. 🙂

  42. 3dfx Voodoo says:

    Isn't a Voodoo 1 better suited for a Pentium 200 mhz ? The 3dfx Voodoo card was also released in 1996.

  43. MegaManNeo says:

    Are we talking about the Pentium 200 MMX here?
    Still have my actual fourth computer with the P200 in it, quite a good system for real retro stuff.

  44. Money talks says:

    hvad is the x axis `? in doom. not fps

  45. Allesbelegt says:

    Altough the 6×86 is clocked 50Mhz lower than the pentium and the P-Rating is based on Office-Benchmarks, it keeps up quite good with the pentium. Especially in ALU-heavy games.

  46. haxxy says:

    VGA is 640×480. 320×200 is CGA

  47. C MJ says:

    I had a pentium 233 MHZ with MMX. I think MMX was like hyper Threading today. Was a fast chip way back.

  48. Kurt Hectic says:

    Great processor, i prefer the ceramic cpu instead of plastic one.

  49. Alberto Martinez says:

    nice so what will be the next step an MMX 233? Have you ever tried a Pentium Pro, Pentium II or the first gen Slot-A Athlons?

  50. Tiger 433 says:

    Great CPU 🙂 I have only Pentium 166 MMX with similiar look. And I have also Pentium 75, 2x Pentium 133 and Pentium 120.

  51. Diwwah says:

    How fast a CPU can you still run real DOS and real DOS games on?

  52. Mateusz Kwietowicz says:

    What about Pentium Pro ? Wasn't it faster then the Pentium and Pentium MMX?

  53. Robert Mosén says:

    I remember when the first pentium CPU was launched. the p60. Was such a bit step forward comapared to the DX4. Epic gaming ahead….not as today when a new CPU has a 0.1 GHz approvement. When the 200 came it was EPIC

  54. terbog says:

    Very nice review. Have you tried running the P200 in a Super Socket 7 Board with 100 Mhz FSB? Does this makes a great difference?

  55. xiardark says:

    i've wondered if on these old DOS games, if Having a 3d card like the voodoo 2 would make any difference in performance on the supported games like quake. Not sure if you've already done a video on that. Or if its a no DOS driver available thing.

  56. m9078jk3 says:

    External L2 cache on the motherboard makes a lot of difference on these old Pentium systems.If a system doesn't have the cache like say a Packard Bell brand L2 cache less system it can take a large performance hit.Ideally 512k of L2 is desired but 256k of L2 takes only a minor hit to performance.

  57. techeadache says:

    Intel made two different types of the 200MHz non-MMX.
    Is there a difference between the ceramic and organic chip packages in terms of heat dissipation?

  58. Cristian says:

    All that's missing from this comparison,it's the k5-pr200,or at least a pr166 overclocked at pr200.

  59. Pike Folsom says:

    Go Amd K6-2 socket 7 500mhz best dos processor

  60. Tomasz Nowak says:

    Not MMX? 🙂

  61. redc77 says:

    I´m pretty sure i had a p1 233 mmx ,yes P1 NOT P2, but maybe that particular one was only sold in specific regions, dunno. Nice video though 🙂

  62. Valentino Colaon says:

    isn't multiplier referred to as how many TIMES the base clock frequency is multiplied instead of ''X multiplier''?
    So…''processor has 3 times multiplier'' instead of ''it has 3 X multiplier''
    like CD ROM drives. some people called them 16X of 32X. It's 32 TIMES. Because it's capable reading media at a speed of 32 times faster than realtime. Right?

  63. Kining Roseburg says:

    This 200 Pentium VS Pentium 200 MMX, how would they compare?

  64. Nagu says:

    My first pc had a Pentium MMX 166mhz and I overclocked to 225mhz by jumpers!! Then when with a vodoo 1 4mb I knew the magic of gaming…

  65. ZankDigiTrash says:

    Umm you should do Pentium Pro socket 8 200Mhz vs Pentium socket 7 200Mhz. I wonder if i still have Pentium Pro anywhere

  66. Mitch McCann says:

    cheap DOS laptop. Could you do a video on that?

  67. James Pearce says:

    Hey Phil, just wondering if you've tried running the first Wing Commander game on a faster Pentium like this and if so, what you did to get it to run correctly? I've heard it spazzes out on faster CPUs… thinking about grabbing a copy but not sure if I'll just get frustrated trying to get it to run properly on my 200MHz MMX OD..

  68. Levente Frindt says:

    I really miss Quake gameplay footage and Quake 640*400 performance numbers.

  69. grey 7 says:

    what is a good 3dfx card for Pentium 200? any cheaper alternative to voodoo?

  70. Tanasen says:

    My first pc was a Pentium 166 MHz . Now, 20 years later, I came across a Soyo socket 7 board along with a Pentium 200 MHz and planning on making this a Windows95/MS-DOS gaming PC!

  71. Byte Size Thoughts says:

    Putting together a Pentium 200 as we speak. Used your video on using ATX to AT power adaptors too 🙂 Looking forward to getting this up and running. Next step is the HDD and floppy then will be ready to install DOS and Doom!

  72. Mehdi Mehdizade says:

    Phil, can you benchmark and compare two pentium 200mhz processors against each other, a genuine intel p200 VS fake p200 (which has MALAY written on it)? Will they give same results? Also, is it true that MALAY one is fake/ non genuine ?

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