***Vintage PC Technology Mega Discussion Thread***

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jeremita

Prominent
Jan 9, 2018
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Yes it was the best available PC computer on the market in December of 1994.

It costed a lot! It was around 5000-6000 Polish Zlotys at that time. It believe it was something like 8-10x monthly average sallaries. I was lucky.

 

phaelax

Honorable
Nov 19, 2013
348
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I built a file server for myself once using I think a Tyan server board. Had dual P133, 8 slots of EDO ram, and SCSI. The case I used I swear was made of quarter inch steel, thing weighed a ton and had dual PSUs. I thought I was cool back then.... it too is now sitting on a goodwill shelf somewhere after I upgrade to a NAS.
 

Math Geek

Glorious
Herald
actually sold my first gpu couple years ago which was a TNT2 agp card.

think it came with my first geteway pc i bought back in the 90's. only pre-built i ever bought. quickly wanted an upgrade as tech was changing fast beck then. some searching brought me to this forum where i learned how to do it myself. this is where i've been ever since :)
 

Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator
I still have an ATI Radeon X850PRO in my basement, kinda dusty but works. Kind of new though (2005ish). My first GPU ever was a Diamond Stealth 2D card I added to my 386 in the early 90's. I honestly don't think it did anything for me.

Then I got an ATi 3D Rage and it was the beginning of the end....
 

Justiceinacan

Estimable
Jul 19, 2016
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Went for a small adventure in my basement today (I don't have anything 'vintage' really but I figured someone here may appreciate my 15 y/o tech) to put back a bunch of spare parts I had brought up when I was upgrading / rebuilding some of my systems. Of course that also led to me messing around with some of these relics.
Found out the first computer I could call my own - HP Pavilion a450n - kicked the bucket today. I have another identical one though, if I ever need that sweet sweet mid-2000s nostalgia kick.

A cleaned Pentium 4 HT (3 GHz) on the ASUS P4P800... look at those tired caps. https://i.imgur.com/M95Fbb7.jpg

Not sure what video card this even is... I think it's a GeForce FX 5200, but I'm not certain. https://i.imgur.com/nXVhXVf.jpg

The Pentium 4 alongside an Athlon 64 X2 4600+, the CPU from my second ever PC. https://i.imgur.com/n1DS1JL.jpg

Now we're in definitely off topic modern territory ; the motherboard from my second ever PC, Foxconn NVIDIA NForce 590 SLI. Been broken since 2011, but I still have it anyway. https://i.imgur.com/QTgvuRs.jpg
 

Pentium4User

Respectable
Jun 17, 2016
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Pretty sweet stuff above, now I have this board and this board special to me even though it a pretty low end and budget board. {Its a P4X266A but VIA} This board is one of the reasons I got in the computer repair/building world, I got this board in a prebuilt pc in my 8th grade year, I was doing some new windows 7 32bit installs on some Thinkpad R60 laptops, then my teacher called me over and said that this computer sometimes works and sometimes doesn't and asked me if I want it so I just to experiments and etc, so I said I will take it, so took it home and I already knew the problem was as soon as I opened it, all of the 3300uf caps are just bulging and leaking and also had a very burnt power supply pcb this was not due to a fan failure, it was just super cheap, and at the time I had never did any soldering jobs this major or at all, so I went to home depot bought the cheapest soldering iron I could get and bought some 3300uf caps and fixed it up, and I was pretty proud of fixing that with out any issues. After that I just started to build it up put it in a new case with a power supply and etc then when it became really unusable in chrome I converted it to a ftp server for all my files and used it until it became really unstable. Hopefully one day I can fix it stability issues and use it again for retro games, or I will just put it in a picture frame in my room.

Here it is https://i.imgur.com/F7mkNmu.jpg

And the CPU and Video card ram hdd I used when it was my main rig was A 1.6ghz P4 north wood 400mhz FSB and a ATI 7000 32MB and 512mb ram with an 80 WD SE and was still using it in 2017.

And I Also need to show Compaq D something All og except HDD coppermine celeron 370.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
Decided to post the pics of my oldest PC from 1998 here as well.

Original specs
CPU: Pentium II 266 Mhz 512 Cache
MoBo: ?
RAM: 64 MB SDRAM
GPU: 3D 4 MB AGP
HDD: 3.2 GB EIDE
ODD: CD-ROM 48X
Sound card: 3D Wave PCI
OS: Win 98
Monitor: 17" SVGA CRT

Current specs
CPU: Pentium II 266 Mhz 512 Cache
MoBo: ?
RAM: 64 MB SDRAM
GPU: 3D 4 MB AGP
HDD 1: 4.6 GB EIDE
HDD 2: 6.2 GB EIDE
FDD: 3.5"
ODD: LG Super Multi CD-ROM
Sound card: 3D Wave PCI
OS: Win 98 SE
Monitor: none

Front view, don't mind the stickers.

Back view.

Side panel open. Note that for my PC, both side panels are in one piece. Also, i need to pop front I/O cover off in order to remove the side panels.

Internal view. Back then, that was the best cable management you could do.

CPU cooler.

PSU label. Since PC has been sitting for past 12 or so years, i won't fire it up before i'll replace the PSU.

PCI cards. Note the sound card since back then, MoBo's didn't have built-in sound chip.

Front intake with speaker and bottom side of HDD visible. PC doesn't have any case fans but you have an option to install 1x 80mm front intake.

Back panel which also explains why cable management looks quite bad. There is 0 room or even option to route cables behind MoBo tray. But what it does have is removable MoBo tray. Today, only few high-end cases offer removable MoBo tray.
 

phaelax

Honorable
Nov 19, 2013
348
2
10,965
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I remember having what I thought was the coolest PC on the block. Tyan server board with dual P133, about 80MB of EDO (8 slots, i don't recall how it added it up to 80mb) and dual power supplies! Case weighed like 60lbs empty and was some very solid steel. Think I even had a SCSI drive in there. Ran Win2k just fine, primarily used it as a file server.

I eventually scrapped it years back and built another dual CPU setup, using a pair of Athlon MP 2600. Looking back I think it was just all bragging rights moreso than any kind of performance. I don't think I ever had any software that utilized two CPUs at the same time.

Couple weeks ago, I bought a CD-rom on ebay. It plays both bluray AND HD-DVD (remember that?). Haven't installed it yet.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
I picked up a dual Pentium server with an eleven SCSI disc raid array (and a SCSI controller with its own AMD 386 on it) from the curb once. Still works. Appears to have been a file print server for one of the local manufacturing plants. (They didn't even wipe it, no idea what is on it) Running some flavor of Linux. Not sure why I keep lugging it around with me since it is pretty much useless, but it is an interesting snapshot of high end non-racked servers of the time.

My silliest retro build is a Dual Pentium II (slots). I was at a large swap meet and saw an old Dell Poweredge 4200 server. More or less a Corsair Air 540 cube chassis in size. Motherboard and expansion cards on the left, power and 6 hot swappable drive bays on the right. Dual hot swappable 850W supplies. I just wanted the chassis.

When I got it home it fired right up. Only had a single CPU slot populated and something like 64MB of ECC memory. No drives. So I decided to build it out instead. Got me some 166mhz Pentium II and overclocked them to 233Mhz. Dropped in 1GB of ECC (though to this day I can't get the BIOS to update and recognize all of it, so only 512MB works.

Got two 10GB SCSI drives on ebay and a Voodoo5 5500 and put those in, always wanted one, and put in my old sound blaster Awe32 with midi table daughter board. Used to host an Unreal Tournament server with it. One of these days I will have to adapt a modern power supply into it. Those things are way too loud.

Also have a fully functional TI-94c kicking around. The works too, my father bought the floor model when they were discontinuing them. So a cradle modem, game cartridge expansion, 640KB memory expansion, dual 5 1/4" drives, color monitor, speech synthesizer, even a chrome plated power supply (which was an option for some reason)
 

The Paladin

Glorious
Herald
just for the record;

1st pc was a TRS-80 Model 3, Z80 Zilog CPU 1.85Hz 8K Ram, running on 2x 5.25" Floppies handling a massive 185Kbytes each diskette. Learned to program Machine language, use CP/M, run a bulletin board system programmed by me in Basic on a 110 baud (110 bits/sec) that worked on a coupler, so people would call in I would hear the carrier and I placed the handset on coupler and pressed the "on" on the modem. yeah technology at its best of the time.


through the following years I "dabbled" into upgrades, raising the system to 64K of ram and the two 5.25" drives where replaced by 4 1.44mb floppies (yes a direct swap) , learned to program Turbo Pascal and Cobol on it, and ran 2nd version of my BBS on it using 300 then 1200 Baud modem with line sensing carrier :)
 

The Paladin

Glorious
Herald
and I just purchased a Pentium II [strike]w/128K[/strike] 128MB RAM from Ebay, once cleaned up and upgraded it will begin its life as the new computer to run My BBS once again, though dialup will be added later, at first Telnet will be the primary way to connect to it … as to why a BBS in this day and age.... well it will have a based of abandonware an Old O/Ses. and yes Fidonet will be part of the forums carries.. (remember that?)
 

The Paladin

Glorious
Herald
@ Phaleax : yep 128MB your right typoped that one.. lol

Turns out the system sold was immaculate , I mean.. looked like new inside, secondly, the system turned out to be a Pentium iii-600e w/128MB, and ATI Rage 128 Pro in side it. going to get a PCI/SATA or IDE/SATA adaptor later on, and see if I can get it to boot on a HD, and yes I did find the motherboard specs after a few minutes it is a QS440BXP, which I can upgrade to a whopping 1GB of ram (256MB/x4 slots), funny thing, one of the options of the sleep mode on this computer is "awake by modem thru serial port" that took me back a little :)

 

bahnstormer

Reputable
Jan 5, 2015
47
0
4,560
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Careful with those - there was a glitch with some of the chipsets from that era where the cache would only work for the first 512Mb RAM.... and due to the way that the OS loaded, most of it would end up in un-cached RAM... 512MB usually used to be the sweet spot...
 

The Paladin

Glorious
Herald
thanks for the tip, but its running windows 7 sp1 right now and reconises the complete 1GB of ram, and though its slow as mud.. its perfectly humming along with a the 120GB SSD drive I got it to chew on. though I am still looking for a PCI/Sata Card that would not need the drive to be in Raid mode, I have one but its required the drives to be in raid 1 minimum mode, and I tried using dual 500GB drives but it isn't being recognized by windows 7 so it will not install drivers for it. so for now I am using an IDE/SATA converted and it runs fine like that.
 
Mar 10, 2019
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Have you ever been the owner of a 486? Or a Macintosh running System 7? Or know what the various cages that hold CD-ROM discs are for? Have you ever used a 1.44MB floppy drive? Or a punchcard? Or a 3DFX Voodoo 2? Well this is the place to discuss all things vintage PC technology!
Well, now I suddenly feel like an antique....
 

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