Author Topic: My two "New" computers  (Read 811 times)

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Offline Ampera

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My two "New" computers
« on: December 28, 2017, 07:51:48 am »
When I posted about my Pentium Pro, some people were talking about if it really follows in with the word Vintage.
Vintage does mean from a specific year or time period, and that's the definition I do tend to use.
So I might be about to annoy a couple people when I say that the first computer I am building is from 2004-2006.

Yes, it's a Socket 939 Athlon 64 FX-55 2.6Ghz 104W based system.

I do have a reason, however. With new versions of windows and new hardware, support for games really does tend to suffer. With Windows 10, all SecuROM games no longer work like Need for Speed Carbon. So while I do mostly make these machines as a way to have period accurate gaming hardware, that also happens to be a dream machine nobody could afford until now, this also comes out of mild necessity for a good machine to play these games that are now broken by new releases of Windows.

So I'll drop some specs.

The CPU is of course an FX-55 2.6Ghz for AMD's 939 platform.

The board is the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe. This board supports up to 4GB of DDR-400, and runs using the nForce4 SLI chipset. Basic specs are it's 8 SATA ports on two RAID controllers, 2 channel IDE RAID, 7.1 channel audio over 1/8th inch ring/tip jacks, or through coaxial and optical digital connections.

For the moment I plan to put in 4GB of memory, half DDR-333, and half DDR-400, but this is due to me just not having better memory to put in it.

For graphics, I am going to be using, of course, no compromises. Dual GeForce 7800 GTXs in SLI. It would be inappropriate for this build in this day to have a single video card as a final configuration.

For storage I plan four 160GB WD Caviar SEs, all in RAID 0 (Stripe). This may bring up a minor red flag in that it just takes one of these drives to catch fire for all my data to be lost, but a simple occasional backup will suffice, and it's not like I am putting personal files or irreplaceable games.

This is all going in an ATX Super tower, the model of which I do not have, and I am using a modern Corsair power supply, because I try not to use legacy supplies unless I trust them.

So, this is all well and good. Other slight details include the OS, while Windows XP x64 would be REALLY cool to mess around with, it does throw away 16-bit support, for whatever matter that makes I guess, but there are also some fatal compatibility issues I might face. The far more reasonable alternative would be to use Windows XP, and just use a very simple PAE hack to enable a larger 36-bit address space that is supported in i686 mode on all AMD64 CPUs ever made. This alleviates any restriction of usable physical desktop memory from things like expansion cards that I might face.

It does have to be said 4GB is overkill, it's more of a because I can thing (there I go again I guess,  :scared:), but I do want to use it all.

So, the title says two computers. That's because I am making a second system, and this is actually for modern use, but since it's still a somewhat era appropriate build, I though I'd stick it here.

I have a Foxconn A7DA-S AM2+ motherboard that I do not think really got the special treatment a board of it's quality deserves. It's a REALLY nice board, and I wanted to pimp it out a bit and turn it into a capable HTPC for modern usage.

Currently in there is some Athlon 64 X2 something or rather (iunno), whatever it is, it's TOO WIMPY. Must put more whoopie in it's cushion so I will be installing a Phenom II X4 945 AM3 CPU. Now these CPUs also happened to be backwards compatible with AM2+ board, as they had both a DDR3 and DDR2 memory controller on board for that reason.

For graphics I decided that my house wasn't hot enough, being in the Albany area of New York State, it can get a bit cold here, so I purchased an nVidia GeForce GTX 580 3GB Classified edition (EVGA). This uses the famous Fermi architecture, and is well loved for being an actual furnace that could catch fire at any moment.  :scared:

It does, however, happen to be CRAZY fast for the time, and even today, beating out even a 760 in passmark, and being fully appropriate for any light HTPC gaming I may want to do.

Along with this soup of excellence, is a 120GB SSD, and probably some other stuff, like a TV card, PVR 2 (for capturing from a TV box), and a Firefly RF remote media center control. :-//

and then only 4GB of slower than 1066mhz DDR2. Unfortunately, I did have to slack on the memory, but partially because this machine doesn't entirely need a brilliant amount of memory for HTPC uses. It could go up to 8GB of DDR2-1066, but it's somewhat expensive (being around DDR3 prices) and I don't really want to pay more on what's supposed to be a quick plop in of about 120 bucks worth of parts.

Windows 7 x64 is planned here for it's excellent legacy support, it being a legacy operating system, as well as EXCELLENT media center potential.

So, I do with to apologize about making a definite tl;dr post here, I always get carried away and love writing about this stuff for the 2 people that will read the first few lines, scroll down, see how long it is, and give up. If you have read this, thank you for indulging my childish whims.
C/C++/Java Programmer, Legacy hardware enthusiast, madman.
If it's broken, I probably did it.
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