I have an old i3 2100 lying around. Looking for interesting uses for it.

Droogie128

Weaksauce
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Oct 20, 2012
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As the title suggests. I've had this cpu and 16gb of memory sitting around. It isn't really worth enough to go through the trouble of selling it, so I'm looking for ideas for an interesting build with it. I know it's dated, but that's a part of the fun.
 

Droogie128

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Not sure I'm up for that. Was thinking of pairing it with a 750ti and doing an xp build or something.
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
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Jul 31, 2004
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I was going to suggest picking up a Lenovo mATX motherboard from an M71e, M72e, or M81/M91 as they can easily be used in an aftermarket case and are based off the H61 chipset. The M81/M91 boards are more flexible as they have four DIMM slots and will support 32GB. I have built alot of cheap systems using these boards and Sandy Bridge i3s/i5s/Xeons. They work best with Nvidia based video cards, as they don't POST with a good number of AMD based cards without editing video card BIOS. Problem is, what used to be a $15 shipped motherboard is now seemingly $40 and up.

Here is a reasonably priced one coming up: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-M81...672891?hash=item5dad226c7b:g:N-kAAOSwHr9fGjKD

If you go the Lenovo route you do need the temp sensor cable as well so CPU fan control works. Without cable CPU fan will run at full speed always which may or not be an issue depending on cooler. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Thi...433011&hash=item3d9b414228:g:3sEAAOSwTXVeHJ2q

Here's the correct Lenovo CPU cooler: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Thi...334320?hash=item3d7692c170:g:AnUAAOSw8o1exFVI
 
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Droogie128

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
111
I was going to suggest picking up a Lenovo mATX motherboard from an M71e, M72e, or M81/M91 as they can easily be used in an aftermarket case and are based off the H61 chipset. The M81/M91 boards are more flexible as they have four DIMM slots and will support 32GB. I have built alot of cheap systems using these boards and Sandy Bridge i3s/i5s/Xeons. They work best with Nvidia based video cards, as they don't POST with a good number of AMD based cards without editing video card BIOS. Problem is, what used to be a $15 shipped motherboard is now seemingly $40 and up.

Here is a reasonably priced one coming up: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-M81...672891?hash=item5dad226c7b:g:N-kAAOSwHr9fGjKD

If you go the Lenovo route you do need the temp sensor cable as well so CPU fan control works. Without cable CPU fan will run at full speed always which may or not be an issue depending on cooler. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Thi...433011&hash=item3d9b414228:g:3sEAAOSwTXVeHJ2q

Here's the correct Lenovo CPU cooler: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Thi...334320?hash=item3d7692c170:g:AnUAAOSw8o1exFVI

The problem with those boards may be XP compatibility. I think I'm going to do a windows xp build for retro gaming.
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
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The problem with those boards may be XP compatibility. I think I'm going to do a windows xp build for retro gaming.

I have ran XP SP3 32-bit on these boards no problem, though am unsure if XP 64-bit would work as I've never tried it. There are drivers out there for the H61 chipset, and SATA controller as well. Though I recall putting the SATA controller in IDE mode instead of AHCI on XP so I didn't have to deal with the AHCI drivers from an F6 prompt floppy during Windows install. Remember XP died in 2014 and this board came out in 2011, so finding Realtek audio/LAN drivers should be easy. I wouldn't doubt Lenovo even offers drivers for XP too. 🍻

Edit: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/...sktops/thinkcentre-m81/downloads/driver-list/
 
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munkle

[H]F Junkie
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Jan 16, 2005
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11,801
Make a key chain? I threw one of those away a couple years ago. Mobo died, and it wasn't worth trying to sell it or get the build going again. My local university sells hp desktops that just ran out of warranty for $80, they come with i5 6500 and 8gb ram, so I just bought one of those to play with.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
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media server?
I have ran XP SP3 32-bit on these boards no problem, though am unsure if XP 64-bit would work as I've never tried it. There are drivers out there for the H61 chipset, and SATA controller as well. Though I recall putting the SATA controller in IDE mode instead of AHCI on XP so I didn't have to deal with the AHCI drivers from an F6 prompt floppy during Windows install. Remember XP died in 2014 and this board came out in 2011, so finding Realtek audio/LAN drivers should be easy. I wouldn't doubt Lenovo even offers drivers for XP too. 🍻

Edit: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/...sktops/thinkcentre-m81/downloads/driver-list/

Right, because Vista was such a cluster, they didn't start the death countdown until after the release of Windows 7.

If you go retro XP, I would suggest you turn off Hyperthreading - very few games of that era make use of more than 2 cores (and some can take a performance hit with it on.) You should also turn off AHCI, an d if you still can't boot into the XP installation, you'll have to slipstream in compatible drivers (or find yourself a Floppy disc simulator). I also remember theren was the Clusterfuck of having two digfferent SATA drivers required for XP: the boot driver, then the final driver... maybe turnong on legacy mode will avoid that?

This thread was also helpful:

https://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1145509

But good luck: last time I touched XP was for a 2010 Netbook.
 
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Droogie128

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Well, my girlfriend just expressed the need for a NAS to store all of her streams and media, so it looks like that's the route I'm going with it. I'll just do an in home server for her to use as backup. I have very little experience with networking, it's definitely my biggest weakness. It'll be a good learning opportunity.
 

EnderW

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Sep 25, 2003
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Pair it with a X9SCL and 16-32GB ECC RAM and you have a nice FreeNAS machine
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
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Yeah, Nas is always good. I used an i3 2100T for a media server for the last ten years.

I only upgraded it because I like yo play casual games on it when I'm encoding on the main PC.
 
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