Red Falcon's Retrocomputing Thread!

Red Falcon

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It has a Performa 6400/180 motherboard in it (hence the 6360/180, the normal 6360 is 160 MHz) and the maximum memory it can support is 136 MB (2 x 64 MB DIMMs + 8 MB on the logic board.)

Finding 64 MB sticks at a reasonable price would be a pipe dream.
Oh, gotcha, thanks for the info.
I feel your pain, those 32MB DSIMMs were basically an arm, a leg, and a few fingers and knee cap. :D
 

Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
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Nice retro system, impressive you got it together without having to spend a fortune. It is scary how much people want for this stuff nowdays, when I started getting this stuff 20 years ago it was free or pennies....not anymore.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Nice retro system, impressive you got it together without having to spend a fortune. It is scary how much people want for this stuff nowdays, when I started getting this stuff 20 years ago it was free or pennies....not anymore.
Look in second hand stores and estate sales, I can still semi-regularly find old gear for not too much. The local dump is also a great place to find stuff, especially around the holidays.

Just after new years, I found all sorts of stuff for cheap at the dump:

2 x 24" ACER 1080p monitors - $20
Strange gaming rig/server with an ASUS P5E WS Pro, 4 GB OCZ DDR2-800, an E7200 and a Geforce 7100GS - $3
Saibo 4 bay NAS with 4 x 640 GB drives - $10
Buffalo 4 bay NAS with 4 x 1 TB drives - $10
Hyper 212 Evo new in box - $3

They also have a bunch of really old 90s laptops, but I'm not too interested in them. I've found 486 and Pentium machines there for just a few dollars. The best part is that people that trash these machines are idiots, they never wipe the machines so you usually get hundreds or thousands of dollars in free software. Sadly this is often accompanied with PI like SSNs, bank records, home addresses, etc. and needs to be disposed of responsibly. It's scary how much PI is on some of these machines, I've bought two that came from law enforcement and one had thousands of SSNs on it with a database of criminal records. Immediately ripped the drive out and smashed it with a hammer.
 

Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
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I agree you can still find some stuff reasonably, but finding popular and wanted parts are not easy anymore. Heck most of the voodoo 5's I got for nothing back in the day because no one wanted them, the most i paid for one was retail for the PCI version I have. Now if I wanted to find those, I would be paying a lot of money.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Made only one change to finalize it, pulled the ESS sound card as I had trouble getting it to play music after a reboot.
Could be a tarnished card edge connector or ISA/PCI slot. Try spraying some deoxit gold in the slot and on the card edge connector and inserting/removing it a few times.
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
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Could be a tarnished card edge connector or ISA/PCI slot. Try spraying some deoxit gold in the slot and on the card edge connector and inserting/removing it a few times.
Hmmmm, I cleaned card edges with an eraser and then isopropyl alcohol on a cleanroom wipe when I assembled and motherboard was new in sealed bag. I have ran into similar behavior with these ESS cards in the past on another 486 I built a few years ago. I honestly suspect card doesn't like the ISA bus at 10MHz, as problem went away at 8MHz ISA speed. But 10MHz ISA literally gets me another 1FPS in the Doom timedemos so I don't want to lose that. So far SoundBlaster works fine at 10MHz ISA and 13.3MHz ISA, but 13.3MHz doesn't gain any more speed in VGA benchmarks so not worth risk of possible data corruption from the controller card or HDD not liking the high ISA speed.

My Tseng ET4000 is a very early card with only 512kb (was 256kb before I installed two more memory chips) so I think it may be a slightly limiting factor. Supposedly later ET4000 cards with 1MB are faster. With my 40MHz CPU, not sure if a 'faster' ISA card would gain anything???????
 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
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Hmmmm, I cleaned card edges with an eraser and then isopropyl alcohol on a cleanroom wipe
Don't do this, erasers are abrasive and damage the contacts. Only use an oxide remover like deoxit gold or electronics cleaning spray.

I honestly suspect card doesn't like the ISA bus at 10MHz, as problem went away at 8MHz ISA speed. But 10MHz ISA literally gets me another 1FPS in the Doom timedemos so I don't want to lose that. So far SoundBlaster works fine at 10MHz ISA and 13.3MHz ISA, but 13.3MHz doesn't gain any more speed in VGA benchmarks so not worth risk of possible data corruption from the controller card or HDD not liking the high ISA speed.

My Tseng ET4000 is a very early card with only 512kb (was 256kb before I installed two more memory chips) so I think it may be a slightly limiting factor. Supposedly later ET4000 cards with 1MB are faster. With my 40MHz CPU, not sure if a 'faster' ISA card would gain anything???????
ISA really never had a defined speed. Early "turbo" XT clones would run ISA at the bus speed of the CPU, which was usually the CPU clock and it could basically be anything from 7-20 MHz. Later machines used a clock divider off the FSB or PCI bus, which still had a range of clock speeds.

Most cards behave between the original 4.77 MHz XT bus and around 10 MHz. Any further and compatibility rapidly drops off. If you aren't seeing any performance gains after a certain speed, then something else is going to be the bottleneck.
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
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Jul 31, 2004
Messages
218
Yeah it is crazy that ISA never really had a set speed. It's interesting that this particular motherboard has a separate setting for the keyboard controller and the ISA bus. The keyboard defaults to 9.5MHz, and ISA defaults to 8MHz at 40MHz bus setting. This board has an AMI WinBIOS that leaves much to desired. When my EPROMs get here I'm going to burn some Award BIOSs I found on the internet. Looking at them in a hex viewer I think I found the Award BIOS I've seen some of these boards have, and if so it should be more flexible. It's personal opinion, but back in the day I always liked Award BIOS far more then AMI BIOS.
 

Killahurtz

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646
a couple of mine:

Abit BE6 i440BX , PIII 700 flip chip on Abit Slotket slot 1 adapter, Voodoo 3 3500TV , I forget the mem , creative sound

IMG_5187.jpg




Abit VP6 , 2 x PIII 1ghz @1140mhz , Voodoo 5500 AGP , dual boot W2K pro / XP pro , 2 gig Infineon memory , 3 x 18g scsi raid 0 , Kenwood TrueX 72x (the fastest CDR ever made)

IMG_4275.jpg


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Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
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342
Nice systems, I have a ton of Abit boards myself...RIP Abit. Still use my BP6 300A@450 semi regularly, along with some of their socket A stuff. Plus I have a soft spot for duallie rigs, I have a ton of them in my collection.
 

defaultluser

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I had a good experience with my first Abit board, a BH6 1.0 plus Celeron 300A @ 450 in 1999. A year later, I added a Slotket and upgraded to a 533A running at 800mhz (used the BIOS upgrade trick to drop voltage range down to 1.6v.

That served as my media server for several years. I stopped using it around 2005, then rebooted it in 2014 when folks on here started building throwback rigs. After I realized it would be in better hands, I sent it to them.

I had more good experiences with Abit boards. I used an Abit KG7, a fairly stable implementation of AMD's 760 chipset.

But after that, I had to ditch Abit for Asus A8V, as there were some poor reviews. But they were great in their time.
 
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defaultluser

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That's ...insane. The most I ever did was throw some ISA/PCI/AGP cards in boxes, but I've bee clearing things out since then.

I find that I cant's be bothered to assemble and test ancient equipment I've already tackled, so if I'm not using it anymore, it's either gifted to others, or trashed.
 

Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
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Yeah I know, lol....Ive been accumulating that stuff for 20 some years now. Plus the list hasnt been updated in a while...so there is more that isnt on it...
 

defaultluser

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Yeah I know, lol....Ive been accumulating that stuff for 20 some years now. Plus the list hasnt been updated in a while...so there is more that isnt on it...

And do you have it up and running, or is all all packed away in boxes?
 

Killahurtz

Gawd
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Messages
646
a couple more...a little newer

here is the 775 box...on the right , Abit IP35pro , BFG 8800gtx OC , Corsair mem , Creative sound....runs great , runs period stuff crispy

the left is 939 Athlon 64 X2 4400+ , Asus A8AR32-MVP Deluxe (first full 2x pcie x16) , AMD X1900 crossfire , Patriot mem , Creative sound




IMG_5170.jpg
 

Red Falcon

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Might have to wind forward a bit, but they really do get into it...

Watching right now, I haven't seen this one before, thanks! - Floating point hardware, that fast in 1958, is absolutely amazing!!!
With everything you are into, you might appreciate this as well:

https://paleofuture.com/blog/2019/4...ying-to-build-a-real-life-skynet-in-the-1980s

199my1b3fancljpg.jpg

Kind of amazing, that with everything we are doing with AI right now, they wanted to do back in the 1980s, with only a fraction of the parallel processing capabilities no less.
If only we could have been alive and been adults back in the 1950s and 1980s - what a time to be alive for the technology!
 
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defaultluser

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Watching right now, I haven't seen this one before, thanks!
With everything you are into, you might appreciate this as well:

https://paleofuture.com/blog/2019/4...ying-to-build-a-real-life-skynet-in-the-1980s

View attachment 247173

Kind of amazing, that with everything we are doing with AI right now, they wanted to do back in the 1980s, with only a fraction of the parallel processing capabilities no less.
If only we could have been alive and been adults back in the 1950s and 1980s - what a time to be alive for the technology!

It's no surprise that SCI existed, and it resulted in the first experimental military UAV in the late 80s / early 1990s.

Because self-flying is a whole lot easier than self-driving. Or giving sound advice on battle tactics!

The first functional self-driver was the Tomahawk missile in 1983, and after that it got a lot cheaper to build something intelligent. and GPS-enabled (and multi-use!)

But it's taken a lot longer to make autonomous trucks work. And only just now have the capacity to provide Expert Systems!
 
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Red Falcon

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This is true, and I keep forgetting those UAVs have been in full-production since 1995.
Ground Hunter Killers, or Flying Hunter Killers... 2029 is right around the corner! :borg:

4wUU.gif
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
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Messages
218
Been quite awhile since I posted in this forum. Been doing alot of retro gaming on my Socket 423 'beast'. Unfortunately my Geforce 3 decided to quit outputting video on the DVI-I port, and since I use a DVI to HDMI adapter to connect this system with my 24" Samsung TV/Monitor that I share with my daily driver as well, had to find a cheap replacement. I settled on an Asus FX5200 128MB (128-bit bus version). As lame as the FX5200 is, in this 1.7GHz Willamette P4, it's actually performing better then the Geforce 3 which was surprising to me. Max Payne II kinda struggled on the Geforce 3 at 1024x768 medium settings, whereas the FX5200 can do 1024x768 medium/high settings smoothly.

I also gave up on Windows ME and went back to Windows 98SE. Performance and reliability of ME were fine, I'm just used to 98 and found certain things about ME (in particular DOS issues) to be annoying.
 

w1retap

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I have several CRT's, just didn't have it out in the picture there since this is connected to my test bench area. I just moved a lot of stuff onto basement shelving units since my computer room work area is cluttered. I did setup an Amiga with CRT though just to the right.

WeuEe6M.jpg
 

stinger608

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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Here are some of the "stuff" I have LOL

The old Alienware:


Specs are:
Asus P5Q-E
QX9550
4 gigs DDR2 1600
500 gig Seagate Constellation
EVGA 8800GTX

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Newer Alienware:

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The ole Abit NF7:

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Red Falcon

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Messages
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Dell PowerEdge 6600 6U Server (2004)

LCJhdWQiOlsidXJuOnNlcnZpY2U6ZmlsZS5kb3dubG9hZCJdfQ.png

LCJhdWQiOlsidXJuOnNlcnZpY2U6ZmlsZS5kb3dubG9hZCJdfQ.png

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Compaq 42U Server Rack (1996), which consists of the following from top to bottom:
- Dell E156FP 15" LCD Monitor (2007)
- APC UPS (2020)
- Brocade Managed Switch (2018)
- NEC Color JC-1215MA Composite Monitor (1984)
- Compaq ProLiant DL380 Gen 0 3U Server (2000)
- Compaq ProLiant DL360 Gen 0 1U Server (2000)
- Dell PowerEdge 6600 6U Server (2004)


LCJhdWQiOlsidXJuOnNlcnZpY2U6ZmlsZS5kb3dubG9hZCJdfQ.png
Dell PowerEdge 6600 6U Server (2004)
- 4x Intel Xeon MP 3.0GHz Socket 603 "Galatin" 130nm CPUs with 4MB L2 Cache and 400MT/s (200MHz) FSB
- 4GB (4x 1GB RDIMMs) ECC PC-1600 DDR SDRAM
- ServerWorks CMIC-HE 4P quad-socket motherboard
- PERC 4/DC(LSI MegaRAID) hardware RAID controller U320 SCSI with BBU and 128MB cache
- 8x IBM 73.4GB 10K RPM U320 SCSI 80-pin SCA HDDs in RAID5
- 88E8001 1000Base-SX MM-fiber 64-bit PCI-X gigabit Ethernet
- MSI NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 (CF119) 512MB PCI GPU
- 3x 600 watt PSUs
- Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS Server (i686 - 32-bit)


LCJhdWQiOlsidXJuOnNlcnZpY2U6ZmlsZS5kb3dubG9hZCJdfQ.png
Compaq ProLiant DL-380 3U and DL360 1U Servers
- 2x Intel Pentium III 933MHz Slot 1 and Socket 370 CPUs with 256KB L2 Cache and 133MHz FSB
- 2GB and 1GB (512MB DIMMs) ECC PC-133 SDR SDRAM
- NetBSD 9.0 (i386 - 32-bit) and KNOPPIX 2012 (32-bit)

-----------------------------------------------------------

Well now, the Dell PowerEdge 6600 was a bit of an interesting server of it's time, sold circa mid-2000s.
This unit was the very last to feature Intel's Socket 603, along with the very last of the true 32-bit x86 (aka x86-32) CPUs in Q1 and Q2 of 2004.

All Intel Netburst CPUs sold from 2005 onwards would now be 64-bit x86-64 CPUs, making the Intel Xeon MP 3.0GHz CPUs the most powerful true 32-bit CPUs possible.
They featured 4MB of L2 cache, which in 2020 might seem trivial (considering the AMD 3950X CPU has 64MB of L3 cache!), but in 2004 a standard x86 or PowerPC desktop CPU would have between 512KB to 1MB of L2 cache, and most x86 server CPUs would have between 1-2MB L2 cache.
This server was also a massive 6U in size, which aside from blade servers old and new, a 6U server was not common.

There are also 14 PCI buses, with 10 100MHz 64-bit PCI-X slots (aka 64-bit PCI, not to be confused with PCI-E/PCI-e/PCI Express) and 1 33MHz 32-bit standard PCI slot.
Amazingly, I was able to find a rare MSI NVIDIA GT 520 (Fermi GF119) 512MB PCI (yes, PCI, not PCI-E!) GPU, which is used for light-weight GPGPU applications.

I truly thought that the last standard PCI GPU available was the NVIDIA Series 8 8400GS (Tesla) back in 2007, but nope, a GT 520 PCI GPU from 2011 actually exists!
PCI was long in the tooth back in 2003, and even AGP saw it's last mainstream GPU release in 2008 with the AMD/ATI Radeon HD4670, as PCI Express was on the rise with mainstream desktops and laptops, and especially so with the x86 server markets.

The Dell PowerEdge 6600 also features a 4P quad-socket motherboard, four VRM cards (one for each CPU), and four aluminum heatsinks for the CPUs, which each have an 85 watt TDP.
From the wall, at idle, the Dell PowerEdge 6600 will use around 490 watts, and around 540 watts under full load with its current equipment load.

The six 120mm fans help to cool the top-half of the server, and the three large 600 watt redundant PSUs cool the lower-half of the server.
This unit also features 4GB of PC-1600 DDR SDRAM, with a maximum load of 16GB (4GB per CPU) in a NUMA configuration.

The front panel can be manually removed to expose the eight drive bays, with another optional four drive bays, and SCSI CD-ROM disc drive.
These drives are all controlled by the Dell PERC 4/DC hardware RAID controller with an onboard BBU and 128MB cache, in a RAID5 configuration (7+1 hotspare).

All of these servers are currently being used as pure 32-bit test platforms for both modern and legacy code.
Stay retro! :cool:
 

SamirD

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Thank you for posting these servers!!! I hate seeing equipment like this thrown away (there's a guy in CA on reddit homelabsales with some Dell 2850s and 1750s that's needing to just get rid of them and everyone there tells him to throw them away even though they look brand new aside from some dust). People don't realize how ungodly expensive this equipment was back in its day. Hell, even my DL380 g5 from just a decade ago msrp'd at over $7000! And this is a regular plain-jane server that wasn't top of the line or anything. That Dell 6600 had to cost north of $30k at the time. :eek: Lovely rack and setup! Thank you for sharing!
 

w1retap

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12,315
Nice rack. Those were used for the Compaq Alpha line of server equipment. I have quite a few at work we just recently tossed, and still have several in service racked up with the matching Alpha DS10's, DS20E's, quorum disk arrays, RAID arrays, etc. Next year we are finally replacing our last production Alpha's. Luckily I grabbed some before scrapping this past go-around of upgrade replacements.
 
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