The Post Your Old/Retro Builds Thread

w1retap

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Just finished up this Efika PowerPC build using a bplan Efika 5200b + Radeon 9250. It runs MorphOS.

PXL_20220430_233542604.jpg

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PXL_20220430_234412683.jpg

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w1retap

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Yes, it is a Power PC 5200B CPU, as in Motorola/IBM/Apple type processor of the era. The PCI slot does include the AGP riser. Not 100% sure how it works as I haven't looked into the design used, but it works lol.
 

Red Falcon

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PowerPC as in the CPU's that Apple used before they went to Intel (and then their own in-house SOC's)?
Is the AGP riser in a PCI slot if so how does that work?

Anyway looks really neat!
Apple wasn't the only company to exclusively have computer systems operate with IBM and Motorola PowerPC CPUs.
The PS3, 360, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Yellow Dog workstations, and many IBM servers and supercomputers use/used the PowerPC ISA.
 

GiGaBiTe

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The PCI slot does include the AGP riser. Not 100% sure how it works as I haven't looked into the design used, but it works lol.

AGP is a superset of the PCI specification, and must behave like a PCI device when the card is first brought up before switching into whatever AGP mode it was designed for. But that switch doesn't need to happen, you can wire up an AGP card to a PCI slot with an adapter and have it run in PCI only mode, with the obvious caveat of severe performance degradation. 3dfx did this with their VSA-100 video cards, like the Voodoo4 4500, Voodoo5 5500 and even the Voodoo5 6000. They just used an AGP 2x slot as a fast 66 MHz PCI bus.

The Radeon 9250 is an AGP 8x card designed for transfer speeds of 2133 MB/s and you're choking it down to 133 MB/s of a 32 bit 33 MHz PCI slot, a ~93.8% reduction in bandwidth. But since that bandwidth is shared due to PCI being a parallel drop bus, the actual bandwidth available is lower.

There are some cards this approach probably wouldn't work with, like the janky late "AGP" cards like the HD46x0 and some Nvidia 7000 series cards that used PCIe2AGP bridge chips. These cards are known to have compatibility issues with normal AGP motherboards.
 

Deadjasper

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I have an old Merlin i386 board with a Co-processor and maxed out memory in mothballs and I'm thinking about bringing it back from the dead. Back in the day i rented this system running Windows XP for several years and made a ton of coin even tho it was beyond slow. Thinking I should resurrect it for old times sake.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I have an old Merlin i386 board with a Co-processor and maxed out memory in mothballs and I'm thinking about bringing it back from the dead. Back in the day i rented this system running Windows XP for several years and made a ton of coin even tho it was beyond slow. Thinking I should resurrect it for old times sake.

You didn't run Windows XP on it, because Windows XP won't run on anything less than a Pentium. Windows XP requires CMPXCHG8b and CPUID, the former of which was introduced on the Pentium and the latter which only worked properly on the Pentium and other 586 class processors.

The slowest CPU that Windows XP will run on is the Pentium Overdrive 63 MHz, which was an expensive upgrade for Socket 3 486 machines. This was basically a cut down Pentium core bastardized with a 32 bit memory bus to work on the 486 architecture. I have the 83 MHz version of the POD, and I've installed XP on it just to see what it would do. It is PAINFULLY slow, installing the OS takes hours and booting to the desktop takes 20-30 minutes. And since XP doesn't have proper support for the ISA bus and VESA Local Bus or any of the hardware from the 486 era, you aren't getting any sort of DMA or accelerated video, which makes it worse.

The last version of Windows that will run on a 386 of any sort is Windows 2000, though I wouldn't recommend it.
 

Deadjasper

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You didn't run Windows XP on it, because Windows XP won't run on anything less than a Pentium. Windows XP requires CMPXCHG8b and CPUID, the former of which was introduced on the Pentium and the latter which only worked properly on the Pentium and other 586 class processors.

The slowest CPU that Windows XP will run on is the Pentium Overdrive 63 MHz, which was an expensive upgrade for Socket 3 486 machines. This was basically a cut down Pentium core bastardized with a 32 bit memory bus to work on the 486 architecture. I have the 83 MHz version of the POD, and I've installed XP on it just to see what it would do. It is PAINFULLY slow, installing the OS takes hours and booting to the desktop takes 20-30 minutes. And since XP doesn't have proper support for the ISA bus and VESA Local Bus or any of the hardware from the 486 era, you aren't getting any sort of DMA or accelerated video, which makes it worse.

The last version of Windows that will run on a 386 of any sort is Windows 2000, though I wouldn't recommend it.

Wrong. I once ran XP on 386. Board had a coprocessor. Not sure if it was needed or not. Rented this box to an ancient lawyer for years. Took forever to boot and ran slow as molasses. He was about as fast as it was so they were a perfect match. Still have that MB. Thinking about resurrecting it.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Wrong. I once ran XP on 386. Board had a coprocessor. Not sure if it was needed or not. Rented this box to an ancient lawyer for years. Took forever to boot and ran slow as molasses. He was about as fast as it was so they were a perfect match. Still have that MB. Thinking about resurrecting it.

No, you didn't run XP on a 386. It is not possible due to missing CPU instructions. Having a 387 FPU is not going to make a difference.

please do and put xp on it so we can see that its actually possible.

It is not possible. The last version of Windows that will run on a 386 is Windows 2000.
 

pendragon1

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No, you didn't run XP on a 386. It is not possible due to missing CPU instructions. Having a 387 FPU is not going to make a difference.



It is not possible. The last version of Windows that will run on a 386 is Windows 2000.
he swears hes done it, i want to see it...
 

GiGaBiTe

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i know but wouldnt you like to know how he got it to work when no one else can?

I've seen people go hog wild to the fullest extent possible trying to get it to work, There's really nothing he'd do that would at all be interesting.

Several people have tried hex editing Windows DLLs, executables, the kernel, the boot loader and every other part of the OS to remove CMPXCHG8b and replace it with compatible 486 instruction(s). They had no success and were going at it for years. What makes it even harder is later Windows XP patches started to use SSE and then SSE2 instructions, so at most you could probably go up to SP1 before you start running into more instruction set problems. The 486 has nothing close to SSE, so emulating those instructions would be painfully slow. The number of files you'd have to patch would be comically large.

The other thing limiting would be memory. Windows XP requires an absolute minimum of 64 MB, something which the large majority of 386 motherboards never supported, and 486 boards didn't see until the mid 90s. You'd also need a 386DX for that, because the 386SX in addition to having a 16 bit data bus, also had a 24 bit address bus, limiting it to 16 MB of addressable memory total.
 

Deadjasper

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I've been nursing a bad tooth. Couldn't get it pulled for 15 days due to infection. Got it pulled and now a week later the gum still hurts like hell. I'm having trouble finding a PSU. I probably have one buried somewhere, just gotta find it. Bare with me.
 

Deadjasper

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Just ordered an ATX to AT adapter from eBay. New AT PSU's are available but are a bit pricey. I have plenty of ATX PSU's.
 

Deadjasper

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Had to put this project on hold for a bit due to other issues coming up. I have to round up the rest of the parts that are compatible with this board like video card, mfm controller and HD, floppy controller (or were those built into the mfm controller?)

I have a shit load of old boards and other assorted junk but nothing that goes back this far. :confused:
 

t1k

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A neighbor just gave me these for free. HP XE783 and HP V50 CRT. Windows ME machine LOL. Going to tinker with it and make it some sort of retro station.

I'm wondering if there is a linux distro I can install on it or something....or may just make it a DOS machine. Or keep ME for the lolz I don't know. Need to do some research. It feels good to have a CRT around again though.

hp.jpg
 

Deadjasper

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A neighbor just gave me these for free. HP XE783 and HP V50 CRT. Windows ME machine LOL. Going to tinker with it and make it some sort of retro station.

I'm wondering if there is a linux distro I can install on it or something....or may just make it a DOS machine. Or keep ME for the lolz I don't know. Need to do some research. It feels good to have a CRT around again though.

View attachment 545369

WOW, even has a serial port on the front. 😍
 

t1k

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WOW, even has a serial port on the front. 😍

Yes :D. Looks pretty clean. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the case cover slid off. 100W PSU, 30.7GB WD Caviar HDD. A little dust on the wires and the cooler master hsf, but looks much cleaner than I expected. I'll post some more pics once I get it cleaned up and running (y).

hp2.jpg


hp3.jpg
 

pendragon1

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still not retro, just trash, that your neighbour suckered you into taking...
 
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t1k

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Turns out it had XP SP2 on it.

Intel Celeron, 701MHz, 64MB RAM

hp4.jpg


hp5.jpg



still not retro, just trash, that your neighbour suckered you into taking...

lol you may be right, you may know much more than me about this stuff. Maybe not retro but old anyway. It is fully functioning though. To me it's just an extra machine to tinker with. The neighbor I got it from isn't very computer literate, so I don't think he even knew how good or bad it was. I had helped him fix his cellphone and somehow the conversation got round to this old computer setup he had in a corner of the house. He doesn't even own another computer lol.
 

Format _C:

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A neighbor just gave me these for free. HP XE783 and HP V50 CRT. Windows ME machine LOL. Going to tinker with it and make it some sort of retro station.

I'm wondering if there is a linux distro I can install on it or something....or may just make it a DOS machine. Or keep ME for the lolz I don't know. Need to do some research. It feels good to have a CRT around again though.

View attachment 545369
Notice the two holes that means this CRT looks like it could have had speakers on the sides awesome!
 
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t1k

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I did a full optimization sweep of windows and the machine’s BIOS and a deep cleaning of the ball mouse, which was pretty rough but now works well. I ended up doing away with the mousepad too since it seems to work better without it.

The machine is functioning very smoothly now as an oldschool gaming machine. StarCraft with no cd patch (v1152) works very well, along with Chocolate Doom/Hexen/Heretic after some tuning. I think Diablo II will be a good match for the machine too, so as soon as I acquire a hard copy of that game I’ll install it.

It’s amazing how much enjoyment I can still get out of using such an old machine that I didn’t pay a dime for. Kind of puts things into perspective. I feel a bit like a kid sneaking some games onto the computer in the school library while on break hehe. It has two extra USB ports and reads my modern USB drives just fine which is convenient. I'm sure I will try some other classic PC games in time and may dabble in some console emulation.
 

zpackrat

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I did a full optimization sweep of windows and the machine’s BIOS and a deep cleaning of the ball mouse, which was pretty rough but now works well. I ended up doing away with the mousepad too since it seems to work better without it.

The machine is functioning very smoothly now as an oldschool gaming machine. StarCraft with no cd patch (v1152) works very well, along with Chocolate Doom/Hexen/Heretic after some tuning. I think Diablo II will be a good match for the machine too, so as soon as I acquire a hard copy of that game I’ll install it.

It’s amazing how much enjoyment I can still get out of using such an old machine that I didn’t pay a dime for. Kind of puts things into perspective. I feel a bit like a kid sneaking some games onto the computer in the school library while on break hehe. It has two extra USB ports and reads my modern USB drives just fine which is convenient. I'm sure I will try some other classic PC games in time and may dabble in some console emulation.
the fact you're running 64mb on XP shows true commitment!
 

Mr. Bluntman

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I did a full optimization sweep of windows and the machine’s BIOS and a deep cleaning of the ball mouse, which was pretty rough but now works well. I ended up doing away with the mousepad too since it seems to work better without it.

The machine is functioning very smoothly now as an oldschool gaming machine. StarCraft with no cd patch (v1152) works very well, along with Chocolate Doom/Hexen/Heretic after some tuning. I think Diablo II will be a good match for the machine too, so as soon as I acquire a hard copy of that game I’ll install it.

It’s amazing how much enjoyment I can still get out of using such an old machine that I didn’t pay a dime for. Kind of puts things into perspective. I feel a bit like a kid sneaking some games onto the computer in the school library while on break hehe. It has two extra USB ports and reads my modern USB drives just fine which is convenient. I'm sure I will try some other classic PC games in time and may dabble in some console emulation.
Do be aware though that emulators of the period that will actually run ROMs at full speed on that hardware are kinda ass when it comes to accuracy, do keep that in mind. :)
 
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t1k

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Do be aware though that emulators of the period that will actually run ROMs at full speed on that hardware are kinda ass when it comes to accuracy, do keep that in mind. :)
I will, thanks. I haven’t tried any emulators yet but did get Quake + mission packs installed. It’s quite playable, but the frame rate does drop noticeably at times. I probably won’t try installing anything more advanced since I appear to be hitting the limitations of the hardware.

I will probably give some Gameboy or NES emulators a try soon to start with and see how that goes. And I should have a copy of Diablo II next week to try, which I’m looking forward to.
 

Mr. Bluntman

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I will, thanks. I haven’t tried any emulators yet but did get Quake + mission packs installed. It’s quite playable, but the frame rate does drop noticeably at times. I probably won’t try installing anything more advanced since I appear to be hitting the limitations of the hardware.

I will probably give some Gameboy or NES emulators a try soon to start with and see how that goes. And I should have a copy of Diablo II next week to try, which I’m looking forward to.
The i810 chipset that those systems are based on (fixed function integrated 2D/3D core that's DX5 based on the i740 3D accelerator architecture that failed in the marketplace) should be fine for Diablo II? Most I was really able to play with it was early DX3/5 stuff like Forsaken at 640x480 or Monster Truck Madness 1/2...
 

t1k

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The i810 chipset that those systems are based on (fixed function integrated 2D/3D core that's DX5 based on the i740 3D accelerator architecture that failed in the marketplace) should be fine for Diablo II? Most I was really able to play with it was early DX3/5 stuff like Forsaken at 640x480 or Monster Truck Madness 1/2...
I'm not sure how it will run. The requirements do seem pretty tame though:

d2req.png

I'll find out soon. I did get Warcraft III running even though the system didn't meet the RAM requirement, but it ran too poorly to be playable so I uninstalled it. It has much higher system requirements though: 400 MHz PII / 128MB RAM / DX8.1 GPU. DII should run better.

I can confirm that BGB works well for Game Boy/Game Boy Color emulation and VirtuaNES works best for NES emulation on this system. One thing I've had to do with a lot of the games I'm running is lower the audio fidelity settings. It is fussy with some of the default sample rates and latency settings. The speakers sound decent though and have pretty good power/volume.
 

Mr. Bluntman

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You really need an 1.13GHz Athlon or better for even the earlier builds of SNES9X with the old SPC audio core. Nowadays with the byuu sound engine, heh, anything less than a Core 2 Duo/Quad is inadequate for more modern implementations
 
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t1k

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You really need an 1.13GHz Athlon or better for even the earlier builds of SNES9X with the old SPC audio core. Nowadays with the byuu sound engine, heh, anything less than a Core 2 Duo/Quad is inadequate for more modern implementations
That is good to know, thanks for sharing your knowledge. I probably won't bother trying SNES or newer emulation then. I'm pretty content with GB, GBC, and NES emulation on the machine. I might add some more equivalent or older systems in time. I had some fun playing Castlevania III, TMNT3, and Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six on it :).

tmnt.jpg

(night time pic so not the best quality)
 

t1k

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One last pic :)

pcr.png


I installed the Kega Fusion Sega Genesis emulator, and it seems to work well so far. Played some Ecco the Dolphin and TLW: Jurassic Park and those ran smooth. Will report near the end of the week how well DII runs.

It’s been fun to see what I can squeeze out of the old thing. I’d like to acquire or build some more old machines in time. My first custom PC build was a pentium 4 / geforce 3 I think. I know only very little about PC parts before those.

I remember Apple computers and learning-focused games in school and playing several DOS games on a prebuilt machine at home (X-Wing, MegaRace, dinosaurs/space games and some others) and playing Moto Racer on a Compaq machine. That was around the advent of the internet. Played Command and Conquer and Duke3D on friends machines. I was too young to care about hardware specs then.

In high school I was fortunate enough to have a course where a teacher taught us how to install DOS and each of the early versions of Windows and how to do low level formats and stuff like that. Some hardware history too. I’m glad I got to experience that and learn some of the older ways of doing things.
 
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