VOGONS


The more rare Pentium ii PCs

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First post, by 0101000000110101

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I felt that this system in particular deserved its own thread.

This is one of those systems, nobody ever heard of.
This, is one of those systems, that barely has any written history.
The only references to its existence is spam advertisements for RAM upgrades, and a specs sheet that appears to have been buried in the sands of spam. That, and a single thumbnail that is small enough to make a great texture in a game designed for such a machine, this image-
pavilion-8275-us-can-56729.gif
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time we finally give this machine a spotlight, and let it be seen by the world.

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This, is the HP Pavilion 8275. This machine, is the physical embodiment of your serious gamer and workstation user at home just after the mid 90s.
I am a proud owner of this scarce system, and I very proud to let it be noticed by the world for possibly the first time. It really does appear that this machine was just never noticed back in the day and was not widely sold.

So, what's under the hood of this beast?
Well, this thing shipped with-

CPU: Intel Pentium ii 300Mhz
RAM: 48MB DDR (PC100) RAM
GPU: Integrated 4MB 3D capable chip
HDD: Quantum Bigfoot 8GB HDD
OS: Windows 95

Now, how did I even manage to get this machine? Well, earlier this year when I still worked at a computer repair shop that is now closed for good, once in a very great while we would get an elderly person with a surprisingly older machine. So upgrades to that degree were less common, but in this case... This was the oldest anyone has brought in. My close friend and manager at the store was the only one there when a lady brought this monster of a tower in. It was a data transfer to a flash drive job. My friend knew exactly what needed to be done, he offered the lady $20 to take the machine off her hands, she gladly accepted the offer, and shortly after I arrived. The sheer presence of the machine was just a bullet to the chest. It was impossible to miss, its appearance breathtaking, its age and era it comes from, interesting. I asked my friend if the lady who owned it wanted to sell it, and he told me we already bought it.

I was pretty much jumping with joy, I had never seen this machine before in my life, and I'm sure most of you haven't either.
Anyways I took care of the data transfer job, and sadly the lady wanted to keep the hard drive, and for some reason stole the RAM out of it... How someone so computer illiterate could do that is beyond me, but she did it. So, I had to throw in my own drive (which seems to have stopped working as of this post), and I installed Windows XP SP2 for some gaming.

That is the story of how I got it, nothing exciting, other than the astonishingly low price I got it for.

The specs now are:

CPU: Intel Pentium ii 300Mhz
RAM: 256MB SD (PC100) RAM
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 6200 512MB PCI
HDD: 60GB Maxor 7200RPM
OS: Windows XP SP2

Here is a picture of it running GTA SA with mods;

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Last edited by 0101000000110101 on 2017-08-29, 19:27. Edited 1 time in total.

1995 Gateway 2000 P5-120
Intel Pentium P5 120Mhz
16MB EDO RAM
1MB Trident 3D capable GPU
250GB Western Digital IDE drive
OS(s): Windows 98/Windows 2000 SP1

Reply 1 of 24, by looking4awayout

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Very nice system. It's also very well kept for its age, with no yellowing whatsoever.
Are you planning to expand it? If I'd be in your shoes, I'd max the RAM out, install a USB 2.0 card and reserve a flash drive for Eboostr (since you've installed Windows XP, trust me, additional cache will help to speed your system up!) and put the fastest graphics card you can get, as long as it uses an AGP slot (and if it's a universal one, it's even better!).

One little thing though: the computer uses SDRAM modules, not DDR ones. Now it just needs a matching HP monitor, keyboard and mouse. 😉

My Retro Daily Driver: Pentium !!!-S 1.7GHz | 2GB PC166 ECC SDRAM | Gecube Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB OC | 128GB Lite-On SSD + 500GB WD Blue SSD | Creative Sound Blaster Live! CT4620 | Windows XP Professional SP3

Reply 2 of 24, by Jo22

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Thanks for sharing ! 😀

Also thank you for the background story, which you wrote so feelingly. ^^
This PC totally reminds me of the transition between old and new millennia.

Back in late 20th century, there was this feeling of a new hope and euphoria (..) and
more natural, colourful, more rounded machines like this were on the rise.

96e31d9bbaf98d31e5441d633561bcd2.jpg
Oh and then there was Digimon (more than often featuring Windows98SE/PC-98). 😉

Anyway, it were machines like yours who accompanied our younger selfs throughout the 2000s.
It were PCs like this we were making our first steps on in writing E-Mails, chatting to our friends via ICQ, MSN or Skype - still via dial-up.
They were the ones Windows XP would finally find its home in. They were also the ones we proudly lined
up next to our huge 17-19" CRT monitors and big speakers we had.

giphy.gif

Boy, it's been a long walk in time we've gone since then..
Nowerdays, machines are all gloomily or come in an icy, minimalistic industrial look.
Sometimes I whished childish, colouful acrylic designs of the N64, the original iMacs or
the designs of the beige machines (aka "office-gray" colour tint) would make a cameo.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 3 of 24, by 0101000000110101

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That's wonderful guys, thanks for the positive comments and your wonderful stories. 😀

1995 Gateway 2000 P5-120
Intel Pentium P5 120Mhz
16MB EDO RAM
1MB Trident 3D capable GPU
250GB Western Digital IDE drive
OS(s): Windows 98/Windows 2000 SP1

Reply 4 of 24, by appiah4

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I miss PC cases that were beighe/white without looking like they came out of an accountant's office..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 6 of 24, by 0101000000110101

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Oh I also forgot to mention, these systems didn't ship with an AGP slot, surprisingly, so I have to stick with PCI, which is not a big deal. I'm not planning on maxing the RAM out just because of how little of it is actually taken advantage of due to OS bloatyness and lack of software optimization to the extent of consoles. Which would actually argue the reason to add more RAM....

1995 Gateway 2000 P5-120
Intel Pentium P5 120Mhz
16MB EDO RAM
1MB Trident 3D capable GPU
250GB Western Digital IDE drive
OS(s): Windows 98/Windows 2000 SP1

Reply 7 of 24, by cj_reha

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I wouldn't say the system is scarce, more that HP absolutely flooded the market with various OEM systems like this one so much that some slipped through the cracks and weren't covered a lot. Similar thing with an old HP Pavilion laptop I used to own (P3-1ghz, 256mb RAM), only Google results were spam for replacement batteries and powercords.

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Reply 8 of 24, by Unknown_K

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Rare and Pentium II in the same sentence is kind of funny. While one particular manufacturer might not have flooded the market with their P2 system somebody else did and there is nothing special about most of them (outside of old memories). Having said that it looks like a nice system, but people who game would probably want a later system with AGP.

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 9 of 24, by shamino

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Looks like there's an ATI Rage chip on the board. That's probably why there's no AGP slot - they used AGP to attach the onboard graphics. I wish manufacturers had not done that. It would have been nice of them to attach onboard graphics via PCI and leave an AGP slot available. It's much more useful for addon cards then it is for some onboard chip.

I was trying to find what chipset this motherboard uses but I see what you mean about all the RAM/etc spam. Didn't find any real info on the system, but it's probably a 440LX/EX. It could be a 440FX (which has no AGP) but that's very early and pretty uncommon.
The capacitor vents look like Sanyos, which is good news. I see the BIOS chip has a label that says "PPA3" or something like that. Maybe that's a clue to the motherboard's real identity.

Reply 10 of 24, by looking4awayout

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0101000000110101 wrote:

Oh I also forgot to mention, these systems didn't ship with an AGP slot, surprisingly, so I have to stick with PCI, which is not a big deal. I'm not planning on maxing the RAM out just because of how little of it is actually taken advantage of due to OS bloatyness and lack of software optimization to the extent of consoles. Which would actually argue the reason to add more RAM....

If you max the RAM out, add a USB 2.0 card with a flash drive attached to it and install Eboostr to reserve the drive for cache, you would gain a significant improvement in performance in XP, but it's up to the way you're going to use it. I'm personally an enthusiast of maxed out machines, but not everybody want that after all. 😉

My Retro Daily Driver: Pentium !!!-S 1.7GHz | 2GB PC166 ECC SDRAM | Gecube Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB OC | 128GB Lite-On SSD + 500GB WD Blue SSD | Creative Sound Blaster Live! CT4620 | Windows XP Professional SP3

Reply 11 of 24, by Jo22

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You're kidding, right ? USB 2.0 in 2017.. It is equally out-dated like USB 1.0 was in 2005. 😉
Win XP SP2 can handle USB 3.0 just fine, he's probably better of with a NEC-based USB 3.0 PCI card.

Here are a few such cards, albeit pricey :
https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/USB-3 … ower~PCIUSB3S22
https://www.lindy-usa.com/4-port-usb-30-card-pci-51048.html

Maybe they can be found cheaper somewhere else ?

Edit; Never mind. 😀 If there's already a spare USB 2.0 card around, someone can keep using that, of course.
But for a serious upgrade, I would rather invest in an USB 3.0 controller card, so pen drives will work in native mode.
Who knows how long devices will be backwards comaptible ? Intel already removed native USB 1.x/2.x support in their chipsets
(it's now translated by an internal USB 3.0 hub),

Looks like there's an ATI Rage chip on the board. That's probably why there's no AGP slot - they used AGP to attach the onboard graphics. I wish manufacturers had not done that. It would have been nice of them to attach onboard graphics via PCI and leave an AGP slot available. It's much more useful for addon cards then it is for some onboard chip.

By that logic, we could blame pretty much any server makers. They integrated a lot of ATI Rage 128 chips, too.
Anyway, I can imagine that this was done for another reason than trolling users. Back when the Pentium II was around,
AGP wasn't exactly mature yet, you know. 😉

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 12 of 24, by looking4awayout

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Jo22 wrote:

You're kidding, right ? USB 2.0 in 2017.. It is equally out-dated like USB 1.0 was in 2005. 😉
Win XP SP2 can handle USB 3.0 just fine, he's probably better of with a NEC-based USB 3.0 PCI card.

Nice to see that there are USB 3.0 PCI cards, but man, they are incredibly expensive! 😵
That doesn't make them very desirable, at least to me, being in a perpetual shoestring budget.

By the way, I still use USB 2.0 in my Pentium 3 system and I don't have particular issues with the speed. Yes, it's outdated but it's way better than good old USB 1.1, that took ages to transfer a file of a few megabytes.

Hopefully in future, prices of those cards will decrease, and we will snatch them like a cheetah with its prey. 😉

Last edited by looking4awayout on 2017-08-30, 13:25. Edited 1 time in total.

My Retro Daily Driver: Pentium !!!-S 1.7GHz | 2GB PC166 ECC SDRAM | Gecube Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB OC | 128GB Lite-On SSD + 500GB WD Blue SSD | Creative Sound Blaster Live! CT4620 | Windows XP Professional SP3

Reply 13 of 24, by Andy1979

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Startech make a PCI USB 3.0 card (model PCIUSB3S4). Problem is that speed is limited by the PCI bus, but should still be faster than USB 2.0 and has a power connector to enable use with bus-powered drives, etc. Have no experience with the card myself, but remember it being one of the few that came up when I was considering such an upgrade. Opted to go with eSATA in the end though.

My Retro systems:
1. Pentium 200, 64mb EDO RAM, Matrox Millennium 2mb, 3DFX Voodoo 4mb, DOS6.22 / Win95 / Win98SE
3. Compaq Armada M700 laptop, PIII-450, Win98SE
4. Core2Duo E6600 (to be constructed) Win XP

Reply 14 of 24, by Jo22

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Hi, yes XP works just fine with USB 3.0. I was an early adopter back then and can confirm this.
You may need to use a controller with a NEC chip, though. NEC released XP drivers, before it was bought by Renesas.
Early Renesas drivers may also still work. I'm running version 2.1.28.0 right now (on XP).
Link: https://www.techspot.com/drivers/driver/file/ … ormation/15904/

Nice to see that there are USB 3.0 PCI cards, but man, they are incredibly expensive! 😵

That's no wonder. These always had been niche-market items. Probably to upgrade small Atom-based mainboards.
That's similar to those Geforce GF200/GF600 series of cards. They also come in PCI flavors, probably by using bridge chips.
Edit: Pure USB 3.0 cards are not so much in fashion anymore. They get replaced by USB 3.1 cards (Gen 1 and Gen 2), which are based on different chips.
Edit: Firewire, also known as IEEE 1394 or i.Link, is also worth a thought. Firewire 800 was released around 2002, so it is not only period-correct,
but there should be plenty of PCI controller cards, too. At least for external HDDs, Firewire could still make sense, I think. Afaik, even some cardreaders were made for it.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 15 of 24, by shamino

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Jo22 wrote:

By that logic, we could blame pretty much any server makers. They integrated a lot of ATI Rage 128 chips, too.

Servers usually put the Rage on the slowest of their PCI buses, keeping the faster bus(es) available for high performance controller cards.

Desktops, on the other hand, use it to amputate the fastest expansion bus in the system. It probably juiced up their Winbench scores slightly in magazine articles. 😀 My take on it is that if the performance impact of putting the Rage on PCI vs AGP is enough to bother the user, then they'll want an addon card regardless.
To be fair though, at that point in time PCI graphics cards weren't yet at a huge disadvantage vs AGP, so if an owner of this type of system had to upgrade to a PCI graphics card it wouldn't have been the end of the world. Still an annoying design choice though, IMO.

I guess the best solution is allowing the onboard AGP device to be bypassed when an AGP card is inserted, but it seems it took a while before motherboards/chipsets started to be capable of that.

Reply 16 of 24, by Almoststew1990

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How on earth is that thing running GTA San Andreas! I remember getting around 20fps at 800*600 on a 1.7GHz single core vista laptop with intel 945 graphics.

Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | AMD 6800XT | 2Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
AMD DX2-80 | 16MB RAM | STB LIghtspeed 128 | AWE32 CT3910
I have a vacancy for a main Windows 98 PC

Reply 17 of 24, by 0101000000110101

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cj_reha wrote:

I wouldn't say the system is scarce, more that HP absolutely flooded the market with various OEM systems like this one so much that some slipped through the cracks and weren't covered a lot.

While I wasn't old enough to be aware of anything at the time, it appears that this system just wasn't widely sold.

If it somehow was, then it must have suffered being trashed in the masses way back in the early to mid 2000's, resulting it in being rare now.

Jo22 wrote:

You're kidding, right ? USB 2.0 in 2017.. It is equally out-dated like USB 1.0 was in 2005. 😉

My man,

I use USB 1.x almost 24/7.

I would now use my "p a i n" meme, but, I never usually complete data transfers above 15GB.

If a system of mine supports MMX instructions and at the very least supports PCI, I will add a few games, usually GTA SA, GTA III, and MAYBE NFS Most Wanted.

Almoststew1990 wrote:

How on earth is that thing running GTA San Andreas! I remember getting around 20fps at 800*600 on a 1.7GHz single core vista laptop with intel 945 graphics.

I would imagine that laptop was not well rounded and had 400 gallons of bloatware.
It vastly depends on your selected OS, background tasks, and graphics settings in the game. It's possible you had a Celeron D laptop which has a microscopic amount of cache, half as much as any Pentium ii in fact.

Every PC is capable of so much more, it would just take years and years of extra development to make sure EVERY PC is taken full advantage of like consoles are...(for the most part)

Also, I use the PS2 console as a reference to guess (if the system requirements signify SSE instructions or higher are required) if a game will run on MMX instructions. Almost guaranteed, if the game had a PS2 and PC port, the PC port runs on MMX instructions. So technically, the oldest/slowest technologies that can run games from that era, are Pentium Overdrive MMXs and Pentium MMXs, Which I sadly can't get working in my Gateway 2000 properly, I would imagine acquiring a system that was designed with a Pentium MMX would fix the issue.

1995 Gateway 2000 P5-120
Intel Pentium P5 120Mhz
16MB EDO RAM
1MB Trident 3D capable GPU
250GB Western Digital IDE drive
OS(s): Windows 98/Windows 2000 SP1

Reply 18 of 24, by Jo22

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0101000000110101 wrote:
My man, […]
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Jo22 wrote:

You're kidding, right ? USB 2.0 in 2017.. It is equally out-dated like USB 1.0 was in 2005. ;)

My man,

I use USB 1.x almost 24/7.

I would now use my "p a i n" meme, but, I never usually complete data transfers above 15GB.

If a system of mine supports MMX instructions and at the very least supports PCI, I will add a few games, usually GTA SA, GTA III, and MAYBE NFS Most Wanted..

Ah, okay then. :) I'm also limited to USB 1.x on my Mac in OS9. And on my Compaq Armada, too.
My point rather was that upgrading to USB 3 makes more sense now (if possible)..

I guess USB 2 vs USB 3 is just something that makes me a bit emotional (@looking4awayout sorry about that) - I switched to USB 3.0 circa 7 years ago.
Well, at least I tried so. Getting the new PCIe controller was easy, but it took me forever to get an USB 3.0 HDD enclosure.

I had to buy it online from a foreign place, because the local sellers just couldn't let go off their old USB 2.0 goods.
Even ~3 years after USB 3.0 was out, they resisted to sell any USB 3.0 pen drives or card readers.

Nope, just USB 2 stuff (even aged USB 1.x web cams). But the saddest part was, that the young shop assistants had never heard about USB 3.0 at this point.
This was in ~2013. And I asked in these big electronic stores (you know, those who sell graphics cards, keyboards, mice, etc.).

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 19 of 24, by 0101000000110101

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Jesus, USB 3.0 has been out for THAT long?

It really shows low tow tech I am over here, the most I have ever experienced was a USB 3.0 device bottlenecked to a USB 2.0 based machine.

1995 Gateway 2000 P5-120
Intel Pentium P5 120Mhz
16MB EDO RAM
1MB Trident 3D capable GPU
250GB Western Digital IDE drive
OS(s): Windows 98/Windows 2000 SP1