VOGONS


1997 Pentium MMX Rebuild

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First post, by Nick4

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Two years ago I built a nice and clean 1997 PC - 1997/98 20 years anniversary build

But I wasn`t 100% satisfied with it. I wanted more period correctness, more 90`s spirit=)

And recently, I was lucky enough to get a NOS desktop AT-case in box. So I decided to rebuild my retro rig immediately.

So, let`s start!

The specs are the same:

CPU: Intel Pentium MMX 200 MHz
MB: Asus TXP4 Motherboard
RAM: 32 Mb
Video: S3 Virge DX + Diamond Monster 3D 3Dfx Voodoo 4mb
Audio: Creative SoundBlaster AWE64 ISA
HDD: 4 Gb CompactFlash (CF to IDE Adapter)
CD: Asus CD-S520/A5
FDD: NEC 3,5"
PSU: Super AT 200 Watt
Case: AT Desktop Multimedia Case

This new old stock desktop case looks absolutely 90`s=) It has built-in speakers, volume level indicators, frequency display and a turbo button! How more 90`s can it be?!
Can`t say what is the name of this case. It`s box say this is something called LV-7000D.
wyeLdbCl.jpg

A lot of going on here:
680nBbll.jpg

I added a Super Rack with keylock. Now it`s 101% mid-90`s =)
QDHuAG3l.jpg
Also, a Super Rack contains CF to IDE Adapter with CompactFlash for easy access.

Back of the case:
JwRYMVql.jpg
It lacks 4 slot cover from the box. So, I assume someone built a system in it once, but never used it.

Under the hood:
tvndW3il.jpg

It`s time to throw in some hardware:
x8tGb4Jl.jpg

It is a realy nice case to build in:
1QxgDval.jpg

My next cool find was a NOS keyboard Chicony KB-7903. It was a pretty popular ergonomic keyboard in mid-90`s.
D6lV7VAl.jpg

The keyboard has an arabic layout. This is very unusual for my country, so maybe it is the reason why it never been used. But who cares? It`s new!
5s31lxQl.jpg

Looks awesome. Also, the keyboard looks too white for this beige awesomeness=)
xy1Rr5Sl.jpg

Finally, let`s power it up! I`m in love with all this illumination:
eyL1UFel.jpg
But I need to reprogram frequency display to show 200 MHz.

I am so satisfied with this build! It is so fun and nostalgic to use it! When I was a kid, I loved this desktop cases much more than boring midi-towers. Glad to have one now in such a great condition.

Last edited by Nick4 on 2020-06-13, 20:20. Edited 4 times in total.

Reply 4 of 40, by Nick4

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kolderman wrote on 2020-06-09, 21:45:

Nice case. I would love one just like it in atx.

Yes, I think it would be nice to build a modern sleeper-PC in it, if it was atx.

Dragon Caesar wrote on 2020-06-09, 23:29:

What a wonderful find! You have excellent taste

Thank you, sir!

chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-06-10, 02:36:

That case is awesome and now I want one. It's a great system spec wise seriously great job on it. How's the sound quality with the speakers?

It sounds weird, the sound mutes on one speaker or another or both when you turning the volume knob. I think something is wrong with built in ampifier. If you find a position of knob, when both speaker works, the sound quality is pretty standart for 90`s plastic computer speakers.

Last edited by Nick4 on 2020-06-10, 05:13. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 5 of 40, by foil_fresh

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sweet boombox bro!

Pentium MMX 166MHz / Shuttle HOT591-p / S3 Virge DX / SB 16
Pentium II 266MHz / Lucky-Star 6ABX2V / Riva128 / AWE64 / AW744L
Pentium III 950 MHz / SY-7VBA / Voodoo 3000 / Aureal Vortex 2
Pentium IV 3.4GHz/ GA-8S655FX / Geforce 6800 GT / Audigy

Reply 7 of 40, by Nick4

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foil_fresh wrote on 2020-06-10, 04:11:

sweet boombox bro!

Thx!

chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-06-10, 11:26:

That sounds like the volume pot needs a good cleaning.

Good idea, i`ll try to clean everything up with alcohol.

Reply 9 of 40, by ATauenis

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Great! But the CD-ROM is too new for this build. It is from 2005+. Correct CD drive for 1997 should have Audio-out with volume regulator, and Play button. Probably also it should be 8x max and without CD-RW reading support.

2×Soviet ZX-Speccy, 1×MacIIsi, 1×086, 1×286, 2×386DX, 1×386SX, 2×486, 1×P54C, 7×P55C, 6×Slot1, 4×S370, 1×SlotA, 2×S462, ∞×Modern.

Reply 10 of 40, by Nick4

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ATauenis wrote on 2020-06-10, 13:51:

Great! But the CD-ROM is too new for this build. It is from 2005+. Correct CD drive for 1997 should have Audio-out with volume regulator, and Play button. Probably also it should be 8x max and without CD-RW reading support.

I use only new parts that affect PC exterior.

You are right, this drive is from 2005. But it`s not affecting perfomance or overall retro-feel. Also, I need to use this PC comfortly in 2020. So a little bit modern cd-drive(with cd-r/сd-rw support) or CF card instead of old hdd is acceptable compromises.

Totally agreed that audio-out with volume regulator, and play button are "must have". I`m looking for NOS cd-drive from 1997, but no luck.
Also, in 1997 24-32x drives were pretty common, 8x is too old for that year.

Reply 12 of 40, by Nezarn

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Damn that case is super sexy, shame that case manufacturers are only making black\RGB and boring cases (and also theres barely any horizontal cases too) 🙁

If that sexy case would exist in ATX version I would use one 🤣

Reply 13 of 40, by chinny22

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You just know the speakers are going to be tinny but who cares, flashy volume lights are great! Do they still work if you plug external speakers in?
3 digit displays are pretty rare let alone ones that allow you go above 199, for that reason think a 200-266 CPU is prefect for this case.

Hate those keyboards I'm sure they are ok once you get used to them but screw that, are very much a late 9o's thing though.

Reply 14 of 40, by Nick4

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-06-10, 15:56:

You just know the speakers are going to be tinny but who cares, flashy volume lights are great! Do they still work if you plug external speakers in?
3 digit displays are pretty rare let alone ones that allow you go above 199, for that reason think a 200-266 CPU is prefect for this case.

Hate those keyboards I'm sure they are ok once you get used to them but screw that, are very much a late 9o's thing though.

I do not know is it possible to connect external speakers thru this case. It has a 6.5 mm jack marked "pre out", but i do not have such cable or adapter to check what is it doing.

I like ergo keyboards. I have a microsoft natural 4000 as my daily driver.

Reply 15 of 40, by gravitone

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Great build, I had a very similar machine back in the day spec wise.
Pentium 166MMX
32MB SDRAM
diamond S3 Trio64V+ 2mb
Diamond monster 3d 4mb
Soundblaster AWE64 value
4x panasonic CD-ROM drive.

Can't for the life of me remember which motherboard it had though.
The case was a pretty standard m-atx affair with one of those round mint green power buttons that you'd see everywhere.

Reply 16 of 40, by Intel486dx33

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I have pretty much the same build but with a tower ATX case, same motherboard, and video card.
Pentium 133 DOS gamer dream machine (1995/97 ).

But I am running strickly DOS 6.22 in order to play as many old and new DOS games as possible.

My aim is for best performance in old and new DOS game play.
I found that aiming for "period correct" is out of the question.

My previous build was a 486dx4-100 computer and it did NOT meet my needs as it did not play many DOS games very well.
486 Multimedia dream build ( 1993/94 ).

The Pentium CPU is a much better performer in DOS games.
And the Pentium CPU can be easily down clocked to a 386 and 486 computer speed simply by disabling cache in bios.
Disable motherboard cache for 486 speed
Disable CPU and motherboard cache for 386 speed.

I am using a Sound Blaster Pro 2.0 which works great at any speed.

So I found this 1st gen Pentium computer to be much better at DOS game play than the 486.

Reply 17 of 40, by Nick4

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gravitone wrote on 2020-06-11, 09:55:
Great build, I had a very similar machine back in the day spec wise. Pentium 166MMX 32MB SDRAM diamond S3 Trio64V+ 2mb Diamond m […]
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Great build, I had a very similar machine back in the day spec wise.
Pentium 166MMX
32MB SDRAM
diamond S3 Trio64V+ 2mb
Diamond monster 3d 4mb
Soundblaster AWE64 value
4x panasonic CD-ROM drive.

Can't for the life of me remember which motherboard it had though.
The case was a pretty standard m-atx affair with one of those round mint green power buttons that you'd see everywhere.

Nice, Pentium 166MMX was very popular that days. I had an old 486 DX2 and could only dream about Pentium=)

Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-11, 10:14:
I have pretty much the same build but with a tower ATX case, same motherboard, and video card. Pentium 133 DOS gamer dream mach […]
Show full quote

I have pretty much the same build but with a tower ATX case, same motherboard, and video card.
Pentium 133 DOS gamer dream machine (1995/97 ).

But I am running strickly DOS 6.22 in order to play as many old and new DOS games as possible.

My aim is for best performance in old and new DOS game play.
I found that aiming for "period correct" is out of the question.

My previous build was a 486dx4-100 computer and it did NOT meet my needs as it did not play many DOS games very well.
486 Multimedia dream build ( 1993/94 ).

The Pentium CPU is a much better performer in DOS games.
And the Pentium CPU can be easily down clocked to a 386 and 486 computer speed simply by disabling cache in bios.
Disable motherboard cache for 486 speed
Disable CPU and motherboard cache for 386 speed.

I am using a Sound Blaster Pro 2.0 which works great at any speed.

So I found this 1st gen Pentium computer to be much better at DOS game play than the 486.

Great build you have, and a nice case too. 486 is very slow for late DOS games, true.

Reply 18 of 40, by buckeye

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I'd give my left "u know what" for that case! I assume you have a comparable CRT to go with it?

Foxconn Q45M E8400 Core2 Duo 3GB DDR2 800 BFG Geforce 7950GT 512MB X-Fi Xtreme Music 500W XP SP3
Intel SE440BX P3 450 256MB 40GB Voodoo 3000 16MB SB 32pnp 350W 98SE
Intel DH61CR i3 LGA-1155 8GB DDR3 EVGA 1050ti 4GB 480GB SSD 650W

Reply 19 of 40, by Nick4

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I cleaned every contact I could get to and now speakers works perfectly!

Amplifier board:
yymePpSl.jpg

I shot a short demo of playing audio:
https://youtu.be/g7FZldhcxZI

buckeye wrote on 2020-06-11, 14:48:

I'd give my left "u know what" for that case! I assume you have a comparable CRT to go with it?

No, I don`t have one. I don`t have enough room for CRT monitor. But some day I`ll get a proper NOS monitor, I promise=)