Let's Upgrade: My Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Let's Upgrade: My Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF

Postby appiah4 » 2019-1-11 @ 11:08

I have recently acquired and restored a Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF:

Image Image

Now it's time to decide what I want to do with it, and how to upgrade it!

Current configuration is Pentium 1000/133 Coppermine with 384MB PC133 RAM (upgraded from 256MB PC133), a 120GB Samsung IDE (upgraded from a 20GB Samsung IDE), and a LG 16x DVD-RW (upgraded from a broken CD-ROM). The board has onboard i752 video and AD1885 AC97 Audio. Due to some quirks with the motherboard the secondary IDE controller is unreliable and disabled. The motherboard is Tualatin capable so upgrading to a P3-1200 is a possibility (but is it worth it or wise in such a cramped case?). The riser has 3 PCI slots, no ISA.

First order of business was deciding on an OS for this thing..What I had in mind was a Win98/Win2K dual boot, but a good argument can sway me in any direction including Linux distros and OS/2 Warp.

I will then of course need to pick a video card and an audio card for this. My available options are:

Video
3dfx Voodoo 1 A-Trend ATC-2465A4
3dfx Voodoo 1 Diamond Monster3D
3dfx Voodoo 2 PixelView Voodoo II-T
Creative Graphics Blaster PCI CT6700
nVidia TNT2 M64 PCI (Dell OEM)
Matrox Millennium G450 PCI
Sapphire Radeon 7000 PCI
ATI Radeon 7500 PCI (HP Alpha OEM)
Palit GeForce 2 MX 400 PCI
Sapphire Radeon 9250 PCI

Audio
Aureal SoundCom V90
Turtle Beach Montego
Aztech PCI168
Creative Ensoniq PCI
Creative Sb Live! 5.1 SB0100
Terratec DMX XFire 1024
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
Terratec 128i (TTSOLO1-S Ver:1.2)
S-Link SL-41A ESS Solo-1
Terratec 512i Digital
S-Link SL-41A YMF-724
Typhoon A471-N60/A461-L00

How would you go about setting this thing up?
Last edited by appiah4 on 2019-1-11 @ 20:35, edited 1 time in total.
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|Gold-16
i486:U5SX-33|8M|GD5428|CT2290/S2
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4Ti4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: Let's Upgrade: My Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF

Postby chinny22 » 2019-1-11 @ 15:45

Hmm its hard looking at your other PC's in your signature

You already have V1 and 2 rigs, likewise D3D is covered by your 2001 build....
Mayby Matrox card for the few EMBM games? It wont get much use but at least a SFF doesn't take up much space.

Sound wise doesn't look like you have a WIn9x gaming rig with EAX, so you could go with the ZS again (don't see the point of using the live if you have a better card doing nothing)
I'll admit that is a bit boring though, if it was me I'd probably go with which ever of the non creative cards your most interested in or best suited to the games.
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Re: Let's Upgrade: My Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF

Postby SW-SSG » 2019-1-11 @ 18:16

appiah4 wrote:... The motherboard is Tualatin capable so upgrading to a P3-1200 is a possibility (but is it worth it or wise in such a cramped case?). ...

According to CPU World, the maximum power dissipation of the Tualatin 1200 is actually 3~5w less than that of the Coppermine 1000/133. Seems like a no-brainer when the board can do it and if you have the chip on hand.
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Re: Let's Upgrade: My Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF

Postby appiah4 » 2019-1-11 @ 19:37

chinny22 wrote:Hmm its hard looking at your other PC's in your signature

You already have V1 and 2 rigs, likewise D3D is covered by your 2001 build....
Mayby Matrox card for the few EMBM games? It wont get much use but at least a SFF doesn't take up much space.

Sound wise doesn't look like you have a WIn9x gaming rig with EAX, so you could go with the ZS again (don't see the point of using the live if you have a better card doing nothing)
I'll admit that is a bit boring though, if it was me I'd probably go with which ever of the non creative cards your most interested in or best suited to the games.


Thanks. I do have quite a few PCs, but they are all in storage as retirement projects, but this EN-SFF will be something I will keep at hand as a daily driver since it's such a small case and a pleasant one that my wife won't object to. As a result, building something that can span as large a time period without being concerned with overlapping the other PCs is my priority.

The Audigy 2 ZS is actually a typo, it IS in my Athlon64 PC, I will remove it from the list. As you said, I am trying to go with something interesting but has something of everything, and the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz seems to be just that? Sound Blaster Pro and WSS compatible, CrystalFM OPL3 (some people diss it but I think it sounds good and has a charm of its own), EAX 2.0 and A3D 1.0 - I don't know a card that covers more than this off the top of my head. I have GM daughterboards and external modules as well as several software synths for GM..

SW-SSG wrote:
appiah4 wrote:... The motherboard is Tualatin capable so upgrading to a P3-1200 is a possibility (but is it worth it or wise in such a cramped case?). ...

According to CPU World, the maximum power dissipation of the Tualatin 1200 is actually 3~5w less than that of the Coppermine 1000/133. Seems like a no-brainer when the board can do it and if you have the chip on hand.


Interesting, I just might do this then!
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|Gold-16
i486:U5SX-33|8M|GD5428|CT2290/S2
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4Ti4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: Let's Upgrade: My Compaq Deskpro EN-SFF

Postby LunarG » 2019-1-11 @ 19:58

That Turtle Beach Montego is based on Aureal Vortex isn't it? If so, then I'd probably go with that.
The Terratec cards are very non-remarkable. Their best products are their Via Envy based semi-pro cards, but those are much more for music production than gaming. For gaming, I'd stay away from them.
SB Live! would be a safe bet for gaming, but perhaps a bit obvious?

As for graphics, that Radeon 7500 shouldn't be too bad of a choice, I imagine.
WinXP : PIII 1.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 73GB SCSI HDD, Matrox Parhelia, SB Audigy 2.
Win98se : K6-3+ 500MHz, 256MB RAM, 80GB HDD, Matrox Millennium G400 MAX, Voodoo 2, Waveforce 192XG.
DOS6.22 : Intel DX4, 64MB RAM, 1.6GB HDD, ELSA Winner 1000PRO, GUS 1MB, SB16.
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