First post, by nemail
just wanted to cry about my luxury problems here, no pity expected.. 😀
If you want pictures, let me know.
Move to Milliways, if it doesn't fit here.
I've got way too many S7 builds, I guess that's because a P1 150 was my very first, absolutely new computer (Compaq Presario 4162) and I never managed to get one again after I tossed mine about one and a half decades ago, UNTIL A FEW WEEKS AGO 😁
So I've got a Compaq Presario 4170ES now, which is almost identical to what I had and now that I got my Socket 7 nostalgia demand satisfied, I decided to go one step further and try to kind of rebuild the absolute l33t h4x0r system which my cousin had back in the day as a second Socket 7 system and that was something like a kind of maxed-out Socket 7 system.
I was planning to use my ASUS TX97-XE which I had lying around for years, not putting it to use, plus a P1 233 MMX and a V2 12MB SLI combo, everything paired with 64 MB RAM and a tbd, nice sound card (I'm not having very special ones here, sadly) and one or two good ol' Seagates or WDs in a sub-10GB range. On top I would have thrown a nice CD burner. I know that a V2 SLI combo won't max out with a P1 233MMX but meh, all other systems have either V3s or even a V5 so who cares xD.
Unfortunately all of my P1 builds are AT based (GA-586HX, GA-586ATS and none of my ATX cases are free to use them for the TX97-XE, which would be a hell of a board for this build (I want to stick to Intel chipsets here).
One of my ATX cases is stuffed with dual PPros @ 200 MHz on a Tyan board, so I'm not going to rip that one apart. The other one hosts an ASUS P5A with a K6-3+ and a V3 3000 AGP so that one is no option either and the third ATX case which I do have here has a dual P3 (S370) system with a V5 5500 AGP in it, besides it is a very ugly, very cheap P4-era case so there is no way in hell I'd be going to put a wonderful, "new" Socket 7 build in there. Terrible enough, the poor Dual P3 build has to sit in there.
Almost forgot one ATX case, which has a P3B-F with a P3 733 (I think) and a V3 3000 AGP in it, so I'll leave that be as well.
I always had a shortage of AT cases and so I started hoarding them and oddly I'm now in the situation where I got wonderful hardware for a new ATX build and there are no ATX cases left to put that system together but plenty of AT options. I already searched through our local "craigslist"-like platform and did write to some people who had ok-ish ATX cases listed but still, this was veery unsatisfying and even quite frustrating because I do not have much free time and overcame myself to finally do some retro stuff again after quite a while only to find out that I can't even start what I planned and that I spent the whole evening of my scarce free time searching for parts I don't have. Like an alternative for the P5A: I thought I had an P5A-B as well which I could have put into one of the AT cases instead of the ATX case to make that one free for the new Socket 7 build. Maybe it is at my dad's, that happens when you have to spread your stuff everywhere to not stuff your apartment up (too much).
So I'm sitting here with my Presario Socket 7, which has a crappy 430VX chipset, but I love it just because it is nearly identical to my first own, new computer, then I have a 430FX Socket 7 buld here (GA-586ATS) which is fine but unnecessary, now that I have my Compaq (the GA-586ATS was meant to substitute the Comapaq because I didn't think I'd ever manage to get one again) and then I have the GA-586HX build, which is inferior to the TX97-XE. Not by much I guess, but hey, I have the parts here and why throw away UDMA33 which the TX97-XE supports and the GA-586HX does not. I wanted to build the top-notch Socket 7 system from the parts I'm having here and knowing that there is an unused TX97-XE while using the GA-586HX build, just doesn't work for me. Besides I replaced the caps in the TX97-XE as well so I'd really like to make that time and money investment worthy as well (also I want to see if it works). The GA-* builds are all AT, as mentioned, so I can't move and that's reeally annoying.
On top of all that comes, that I have way too many old PCs anyway. A friend of mine built me a wooden rack/shelf where I could put 8 PCs + a 19" rackmount KVM switch on top of each other in separate shelves and I thought that would be enough for the main builds but nope, no way. Besides, all but one shelfes are made for desktops, so I can only put two towers side by side and the rest of the PCs have to be desktops (or I lay towers on their side, which I don't like much). One tower which is standing in the rack is the P3 and one is the PPro 200. Even the K6-3+ and the Dual P3 1000 build didn't make it into the rack. Now go and find some ok-ish ATX desktop cases... And even if I put the excess PCs next to the rack (which is what I'm doing), the KVM switch wouldn't have enough channels to support them all. So again, moving cables between PCs. Annoying and not good for the connectors/solder joints as well.
Last but not least, not that there are more PCs than I could fit in the rack in my apartment (like a PS/1 2155 and a Shuttle HOT 433 build), there are even more PCs (like about 10, I guess), in my dad's basement. One of them is a PS/2 Model 90 or 95 (see, I don't even remember 😁), a Compaq Deskpro 386.
If you made it until here, I have to pay respect and apologize. This was just me, whining about crap and stuff.
I probably should get help xD
Or is this (space for stuff, cabling, KVM, components like proper cases, decisions about which components to use) common stuff in the retro scene, everyone involved has to deal with?
Stay safe, gotta go to sleep now.