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First post, by chris2021

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Show the world your server/workstation.

What you specify as a server is legit. The term is thrown around somewhat like bags of barley. Anything you want to call a server (or workstation) is ok. Let 'er rip. Retro or modern. Doesn't matter.

I'll contribute at another time. I have 2. Have shown at least 1 in the past.

Reply 3 of 13, by ratfink

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I expect old servers aren't all that popular, they are slower and burn more electricity than more modern kit (pure utilitarian view of servers). Depends on your definition of retro though.

But there are plenty of threads about multi-cpu machines, and workstations.

Gameswise - for old games (98 era and before at least) you don't gain much as pretty much only quake3 could take advantage of more than one core/cpu - otherwise you just get gains from background tasks (maybe) being spread to other cores. And you'd need to run Nt4/2000/XP, with Nt4 being limited in hardware and DX support (if you're not into hacking/whatever) - in turn that limits games support, especially sound - and if you're going to run dosbox, you don't need an old server to do so.

Personally I liked my old IBM Intellistation 5858CG or some such, dual P3 8-900mhz, some enormous-at-the-time rambus ram, noisy as hell scsi drives with a long boot sequence... was fine for UT2004, Q3 and WC3, I had it set up variously with a V4/V5, GF4Ti, Aureal Vortex/Santa Cruz, running 2000. I even used it for scanning negatives - not actually any slower (in my mind) from scanning the same size negatives on a modern rig with a modern scanner. But eventually I replaced with an Athlon 2000 system running 98 but the same cards, which is much better for games , boots faster, is much quieter and far lighter to move around.

I had a bit of a fling with a K7D too, but couldn't really see the point from my usage - same sort of experience and limitations as with the Intellistation, but a bit faster.

Reply 4 of 13, by Meatball

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Here is my fully restored and upgraded Dell Optiplex GX300.

Some past articles and details:

Dell
https://www.zdnet.com/article/dell-launches-optiplex-gx300/
https://www.cnet.com/tech/tech-industry/dell- … r-windows-2000/
https://web.archive.org/web/20001216002600/ht … x_gx300_rec.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20010115110000/ht … _csa_report.htm

ELSA
https://web.archive.org/web/20000621104526/ht … ICA/WELCOME.HTM
http://www.shopelsa.com/product.asp?sku=1667429
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/opengl-w … ower,334-4.html

Turtle Beach
https://web.archive.org/web/20000817082335/ht … ducts/santacru/
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a-soundb … ter,368-17.html

I made the following changes, updates, subtractions while keeping it period accurate (except the HDD) and increasing its capabilities as a workstation (and maybe for playing a game or two!):

Completely disassembled the case, power supply, and all components for a thorough inside-and-out cleaning.
BIOS updated to latest reversion (A10)
Microsoft Windows 98/NT 4.0/2000 Professional sticker (original) re-added to the front bezel
Intel Pentium III sticker (original) re-added to the front bezel
Microsoft Windows 2000 OEM COA (original) sticker re-added w/original Dell copy of Windows 2000 Professional CD and "Getting Started" package.
2x 733/133MHz --> 2x Pentium III 1000MHz/133MHz Coppermine Processors (original heatsinks retained and new thermal paste applied)
2x 256MB (512MB) --> 2x 512MB (1024MB) PC800 ECC RDRAM Modules
Nvidia TNT2 M64 32MB SDRAM --> ELSA GLoria III Nvidia Quadro2 PRO 64MB DDR AGP 4x Graphics Card (Original Dell Part) (new thermal pasted applied to core)
Analog Devices AD1885 Integrated Audio --> Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Crystal CS4630 (Original Dell Part)
Iomega Zip 250MB IDE disk drive --> USB 2.0 w/5.25" Drive Bay Caddy connected to Via VT6202 PCI Card
CD-ROM --> IDE DVD-ROM
40GB Western Digital 5400 IDE HDD --> Lite-ON 128GB NVMe (mounted in SATA enclosure within the 5.25" USB 2.0 caddy w/SATA to IDE adapter connected to the motherboard)

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Reply 5 of 13, by chinny22

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Love me some servers, not sure they like me as of late though?

I did a post on my Prolient 1600
Re: Proliant 1600 Barn (well shop office) Find
Since that post I added period correct options at purchase Namely
The LCD "Integrated Management Display" P/N 169338-002 (very sexy)
Compaq Remote Insight Board P/N 136344-001
Compaq RILOE 2 SP#232386-001
Compaq branded DDS-4 tape drive to replace the HP tape drive
and finally replace the AWE for a SBLive (just to give the thing some sound and wanted the AWE for another build)

Sadly last year it no longer powers on. Both the motherboard and PSU have been swapped with spares I had gotten beforehand but still nothing. I love this thing but it's big and heavy and with a move to Australia on the cards I think I may have to part this out 🙁

I also fully upgraded a ML350 G5 for a "ultimate Win2k build" after which it went back into storage then about year later complains that the onboard vrm is faulty.
ML350 G5 Dual X5460 Build
I've already stolen the CPU and ram for some dual CPU workstations and have a DL380 G5 sitting in storage that also be perfect fit for ultimate 2k build so the ultimate fate of this is unknown.

My currant main server is a Dell Poweredge R210 Winning Windows 2003, probably my most practical server (small, single socket) but doesn't really excite me which is why I haven't done my usual upgrade it like crazy like the others
Dell R210 My "New" Server, also it just turned 10!

I've also somewhat recently (last year) ranup a Poweredge 1950 with Win2k Advanced Server that I did some upgrading
Upgraded the CPU's to the max supported pair of X5365
RAM was upgraded to 32GB set in mirror mode (as Win2k only supports 16GB)
Purchased a Drac 5 card
The RAID card was dead, I salvaged a Perc6i card but this isn't Win2k compatible so had to buy a Perc5i card with the 256MB module
I didn't bother with the raid battery as really any of my servers only get minimal use so they will expire long before I get my use out of them, this does not make the server happy though 🤣

These are all used as "retro storage space" and not gaming. I like the idea of maxing out the OS's compatibles. anything earlier then Windows 2003 is easy as it cant tell the difference between core sockets, so the fact that say Windows 2000 sees 2 dual core CPU's as 4 isn't cheating in my book.

also have a few workstations acting as servers complete with Exchange and other associated server applications so I can play around with them
NT 3.51 /Backoffice 2.0 PPro build
NT3.51 Just turned 25 Today!

NT4 /Backoffice 4.5 based on a Dell Precision 650 workstation
Precision 650 Dual Xeon System

Windows 2000 SBS based on a HP XW6200
Windows 2000 20th Anniversary Client/server build

I've a number of other servers in storage, I'm lucky? working in IT I often get them for free as companies decommission them. It got to the point I had to draw a line at anything that doesn't support 2003 or older as I was running out of space. (and newer OS's don't interest me as a hobby)

Reply 6 of 13, by BSA Starfire

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My main PC is a 2008 vintage HP ProLiant ML115 G5. CPU is AMD Opteron 1354, a quad core K10 @ 2.2 GHz(pretty much same as original Phenom x4). 8 GB or DDR2 RAM, it has a somewhat unusual Nvidia chipset motherboard with a Matrox G200 graphics embedded into the chipset. The second GPU is an Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 with 768 MB GDDR3 RAM.

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I use an old Sound blaster Live! SBO220 PCI for audio, a Samsung SSD and 2 mechanical hard drives for storage. The display is an Dell IPS 22 inch 1680x1050. The original PSU was replaced years ago with a Corsair CX 430.

Dual boot Linux MINT 20.3 & Windows 7.

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 7 of 13, by BitWrangler

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"Anything you want to call a server"

Okay, anything.... This is my last 486 retired from active duty, I'm thinking in maybe 2008, but may have gone as long as 2010. As retired condition, so dusty. It was my main internet router from 2001ish, and shared a few hundred MB disk for small important docs to the network, probably full of ancient resumes. Dual NIC, one for the incoming "broadband" though that didn't exceed 5Mbit here until 2010s so you can see why I didn't mind using 10Mbit ISA NICs for it, then one to connect to a hub which had a 802.11b WAP slaved off it, and about 6 Cat5 cables spidering away to the rest of the house. Was running an extremely lightweight linux distribution known as FreeSCO, meaning free Cisco, as in the hugely spendy at the turn of the millenium commercial routers (save the Sco rants for somewhere that cares, this has nothing to do with them. Though maybe gave this distro an image problem which meant it was less popular than it could have been.) IIRC it has an Intel DX2 @ 66 and 64MB of RAM, board is using a SiS chipset, looks most similar to https://theretroweb.com/motherboards/s/dtk-pkm-0038s

Had ppl in the house playing Warcraft, Counterstrike, and using Limewire etc, and the poor thing took a hammering, blocking dozens of (Nefarious) connection attempts per second. Shields held. Ping was quite low through it, 2ms IIRC. Had uptimes of months, probably limited due to power glitches and brownouts rather than hardware or software locking up. Time moved on, little boxes that did everything, router and wifi got real cheap, it's immediate replacement was a WRT-54G for the routing duty, and just windows shares for file backup. However, I was in process of planning a 2nd Gen FreeSco setup, there's a pic of how far I got, some of the various dramas or catastrophes probably yanked me away from it, and got better standalone routers. That one didn't get it's NICs, think I was still futzing with CPU stability testing, as it's a 266 Klamath decased with a 370 heatsink bolted on, probably running at 4x75. PCPartner BX board. Currently just have a boring generic wifi router with a 2TB USB hard drive plugged into it, which seems fine for demands placed on it.

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    Ye olde faithful, DX2-66 that put in 7 solid years of router/server duties this century!
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    Unfinished Gen2 router/server from 15 years back.
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Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 8 of 13, by lepidotós

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For modern, I'm saving up to build a modern workstation/daily desktop build that I'm hoping will last me the next 10-15 years. IBM POWER9 02CY297 (will later switch out to an 8-core, or a 160w 16-core, whichever is cheaper) in a Raptor CS Blackbird motherboard, with 32GB of RAM and a Radeon RX or Pro W of some description. I have an RX 570 right now slated for it, but due to ROCm 4.5 deprecating Polaris, I'm leaning towards swapping it out with an RX Vega 64 since Vega is still supported by ROCm and thus Blender and Shotcut, and a few years down the line swapping that Vega 64 out with a Radeon Pro W6600 (or W7600) mainly because I prefer single-slot cards and either one will handle RT at the relatively low (320x200 at the low end, 1024x768 at the high end) resolutions I plan on playing the games that are available for ppc64le at. The "workstation" part comes in with me wanting to use it to pick up 3D animation, voice acting, and all that.

Here's an image with the parts.

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For older, I have a currently broked Power Mac G4 dual 450 from 2000. It's not been upgraded at all, but I plan on throwing OpenBSD on it and using it to host my website, ultrareality.info, which is meant to once it's finished be a homebrew guide/general fansite for Nintendo's 64-bit console and desperately needs updating since I haven't touched it since September.

I also have plans on eventually getting one of those Tyan S2875/S2885 dual-Socket 940 + AGP + PCI boards and making a balls-to-the-walls 2003 graphics workstation build with dual Opteron 244s or 248s, 8 or 16GB of RAM (I see conflicting reports on this from Tyan themselves, apparently the chipset is single-channel so I'll probably shoot for 12GB), and a Radeon 9800 XT, quad-booting Windows 98 SE, Windows XP or ReactOS, Windows Vista SP2 64-bit, and Slackware. I'd definitely use it for older ray tracing renderers and modelling programs, but I'd also use it to test out any game or software that works with "any" dual core amd64 computer, e.g. Fedora 37 or Toxikk. After all, this build would be the amd64 computer just as the 5150 (or... AT?) was the x86 computer.

Last edited by lepidotós on 2022-11-20, 08:35. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 9 of 13, by Disruptor

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I used to have an IBM 286 as server
512 KB RAM
20 MB MFM HDD, full height
Novell Dos 7 with
Personal Netware
Print Server for my HP DeskJet 560C
128 KB HDD cache in conventional memory

Clients (mom, brother and me) used to have hardware from 386sx to 486/100 at this time

Reply 10 of 13, by chris2021

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I can do better (or worse) then that.

Northstar Dimension, 80186 processor, multi-user server type box that houses 8088 processor boards (mine has 2). It runs Netware-86 or a variant. The pos don't work though. But you have to admit it's movellous. Dahling.

Reply 11 of 13, by chris2021

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SO ... got my Xeon Scalable lga 3647 silver 4114 chip in the mail. 10/20 cores, 2.3ghz. About 13000 on the passmark. Pretty smokin for 11$ shipped. I bought an Intel dual socket blade type board for 90$ shipped last year. It's a very long board, also very narrow. As soon as I figure out how to wire it up I'll test this chip. Then see if I can jam it into this mini-itx case I have here. What?? Yep, this case is as non standard as the serverboard. Taller then most mid atx tower. We'll see.

Reply 12 of 13, by lepidotós

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Hey, not bad for $11! Hope it's good.

I got my own CPU deal, an IBM 02CY231 for $175 ($186 total). Based on Raptor's pricing for the 18-core, it should be $2,350, so I got it for about a 92.5% discount. It's 16 core, unfortunately paired but 160 watt so it should just work in the Blackbird. Can undervolt/overclock if needed.

Reply 13 of 13, by chris2021

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There was a non workimg/ semi working IBM something I passed up a while back. I cam't even remember tne specifics, but I think it had a Power/power pc something. It was prety early. If I saw it again I'd recognize.it. Pretty vanilla looking beige box.