New rigs! (first ones of a bunch)

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New rigs! (first ones of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-02 @ 07:22

Since I got some bad RSI last week and my attic was recently completed, I decided to try out attic 2.0 (:P) and build myself a couple rigs, which are now in various stages of completion.

The first rig to have actually been completed (but the 3rd one I started on) is meant to be a (spare) LAN rig.

I used an old but cute looking Antec case with a 9.2cm exhaust fan.
Stats:

*ASUS A7V600 motherboard (which curiously doesn't have a system fan header)
*1.5GB DDR-400 cl3
*For now, a Sempron 2600+ @1.833Ghz (want to upgrade it later to a Barton)
*8cm Socket A cooler with copper slug
*Geforce FX5900 (ultra?) with a copper Zalman cooler (and it kinda needs it, it's a pretty hot card)
Tagan 380W PSU with a single 12v 22ishA rail
*80GB SATA harddrive, 2003/2004 vintage (so quite slow unfortunately, but I have to make due with what I have laying around due to money constraints)
*Windows XP Home SP3 (meant for internet as well)








The system is up and running, but I found it to be annoyingly loud. Before I start using it I want to make it more silent, meaning I'll have to find out which component is responsible for the annoying whining sound.
I already ruled out the Zalman and case fan and surprisingly the harddrive!
Left are the 8cm CPU cooler, the 8cm front case cooler and the PSU. If neither of those are responsible, then it's probably coil whine. So the system specs will change.
If temperature becomes an issue I might relocate the internals into a case with 12cm exhaust which has been made "better" with a lil help of a jigsaw.
I spend a good part of yesterday filing the sharp edges, giving the cases a shower (to remove any leftover metal particles) and letting them dry.

Pics!

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The case is a strange one, you have to remove the top plate first by sliding it towards the back. Then you can simply lift the 2 side panels. The top plate is firmly attached enough it doesn't need any screws to remain in place solidly enough.

Image

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The insides, pic of the FX5900 with it's copper Zalman cooler and with the system running.


I haven't tested any gaming on it as I was busy for a few hours trying to fiddle with rivatruner, speedfan (which seems to become less and less useful alas) and powerstrip to try and tweak it both in heat production and quietness.


The rig is supposed to run games like BF2142 Singleplayer, UT3 and FEAR (and Total Annihilation with my custom mappack! :D ).

Edit:The case is also missing one of it's 5 1/4 faceplates. Might put a dead optical drive in there to fill up the gap :P
Last edited by Tetrium on 2011-8-08 @ 19:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby RichB93 » 2011-8-02 @ 10:12

Not sure how they compare to the 754 versions but the Semprons are pretty cool chips. I have a 754 2600+ (1.6GHz) that clocks up to 2GHz on a cheap generic WinFast board. Runs Windows 7 nicely as well, although sadly there aren't any LAN, audio or video drivers for it under W7.

Oh and in regards to the GeForce FX, have you seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFZ39nQ_k90 :pppt:
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-02 @ 11:47

The FX 5900 may have a hard time with Fear, partly due to the cpu, and then it itself. Fear was one of the more taxing games from late 2005. Really to run it well you'd need a minimum of a Athlon 64 single core and a Radeon X800 or Geforce 6800.

The socket A Semprons are pretty close to their Athlon XP counterparts more or less. They are not really in the same performance field as the Socket 754 Semprons. Regardless of that, a socket A Sempron 2400 on up can handle gaming pretty well for games released up until about the mid to late 2004 time line. After that you'll start to notice performance hits. The exact same can be said of the FX 5800-5900 cards also. I have a FX 5950 sitting here I have used off and on. Not a bad card by any means, but the Radeon 9700-9800 def ran early DX 9 stuff better.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-02 @ 13:18

My Sempron actually does 2.2Ghz at stock voltage, but for some reason this CPU always behaved weird, in several different hardware configurations. Either I'll end up overclocking it, or replacing it with a real Barton ;)

Fear multiplayer runs absolutely fine using a Barton 3200+. My other LAN rig uses a GF7600GS graphics card. No problems actually. Also I wouldn't mind lowering settings if this helps in making a game playable. Thanks for the advice though, I'm still gonna try and see how it plays like hehe! :P

Btw, I figured out what was causing the whining sound. Turned out it was the front case fan resonating!
A different fan would also cause resonating (at a different frequency) so in the end I simply removed it altogether.

I filled in the open 5 1/4 bay with a dead optical drive, which should actually help to improve airflow now, forcing air to enter the case from the position of the now removed front case fan.

Gonna run some benchmarks soon, as I won't be gaming while my RSI is in recovery :P

I agree the FX series was considered a flop in some regards. I just wanna experience first hand what makes them so bad lol!
I got a couple Radeon 9x00's laying around, but I wanted a rig with this card :P

Edit: Running 3dmark 2003 atm. So far it absolutely sucked LMFAO!!

Edit2:Running the sound tests resulted in an error message. Oh well, I'm still gonna try FEAR lol

Power draw was around 155W's btw
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby sgt76 » 2011-8-02 @ 14:42

Oooo, nice rig! I love those old Antec cases. And an Asus board so also top marks for you.

Back in the day I played FEAR on a variety of machines like 3ghz P4s and 1.8ghz Athlon 64s using everything from 4200Ti, 6200, 6600, etc... the game ran just fine. In fact my current 3ghz Preshott + 6800GS runs it everything maxed out at 1280x1024.

I reckon the most cpu intensive game (probably due to shitty programming) from 2004-05 is NFS:MW. It also looks bloody gorgeous for the time it came from. Now THAT can slow down in parts even on a 3+ghz P4.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-02 @ 20:14

Cheers mate! I remember us actually playing a LAN at a friends house. Can't remember his exact stats but one was probably an Athlon XP 2200+ or 2400+.

I saw a Youtube vid of someone playing FEAR on a Radeon 9600. While it didn't look particularly good, framerate was very decent, meaning the FX5900 would probably do better ;)

Dunno when I'm gonna try it out though, been messing with my offline database this afternoon (and calling a doctor for my gamers arm :P).

I think the Antec case looks very pretty actually :)
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2011-8-02 @ 20:21

I remember when Fear came out. I got this nice 19" LCD (1280 x 1024) which was quite a luxury item back in those days (AUD 450 or something like that) and I was looking for a video card for my AMD 2.4 GHz (Sempron 1600 overclocked).

Everyone told me a 6600GT would be fine (PCIe). So I got it and I was disappointed. FEAR wasn't as smooth as I liked and it also struggled with other games. Unfortunately for me, the only other option was getting a 7800GT.

It was a costly option but I wouldn't have been happy with the 6600GT so I got the 7800GT, my most expensive video card purchase to date (around AUD 600).

That card was fantastic and I had it for a long time. The 8800GT was my next card because once Bioshock and games like that started to come out, the 7800GT just couldn't handle it anymore.

Also an end to the era of single slot cards. The 7800GT and 8800GT are both singe slot cards. Now everything is dual slot and massive.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-02 @ 20:28

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rlZb6YsJOQ

I'm going to guess that guy was running it on high details. Obviously I'm not impressed, though I figured that was going to be how it would play out anyway. Honestly I'd rather not run the game at low details if I had a choice, which I do. The FX 5800-5900 cards do run Doom 3 pretty well though. Unreal Tournament 03-04 run nicely on the card too. If you stick to anything 2004 and prior, and use the drivers from around that time frame, you should see decent performance on most any game. The newer drivers kinda started to suck more and more each release after 2005 for the FX line so just beware newer driver sets.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-03 @ 07:17

ProfessorProfessorson wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rlZb6YsJOQ

I'm going to guess that guy was running it on high details. Obviously I'm not impressed, though I figured that was going to be how it would play out anyway. Honestly I'd rather not run the game at low details if I had a choice, which I do. The FX 5800-5900 cards do run Doom 3 pretty well though. Unreal Tournament 03-04 run nicely on the card too. If you stick to anything 2004 and prior, and use the drivers from around that time frame, you should see decent performance on most any game. The newer drivers kinda started to suck more and more each release after 2005 for the FX line so just beware newer driver sets.

I agree with you 100%, it looks unplayable! But I'm still gonna try for myself though. Thanks for taking the time to do your homework mate, it's appreciated! ;D

But I swear on my mothers grave FEAR runs great with good visuals and no slowdowns (I probably tweaked it to have less flying particles at exposions etc etc) using my GF7600GS ;)
At least in multiplayer LAN (so only 3 players total. No slowdowns even in fights).
I will try out the SP campaign for a bit just to make sure my memory is correct though and will report here.
Just ftr, I don't mind being completely wrong, as long as other people who correct me are given credit for helping me remind that I was completely wrong ;D

Might go make a vid with my uber-crappy webcam (so fraps doesn't hurt FPS).
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-03 @ 18:06

I tried it myself, it looked very similar to the youtube vid. It ran ok @ 640*480-ish and everything at minimal, but once I added shadows (at minimum of course, no shadows = no playing in my book) it became very laggy. The FEAR test had like 98% framerate below 25 and 2% between 25 and 40!

I might simply replace this card eventually, but first I wanna see some other games. This card was noticeably poor in performance, now I've seen it first hand for the first time.

I found it quite the learning experience.
But anyway, I'm probably gonna try out a few more rigs before I start rebuilding older ones, got enough to do lol

Edit:I forgot to add, it played perfectly fine with everything at minimal, including double pixel, which effectively results in a resolution of 320*240 :D
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-03 @ 18:19

I could see it running fine on a Geforce 7600. Those were good solid cards. On a decent single core rig they prob average around 50-55 fps @ 1024x768 on Fear as far as the 7600GS is concerned. For some reason I remember the 7600 cards being on par with the Geforce 6800 line, which themselves were solid performers. Especially the vanilla agp 6800 cards. You could add a arctic cooler and modify the bios to unlock pipelines and increase the clock speed a decent amount. A lot of bang for your buck there.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-03 @ 19:24

I actually decided to replace the 7600GS from my offline database with a Radeon 9600 as that rig isn't meant for gaming anyway. And I have a 6800 in my next rig actually. Just need to go put it together and do some mandatory drivers and tweaks etc ;)
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-03 @ 20:07

Awesome. Both 7600 and 6800 are pretty nice for some of that older XP gaming. :) I actually used to use the Radeon 9600 in a couple of builds too. I liked those cards too for what they were. The last Omega Driver release works with them pretty well if I remember right.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-04 @ 05:57

I used to use a Radeon 9600 for BF2142, it actually ran the game pretty well (until you entered the titan).
I love those cards, pretty good performance for what they are, 256MB memory and passive cooling.
Still need to build a rig around my Radeon 9600XT with Zalman cooler (not really needed, that cooler, but I had it, had no other graphics card at that time for it and it looks "cool" hehe).

I didn't put together the other rigs as it was just too warm and humid yesterday. No wind also.
But first I want at least 2 extra LAN rigs (to complement the 2 I already have, see the retro rig photo thread for details ;) ).
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Pippy P. Poopypants » 2011-8-04 @ 06:58

Nice 2003-04 era rig you got there. It would probably make a pretty mean Doom 3-playing machine. Playing HL2 using the DX9 renderer may be less than impressive though. IMO the Sempron is pretty much the only type of chip I'd consider putting in an EOL Socket A board - anything beyond the XP 2700+ or 2800+ doesn't scale well against the HT-enabled Northwood P4s.

Nonetheless I'd like to mention that some Socket 754 Semprons do not support x64 (after all, that was the main reason for any budget minded user to upgrade to that platform), but they still retain virtually every other feature of their 64-bit counterparts.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-04 @ 07:58

I bought a small lot of s754 Athlon 3200+'s the other day, 2.2Ghz Venice cores (or manchester? Anyway, it's the one that has a maximum thermal design thingy of iirc 57 watts).
My main problem right now is to put more then 1GB of memory without the memory downclocking below DDR-400. Actually, I'm pretty low on memory so I might either cannibalize some from some of my other rigs, or I will just use 1GB total memory, or I build some kind of P4 with a board with 4 memory slots and hope I can cram lots of little modules in it :P

I got a couple nice Northwoods laying around, untested, but I have a 2.8Ghz, a 3Ghz and a 3.2Ghz, all Northwoods.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby sgt76 » 2011-8-04 @ 09:58

Tetrium wrote:I got a couple nice Northwoods laying around, untested, but I have a 2.8Ghz, a 3Ghz and a 3.2Ghz, all Northwoods.


The force of the dark side is getting stronger eh, my friend? :happy:
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-04 @ 11:35

sgt76 wrote:
Tetrium wrote:I got a couple nice Northwoods laying around, untested, but I have a 2.8Ghz, a 3Ghz and a 3.2Ghz, all Northwoods.


The force of the dark side is getting stronger eh, my friend? :happy:

Hehe. I have very few P4 chips and no boards to put them in...till half an hour ago.
I got the MSI s478 board to post, apparently it requires dual channel instead of it being optional.

Btw, of the rigs I have working here right now (counting...) 5 are AMD and 0 are Intel. So I reckon 1 Intel wouldn't hurt? I want to try out anything, exactly like I wanted to try the 5900, even though I'm more an Ati fanboy. :P

You can have an opinion, but what's it's value if you can't back it up with 1st hand experience? ;)

Btw, I got this HUGE heavy pure copper weirdlooking cooler for the P4, looks like it has a turbo engine on top.

And 1 thing Athlon XP's can't do is have lots of banks of DDR-400 memory in it and I'm out of 1GB modules and very close to be out of 512MB modules as well.

Edit:And yay I just received my CPU trays :D
Now I can finally store them properly :D
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby gerwin » 2011-8-04 @ 13:57

I have an Asus A7V600 with a sempron 3000+ (barton) as the secondary desktop PC in the house. It has a radeon HD3450 AGP graphics card. Someone gave the mainboard for free with a CPU. He said he could not get it running no matter how he tried. I never had any trouble with it. :)

Tetrium: I use Coolon te enable either StpGnt or Halt state, or both, cannot remember. It does not cause any problems and dramatically reduces CPU power usage.

My system is not noisy. But I have not installed any extra system fans. (i dislike fans). I Just leave one side of the case open all the time.
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Re: New rig! (first one of a bunch)

Postby sgt76 » 2011-8-04 @ 14:03

Tetrium wrote:Btw, I got this HUGE heavy pure copper weirdlooking cooler for the P4, looks like it has a turbo engine on top.


Coolermaster Aero478?

and watch out, 478 rigs are addictive :happyhappy:
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