My recently pimped and now finished(?) Super7 project (with pics!)

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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-09 @ 23:35

F2bnp wrote:
Same here. Like almost every other AMD CPU the K6 series is behind to no end. But in the end it's not as fast as the Pentium 2 and you can get those cheaper most of the time. So why the hell bother?


sliderider wrote:The K6-III looks like it does well in synthetic benchmarks but falls behind in actual games where the performance really matters more (unless you like sitting around running benchmarks all day). It makes me wonder why bother building a K6 based rig at all these days when you can get parts for a Pentium II system that run games faster cheaply enough.


Both of you are making it out to be a lot slower then what it is, intentionally or not. Granted, if you pair a Nvidia based card with a K6-2 or K6-3, performance wont be that hot. That was a problem back then between AMD and Nvidia, and Nvidia worked really well with Intel tech, and horribly with AMD. 3DFX tech however worked extremely well with K6 tech and 3Dnow, and that performance carried over to K7 also. This is part of why you see so many K6/3DFX combos. That and well, 3DFX was more popular back then too anyway.

Synthetic benchmarks are one thing, but the performance posted above on normal time demo in Quake 2 and the chart posted on Unreal is pretty much on par with what I got on normal gameplay in the exact same titles when I used to use a Voodoo 3 with my K6-3, which was close to Voodoo 2 Sli performance. Even without 3DNow optimization itself, a fast K6-2 or K6-3 can handle about any game from 1998 or prior fine when paired with a Voodoo 2 on up 3DFX based card.

By 1999 it didn't matter, as both the Pentium 2, Oc'ed Celeron, and K6 were starting to show their age, and the Athlons were busy kicking the teeth in on the Pentium 3. 1999 brought a lot of change for the pc gaming world. Athlon cpus, SSE, better hard drives, Geforce 256, Hardware T&L, Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, etc.

On Quake 2 Crusher and Half-Life Blowout, both test are pretty much the extremes of benching for gameplay results back then, as those test were far more demanding then a normal game session any game from 1998 could present, hands down. The fact that the cpu could handle those test WITHOUT 3Dnow optimization, without being brought to its knees below a 20 fps mark, is a testament to its power on what was a very aging tech being squeezed of every bit of performance that it could give. The fact that you could run 3Dnow optimized games for large performance gains, and that there were many quality titles using it, is simply awesome.

And yeah, you can argue that you can get a PII slot 1 combo cheaper depending on where you are at, sure. But to be honest, its a lot less interesting running a plain jane PII or PIII on a P2b-f or P3b-f slot 1 build with a TNT2 then running a decked out Socket 7 K6/3DFX combo. As blunt as I can be on it, I strongly feel real vintage hardware enthusiast don't just always take the easy way out.

If the only thing that interest you is the end result only, that is presented on your screen, and less about what is going on inside the box hardware wise too, then yeah, sure, stick with the normal slot-1 builds. Its pretty hassle free. About the only real fun you will be having there on the hardware side though is oc'ing Celerons. There are not many nice heatsinks available for Slot-1, and in general, most of the Intel slot-1 440 LX, FX and Bx boards are average and just offer average options. Slot-1 really didn't get fun until Via jumped in with their 133 chipset.

If you like to tweak, oc, and customize and test, you will get far far more mileage out of doing a K6 build. They can take Socket 370/Socket A heatsinks vastly increasing your Oc ability, and usually the bios and board have rather decent options for Cpu adjustment, temp monitoring, fan speed, and ram tweaking on the later socket 7 stuff. Sis, Via, and Ali all had pretty solid socket 7 chipsets out there, so there was plenty of variety.

And in the USA, K6 cpu/board combos dont really cost all that much. I have a ton of the stuff here in my home, both as extra parts and complete system builds tucked away waiting for use or to be sold. The fact remains too, the K6 was pretty popular with companies like Nec and IBM with their retail computers, every day system builders, and with hardware reviewers.

The performance/price ratio was very well balanced. You got some pretty good bang for your buck, and it made it possible for a lot of people to be able to afford to build nice customs for gaming or whatever and still be able to eat at the end of the day.

Speaking of which, I am wondering if many posting here have ever visited the red hill guide? That site is very informative, and its a great read for those wanting to know what the high volume system builder/seller was thinking about parts at the time, what sold well, what didn't, reliability, price, etc.
http://www.redhill.net.au/ig.html
If you are really into Slot-1 and Socket 7, its def a must see site.


Tetrium wrote:Slot A retro rigs seem to be few and far apart, I never even saw one in the flesh over here.

Yeah Slot A boards have become a bit more uncommon these days. If you really want to build a system with one, and dont need ISA support, the Gateway Kadoka is one of the best boards you can get. I have one tucked away. It can take a Slot A Athlon 900mhz fine. Nabbing one will prob cost you though. These days I think the going rate averages at about $90 USD. They were not great if you have overclocking in mind, but in general, they are rock solid ATX boards.
http://support.gateway.com/s//MOTHERBD/ ... 46nv.shtml
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby sliderider » 2011-8-10 @ 00:26

ProfessorProfessorson wrote:
Tetrium wrote:Slot A retro rigs seem to be few and far apart, I never even saw one in the flesh over here.

Yeah Slot A boards have become a bit more uncommon these days. If you really want to build a system with one, and dont need ISA support, the Gateway Kadoka is one of the best boards you can get. I have one tucked away. It can take a Slot A Athlon 900mhz fine. Nabbing one will prob cost you though. These days I think the going rate averages at about $90 USD. They were not great if you have overclocking in mind, but in general, they are rock solid ATX boards.
http://support.gateway.com/s//MOTHERBD/ ... 46nv.shtml




Yup. I have one sitting in front of me right now waiting to be assembled into a case. I can't find a non-Tbird Athlon faster than 700mhz, though. I'm beginning to think I might find a Goldfinger device before I find a fast Slot-A Athlon. I managed to pick up a 900mhz T-bird for cheap a couple months back, but it doesn't work in this motherboard. I'm an opportunistic buyer. I buy stuff when I can find it cheap then worry about what I'm going to put in later. :D
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-10 @ 00:30

I have both a Slot A 900 and 850mhz that work in mine, along with a 700mhz. I had a friend in Texas nab me the 900 and 850 for a few bucks each at a computer shop like a year ago. Id prob be willing to part with one or the other in a parts trade or something if a deal came up. Actually prob be willing to trade off all my slot a stuff. I really dont plan to use it anymore, because I have a decent amount of Socket A stuff built up now.

edit:
Here are the 850 and 900 Slot A cpus I have, which, as I said above, work in my Gateway fine. If you have the same board, but it wont take the 900mhz, you may need a bios update.
AMD-A0900MMR24B A Thunderbird (Model 4) 900mhz
AMD-K7850MPR52B A Pluto (Model 2) 850mhz
Image
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-10 @ 05:24

sliderider wrote:I'm an opportunistic buyer. I buy stuff when I can find it cheap then worry about what I'm going to put in later. :D

Yup, same here! :D


K6 wasn't a terrible chip in itself, it was more the boards they had to be put in.
3DFX has the "benefit" that it uses the least AGP functions, thereby being the least problematic in AGP slots
And yup, I read the redhill guide, it's linked in the "new to retrogame" topic in my sig ;)
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby mOBSCENE » 2011-8-11 @ 18:45

Received the AMD K6-III+ CPU today! Installed it, switched voltage and multiplier jumper, turned PC on and... BOOM... works like a charm ! :D
Running @ 450Mhz (6 x 75)

Here are some benches with the new CPU (also upgraded RAM to 4x32MB):

3DBench2: 324,9
PCPBench: 42,5
3DMark 99 MAX: 2699 3DMarks & 5796 CPUMarks (on all resolutions, so the V2's are still held back I guess ;))
SpeedSys: Image

Great results if you ask me :) I noticed the RAM speed went down from 220 -> 160 MB in the upper left corner (also before installing the extra RAM), probably has to do something with the caching changes?

Anyway, system seems rock stable. Memtest86+ shows no errors and compatibility with my old games seems fine so far. So I'm happy for now :D I will continue to test the compatibility and install the 2x128MB when I receive it. Thank you all (aspecially Tetrium) for the advices on the K6!
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-11 @ 19:02

That's good news! Just remember that you can always underclock your CPU if it's too fast for certain DOS games. At what voltage are you running your chip btw? 2.2v should be safe
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-11 @ 19:30

mOBSCENE wrote:Received the AMD K6-III+ CPU today! Installed it, switched voltage and multiplier jumper, turned PC on and... BOOM... works like a charm ! :D
Running @ 450Mhz (6 x 75)

Here are some benches with the new CPU (also upgraded RAM to 4x32MB):

3DBench2: 324,9
PCPBench: 42,5
3DMark 99 MAX: 2699 3DMarks & 5796 CPUMarks (on all resolutions, so the V2's are still held back I guess ;))
SpeedSys: Image

Great results if you ask me :) I noticed the RAM speed went down from 220 -> 160 MB in the upper left corner (also before installing the extra RAM), probably has to do something with the caching changes?

Anyway, system seems rock stable. Memtest86+ shows no errors and compatibility with my old games seems fine so far. So I'm happy for now :D I will continue to test the compatibility and install the 2x128MB when I receive it. Thank you all (aspecially Tetrium) for the advices on the K6!


Actually, you may want to do some tweaking. My 3d Mark 99 score off of one Voodoo 2 12 meg and k6-3@400mhz is 2900 or so and my cpu score is a tad over 6000. Also, I think 3Dmark 99 was supposed to have issues with Voodoo 2 cards or something, so you may want to use a different bench or two.
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby F2bnp » 2011-8-11 @ 21:13

Well I did use a K6-2 400 with a Voodoo 3 3500 AGP and it was slow as hell on Quake 3. In order to get playable framerates I had to lower the resolution to 640x480 and graphics to Medium I think.
I blame the shitty AGP implementation and drivers of the Ali Alladin V.
Fucking crap. And that's about the only thing I hated about the K6-2. If you can find a Voodoo 3 PCI then it is pretty nice.
God damn it, to think about it, not even Need For Speed 2 SE and Quake 1 ran fullspeed on that Voodoo 3...

I don't see what's so exciting about building a K6-2 or 3 machine, I guess it's what you grew up with, purely nostalgia factor, I grew up with neither K6-2 or Pentium 2. True nostalgia starts to kick in when I boot Windows 95 or 98 and play games ;)

Like I said though, at the time the K6 series kicked ass, they were dirt cheap compared to Intel and they were quite competitive. But nowadays, I'm going to go for best stability AND speed. And getting a K6 machine set up generally costs a bit more here.
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby sliderider » 2011-8-11 @ 22:55

F2bnp wrote:Well I did use a K6-2 400 with a Voodoo 3 3500 AGP and it was slow as hell on Quake 3. In order to get playable framerates I had to lower the resolution to 640x480 and graphics to Medium I think.
I blame the shitty AGP implementation and drivers of the Ali Alladin V.
Fucking crap. And that's about the only thing I hated about the K6-2. If you can find a Voodoo 3 PCI then it is pretty nice.
God damn it, to think about it, not even Need For Speed 2 SE and Quake 1 ran fullspeed on that Voodoo 3...

I don't see what's so exciting about building a K6-2 or 3 machine, I guess it's what you grew up with, purely nostalgia factor, I grew up with neither K6-2 or Pentium 2. True nostalgia starts to kick in when I boot Windows 95 or 98 and play games ;)

Like I said though, at the time the K6 series kicked ass, they were dirt cheap compared to Intel and they were quite competitive. But nowadays, I'm going to go for best stability AND speed. And getting a K6 machine set up generally costs a bit more here.


That's what I say. Back when I was younger and poorer I got a K6-2 machine because a Pentium II machine was hundreds of dollars more which was money I felt was better spent on upgrades to the K6-2 machine or on games. Now when I'm deciding between a Socket 7 board or a Slot 1 board for a new build, then Slot 1 wins hands down because they're generally a lot less trouble and faster for games that rely on a strong FPU for speed. I just dug a BX motherboard from Gateway system out of one of my storage containers that I never knew I had. I'm thinking of slapping that together into a system soon, but I still have this Slot A Athlon in need of many of the same parts that I want to see running first.
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-12 @ 02:29

sliderider wrote:
F2bnp wrote:Well I did use a K6-2 400 with a Voodoo 3 3500 AGP and it was slow as hell on Quake 3. In order to get playable framerates I had to lower the resolution to 640x480 and graphics to Medium I think.
I blame the shitty AGP implementation and drivers of the Ali Alladin V.
Fucking crap. And that's about the only thing I hated about the K6-2. If you can find a Voodoo 3 PCI then it is pretty nice.
God damn it, to think about it, not even Need For Speed 2 SE and Quake 1 ran fullspeed on that Voodoo 3...

I don't see what's so exciting about building a K6-2 or 3 machine, I guess it's what you grew up with, purely nostalgia factor, I grew up with neither K6-2 or Pentium 2. True nostalgia starts to kick in when I boot Windows 95 or 98 and play games ;)

Like I said though, at the time the K6 series kicked ass, they were dirt cheap compared to Intel and they were quite competitive. But nowadays, I'm going to go for best stability AND speed. And getting a K6 machine set up generally costs a bit more here.


That's what I say. Back when I was younger and poorer I got a K6-2 machine because a Pentium II machine was hundreds of dollars more which was money I felt was better spent on upgrades to the K6-2 machine or on games. Now when I'm deciding between a Socket 7 board or a Slot 1 board for a new build, then Slot 1 wins hands down because they're generally a lot less trouble and faster for games that rely on a strong FPU for speed. I just dug a BX motherboard from Gateway system out of one of my storage containers that I never knew I had. I'm thinking of slapping that together into a system soon, but I still have this Slot A Athlon in need of many of the same parts that I want to see running first.

K6 is limited by it's slower-then-Intel FPU and by the poor AGP implementation. That's why 3DFX and SS7 mix so well. Just take SS7 for what it is, a beefed up Socket 7.
Slot 1 is boring! :P

These days if a game won't run on your SS7 rig, just use a faster rig ;)
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby mOBSCENE » 2011-8-13 @ 23:18

@ Tetrium: I'm running it at 2.1V, which is the lowest voltage supported according to the mobo documentation. It will probably only require 1.6V/1.7V at this speed, but what the hell... if the chip dies I'll just order a new one! They're cheap after all :P

@ ProfessorProfessorson: I managed to improve the results a bit by enabling Write Allocation using the K6DOS driver. New bench results:

3DBench: 349,5
PCPBench: 47,3
3DMark 99: approx. 2900 3DMarks and 5900 CPU 3DMarks on all resolutions

Perhaps the remains of the result differences are caused by a different chipset / mem speed. I'm using 430TX chipset with PC66 memory, what is your AMD K6 running on?

As for compatibility with my older games, it seems all of my games are compatible. Some required a compatibility "fix". I'm very happy with the K6CLK utility I recently discovered - which allows me to software adjust the multiplier from 2.0 till 6.0. Also, the CACHECTL utility to disable the internal CPU cache works great on the K6. One game (Zool 2) required the DIVEFIX utility (Divide Overflow fix).

Just waiting for the new memory chips now :D
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-14 @ 02:58

mOBSCENE wrote:I'm using 430TX chipset with PC66 memory, what is your AMD K6 running on?


I'm using the EPoX EP-MVP3G2 in my K6-3 system. It uses the Via Apollo chipset. It boasted a fairly modernized (at the time) feature set, like AGP and ATA66. You cpu marks are clearly high, so it could be just that your board itself is the main bottleneck now. You try running any test with one of the Voodoo 2 cards disabled?
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby Mystery » 2011-8-14 @ 06:42

Poor Pentium233 :(

But it's a Socket7 system after all, and not a Pentium1 based machine, so the AMD CPU makes a much more fitting addition to the Voodoo2 cards and you should see a significant performance boost.
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby RogueTrip2012 » 2011-8-14 @ 19:55

Your memory scores are down because you shouldn't mix EDO with SDRAM, I remember reading that long ago in a manual. Timing issues probably. Just run SDRAM instead.

Stinks that the P1 233MMX has been pulled. I got my P1 233MMX in the mail the other day and just ordered a ISA SoundBlaster 16 (CT2940) yesterday. I really need a MiniTower or Desktop case for Baby AT now instead of a huge Zeos Pantera case I have currently.

On a side note, I almost have every top cpu from Pentium 1 thru Pentium 4 w00t!
Pentium 1 233MMX
Pentium 2 450 MHz
Pentium 3 1000 MHz Coppermine
Pentium 3 S 1400 MHz Tualatin
Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/HT Northwood (S478) almost the fastest since 3.4 is top :(
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-14 @ 21:25

I think I have a couple Pentium III 1000 MHz Coppermine cpus tucked away in a small box in my parts closet. I could never really find a use for them.
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby sgt76 » 2011-8-15 @ 02:21

RogueTrip2012 wrote:Your memory scores are down because you shouldn't mix EDO with SDRAM, I remember reading that long ago in a manual. Timing issues probably. Just run SDRAM instead.

Roger that, mixing EDO and SDRAM is a no-no. Run SDRAM only.

RogueTrip2012 wrote:On a side note, I almost have every top cpu from Pentium 1 thru Pentium 4 w00t!
Pentium 1 233MMX
Pentium 2 450 MHz
Pentium 3 1000 MHz Coppermine
Pentium 3 S 1400 MHz Tualatin
Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/HT Northwood (S478) almost the fastest since 3.4 is top :(

Nice! I have all generations too but not the top versions always:
Pentium 1 MMX 166mhz, 233mhz
Pentium 2 300Mhz Klamath- unlocked multi- W00t!
Pentium 3- tons of 'em from 450 Mhz Katmai to 1ghz Coppermine
Pentium 4 - Willamette, Northwood and Prescott
Celerons- 300A right up to Tualaron chips

BTW- the best P4s to have are the 3ghz versions since they all hit the same max clocks but the lower multi of the 3.0ghz means using a higher fsb to hit that clock hence higher performance.
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby Tetrium » 2011-8-15 @ 06:34

RogueTrip2012 wrote:On a side note, I almost have every top cpu from Pentium 1 thru Pentium 4 w00t!
Pentium 1 233MMX
Pentium 2 450 MHz
Pentium 3 1000 MHz Coppermine
Pentium 3 S 1400 MHz Tualatin
Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/HT Northwood (S478) almost the fastest since 3.4 is top :(

Got the same chips (including the 3.2Ghz, but dunno if it's the exact same one as you have), but there was also a Coppermine 1133 made, though it was barely any faster (never saw one in the flesh btw).
Do you have the 1Ghz 100Mhz FSB one also? And what about Slot 1? Iirc the fastest Slot 1 CPU I have is a 1Ghz 133 FSB one.
Btw, theres also a 1100Mhz Celeron Coppermine, those are relatively common (and of course the 1Ghz 100FSB chip would be faster).

And I agree with not mixing EDO with SDRAM, most manuals state they shouldn't be mixed though I've seen on more then one occasion that mixed memory seems to actually work?

Edit:In addition to the P3-450, there was in fact also a P2-450 made ;)
Dunno what exactly the fastest Northwood was, I try to evade the s478 Preshots as they were hotter and slower then Northwood at the same frequency
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby sliderider » 2011-8-15 @ 07:02

sgt76 wrote:BTW- the best P4s to have are the 3ghz versions since they all hit the same max clocks but the lower multi of the 3.0ghz means using a higher fsb to hit that clock hence higher performance.


You do know that there is more than one 3ghz P4 and some of them sit on a 400/533 bus, right? The fastest bus P4 used was 800 outside of a few Extreme Editions (that are faster than 3ghz) so that leaves you with multipliers of 30X, 23X, and 15X. The lowest multiplier of any P4 at any speed was 12X. What's low about that? Don't forget that the buses on P4's are quad pumped so a 400 bus is actually 100 a 533 bus is actually 133 and a 800 is actually 200. The multipliers on most P4's are insanely high.

An example

http://ark.intel.com/products/27478

Notice how this model uses a bus speed of 800 but a multi of 15. 800 x 15 equals 12,000 but you have to divide by 4 because of the quad pumped bus to get the actual speed of 3,000mhz.

Even the original Athlons do something similar. The bus is 200 but the multipliers are higher than you'd expect. A 500mhz Athlon actually has a 5x multiplier, not 2.5X like you would think. You have to halve the result on those because the bus is double pumped so you have a fsb of 200 multiplied by 5 to get 1000 but then you have to divide by 2 to get the actual speed of 500mhz. The bandwith of the front side buses went up but the actual clock speeds remained the same.

You can't just do a simple division to find the multiplier on any processor from the Athlon/P4 forward. The PIII's and K6's were the last chips you could do that with.
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby ProfessorProfessorson » 2011-8-15 @ 10:12

Tetrium wrote:but there was also a Coppermine 1133 made, though it was barely any faster (never saw one in the flesh btw).


I remember the Coppermine 1133 mess. When I started going on different hardware forums a lot back in early 2002 or so they were still talking about that flop of a cpu and its stability problems and crap. They had to recall those cpus. Tomshardware took a lot of flak over that since they were the main one to report on the problems with the cpu initially, and Intel started acting like a dick to them before finally admitting there was a major problem and issuing a recall.
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Re: My recently pimped and now _finished_ Socket7 project (with pics!)

Postby mr_bigmouth_502 » 2011-8-15 @ 10:55

That's a sweet build! :D I've always wanted to create a SS7 rig, though the parts to build one aren't exactly common around here (most of the discarded systems I find are Pentium 4s, with the occasional Pentium II/III or Athlon 64 box)
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