VOGONS


First post, by athlon-power

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I acquired a Dell Dimension 3000 sometime this last summer, and I just now got around to setting it up again. It came with the:

-Monitor + Original Cords
-Speakers + Subwoofer
-Mouse
-Keyboard
-Desktop w/ Original Specs and Original Cords

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The desktop's HDD still has the original Windows XP install, and I reset it using the integrated Dell recovery software. Here's the specs:

Intel Celeron D 320 @2.4GHz
256MB DDR 333MHz
Intel 82865G Integrated Graphics
Samsung SP0802N 80GB HDD
Samsung SC-148A CD-ROM Drive
1.44MB FDD
Factory Installed Intel 537EP PCI Modem
Integrated Intel PRO/100 VE Ethernet
SoundMAX Integrated Audio

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I have cleaned out the PC completely, replaced the old thermal paste with, again, some nice Arctic Silver stuff, and it runs as quiet as my modern Dell Inspiron 5676, if not slightly quieter. That's of course, omitting the sound of the HDD when it's being accessed. But it's honestly not very intrusive, and the classic 'whine' of those old HDDs is almost absent. I checked the motherboard, and all of the capacitors look okay, even.

I looked it up online, and I found what was almost this exact configuration for sale:

https://books.google.com/books?id=z_gb8AdBqj8 … %2080GB&f=false

Everything matches up instead of the HDD, I'm not sure why. I'm going to assume that this system was purchased in a sale bundle or something, I just find it interesting that I got nearly the entire package, minus the mouse pad. I had that lying around, and it completed the look very well. It's from around the 2004-2005 time period as well.

Where am I?

Reply 1 of 7, by athlon-power

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Here's a picture of the inside of the system:

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I know the one capacitor right below the rear case fan looks bad on camera, but I checked it and it's perfectly flat, and not bloating. The lighting sort of exaggerated the top of it. I obviously hid the Windows XP key, and other "sensitive" information, can't have anybody stealing my Windows XP key. 😜

Also, it might be trivial, but the case has all four rubber feet, where they need to be.

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Where am I?

Reply 2 of 7, by oeuvre

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ugh i hated these things... cheap and no AGP, slow processor... my cousin had a 2400 he would play the Sims 2 on and it would take minutes to load.

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
ws90Ts2.gif

Reply 3 of 7, by athlon-power

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oeuvre wrote:

ugh i hated these things... cheap and no AGP, slow processor... my cousin had a 2400 he would play the Sims 2 on and it would take minutes to load.

I just have it because it's a full set, which, at least in my area, is rare. People usually treat their old computers like garbage, especially cheaper systems like this. This thing would've normally come alone with nothing else, and have been very poorly taken care of. The condition is really what makes this thing a keeper.

I don't plan on actually upgrading it or anything anytime soon, because I'm going to be making a custom 2003 Athlon 64 3200+ build that'll wipe the floor with this thing, and it'll do the gaming and hardware-intensive work. So this one is more of a placeholder until I can get that project off of the ground. It honestly doesn't run terribly bad, but it certainly is less than ideal. I think people have bad memories of these things being molasses slow because they were often used in households that weren't very computer-literate, and so they ended up being bogged down with malware and the such. From pressing the power button on a cold boot, this thing takes 32 seconds to get from before POSTing to a fully loaded Windows XP desktop. So it's not terrible, but it could be better.

Where am I?

Reply 4 of 7, by D3FEKT

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Contrary to what most people like doing with their retro machines, I like seeing restored low end stuff like this and feels more nostalgic..
Can still be a bit of fun; Stuff like this is all i had access to as a teenager, didn't have the money for high end gear.

Reply 5 of 7, by Big Pink

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Heh, got a 3000 as the family computer in 2005 but mine has gone in the opposite direction - gutted it last month to house a cheap NAS build. Still got all the parts except the original CRT. In fact, I'm writing this on the original keyboard.

oeuvre wrote:

ugh i hated these things... cheap and no AGP

Yep, the motherboard is pretty much junk. It falls perfectly between useless for retro and modern. The time when anyone would browse and read their e-mails on something this size is gone.

I thought IBM was born with the world

Reply 6 of 7, by athlon-power

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Big Pink wrote:

Heh, got a 3000 as the family computer in 2005 but mine has gone in the opposite direction - gutted it last month to house a cheap NAS build. Still got all the parts except the original CRT. In fact, I'm writing this on the original keyboard.

oeuvre wrote:

ugh i hated these things... cheap and no AGP

Yep, the motherboard is pretty much junk. It falls perfectly between useless for retro and modern. The time when anyone would browse and read their e-mails on something this size is gone.

Surprisingly, this thing can actually play a fair amount of games from the late 90's, and I assume the very early 2000's. The integrated graphics in this thing is below ideal, but I can play Half-Life at 1024x768 in multiplayer deathmatch at very high framerates (don't know the exact numbers), and I've currently got it hooked up to my 1999 gaming build over a LAN. Quake 2 also runs very well on this machine, though GL Quake is buggy. I have yet to try Quake III, but I'd assume that it would at least run alright at 800x600. This is all being done with the original specifications.

Something like 3 years ago, I got a Dell Dimension 2400 from an auction, and it worked. It didn't come with much else, and I marginally cleaned it. I didn't change out the thermal paste because somehow, I didn't know how to do it at the time, and I didn't possess any of the stuff. I stuck 2GB of RAM in it, and installed a PCI nVidia GeForce 6200 512MB (it used some of the system RAM, I think) in it, and actually used it for a little while. Had Windows XP with the unofficial SP4 on it, and it did alright from what I remember. I later killed the motherboard by flashing the wrong BIOS onto it; at that point, I was just starting out with computer work. I remember being confused as to why the DDR RAM I had wouldn't work with a DDR2-based IBM ThinkCentre M52 I got later on. That was an interesting time period, and while I feel fond of it, I can't say that I would ever like to go back to that point again.

D3FEKT wrote:

Contrary to what most people like doing with their retro machines, I like seeing restored low end stuff like this and feels more nostalgic..
Can still be a bit of fun; Stuff like this is all i had access to as a teenager, didn't have the money for high end gear.

I feel like the low-end machines draw the short straw when it comes to people restoring them and getting them working again as they were. They're just as involved with the history of PCs as their high-end counterparts, and while they may not be as functional or interesting, they still have their place. I happen to find them interesting myself for some odd reason, not sure why. It might just be where I got that Dimension 2400 ages ago, and remember it. I'm thinking about getting another Dimension 2400 that's in rougher condition and modding it like I did my old one, albeit with a better result.

Where am I?

Reply 7 of 7, by Big Pink

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athlon-power wrote:

Surprisingly, this thing can actually play a fair amount of games from the late 90's, and I assume the very early 2000's. The integrated graphics in this thing is below ideal

That's true, I played plenty of (not new) games on it at the time - just in a graphically compromised manner. I was thinking more in terms of period-correctness. But who knows, maybe in a decade's time someone will want it.

I thought IBM was born with the world