VOGONS


First post, by twicesliced

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Have worked in the industry for decades, accumulated well over 30 years' worth of old components from various sources, built many systems out of spare parts and gave them away as family and friends needed them. Got kinda bored working from home as of late, and it'd been a while since I'd sorted through it all... So I decided to build the best DOS, 9x, and XP computers out of the lot. I came across this site while looking a few things up, and wanted to share the results so far 😀


Digital Equipment Corporation DECpc LPx:

  • Intel 486DX2-66
  • 16MB of RAM
  • 2MB ATi Graphics Ultra Pro (VLB)
  • Sound Blaster 16
  • 365MB HDD
  • DVD-ROM (the CD drive that came with the SB16 won't spin)
  • Three-button Logitech serial mouse
  • MS-DOS 6.22
  • Windows 3.1

Considered buying more RAM and cache, plus I have an ISA NIC and a modem; but it doesn't really need it...


Windows 98 SE custom build:

  • 300MHz Pentium II
  • Intel AL440LX
  • 192MB SDRAM
  • 128MB AGP Radeon 8500
  • 16MB PCI Voodoo Banshee
  • Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum EX
  • 6.4GB HDD
  • DVD-ROM

I know there're some bottlenecks and concessions in there - e.g. AGP 4X card on an AGP 2X board, 66MHz FSB - and I also could've built it around a 500Mhz K6-2 or a Socket A platform, but this PII still holds its own for Win9x gaming and has a special place in my heart 😀 Opted for no NIC since it really shouldn't be going online anyway, and the second GPU is just for Glide support. I have more era-appropriate video cards and sound cards, but these two were the best I had lying around that were still properly supported.


Finally, the Windows XP setup:

  • Athlon XP 3200+
  • DFI NFII Ultra Infinity
  • 2GB DDR400 (dual channel)
  • 512MB Radeon X1950 Pro
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

I have an Athlon 64 3500+, an ASUS A8V Deluxe, and probably some extra RAM lying around, but that 3200+ is dear to me like the Pentium II and not a huge performance sacrifice; so I think this is the way to go.


I also found some nifty components in the bins that I intend to sell or donate - like an AWE64 Gold, a bunch of interesting video cards, an old Pinnacle MPEG card, an M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496, 286-Pentium III laptops, a few more mostly-complete 386 and 486 desktops, SCSI controllers, FireWire and USB controllers, etc...

So... I dunno... Hi? Thanks for existing and providing useful info? Let me know if I've missed anything important?

Last edited by twicesliced on 2020-08-11, 19:58. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3 of 14, by cyclone3d

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Cool systems.

What other video and sound cards do you have available? Why did you decide to not use the AWE64 Gold ?

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 4 of 14, by twicesliced

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-08-11, 20:18:

Cool systems.

What other video and sound cards do you have available? Why did you decide to not use the AWE64 Gold ?

Will have to go back through the bins of the extra stuff to find out for sure when I get a chance, but for video cards there're a couple of ISA cards I can't recall the make of, PCI cards like a mach64 and a Mystique (likely going to keep one of those for testing purposes on newer computers), a bunch of AGP stuff ranging from a RAGE Pro all the way up to a Radeon X850 XT and some low-end PCIe cards like a Radeon 5450... In terms of sound cards, aside from the Delta mentioned above, it looks like mostly Sound Blaster Live! variants; I just kinda gave away a lot of the more interesting and compatible stuff over the years.

As for the AWE64 Gold, seems like it'd better-serve a musician who wants its unique sound, and it looks like people are willing to pay for that sound; I'm of the camp that finds it pretty tinny though. Also, the SB16 is one that I bought new in ~1993 and better-represents my personal DOS/Windows audio experience.

Reply 5 of 14, by chinny22

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Nice setups right out the gate you have the main 3 era's covered.
Yeh a few bottlenecks or not quite optimal parts but we do kind of get hung up on that now that upgrades are easily obtainable and sentimental value is much more important then higher benchmark scores!

I would highly recommend setting up a network as you have multiple machines, just makes transferring files soooo much more easy. doesn't have to be much old router acting as DHCP server and switch is enough if you want to keep it off the internet.

Reply 6 of 14, by twicesliced

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-08-12, 12:57:

I would highly recommend setting up a network as you have multiple machines, just makes transferring files soooo much more easy. doesn't have to be much old router acting as DHCP server and switch is enough if you want to keep it off the internet.

Considered that, but all I initially needed to transfer were driver files. I already had the original floppies for the DOS computer, and just burned a driver CD for the 9x one until I got USB drives working smoothly - not like those drivers are gonna be updated at this point 😀 I don't expect to be using these for any development, publishing, or production purposes so it'll just be games - and I have original media for those. Filesharing over LAN would be a fun project just for kicks though.

Reply 8 of 14, by twicesliced

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foil_fresh wrote on 2020-08-13, 02:44:

how's the game compatibility with that ATI VLB card?

The only games I've run into any problems with are Zone66 (seems to be related to the Sound Blaster and/or MS-DOS 6), One Must Fall 2097 (crashes when loading certain matches), and then Death Rally isn't displaying properly - but I don't know if I ever ran it on this computer back in the day anyway.

Snapped some quick 'n dirty photos of the first two last night; will do better later, but for now here ya go...

IMG_20200610_233114.jpg
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486 case w/original CD-ROM
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486 internals
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PII tower
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PII mobo tray
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Reply 9 of 14, by bearking

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Really cool systems! I love the Digital machine, but also the PII's case with that mobo tray is nice!
How is that, one picture says a thousand words...(I'm not a native english speaker)
Good job!

Reply 10 of 14, by Intel486dx33

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Well, time to fix some old computers.

1) Digital Station 800
2) Enlight case build
3) 486dx-33 Nostalgic build
4) Aluminum Cooler Master Wave Case build
5) Lian Li case build
6) Pentium II 400mhz build.
7) Dual Intel Slot one build.
8 ) AMD K7 build.
9) AMD Duron build
10) ???????

I have all the parts in my garage I just need the drive to actually put them together. Some need repairs and retro bright and modifications.

Reply 11 of 14, by twicesliced

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bearking wrote on 2020-08-13, 20:17:

Really cool systems! I love the Digital machine, but also the PII's case with that mobo tray is nice!

It's kind of awesome... Until you realise you either need really long IDE and floppy cables, or just have to disconnect them altogether to slide it out.

How is that, one picture says a thousand words...(I'm not a native english speaker)

You got it 😀

Good job!

Thank you!

Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-08-13, 22:12:

Well, time to fix some old computers.
[...]
I have all the parts in my garage I just need the drive to actually put them together. Some need repairs and retro bright and modifications.

Sounds like it's gonna be fun; just don't cut-up your fingers too bad on all those sharp edges 😀 Curious about the dual-slot system and the Lian Li case...

Reply 12 of 14, by vellu

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twicesliced wrote on 2020-08-13, 17:12:
Snapped some quick 'n dirty photos of the first two last night; will do better later, but for now here ya go... […]
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Snapped some quick 'n dirty photos of the first two last night; will do better later, but for now here ya go...

IMG_20200610_233114.jpg
IMG_20200813_031708.jpg
IMG_20200813_014836.jpg
IMG_20200813_011821.jpg

That' s a great case (InWin A500, P2) . I have the same one and it's for P2 build as well. Solid quality and the tray is great

retro rack

Reply 13 of 14, by twicesliced

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vellu wrote on 2020-08-16, 14:03:

That' s a great case (InWin A500, P2) . I have the same one and it's for P2 build as well. Solid quality and the tray is great

Oh, cool! I had no idea they were sought-after: https://reddit.com/r/vintagecomputing/comments/e94cm4

The single-piece cover is a little unwieldy, and I swear I've somehow chipped my fingernails on that thing more than any other case I've ever worked on; but it is really solid and relatively compact.

Reply 14 of 14, by twicesliced

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Quick update:

Still seeing mixed results with Zone66, OMF2097 worked after re-installing, and I haven't revisited Death Rally.

The Radeon 8500 in the 9x build just died... Fan spins, but that's it. Replaced it with an 8500LE, but then realised the fan had seized... At which point I looked wistfully at my overheated 9700 Pro. So, in went the GeForce 3 Ti200... Also, quality control on NVIDIA's 9x drivers seems a little lax 🙁

Finally, the XP build was completed in an Antec SLK 1650 with an Antec 480W PSU, and finding the right controller drivers for going all-SATA was... Fun?