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Is this Pentium 3 PC worth buying?

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First post, by bassix6

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Hi all!

For years I've wanted to build a Pentium 3 retro pc. Unfortunately in my country (The Netherlands) it's very hard to find thrift stores that actually sell these kind of pc's.

Recently I found an online offer from a guy who sells a Pentium 3 PC. The specs are as follows

Motherboard: DELL Dimension XPS T 440BX
CPU: Pentium 3 450MHz
Gpu: Viper V550 Nvidia TNT 16MB AGP
RAM: 320MB (128+128+64MB)
Hdd: 80GB seagate 7200rpm
Sound Card: turtle beach montego 2 pci
Network: 3com 905B 10/100 pci - Lucent 56k pci modem
200w Dell PSU
Compaq DVD drive
Philips cd writer
Floppy drive

He says he wants around 70 euro's for it. Is this a good deal? Or am I better of buying parts separately and creating something myself. If so, would any of you guys have some recommendations where to order these parts?

Last edited by bassix6 on 2022-01-15, 15:28. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 33, by Disruptor

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The price seems to be okay, but it lacks on an ISA sound card for DOS games. Perhaps it has no ISA slots at all. It may not have DVI connector that easily can be converted with a passive adapter to HDMI.

This platform runs everything from DOS to Windows 2000 especially in a multi-boot-configuration, but I doubt you have much fun with Windows XP.
The nVidia Riva TNT and TNT2 are the last ones that provide 2D accelleration in Windows 3.1x.

So in fact, you have to tell me what you want to do with this computer for further suggestions.

Reply 2 of 33, by bassix6

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I would like to use the system mainly for DOS-Games and very early 2000 games. I'll probably upgrade it eventually, but I was considering to use this as a 'starting point' for my retro gaming rig.

Reply 6 of 33, by RandomStranger

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Yes, absolutely. Just the V550 and the Turtle Beach Montego 2 together worth more than 70€. The rest is kind of meh, but probably upgradeable.

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Reply 7 of 33, by gex85

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If it didn't have that Turtle Beach sound card, I'd say it's really overpriced, although it seems like a well-balanced system otherwise. But with that card it's easily worth the 70€. But be aware that it is pretty much useless outside of Windows 98.

My retro computers

Reply 8 of 33, by TrashPanda

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I find it odd to see a 56k modem included .. actually its very odd, I doubt that there is anything you could do with a dial up modem these days.

If I find them in my junk lots I see if they have any components worth salvaging and toss them in the e-waste bin.

Reply 9 of 33, by drosse1meyer

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It has a dell psu? Those are usually proprietary... is this a Dell machine / motherboard?

P1 Build: Packard Bell - 233 MMX, Voodooo1, 64 MB, ALS100+
P2 Build: Dell Dimension R400 - 400 Mhz, GeForce2 32 MB, 128 MB
P3 Build: PIII @ 1 Ghz, 128 MB, GeForce2 GTS 64 MB

Reply 10 of 33, by RandomStranger

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-15, 14:25:

I find it odd to see a 56k modem included .. actually its very odd, I doubt that there is anything you could do with a dial up modem these days.

If I find them in my junk lots I see if they have any components worth salvaging and toss them in the e-waste bin.

I guess people just don't bother taking them out. It's e-waste. Selling them with a batch of items or a full PC makes them not their problem anymore.

I find it much more odd when I see modem cards listed for genuinely high prices because someone thinks, just because it's old, it's valuable. A couple of months ago I helped moving an office. I picked up a lot of old software and some alright hardware. And one thing I found is a 56k modem card in it's box with all accessories. I was thinking, should I save this from the e-waste bin? It's worthless, but it's basically brand new. I left it to the e-waste bin thinking, 'you guys had a dozen manuals and driver CDs for Abit VH6-T mainboards, you had half a dozen driver CDs for V770-s and Rage128 Pro-s, you preserved Trio3D-s, and this was the one hardware you thought you needed to save in it's original box and with all accessories?'

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Reply 11 of 33, by bassix6

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drosse1meyer wrote on 2022-01-15, 14:49:

It has a dell psu? Those are usually proprietary... is this a Dell machine / motherboard?

The guy said the motherboard is a DELL Dimension XPS T 440BX!

Reply 12 of 33, by TrashPanda

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-01-15, 15:19:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-15, 14:25:

I find it odd to see a 56k modem included .. actually its very odd, I doubt that there is anything you could do with a dial up modem these days.

If I find them in my junk lots I see if they have any components worth salvaging and toss them in the e-waste bin.

I guess people just don't bother taking them out. It's e-waste. Selling them with a batch of items or a full PC makes them not their problem anymore.

I find it much more odd when I see modem cards listed for genuinely high prices because someone thinks, just because it's old, it's valuable. A couple of months ago I helped moving an office. I picked up a lot of old software and some alright hardware. And one thing I found is a 56k modem card in it's box with all accessories. I was thinking, should I save this from the e-waste bin? It's worthless, but it's basically brand new. I left it to the e-waste bin thinking, 'you guys had a dozen manuals and driver CDs for Abit VH6-T mainboards, you had half a dozen driver CDs for V770-s and Rage128 Pro-s, you preserved Trio3D-s, and this was the one hardware you thought you needed to save in it's original box and with all accessories?'

🤣

The manuals are valuable and the drivers disks can be useful if the driver library doesnt have copies but the NOS modem ...that should have been thrown out when the phone system went digital.

That said I myself do have a 2400 baud V.32 modem in the shed on a shelf next to a dead Nokia 3310, doubt the modem works but I keep it around as a reminder of how far we have come in such a short space of time. (Yes the 3310 is dead . .very very dead, I put 24 volts through the battery port on it seeing how much voltage it could take before it died, note 24 volts at 5 amps is too much)

Reply 13 of 33, by RandomStranger

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Yeah, I picked up a good chunk of the paperwork and driver CDs as well as multiple copies of OEM Windows 98 and 2000, some still shrink wrapped. Since then, I got myself a Radeon 128 Pro and looking to buy a V770 as well, though not at all prices. The closest I got so far is a V330 PCI and I almost bought a V550 but decided against it.

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Reply 14 of 33, by TrashPanda

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-01-15, 15:46:

Yeah, I picked up a good chunk of the paperwork and driver CDs as well as multiple copies of OEM Windows 98 and 2000, some still shrink wrapped. Since then, I got myself a Radeon 128 Pro and looking to buy a V770 as well, though not at all prices. The closest I got so far is a V330 PCI and I almost bought a V550 but decided against it.

Im looking for a decently priced V770 Ultra (TnT2 Ultra) but have also been looking at the Gigabyte GA-660 Plus which is actually faster than the Ultra and is cheaper than the Viper 770. (I have a spot for Diamond products, so ill likely just buy both at some point)

Reply 15 of 33, by bassix6

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-01-15, 13:04:

Yes, absolutely. Just the V550 and the Turtle Beach Montego 2 together worth more than 70€. The rest is kind of meh, but probably upgradeable.

Is it worth to replace the V550 with a Voodoo3 or not?

Reply 16 of 33, by RandomStranger

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bassix6 wrote on 2022-01-15, 16:28:
RandomStranger wrote on 2022-01-15, 13:04:

Yes, absolutely. Just the V550 and the Turtle Beach Montego 2 together worth more than 70€. The rest is kind of meh, but probably upgradeable.

Is it worth to replace the V550 with a Voodoo3 or not?

Yeah, it's a lot faster and you get access to Glide API.

sreq.png

Reply 17 of 33, by AlexZ

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I see too many downsides:

  • 450Mhz is not that fast, I would recommend 600Mhz at least. 600Mhz should be fine for all Windows 9x games.
  • Riva TNT is too slow, early Geforce cards are preferable (2,3,4, FX). They have excellent DOS compatibility and 3D performance.
  • no ISA sound card
  • only 200W power supply

There are too many components that need replacement therefore I would recommend to buy parts separately and build it yourself.

Pentium III 750E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 18 of 33, by kixs

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Since it has BX chipset it should also have one or two ISA slots. So upgrade to an ISA sound card should be possible. 200W PSU is just fine. It won't come even close to 100W under load.

I'd say it's worth 70€. If you'd want to build yourself a custom machine, you could spend much more...

My Amibay | - Updated on 2021-12-01 | Requests also possible

Reply 19 of 33, by Horun

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bassix6 wrote on 2022-01-15, 15:27:
drosse1meyer wrote on 2022-01-15, 14:49:

It has a dell psu? Those are usually proprietary... is this a Dell machine / motherboard?

The guy said the motherboard is a DELL Dimension XPS T 440BX!

Did it come in a Dell or standard ATX case ? If the motherboard looks like the picture below then you do need the Dell PSU as most standard ATX PSU will not work.
You may find this archive of value: http://web.archive.org/web/20010720205846/htt … s/systems/dkub/

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Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.