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what is your computer "plan"

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First post, by ncmark

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Just for the sake of discussion - what is your computer "plan"? Do you have one?

When I started getting stuff off ebay, I started rebuilding some AT-case computers with ATX "equivalents." I had some old systems originally built in minitower AT cases - the ones were you can't even change a stick of RAM without tearing the whole thing apart. I rebuilt a couple of K6-2 systems, then realized I'd be better off with P3. Built a p3b-f system, a CUBX, and am working on another CUBX.

I have an Athlon XP 2400+ running win98, I'd like to get a copy of winXP for that, while I still can. 😦

Last edited by ncmark on 2011-10-26, 22:19. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 32, by SKARDAVNELNATE

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I think you need to proofread. That or I don't get the same enjoyment out of Ebay that you do.

Currently I don't have the money to build different systems. Though I do look around at different part and see if prices or my circumstances have improved a year later.

Reply 2 of 32, by MrKsoft

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I already mostly have the PCs I need/want, although I'd still like to do two builds: a 486 build and a dual P3-S 1.4 build. Apart from that, I find myself wanting to invest in more obscure/exotic hardware instead of just generic PCs.

Wafflenet OPL Archive - Preserving MS-DOS music in a unified format!

Reply 3 of 32, by GXL750

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When I'm not getting stiff off ebay, I'm stroking keys. That's as much plan as I have. 😀

But seriously, my "computer plan" is to pray my venerable old Dell doesn't crap itself before I have some manner of disposable income again.

I have a 1.2ghz Pentium III-s system that I play games on and use as a DVD player, retro game console, youtube player and internet terminal hooked into my TV I could reconfigure and re-purpose if my Dell dies. However, it doesn't have much RAM, is somewhat limited and gets dogged by many modern, script heavy web pages and/or pages with lots of large images.

Reply 7 of 32, by sgt76

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I have one simple plan- to have representative systems from 1995 to present. It was much more ambitious at first- I wanted top of the line equipment for each build, but cost and effort required was too much.

Reply 8 of 32, by feipoa

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This is a great topic line; I'm surprised there hasn't been more takers.

My ultimate computer plan is to rule the world with 486 clusters... just kidding.

I did have some lingering desire to find a fast PCI-based socket 3 system with PS/2 ports and working support for 1024 KB of cache. I've tested a lot of socket 3 boards in the past 15 years and am edging towards the conclusion that such a board does not exist. There is 1 board left out there for me to test which has potential, but I haven't been able to find it for the right price. Even boards which supposedly support up to 1024KB of L2 cache have turned out to be flaky.

Other than that, I'm fairly satisfied with my existing retro systems (in retro cases),

• Cyrix 5x86-133 @ 33 MHz FSB, PS/2, 512KB cache, 3 PCI
• Cyrix 5x86-133 @ 66 MHz FSB, PS/2, 512KB cache, 3 PCI
• Dual Pentium 850 MHz (Slot 1), 1 GB buffered ECC RAM (Dell Precision Workstation)
• Dual Pentium Tualatin 1400 MHz, 4 GB ECC RAM, 2 PCI-X, 4 PCI (Intel SAI2)
• Pentium 1 GHz (Slot 1) @100 MHz FSB (Asus P3V4X)
• Cyrix 386-40, 16 MB RAM
• Macintosh SE/30, 32 MB RAM, Mac OS 7.5.5

In a way, the Cyrix 5x86-133 @ 66 MHz FSB runs the RAM so fast, it is as if having the cache is no bid deal even if you up the RAM to 256 MB, that is, since the RAM is running double speed anyway, there is no need to get greedy with having all your RAM cached. It is sorta like having a Cyrix 5x86-133 @ 33 MHz FSB w/1024 KB WB cache and 128 MB RAM, whereby all the RAM is cacheable.

As for my other eventual plans, I'd like to find another AT case to plop in a socket 7 motherboard and add this to my KVM w/audio setup. I have the motherboards, just need a decent looking AT case from 1996-1998. I'd also like to create the Ultimate Socket 7 Benchmark Comparison at some point, which would be analogous to the Ultimate 486 Benchmark Comparison.

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 9 of 32, by Markk

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When I started collecting retro pcs, almost 2 years ago, in the beginning I planned on getting identical systems to those I used to own, since 1991 when I got my first pc. So that would be a 286/16, a 386/40, a pentium and a pentium 3. Meanwhile, I was lucky enough to acquire lots of parts and cases, etc. So right now I own also a nec v20(8088) pc, and a 486/66. Right now I don't have enough space for all of them, so I use only the two pentiums.

Another idea is to get a P2 and a P4, so that way in the future it's going to be like a musem, having all the X86 and pentium systems....

Reply 10 of 32, by Cyberdyne

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Well i am a practical collector, i collect 486 - Pentium III/AMD Athlon computers, with ISA slots. For retro DOS software and games. I have sold all my XT-386 stuff, because, you can run all the stuff from a 486. I there are more freaks who pay premium for that stuff. But 486-Pentium III stuff is lying around, for free or for 1-5 EUROs. I live in Estonia, there are people who use a Pentium III for everyday stuff, not for retro feeling, but for nessessity. No money to buy a new one. So the 486-Pentum Classic is LOW LOW END (cheap) stuff, not RETRO (expensive) stuff 😁

And my own computer history started with a 286 Yellow CGA Compaq, it was in 1995, and i hated that computer, next year i got 486 SVGA color box, and i loved it. So i dont have any warm feelings for 386 and below stuff. I have owned that stuff, but not really needed it. I have 6 full fetured 486DX66 boxes, and 6 Pentium 200MMX boxes, and 6 Pentium III 600 boxes. And few Pentuim III 800 and AMD Athlon XP boxes. And collection of Sound Blaster and Gravis Ultrasound and compadibles. Still looking for a GM card. Ill pass MT-32 and other Roland stuff, because i do not want to pay premium. And in Estonia this stuff was not popular, back in the day. Poor people used SB clones, and ritch people used AWE32 or Gravis. I honestly say, that for my collection i have spent maximumly 200 euros. But i think i made a proffit, because i have sold lots of stuff that i do not need, and that XT-386 stuff and few Amigas.

Reply 12 of 32, by feipoa

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I too once went through a regretable "throw it all away" phase. Luckily I kept the best 20% of the gear. I now have the mindset that if it doesn't work, save it, it will work later.

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 13 of 32, by VileR

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Cyberdyne wrote:

I have sold all my XT-386 stuff, because, you can run all the stuff from a 486.

haha, I wish... if only that were true.

well at least you sold them to interested parties, instead of just dumping them 😀 it's just funny/sad reading these threads, because around here, I couldn't get my hands on a decent old system even if I scoured every dumpster in the country; and the vintage enthusiast niche simply does not exist at all. And yet some people just casually trash the stuff.

[ WEB ] - [ BLOG ] - [ TUBE ] - [ CODE ]

Reply 15 of 32, by badmojo

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I got into retro computing maybe 6 months ago when I came across a photo of my much younger self sitting in front of my beloved 486sx33, playing Doom by the looks of things - so maybe I'd upgraded to a Dx266 by then.

I have absolutely no memory of what I did with it, probably just chucked it out I suppose. So sad. Anyway I set out to re-create that machine, turned out to be much harder than I'd imagined - parts were very hard to come by (Australia) and expensive if you're not patient, which I'm not. It was just a cheep clone so there's no way I'll ever find the same case, which was a desktop with a flip top lid.

I've accepted that I'll never be able to get one exactly like it, but I've come close and had a great time during it.

Reply 16 of 32, by Mau1wurf1977

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My computer plan was really focused on a specific time period. Basically the days of 386 up until 486DX4. Pure DOS, nothing with 3D cards and W98.

Having never owned a Roland MT-32 I wanted to see what it's like and get a few of these modules. Now I have everything and can relax and enjoy playing with them.

Not into "got to have them all" or anything like that. But that specific time period was my main focus 😀

Got an Acer 486 and a "time machine" Super Socket 7 system which can be configured to run at 386 and 486 speeds. Got heaps of other parts which ended up unsuitable for the "time machine", not sure what I'll do with them...

Reply 17 of 32, by DonutKing

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Got heaps of other parts which ended up unsuitable for the "time machine", not sure what I'll do with them...

sell them to me 😁

If you are squeamish, don't prod the beach rubble.

Reply 18 of 32, by luckybob

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feipoa wrote:

I too once went through a regretable "throw it all away" phase. Luckily I kept the best 20% of the gear. I now have the mindset that if it doesn't work, save it, it will work later.

TRUE STORY!!! I had a dual slot one board that I kept around for a good year before it suddenly started working. Next up: a dual socket 8...

But back on topic, I started by replacing my main system with a dual cpu setup. I got hooked and decided to get a dual setup from each generation. It kinda snowballed from there.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 19 of 32, by Cyberdyne

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I have sold all my dual socket mb-s because, normal users did not have them, and games, and even windows9x can not take advantage of it, so it is only for OS/2 and NT.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.