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First post, by gerry

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Could you build a retro PC right now with parts (just free parts, no taking apart previous or partial builds) ?

Just wondering if anyone has full potential PCs just waiting as parts

if so, and if you had to build it now, what would you build?

For me - I couldn't, no spare MB, CPU or case! It's all 'in use'

Reply 1 of 32, by Almoststew1990

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My limiting factor is cases and power supplies. I have 3 PSU + Case combos so that I can only ever have 3 built PCs at once. I don't need to be drowning in assembled PCs that don't get used! I only have 2 going at the moment mostly because my monitor only has two inputs.

I have plenty of motherboards, CPUs, RAM, storage and video cards if I wanted to put together the third but don't have that itch to build anything.

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Reply 3 of 32, by darry

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Except for case and, to a lesser extent PSU constraints, I could easily build at least 4 or 5 Pentium 2 or 3 based ones as well as one VIA CPU based one and maybe an Athlon (think I have one board/CPU combo) with my stock of spares .

Some people here could probably build dozens of machines with their spares .

Reply 5 of 32, by gerry

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Almoststew1990 wrote on 2020-08-20, 09:40:

My limiting factor is cases and power supplies. I have 3 PSU + Case combos so that I can only ever have 3 built PCs at once. I don't need to be drowning in assembled PCs that don't get used! I only have 2 going at the moment mostly because my monitor only has two inputs.

I have quite a few PC's most of which are rarely used, your approach seems wise 😀

Reply 6 of 32, by gerry

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darry wrote on 2020-08-20, 10:06:

Except for case and, to a lesser extent PSU constraints, I could easily build at least 4 or 5 Pentium 2 or 3 based ones as well as one VIA CPU based one and maybe an Athlon (think I have one board/CPU combo) with my stock of spares .

Some people here could probably build dozens of machines with their spares .

that's impressive! I guess you have enough working PCs at present that you can hold off for a while

Reply 7 of 32, by sf78

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Sure, I have 2-3 empty cases, 4-6 AT PSU's and a few 286, 486 boards. A ton of newer (2k ->) boards, CPU's and PSU's though, but I personally don't consider them retro yet. Also a 2 boxes of audio and graphics cards from 1985->2010. I only say this because I keep them for testing purposes when and if I have to make some sort of comparison between builds.

Reply 8 of 32, by Boohyaka

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ah, I'd actually like to. What I'm lacking is an AT case+power supply...i have a couple 486 mobo's waiting, CPU's, loads of gfx and soundcards. mmh i'd probably miss some RAM too, thinking about it.

Last edited by Boohyaka on 2020-08-20, 13:07. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 9 of 32, by SilverHawk

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I will play along. The short answer is yes. However, based on what I have not already in use, I don't think I should. I have either a micro ATX case or a GIGANTIC steel Chieftec tower case to house my only avaiable motherboard. It is a socket 7 "TX Pro" board that has AT and ATX power connector. It will also take SDRAM and 72pin SIMM. I would be limited to only have a few 72pin SIMMs of unknown capacity or condition. I have plenty of floppy and hard drives, but only one spare working optical. Video card would have to be either a PCI Voodoo Rush, ATI Mach64 GT, or a Diamond Stealth II S220. Quite a few S7 cpus to choose from... Yeah, definitely not going to build this thing.

Reply 11 of 32, by chinny22

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Depends where you draw the retro line.

I've a Dell socket 370 in the garage I picked up for free and done nothing with. That's as old as I can go
I've a few spare ATX cases, PSU's and Socket 775 M/B's maybe a 478 as well if I have to build from scratch.
Loads of CPU's
Plenty of AGP,PCI and 1 or 2 PCI Express and ISA graphics cards.
Only have PCI sound cards.

Most of this hardware isn't anything special though mostly leftovers from upgrading my existing retro machines. Only thing I can see been used in a permanent build is the Dell

Also quite a few complete socket 1366 workstations which I do intend to do some builds but prices haven't come down enough to start those projects yet.

Reply 12 of 32, by gerry

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SilverHawk wrote on 2020-08-20, 13:06:

I will play along. The short answer is yes. However, based on what I have not already in use, I don't think I should. I have either a micro ATX case or a GIGANTIC steel Chieftec tower case to house my only avaiable motherboard. It is a socket 7 "TX Pro" board that has AT and ATX power connector. It will also take SDRAM and 72pin SIMM. I would be limited to only have a few 72pin SIMMs of unknown capacity or condition. I have plenty of floppy and hard drives, but only one spare working optical. Video card would have to be either a PCI Voodoo Rush, ATI Mach64 GT, or a Diamond Stealth II S220. Quite a few S7 cpus to choose from... Yeah, definitely not going to build this thing.

there would be something cool about an S7 era system set up in a giant steel tower (beneath a steel tower!), but I can understand the reluctance, especially if that era is well catered for already in your collection

Reply 13 of 32, by gerry

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-08-20, 13:14:

Depends where you draw the retro line.

a question in itself! for PC's I guess 15 years-ish

I've a Dell socket 370 in the garage I picked up for free and done nothing with. That's as old as I can go I've a few spare ATX […]
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I've a Dell socket 370 in the garage I picked up for free and done nothing with. That's as old as I can go
I've a few spare ATX cases, PSU's and Socket 775 M/B's maybe a 478 as well if I have to build from scratch.
Loads of CPU's
Plenty of AGP,PCI and 1 or 2 PCI Express and ISA graphics cards.
Only have PCI sound cards.

Most of this hardware isn't anything special though mostly leftovers from upgrading my existing retro machines. Only thing I can see been used in a permanent build is the Dell

Also quite a few complete socket 1366 workstations which I do intend to do some builds but prices haven't come down enough to start those projects yet.

quite a collection, some nice possibilities in that mix!

Reply 14 of 32, by bloodem

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I'm ashamed to admit that... I could build 3 full PCs with the parts I have now. And probably other 10+ PCs (without a case).

2 x Socket 3 / 3 x Socket 7 / 4 x SuperSocket 7 / 4 x Slot 1 / 2 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 2 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k

Reply 15 of 32, by cyclone3d

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Heh... I have enough parts except for cases and enough power supplies to probably build 50+ PCs... and that is just limited by the number of motherboards I have.

I could probably build 5-10 PCs without having to take apart anything that I personally put together. There are some systems I have that will be gutted and rebuilt with the parts I want to put in them.

I just don't have the time right now... it would actually help space-wise though as there wouldn't be as many parts not installed in cases.

Once I figure out the exact builds I want to keep and what other parts I want to keep.. plus some spares, I plan on selling off a ton of what I have.

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Reply 16 of 32, by SilverHawk

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gerry wrote on 2020-08-20, 15:44:
SilverHawk wrote on 2020-08-20, 13:06:

I will play along. The short answer is yes. However, based on what I have not already in use, I don't think I should. I have either a micro ATX case or a GIGANTIC steel Chieftec tower case to house my only available motherboard. It is a socket 7 "TX Pro" board that has AT and ATX power connector. It will also take SDRAM and 72pin SIMM. I would be limited to only have a few 72pin SIMMs of unknown capacity or condition. I have plenty of floppy and hard drives, but only one spare working optical. Video card would have to be either a PCI Voodoo Rush, ATI Mach64 GT, or a Diamond Stealth II S220. Quite a few S7 cpus to choose from... Yeah, definitely not going to build this thing.

there would be something cool about an S7 era system set up in a giant steel tower (beneath a steel tower!), but I can understand the reluctance, especially if that era is well catered for already in your collection

I have Socket 7 very well represented with current builds. I wish I had another AT case to leverage for that TX Pro board. It was the board I used for my first PC build. As I recall, it was an Enlight tower. Anyway, the steel case is getting rebuilt with my first open loop water cooled system. Socket A based. More to come. First I need to get new caps for the motherboard. Sorry, went a bit off topic...

Reply 17 of 32, by Thallanor

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For me, cases are what are in short order. I finally have a spare one now, after buying one from a member of a local vintage computing group - he even rebuilt the PSU for me. 😀 So now I'm looking at getting some builds together. I'm actually bogged down in these older-era builds because of the case issue. Once I cross that ATX threshold, the case issue won't be as big an issue. Unfortunately, that's near the end of the journey in terms of vintage computing.

Reply 18 of 32, by pan069

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Yes. I have all the parts for a Socket 7 system;

Chaintech 5TDM2
Pentium MMX 233
128MB EDO
S3 Virge/DX 86C325 4Mb PCI
Diamond 3DFX Voodoo 2 8MB PCI
Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold CT4390
3COM 3C905B-TX PCI Ethernet
8 GB CompactFlash (might change this to hard disk, not sure yet)
40x CDROM
GoTek

including case (desktop style), Startech 300W PSU (ATX), ATX to AT converter.

I just need time to build it. I requires some soldering to rework some of the leads of the front panel buttons. I'm super busy at the moment so I think this will be xmas holiday project.

Reply 19 of 32, by gerry

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-08-20, 16:38:

Heh... I have enough parts except for cases and enough power supplies to probably build 50+ PCs... and that is just limited by the number of motherboards I have.

I could probably build 5-10 PCs without having to take apart anything that I personally put together.

that's..... a lot of parts! Must be some interesting options for builds in that mix!