Although I'm still missing a few tiny bits and pieces for Retro 5, I installed the OS (Windows XP Pro SP1) and drivers to make a brief test under load conditions to check the system's health. Everything looks good so far, although thorough tests have to follow.
I just realized I never really talked about the parts in detail. So, I'll give a short overview of what's in Retro 5 currently and its history before a final overview will be added once the system is also "game-ready".
As I already mentioned before, this is first system where I left the "buy an OEM system and upgrade it until replacement" route. It was originally located in a full tower case. I built it in early 2001.
After the more or less disappointing performance of the original Pentium 4 line-up, I had decided to stick with the Pentium III (my last OEM system was an IBM Aptiva with a slot 1 Pentium III) and wait it out. For me, personally, AMD was (and still is) no viable option. I went with the Coppermine 1.0GHz (133MHz FSB) model and an Asus CUSL2-C, sporting the i815EP chipset and the iPanel. I had chosen the Kanie Hedgehog heat sink back then. Of course, it had no issues cooling a Pentium III. For RAM, the system had 2x 256MB Micron PC133 CL2. The graphics card was an Asus V8200 Deluxe (GeForce 3), and the sound card a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy (SB0090). As a PSU, the then current Enermax 431W P4 PSU was used. The system had a Toshiba DVD-ROM and an Asus CD burner, and a Teac 3.5" FDD. The original HDD was an IBM DeskStar 30GB 7.200 rpm UDMA100 drive. Originally, the system ran Windows 98 SE and was instantly upgraded to Windows XP Pro in late 2001.
The more peripheral parts like ODD, FDD, case, PSU etc. are no longer available. The case for example had been used for many years within the family and has been scrapped a long time ago (not that I would have had the space for something like this in my office to begin with). The DVD-ROM died as did the HDD, and the CD burner is more or less useless nowadays (especially because of the noise and the availability of USB 2.0). I still have the original PSU somewhere in another system, but the one I'm using now is the same model. Of course, the system now uses an SSD, and the iPanel provides a stylish way of front USB 2.0 (instead of USB 1.1) as it is no longer connected to the CUSL2-C USB headers but to a PCI USB 2.0 card powered by an NEC chipset. The more central parts of the system are all there, and alive. I could briefly test this with a session of AquaNox, one of the first DirectX 8 titles I had played on the GeForce 3.
Regarding CPU performance, the system never was top-notch because faster Athlons and P4s were out there already. An update however was inevitable because my IBM slot 1 PIII wasn't up to the task anymore. As the socket 423 P4s were disappointing, I decided to bridge this with an intermediate system. As I usually limit myself to high-end graphics cards and apply all available "eye-candy" I tend to end up in the GPU limit what kind of mitigates the somewhat lower CPU performance. I don't care for high fps, a certain level of fps has to be reached and maintained all the time (minimum fps), that's more important in my books. This strategy worked out pretty well, I never encountered any issues related to CPU performance. Usually, the graphics card couldn't keep up with all settings maxed out.
This system was finally replaced in early 2003, upon launch of the Pentium 4 3.0GHz HT CPU, when the P4 caught up with and/or surpassed the Athlon XP, thanks to the Northwood core.
END OF LINE.
My retro systems:
1: E4700 2.6|512MB|P5PE-VM|Voodoo5|SB0240|UM-1>UM-550>CM-32L+SC-55
2: P3-S 1.4|512MB|D815EEA2|Voodoo5+Voodoo5 6000|SB0350
3: P4 3.4EE|4GB|P4C800-E|FX 5900 Ultra+Ti4600|SB0466
4: X5470 3.33|8GB|P5Q-E|GTX 580 3G|SB0886