VOGONS


First post, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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Was speaking to a friend at the weekend and he's offered me the chance to take a project off his hands that he's had for years but never started - the bones of a Socket 604 system based on an old Asus NCCH-DL motherboard and a (black I think) Alu Lian Li case. He also has a couple of tower heatsinks, but I'd have to supply the rest (procs, mem,video, psu & drives etc).

Although I have a couple of S603/604 boards in my collection (an old Iwill DP533-S and a NIB Supermicro X6DH8-XG2) I've not really bothered much about the platform other than that, for actual system builds (they work and seem decent quality, but are maybe still on the edge of being considered retro).

As it's not going to cost me if I take his parts anyway (I'll be doing some other work for him) and as it seems to have been a popular board choice back in 2004, would this be good one to start on?

Reply 1 of 8, by dionb

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Well, if central heating has failed, a dual So604 system with Netburst CPUs (the only ones supported on that board) is certainly a way to keep the house warm 😉

As for "is it worth it?" - well, does the platform interest you enough? And/or do you have dual CPU-capable software that would utilize the platform? In terms of performance, any 2006-era Core2Duo would outperform it at a fraction of the power consumption, so it really has to be for nostalgia or curiosity.

Reply 2 of 8, by Errius

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These rigs were hot stuff circa 2005. They're basically Pentiums 4, but with extra Xeon goodness, and two of them. I can imagine everybody crowding round them at LAN parties to appreciate all that power.

Then C2D dropped and it all became obsolete. So it goes.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 3 of 8, by Horun

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I think building a dual Xenon on that Asus board (or your old Iwill) would be great project. Having AGP slot and PGA socket is still vintage in my opinion.

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 4 of 8, by chinny22

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I've a few 604 systems but then I like things like dual CPU's Server OS's and other enterprise level stuff.

Think of it more or less as a S478. Win2k (which is a really good alternate to Win98) or XP are good choices if you just want to game on it.
You can always dual boot to Win9x if you do have any games that refuse to work in 2k/XP. It'll simply ignore the 2nd CPU
Not that you really need a 2nd CPU but come on its pretty awesome.

As a bonus parts like CPU and ram are dirt cheap

Reply 5 of 8, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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Thanks for eveyones thoughts - like a few (irrational souls 😀 ) here, I do now have a bit of a thing for old dual workstation / server setups although up till now those have been mainly slot 1 / skt 370.

I know I should probably care more about the points raised re. heat / power draw, practicality of duallies for most software and the fact that any number of other platforms can spank them sideways but tbh none of those things bother me in the slightest.

I'm not really much of a gamer and just like rescuing old kit from the heap, tinkering with it and the challenge of system builds.

So, decisions made - I'll pick it up sometime over the coming weekend and post a few pics once I see what I've let myself in for.

Reply 6 of 8, by brt02

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Late to the party, but happy to hear you've taken the project

I have the predecessor to the NCCH-DL and love it. 875P and Xeons? Yes please. Currently running both my 3.o6GHz xeons at 3.6GHz using the intel wind tunnel coolers and a 92mm fan on the VRMs.

I find the biggest issue with socket 604 is finding mounting hardware/brackets for the coolers needed. So if you can get all that thrown in, makes it even easier to justify

Just remember you want standard DDR for this motherboard - nothing fancy needed as there is limited voltage adjustment in BIOS ,
and AGP 8X 1.5V cards for the GPU. Motherboard will not boot with a GPU that supports 3.3V AGP - even universal ones in my experience will not boot in this motherboard.

Looking forward to seeing the project coming together

Intel OR840 | Dual P3 1GHz - 1GB PC800 RDRAM - ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - Creative Audigy 2ZS - Lian Li PC-65 - W98/W2K

Reply 7 of 8, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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brt02 wrote on 2021-02-20, 11:50:
Late to the party, but happy to hear you've taken the project […]
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Late to the party, but happy to hear you've taken the project

I have the predecessor to the NCCH-DL and love it. 875P and Xeons? Yes please. Currently running both my 3.o6GHz xeons at 3.6GHz using the intel wind tunnel coolers and a 92mm fan on the VRMs.

I find the biggest issue with socket 604 is finding mounting hardware/brackets for the coolers needed. So if you can get all that thrown in, makes it even easier to justify

Just remember you want standard DDR for this motherboard - nothing fancy needed as there is limited voltage adjustment in BIOS ,
and AGP 8X 1.5V cards for the GPU. Motherboard will not boot with a GPU that supports 3.3V AGP - even universal ones in my experience will not boot in this motherboard.

Looking forward to seeing the project coming together

Thanks, and yeah the deed is done - picked it up on Saturday and looking OK so far. Just finishing of a few pics of the haul which I'll post later in Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Reply 8 of 8, by luckybob

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I still have my 604 xeons. I used the ncch-dl and then "upgraded" to the NCT-D once I got ddr2 and a pci-e video card.

I miss both of those systems, and I wouldn't say no if someone offered me them at a reasonable price. (ebay prices aren't exactly reasonable imho)

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