I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

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Big Boss Man
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Big Boss Man » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:15 am

I'm not sure if anybody is that interested in reading my adventures in old computing
Have you thought about making YouTube videos about restoring old computers/retro tech?. I find videos like that interesting like what LGR , 8bitguy and RMC do.

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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by ian » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:42 pm

NO. He shouldn't do youtube.

There's 4 million youtubberes....

FUCK YOUTUBE!!! I'd take a 50 word tech report over a 30 minute youtube video...
If someone did BOTH, that'd be GREAT, but no one does both...
The English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.

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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:52 pm

melancholy wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:43 pm
Are those drivers overclocking the card or something? That doesn’t make sense that a driver would have that much of a performance increase.
Nope, I've checked the clocks and they are at stock settings. I agree though it makes no sense why a driver would give that much of a performance increase. I was really surprised when the 8783 result came up after installing that driver. I used custom drivers back in the day for ATI but I don't recall ever hearing of Warcat. I mainly remember Omega drivers. The only thing I could think of is that this driver enables options with the AGP slot that aren't enabled in the stock drivers. CCC has a screen for this, things like AGP Fast Write and Slot speed. I don't remember all the options but maybe something in there is enabled by default that otherwise wouldn't be. The slot has always been at 4X though so I know it isn't that. I also tried out 3DMark03 and it ran very well. Got a 7460 in 03. After that I tried running 3Dmark05 but when I tried to install it alerted me that it requires a CPU with SSE instructions which the Thunderbird does not have. Here are the results from 3DMark03
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Big Boss Man wrote: Have you thought about making YouTube videos about restoring old computers/retro tech?. I find videos like that interesting like what LGR , 8bitguy and RMC do.
I've thought about doing Youtube videos on old technology. First thing is my videos wouldn't have anywhere near the production quality of 8-bit guy or LGR. I'm not sure if me just screwing around with an old PC would be interesting enough. I suppose if I had filmed all my experiences with this machine from the beginning it might be somewhat interesting to a few people.
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Now one more update about the Thunderbird. Originally when I first started messing around with this PC I used a IDE to SD converter and was using a 32GB MicroSD card as the primary hard drive. That worked OK but things were running really slow. Using any kind of web browser would slow the system to a crawl. Installing programs would take forever and the OS in general was really laggy. I knew the SD card was causing these problems because a 1ghz CPU is more than capable of running XP. I kept it in for awhile because I didn't think I had any working IDE drives laying around. Then I remembered I have a 250GB IDE drive that I could use. I formatted it and installed XP again and it was like putting a supercharger in it! Everything ran much smoother and faster. Web browsing is now possible, even youtube! Although you must run the videos at 144p for them to be watchable, otherwise they stutter and are too slow.

There was one more HUGE benefit from reinstalling XP on an IDE drive. On the previous install on the SD card I could not get my Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro joystick to work correctly. It was recognized and worked fine except there was no force feedback. Which was obviously the #1 reason I wanted to use it. So I hooked it up on this new install and it was recognized just fine. So I loaded up Midtown Madness and....YES! The force feedback is now working! After that I loaded up one of my favorite games of all time, Mafia. I don't think I even knew it had FFB support until today. When looking at the controls I saw there were sliders to adjust the FFB intensity. So I cranked them all the way up and tried it out. The FFB worked great! It was way to much force with it turned up all the way but it was fun messing around with it like that. Shooting is the best with it as it reacts to every bullet you fire. I took a quick video showing the FFB on my phone but haven't uploaded it yet. It is very crappy as it was hard to film with one hand and I was too close to the computer to show the stick and the display in the same shot. Overall I am very happy to get the Sidewinder working again. It has probably been close to 20 years since I last used one.
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:28 pm

I have several motherboards and CPUs out in my pole barn. I decided to throw one into a case. The board I'm using is a MSI K9MM-V AM2 with a Sempron 3000+. I really don't remember ever buying it. The board is one my Newegg order history from December 2007. I think it may have been a build for a family member. It has two important features, an AGP 8X slot and a on-board game port. It also has two SATA ports so I can use an extra SATA drive I have and not have to lose my XP install I have on the T-bird. I'm gonna try the X1650 with this motherboard to see how it performs with an 8X slot vs 4X, DDR2 800 RAM vs DDR 133 and of course a faster processor.

However this board wasn't my first choice. I also found a K7S41GX motherboard which is a Socket 462/A just like the original PC and is compatible with the 1gz Thunderbird. It also has an AGP 8X slot,on-board gameport and also supports faster ram. I figured it would be a much better board then whatever stock 2000-2001 model came with the PC. Probably even overkill for something like a 1ghz Thunderbird considering it supports all the way up to an Athlong XP 3200+. The stock board only supports up to a 1.4ghz Athlon.

At first I could not even get it to power on, I thought it might have been the power supply I was using which was a low wattage Dell PSU. Upon removing the heatsink I noticed that the Athlon XP 2000+ that was in it had a chip out the the CPU! I have no idea how this could have happened. Anyways I first put a Duron 850 that I had laying around in it and it powered up but displayed no picture. I looked up the board and found the oldest Duron it claims to support is a Duron 900. So close! It does support the 1ghz Thunderbird CPU that was in the original PC so I tried that and got the same results. So I gave up and put the 1ghz back in the original PC and started on the Sempron 3000+ build. I am currently installing Windows XP on it. I had to borrow the DVD drive from the original computer to install Windows XP, but I didn't even have it hooked up anymore. Installing XP is the only reason I need to use a CD drive since as far as I know there is no easy way to install XP from USB. After that anything I want on it is just copied through the network. Even if it is a game I actually own like Midtown Madness I'd still just rather download a rip version and be able to just double click it and play and not have to mess with getting a no-cd crack and whatnot.
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:26 pm

HDD Speeds

I mentioned before that I originally was using an SD to IDE converter for the hard drive and that XP seemed pretty laggy with it. Since then I've tested the speed of the SD and IDE drive on the 1ghz Athlon and the SATA drive I'm using on the Sempron build. Here are the results. all speed listed is per second.

1ghz Athlon Thunderbird
SD card 23mb read/4mb write
IDE HDD 31mb read/34mb write
Cheap USB drive 968kb read 805kb write!

Sempron 3000+
75mb read 69mb write

The read speed on the SD to IDE converter really wasn't all that bad. The write speed however was pretty terrible and was really slowing down the OS. I still need to try it with a different card and see if that makes a difference. The USB ports on the Thunderbird PC must be USB 1.1 to be getting those slow results. I believe the max speed of USB 1.1 is 1.5mb/s so that would explain the slow results. I know disk speeds aren't that exciting but since I tested them I figured I'd add them to the thread.


GPU Scores and Comparisions
Now for a GPU update. I've got the Sempron 3000+ build up and running. I put the x1650 in it since it has an 8x slot to compare 3Dmark results and see how much the 1ghz Athlon and 4x slot was holding it back. As you can see below it was holding it back quite a bit!

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It went from a max score of 8783 to 15993! Quite an improvement. I also ran 3DMark05 and 06 just for fun. I ran 3DMark03 on the Athlon but couldn't run any 3DMark newer than that due to the lack of the SSE instructions. Here are the results from the 03 run on the Athlon.

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Since I got decent results with it on the Athlon I skipped over it with the Sempron as I knew it could easily run it, but I should still run it just for a comparision. Here are the results from 3DMark05 and 06 on the Sempron.

Image

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The 05 results are ok. Lowering the resolution would help but a game similar to the test games would be playable on it but 30fps would be about the best you could hope for.

3DMark06 is too much for it. At least it was able to run it but with speeds of 7-10fps games that are similar to the test games would be unplayable. Even at 640x480 I doubt there would be enough improvement. Probably around 15fps or maybe in the low 20s with some overclocking.

Summary

That is my old computer post for today. The Sempron is obviously a much better XP machine. It is even capable of web browsing and watching youtube. I was able to browse the web on the 1ghz machine too. Sometimes it was alright but overall it was pretty slow. I did use it to browse some sites and download some files I needed for it. Disabling images helped quite a bit. Youtube did load and play on it and at 144p the videos were watchable with only a slight bit of slowness. Only having 384mb of ram in the Athlon compared to 1GB in the Sempron also helps. It obviously can't do HD but 480p is fine.

Besides just messing around with benchmarks and stuff the main thing I've been using it for is the old Sidewinder FFB Pro joystick. Crimson Skies it great with it. I've also played around a bit with a game I used to play as a kid. Sierra's Drivers Education 99'. It may sound lame but it is actually fun. Especially back in the day when there wasn't a ton of open world type driving games. This and Midtown Madness are the only two that come to mind. I've also tried Midtown Madness and with the force feedback turned all the way up it is pretty insane. When your car is heavily damaged where the wheel is bent the joystick goes crazy! I want to try some other force feedback enabled games with it, and with the Sempron I'm able to run many more games than the Athlon was. If anybody has any recommendations on what to play let me know.
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:43 am

I had a really strange issue with it today. When I would turn it on it either would display no video or get to the bios splash screen and freeze. Odd since it was working fine the night before. I eventually found that pulling one of the ram sticks would allow it to boot. So I figured somehow the one stick had went bad. Seemed odd but I switched the ram with 2 512mb Kingston sticks I had. Same issue. With both sticks in it would beep when powering it on indicating a ram issue. With only one stick it would boot fine and it didn't matter which stick it was! So maybe somehow the ram socket itself has developed some kind of issue. Then I tried one stick of the original Patriot ram I had in it to begin with and one stick of Kingston (both 512mb) and now it boots fine with 1gb. It is annoying as I'd like to have matching sticks in it but it seems for now this is the only way I can run it with 1gb. I have no idea what would being causing it not to boot with two identical sticks.
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by ian » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:07 am

Old computer gremlins!

I blame the motherboard.
The English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.

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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:42 pm

ian wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:07 am
Old computer gremlins!

I blame the motherboard.
That could be, I need to try the matching sticks again and see if they have magically started working again. It isn't that much of an issue though, not like I'm going to notice any performance difference. What is annoying though is that after installing XP only a week ago and getting it all setup how I wanted it the damn hard drive died! :grumpy: Turns out it was kind of my fault. I was using a SATA drive that I had replaced with an SSD in a different computer because it was going bad. I had two SATA drives laying around. The bad one I used and a refurbished one that I had bought for $9.99 around a year ago and never really used for anything. I had mixed them up! :embarrassed: Hopefully after I get everything installed on this new drive it will be good to go to just be able to use and play old games on. I thought about just putting an SSD in it. I can get a 64gb SSD for around $10-$15. I didn't realize they could be had for that cheap.
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by ian » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:36 pm

Old SSD's are basically free these days, and make Windows XP run like a dream.
The English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.

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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:36 pm

I burnt up the 1ghz Thunderbird :frown: It was running really hot again getting up to 200F! (93C) So I took the cooler off and put new thermal paste on. As soon as I booted it up I went to the BIOS to check the temps. It was so hot it wasn't even displaying it then the screen went blank and it never booted again with that CPU. I took it apart right after that and the chip was so hot you couldn't even touch it! The last time I put thermal paste on I noticed the die seemed a bit damaged as if a bit of it on the side had been chipped off. It could have been the chip was slightly damaged from the start. There is also another possibility.

Image

See the four pads on each corner of the processor? The last time I had the chip out I noticed one was missing. I don't recall it being missing before but it wasn't stuck to the cooler or anything so maybe I just didn't notice. I thought this might be causing it the cooler to sit uneven on the chip so I just removed the other three. My thought was it wouldn't hurt anything and would just let the cooler sit closer to the CPU. After I did that is when the chip went up in flames so maybe removing them wasn't the best idea. I had a Duron 850 that has been sitting around for many years. I don't even remember where it came from. I popped it in and the board booted up fine. It has extremely low temps. When under extreme load it maxes out around 108F (42C). I have it running close to 1ghz, I can't remember the exact number but I'm thinking 977mhz. The main difference between the Duron and Athlon is the Duron only has 64kb L2 Cache while the Athlon has 256kb L2. If I really wanted to replace the Athlon chip a 1.3ghz one can be had for only $10 but the Duron 850 is fine for now. I've mostly been using the Sempron 3000+ since I got it going anyways.

I've brought another old PC from the barn inside to mess with. It is a Dell with a Pentium 4. Not sure what speed P4 it has since I haven't booted it up yet but don't worry I'm sure I'll type up several paragraphs about it once I get it going. :olol:
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:20 am

Calavera wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:36 pm
I've brought another old PC from the barn inside to mess with. It is a Dell with a Pentium 4. Not sure what speed P4 it has since I haven't booted it up yet but don't worry I'm sure I'll type up several paragraphs about it once I get it going. :olol:
Well I've hooked it up and installed a version of Windows 7 called Windows 7 Super Lite. The ISO for it is only 671MB. I mainly used it to cut down on the installation size as I was using a 16gb SD card for the HD. The P4 is 2.8ghz, and there really isn't much else to say. Windows 7 runs fine, youtube works fine. It is basically too new to really be any fun to mess with.

Here is the 3DMark01 and CPU-Z screenshots. Exciting!

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I'm am just using the on-board video as it only has PCI slots. I have another P4 system that is a 3.2ghz chip and has a PCI-E slot so if I really wanted to use a P4 system that would be the better choice. I could throw an old PCI video card in it just for fun but of course they are priced way more than they are worth. $30 for an old Geforce FX 5500, no thanks. $10 tops and even that is too much.
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by ian » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:13 am

Calavera wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:20 am
too new to really be any fun to mess with.
Now throwing out computers never than 2002!
The English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.

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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:02 pm

ian wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:13 am
Calavera wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:20 am
too new to really be any fun to mess with.
Now throwing out computers never than 2002!
Throwing out? Never!
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by ian » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:49 am

Too late. If it's 2002 or newer I've thrown it out.
USELESS SHIT!

I mean roughly 2002 was the last time any of us owned a game we could play on our PC's.
Since 2004, we've just been renting all our games, so your too new to be any fun holds true.
If I put in my 2002 No One Lives Forever 2 disc, I can install and play No One Lives Forever 2.
if I put in my 2004 Half life 2 disc, I have to install this launcher thing that needs fucking updates just to even open the game.


Everything in life is a bell curve.. in computing hardware, the bell curve hit it's absolute peak in 2009-2011. Gaming hit it's bell curve in 2002-2003

It all just gets worse!
The English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.

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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:39 am

ian wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:49 am
Everything in life is a bell curve..
More like a bell end amiright? There is an easy way to avoid the BS put into computer games nowadays with all the updates and that nonsense. And I think ye be knowing what I be suggesting. ARRG!

Seriously though if you have a pirated version of a game you just install and play with no BS. All this DRM they load into every game only punishes the people who buy it. The pirated version will be stripped of all DRM and be ready to download within days of the original release. Remember Sonic Mania where they delayed the game release because of the DRM then once it was released the DRM was broken in only a couple days? DRM is pointless.


Anywhoooo back to the boring old computer talk! I finally plugged in that old yellowed Pionex computer. I'd assumed it was a 166mhz same as the Gateway 2000 but it is actually a Pentium MMX @ 233mhz. The motherboard is a Biostar MB-8500TVG. What I find strange about it is that it has 4 slots for EDO memory and also 2 slots for standard SD. I'm going to say the PC is from late 1995 since it has a Windows 95 sticker on it and going by the dates on the chips. It came with 32mb of EDO. It just seems odd to have both but maybe this was common at the time. The manual says it does not recommend mixing EDO and SD ram together. The max ram for the board is 128MB but this can only be achieved with 2 64mb modules. I mostly only have 128mb modules of the ram it accepts. I was able to find a 64mb stick mixed in but besides that I only had a couple 16s and the rest 128s. I tried some of the 128mb modules and they PC just wouldn't boot with them installed. Except for one. For some reason one 128mb module was recognized as 32mb. So for now I left that one in with the 64mb stick to have a total of 97mb ram. I tried Windows XP just to see how it would run. It ran...barely. Horribly slow. So I put Windows ME on it and haven't messed with it much since then.

I was short on IDE hard drives but managed to get 2 extra 10gb ones by unlocking some old original Xbox HDs I had laying around from when I modded them.

edit: The Pentium MMX 233mhz was first released on June 2nd 1997 for $594. My guess would be that somebody upgraded the CPU at some time.
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by ian » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:45 am

Calavera wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:39 am
ian wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:49 am
Everything in life is a bell curve..
More like a bell end amiright? There is an easy way to avoid the BS put into computer games nowadays with all the updates and that nonsense. And I think ye be knowing what I be suggesting. ARRG!

Seriously though if you have a pirated version of a game you just install and play with no BS. All this DRM they load into every game only punishes the people who buy it. The pirated version will be stripped of all DRM and be ready to download within days of the original release. Remember Sonic Mania where they delayed the game release because of the DRM then once it was released the DRM was broken in only a couple days? DRM is pointless.
And every company in the world wonders how to stop piracy? :owink:
make good shit easy to access for the right price = Piracy GONE!!!
and it REALLY IS THAT FUCKING SIMPLE!!!!
...OH I can't watch or play this thing because I'm not in North America... Well guess fucking what???? I'm going to access it, either way.. If you hadn't region locked it I MAY have paid to see it, or dealt with ads to see it... Now I'm accessing it out of simple spite....
It's not even basic piracy these days.

Company releases product/game that needs day one updates to be usable/playable and is still broken for $60USD.
Pirate version is complete and fixed for nothing TWO DAYS LATER...
Hmmmm.. THAT'S A HARD CHOICE!!!!!!
The English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.

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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:59 pm

ian wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:45 am
Company releases product/game that needs day one updates to be usable/playable and is still broken for $60USD.
Pirate version is complete and fixed for nothing TWO DAYS LATER...
Hmmmm.. THAT'S A HARD CHOICE!!!!!!
A game I bought legally is GTA V. I thought I'd like to play it online but really I'm just not into online gaming that much. Anyways I beat the main story ages ago but every once in awhile I might like to load it up and mess around a bit. I never can do this though. I rarely play it so anytime I load it up it wants to download several gigabytes of updates before I can even play the damn thing even though I only want single player mode. My connection speed is 3mbps so we are talking 375kb/s MAX so it will more likely be anywhere from 250-350kb/s. By the time the updates are done downloading and the game can be loaded I've moved onto something else and lost interest in wanting to play it. So I close it out and the next time I decide I want to play the same thing occurs.

Now if I had just downloaded a pirated version from day 1 I would be able to load it up right away and wouldn't have had to download any updates and the single player mode would function just as well as it does with all the updates. I wouldn't have to log into Rockstar Club or whatever it is called. I could just click the shortcut and load right into the game. I should have done that, then I'd actually be able to play it!
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Re: I just recieved 3 free computers from Facebook Marketplace

Post by Calavera » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:26 pm

Here is something you might find interesting. Midtown Madness running on that yellowed Pionex PC with a Pentium 233Mhz with 96MB of ram using whatever awful onboard graphics it has. Who knew Midtown Madness could look so terrible!

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