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 Post subject: Massively bodged together Pentium 3 system
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:58 am 
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Location: UK
This is a very hacked together Pentium 3 system with only one fan.
Image

Pentium 3 550MHz passive cooled
448Mb RAM
Supermicro P6SBU motherboard
Geforce FX5600 + Accelero S2 and ramsinks
Seagate Barracuda IV 60Gb
Liteon DVD/CDRW
3.5" floppy
Soundblaster 128 PCI
SiS 10/100 network card
230W PSU
Evesham Micros case circa 2000

It contains parts from about 10 different computers over the last 15 years or so and hardly anything can be considered standard.

The CPU came from a broken old medical system. The standard heatsink and fan was loud, initially I replaced the fan with a slow 92mm but then recently I replaced the whole heatsink assembly with than from a broken Athlon 700 system. This allows it to run without a fan and hasn't broken 48C yet.

The motherboard was from the same broken medical system. It has a serial port missing as this was desoldered for use on another motherboard. The board has an onboard SCSI controller which is disabled. Clocking and voltage options with this motherboard are not great.

The RAM comprises a 64Mb and 3 128Mb sticks. The 64Mb came with the motherboard and CPU from that broken medical system while one 128Mb stick came from a colleague who was throwing it out, another 128Mb came as stock from that Athlon 700 and the other was an upgrade for the Athlon 700. All running at PC100.

The graphics card has had a BIOS mod to lower 2D volatge and clockspeed. It's previously been in a Shuttle, another Athlon XP system and the broken Athlon 700 system with any number of coolers on it. Now it's got an Accelero S2 which doesn't quite cover the whole chip so isn't ideal and a set of ramsinks from both an Iceberq 4 and an Iceberq 4 Pro. Temps tend to range from the mid fifties up to the low seventies. I also have a passive Radeon 9000 Pro at my disposal which could be used as an alternative.

The hard disk is one of the quietest I know and is currently mounted in a plastic caddy in a 5.25" drive, this could be improved. This drive has been in three different systems before.

The optical drive originally was fitted to a Shuttle although has also been in the broken Athlon 700. It makes a nasty noise on startup when it searches for a disk. I have an LG DVD drive which could be used instead if CD writing isn't a requirement. The floppy drive just came with the case, not too exciting and totally unmodded.

The Soundblaster 128 was one of the last 2 channel Soundblasters. I also have a CMedia 5.1 channel card available but it doesn't work so well with a lot of older games, hence the Soundblaster being used instead. This card originally came with the broken Athlon 700.

The SiS network card is one of a few I have available. I may swap this for another based upon compatibility if one works better under older versions of Windows.

The 230W PSU is an early ATX one from a P166MMX system made in Jan 1997. It originally had a 92mm Mishina fan on the underside of it blowing downwards through the case, this was the early ATX cooling layout. The fan was temperature controlled and up until a few years ago was the quietest I'd ever used, mostly because so many 80mm fan models are so bad. In that position the fan would foul on the Slot 1 CPU so I first put the fan inside the PSU blowing through it. This worked fine. What I have now done is replaced the fan with a Silverstone FN91, powered off the same thermally controlled header. This is a lot quieter. My attempt at RPM sensing hasn't worked but I expect it spins around 1200rpm. This is the only fan in the system.

A close up of the PSU/CPU area with the systems only fan:
Image

The case was originally used for an Athlon 700 system where the motherboard blew. It has a pair of 80mm mounts, one at the rear and one at the front and a few fent holes elsewhere. Both of the 80mm mounts could be remodelled to be 92mm or perhaps even 120mm mounts. Annoyingly it came with a little shelf that stuck out under the PSU which I had to cut off with tinsnips. The edge can be seen in the above photo.

The system is set up with a Compaq S710 monitor which was being thrown out at my mother's office, an Advent keyboard which I got with a FREE AST P90 system in 2002 (and I'm sure that wasn't it's original keyboard), a Logitech wheel mouse and a set of Cambridge Soundworks 2 channel speakers.

It currently has Windows 98SE (although this is broken) and Vector Linux 5.9 on it and is used for emails, a bit of browsing and old games... when Windows is fixed.

Sound wise it's almost the quietest computer I've ever used. The Hard disk could be remounted better as the seek noise is still audible and the PSU fan could be replaced with a 120mm unit with a bit of cutting. Some sound deadening work on the case would also help.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:13 am 
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Location: Denmark
Great setup.
Way to recycle.

Have you tried blocking the fangrill below the PSU?
And removing the PCI cover just below the GFX-card?
I think that would help the airflow in your case.

If the harddrive is really quiet you could take it out of the caddy and softmount it in a 5.25" bay with some stretch-magic or something similar.

Its always nice to see a 1 fan system :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Posts: 1255
Location: UK
Thanks for the comments.
AuraAllan wrote:
Have you tried blocking the fangrill below the PSU?

Not yet. It's one of 5 real intake areas in this system. I need to try different configurations with blocking grills and also with some foam.
AuraAllan wrote:
And removing the PCI cover just below the GFX-card?

The cover has been replaced with a vented grill. The reason being that this case has a toolfree set of plastic clips and there has to be something in the bay for the clip to engage properly, so no bay cover means the clip isn't secure.

AuraAllan wrote:
If the harddrive is really quiet you could take it out of the caddy and softmount it in a 5.25" bay with some stretch-magic or something similar.

This is what I'm thinking of, the trouble is it presents another problem. The caddy is the only thing that plugs up the 5.25" bay so I'd then need something else. I previously had another bay open which I had to close by gluing a bay cover in from another case.

What I'm thinking of is perhaps soft mounting it on foam at the bottom of the case where there is lots of space and a air intake. Either that or I have to build some kind of bespoke 2 bay hard drive mounting system with a nice wooden front.

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Silverstone SG03B: E8200, Asus P5E-VM HDMI, 2Gb RAM, Leadtek 9600GT+S1 rev. 2, Samsung 500Gb, Seasonic X-400, 2x Akasa 120mm, Scythe Zipang 2 fanless


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:56 am 
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edh wrote:
AuraAllan wrote:
Have you tried blocking the fangrill below the PSU?
Not yet. It's one of 5 real intake areas in this system. I need to try different configurations with blocking grills and also with some foam.
Sounds good.
edh wrote:
AuraAllan wrote:
And removing the PCI cover just below the GFX-card?
The cover has been replaced with a vented grill. The reason being that this case has a toolfree set of plastic clips and there has to be something in the bay for the clip to engage properly, so no bay cover means the clip isn't secure.
Arh okay. Thats just about the same as leaving out the PCI cover.

edh wrote:
AuraAllan wrote:
If the harddrive is really quiet you could take it out of the caddy and softmount it in a 5.25" bay with some stretch-magic or something similar.

This is what I'm thinking of, the trouble is it presents another problem. The caddy is the only thing that plugs up the 5.25" bay so I'd then need something else. I previously had another bay open which I had to close by gluing a bay cover in from another case.

What I'm thinking of is perhaps soft mounting it on foam at the bottom of the case where there is lots of space and a air intake. Either that or I have to build some kind of bespoke 2 bay hard drive mounting system with a nice wooden front.
Leaving it on some foam is a good idea. A wooden front would look good though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1833
Location: Northern New Jersey
:lol:

I'm still running a P3 system myself, and today I planned on a bit of an overhaul of it.

We've got some things in common I suppose, even if my P3 rig seems to be on steroids compared to yours.

I've got a Supermicro board too, lovely things, 10 years old, still running, still solid.
I've also got a Soundblaster packed in, although it's nothing compared to my main rig now.

But hey, if it works, use it right? I'll have to dig up the old thread about my rig to show the changes it's had...wish I had a better case for it though.

What OS are you running on yours? I'm still debating that for mine, as there's no drive inside right now. I had thought maybe Ubuntu, as I don't want a bunch of XP systems lying arond. Vista is just a no-no, I'm not going to flog my system with crap. but then as a joke i thought, what about Knoppix?

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FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


Last edited by bonestonne on Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:31 am 
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Location: Tampere, Finland
Looks very familiar indeed, I also have a P3-setup with slot-processor and the only fan is in the power supply :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:34 am 
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Location: UK
bonestonne wrote:
I'll have to dig up the old thread about my rig to show the changes it's had...

This one?
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... highlight=
It's very nice. Lot more powerful than mine but I guess a bit louder too.

bonestonne wrote:
What OS are you running on yours?

Currently it has a dual boot of Windows 98 SE (currently broken) and Vector Linux 5.9. Windows 9x has done it's usual thing of falling apart every three months so Vector is the default boot. Vector is targeted at older hardware making it good for this system plus I've cut down the kernel to size and fiddled around with services. I have previously run it on a Pentium MMX too. Vector 6.0 is due out soon which I would suggest you look at. Definitely quicker than that brown distro.

I could run Windows 2000 Pro on it too but I want to keep a Windows 9x install for older games.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:21 am 
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Location: Northern New Jersey
well, yeah that one.

sadly, although it's in perfect working condition right now, the loudest component actually is the power supply. a 300W FSP that's just screaming away.

I tried sticking ubuntu on, but it actually refuses to boot. i have my thoughts on windows 2000, but i think i'll take a look at Vector, i just need something that plays nice with a Matrox G450 Millennium, ubuntu goes right into low graphics mode.

I just don't want windows 98 because i'm going to be putting two 160gb drives in as soon as i get my RAID card back (not for RAID, but storage).

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FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:20 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
bonestonne wrote:
I just don't want windows 98 because i'm going to be putting two 160gb drives in as soon as i get my RAID card back (not for RAID, but storage).


You've got to watch out, older computers (like pentium 3's) have issues with accessing over 127GB. You can buy an enclosure and use them as an external drive, however.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:51 pm 
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Location: Northern New Jersey
considering that the BIOS isn't terribly old (1999) i wouldn't think there would be an issue.

I can't remember if i've ever used high capacity drives with the rig in the past, but i don't think there will be an issue, and if there is, i do have my P4 rig that i don't use much.

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|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:27 am 
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Location: UK
bonestonne wrote:
considering that the BIOS isn't terribly old (1999) i wouldn't think there would be an issue.

Actually at that age there will most likely be a problem if you were running them off the motherboard rather than your RAID controller. You would be able to use a 160Gb disk but only with 128Gb available for partitioning. This is no major loss as 160Gb generally comes to around 149GiB so you'd lose 21GiB.

You are unable to break the limit with a DDO, unlike the previous 8Gib limit which was only natively broken in around 97.

Your RAID card may itself be able to exceed this limit (this is normal) or it might not be able to. If it can't buy a SATA RAID card instead. This would break the drive size limit and allow you to use SATA disks. If you don't bother with RAID you could buy a PCI SATA card for less than the price difference between PATA and SATA, making it cheaper to go SATA.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:36 am 
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I had a problem with my music server using a 200GB drive on an old P3 board--not only would it not see the whole capacity, I couldn't boot with it installed!

Got it around (and personally, I consider this sheer genius :D) by plugging it into a usb->ide adapter, then snaking that out the back to plug into a USB port. Debian recognizes the drive fine and has no problem with the size, and though it's only USB 1 that is plenty for streaming mp3's.

It's running 24x7 in the basement.

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