Archives for: June 2006

Athlon64, and AthlonXP

20/06/06 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, PC

I built two boxes. One was an Athlon64 3200 in my old AthlonXP 2500 box, with new RAM and optical drive. I used an ASUS A8V-MX All in one board (the cheapest 939 I could find). I like all in ones: they always work out cheaper than adding features on to other budget boards. I paid 207.50AUD for the CPU and 65 for the MoBo. The CPU was cheap when I bought it but prices dropped about 20AUD by the time it arrived, and then another 10AUD in the week after that :( I used some Apple RAM I had lying around (2x 256Mb DDR-400 CL3), and the BenQ DVD-RW drive that was in my old server (and then in a firewire case). The hard drives, FDD, fans and PSU were still in the case from when it was an XP2500. I also used a Venus 11 heatsink from Thermaltake, which I had lying around for /ages/.

I ended up selling the CPU and MoBo for 300AUD after a few weeks. Which was nice. :)

The AthlonXP box I built was originally going to be one of two. One for my mother, and one for me (to run on the mac via VNC or Remote desktop). However, I one of the boards I got was a dud. So I ended up just building a system for my mum. It is a MSI KT4AV motherboard with a Palomino core XP1600, 512Mb DDR-400 RAM, Netgear NIC, Sony CD-RW, and (at the moment) a 20Gb HDD and TNT2 graphics. I installed the lot in an old (originally a celeron) ATX case, and added a few fans. The PSU is 300Watt, which should be adequate. Only downside, is that it is too noisy.

The hard drive is an interesting matter. Originally, I installed an 8Gb Quantum from my Mum's previous (and dead) system. After a few days use it showed the same fault as the old system had. I was temporarily worried that the hard drive was bad, and killing motherboards. Turned out that it was just a failing hard drive. So, I had to install a new hard drive. A 40Gb went in. It was from the Power Mac DA 533, and was failing SMART. I installed WinXP, and messed around with. However, since the hard drive was dying, I needed to find a replacement. Alot of tangental thinking lead to me taking the 20Gb out of the A1. I installed Win98, but now need to copy the old files over from the previous HDDs.

The other experience this MSY Athlon has had is many graphics cards. Initially, I used my Matrox 400 as it was the only AGP card (out of about 10) that was compatible with the slot. But I like the Matrox, so I decided to get another card. I picked up a TNT2 M64 32Mb for 15AUD. A nice price. The card works nicely, but initially needed reseating. In the meantime, I have used the machine for testing and flashing cards for Macs, so it has had an FX5200, 3 9700 Pros, a 9800 Pro, an X800XT PE VIVO, a GeForce2 MX200, and a S3 Savage4 (it was meant to be a GeForce2 MX400) installed. All the cards worked fine. It has also had an SiS, an ATi, and S3 PCI graphics cards installed.

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Quicksilver 800

20/06/06 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Mac

The Quicksiler has the WiFi, SATA, 1.5GiB RAM, 320GB HDD, and Radeon (first 9600 Pro 64Mb, now 9700 Pro, soon to be 9800 Pro then X800XT), and 2 weeks ago put in a USB2 card. It came with a Pioneer DVR-106, so I haven't installed the 110 yet.

I mightn't install the 110 at all, though. The machine has some minor issues and might be worth selling and upgrading. At the moment I am considering a dual 1GHz or single 933MHz depending on price. I did the maths recently, and the Quicksilver didn't actually cost me anything, once the profits from spares, and selling the old 533 (about 100AUD, right there) are taken into consideration. Ofcourse, this doesn't include the money spent on the WiFi, SATA, RAM, HDD, Radeon, 110 etc. :) but they are staying with me until I move on up (and they are no longer useful). The USB2 card is a VIA, and working fine under Panther and Tiger.

If I can get a bargain G4, I might be able to get a G5 by August/September. :)

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Graphics card flashing

20/06/06 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Mac

I recently rediscovered Strangedogs. I had bought a 'Mac Edition' 9800 Pro 128Mb which died and then turned out to be a flashed card. It is a pity because the card cost 200AUD. So I went searching for repair tips, and discovered that Strangedogs now has simple flashes available for 9700 Pro, 9800 Pro, FX5200/5500, and even X800XT.

So I bought some cards, and I have started flashing. So far only a 9700 Pro and a FX5200. Both worked without problems. I've sourced a bunch of 9700 Pros to flash and sell, and a 9800 Pro, and even an X800XT. I also have a 7000 AGP, 7000 PCI, GeForce 2 MX200 32Mb AGP, and ATi Rage 128 Ultra. What I'd like is a PCI nVidia card. It is useful for no confirm flashing of Radeons.

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So much done! So much to do!

20/06/06 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Networking, Mac, PC

Okay, since the last post I have done a little more. The problem with my microATX AthlonXP board was down to the board, not the CPU.

I have built another AthlonXP box, an Athlon64 (939) box, got a Quicksilver which has been upgraded a bit, fixed up the AT box with a 733, and got half way through a IBM PC 300GL upgrade (450MHz P3, 128Mb RAM, 40Gb HDD, WinXP). I've also got remote desktop running between a winXP box and a mac. I've killed the cable on the 21" screen, bought a 19" CRT, sold the Pismo :( and sold the Athlon64 box. I've also rediscovered strangedogs and flashed a few PC cards to Mac cards.

I think an entry on each of the major things would be appropriate. :)

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Current Hardware Projects

This is all about my on going fumblings with hardware. Regular entries should provide an indication of the depths of my obsession.

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