2020 COVID Build (formally the Vintage PC Build)

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge' started by mcrazza, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. Asteroid

    Asteroid Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,447
    Location:
    Lapping Freo
    Computing moved very fast back then so it can be a bit hard to pin down the exact era you want. But with that in mind personally I'd do it completely differenty.
    Get an Athlon, Athlon XP or Duron of 1.0GHz or faster.
    A DDR socket A board
    Geforce 2MX/ 4MX

    That was the basic plan for effective budget gaming back then. Add as much ram as you can (don't worry about speed, it'll probably run at 266 anyway), get a PCI SATA card and a cheap/ old SSD, use a new psu (just a cheap basic thing, these things ran on 230-300W units that came bundled with a case).

    If you want to target a slightly earlier era use an earlier Athlon/ Duron, SDRAM board and a TNT2. A PIII/ Celeron is ok too.
     
    mcrazza likes this.
  2. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Thanks Asteroid.

    I gave up on the original brief and went with a mid 00s era gaming PC spec. See HERE. Updated specs HERE.
     
  3. shredder

    shredder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    13,969
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I've just finished restoring a Prescott 3.06Ghz machine. Tried it with Windows 2000 first - preference for nostalgic reasons - but a few key features were missing (Hyperthreading, HDD DMA mode on my chipset, etc) and certain other legacy restrictions (e.g. Max. HDD size) were annoying. So I moved it to Windows XP yesterday, and that suits it perfectly.

    Reminded me of the admittedly-obvious maxim that it's best to choose the OS generation that followed your hardware. (and not vice versa - especially when it comes to Windows and retrospective hardware support)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
    mcrazza likes this.
  4. Reaper

    Reaper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    12,157
    Location:
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    mcrazza likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Thanks Reaper.

    Yeah, I'm leaning towards Cooler Master. Their Silencio and Masterbox lines looks very good. Reviews have been positive too. I'm watching a review of the 352 right now.

    One's enough.

    Thanks for the inspo! :)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  6. wwwww

    wwwww Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Messages:
    6,282
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Why would you use a Willamette P4? Literally anything around it was better. Pentium 3 Tualatin or P4 Northwood. But not a Willamette.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Please read the thread first. :)
     
  8. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    A brief update:
    I was tossing up between the Corsair CV650 and the Antec EA550G PRO 550W 80 Gold, but in the end I settled on the latter for its high efficiency and 7 year warranty vs the 100W advantage, 3 year warranty and 80 Bronze rating of the former. I'd do well with either though as both continuously output their respective wattages. Both are $129 too.

    The Outervision power supply calculator has been very helpful determining the load of my system. Based on its calculations, I'm looking at between 350W and 380W depending on what's connected and with which connection. I'd have more overhead with 600W-650W, but the 80 Gold rating of the Antec with its higher, longer and more consistent efficiency curve was more attractive. That and the 7 year warranty too!

    As for Option 1: get a new case (more expensive); or Option 2: get a smaller HSF, specifically the Zalman CNPS9500-LED, and keep the case (less expensive), I don't know. I've done some measuring and the 9500 *just* fits. There's either a millimetre of space between the fins and the PSU, or they're touching.

    Which leads me to my next question: the 9500 is vertically orientated and is blowing air front to back. The PSU is seated at the top of the case above the HSF, and the PSU fan faces downwards. What will this do to air flow? Will the warm air and radiant heat from the HSF be sucked into the PSU? Will the HSF fins obstruct airflow into the PSU? Or is the PSU blowing warm air outwards onto the HSF?

    Your answer/s will determine which option I take.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  9. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Anyone? Bueller?
     
  10. Oblivion-330

    Oblivion-330 Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    664
    Location:
    QLD
    Looking at the pictures from the antec website of the ea500g it will draw air in from the case and expell it out the rear.
    I think you will find that you wont load that PSU up enough for it to ramp up its fan either.
    Is it a problem that it will be sucking in some of the hot air from the CPU? Its not ideal but probably wouldn't be a problem.
     
    mcrazza likes this.
  11. shredder

    shredder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    13,969
    Location:
    New Zealand
    The PSU will exhaust the air out of the PC case. I've never seen a PSU that did the opposite; a PSU blowing it's heated exhaust air into the computer case would be a very poor design.

    So, warm case air flows through PSU and out the back. Provided the PSU is under comfortable load (i.e. not overloaded and running it's arse off) this won't be an issue.

    However it's common to have some case ventilation fan(s) other than just the PSU. In my Prescott it's simply a 120mm case intake fan "added" on the inside of a case side panel's ventilation grill. This gives a slow steady diet of outside air onto the general motherboard region. Which in turn means the heated air exhausted by the PSU is never that hot because the case air is constantly being refreshed from outside.

    It's also slight positive pressure (intake fan is slightly more powerful than the PSU exhaust fan) which is good to prevent dust intake and also helps with the hotspot buildup prevention.
     
    mcrazza likes this.
  12. kjparker

    kjparker Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    1,482
    Location:
    Sydney
    I recall many a Power supply in my younger days that had the fan blowing into the PC. I think the rationale was that it would get air circualtion in a pc that may not have had any other fans. Common mod was to open up the psu and flip them over...
     
    Reaper likes this.
  13. shredder

    shredder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    13,969
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I stand corrected then. :thumbup: Never seen it myself, but I don't doubt you.
     
  14. Reaper

    Reaper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    12,157
    Location:
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    Yep. Early ATX had that as yea, it was set in the standard that it would provide cooling to a passive heatsink. Yea right. We ended up flipping that fan around and adding even more fans to the systems.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Thanks everyone!

    In the downtime I've been exploring my options, which are getting a new case, a new motherboard, an SFX PSU or a new ATX PSU, a new HSF, and a combination of all that. But at the end of the day I had to weigh up which avenue is the most cost-effective. I don't want to sink a lot of money into a retro PC otherwise I'd have enough to build a budget modern PC, which would defeat the original purpose of the project!

    So I'm selling the Zalman CNPS7700-Cu, the bane of all my stress, and getting the CNPS9500 along with a Corsair CV450 or 550 (whatever's in stock at the local computer shops). I've done a tonne of research, done all the required measurements, checked it once, twice and thrice... all good. No problems *fingers and toes crossed*. But why the 9500? It *just* fits, the price is good and because it gets the job done best. That and I can't find the 7000-Cu. Ditto price-wise with the Corsair; it's among the best 80 Bronze PSUs available. And again price-wise it's obviously cheaper to buy local, although their range is not as wide as other interstate sellers.

    But I WILL have to get a new case at some point. My case is just a little too vintage for my retro build. It's just like this but mine has no vents on the motherboard side and no rear fan mount.

    Back to the SFX PSU, I was heavily leaning into it for a while because with the SFX to ATX bracket I'm able to reclaim at least a centimetre clearance. However the asking price shot it down. It's just too exxy compared to its watt-for-watt ATX sibling, it produces louder noise due to its smaller fan, and securing one is difficult due to low stock nationwide because COVID-19.

    So there you go.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    I was discussing this on another forum and promptly got schooled as to why I should stay away from Corsair's CV line. It's now off the table.

    One suggestion is the Thermaltake Smart BX1 and GX1 lines. Looks pretty good. I had scratched them off the list a while ago because, from what I've read online, Thermaltake had a bit of a bad rep. with their power supplies.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    A quick update:

    A couple weeks ago I put up a WTB ad on Gumtree for a Zalman CNPS9500 LED cooler and literally a minute later I got a reply from someone who had one! AND he was in Tassie too. So we negotiated and I bought it.

    Fast forward to today and I installed it:

    [​IMG]

    First impression: it's a pain in the arse to install! Very fiddly to screw in the allen bolts at an awkward angle. The bolts kept popping out of the S-clip as I tried to screw them in, falling onto the motherboard or rolling underneath it. Much patience was required.

    There's about couple millimetres or so clearance between the top of the fins and the PSU seat, which is a huge improvement over the last cooler. Very happy with that result.

    One more component to go!

    I've settled on a Thermaltake Smart BX1, preferably the 550W, but as my local MSY doesn't have any left in stock I'll have to reach for the 650W. Reviews are positive, so I think it'll do alright.

    I will have to get a case later on, either brand new or period mid-late 00s. My current case is a beige mid-tower from the early 00s, and it shows with its poor ventilation and ugly front panel styling. I saw an Antec P5 on Gumtree for a good price, so I might go for it.
     
  18. Groff

    Groff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    NSW
    Not exactly retro :lol:

    That's great you found something that fits though :)
     
    mcrazza likes this.
  19. OP
    OP
    mcrazza

    mcrazza Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    2005 not retro enough for you? :p

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And now I feel old.

    Tell me about it!

    [​IMG]

    I was so shocked when I got a reply moments after posting that ad. I thought it was a long shot with little hope, and then DING! So yeah, I'm very happy with it. So now I'm trying to offload the 7700. Lots of lookers on eBay and Gumtree, but no buyers so far.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
    Groff likes this.
  20. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Messages:
    157,613
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    Yeah I think there was a reason we moved on from those coolers. Some of them back in the day were really awkward.
     
    mcrazza likes this.

Share This Page

Advertisement: