Modern Retro - A Mid 2000's 939 Build (w/c!)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade Worklogs' started by mAJORD, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Well, it's Retro build time again.. The whole COVID19 thing spared me some time to at least start committing and planning something well sooner than I thought.. but it's taken, frankly ages! It's far more modern than most things people are putting together,

    whilst I knew what I was desiring to build in my head - it was sort of , cloudy idea for lack of a better word. the challenge of deciding what era to hit has been particularly difficult. I'm not really into mashups of things from across a large window of time.

    First and foremost I knew it had to a 939 build, as this was the socket I 'missed' in adopting 754 very early on for my main build.

    Second It's obviously a gaming build, and those on my list to enjoy this machine with are : Far Cry ; HL2 ; BF2 - Yes multiplater via BF2hub . All, IMO brilliant, Era setting mid 2000's games, from mid 2004 through to mid 2005. There's something i'm affraid to admit about one of those games, that i'll be able to sort out now finally. So. in a nutshell This leaves me with a bang on 2005 build era.

    which left me with somewhat difficult choices (a retro computer nerd sort of difficult anyway)

    * Do I stick with the last of the Single core A64's, or the start of the Dual Core era.?
    * Do I stick with a 6800 Ultra / Ati x8xx generation , or move to the 7800 series GPU's (released just in time for BF2)

    In the end I pushed into the later on both accounts.. One of the main drivers for this was undoubtedly BF2. It launched as such a demanding game if you wanted to run it at it's best - and these then just released cards and CPU's would be on top of anyone's sky high budget build.

    So I guess this build represents a couple of "end of Era" things as a result

    On the CPU side: The X2 - The Pinnacle, and as it would happen, represented Last of AMD's dominance with it's K8 CPU generation.

    On the GPU Side - the the G70 (and a bit later in 05' ATI's R5xx) would be the last of the"Pre unified-Shader" / DX9 Architecture(s) . Die shrunk versions aside, the next stop for both Nv and Ati was the unfied, DX10 monster G80, and R600

    HDD's.. To a lesser extent this is also at least close to the end of an era for Mechanical HDD's as an enthusiasts / performance drive. Whilst there were further and better Raptor releases beyond what i'm going with here, if I was building this as new, it would certainly be the last build with a mechanical HDD by the time a major upgrade came along a few yrs later.

    I never had Raptors, letalone in Raid so it'll be interesting to see how game load times and whatnot were like

    Last but not least - CRTs! . This will have a CRT, and again whilst people including myself kept on keeping on with CRT's for gaming beyond the mid 2000's, they were pretty rapidly being replaced by LCD's - terrible ones at that IMO .


    Water Cooling: Yes, A retro W/C Build. Have we even had one of these before?

    Thought this would be easy peasy.. Well, unless you're pretending it's the early 2000's again and start hand milling blocks and using garden hose , or you still have all your old bits and peices somewhere - not so easy if you stay fairly period accurate, and actually get hold of all the commercially available early to mid 2000s gear that I envisaged.. Danger Den blocks.. super hard to find. I had one somewhere, but I believe it had some cracking so i binned it. Early GPU blocks, even harder it seems. Bit frustrating as I really just wanted to relive the simplcitiy of this era of water cooling. But pecuring parts has been a bit of a pain.

    The best i've come up with block wise is some slightly out of era Swiftech classics. The original Apogee CPU block, and the MCW60 At least these have a common Swiftech theme. Only other thing I found was one of the early , all copper Alphacool CPU blocks, but i've well and truely lost the anodized hold-down bracket


    The parts, so far:

    Motherboard.

    ABIT AN8 Ultra

    mobo.png

    Not exactly a first choice, - That would have been one of the DFI NF4 models. But this has been in my possession for a while, and I feel I should just use it - providing it's good enough. some initial testing plugged in on the bench has been promising. it's not super tweakable like a DFI, but will suffice. I'm


    CPU: Opteron 175 Or X2 4200



    IMG_20200507_214758.png
    this is a tough one. Technically the Opteron DC's were released a bit late for my target era , but does it really matter if it's the same silicon , I don't think so. I'm not that pedantic. It has the 1MB L2 is the main thing, though surprisingly perhaps doesn't seem to clock as well in the basic testing i've done on the bench with these CPUs. that would make this equicilent to an X2 4400 in Athlon branding, but i'm Overclocking so its a bit irrelevent.


    RAM:

    Corsair XMS3500 DDR4 438

    GPU:

    BFG 7800GTX overlcocked



    P1000016.png
    Actually 2 of them, but only using one, at least for now

    Storage:

    2 X WD740 74GB Raptors

    IMG_20200508_202943.png

    Picked these off ebay , I think last year or earlier this year. Slightly different revisions, but Seems to be of no issue for RAID 0 (I've already quickly made an array up just to check them out) :)

    These are of course the first gen IDE-SATA bridge type



    TBC!.. Cooling, Case and more
     
  2. adz

    adz Member

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    I had awesome fun building my 939 machine back in the day, I was lucky enough to afford a 6800GT back then only for the 7800 series to be release about a week later :rolleyes: Looking forward to seeing this progress, I'm particularily keen to see how you go on the WC front.
     
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  3. Rod911

    Rod911 Member

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    Memories. Had to search my old posts in OCAU regarding my time with 939. Looks like I previously had an Opteron 146 and 170 on an MSI Neo4 Platinum. It was watercooled as well with a Radiical CWX Pro. Had some OCZ EL PC3700 Platinum DDR memory to go with this sytem. Good luck with the build!
     
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  4. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Well whilst everything has been on the bench still, I'd been doing some testing on and off. Just using an old XP AMD install from probably a decade ago I had on one of my many HDD's still floating about. This included stress testing the MOBO CPU RAM combo @ stock (and a cheeky bit of OCing on a shit heatsink - more on that later)

    Was particuarly keen to make sure the HDD's were going to be OK, so pulled out an old drive with XP already on it for testing purposes, hooked the Raptors up , wiped and checked the SMART status on them
    2004-raptor_smart1s.png 2004-raptor_smart2.png



    2005-raptor_smart1_Drive2.png 2005-raptor_smart2_drive2.png

    I find SMART data difficult to interpret at times, but but Nothing stands out to me , Worst raw read rate on the LCO drive is the only thing a bit iffy - perhaps, I think.



    Another thing of note that I think I mentioned is the revision differences. WE have an LAO and LCO , so with that I also wanted to make sure RAID wasn't going to be an issue. and have a peak at performance of each drive, on their own and in RAID 0

    Setting up the Array was painless - easier than I even remember really, though I guess actually installing XP on it might be another story, I don't know.. I have done it since the early 2000s!

    And for some perfomance:

    LAO Drive on its own:
    WD740-LAO.png

    LCO Drive on it's own:

    WD740-LCOs.png


    RAID 0

    RAID.png

    Pretty happy with the Scaling , only 4K Q1T1 reads didn't scale at all, TBH though I don't think this was the best version of Crystalmark to test these old drives with , so unsure about that one.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Few pics of the blocks I'm going to use at this point.. I dug these up a little while ago actually, but there's been a bunch of little problems with them - well mainly that I don't have any of the original mounting hardware, so i've had to improvise...

    P1000019.png

    first the GPU block.. Of the bits I could find The mounting plate to the right would be good, except it's for I'm not sure what so hole centers are wrong.

    The One that's already on it would be good, right hole centers for 7xxx series, but it's an integrated standoff type, designed to be bolted from underneath, into the threaded standoff's.. Preferably through a backing plate with no threads (Which I don't have - the ones I have are threaded, designed to be screwed from the top)

    Also to complicate things a bit more the block face itself has had it's step milled off by me at some point (I vaguely remember doing it in the late 00's for some reason) making it now a completely flat base like that of the Apogee CPU block, and as such the standoff's are too long and the whole block just sits on the PCB with the block surface hovering above the die when you place the block on the card..


    Soo.. The solution was to Mill down the standoff's to suit - using the original HSF as a guide. By making it the identical height to the original HSF , I can use the original 7800 coil sprung mounting screws to bolt the block down from underneath..

    IMG_20200807_145937 (1).png


    Now just need to Drill out the threads in the backing plate ,

    Now the CPU block - it's fine, and it also seems the Motherboards retention bracket screws will be long enough to hold it down - I just need to remake the plastic spacers from original kit



    Probably could have asked around if anyone had old MCW60 hardware of course, but I'd rather just make use of what I have. That said one thing I don't have is 1x screw for the GPU block, so if anyone does have one of these? :p . They're identical thread to the 939 holddown screws , which I beleive are 6/32" ?



    And now For the Case!

    P1000024.png



    I'd pretty much had my heart set on one of these for this build for a looong time. Or a V2000 , but Missed out on a few, most of which didn't have the window (which I really wanted), but this one popped up In Sydney.. Thanks to OCAU's awesome 'pick up for members' thread I lucked out with with the awesome scudster coming to the rescue and inspecting + picking this up for me.

    Unfortunatly I couldn't pick it up from the pack n Send Depot as I just had a COVID test and was house bound until I got results, but finally it turned up


    Only notable blemish on it is a light scratch on the non window side panel.


    P1000029.png


    looks pretty clean in the pictuers - and it is externally, but pretty dirty inside , so Will be giving it a big wash.

    Anyway that's a bit of a sidetrack. I really want to get everything else ready to go first before I even touch it.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  6. bYrd

    bYrd Member

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    Nice case! When Lian Li were good.

    I've a similar unit housing my Pentium III setup - Lian Li PC-V600; very similar to yours but squashed down. The extra width of the case is really helpful in cramming in cables, hiding them away.
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    never even seen the V600 before, that's cool!. And yes, When they were good - or at least a stand out, and aged so well astheticly (go have a look at some of the early to mid 2000's higher end cases, - I wanted to consisder some of these, but even then I think I found them attrocious looking)

    IF the build was a bit earler era, maybe AthlonXP? I'd be all over a Chieftec dragon and/ or clone. They were really neat. I had an Enermax's interpreatation of one.
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Better update this log I guess before I fall behind

    Haven't been able to spend much time, but have started cleaning everything up - all the W/C Stuff, the Mobo heatpipe - some Random pic's.



    IMG_20200814_205051.png


    IMG_20200814_210110.png IMG_20200814_211404.png

    and some Brasso to polish up the plate



    IMG_20200814_211622.png







    Also Dragged out the Pump - An Old Swiftech MCP655 - Hard to believe these D5's have been around since 2004

    She is a bit rusty on the frame - Actually very rusty

    IMG_20200814_171818.png IMG_20200814_171907.png
    And the head was also completely and utterly stuffed

    IMG_20200814_171951.png




    Hmm. Who would have thought, despite these still being so popular, they'd be so hard to get. Thankfully, FB marketplace to the rescue, I stumbled on one locally that was still new in box , so jumped on it pretty quick.



    IMG_20200814_172236.png




    LEFT: Build date 2005 RIGHT Build Date 2019

    IMG_20200814_172408.png





    Frame after stripping paint off - They must have just chucked some shitty paint on these with no etch primer or anything from the factoy -the rust has just travelled nicely underneath the paint and it basicall all fell off with a bit of help

    IMG_20200815_204221.png
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Last but not least for now - Dug up an old DangerDen 5 1/4 Res and took to it with some soapy water and a chux on a stick

    The acrylic comes up nice BUT the adhesive has browned or some sort of brown stain has filled the tiny crazes in the joints , one of the two , and nothing can be done for that - I guess I'll just cover the edges at the front with an adhesive bezel and shouldn't see it.


    IMG_20200808_100135 (1).png IMG_20200809_111517 (2).png



    I've ordered a bunch of things too - A cheap Byski Rad - Modern, but really no different to any 240 Rad from the day. Some mayhems 1/2" Soft tube. and some other odds and ends
     
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  10. Malakai

    Malakai Member

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    Looking forward to this build. I've got one of those cases but without the side window. I'm still trying to think of something cool to do with it.
     
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  11. adz

    adz Member

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    Loving your work :thumbup:

    For some reason, I had to make this...

    wash myself with a chux on a stick.jpg
     
  12. power

    power Member

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    If you want to get XP onto that array you can either slipstream the driver, load from a floppy OR install XP to one of the other controllers on a seperate drive, then activate and install the array in the OS and then image from the other drive to the array - both options are fairly easy to do.

    i would recommend making an image of your install anyway as XP was pretty easy to break. :)

    nForce drivers in particular were pretty craptacular on XP, make sure you download a few versions and fiddle to find out which one doesn't just break everything.
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Gr8 info thanks . I can assure you was going to be asking for guidance on that one as I'm clueless. I did download an NVIDIA document on it which from memory Detailed the slipstream option. But also, Post windows install Raid software (?) Which I didn't quite understand the need for.

    Anyways I think i prefer just using a floppy and imaging it like you sày ,so if it does turn to complete shit I can bring it back relatively fuss free
     
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  14. power

    power Member

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    floppy during install is the most common way people would have done this.

    you might have to fiddle to get the right driver but it won't be too much of a drama.
     
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  15. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Crazy it's been so long since I've updated.. But I have been plugging away , slowly.

    It takes so damn long to aquire everything, but i'm so close now. So this update is mostly going to be " in pictures"

    one thing of note though and a slight change in plans. During the time since last update, I also received a lovely gift from fellow member 335 GT ! ....

    IMG_20201206_223628 (1).png

    Enter one DFI Lanparty NF4. Straight out of the oven after a good wash . And the worlds worst photograph of one too. No idea how I managed to cut off half the board when I took that pic.



    Really chuffed. I was happy with the ABIT board, but a DFI was always on my wishlist, This one has a good home.

    I will of course be 'passing on' the favor hopefully. Once everything's up and running and reliable. That is, I'll be gifting the ABIT board on to someone here if someone has a good home for it.


    So roughly continuing where I left off in April. cleaning up Blocks.

    Next step was to try and rejuvenate, / swell the rubber gaskets a bit.

    IMG_20200822_144859 (1).png IMG_20200822_144851.png

    Active ingredient, Methyl Salicylate . Smells as you'd expect, but after a few days in here, the gaskets were noticablly softer and as per below more diffcult to squeeze into the channel. A good sign they'd swelled a bit.

    IMG_20200823_135544 (1).png

    Nexyt up. Fans.


    Panaflo's! . Is there anything more early- mid 2000s? This box load came off these forums many moons ago

    P1000021.png


    $20 Ebay fan controller.. for that oldschool manual fan control.

    IMG_20200308_135524 - Copy.png

    Some mods.. removing LED's and fitting TO92 heatsinks


    IMG_20200912_223300.png


    At this point, I'd pretty much aquired everything to start actually building... Barbed fittings , tubing, Rad screws.. all the other odds and ends you need, and no one sells anymore (just getting the barned fittings was hard enough surprisingly - and even then there were some problems to come with them. Laying it all out on the table though I finally felt this thing can get off the ground so to speak.

    IMG_20200913_210849.png

    IMG_20200913_210916.png
    .....
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
  16. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    and continued..





    GPU block fitted.. And the old Swiftech Ramsinks. Unfortunatly a couple wouldn't stick anymore. So Redid the thermal adhesive.

    IMG_20201005_223037.png

    For the Rear RAM chips I used the original aluminium sink, with nuts on the front side (not pictured here) where they would normally thread into the full cover stock HSF


    Not so oldschoo radiator.. but a Radiator is a radiator.. Probably one of the few things that has changed very little between then and now.

    IMG_20201231_115713.png

    Pump mounted , CPU block, Mobo Mounted.

    IMG_20201220_223128.png

    The Pump was the only thing I modified the case for to fit - even this I was very reluctant to do, but it was just two small holes. This reluctance to put holes or cut anything whatsoever in the case kind of leads me to the next part .. radiator mounting - specifically justifying my decision

    P1000220.png
    Yes, I've gone Exterior -Rear mounting. A not uncommon at the time arrangement (usually with some sort of swing out bracket) but I was ever a fan of. I test fitted it, looked at it, thought about it, and decided I don't mind it. Almost a reminder of an era that still pushed function over form when it to water cooling.


    I do need to erase the Byski logo.. that's not very period :p

    Tubing looks somewhat chaotic.. I like it. It yet again screams mid 2000s to me.. some snap cable clamps should help guide and tidy up some of those longer runs
     

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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  17. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I've never done water cooling but that looks like fun Beautiful case too, thanks for sharing!
     
  18. OP
    OP
    mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Everything else in, and Radiator Fans fitted. And filled with Coolant!

    ...and with teeth gritted, Powered on.. To , initially a blank screen and rapidly flashing power light.. oh :/

    Thankfully appeared to be not happy with RAM in at least one of the slots, so moved them across one and it booted fine.. OK.



    P1000221.png

    P1000223 (2).png

    IMG_20210102_095405 (1).png


    Some Cable tidying-and-a half to do, but I will be leaving or that till O/S is installed. I'm also Missing a sound card, which will be something I need to think about. Ideally an Audigy 4 , or 2 ZS would fit the bill I think.

    I also want to throw some UV in there for good measure. It just has to be done with these DFI UV reactive Yellow everywhere. Ultimatly I'll be coming back to the hardware side of things, but for now just going to get everything installed and make sure it's all good. , Then Image the drive(s?)


    First impressions though.. These Panaflo Fans. My god do they flow some air.. We have defiantly gone backwards in the pursuit of silence with these modern puny , supposedly high static pressure ,yet low noise modern fans. These things are monsters, and frankly aren't that loud. A proper reality check IMO.


    OS Install


    As power Warned earlier.. the Nforce RAID driver caused at least some issues.. I decided to go the Floppy disk route . Since I have no shortage of disks, and drives. That in itself was fine, but the first set of Nforce RAID and Controller drivers just, didn't work . They didn't error, but after loading them @ XP install, the installer still just saw the array as two independent 74GB drives. Weird.

    These are the drivers that worked for me : https://www.win-raid.com/t21f45-NVIDIA-Integration-of-nForce-AHCI-RAID-Drivers-into-XP.html (6.99)

    IMG_20210102_132644.png
    That's better.. one big 140 GB drive

    IMG_20210102_202055.png

    About the only 'issue' from there during install was these constant warnings.. Expected I guess.

    IMG_20210102_210416.png

    Updates

    Initially tried to use Autoupdater, but it failed miserbly trying to install the updates.. So I just downloaded the critical ones manually. Some as Recent as 2019 which is due to extended support for XP Embedded.. Win!

    Next will be to find some AV software, and get some benching software and BF2 / BF2 Hub on there on there (I'm keen to see this up and running )
     
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  19. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    What a beautiful beast!
     
  20. Malakai

    Malakai Member

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    Looking good, well done. That tube from the res to the pump looks a bit long, I'm sure there is a reason for it but this is the second time it has drawn my eye.
     

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