The “New” XP Gaming PC

xpgamingpc-1As I regularly do, I went for a walk at lunch time to get out of the office. Around the corner was a computer store who left a basket beside their front door with items to give away. Usually there wasn’t much of interest, however on one occasion there were three identical motherboards wrapped up. They weren’t in their original boxes but appeared complete with CDs, cabling, and back plate. Not giving it much thought I decided to take a chance with them and took two. None of them appeared used but considering they looked to have been over ten years old they could have been complete duds.

When I got the motherboards home, a more thorough inspection indicated they were Socket 775 motherboards, though older than expected. They were the Intel D945GTP dating back to 2005 supporting the Pentium 4 ‘Prescott’ and Pentium D ‘Presler’ processors. The later Core 2 processor family were not supported. Nevertheless, for what they were I decided these could be the basis for a Windows XP-era gaming machine.

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Sandy Bridge Renaissance

SandyBridgePC-PCbuildAfter selling off some computer components from previous systems owned which I somewhat regret, I later decided to keep what was leftover. Before my current AMD Ryzen 7 PC, I had a Sandy Bridge (second generation) Intel i5-2500K-based PC that served me well for several years. It lasted me so long as I never was at the forefront with gaming. When timing allowed for it, I’d end up playing a title that was already a few years old. Blending old and new I ended up assembling this PC for a modest sum of $520 AUD; aiming for cheap without skimping too much given this isn’t my main PC at home.

Whilst I enjoy assembling PCs, I tend to like being able to re-purpose older hardware that may otherwise be taken down for e-waste recycling. I’m rather dubious given the recent crisis on recycling programs globally, where it had only been shipped over to China. At a later date, I’ll be posting on assembling Socket 775 systems which are great for Windows XP to 7 gaming. For now, it’s this PC running Windows 10 viewing the components, getting it running, and finally some benchmarking. Prices mentioned are from early 2019, and new components were purchased from Scorptec Computers in Melbourne, Australia.

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Comparing my 486s with SpeedSys

Today I pulled out my two 486 desktops to work on some loose ends that I’ve put off for a while.

The first one with IPC branding I bought earlier in the year from a bloke in Perth, though was missing a serial/parallel port cable for connectivity. I purchased a new one cheaply off eBay a while ago but finally got around to installing it. Now I can use a serial mouse.

ipc486tower

The specs are fairly modest for a 486. It runs a PcChips M918i motherboard (also sometimes known as a Amptron DX-9300) with fake cache chips that were relatively prevalent in the early 1990s. Not ideal, but these days I’m thankful for having a working 486. Still I consider having PCI slots and using a replaceable coin battery instead of a soldered barrel of acid positives with this board.

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