Lots of changes in the last few months. Moved the entire family and business over to Atlanta GA. Finally got all of my stuff unpacked so be on the lookout for new posts soon!
Still waiting to get a case shipped here so I can continue my retro build.
Started a new job, so posting slowed down there a bit. Finally have some room to breathe and thought I would do a little update. Built a new main gaming rig, pretty decent specs as follows:
i7 7700k, GTX 1070, 16gb of ram. Went with Air using the Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3 in a Fractal Design Meshify C. Pretty spiffy if I do say so myself.
In 2005 there was a CPU I wanted more than any other, the Athlon FX-60. It was THE fastest CPU you could get from AMD. It was unlocked, it was sexy. Now the Opterons of the day COULD clock higher sometimes even with their locked multiplier, but something about the FX-60 just always was desirable to me. Luckily, I was able to pick up a CPU that used to run 350 dollars and up for just around 50 bucks on eBay. The only piece I am missing now is a GPU and a heatsink fan to keep my CPU cool. Both should be here shortly and I can get a test boot.
There will be lots of lapping on both the CPU and bottom of my waterblock. Still waiting on some tubes and I need to convert everything over to compression fittings (because why not) so I can have myself a retro/modern 1/2" flexible tubing rig. I am pretty excited about this. I need to get myself a large case to put all of this in, but that will be after I get this thing booted and tested.
Building an ultimate retro PC circa 2005 you would think parts would be expensive. On the contrary I have been able to find some equipment for pretty cheap. Take this CPU block from Swiftech for instance, cost me about 15 bucks. Does it need a good lapping? Sure enough. Will I need to open it up and do some cleanup conditioning? For sure. Going down memory lane and building a PC with every part I would have gotten (if I could have afforded it) feels much like a car enthusiast does when they go to a junk yard and find a replacement transmission for a classic car. I wish more people were into archaic hardware, its cool stuff!! Maybe we can start a trend and do meetups or something. Coffee and Overclocks or some sort.
Just got this in, this will be a short post as I need more components to test functionality, but just check out the photos below. My retro build just may be ready to get built over the coming holiday.
In my spare cycles on my computer I usually let my idle time go to good use. In this case I use the http://folding.stanford.edu/ client to help look for the cure of multiple diseases, like cancer and Alzheimers. From their web site " Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding, computational drug design, and other types of molecular dynamics. As of today, the project is using the idle resources of personal computers owned by volunteers from all over the world. Thousands of people contribute to the success of this project" So when I decided to build a new Ryzen system with a 1700 CPU and an RX 580 in it, I knew I wanted to start folding again. In order to keep my temps, and noise levels down I stripped the custom XFX heatsink and fan off of my RX 580 and replaced it with a Corsair H55 and a NZXT Kraken G12 cooler mount. I could not be happier with my decision. Idle temps are in the 20-25 degree Celsius range and under load it barely creeps up into the 60s. GPU cooler modding is just another side of what we do here at Elite PC, and we would be happy to help you get your cards modded so you can start folding, mining, or gaming for hours on end.
If you were running water cooling in the 2005 era of water cooling, and you wanted to overclock your GPU like a king there was really only one brand of block you used, Danger Den! Man, these guys were kings, no one made products like these. I remember running dual 7800s (I think that was it) in my AM2 system with my DFI Expert board. Funds back then were never there to get blocks for these, so I was always limited to air cooling. The block I would have gotten, would have been the Danger Den NV-78 Dual GPU block. Seeing it on the internet back then, and finally getting to see it in person are two totally different experiences. This thing is quality for sure, heavy, well thought out and beautiful to look at. Parts are still making it to me, so when I get updates I will let you guys know, but for now, check out these photos.
Oh, and just one more thing.
My SLI bridge came in!
In the late years of DDR RAM there was a company that every enthusiast knew, it was OCZ. They made themselves famous with incredibly overclock-able RAM and a history of getting more than what you paid for. The kit everyone wanted was some OCZ PC4000 VX Gold. It would routinely overclock with more voltage, and man did it look sweet in your case. Tracking down a pair of it was hard, and the only ones I could find on eBay at the moment were some EL with ratings of 3-4-3-8 at DDR500 speeds. Sadly, Samsung and the like pushed OCZ out of the consumer RAM and SSD market in 2013 they just could not compete when the Tier1 manufactures were deeply committed to the consumer market.
I hope my RAM works, and I hope I can get some next level performance (for 2005) out of it anyways.
Sourcing parts for my retro build has been harder than I thought at first. The first major hurdle is finding RAM pairs in sizes more than 2gb. I forgot how in 2005 2gb of memory was considered MORE than enough. I had also been going over the photos of my first water cooling rig, and making sure I get parts to as close to that build as possible. My next find is a pretty cool part from Danger Den. Its a fillport! I had one on my rig then, and the remake will have one as well. I hope to make it more visually appealing than that first attempt. The one I had was plain silver, and this one is red but I think it will do just fine. Only one on eBay! I can not wait to show everyone the other parts as they come in.
Parts I am scavenging on the internet are slowly coming in. Somehow I lucked out and got (what appeared to be) the only one of these on eBay. Others are on the way, and I hope to be able to show even more of them off here in the coming days!!
Finally ended up consolidating some hardware I had spread out. Moved my RX580 into my Ryzen 1700 box, tidied up the cables and got everything stable on it. Nice and quiet in my CoolerMaster Master Case 5. Man I love this case! Seriously though, you can look down into the case from the mesh in the top which is pretty spiffy. Unlike a lot of current cases it has a full mesh front, and can even support 3 120mm fans up there. I have a third I want to throw in there (it comes with two out of the box) Maybe I will get fancy and throw some RGB fans in there, everyone knows they cool better.
- AMD Ryzen 1700
- Noctua Heatsink and Fan
- G.Skill 2600 DDR
- MSI Tomahawk B350
- Seasonic Gold 750w PSU
- XFX Black Edition RX580 (white fans)
- CoolerMaster Master Case 5
As the parts to my retro build arrive, I plan on documenting them here and once they are all here doing a vlog or livestream of the build. The part I am about to showcase, really had one big usage back in the mid 2ks, so if you know what this part will be please leave a comment! I would love to see what you all are guessing.
In the early days of overclocking for me there was a site I went to more than any other, DFI-Street.com. It was all about those mythical motherboards made by a man by the name of Oskar Wu. Oskar Wu used to be the main man behind those legendary Abit boards (I used to have one of them with an AMD Barton overclocked to the moon) For those of you not in the know, DFI-Street dismantled after DFI got out of the high end consumer motherboard business. This happened to correlate with the removal of the performance crown from AMD, when Intel handily destroyed them with their Core series (which was just a crazy new PIII mobile, more on that at another time) During this age AMD was king, no one was using ATI, and the all important WD Raptor in a Raid0 config was faster than anything alive.
I would say I am remiss that what was going on at DFI-Street was never full replaced for me, and in its place a new breed of site stepped in to take the format of the forum away almost completely.
I leave you with a couple of screen shots from when I qualified the overclocks on my AM2 CPU back on the street, circa 2006.
Spent the last few days tracking down and sourcing parts for my retro build. Harder than I thought to find some of the parts I am looking for, but the core is already on its way here. While we sit and wait, I figured I would share with you some of the photos of my first two water cooling rigs from way back in 2005-2007.
As you can tell, even with these photos back then cable management was not really a thing, and lots of ketchup and mustard. While these two builds may not look amazing, they started me off on a lifetime journey of custom building computers. It will be a blast building this machine, and then benchmarking it! Yes.
Creating this blog as a place to start documenting my retro gaming PC build. I have not seen anyone take the particular journey I will be taking, so I hope you all like it! Detailed photos, videos and vlogs will help you guys see me take this trip back in time, to the mid 2ks to build a dream gaming rig from that era!