Any old school computer builders here?

Joel

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Dec 13, 2002
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145
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Valley Village, CA
I stated out as a PC tech in 1983 for Entre Computer Center. At that time, there was a couple of national computer chains like Computerland and Business Land. I went all over the country for computer training. I remember the first IBM PC's that we sold were 64k of memory one 5.25 floppy drive and a green monochrome screen. We survived until 1988 when some of the discount stores started offering PC compatibles at prices that we couldn't match. I started my own consulting business in 1989 and was self-employed for over 30 years until I retired during the pandemic. I helped my nephew build a machine not too long ago, but personally I just buy a Dell when I need a computer.
 

Galane

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Jul 6, 2022
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Idaho
I had a hard time finding a plain black case without glass and with a pair of 5.25" drive bays for my current desktop build. I got one and it's nice. No bleeping RGB.

Anyone remember when Linus of Linus Tech Tips thought RGB lighting in a PC was stupid? He obviously went where the money is on that point.
 

chaosdsm

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Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
282
Location
Florida
I miss them days building them then heading over to futuremark and 3d mark to bench test are latest builds any of you all. Ever used to build? First build specs?
I've been upgrading my own PC's since about 1990, adding more RAM, larger hard drives, newer GPU's, etc... but my first complete build was probably late 2000, or early 2001. I stripped down a Gateway 2000 with a P2 processor, used the case & bought all new components, motherboard, memory, hard drive, video card, audio card, CPU.

The Gateway started with a PII 333Mhz slot 1 processor, and some no-name motherboard, and unknown GPU, but I just wanted a better gaming experience. I bought a Voodoo III 2000, put it in, and that tided me over for a few months.......

I couldn't afford to build from scratch, so I just started buying one component every 2 to 3 months. I did some research, and bought a Tyan Trinity 400 motherboard, which allowed me to use all the other components from the Gateway & have a newer better motherboard that also support the relatively new (at that time) PIII processor in either Slot 1 format or socketed format. I then bought two sticks of better & faster memory, followed by a new hard drive, then a PIII 800Mhz slot 1 CPU, and lastly I found a deal on a used ATI Rage Fury MAXX GPU. Although the GPU had some issues with some games because of the dual graphics chips, it was a bigger leap forward than the PIII had been, and just one game I was playing at the time had any issue with the card!

I would also later buy a PIII 1Ghz socketed CPU, which would also be my first real foray into overclocking.

Still building to this day. Current build is:
Case: Phantek's Enthoo Pro Full Tower
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z690 Gaming X DDR4
CPU: Intel i9-13900KS CPU with Kraken X63 AIO cooler (would not buy CPU again if I could do it over...)
Graphics: MSI 4070 Ti Gaming X Trio GPU
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 64GB(4x16GB) DDR4
Hard Drives: Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD (Win11 Pro) + Intel 665p 1TB M.2 NVMe (storage) + Samsung 990 Pro 2TB M.2 NVMe (storage) + Samsung 980 1TB M.2 NVMe (Ubuntu)
Power Supply: Seasonic Vertex GX-1200 1200W ATX 3.0
Cooling FANS: Bitfenix Spectre Pro 200mm front intake + 2x Noctua NF-A14 Industrial PPC 140mm exhaust out the top of the case on Kraken X63 radiator + 1 Noctua NF-A12 120mm rear as an extra intake.
 

raggie33

*the raggedier*
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
13,340
imused to run ecs motherboard reason why frys would have deals where the cpu was crazy cheap and they thru in a ecs mobo. they did fine for me for years.
 

raggie33

*the raggedier*
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
13,340
I've been upgrading my own PC's since about 1990, adding more RAM, larger hard drives, newer GPU's, etc... but my first complete build was probably late 2000, or early 2001. I stripped down a Gateway 2000 with a P2 processor, used the case & bought all new components, motherboard, memory, hard drive, video card, audio card, CPU.

The Gateway started with a PII 333Mhz slot 1 processor, and some no-name motherboard, and unknown GPU, but I just wanted a better gaming experience. I bought a Voodoo III 2000, put it in, and that tided me over for a few months.......

I couldn't afford to build from scratch, so I just started buying one component every 2 to 3 months. I did some research, and bought a Tyan Trinity 400 motherboard, which allowed me to use all the other components from the Gateway & have a newer better motherboard that also support the relatively new (at that time) PIII processor in either Slot 1 format or socketed format. I then bought two sticks of better & faster memory, followed by a new hard drive, then a PIII 800Mhz slot 1 CPU, and lastly I found a deal on a used ATI Rage Fury MAXX GPU. Although the GPU had some issues with some games because of the dual graphics chips, it was a bigger leap forward than the PIII had been, and just one game I was playing at the time had any issue with the card!

I would also later buy a PIII 1Ghz socketed CPU, which would also be my first real foray into overclocking.

Still building to this day. Current build is:
Case: Phantek's Enthoo Pro Full Tower
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z690 Gaming X DDR4
CPU: Intel i9-13900KS CPU with Kraken X63 AIO cooler (would not buy CPU again if I could do it over...)
Graphics: MSI 4070 Ti Gaming X Trio GPU
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 64GB(4x16GB) DDR4
Hard Drives: Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD (Win11 Pro) + Intel 665p 1TB M.2 NVMe (storage) + Samsung 990 Pro 2TB M.2 NVMe (storage) + Samsung 980 1TB M.2 NVMe (Ubuntu)
Power Supply: Seasonic Vertex GX-1200 1200W ATX 3.0
Cooling FANS: Bitfenix Spectre Pro 200mm front intake + 2x Noctua NF-A14 Industrial PPC 140mm exhaust out the top of the case on Kraken X63 radiator + 1 Noctua NF-A12 120mm rear as an extra intake.
running gtx 4090 here but its a mobile gpu so its low watts and id guess more like the gtx 4080 desktop gpu
 

TPA

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Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
342
Location
Florida
My first computer was an IBM Luggable (Portable). 5.25" floppy, 10MB(!) hard drive, amber screen. Self-taught. My first build was a 286. In the early 2000s I built "Big Bertha". Bertha was a custom P4 2.8GHz computer with multiple Matrox video rendering cards. The computer took up two cases with more bits hidden and bolted to the underside of the desk. Lots of custom chips and physical hardware modifications to make it work. IIRC it could render 10 layers of video/effects in real-time, no rendering. 10 hard drives. 2 DVD-Rs. I forget the storage capacity, but it would still be respectable today. Quite the powerhouse. It also made up the majority of my electric bill as well. It had an elaborate cooling system which used real HVAC controls. Noisy beast.
 

daffy

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Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
424
Location
AU
I stated out as a PC tech in 1983 for Entre Computer Center. At that time, there was a couple of national computer chains like Computerland and Business Land. I went all over the country for computer training. I remember the first IBM PC's that we sold were 64k of memory one 5.25 floppy drive and a green monochrome screen. We survived until 1988 when some of the discount stores started offering PC compatibles at prices that we couldn't match. I started my own consulting business in 1989 and was self-employed for over 30 years until I retired during the pandemic. I helped my nephew build a machine not too long ago, but personally I just buy a Dell when I need a computer.
1993 also IBM 8086 with TWO 3.5" drives no HDD amber screen.
 

Fuzzywuzzies

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Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
151
Lovely build, @fuyume! I've always been a fan of dead silent passive cooling, but my needs usually end up a little to high for that, between space, heat and power requirements.

I'm actually currently working on a grunty custom mini-ITX Amd build for GNU/Linux at the moment, using an old industrial electrical enclosure.
IMG_0126.jpeg
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
910
Not a custom build, but does anyone remember the pico ITX platform? I still have one made by VIA, model PX10000G. It's the size of a 3.5" drive and could be mounted in a CD bay. It ran Windows XP and I used a custom baked version via nLite to strip all unnecessary software out of it. It was snappy on that 1 GHz ARM processor and IDE 2.5" HDD. I mounted it in a tower and boasted having a computer in a computer to all my fellow nerds.

IMG_2325.jpeg


As for self-builds, my favorite were the sleek smaller towers made by Shuttle. The monolithic look of their cubes were what kept me coming back to them more than once. PSU always limited what video card I could use, but it sufficed for most of my gaming tasks. They were always easiest to carry around for LAN parties. I still have my last tower sitting in a bag made by Shuttle, specifically for LAN parties. Looks like a large lunch bag from the outside.

IMG_2326.jpeg
 

raggie33

*the raggedier*
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
13,340
i recall via 4 and 1 driver or 3 and 1 lol when they made chipset for mobos
 

three_jeeps

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Joined
Aug 21, 2023
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Location
USA
Back in the day, I had 3 PICO ITX's. One ran my fax server, another ran my home alarm & monitoring system, and another ran my mail server. They all died within 3-5 years of service.
 

Fuzzywuzzies

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Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Messages
151
Finished it yesterday. Booted up first time, trained the memory and setup the UEFI with no issues at all. Runs Debian 12 like a runaway train, I haven't benched it yet but the highest temp I've seen so far is 56°C on the CPU (7800X3D) while compiling…
Super happy with it. :giggle:

Edit: It's also virtually inaudible / functionally silent, which is amazing considering the space constraints.
 

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chaosdsm

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Feb 11, 2014
Messages
282
Location
Florida
3dmark? Benchmarking? Lol
You're practically a baby. When I started building computers, there was no internet
lol... only reason I didn't (build before the net) was because I was too busy breaking computers (or rather their operating systems) back then :crackup: Somewhere around the first half of '82 a salesman at Radio Shack promised my grandfather that there was nothing I could do to break the computer he had just bought for his small business....:poof: 1 week later, he came out to fulfill his promise & fixed the problem :grin2: Second trip out, he also left me a 5 1/4 floppy loaded with software diagnostics & repair tools, so I could fix my own problems :giggle:
 

TPA

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Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
342
Location
Florida
Those Shuttle computers were wonderful for their time. I used to build video editing systems with render cards in them, most of them found homes in satellite trucks and were bouncing all around the country, amazingly reliable. I also did a few for sports teams for video analysis. Again, amazingly rugged, especially with what those were put through.
 
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