Description

This is an old PC I found and brought back to life. I cleaned it up, reapplied the thermal compound, installed Ubuntu, and now it's ready for a light home use, such as:

  • using Open Office
  • browsing the web
  • listening to music
  • watching some YouTube

Update:

I've spent some time with it and installed DosBox. Now it plays WarCraft, WarCraft2 perfectly fine. There you have it: a retro gaming PC. :)

Comments

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points

This would be an upgrade for some of the computers at my friend's place, where we play Starcraft, tetrinet and sometimes GTA 2

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Woo more old machines. Pictures please!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I remember those good old days. :)

However, I had problems with installing Windows in this PC, as described in this comment. :(

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

But can it crush Crysis?...

* Crickets *

  • 32 months ago
  • 6 points

If you record it on YouTube, you can play it back on this machine. XD

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

True. =D

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

there is no pc that can surpass 30fps on crisis lets just stop trying to get even near 60 fps

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Say that to all of the GT 610 owners. =D

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build, nice to see some older pc's brought back to life

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheers. It wasn't easy though.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build

That Maxtor HDD tho ........

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, back in the days, the market was flooded with them. Actually, I've got 2 more HDDs lying around (80 GB and 60 GB) for extra space. I will probably throw them in as well.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Pure glory. Reminds me of some of the old computers I keep around.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I could even overclock it if I want it, but I just don't have the time. Plus that would require better cooling and I just don't feel like I should invest anything into this old buddy.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Nah, not worth it. Still really like this box. Old machines are cool.

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

It's funny that my first PC was ways weaker than this one. Had only 8 MB of RAM (not 8 GB). Actually, I shared it with my brother.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, you've certainly been around for longer than I have, haha! The oldest machine I have sits at a whopping 128 MB of memory. Wasn't even originally mine; I got it secondhand a few years back from someone who no longer needed it.

Pics of the 8 MB machine? I'd be interested to see it.

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

It's in my mom's home. I've still got it. :)

I won't be able to visit her for a year or two though, so I don't think pictures are available.

I'll keep it in mind next time I'll be around it to make some shots and post them on PCPP. Maybe I can convince my brother to do it for me as he visits her frequently.

Oh, and although I got it with 8 MB RAM, my brother and I bought an additional 16 MB to a stunning 24 MB of RAM to run StarCraft: Brood War better. :D Also, it lacked sound card and graphics card, so they got added as well.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Good deal. Getting the old joker working is nice.

Thumbs up.

  • 32 months ago
  • 4 points

It was actually kinda painful... The assembly was all right, but getting a working OS. Man, that was terrible.

I got a Windows XP with it, so I tried to make that work first. I needed to get Service Pack from some mirror sites as Microsoft doesn't have them available for XP anymore. I needed it for the updates also, because the official NVIDIA driver did not install without SP3.

When the service packs were on the machine, I tried to install the NVIDIA driver. Now it installed fine. However, when you booted the PC and logged in Windows XP, it went to sleep right away. You pressed a key, it came back from sleep mode, to log in. When you entered credentials, it logged in, and went to sleep mode again. WTF?!

I tried all the listed NVIDIA drivers (going back version by version) and finally reinstalled the whole OS and service packs. Still the same... How could a graphics driver cause Windows XP to go to sleep mode when someone logs in?! :D

When I uninstalled the driver, there wasn't any funny forced sleep mode, however, without the graphics driver just using when normal windows were a pain due to the slow refresh rate.

So I gave up on Windows XP and moved to Ubuntu. As I do not have any legal copy of other Windows (e.g. Win7) and it is definitely not worth buying a full Windows 7 for such an old machine, I guess my only option is Linux. :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah I have been lucky by having the old XP disks up to the SP whatever version and not had to install new video drivers for a discrete gpu. I did run into something similar with Vista 32bit on a machine with hard disk failure. Trying to get a copy to install and use the machines key was bad enough, but updating, installing correct drivers and simply connecting to the internet made my hair gray. I have learned a lot of respect for real IT and repair folks.

Glad you stayed the course and got it working to present it here.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build using old parts here

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Ladies and gentlemen, the dankest build on PCPartPicker!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

had the same set up with a 4350 card for my home theater for many years. Streamed movies great until the power supply company fried my whole house.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

ah back when XFX made nvidia cards good old times

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

You get a +1 from me. It's awesome you got that computer going again.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheers. :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Perfect on a rainy sunday

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

XFX Geforce 6600 GT 128 MB DDR3

Flashbacks of trying to run Crysis on old GeForce GT cards

violent shudders

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I wouldn't even try it with this PC. :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

This is great. Good to see these old dinosaurs getting some love.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Antec PSU=Good build=+1

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

LMAO i've seen this pc for sale on gumtree.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, indeed. I made it work and someone can take it for a price of a sandwich. :)

I am moving so I need to part with it. I have to sell my gamer PC too. :(

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Awww that sucks

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

What even sux more is that I will move in 2 days, and still one one comes for it.

I turned it to a retro gaming PC with screen shots running golden oldies, like WarCraft 2, but no one gives a damn. Or at lest the price of a sandwich. :)

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Ebay it for next to nothing and make shipping non free so all you have to do is sit in line for it.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

those Maxtor HDD are really bulletproof in terms of drive reliability

i still have 2 or 3 of them still running to this day!

might be worth a shot the BIOS of the mobo may need some updating

as for XP SP2 and SP3

i burned the XP OEM disc which has the SP3

my initial install of my OS was WIn XP with SP2 from the old original copy of WIndows discs.

just for the giggles, i install the OS on the Sandisk SSD and boy did it boot fast.

i dont have experience with old AGP cards let alone nVidia drivers, so i cant help much

My unit is already on PCI-E and using the HD5450 1GB and the AMD Catalyst drivers still work on WIn XP SP3

throwing in Mechwarrior 4 for old school mech shooting

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the tips.

The motherboard being AGP takes back a lot of options as you cannot have a PCI-E graphics card. And support for these old GPUs is also pretty limited.

I will try to give it some more care and maybe I can turn it into a retro gaming machine. :)

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Not really.

The original idea was that I put Minecraft on it as it has just about the minimal requirements.

However, the graphics card's driver doesn't really work anymore. I mean if I install the one provided by NVIDIA, it's broken thus a third party (community developed) graphics driver is used. That's not gonna cut it. :(

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

For what it's worth, I'm actually thinking that the CPU/GPU/driver combo can easily handle 1990s era Windows games through the use of Wine and DOSBox, for example SimCity 3000. With some fudging around, it can perhaps even Wine up certain early 2000s games, such as SimCity 4. I've had success running these games with a Pentium 4, an ATI Radeon 9000, and the community-maintained Linux driver. Not surprisingly, there were some initial Wine hangovers, which forced me to put SC4 into software rendering mode to prevent a game-breaking graphical bug. But once that stuff was dealt with, they actually ran more finely than I ever remember them running on Windows. Granted, simulator games like SimCity are only one genre of many, and are often more CPU-bound than GPU-bound, but I figured I could at least give some limited perspective, as someone who's attempted to game with a similarly aged computer.

In terms of what this all means for your specific build here, I confess that I'm still pretty unfamiliar with the handling characteristics of all these old parts. However, a brief look at some benchmark scores suggests to me that in principle, your machine should be appreciably faster than mine, or at least be similar overall. That being said, I don't know the current state of third-party Linux drivers for old Nvidia cards like that. Could be that the Nvidia drivers are much worse than the ATI drivers. I also used Xubuntu, not mainline Ubuntu, so I had less overhead from the operating system and GUI going on. Regardless, I think it's worth a go; you might be surprised by what the old timer can do.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah. A retro gaming PC would be lovely.

I was considering the retro gaming on Windows, but given that Win XP not being supported by Microsoft anymore is just a pain to make it work (and I just gave up).

Maybe if I will have the time, I'll give it a shot. Problem is, time is something I'm pretty short on right now. :(

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, Windows XP is truly, honestly dead. And Wine can be a bit of a headache to navigate; it took me a good half hour or so to find that software rendering fix for SimCity 4.

Well, there's no rush. When the time comes.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm thinking about DosBox. I've successfully used it to run old DOS games on Windows. They have a Debian release (among others) and I guess that would work with Ubuntu. I may give it a try and install it. That would allow people to run old DOS games on it pretty well.

Some famous ones to mention:

  1. WarCraft
  2. WarCraft 2
  3. Z - Steel Soldiers
  4. Sim City 2000

Or anything really, that's available here.

The problem with time is that I'm moving across the globe in less than a month. And I have to leave many things behind. :( I've got only a little time left to play around with this oldie.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Tl;dr: Yes, it can game, but with a lot of caveats.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, I guess there are some Solitare like games on Linux as well. Anything more demanding than that would give a hard time to this PC. Pre 2000 games should be all right too, but they require Windows usually and this one has Linux installed.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah. Technology has developed a lot. :)

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't know about XFX being a motherboard partner. Well, I learn something new every day. :)

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

So... Why did XFX jump to AMD? Why not just make GeForce GTX / R# Cards together?

Technically, Maxtor still exists, producing external drives for Seagate.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Nvidia hasn't dropped MSI yet... Or Asus... Or Gigabyte... Etc...

[comment deleted by staff]