The retrokor II
I started to build a new retro pc (”retrokor II”) for myself, because the current machine’s motherboard is suffering from bulged capacitors. The current pc still works, but I don’t want to take a risk of it breaking down during a lan party.
I received an ASRock Socket A motherboard with the compaqs which is in a quite good condition. The motherboard had an AMD Sempron 2400+ processor and 512 MB of DDR SDRAM installed on it. I switched the Sempron with an Athlon 1333 MHz (which I was given for free by a random guy from the MuroBBS forum) and installed a GlacialTech Igloo Silent Breeze 462 as a cooler for it. I downclocked the CPU to a 1000 MHz (10 x 100) so that the installation would use less power (I was using a 120 watt FlexATX power during the test).
I attached a Samsung 30 GB hard drive (only 6600 hours used) and an S3TrioV64+ as a temporary display adapter.
Windows 98 was installed fast and easy, but the network card drives caused some problems. Windows recognized the netword card as a 10Mb model (some legacy drivers). I ran the 3com driver package and after a reboot windows found a new set of drivers. I accepted them and rebooted the machine. During the Windows’ startup the network card’s led changed from orange to green, meaning a speed change from 100Mb to 10Mb, and the boot process halted. I restarted the Windows in safe mode and removed the network card from the devices list. After this process the Windows finally found the correct drivers and the network card started to work perfectly!
The Samsung hard drive turned out to be a very loud one, so I had to change it to a more silent one. Luckily I had an old Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 lying around (not so retro, but what can you do). I cloned the contents of the Samsung drive with Norton Ghost. The difference was astounding and now I can work with the PC more than 15 minutes :)
The next thing was to install a WinFast GeForce 2 Ti and to move the motherboard to a temporary case that had a Nexus 350 W PSU. I used the 45.23 version of the Detonator drivers for the GeForce card, because these are the last ones designed for the GF2 architecture.
I tested the setup with 3DMark and Quake 3. 3DMark was completed without problems and with a decent score (6959 in 3DMark 2000 and 3704 in the 2001SE). However the Quake 3 was lagging and stuttering. I noticed that the sound card and the display card had a shared IRQ, and usually the performance problems are caused by the resource sharing. I moved the sound and the network card up for a PCI slot and this way managed to change the IRQs assigned to the cards. Luckily the Windows98 survived the drastic change in resources. Quake 3 runs now fine and I also tested the PC with a UT2003. UT2003 was running in a decent 45 fps, so I’m now able to watch demos with my retro pc.
I can only hope that this retro PC will last for at least the next ten retrolan events!