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Old 02-20-2019, 09:17 PM   #3501
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Aw poor TC, I feel so bad for your "insignificant" find .

Silly jokes aside, it's interesting to note this case has two front USB ports. I suppose it's not that old then - possibly from the early 2000's?
LOL...yea, I wasn't disappointed at all.... I have no clue what I'll do with that case,but I'm sure it'll get used in time. Finding something like that in new condition, me is still happy. Circa early 2000's would be accurate.

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10.4" viewable area color screen
I think that says it all. This thing must indeed have cost a small fortune to someone back then. Glad you're the person who found it. It would be a shame if someone else did and let it go to waste.
They were ~$1200-ish new, which back in 1996, wasnt bad....an entry level system was easily $1500 in those days. The display is a standard 10.4" industrial panel, replacements are easy to find....but its only 640x480...

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I bet this thing still has good vintage value, especially in that condition. Not suggesting that you should sell it or anything. After all, it fits with the rest of the cool systems you have. Just need to tell us when we can buy tickets to view your museum collection.
That one is definitely going to stay in the 'collection'....most certainly a very unusual piece of history....and to get it in that condition... It'll end up on display in my office somewhere. It's built like a tank, case & frame are solid heavy gauge metal. It's heavier than it looks.

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Meh. Personally I think Windows 95/98 fits it better.
I've always loved NT (I did test it, it ran good and drivers were easy to find), and it would still be period-specific...but since it originally came with win95, its a toss-up.

I did add a NIC when NT testing....it worked. CMOS battery is a tiny one, soldered to the motherboard....and is bad. I'll have to figure a workaround for that.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:38 PM   #3502
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
The display is a standard 10.4" industrial panel, replacements are easy to find....but its only 640x480...
Good enough for DOS games, though.
And if you really want to push it towards "bleeding edge" gaming, I think that PC just might have enough grunt to barely run Half-Life or Counter-Strike (1.5 that is). Or Carmageddon.

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It's built like a tank, case & frame are solid heavy gauge metal. It's heavier than it looks.
No doubt.
I have a 15" Compaq server monitor from around that age (maybe 2-4 years newer... but still an early LCD by all means), and it also weights a ton. Almost on par with a 14" CRT. Now that's gotta tell you something!

BTW, that Compaq I have can only do 1024x768. And it has a very sloooooooow response time. Fine for what it was intended, though.
Anyways, currently, it's not working - needs new CCFL backlights. The originals were so worn out that they could barely glow pink. At first, I thought the inverter was bad. But no, inverter is fine and runs well with good CCFLs. It's one of those oldschool designs that doesn't have current limiting (or at least it's set very high). Hence why it kept trying to drive those dying CCFLs. In fact, it tried so hard that it even discolored its PCB a little. Didn't die, though. Now that's toughly-built!

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CMOS battery is a tiny one, soldered to the motherboard....and is bad. I'll have to figure a workaround for that.
Maybe get one of those wired laptop CR2032 batts and also salvage the required connector from a dead laptop mobo? Then you can put the battery anywhere you like.
Or was the original CMOS battery a rechargeable one?

Last edited by momaka; 02-20-2019 at 09:40 PM..
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:02 PM   #3503
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Good enough for DOS games, though.
It would run Quake1 & Doom like nobodys business, in 320x200 of course...zero 3d acceleration at all with the 'Chips & Technology' 1mb graphics chip.


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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
No doubt.
I have a 15" Compaq server monitor from around that age (maybe 2-4 years newer... but still an early LCD by all means), and it also weights a ton. Almost on par with a 14" CRT. Now that's gotta tell you something!

BTW, that Compaq I have can only do 1024x768. And it has a very sloooooooow response time. Fine for what it was intended, though.
Anyways, currently, it's not working - needs new CCFL backlights. The originals were so worn out that they could barely glow pink. At first, I thought the inverter was bad. But no, inverter is fine and runs well with good CCFLs. It's one of those oldschool designs that doesn't have current limiting (or at least it's set very high). Hence why it kept trying to drive those dying CCFLs. In fact, it tried so hard that it even discolored its PCB a little. Didn't die, though. Now that's toughly-built!
The panel is in good physical condition, no scratches or bruises....but its tired....has ghosting & very slow response times. The 'north' portion of the screen was full of lines & artifacts when I first fired it, but cleaning the contacts in the ribbon fixed that. Corners are slightly discolored....but it adds to the charm, no intentions of replacing it unless I could find one with this ribbon config that could do 800x600 or 1024x768 (GPU will do 1024x768, but only in 256 colors).

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Maybe get one of those wired laptop CR2032 batts and also salvage the required connector from a dead laptop mobo? Then you can put the battery anywhere you like.
Or was the original CMOS battery a rechargeable one?
I'll desolder it tomorrow and find out....I didn't really look that close yet.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:19 PM   #3504
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Since you get your GPUs second hand (or is it 3rd/4th hand? ), make sure to inspect the back of each card for missing/chipped SMDs. I've had cards come in such way, where there were a few tiny SMDs broken off right for the GPU V_core rail PWM controller. One of them was actually for the voltage feedback. Had I not noticed this and plugged the card in "as-is", most likely the GPU V_core VRM would have committed suicide. Also was working on another card today, where there was a chipped SMD ceramic cap that was part of the compensation network for the voltage feedback. With this cap missing, the GPU VRM would still likely have worked OK, but could start to oscillate at low or high load (depending on what that cap did) and cause something to blow only after some time. Of course, I noticed it, so that didn't happen.
Checked it, no broken SMDs.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:10 PM   #3505
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

Some audio gear and a UPS.

A pair of Polk R10 bookshelf speakers for $17:







A JVC XL-V161TN CD Player for $1, and a Sony CDP-CE375 5 disc CD changer for $9.






An HP (rebranded Eaton) T750-G5 750VA/600W pure-sinewave UPS new in box for $45:
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:24 PM   #3506
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

I gave away my last x5dal-tg2 some time ago, and was finally out of them....well the Supermicro tree (which has been very quiet the last few months) dumped a brand new retail boxed one on me, never been used.

A local guy also gave me 5x Dell ultrasharp 1908 19" 4:3 aspect ratio LCD's.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:02 AM   #3507
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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An HP (rebranded Eaton) T750-G5 750VA/600W pure-sinewave UPS new in box for $45:
Were the batteries still good? Every NOS UPS I've dealt with had fried batteries.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:26 AM   #3508
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

The N64 gear I got a couple of weeks ago (controllers and games inc Pokemon Stadium 2) just sold to Pokemon Company International to some executive over there in there London office, which is pretty neat!
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:12 PM   #3509
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Were the batteries still good? Every NOS UPS I've dealt with had fried batteries.
Yes the batteries are good (they're also common 12V 7Ah batteries so replacements should be easy/cheap to get when needed), the unit has a 2018 manufacture date, a company ordered them and then went bankrupt and I guess the company handling the liquidation didn't realize the pure-sinewave enterprise grade UPSs are worth allot more than regular consumer UPSs (or just wanted rid of them and didn't care), these are a current model, usually selling for $250-300.

Last edited by dmill89; 02-22-2019 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:44 PM   #3510
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He told us the obama campaign threw out all of their computers. Were talking P4 laptops like Dell D600 and tons of desktops. We ended up with 3 or 4 of the laptops. Some were donated by a non profit that was SUPPOSED to donate them to local schools in another state. Instead they went to a political campaign that ended up destroying them when they were done. Missing hard drives of course but otherwise perfectly good. He got what he could carry, rest of it got crushed. Now that's change you can believe in.
Sounds like the cash-for-clunkers program for SUVs! Yikes!
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:53 PM   #3511
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

I made my rounds with the county & local shops today and came home with a pickup load of stuff.

7x ATX cases
a box full of PCI GPU's
a new-in-box radeon 7500 64mb all-in-wonder AGP, with remote, breakout box, everything
a box full of BNIB Manhattan AT PSU's
17" 4:3 acer monitor, working....it appears to be a rebadged Samsung.
19" hannsg 16:9 monitor. powers up, but they said something was wrong with it...havent checked it.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:38 PM   #3512
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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zero 3d acceleration at all with the 'Chips & Technology' 1mb graphics chip.
That must be the most generic electronics tech name I've ever seen. Love it, though!
Only 1 MB? Never mind running Half-Life series (or CS 1.1-1.5) then - not well anyways. Perhaps in software render mode? I tried that once on the Integrated Intel i810/815 chipset in my HP Pavilion 8756c desktop and... it was sad. It did run, though (if you consider 15 FPS playable.) Mind you, that HP PC has a Pentium 3 CPU, so software rendering is not impossible. But I imagine the poor old Pentium 133 will struggle to do that.

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(GPU will do 1024x768, but only in 256 colors).

I suppose not bad for its time, though.
Mind you, early Intel onboard graphics like my i810/815 aren't that much better: max is 24-bit color in any resolution, and above 1280x960, it's either 16 or 8-bit only (don't remember exactly which).

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Originally Posted by dmill89
A pair of Polk R10 bookshelf speakers for $17
Not bad.
I bet those have pretty good and crisp tweeters by the looks of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89
A local guy also gave me 5x Dell ultrasharp 1908 19" 4:3 aspect ratio LCD's.
4:3 LCDs are neat as they can be used with older VGA/SVGA/XGA machines without stretching the image. Nice score!
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:45 AM   #3513
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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4:3 LCDs are neat as they can be used with older VGA/SVGA/XGA machines without stretching the image. Nice score!
Except that model is a 5:4, not a true 4:3. 1280x1024. For old machines like that I use an "old" FD trinitron... now that thing scales like a champ!

Close enough, but the only 4:3 LCD's I've seen are 1024x768 15" junkers... I have one as my "headless" server's maintenence display, and that's all it's good for.

I have an assload of 5:4 LCDs... once I started getting in 16:10 and 16:9 units they all went to the shelf... Other than the 19" dell ultrasharp (1903FP?) that I use at church as the projector monitor/preview (it's all 1024x768 VGA projectors from 2006, still ticking and in use every Sunday!).


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Old 02-23-2019, 12:48 PM   #3514
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

Managed to almost revive the Winfast A380 Ultra (FX5950 Ultra) I have. So far it still shows a few lines but bending the board around a certain RAM chip makes them disappear so will need to reflow the said RAM chips (they're on both sides of PCB) and hopefully should be having a nice 5950 in working order.

Also fixed a 8400GS I had before that wasn't even recognized by any mobo. Now it POSTs just fine.
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:36 AM   #3515
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

Scored a Mercury SAA7130HL PCI Tv Tuner, a ASUS MyCinema-P7131 Hybrid tuner and a ATI Radeon All-in-Wonder 9000 64MB for free.
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:04 PM   #3516
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Except that model is a 5:4, not a true 4:3. 1280x1024.
...
Close enough, but the only 4:3 LCD's I've seen are 1024x768 15" junkers...
You're right! I took TC's word for granted that these were the more rare 4:3 A/R LCDs. Yes, 4:3 LCDs do exist, and not just the crappy 1024x768 ones. I'm not sure if there are 19" versions, but there are 21" LCDs that are 1600x1200 native resolution - i.e. true 4:3.

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For old machines like that I use an "old" FD trinitron... now that thing scales like a champ!
Indeed it does.
Though that's a 16:10 monitor, so I'm not exactly sure how you're doing 4:3 on that. Perhaps with lots of vertical black space on the sides?
If so, consider getting some more CRTs - preferably 19" or 21" ones. Most 21" were considered "high-end" for their time and thus will do at least 1600x1200 @ 85 Hz. I'm currently using one of mine at 1280x960 @ 85 Hz for gaming, and it's pure awesomeness! Don't even need Anti-Aliasing, as the image looks quite smooth already.

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... and a Razer full mechanical keyboard (with USB/audio passthrough) for $4.
Was that from Goodwill?
I haven't checked the ones "close" to me (they aren't that close, really) in a while. The only thrift shop that is really close by here is full of overpriced junk, especially their electronics section. $3 for any cord, minimum, and some of them have rips, kinks, and are dirty AF. Drive down 2 miles from this place and I got Micro Center, where for 1-2 more $, I can get a new cord. Only things I consider OK in that thrift shop now are the occasional CDs or DVDs ($2 each).

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Originally Posted by Dan81
... ATI Radeon All-in-Wonder 9000 64MB for free.
Nice!
I need one of those and/or a 8500 /LE to complete my early pre-flip-chip-era ATI AGP collection. So far, I have the Radeon 7000, 7200, 7500 (PCI & AGP), and... then a jump to Radeon 9200 SE and 9250 PCI.

Last edited by momaka; 02-24-2019 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:53 PM   #3517
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

ohh for crying out loud....do the math from 4:3 to 5:4....you're sounding worse than some of these audiophools..... On an ultrasharp, @ ~7% scaled (1280x1024), you don't even see it....especially on an old ass game which is a pixel feast as it is....jeebus christmas tree!! I'll take this over a CRT any day and twice on Sunday! Hell, running Diablo2 (800x600 max resolution) scaled to fit a 16x10 30" IPS ultrasharp is more beautiful than unscaled on the high end CRT's (mag innovision .22 pixel pitch 17") I used to play it on! ...and that was a phenomenal CRT in its day, and would still be today!! It was the only CRT that would auto-scale and auto size to fit the screen, you never had to adjust it....I miss that monitor!
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:29 AM   #3518
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Was that from Goodwill?
I haven't checked the ones "close" to me (they aren't that close, really) in a while. The only thrift shop that is really close by here is full of overpriced junk, especially their electronics section. $3 for any cord, minimum, and some of them have rips, kinks, and are dirty AF. Drive down 2 miles from this place and I got Micro Center, where for 1-2 more $, I can get a new cord. Only things I consider OK in that thrift shop now are the occasional CDs or DVDs ($2 each).
Yup. Still score a lot of stuff... it's all about knowing more than they do about what something's worth.
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:55 AM   #3519
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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ohh for crying out loud....do the math from 4:3 to 5:4....you're sounding worse than some of these audiophools..... On an ultrasharp, @ ~7% scaled (1280x1024), you don't even see it....especially on an old ass game which is a pixel feast as it is....jeebus christmas tree!! I'll take this over a CRT any day and twice on Sunday! Hell, running Diablo2 (800x600 max resolution) scaled to fit a 16x10 30" IPS ultrasharp is more beautiful than unscaled on the high end CRT's (mag innovision .22 pixel pitch 17") I used to play it on! ...and that was a phenomenal CRT in its day, and would still be today!! It was the only CRT that would auto-scale and auto size to fit the screen, you never had to adjust it....I miss that monitor!
Yes, but it's still a mismatch. 4:3 LCDs do exist but they are rare... 5:4 ones are far more common to the point of being virtually worthless (you can't give them away half the time). At least yours has DVI? VGA only LCD's are pretty much throw away any more... At least around here. Of all the ones I have, the only one that's worth a crap is the 17" Sony I have (interesting aesthetics). Everything else VGA only (some dells and Acers) is on the "I'd junk it if I wasn't a frugal hoarder" list. Same of the rest of my 1280x1024 units at home (even with DVI). No use for them... Especially with a few 16:10 and even a couple 16:9 units also sitting.

Not saying it doesn't work (as mentioned, I use a 1080x1024 one for the 1024x768 preview screen at church!), but in terms of value it's a heck of a difference. Just saying.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:32 AM   #3520
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Yes, but it's still a mismatch. 4:3 LCDs do exist but they are rare... 5:4 ones are far more common to the point of being virtually worthless (you can't give them away half the time). At least yours has DVI? VGA only LCD's are pretty much throw away any more... At least around here. Of all the ones I have, the only one that's worth a crap is the 17" Sony I have (interesting aesthetics). Everything else VGA only (some dells and Acers) is on the "I'd junk it if I wasn't a frugal hoarder" list. Same of the rest of my 1280x1024 units at home (even with DVI). No use for them... Especially with a few 16:10 and even a couple 16:9 units also sitting.

Not saying it doesn't work (as mentioned, I use a 1080x1024 one for the 1024x768 preview screen at church!), but in terms of value it's a heck of a difference. Just saying.
I never claimed them to be valuable....but this scaling silliness is just well...umm...silly. Even the true 4:3 @1600x1200 20/21 inchers (Dell 2007FP seems to be the popular ones) can be had pretty cheap (~$75 shipped all day long on ebay) for grade-A, they're not hard to find or valuable either. Anything 17" or smaller, I could care less about.

Yes, they have DVI's.
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