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Old 03-11-2019, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

I've got a few sleeper builds & other strange builds on the horizon.....but not builds special enough for dedicated threads....so this thread will serve as my log for what I consider unusual, but not extraordinary...

...and to kick it off....some lenovo desktop with a bad motherboard... PSU is external...but with some trickery, I can get a slimline PSU in it....so a worthless system gets reborn in my weird way! The only reason I'd consider reviving this case, it's in absolute mint condition!



I've got something cool to shoehorn into this one!
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

This one went together ok.... I tried testing the Pegatron IPMTB-TK used in this build with the W3690 I scored, it recognized it as a W3580.... It also seemed to not like higher speed Westmere CPU's. It had no problem with the Nehalem Xeons I tried though, so I just ran with one of those (e5520) and called it a day....I wasn't going to waste the w3690 on this build anyway....I have an X8SAX that wants it.

It's alive and well, running Win7 since it's SLIC'd.



I'll post the rest of the pics tomorrow.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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This one went together ok.... I tried testing the Pegatron IPMTB-TK used in this build with the W3690 I scored, it recognized it as a W3580.... It also seemed to not like higher speed Westmere CPU's. It had no problem with the Nehalem Xeons I tried though, so I just ran with one of those (e5520) and called it a day....I wasn't going to waste the w3690 on this build anyway....I have an X8SAX that wants it.
Looks like the motherboard can't support 32nm chips, period.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Looks like the motherboard can't support 32nm chips, period.
Probably. After googling a little, it seems this board has a history of not liking various CPU's. Not that it matters in the case of this build....just tossing things at it I have on hand...it'll end up in the 'for sale' fleet someday. It'll be a good daily use system for someone.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Here's another goofy one....this is that beige Medion P4 system that was given to me ages ago. I did my yellowing removal on it last year, and it brightened up a lot, but wasn't perfect.... I just couldn't decide what to put in it, so I just did a full restoration of it's original hardware. It had some unusual features for its time, inspite of it only being a 400FSB P4. Mainly the GeForce 3 Ti GPU and its goofy v.92 56K modem & firewire combo card. Anyway, after replacing the missing PSU and recapping the motherboard, it's alive. It supports 2gb RAM with 2 SDRAM slots....but it doesn't like ECC modules, and I don't have any 1gb non-ECC modules on hand, so it only has 1GB ram in the form of 2x 512mb DIMM's at the moment. I also upgraded the CPU to the almost fastest 400fsb Northwood I could find, which is a 2.8GHz. There was a 3GHz 400FSB, but lots of luck ever finding one...so 2.8GHz it is.

I added a few external extras, replacing the non-working mitsumi cdrom with a DVDRW drive and a Lian Li mobile rack for the HDD.





The PSU and HDD were missing when I got it, so I tossed in a rebuilt Allied I had on hand. HDD is a 30gb 7200 RPM Maxtor.



Up & running:



All buttoned up.


Of course this post created from it running XP SP3. I'll keep my eyes peeled for some 1gb non-ECC SDRAM modules for it....They're out there but ~$30ea. I don't think this relic is worth $60 for the modules, so I'll wait for some less expensive ones to turn up....but otherwise, this one is done....and added to this useless build thread.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Just an honorable mention for a little sleeper system....this *was* a P3 system at birth.....lame.... Ok, take a Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L motherboard that came in a junk box....a C2Q Q9650 that came out of a bad Intel DG45FC....4gb of RAM from the BIN....and a GeForce 9800GT....then put it into a heavy-gauge steel mint condition Pavilion 7940 case, and you get a nifty sleeper system.

I removed all the goofy stickers, added a card reader & working optical, and gave it a good cleaning....







Ok, kind of boring and not worthy of it's own thread....but hey, it didn't go to the shredder! OS is Server 2012 R2. This post created from it....
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

IIRC I had some weird ones, like an AT board in a JNC caae that housed a Skt939 machine, or a P3 450MHz "Katmai" in what once was a E5300 machine eoth a ECS board.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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IIRC I had some weird ones, like an AT board in a JNC caae that housed a Skt939 machine, or a P3 450MHz "Katmai" in what once was a E5300 machine eoth a ECS board.
This case is ugly as home made soap....but given the immaculate condition, I couldn't bring myself to junk it.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Didn't junk any of them. The former now houses a Q6600 and the latter is just empty. (for now)
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Old 12-31-2020, 01:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

I was given a HP 500-C60 midtower PC from a local shop. Mid tower with an external power brick, no expansion slots, and weighs less than a happy meal. The shop said the motherboard was bad; wouldn't power up. The brick wasn't included, so I couldn't test theirs....but I plugged one of mine and it was fine. No issues with the motherboard.....but it's embarrassing on the inside.... an ITX motherboard in this crappy/flimsy midtower case....but that just makes it fun for me!

It's a Quad core AMD A6-5200 w/ 16gb RAM and Radeon HD 8400 R3 GPU. This would make a fantastic little web browsing, emailing, facebooking, homeworking, letter typer....but in this big clumsy case....meh...so lets hear it for Topcat's last goofy build of 2020!

The old case after being stripped out.





Enter in a useless old HP slimline 7500-series with a single core pentium-m and 2gb ram....



Gutted!


This left some minor modifications after debadging the case. For one, a blockoff plate had to be made for where the PSU once was.







Then a mod for a wifi antenna. The wifi antenna in the original case was a junk internal one, which typically isn't worth a shit for reception...so I scrapped a bricked cisco access point of one of it's antennas. I then drilled out the expansion slot blank to fit the bulkhead antenna fitting into.

Easy Peasy!





Fits like a glove!!





It originally came with Windows 8.1 on a spinning 1tb HDD. I replaced the HDD with a 240gb SSD, and installed win10....which activated no problem....and another weird one spared from the scrap pile & landfill. The original case will end up at the steel recycler, so it won't be wasted either.



If time is money, it probably wasn't worth the effort.....but I'm one of those that doesn't care....its not headed for the landfill and with the tiny case rework it's far more appealing, so rehoming it won't be hard.
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

That's the cleanest "mod" I've seen! A good general use system tucked into a case perfectly fit for it.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Originally Posted by TechGeek View Post
That's the cleanest "mod" I've seen! A good general use system tucked into a case perfectly fit for it.
X2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
I was given a HP 500-C60 midtower PC from a local shop. Mid tower with an external power brick, no expansion slots, and weighs less than a happy meal. The shop said the motherboard was bad; wouldn't power up. The brick wasn't included, so I couldn't test theirs....but I plugged one of mine and it was fine. No issues with the motherboard.....but it's embarrassing on the inside.... an ITX motherboard in this crappy/flimsy midtower case....b
Unfortunately that seems to be the "trend" with OEM entry level desktops these days, basically take a laptop motherboard, shove it in a mini/mid-tower case (cause I guess that is what people expect a "desktop" to be???) and call it a day.
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Old 01-05-2021, 01:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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I was given a HP 500-C60 midtower PC from a local shop. Mid tower with an external power brick, no expansion slots, and weighs less than a happy meal.
.....but it's embarrassing on the inside.... an ITX motherboard in this crappy/flimsy midtower case....
Ugh!
I remember those all too well (unfortunately) while working as a PC refurb tech a few years back. I absolutely DESPISED working on these. If they worked - fine. But if they didn't, you couldn't do much more than try to swap RAM or HDD, because everything else was integrated. The few that didn't work just made me want to smash them to bits, ala Office Space style (the part where they take it out on that problematic printer. )

Also just an FYI, seeing that you posted pictures of the motherboard: those tiny CPU fans don't last very long... and they are just about adequate to cool the APU while sitting on the desktop or with a light load. Not that you can do much gaming or heavy loading on a PC like that, but run any benchmark (or YT with Windows update in the background, lol) and that tiny fan will scream while trying to keep the APU barely in its thermal specs. If you have a 50 or 60 mm fan in 10 mm height, just mount that instead to the heatsink. It should run cooler and quieter.

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Then a mod for a wifi antenna. The wifi antenna in the original case was a junk internal one, which typically isn't worth a shit for reception...so I scrapped a bricked cisco access point of one of it's antennas. I then drilled out the expansion slot blank to fit the bulkhead antenna fitting into.

Easy Peasy!
Love it!
Your Wi-Fi/Router be like: I hear you loud and clear now!

I also like that the new modded system now has a FULL SIZE optical drive. Many of these cheapo systems come with either a flimsy laptop optical or none at all. It's such a waste of space (and materials) when they place a laptop mobo in a case like that and then leave all expansion slots empty / bricked.

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The original case will end up at the steel recycler, so it won't be wasted either.
Good!

I remember the thin steel cases on these cheapo systems. If it wasn't for all those rolled edges and extra ridges and bumps, they'd crumble if someone even farts near them.

I guess here goes $0.05 worth of steel towards another beer.

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but I'm one of those that doesn't care....its not headed for the landfill and with the tiny case rework it's far more appealing, so rehoming it won't be hard.
If anything, I think this shows that you are one of the few that actually CARES... about doing things the right way, that is.

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That's the cleanest "mod" I've seen! A good general use system tucked into a case perfectly fit for it.
X3

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
Unfortunately that seems to be the "trend" with OEM entry level desktops these days, basically take a laptop motherboard, shove it in a mini/mid-tower case (cause I guess that is what people expect a "desktop" to be???) and call it a day.
Yup.
And this trend has been going on for at least a few years now.
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Old 01-05-2021, 06:29 AM   #14
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

My grandma has a system or two like this. And they're perfectly fine for what they are, a low power machine intended for general light office use. Still pretty stupid that HP chose such a functionally useless case to house it. At least they could've integrated the PSU into the thing instead of having one more power brick hanging around, spewing RFI like all of them do these days.
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Old 02-01-2021, 05:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

The HP 500-C60 has been rehomed....

Now for the reason of this post....which is not really about a weird system, but rather a benchmark of a 6G 400GB HP Enterprise SAS SSD hard drive in new condition....I was told it was going to be tossed in a scrap bin!! I won't reveal where I got it, but if that person chooses to wave his hand, it's fine by me.

I've heard/read of a lot of Enterprise SSD's being pitched because of the 520 cluster sizes and custom firmwares that make them not compatible with Windows (net app uses), which indeed would make them paperweights for anything practical except...umm net app uses....

So....I finally got around to testing it and was wondering if that's what I had here... I researched the numbers, it indicated no such issue with this drive or it's firmware. I also discovered that these are rebadged Sandisk "Lightning" drives, which have stellar reviews.

So here we go! This is one of my Supermicro workstations with a X8DAI, spec'd as follows:



The drive removed from the HP caddy and placed into a Western Digital 'Ice Tray', which supports SAS and makes it 3.5" compatible....and then slipped into a SM caddy.





...and here's what CrystalDisk had to say:



It's running as a single drive / JBOD config on a LSI/Avago 9260-8i 6G SAS RAID controller. The BBU battery isn't up to par, which disables write caching....so I don't think the write speeds are up to par....but overall, not too shabby! It has a good feel and load times are super! I've just never had a SAS SSD, so it was something new for me.
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Old 02-02-2021, 03:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

...and here we are after the battery got done doing it's 'relearn' number... Write speeds came up a bit.

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Old 02-05-2021, 01:14 AM   #17
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Now for the reason of this post....which is not really about a weird system, but rather a benchmark of a 6G 400GB HP Enterprise SAS SSD hard drive in new condition....I was told it was going to be tossed in a scrap bin!! I won't reveal where I got it, but if that person chooses to wave his hand, it's fine by me.
Heh, no worries, I won't get in trouble over this.
That SAS SDD was heading for the scrapper/recycler at my old workplace. It was brand new and still sealed. Likely misplaced by someone when they were organizing the storage rooms. I actually showed it to one of the IT guys there when I found it, and he still said, "nah we don't care, if it's here, just let it get tossed" ... which would have been a major blasphemy, IMO! So, it just had to get rescued.

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...and here we are after the battery got done doing it's 'relearn' number... Write speeds came up a bit.
Interesting...

It appears to be slower than the 120 GB SATA 3 Inland SSD I was using in my old work laptop... but then again, that Inland SSD is a consumer drive, and hasn't proven itself as the most reliable thing on the market, which is where I'm sure this SAS SSD should shine quite well.

Nevertheless, even those results should put to shame any regular "rust-spinner" HDD. Probably comes down to the fact that SSDs have much much lower seek latencies (typically sub-1 ms.) On that note, maybe try running an HDTune benchmark. I'm curious what results you will get there for the seek latency and burst speeds.

Anyways, glad to see you can get some use out of it!
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

This one is a Dell 24" AIO; model 3464.... Generation 7 I3, 16gb DDR4, and a 1tb spinner. Problem is, cockroaches & animal piss (or so it smells) all over the base...

This is new & large enough that it's well worth fixing...but it needs some love.

Inside the canse isn't bad....openings were too small for the critters to get in.





First things first, see if it even works....the brick was missing, so I used the bench supply.

Success, it comes on, screen is good....and since its bitching about a non-genuine power supply, I'll ASSume the motherboard is good.



Now for the worst part, the horribly corroded stand.... When I have to break out drills, prybars, hammer, and easy-outs just to get it apart; you know it's going to be bad!!

Drilled out 3 screws to separate the bottom from the counterweight.



The remains of the screws. Some did come out....but most didn't.



Had to tap with a hammer to break the corrosion loose from the base plate and the vertical portion of the stand.







...and here we are...



I'll disassemble everything and clean it. The corroded metal parts in the stand will get wire wheeled and likely painted. That will clean and then make it look good....not to mention get rid of the smell.

To be continued. I did order a new & genuine Dell power brick for it for $18.00. I will also get rid of the 5400RPM HDD and replace it with a SSD. This one will sell easily for a nice profit when I'm done.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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This one is a Dell 24" AIO; model 3464.... Generation 7 I3, 16gb DDR4, and a 1tb spinner. Problem is, cockroaches & animal piss (or so it smells) all over the base...
Wow, that looks pretty bad. Perhaps this was in a basement or some other low area that got flooded? The "water line" on the corroded base seems to indicate so... though it could also have been a "naughty" house pet. (Cat maybe? I know that cat piss smells pretty bad and makes sense if the monitor was on a desk as most normal-size dogs wouldn't go up there to do that.)

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This is new & large enough that it's well worth fixing...but it needs some love.


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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Success, it comes on, screen is good....and since its bitching about a non-genuine power supply, I'll ASSume the motherboard is good.
Probably is, though even with the "unknown" power adapter, you still may be able to run the Dell built-in diagnostics... or maybe not? On some of the old machines, you could, IIRC.

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Had to tap with a hammer to break the corrosion loose from the base plate and the vertical portion of the stand.
Ouch. That's certainly going to require some deep sanding to prevent the rust from coming back - at least on the steel parts.

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
The corroded metal parts in the stand will get wire wheeled and likely painted. That will clean and then make it look good....not to mention get rid of the smell.
Curious question... what kind of paint do you use for this kind of task? From my limited experience, even if the surface is well cleaned, rust will come back through whenever I used just canned spray paint from the big box stores. So as with my PacMan PC case restoration, I've turned to latex house paint, which seems to adhere better and not let rust through anymore afterwards. That case is still 100% rust free.

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
This one will sell easily for a nice profit when I'm done.
Yessir.
Too bad you can't upgrade the GPU in it. The motherboard looks like it has the BGA pads for a higher-end GPU and dedicated RAM, but it wasn't installed... well maybe that was a good thing, as both ATI/AMD and nVidia GPUs in these AIO's are a lot more problematic than Intel's IGP. At the end of the day, this should make a nice office/browsing/GP PC for someone. Is it touch screen too by any chance?
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:46 PM   #20
Topcat
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Well, disaster struck.... I was getting close to the end of the physical refurbishing when I was wiping down the front and noticed the digitizer had cracked. There was a deep scratch out of the screen's viewing area....I guess it scored deep enough that when I applied a little pressure to clean it, it cracked.

You can see the scratch with the little 'flea bite' where the crack originates.



Kind of a shame......



I was cruising right along before the crack....

The base counterweight wire wheeled & painted with rust inhibiting paint.





The rest is aluminum that was corroded. I wire wheeled it and cleaned it up. I also cleaned up the back plastics and other accessories.





All that was left was the front and the system itself...





...and right after that the digitzer cracked... I looked around and they're nowhere to be found. I'm going to remove it from the bezel and see what I can do with it, just to save the system.....but there went the resale.... It'll get delegated to the garage or something....
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