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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:49 pm 
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Well, I was going through my garage to make room for another car now that I've had my driver's license, and found our old Dell Desktop computer. Apparently, it was a good bit older than I thought, because its the Dell Dimension e510 from 2005. The hard drive is broken, but I took it out and was surprised to find out that my 2017 120GB SSD I got for free (when I was the aide for the IT guy at my school, he got hard drive on accident through a mail error, and he never had anyone ask for it back, so he gave it to me :lol: ) actually had the same pinout and could then be plugged in, although I have no clue if it will actually work. The RAM in the computer was only 2, 256MB sticks, and I couldn't find the speed, but I looked up what the fastest RAM I could use for this motherboard is, and it's 533MHz DDR2 ram. Looking on eBay, I found a deal for 4, 2GB sticks (more than enough for something like this) for $16, (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/3218737586 ... dispItem=1) although it looks pretty sketchy (lack of brand, Chinese seller). The processor is a shitty Pentium 4 processor, and although this motherboard won't work with an Intel Core 2 processor despite having the same pinout (?) I found it should work with a Pentium D, which I think should at least be decent, as all programs are optimized for two cores now. Even if the best Pentium D (945) is still underpowered, I was still shocked that you can get one for less than $4! http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/1518574346 ... dispItem=1 I was just looking up parts out of curiosity at first, but damn, I might be able to make a decent machine and sell it and make a few more bucks than I would otherwise. It should then be good for most people, unlike before, mainly due to the originally small RAM. It's not going to have any trouble browsing the internet or making a Word document.

Really though, $4? Getting 100 of them would stomp a $400 modern day processor, if you could connect them all, anyway. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:19 am 
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For a long time, i lived on a near $0 computer budget by scavenging parts from "broken" computers others didn't want. That ended when i moved to work on laptops, but yeah... if you can live with being a few generations behind, a stationary tower can be really cheap. My latest station was assembled in 2012 with free 2010 parts; except the hdd which was new.

<rant>
Some companies frag fully functional top-notch computers just because they're one generation behind, and they have some policy to make sure their old computers doesn't fall in 'the wrong hands'. This ought to be criminal...
</rant>

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:11 am 
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I pretty much live on old junk too to say so.... though when I read the title I thought "wtf, 486 and pentium1 mobos go for arm and leg !" but then again, I don't see stuff like C2D as old *uses one right now*.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:32 am 
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Its an inverse bell curve.

Commodore 128D $600
486DX4100 $500
Pentuim 233 MMX $300
Pentium Cure Duo $4
X299 $2000

At one point there is a sly mod you can do to some old Server XEON chips to make them work in a non Cure Duo board, so you buy an old PC system for $50, get one of these used XEON chips for $100 and then have something that eats the "new" chips of the era https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUqBW-kq1_0


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:35 am 
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would those xeon chips still be sufficient to drive the current versions of adobe Illustrator, AfterEffects, Media Encoder, and the like smoothly?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:23 am 
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sure this $150us one from the year before shows decent performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epIlB49SNTI with Adobe you want Single Core more than Multi core though, which the xeons are more optimised for multicore loads. But bang for buck it should easily handle it, unless you go insane. Adobe stuff needs SSD and RAM more than CPU I've found, so if you tank up on RAM which the Server motherboards will let you go to town on, and give it a SSD should be good.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Thanks for the assessment!

Heh, i pulled the trigger - hopefully the time i (hope to) save will equal out the electric bill of reintroducing a station to the household :lol: But the parts were dirt cheap. I'll post the list as a practical example of the OP title:

2 xeon 5460 = 36 usd.
dual J-socket, server-like workstation MB from HP woth lots of ram and pci slots; fans and sinks included = 73 usd.
A full set of 32gb (8x4gb) RAM = 14 usd.

The second cpu isn't going to help me much, like you said, but it was almost literally 2 for the price of 1.
AfterEffects can allocate cores and RAM per core (so other processes won't choke from AE being too greedy, i presume).
The MB was a crossroads. I gained super cheap and plentiful RAM at the cost of needing to use ddr2 instead of ddr3 which some 775 boards support. Most 775 MB:s seems rigged for 4, 8 or 16gb ram. 16 would have been ok for my needs. Anyway i'm glad for some of the 'server' features on the 771 MB without it getting hairy with odd pcb dimensions and slot placements. DDR2 at 667mhz is slow compared to todays' standards, but i get 32gb of them for lunch money.

Shipping set me back ~60 usd in total. The price for not being patient and lurk for options on more local market sites.

I think i have or should be able to scrounge the rest for free - except just maybe the one expensive option being a PCI-E SSD drive which could probably help significantly (concidering the various bottleneck speeds of early SATA:s). Either way a whole lot cheaper than my current laptop, and should be more powerful in every regard except ram speed. + i can always keep the laptop for side tasks when not traveling with it.

I wonder if it'd be possible (assuming the mb allows it in the first place) to voltage starve the RAM just by some without negative effects to lower the power consumption.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Is there a 2-in-1 PCI Express card to add both high-speed networking (such as 10 GbE) and high-speed storage interfaces (such as SATA 6 Gb)? Or would that be SATA-NIC? :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:16 pm 
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The uncanny valley of retrocomputing. Slightly too old for general everyday use, yet slightly too new to be considered retro.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:15 am 
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I regret i didn't scan it, but i remember reading an article in an IT magazine anno ~1996/97 recommending atari st if you wanted to surf the web on a close to $0 budget. That was certainly uncanny. On the other hand, i used an unconnected 286 at home up until my first 'modern' 700mhz something computer in 2000 (not counting when my older sibling let me use his mac powerpc), so...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:43 am 
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btw, i should probably add that most 775/771 mobo:s will likely have a mix of pcie v1.x, pci-x and maybe even pci slots.
Some few seem to have pcie v.2, but i haven't found one with the right chipset that fits the low-budget concept.

If my assessment is correct, pcie ssd:s may be capped by some and then i'm not sure of what the real-world numbers would be.

PCI-e v.1.x can at a theoretical best transfer 125MB/s per direction and lane (total bandwidth 250MB/s per lane).

Most PCI-e SSD:s are 4-lane or 8-lane. I'm wondering to what extent they make use of them. But let's say they do - you'd get a theoretical total bandwidth of 1GB/s or 2GB/s per direction, or half when just looking at either read/write direction.

SATA II at 3Gbit/s is the most common on these 771/775 boards. It has a 285 MB/s read and 275 MB/s write spead; best case.
So a PCI-e SSD would be ~2x or ~4x faster, max, depending on lanes, because of the v1.x bottleneck.

SATA III at 6Gbit/s doesn't seem common; i don't recall finding one. If there is, the advantage would be even less.


Note that not all mechanical x16 / x8 pci-e slots are x16 / x8 electrically. They may be 8x or 4x.

The (probably naïve) best case scenario of a pci-e-ssd bandwidth of 1 or 2 GB/s then competes with a SATA III adapter.
A 4-lane one is pretty even with SATA iii. An 8-lane would be about just nearly twice as fast.


Conclusion:
As far as pcie v1 goes,
-One can most likely get an adapter + a SATA SSD for a lot cheaper than a pci-e ssd when looking at larger volumes.
-The benefit vs cost seems largest and somewhat worth considering for a small-volume, 8-lane pci-e-ssd, provided the 775/771 board has an electrical 8-lane slot available. One could use it for large, non-archived projects to speed up the work flow. Else, a sata III adapter would probably be better (the point is having a low-cost system, after all).

Pcie v2 would've been a different deal alltogether.



Quote:
SATA-NIC

:lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:55 pm 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
<rant>Some companies frag fully functional top-notch computers just because they're one generation behind, and they have some policy to make sure their old computers doesn't fall in 'the wrong hands'. This ought to be criminal... </rant>


Like my school that replaced perfectly fine, Windows 7 laptops with a bunch of Chromebricksbooks.

TmEE wrote:
I don't see stuff like C2D as old

You're also weren't born in 99. :lol:

Oziphantom wrote:
At one point there is a sly mod you can do to some old Server XEON chips to make them work in a non Cure Duo board, so you buy an old PC system for $50, get one of these used XEON chips for $100 and then have something that eats the "new" chips of the era https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUqBW-kq1_0

Well damn... Really goes to show how big of fools people are for always buying the newest electronics, even if 90% of "PC enthusiasts" wouldn't know how to do this. Just like now, why on earth would you spend $800 for a GTX 1080 ti when you can get an "outdated", GTX 980 ti for $250?

FrankenGraphics wrote:
SATA II at 3Gbit/s is the most common on these 771/775 boards. It has a 285 MB/s read and 275 MB/s write spead; best case.

That sucks; the SSD I have is about 500 MB/s both ways, so I'll probably get a PCIe to SATA adapter.

I was thinking about installing Windows 10 on the computer, until I saw that the computer only has 512MB of RAM, and Windows 10 64 bit requires 2GB of RAM. I then looked at Windows 7, and found that it was the same requirement. :lol: The RAM in the computer is also only 533MHz, despite the processor having an 800MHz bus. I was going to put 8GB of RAM in because DDR2 RAM is super cheap, but apparently, the motherboard won't recognize more than 3.25GB (?) for God knows what reason. I realize I'm working with a computer from 2005 that wasn't particularly high end when it came out, but why can't I use an Intel Core Duo, which uses the same socket as the Pentium D?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:10 pm 
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I haven't looked at that specific case, but i don't think same socket necessarily equals chipset compability. Hm. Do you mean an intel core duo that specifically has an lga 775 socket, or that core 2 duos have a 775 sockets in general? because some use socket M rather than T.

Another reason i went with a 771 board was because apparently, ECC ("server only") ddr2 ram costs nothing at the moment (beside it being 32gb RAM ready).

And yeah a pcie to sata 3 adapter seems the most reasonable way to go for boards of this age. Just make sure there's a vacant slot that has enough lanes to cover the desired bandwidth. A slot that looks like an 8-lane but really is a 1-lane won't do much good here.

There's also pci-x to pcie 4-lane converters, but finding one cheap can be a challenge. Easier to get a board with the right expansion ports cheap.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:26 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
Just like now, why on earth would you spend $800 for a GTX 1080 ti when you can get an "outdated", GTX 980 ti for $250?

"Because don't you need a 1080 for 1080 pee?"

Espozo wrote:
I saw that the computer only has 512MB of RAM

My recommendation for a PC with RAM that small is Lubuntu.

Espozo wrote:
apparently, the motherboard won't recognize more than 3.25GB (?) for God knows what reason.

My first guess is compatibility with 32-bit operating systems. 32-bit Linux and 32-bit Windows Server can use PAE to use 4 GB or more, with each process seeing up to 3 GB. But 32-bit Windows desktop editions can't use more than about 3 GB of RAM because drivers aren't required to be PAE-aware.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:09 am 
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tepples wrote:
"Because don't you need a 1080 for 1080 pee?"

???

tepples wrote:
My recommendation for a PC with RAM that small is Lubuntu.

My recommendation for a PC with RAM that small is to add more. :lol:

tepples wrote:
My first guess is compatibility with 32-bit operating systems. 32-bit Linux and 32-bit Windows Server can use PAE to use 4 GB or more, with each process seeing up to 3 GB. But 32-bit Windows desktop editions can't use more than about 3 GB of RAM because drivers aren't required to be PAE-aware.

Yeah, I now see that I got that number from someone who didn't know what they were talking about (checking the number in a 32 bit operating system, not the menu in the BIOS). I did see that the computer should actually take 8GB of RAM, with I think a maximum of 2GB per slot, not that I would do it differently anyway.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Do you mean an intel core duo that specifically has an lga 775 socket

Yes. I don't see why it wouldn't work; it can't be more power-hungry than the Pentium D, so there must be some other factor.


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