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Not too retro nor too pc. Just daring attempt to resuscitate the old and died ups by replacing the battery myself. And it works. Yay!



Sent sans PC
 

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Retro rarities
I've seen people get rather excited to get one for their collection on vogons despite having to pay a small ransom for it particularly one user who likes them boxed.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter #245
I've seen people get rather excited to get one for their collection on vogons despite having to pay a small ransom for it particularly one user who likes them boxed.
I can understand that. It's so cool to have something rarer lesser known in retro build. Not only you get an unique experience, but also a great conversational piece. I think I paid a lot (maybe 70 euros) for my ATi Radeon X800 Pro, when I wanted it badly. It was financially a retarded decision, but I got my fix. In the end I started to adore my FX 5200 more than I did. I know that it's going off-track here, but actually that card made me realize how little difference it makes to go from cheap card that makes ends meet to a decent card that can do everything well. Games didn't look very differently, fps was higher, but fundamentally it was exactly the same thing. So, I guess I learned a valuable thing for modern hardware shopping. That and it enforced warm feelings to lower end hardware. Kids today would laugh, but running Far Cry at 800x600 at 30 fps was just enough. X800 Pro could do 1024x768 medium-high settings and get like 50 or more fps. It obviously sounds nicer when you have no idea of how it actually feels like. FX 5200 was able to provide a sensible entry into game. Also people hated that card, but people don't realize that modern equivalent of it would be GT 710 and it couldn't play the Far Cry game of its era at modern equivalent of 800x600 being 720p or 1600x900.
 

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#respect to retro man


Sent sans PC
My laptop with Windows XP on it just quit this year, or I'd have two retro computers. I've had to make two major repairs to the HP, had to replace the hard drive about two years in, but it was under the extended warranty I paid an extra $200 for, and I had to replace the power converter a few years ago. My brother didn't have the exact one for that machine, so the CD drives don't work, but everything else does. The internet card quit a few years ago, too, so I can't connect to the internet with it anymore, and a replacement I tried isn't working. The USB internet gizmos don't seem to work without a driver, so I haven't been able to get one of those to work, either. Still, for a 19 year old computer with software that was already out of date when I bought it, it's doing remarkably well.

Edit to add: When I want to unzip a file, I use that machine and not this 2016 Ubuntu machine. This thing fails like crazy trying to unzip files while that one works like a charm.
 

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I can understand that. It's so cool to have something rarer lesser known in retro build. Not only you get an unique experience, but also a great conversational piece. I think I paid a lot (maybe 70 euros) for my ATi Radeon X800 Pro, when I wanted it badly. It was financially a retarded decision, but I got my fix. In the end I started to adore my FX 5200 more than I did. I know that it's going off-track here, but actually that card made me realize how little difference it makes to go from cheap card that makes ends meet to a decent card that can do everything well. Games didn't look very differently, fps was higher, but fundamentally it was exactly the same thing. So, I guess I learned a valuable thing for modern hardware shopping. That and it enforced warm feelings to lower end hardware. Kids today would laugh, but running Far Cry at 800x600 at 30 fps was just enough. X800 Pro could do 1024x768 medium-high settings and get like 50 or more fps. It obviously sounds nicer when you have no idea of how it actually feels like. FX 5200 was able to provide a sensible entry into game. Also people hated that card, but people don't realize that modern equivalent of it would be GT 710 and it couldn't play the Far Cry game of its era at modern equivalent of 800x600 being 720p or 1600x900.
This is why I like collecting XP and Vista era laptops that don't suck, one such is the Thinkpad T60P and another is the xps m1730. The FX5200 was slower than older and cheaper cards at the time while its replacement was almost just as bad that being the 6200. At that time it was better to get a GF 4200 or a 4400 and enjoyed solid dx8 performance while the 8500 was at least interesting with true form enabled. The FX series cards though are the last of the line for some early 9x games otherwise they look like crap on anything newer and the GF4 Ti cards were the last with good dos performance. Almost everything I got is either pretty dated or outright vintage with a couple of exceptions.

Keep an eye out for old pci cards like those GF MX as they come in handy for low spec oems that don't have an agp slot which are often 9x/xp compatible.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter #248
This is why I like collecting XP and Vista era laptops that don't suck, one such is the Thinkpad T60P and another is the xps m1730. The FX5200 was slower than older and cheaper cards at the time while its replacement was almost just as bad that being the 6200. At that time it was better to get a GF 4200 or a 4400 and enjoyed solid dx8 performance while the 8500 was at least interesting with true form enabled.
And here we have to stop. There were many FX 5200 versions. There were variations of VRAM, memory bus width, clock speeds, AGP/PCI slot... It mostly existed as umbrella term for nearly every lowest end nVidia card of the time. I was lucky to actually have a higher end model with 128MB of VRAM, 128 bit memory bus, normal clock speeds. Also my card overclocked really well. Some volt mod or BIOS mod and that thing could be pushed even further, possibly getting close to FX 5600.


The FX series cards though are the last of the line for some early 9x games otherwise they look like crap on anything newer and the GF4 Ti cards were the last with good dos performance. Almost everything I got is either pretty dated or outright vintage with a couple of exceptions.
I hear all the time DOS performance being mentioned, but what does it mean? I feel like pretty much anything will be fast in it and by the time of FX 5200 nobody cared about DOS anymore. DOS wasn't really relevant since 1995 and this card was made 9 years later.

Keep an eye out for old pci cards like those GF MX as they come in handy for low spec oems that don't have an agp slot which are often 9x/xp compatible.
I don't have to worry about that, since where I live OEMs didn't really exist and I highly doubt that I would want a machine without AGP slot, especially one which during that time should have got at least 4x slot.
 

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And here we have to stop. There were many FX 5200 versions. There were variations of VRAM, memory bus width, clock speeds, AGP/PCI slot... It mostly existed as umbrella term for nearly every lowest end nVidia card of the time. I was lucky to actually have a higher end model with 128MB of VRAM, 128 bit memory bus, normal clock speeds. Also my card overclocked really well. Some volt mod or BIOS mod and that thing could be pushed even further, possibly getting close to FX 5600.



I hear all the time DOS performance being mentioned, but what does it mean? I feel like pretty much anything will be fast in it and by the time of FX 5200 nobody cared about DOS anymore. DOS wasn't really relevant since 1995 and this card was made 9 years later.


I don't have to worry about that, since where I live OEMs didn't really exist and I highly doubt that I would want a machine without AGP slot, especially one which during that time should have got at least 4x slot.
The reason dos performance matters to some is those either trying to get more out of a single system due to constraints like budget and space (small apartment ect) while for a few there are very late dos games that are demanding cpu wise. Without support those games either run like shit where the colors are inverted or the game doesn't work at all. Dos games are atrocious when it comes to hardware support. As for the FX series in general I find the 5700 and 5900 to be preferable but are not common finds especially on the cheap. Good luck building a period correct dos system.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter #250
The reason dos performance matters to some is those either trying to get more out of a single system due to constraints like budget and space (small apartment ect) while for a few there are very late dos games that are demanding cpu wise. Without support those games either run like shit where the colors are inverted or the game doesn't work at all. Dos games are atrocious when it comes to hardware support. As for the FX series in general I find the 5700 and 5900 to be preferable but are not common finds especially on the cheap. Good luck building a period correct dos system.
Some may find it somewhat offensive, but I don't think that DOS games should be played anymore. I just think that any imaginable game is now remade with much better graphics, controls or etc. Simply, same tasks became less painful. Plus there wasn't much going on DOS only, many games would probably work on Windows 95 or 98. Also there's a DOSbox. I think that the actual DOS just got too ancient to actually buy hardware to run it. Somebody, who wants to remember classics has just too many options that aren't building old PC. It's very attractive to just look for alternatives, as old hardware may be on the verge of failing, it's expensive and scarce. Really, not a great stuff. Anyway, I don't think that DOS had anything particularly impressive.

And those FX cards were weird. I think that FX 5700 was actually slower than FX 5600 and FX 5200 Ultra was faster than FX 5600. Also all of those FX 5500-5700 cards perform nearly the same and even FX 5900 series is just a slight bump up from mid range options. I certainly couldn't recommend FX 5900 series, because those things were super loud and ran kinda hot. FX cards aren't particularly expensive, I saw a whole working computer with FX 5700 XT (maybe not XT) for 10 Euros on local market. That's a really great deal just for the card alone and you get a whole PC.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter #252 (Edited)
Special AMD FX post


Well, that's some impressive BS. Either way, at its day AMD made a really good job marketing their new Piledriver architecture (15h). AMD was very ambitious at the time of their new architecture. They speculated 5GHz and eventually 10 cores CPUs on a platform codenamed Komodo. 5GHz happened, but 10 cores didn't. Publicity is what AMD wanted, the key was to create a feeling of FX being really powerful, tweakable and a truly ultimate choice


That's probably the only time, when a technology company actually made 2D animated comics style video for their products.


(Animation is so bad that I wanna barf). I'm not sure if it's even appropriate for AMD to do that, but oh well. It will be remembered as a happy little accident :D.

The hype was huge. People at the time expected a real i7 980X killer from AMD, the reality was that FX was only wrecking motherboard VRMs and performing like i5. Obviously people weren't impressed.


And while it was obvious to many at the time that FX isn't going to be an i7 980X killer, nor even an i7 2600k killer. AMD started to price it more aggressively. They still wanted to make some money off their failure. And that ended up into FX 4000 and FX 6000 series being priced as i3s. Was it a good thing? Maybe. Those FXs had impressive multicore performance, meanwhile highly inferior single threaded performance. In many games, programs highly single threaded workloads were still common and i3s were decently competitive. FX processors were pretty good too, but not so much while knowing their higher VRM demands, poor architecture, times higher power consumption.

Also FX cores weren't exactly cores. That lead to awkward situation between AMD and consumers. Later it turned out that each core cannot be used independently and that only one task could have been executed per module, yet at higher overall speed than on AMD's more traditional core designs (as in their previous 10h or K10 architecture). So end result was that what AMD called FX 6300 could only execute 3 tasks at once effectively with the power of 6 cores. If more threaded task was to be executed, then there's a some penalty of speed on each core.

Besides that, FX processors all had really long pipelines. Usually, it's unfavourable to have those long, but this was done to achieve higher clock speeds. Now, it's important to understand why pipeline length matters. It could be understood as assembly line in factory. In computer world CPU processes information, which comes from levels of cache. Before assembly information is just being transported to factory. Once information arrives at factory, there is assembly line with steps of manufacturing. CPUs can reconfigure each step to different workloads and thus dynamically switch instructions used. AMD FX processors had a really long assembly line, which was unsuitable for nearly any existing workload and after actual work, it was wasting CPU cycles without doing anything and getting ready to get new data to process. That is really ineffective, but AMD thought it would be alleviated with higher clock speed.

Just during data gathering stage before actual processing, there's a task called branch prediction. In human language it means, that CPU will predict what data will be processed and then it can speed up the processing stage. Too bad this was weak in FX CPUs. This meant that there were too many mispredictions and thus whole pipeline had to be flushed before new data could be processed. This obviously meant increased delays.

All in all, all AMD FX processors were really poor and truly required high clock speeds to offer good enough user experience. Due to having massive amounts of other resources like loads of L3 cache and requiring higher voltage for higher than usual clock speeds, meant that those processors had pretty high amperage, voltage, then due to many architectural bottlenecks it also wasted tons of cycles. The end result was highly overbuilt innefective architecture, which required to push voltage beyond natural processor voltage-clock speed ratio, resulting in higher voltage needed for lower clock speed, thus resulting in their infamous high heat output and horrendous power consumption.

Module architecture didn't necessarily meant a poor performance, but such unusual design has tighter tolerances to companies craftsmanship. And unlike what many people believe that Pentium 4 HTs were similar to FX CPU, it was actually DEC Alpha that was more similar to it (if I remember it correctly). Either way, such unusual design could be really useful for someone beyond consumer market.

Some people still keep saying that AMD FX wasn't really such a big failure:

Okay, fair enough. He has a point that more cores can help to smooth out the framerates of games compared to lower core count processor with highly superior single threaded processing capabilities. But he doesn't really mention anywhere that gaming workloads usually are masking CPU deficits pretty well, as not that much of processing power is needed to simply remove bottleneck for GPU. Still, FX processors weren't great and there's really nothing that could be fixed by some tweaking, nor people were really underestimating anything. It's just that there's still some debate left on how much economic value FX CPUs offered compared to Intel offerings.

P.S. So why am I talking about FX in retro hardware thread? Well, if Phil already makes videos about FX CPUs in his lab, then I gotta admit that they are starting to become retro. Not only about FX 4100 and FX 4300, but also about FX 6300. After all vishera was released in around 2013, so FX stuff is already 6 or 7 year old. That's a lot in computer world.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter #253
And unlike AMD FX which had cartoon style ad, their APUs got a really great ad:

 

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Just 2 8GB worth of storage sitting next to each other... View attachment 837239

and here's some storage size differences. love those old school 5.25" HDDs View attachment 837241

i should get an 1.8" hdd just to have it in the collection
Does that Quantum drive work, if it does then it is worth something due to collectors and people wanting to recreate what they had back in the day as these drives are pretty unique.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter #257 (Edited)
yes but they are only worth like $30 on feebay so meh. i like it for its uniqness
Generally modern used HDDs are worthless in used markets. It's normal to see 320 GB or 500GB drives going 5 Euros or less. So your Bigfoot XT is really costly. Anyway, I would recommend you to keep it.

Similar drive to it was in Victor's video:

Oh... and...
 

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Generally modern used HDDs are worthless in used markets. It's normal to see 320 GB or 500GB drives going 5 Euros or less. So your Bigfoot XT is really costly. Anyway, I would recommend you to keep it.

Similar drive to it was in Victor's video:

Oh... and...
i got it for 5 bucks years ago :) but yeah. I even have an interesting motherboard that will run it im planning on turning in a freenas system in the coming weeks.
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter #259 (Edited)

RTX on in 2012 by nVidia...

RTX lagstorm in 2019...


nVidia hardware renders a whole galaxy in 2012

nVidia in 2019 "But those reflections are pretty cool... at 720p"

Technology for sure (dis)advances fast
 

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The spirit of the spirits
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Discussion Starter #260

It's been a while since I tried to explain how computers work. Found a pretty nice video explaining one fundamental element of computer architecture, clock speed. While, electrical wire just either transmitting electricity or not isn't complicated thing, computers have many of them. Essentially computers electrically are just very minimized circuits consisting of millions of such wires doing their own thing.

Obviously, someone dedicated can just go ahead and watch these YT series and try to understand those electrical Goliaths:


But computers affected people not only in such ways. They left their traces in our culture, so instead here's a dodgy website from 90s explaining computers:
https://james.hamsterrepublic.com/technomancy/

And to be honest, it certainly is fun to read once you have have experienced many hardware failures. Gotta agree, that if you are messing with computers, you are messing with spirits m8.... oh wait but I am a spi... never mind. Upper forces that it is, even spirits are tortured by those ruthless machines.

P.S. entrepreneurship crash course better explains what computers are today because computers today are a scam
 
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