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    Here's another for the retro fleet. Someone gave me this around 2008, Dell Precision 530 workstation; dual skt603 with failed caps of course, Nichicon HM. At the time it was deemed not worth messing with and it sat on a shelf in the garage since; it was made 2002~2003-ish (datecodes on the caps were 2001, the 'dark era' for Nichicon HM series). It being buried under other stuff is probably the only thing that kept it from being scrapped.... I came across it the other day when I was scrapping the stuff on top of it and thought hmmmm....maybe a little retro status, considering it's a RAMBUS system, and it has a pair of 3GHz Prestonia's (the fastest it could take)...but apparently their values has gone up!! I stole the RAM out of it ages ago, but CPU's are still in it. RAMBUS survivors are becoming less every passing day. Recapped it and it's working.

    Blasted with the air hose and wiped down.... The real miracle with this one, the door is still on it and not broken!!

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    Yup, miracle! In hunting, I looked around for these. The door was almost never there.

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    Butt shot....

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    Inside. Stuck an ATI x1600 Pro 512mb AGP GPU in it. Not sure what it originally had, I stole it over a decade ago.

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    CPU heatsinks & fans had also been robbed.....so I had to rummage through my box of old skt 603/604 parts. This is one of the few times Dell didn't use a proprietary heatsink/fan setup. The originals were really cheesy passives that I tossed ages ago, but the bases that held them were standard for any socket 603/604, thus any compatible heatsink could be used.

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    The box is about empty.....I don't see or deal with much 603/604 stuff....they're pretty antiquated now and weren't hugely popular back in the day as it was.

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    I ordered 2gb of ECC RDRAM, the most it can take...I'll wrap this one up then.... This will be a stellar XP box!
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      what chipset is on that board? i tried google and wikipedia but it gave me inconsistent answers as to whether the ram limit is 2 or 4gb. so i guess it depends on what chipset they put on the system in the first place. if its the 850 or 850e chipset the ram limit should indeed be 2gb. but if its the 860 chipset which is multiprocessor capable for xeon cpus which is what i think it is, the ram limit should be 4gb with 2 repeaters whatever that is...

      Comment


        Originally posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
        what chipset is on that board? i tried google and wikipedia but it gave me inconsistent answers as to whether the ram limit is 2 or 4gb. so i guess it depends on what chipset they put on the system in the first place. if its the 850 or 850e chipset the ram limit should indeed be 2gb. but if its the 860 chipset which is multiprocessor capable for xeon cpus which is what i think it is, the ram limit should be 4gb with 2 repeaters whatever that is...
        I'm not sure.....but I'll have a peek when the RAM gets here...but I believe it to be an early 7500 chipset....but it may not be either; those were all for DDR IIRC (I've slept since those days).
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          Originally posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
          what chipset is on that board? i tried google and wikipedia but it gave me inconsistent answers as to whether the ram limit is 2 or 4gb. so i guess it depends on what chipset they put on the system in the first place. if its the 850 or 850e chipset the ram limit should indeed be 2gb. but if its the 860 chipset which is multiprocessor capable for xeon cpus which is what i think it is, the ram limit should be 4gb with 2 repeaters whatever that is...
          It's an 860.
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            Been a while since I've done one of these where some significant modding was necessary.....so here's a great candidate. This is a Gateway 2000 system from 2001 that had some junky athlon CPU in it, motherboard is a Gateway OEM'd MSI MS-6330. There is absolutely nothing about this that excites me except the heavy iron case....but there are some hurdles....

            This system came from the home of a heavy smoker. It stinks to high heaven, it was actually stinkiing up the shop.

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            The system does work. Booted to WinME. Agonizingly slow with 256mb RAM....

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            The biggest hurdle is visible in this pic; the IO area is part of the case. To put anything good in there, it will have to be surgically removed so a standard shield can be used.

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            Now time to disassemble it.

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            You can see the nicotine stains on the blonde paint where the plastic trim was.... ICK!

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            Sticker removed the IO area.

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            Measured & Taped off.


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            Cut.

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            Test fitted with some random IO shield.

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            Everything cleaned up and ready for the next step....picking a system core.

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            I have ~8 different system cores that I've considered putting in this. Prerequisites are of course full ATX, 2 CPU's, and of course something that would be a significant computing upgrade compared to what was in it; thus the whole 'sleeper build'. The 'significant upgrade' requirement ruled out a couple dual slot 1 & slot 2 options....but there are still quite a few available. I'll have to tinker with a few and see what really 'pops'....
            Attached Files
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              You did some very nice surgery work on this computer case and it is looking very nice I keep getting inspired by your handwork
              I have one question for you what type of tool did you use for this surgery that you did on this computer case
              One more question how did you determine where to cut the opening so that the motherboard would fit on the stand-offs would line up and PIC slots would also line up correctly
              Last edited by sam_sam_sam; 01-10-2024, 05:22 AM.
              9 PC LCD Monitor
              6 LCD Flat Screen TV
              30 Desk Top Switching Power Supply
              10 Battery Charger Switching Power Supply for Power Tool
              6 18v Lithium Battery Power Boards for Tool Battery Packs
              1 XBox 360 Switching Power Supply and M Board
              25 Servo Drives 220/460 3 Phase
              6 De-soldering Station Switching Power Supply 1 Power Supply
              1 Dell Mother Board
              15 Computer Power Supply
              1 HP Printer Supply & Control Board * lighting finished it *


              These two repairs where found with a ESR meter...> Temp at 50*F then at 90*F the ESR reading more than 10%

              1 Over Head Crane Current Sensing Board ( VFD Failure Five Years Later )
              2 Hem Saw Computer Stack Board

              All of these had CAPs POOF
              All of the mosfet that are taken out by bad caps

              Comment


                Originally posted by sam_sam_sam View Post
                You did some very nice surgery work on this computer case and it is looking very nice I keep getting inspired by your handwork
                I have one question for you what type of tool did you use for this surgery that you did on this computer case
                One more question how did you determine where to cut the opening so that the motherboard would fit on the stand-offs would line up and PIC slots would also line up correctly
                It's really not that hard. On most I do this to, they were the 'standard' IO of sorts, meaning there are always fixed positions; such as KB/MS, parallel, and serial ports. I'll use a removable IO shield of the same config and simply line up the port openings. I'll then trace the outer perimeter of the IO shield with a sharpie. Then measure from the outer edge inboard to the outer lip where it would latch into the case and them mark that off on the case....then tape off those marks and cut. I use a pneumatic die grinder on this one, it's a thicker steel case. A dremel with a reinforced cutoff wheel will also work, you just have to move slower & be a little more patient with it. Always cut on the waste side of the line/tape....if the opening is slightly small, nothing a file can't fix. Always make sure to file the edges anyway to remove burrs and sharp edges.

                Now an non-standard IO shield like the Aurora R7 I removed was a bit more complicated, as the IO ports on this one were not following any kind of standard; thus no reference points. This one required a lot of very careful measuring......
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                  You sure it wasn't the HDD at fault for WinME being slow? I used it recently on a 500MHz Katmai build with a GF2 Pro/GTS w/ the same amount of RAM and it was pretty speedy.

                  Onto funky stuff... dug this Baby-AT Tomato 6DLX and what I suspect (I am not fully sure) is a unlocked 266MHz P2, SL2HC. It'll clock to 333 just fine but I haven't pushed it past that. The BIOS is absolutely packed with features, and CPU speed is set thru BIOS - no jumpers whatsoever.

                  I'll prolly dump the 266 into my BE6-II and see if it can OC. Zida reports a max setting of 533 - but I have some quite high doubts it can jump that high....

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                  Attached Files
                  Main rig:
                  Gigabyte B75M-D3H
                  Core i5-3470 3.60GHz
                  Gigabyte Geforce GTX650 1GB GDDR5
                  16GB DDR3-1600
                  Samsung SH-224AB DVD-RW
                  FSP Bluestorm II 500W (recapped)
                  120GB ADATA + 2x Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS 1TB
                  Delux MG760 case

                  Comment


                    I was seriously laughing at the names associated with that board!!

                    If you want to run it @ 533, get a cheap slotket and run a 533MHz medocino celeron in it; they can be had for peanuts. Any slotket can run a medocino. The fastest P2 it could run would be a 333....and a mendocino would spank it as it is, if for no other reason the full speed L2 cache. Being a LX chipset, don't waste your time trying to overclock....it won't be stable. You might get 75 to run fair with the right CPU, but it's a lot like the BX @ 133, it's always going to be quirky no matter what you do.
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                      I just dropped a Celeron 433 in it w/ a old cheap PPGA-only slotket and it'll end up with that up on sale. Apparently the SL2HC is unlocked, something I have been looking for quite some time, so I don't mind parting ways with a Mendocino 433. (I have a 400, 533, 500 and IIRC I think a 466 as well but not sure. Didn't count the 333s in the BP6 as they go together.)

                      Slightly surprised it supports Mendocinos though - IIRC TRW shows only Covington support for the 6DLX.
                      Last edited by Dan81; 01-11-2024, 04:52 AM.
                      Main rig:
                      Gigabyte B75M-D3H
                      Core i5-3470 3.60GHz
                      Gigabyte Geforce GTX650 1GB GDDR5
                      16GB DDR3-1600
                      Samsung SH-224AB DVD-RW
                      FSP Bluestorm II 500W (recapped)
                      120GB ADATA + 2x Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS 1TB
                      Delux MG760 case

                      Comment


                        This one was wrapped up over the weekend. Is it one for Topcat's Weird Build Hall of Fame? No....but turned out good none the less.....

                        The motherboard has been chosen....and it was a tough call, there were several very worthy contenders, but this one was the best fit IMO.

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                        It's testing in the oven, and also analyzing power usage to see what PSU would be best suited for it. It's too heavy on the 12v rail to use the original.

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                        The mystery board sign in please..... Asus K8N-DL ebay rescue from about a year ago.

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                        There were several parameters that had to be met to maintain front panel function; optical drives and the zip drive. This meant I needed an IDE / SATA hybrid; with 2 40-pin IDE channels, that this board has....and a SATA port for a SSD so it's not agonizingly slow. That was the deciding factor in the end with the other front-runner boards.

                        Next up is to depin & remove the proprietary front panel LED plug.

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                        Just like that!!

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                        USB ports and front panel cabling back in the case.

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                        Now for the motherboard standoffs. The brass ones came off the original board; 6 all together....but this board needed 9....and I didn't have any more of the gateway Brass ones....but fear not, the plastic ones fit the config just fine as you can see.

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                        ...and in the board goes!!

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                        Now here's why this board was such a marvelous fit in this case..... Installed the HDD cage and note how the notch in the board so elegantly wraps the HDD cage. That couldn't have been planned any better!! A couple of the motherboard candidates would have required deletion of the HDD cage.

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                        Now for those unsightly IDE ribbons..... I tidied them up the best I could.

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                        Now for the power supply. This is a Seasonic 500W with fresh caps and a hefty 12v rail. Perfect for this system


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                        SSD in an adapter tray.
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                        Buttoning up.

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                        Installed Win7 on this.
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                        ...and a little Q3A

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                        System specs as follows:

                        Asus K8N-DL motherboard
                        2x dualcore Opteron 280's @ 2.4GHz
                        6GB DDR1-3200 ECC - Rumor has it, it can unofficially run 12gb...but I don't have the RAM to try it
                        Nvidia 9800GT Momaka's favorite single-slotter
                        120gb Kingston SSD
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                          Nice. I have an nearly total opposite build in mind to build and will likely pick up one of those good ole' trusty DeepCool Tesseract cases.

                          Wanna pick a guess what it'll be?
                          Main rig:
                          Gigabyte B75M-D3H
                          Core i5-3470 3.60GHz
                          Gigabyte Geforce GTX650 1GB GDDR5
                          16GB DDR3-1600
                          Samsung SH-224AB DVD-RW
                          FSP Bluestorm II 500W (recapped)
                          120GB ADATA + 2x Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS 1TB
                          Delux MG760 case

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Dan81 View Post
                            Nice. I have an nearly total opposite build in mind to build and will likely pick up one of those good ole' trusty DeepCool Tesseract cases.

                            Wanna pick a guess what it'll be?
                            It's gotta be that BP6 or that 694D you've got coming.
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                              At first I was leaning towards the BP6 too but figured the 694D would make more of a killer 370 build with that Tesseract. Gotta give Deepcool credit, they made one hell of a case. That, and I was feeling really uncomfortable modding the sockets on the BP6, given these are as rare as hell where I live.

                              AGP4x, VIA chipset and the 4 SDR slots make for quite a good expansion horizon. Might drop some really mean Socket 462 copper coolers - assuming I can get their clips swapped, as the 694D (and I suspect the VP6 would've had that issue too but idk) Pro seems to have the well known clearance issue that buggers me to no end on SS7 and 370 boards.

                              Might have to figure what GPU to go for - it's gotta be something DX9 or early DX10, but also has to be a fairly good performer. So far a few candidates to it would be a HD3450 AGP (made by ASUS), a Gecube 9600 Pro and a 3D Prophet 9700 Pro.
                              Also got a single socket "plan B" board - the well known K7S5A, recapped with Rubies and a few polys off scrap first gen 360s without the HDMI ports.
                              Last edited by Dan81; 01-16-2024, 01:08 PM.
                              Main rig:
                              Gigabyte B75M-D3H
                              Core i5-3470 3.60GHz
                              Gigabyte Geforce GTX650 1GB GDDR5
                              16GB DDR3-1600
                              Samsung SH-224AB DVD-RW
                              FSP Bluestorm II 500W (recapped)
                              120GB ADATA + 2x Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS 1TB
                              Delux MG760 case

                              Comment


                                Speak of being lucky. Same seller I ordered the 694D just packed and will send a VLB based 486 pack.

                                ID'd so far:

                                - mobo is a Aquarius Systems MB-4D33NR w/ actual socket 3. Unknown CPU though I suspect either a 486DX-50 or a DX2-66.
                                - GPU is a VLB Trident TVGA9200
                                - has a VLB IDE controller
                                - 2x NICs (!!) - one is a UMC card, the other is a 3com

                                Will likely make a nice 95, 3.1 and DOS machine - I've been wanting to do something 486 based in quite a long time and was always waiting for a proper mobo.
                                Main rig:
                                Gigabyte B75M-D3H
                                Core i5-3470 3.60GHz
                                Gigabyte Geforce GTX650 1GB GDDR5
                                16GB DDR3-1600
                                Samsung SH-224AB DVD-RW
                                FSP Bluestorm II 500W (recapped)
                                120GB ADATA + 2x Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS 1TB
                                Delux MG760 case

                                Comment


                                  Originally posted by Dan81 View Post
                                  I've been wanting to do something 486 based in quite a long time and was always waiting for a proper mobo.
                                  Should have said something....I have a Micronics 486DX4@100 here I have zero plans for...could toss a couple VP6 fixer-uppers in with it....


                                  Anyway, for today's magic, the beginning stages of this monster Gateway server system. I am not going to reuse the original board, while it's a dual Tualatin, it's otherwise a complete turd....as a server, this thing is useless for anything, so the goal is more of a minor sleeper/gamer/era-specific workstation setup. First step is board selection. The front-runner is this Supermicro P4DCE+; dual skt603 Prestonia Xeon board. One of the first; 860 chipset and RDRAM. The prerequisites are really only SCSI for the SCA cage. I also had to make sure it'll pair with the PSU specs, the power supply in this case has a pretty weaksauce 12v rail, but the 5v and 3.3v are beasts! This board will definitely play nice with this PSU after a good run in the oven. There's one more model board on ebay of similar era I am considering, but it's live bidding and already bid up more than I really want to spend....so I'm probably going to pass on that one....so here we are!!

                                  The board doesn't have onboard SCSI, so I just added a card with RAID functions.

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                                  Of course in testing I was having some issues with the controller.... Anytime that happens, the first thing I check is firmwares...and sure enough, ancient version....updated!

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                                  Problems went away.

                                  So here's the system core so far:


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                                  Now a closer look at the case. A butt shot.....


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                                  Amazingly enough all the caddies were there. There was one drive present; a 36gb 10k Cheetah, all the rest of the trays had their dummy drives in them. The drive was blank, someone wiped it.

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                                  Inside:

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                                  The SCA backplane. Unlike newer stuff that was made during the transition from SCSI to SAS, there's no interchangeable SAS/SATA backplane, this is too old...which is why it's doomed to SCSI.

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                                  An eATX board will fit this case with no modifications (atleast that I'm aware of as of now), but there's some electrical mods that will need to be made for the front panel connections and the PSU. The ATX connector is standard pinning and voltages, but there's no 4/8-pin EPS plugs, so they'll have to be added. I could also run any ATX PSU in this with some minor modification; would just have to make a frame/bracket for it....but I'd like to keep that portion original, which is why anything really modern was ruled out (weak +12v rail).

                                  More to come.
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                                    I'll PM you next week about them. Still gotta find what would the prices to ship it outside US be and get my friend to help charging my card. Especially as I've been getting interested into VP6s since Epictronic and BigBadBioligist's VP6 research.
                                    Last edited by Dan81; 01-25-2024, 03:51 AM.
                                    Main rig:
                                    Gigabyte B75M-D3H
                                    Core i5-3470 3.60GHz
                                    Gigabyte Geforce GTX650 1GB GDDR5
                                    16GB DDR3-1600
                                    Samsung SH-224AB DVD-RW
                                    FSP Bluestorm II 500W (recapped)
                                    120GB ADATA + 2x Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS 1TB
                                    Delux MG760 case

                                    Comment


                                      Originally posted by Dan81 View Post
                                      Especially as I've been getting interested into VP6s since Epictronic and BigBadBioligist's VP6 research.
                                      Weird you say this. I built 3 custom polymer VP6's many many many years ago (like back when the VP6 was still usable in the real world) and sold them to an individual that had some specific use; and they agreed to return them to me when they finished with them and took them out of service. They did return two of them several years ago, one is still MIA. They never would tell me what they were being used for; I did ask. I still have them.

                                      Back to this build......

                                      Today was the disassembly stage.

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                                      The backplane. If I really wanted to use modern drives in this, I could simply remove the backplane and just use internal cables with the drives. The trays latch in the front, so the drives would stay put.....but I think I'm just liking the revived old SCSI instead. old world SCSI gear is something else that's beginning to vanish. Controllers & cables are plentiful, but good drives are rapidly drying up; both HDD and ODD.

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                                      Motherboard disconnected.


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                                      Board & PSU out....along with the SCA backplane.

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                                      Motherboard tray.

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                                      Case shelled out. All parts need to be cleaned.

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                                      All the parts.

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                                      Overall, this is a fabulously made case, heavy & thick old iron.

                                      One thing I'm still contemplating is ordering a couple 3GHz Prestonia CPU's....they're about 90 bucks for a pair.....but only one guy has them, and they're not easy to come by anymore. They're the fastest CPU the board could take; 400FSB only. The board has a pair of 2.2GHz that came with it. I'll ponder that one, as I don't have a lot in this....just the memory I bought. I bought the motherboard in a lot of two identical. I sold the other board after testing it for what I had in both, so that was a wash.

                                      Anyway, to be continued.
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                                        No, I haven't forgotten about this build....I've just been busy with other crap... I broke down and grabbed a pair of 3GHz CPU's for it, they're not here yet though....but that won't stop me from starting to button this up....but there were a few things that had to be done first....one thing at a time though...

                                        Shiny & clean!

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                                        SCA HDD's selected. Pair of 146gb 15,000 RPM.


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                                        This project wasn't without a casualty. Little plastic latch had broken. This would cause the face to not stay on. Nothing some JB weld couldn't handle.

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                                        Good as new!

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                                        Now for the front panel connectors. The original was a proprietary setup with a ribbon.

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                                        Had to sever some traces, as they had all the LED's sharing a common, the new motherboard does not share this, and won't work right if tried (been there)....but here we are!

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                                        Back in the case.

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                                        Face back on and SCA trays inserted.

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                                        Next up is the power supply I had to add an 8-pin EPS connector to use this supply with this board. This was an interestingly designed power supply. ALl rectification is done internally along with standby voltages. The modules only provide the usable power for the PC. This PSU will power up, have standby, and run the fans at low speed with no modules inserted.

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                                        I removed the I2C cabling, as it interfaces with the original motherboard for the front panel LED's, The new board won't interface with it, so to save clutter, I just removed it.

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                                        Added the 8-pin plug. I had enough ground through holes for all 4 wires, so each wire got its own. The +12, I only had 2 free through holes....so I had to doublejack them. Not a big deal, this board pulls very little from the +12v rail anyway....but it won't run without this connector installed.

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                                        Done.

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                                        Tested. Works.

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                                        Installing. Pay no attention to the poor cable management at this point....

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                                        That's all until the CPU's get here....Stuck a magnificent period-specific GPU in this one.
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                                          We interrupt your regularly scheduled build to show off Topcat's completely pimped out Precision T7910. This was a freebie from a local resort that survived being hammered because the grunts couldn't find the HDD's, they mistook the optical for a 'hard drive' and beat that with a hammer....no, I'm not kidding!!

                                          Anyway... It had 64gb RAM spread across 8 of its 16 slots and 2x Xeon E5-2690 v4 CPU's and a big turd of a NVS 310 GPU. I didn't change the CPU's, they are a decent balance of clock speed and core count; 28 cores / 56 threads!! Wowza!! I did however up the RAM to 128GB with matching modules to what was in it....and after some research upgraded the GPU's to a pair of Quadro K5200 8gb cards. This system does support SLI, but for quadro's only....no GTX / RTX's will do it.... Licensing thing from nvidia....workstation versus game....so here we are!!

                                          I didn't dwell too much on the gore, but here's a few. Testing some things and RAM added.

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                                          SAS card pulled. The plastic pegs that hold the heatsink on broke immediately. That processor on the card gets miserably hot. Had to replace the pegs and the thermal grease.

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                                          Pulled the SAS card for this: A Dell NVMe adapter with 2x slots inside. I added a 1TB M.2 for OS / boot.

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                                          Next up, I added the 4 bay 2.5" SAS cage to go along with the existing 4 bay 3.5" cage below it. The 2.5" cage is an option.

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                                          These fans were part of the kit.

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                                          SAS card replaced under the NVMe adapter and connected to the SAS cages. These cages are empty for now, but leaves lots of room for expansion for more drives.

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                                          Wiring tidied up.

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                                          Note the crack on the slimline optical tray. Yes, it survived the hammering. The drive was destroyed, but it's a common/standard SATA slimline. I have boxes full of them. I had to take a heatgun to it to reshape it, but it does latch into place. Yes, this is what they beat up thinking it was a 'hard drive'. I'm just glad they stopped there. Most of the other systems I got from them were pulverized beyond any form of salvage or reuse.

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                                          ...and there you have it!! A totally pimp-a-licious Precision T7910!! The only thing I couldn't find were the liquid coolers that were also optional for these. Very rare apparently.

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                                          System specs:

                                          Precision T7910
                                          2x Xeon E5-2690 v4 @ 2.6GHz x14 cores per CPU. 28 cores 56 threads
                                          128GB ECC DDR4
                                          2x Quadro K5200 8GB GPU's in SLI; 16gb dedicated video RAM
                                          1TB M.2 boot storage
                                          12G SAS adapter w/ 8 bays for storage expansion
                                          Win10 Enterprise

                                          This would bring a nice price on ebay....but I'll try to rehome it locally.
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