Help Me Restore An Old PC...on a(nother) budget

I decided to start a new thread for this project, because I need some real good advice from power-users of yore (1997 or so.) I have an IBM Aptiva-E 2170 that I wish to upgrade to a semi-decent PC to tide me over for a few months. No Blender or anything, just basic stuff. Last night I took it completely apart, took the AMD K6-2 450Mhz, and bent up the prongs (stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid…) So I decided to take the mobo and processor out of a Dell Demension V350 (Intel-based, Pentium II 350mhz) and upgrade it to a 500mhz Pentium II (I know it can be done, I saw it in an old MAximum PC.

My question: Would It be worth it to replace the mobo and processor in the Aptiva, or should I build off of the Demension? Help me please!

Retrofitting IBM’s is major PITA.

I’m in process of refitting a dual P3 IBM Intellistation (cca 2001) with new mobo/cpu/psu/etc…etc… and there will be some metal work needed as well.

Plus finding a cpu cooler that will fit into their weirdass airduct. Idiots.

Fans, although louder than one would like, still work flawless … as well as every part of the original workstation.

One advice: MEASURE IBM case (holes, space in general, etc.) before ordering any parts. I was told (from some service guy) that some IBM’s had custom PSU or other components so that general PC parts didn’t fit into certain cases. I’ll have to mod my Intellistation’s case as well.

Personally I wouldn’t touch any sub 500mhz computer with a 10 foot pole. The power draw/heat output just isn’t worth the extra investment to retrofit it.

Mpan3 and Tedi, I agree. Much easier to throw everything out and start again with new gear.

.:|shADoW|:. don’t mess about with old non compatible computer parts, you’ll burn your house down. Or better still electrocute yourself.:slight_smile:

I’m fitting mine with a quad. According to specs the refit will eat ~30W more than original (or even less than original, because I’ll probably throw the SCSI stuff out).

The whole thing will be cheaper than 512MB ram upgrade for original (in 2007!!!) … (my model is said to require special rambus pair sticks made to IBM specs which are still stupidly pricey and my vendor doesn’t seem to care). Damn IBM/Intel.

The case is built like a tank, though. Definately not Lian-Li, but I can live with that.

BTW. does anybody know if this one is sufficient for a q6600 (slacr, should be a little cooler)?

(it should fit into the airduct if somebody is familiar with gen2 MPro intellistation innards)

Or maybe Scythe NINJA SCNJ-1100 PLUS if I turnaround the fan …

Bah IBM-ers …

It’s probably more expensive now to peform the type of upgrade you’re describing than it would be to just buy an extremely cheap PC. My advice for an extreme budget PC would be to buy as cheap a mobo as you can find that has sound video and LAN integrated, get a modest CPU and a stick of Ram. you will want to use windows XP or 2K as those are both NT based. I’m assuming here that that PC currently has windows 98 on it, and if you get a CPU that’s over 900mhz or so (and all CPU’s are now… way over) that OS won’t recognize it and will only use a fraction of the CPU’s actual power. After that all you need is a Hard Drive and any other drives you want (cd/dvd burners etc) and i imagine the ones that came with that PC will work. If you’re going to use those older drives then make sure your motherboard supports the old ATA connections. Lately a lot of boards are just pure SATA (a lot of newer HD’s are the same way now).

the reason i suggest all that is because if you go for a CPU or type of RAM that’s too old the prices start going back up again because no one is making 500Mhz and old SD-style Ram anymore. The only way you can really even find that stuff now is by going to all the smaller PC repair places you might have in your area and finding out if they have any, either as a seperate item or maybe already in an old old PC. CPU’s generally don’t get all THAT expensive, but if you’re looking to get new RAM then you’re pretty much screwed. It will cost you mucho bucks to get RAM that old, i’m afraid (unless you get really lucky).

To buy a budget system where everything is integrated on the mobo like that you can usually get all the parts you need for very little money. A system like this now might cost between $300-$500 to build the whole thing, depending on what kind of deals you can get for the parts. The only real downside to buying a system like this is that there are usually very very few PCI slots on the board. Also, pretty much all you could upgrade are the HD/CD/DVD drives and maybe the amount of RAM. Usually the CPU wouldn’t be worth whatever speed increase to make an upgrade, as the maximum speed for these boards tends to be fairly low / maybe slightly more than what current CPU averages are now.

the asus site indicate that the HS/F can cool a 115W CPU, the G0 Q6600 is 95W, so it’s all good.

I read the wattage thing on the site before. The question is if that’s sufficient for 1-fan config or for optional 2-fan config.

Problem with my case is that it has limited airflow and no side vents. It has a sucking airduct (attachable to rear 12cm fan) though, but it sucks the warm air from within the case. The chipsets, mobo etc. were a lot cooler in the original (only cpu and disks generated heat).

So the cpu cooler would need to be a bit better than otherwise with new cases that have airflow already fitted for modern components.

What’s got me worried is I read on some forums temp readings for slacr’s - they seem to often have asymetric core temps when IDLE, i.e one or two in 50’s, others in high 30’s. I hope mine will behave well, but I’d like to eliminate as much can go wrong’s as possible before the actual assembly.

I have to fit the hsf INTO the airduct (that’s how it’s made), asus’ is the only one I know of that could fit in. I chose the Gigabyte mobo on their promise of lower heat generation as well (vs asus p5k) - and lost the firewire input etc. for that.

.:|shADoW|:. I have built many pcs in those days, circa 1997. Recently, I restored my old celeron 366Mhz with 128mb ram, running WinNT, just like it was when I used to use it back in the day. I did it purely for nostalgic reasons, as it is a pretty useless pc today, back then it was crappy to start off with.
It can easily be done, even though almost none of the parts can be bought today. Just remeber the usuall old compatibilty issues.
Hereis a site that shows you how to easily overclock AMD Athlons and Durons. On the same site they also tell you how to overclock the old Celerons. It easy and I’ve done it before.

Shit with old stuff is it was suffering heat for years.

Silicon can take it to some extent and can last long, however electrolytic caps don’t. So beware of your PSU and mobo (plus just about any component that has caps on it).

If you can recap your stuff, do it.

I just re-read my initial post and realized: It’s confusing.

And things have changed since then so allow me to restate:

Hi. I have two old (circa 1997-1999) computers that I wish to combine together. My issue is, I have a:

  • DELL Dimension V350 (350mhz Pentium II, 64mb RAM, 10Gb HD)
  • IBM Aptiva E-120 (BROKEN 450mhz AMD Athlon K6-2, 128mb RAM, 10Gb HD)
  • 500mhz Pentium III
    I know that the Pentium III will go into the DELL mobo. My question is:

Should I build the PC off of the DELL or just replace the mobo and processor in the IBM?

Tanks you, tanks you.

Well, if you want to replace the mobo and cpu with modern one, then you’ll have to get new ram, psu, etc. You’ll end up with a new pc.
The easiest and cheapest would be to put the 500mhz cpu into the Dell mobo and then stick as much ram as possible into it. The ram from both those pcs should be compatable, play around with it.
Use the most powerfull psu that you have. That setup does not require a huge psu, about 200W should be fine.
And, of course, stick both hdd in there too.
Oh, and if you’re going for a Windows setup, I’d suggest Win NT4 Workstation. Very stable and good use of your resources, plus good compatability with XP.

If you can find a CPU for the IBM, cheaply and easily, then do that. Otherwise put the P-III in the Dell and move the memory from the IBM to the Dell if possible…

That’s what I meant. HERE’S THE PLAN:

  • Gut the IBM
  • Replace the PII in the DELL with the PIII
  • Replace RAM in DELL with 3 sticks of 256mb PC-133 (the most it will handle)
  • Add teh other HD for a grand total of 20Gb (w00t!)
  • Put the best CD drive in the box
  • Install Ubuntu (or that bootleg XP if I decide to sell… ;))
  • Do a Halo-themed case mod
  • Take a break…
  • …get a new Gaming PC next spring…
  • …sell the halo box for way more than I paid for it (US $15)…
  • I WIN!!!Thank you. I know it’s geniuos…