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Member Since 22 Mar 2004
Offline Last Active Dec 13 2018 07:39 AM

#2166787 Your Retro Gaming PC Builds (1995-2005)

Posted by robAP on 13 December 2018 - 07:35 AM

LanParty! cool, made note to come back to that link, I'll be Working to get Ep5 finished after Xmas


Speaking of Lan Parties...Not sure if you've seen one lately, but I used a DFI Lanparty NF-II ultra-b (can they get any more unnecessary in naming things?) board for a couple years. So an event like that was so popular it creeped into advertising. Like "gaming" is today.

The box for it even had a hoodie sweater guy. Complete with blurred cans of mountain dew and a can of Bawlz. Because if I wanted any image to promote what I would become if I used a product, that's exactly what I wanted to be! An over caffeinated dude with bad posture and a beige desktop! yessssss.


(not my image...)

#2166785 Your Retro Gaming PC Builds (1995-2005)

Posted by robAP on 13 December 2018 - 07:28 AM

..... I guess I was kind of a Thermaltake fanboy in the mid 2000's LOL.



My first performance build in '03 used the Thermaltake Volcano 12 heatsink. Manual speed control knob. It was the hot item on newegg at the time. When booting up BF1942 on a 45% overclock, it was a howling hairdryer!!

#2166564 Your Retro Gaming PC Builds (1995-2005)

Posted by robAP on 29 November 2018 - 09:04 AM

KcVRYuc.jpgThere we go.

The 655 pump was in the front under the drive cages. pulled from the res, pumped up to the waterblock which emptied into the radiator windowside and then put the other side back to the res. It all dodged the X1900xt card nicely, which was loud as hell....the only thing that made noise here. I had the 2 disk raid in heat pipe drive coolers (cause really there was nowhere else to put them with the pump taking their space) up in the 5.25 drive bays with a fan flowing on them from the front. I cut the bottom out of the case for the radiator to sit in with a draw through red led fan system. 


I realize this is on the back of your time frame window, but period correct. I did post a pic of it on and running, reg glow everywhere when all other builds were blue leds, in this forum back in the day but it looks like that thread has been purged. My notes of the time showed something about my socket 939 opteron [email protected] daily. I think the temps maxed at 56?

#2166193 Relegated: the 2009 xmas grand prize system.

Posted by robAP on 19 October 2018 - 07:53 AM

I went from active user to lurker in the last ten years, but I thought the place wouldn't mind some light reading.


I won the OCC christmas grand prize in 2009. The economy hadn't fully crashed yet and I was packing up to move across the country when Bosco called to tell me I won. I was astonished and was sort of slowing down my serious gaming in life (kid, work, wife, house, etc.) but this was a new injection. So a few months later, a big box showed up with all the goods. Most of which were supplied by Corsair and sponsors. So I built it, then moved. Over time it served me Very well. Very very well. And in my mind is proof that spending more money early on for the better components and using it for ten years will be the future ticket to any build for me...except for the GPU, as that gets replaced more often. (except for video cards) So as of yesterday, the system, which can still game very well, was prepared to move on to greener pastures... in the basement for use down there. However, in the process, I may have inadvertently extended its usefulness. Heres a spec list


OG system:

Phenom II X4 965 @ 3.4ghz

gigabyte MA790xt ud4p

8gb 1333mhz dominator ram with cooling fan (which began a bearing rattle after 4 years but never outright failed)

2x HD5850 gpu's

2x SSD's

1tb storage

Corsair Obsidian 800D case (ginormous)


H50 cpu aio liquid cooler


I kept it like that until about 2 years later when I sold the incredibly huge and awesome flex piece of a case to my brother in law and put everything into a Corsair 550D silent case with factory foam sound deadening. Honestly, that 800D was way too big for the living arrangement I had and the noise....invasive to the rest of the house. Anyway now silent, It lived like that happily for years and years and indeed lived up to its name as a silent case. I highly recommend that.


Then I started having video problems with my 3 monitor setup and later discovered it to be a monitor cable. That's it. But troubleshooting leads me to procure an R9-280 GPU which as a single unit had 50% more ram and was better and faster than the crossfire HD5850s. Then the brother in law was going through parts faster than I was at the time and I swapped that out for a GTX-770 and sent the R9 to the nephews who were dying in Fortnite and had no chance with their gear....now they are living well. I bought a 16gb ram kit because I noticed I was running low on ram...8gb was not enough! But then that was with windows 7 and games weren't crazy intensive like today. So in goes the 16gb....at a slower speed by accident. This last year the brother in law sold to me his GTX-1070 and I gave up on selling it on...I'll keep that one for a good while longer.


So this is just the history of anyone else's computer. But this one has evolved and was still holding strong. It lacks USB3 and SATA3 and PCIe 3.0, I just have version 2 of everything. I started to feel I was missing out on throughput and speed and what not. I moved the OS to a 128gb SSD five years ago and that's decently faster and nice but I just don't like bottlenecking myself. So I planned the next computer as a Ryzen 2600 and M.2 drives, etc. But in moving this to a new case to get the nice case ready, I bought some PCIe cards. One for USB3.0, and another for SATA3.


(I definitely should have cleaned the filters a bit more often. That's about 8 months worth Now that I think about it.)




The USB3 is a gem. Perfect. I now have 2 ports in the back and the front ports connect up. I'm golden there. The SATA card works! It actually boots from PCIe now without any drivers yet, and the SSD speed? If anything it's a little bit faster but then that 830 samsung isn't nearly as fast as the 850's or 9xx one's today. My steam library is on 3 x 500g segates in raid-0. The read speeds on that are 100gb/s. Ptshhh! That's going M.2 as well as the OS next build. But the SSD speeds are now in the low to mid 300's on that SATA3 card. Not a bad $24!


(new home, new 600w Tt PSU, just need cards and cooling)




So I have, with the Pci band-aids, still a very decent computer. Never for video encoding or any of that but for casual games, good resolution on 1080i, and everything I need to do I could probably be just fine for another 5 years as I reach nearly 50 years old but the video cards will begin to be constricted in the pcie 2.0 slot. So It will work in the basement soon, running the Zwift cycling training software, MAME stuff and possibly file server duties now with now 10 SATA ports.


So here it is, in the Thermaltake V31 case (I highly recommend using one of these. They have a lot going for them) until cyber monday comes along and I order up the new goods.



But there is a thought in all of this. At what point is the right point to upgrade and still have some sort of value to your craigslist/ebay parts? This is well beyond that but still very functional. 


Anyway thank you for reading. Someday when you win the grand prize, you can have the same joy of nearly free computing for 9+ years. Thank you, Bosco and OCC, for being a great place for all of us techies.

#2084576 Which case to choose

Posted by robAP on 12 April 2013 - 05:45 PM

I personally have the 550D. It is a wonderful case to work with and I have all kinds of great things to say. I do not have any experience with the fractal however in looking at the newegg pictures, it as well has great cable management, great drive space, excellent design and build materials. The 550D has the usb and buttons on the front and the fractal on top. Both good places. the only thing I can see the 550D having over the fractal is the fan blanking plates. You can remove them easily and then use fans galore or cover up the fan holes and reduce noise even further if you are not using those locations for airflow. I an not OC'ing anymore. Inside this case is the 2009 Xmas Grand prize. (i sold the 800D case to my bro. in law) and the only fan locations i'm using are the bottom up, front and back. sids and top are blocked off wiht the panels and its totally temperature stable and dead quiet...or it would be dead quiet if it werent for the Corsair RAM fans going out on me creating a small vibration.


The price difference tho?...get the fractal. Quieter fan use will make up the difference and it's great as well.

#1976451 American Airlines

Posted by robAP on 03 December 2011 - 07:53 AM

WHERE do I start?
(I am angry now. and I will rant here. this is my personal rant. I don't care what you think because I am on the other side of the fence than all of you and my perspective is 100% different so because of my viewpoint, I will be very much opposite to you. But you have your opinions and I do respect that. no matter how wrong you are)

I just re -1'd your comment and here's why. You're a nice guy but that comment I would have -2'd it if i could.
I fly frequently....up front...row 0....that guy who flys it and makes announcements and gets paid less than a union garbage man to do it.

AA going bankrupt.
Well I have some thoughts.
They're the last major airline to go bankrupt post 9/11. All of the other majors went through or are finishing up their bankruptcy. The reason? The whole economic industry of air travel has changed not just post 9/11 but also post deregulation. The OP of this topic says this is what happens when you take a dump on your people for so long. AA has financial obligations they cant meet without going ch.11, they're the only major alirline paying pensions....and that's going to change. Alot of their people working there 30 years are about to loose all their retirement. don't forget, pensions were still a big thing that every one counted on just 12 years ago. AA can now reorganize into something profitable....the problem with that? You. You wont pay what it really costs to operate that airplane and adequately compensate the crew that flys, maintains, cares for you inside it. Oh...the other thing....the flight attendant...is not there to serve you drinks...they are trained to save your LIFE when it goes wrong....when....that's why they are there. but while you are there, they might as well give out drinks and try to keep you happy. as happy as they can on almost poverty levels of compensation.

i 100% disagree with your comment.

There is a book explaining it all and it reads VERY well. it's called "Hard Landings" and it tells you everything you need to know about why for your $100 ticket from Madison Wisconsin to Chicago you're not in a 747 eating caviar. De-regulation.

Used to be a fully regulated sky. An Airline could not charge less than a govt. set price for a specific route. so every airline was making some money if it filled a plane. How did they get people to buy a ticket over other flights? Customer service. Buy a ticket on your company's expense account and you get to take home a bottle of something and an ice bucket and have a nice meal on the plane. that filled seats. They De-regulated it to spur competition and grow a business. Since the public will buy the cheapest ticket, the first thing to go out the window? the meals...and then the bottles of stuff for free you get to take home. So now the cheapest ticket wins. Allegiant Airlines is profiting quarter after quarter. They don't fly into the major airports if they can avoid it. Why? Landing fees cost alot to land at Ohare or JFK or Atlanta. Heck Allegiant flys into Georgia and lands at an airport a 2 hour drive from ATL and calls it Atlanta....all in the name of being cheap enough to make money off your cheap butt.

It costs money to have the best people doing the best job to give the best customer service. Your hate of the way things run now is what happens when there is no regulation on ticket prices and you think $100 is unbearably expensive for a ticket. Customer service costs money. You don't want to pay for it. The airline needs people to buy tickets and fill the plane, so they skimp on pay to make money. The not-so-good-but-acceptable people are hired to throw drinks at you. Now,....the plane costs anywhere from $50million to $200 million to buy and then pay off with plane loads of people who wont pay what it really costs to operate it. Since De-regulation, prices have dropped in order to get butts in the seat just to make money. I hate the after effect. How much was a ticket in 1985?...it was around $600 round trip, sometimes a bit less but not by much. Well run that through the cost of living and inflation index and in today's money you will see that round trip ticket cost you $1000 to $1200 in today's money. So...today....when according to that index, fuel costs 2.5x what it used to and tickets in comparison are 1/3 of what they used to be and you can see how hard it's getting to make any kind of money. The bulk cost of jet fuel going into the planes tanks is now $3 a gallon or just under. Before in 1985?...20 cents or so. A Jumbo jet flying from Japan to LA will burn 150,000-250,000 pounds of fuel depending on it's size and newness of manufacture. How much money is that?....a$$loads. The actual cost of operating the jet has multiplied and the price people pay is way way less. There is a reason they are charging for baggage and everything they can....it's because you're no longer paying what you should for a ticket to keep that airline running. Here is how bad it is. A few years ago, an interview with the then Frontier CEO stated that a 1 cent increase in fuel cost per gallon added $1million to their operating expenses. That's how serious it is today.

Now the airline behavior in response to the higher costs of flying and the lower profits on a ticket? Well, Today, out of the whole operating expense of the airline, they have to pay their employees. EVERYONE combined takes about 30% of the whole expenses. Any place they can make cuts they will to hopefully keep some money and make any profit they can. So, Under bankruptcy law they can legally adjust anyones Labor contract and cut other things the employees count on. They have taken everyone's retirement through these bankruptcy's and given it to the government to pay. (they only pay 1/3 of the actual pension payout so when you are forced to retire at age 65 due to FAA law, you have to go back to work at home depot or drive a truck to make ends meet. What was a $3k a month check is now a $1k a month check...as a 60+ yr. old guy what you gonna do now?) So now the pilots at AA have to work to the maximum age limitation of 65. I can tell you there is a huge difference in how people are able to do their job in the last 5 years of their ability. Being an airline Pilot at 65...I can only imagine how horrible it is with the international time zone changes and jet lag. The standing rule when we get home from an international trip? no power-tools. period.

So, In mid 2000's when an AA full MD-80 only profits just under $3,000 per flight. You realize how important it is to fill those seats....especially when you only make money if it's 80% full or more. How to do that? Make it attractive for people to buy those tickets. Cheap gets people to buy. customer service costs money and even if they had good customer service? A regular person would still buy the cheaper ticket because its cheaper. I have had people tell me that they would pay another $20 if it was a happy good service airline. They might but the rest of the people wont.

I flew a load of passengers from Madison, WI to Milwaukee (20 minute flight!). They asked where the connection was to Chicago. Well for that they had to go out of security, into another terminal an back through that security all inside of 30 minutes because the Travelocity/Expedia website they booked their flight on found the cheapest way by putting them on 2 different airlines. If they spent the $20 more, they would have had a direct Madison to Chicago non-stop and saved that hassle.

If you want a good comfy airline that's not horrible to travel on. PAY UP. Everyone on my flights wants everything for free and when asked how much they paid for their ticket they say "fifty bucks one way". So is it a surprise there's nothing free for you? Is it a surprise wee can only afford some surly recently divorced mom to give you a drink and maybe save your butt if something goes wrong?

Lord knows they have already taken the pilots pay/pensions/benefits away from them. taken the flight attendants pay/pensions/benefits away from them. taken the mechanics pay/pensions/benefits away from them. MY CEO was on undercover boss. He said things and made promises. He never followed through and has actually taken even more back. He has half of a basketball court in his house....indoors. My first year flight attendants qualify for food stamps and have to work 20 years to make $36k a year....being gone more than half a month from home. At this rate, I will only retire with a remote control in my hand and a recliner if i choose to help my daughter go to school in another 16 years. I would like to do a little travel, but I know they will take those benefits away if we let them. My company is about to strike and honestly? nobody wins in a strike...but i cant wait to do it and take something that belongs to me.

The job honestly has turned to crap. This industry is unregulated and hitting bottom. It is operating at a loss just to fill seats. And before you say airline pilots make boatloads of money. ask yourself. what should we get paid? you trust us to take you up to 35,000 feet where if there's a decompression you will only be conscious for 10 seconds and die in 3 minutes...and we know how to save you in that situation.. You trust us to not fly through big thunderstorms where people puke and get hurt if they didn't fasten their seat-belt. The real moneymaker pilots flying these things are taking 300 people across the ocean....how much should they get paid for that kind of liability? There is no shoulder to pull over on. there is no pause button. I train 8 weeks to fly a new plane and every 6 months have to go prove in the simulator that i'm still good enough or i have job troubles...every 6 months. I get paid statistical average household income for that and a garbage man makes more.. I would make more money being a plumber or a trash man.

But. the jokes on your guys. There are no more pilots starting to take lessons. They have seen how bad this job has become in the media and no one wants to start. It's good for me because they're going to have to pay us in the upcoming pilot shortage. how short? Well, there re more pilots retiring form the majors than there are total pilots in the regional airlines in the next 6 years. What are the regionals going to to do to replace them? They can't. there's no one. Your tickets are about to go up. I have single friends that are leaving the country to go fly in china because they PAY MORE than here.....same thing in the middle east countries. That's how bad it's become.

apologies for the randomness of the thoughts but I don't have time to sit down and think it out clearly so everyone understands. I only have 12 days off a month.....oh yeah that's nice you think. but get this. all other days? im GONE sleeping in crap hotels, getting bad sleep, and not able to do anything to my house or in my house until i get home. when I get home? no time for me...i gotttta make up the time i lost playing with my daughter. I actually have less time off at home than a 40 hour a week guy working a few blocks away.

#1867876 Water Cooled HTPC

Posted by robAP on 03 December 2010 - 06:49 AM

it's always great to see exercises in packaging. putting everything inside a case including the rad and pump and tubing is always a challenge and watching some of the HTPC or SFF sized stuff get water-cooled is always fun. very good layout and thought in this one. keep goin!