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Old 08-24-2012, 09:45 AM
Stan Hoeppner
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

On 8/23/2012 7:28 PM, Stephen Powell wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Aug 2012 03:07:49 -0400 (EDT), Stan Hoeppner wrote:

>> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-14-PC1600-DDR-200-Registered-ECC-1GB-Server-Memory-Micron-Samsung-/130718246446?pt=US_Memory_RAM_&hash=item1e6f6a262e
>
> Hmm. I'm not even sure if this is the right kind of memory.

It is.

> I only need 4. What would I do with the other 10?

If 14 used sticks is $50 and 4 new sticks is $120, does it matter? Keep
em as spares, make key chains, whatever.

> I went to the web site
> of an outfit I've dealt with before, http://www.oempcworld.com, and I
> found a way to specify my system by entering the motherboard number.
> I told it I had an Intel SE7500CW2. Here's the page it took me to:
>
> http://www.oempcworld.com/configurator/configurator.php?mch=SE7500CW2&mfr=Intel&mdn=SE750 0+Mainboard+Series

Under the photo: "Actual item may differ". That photo shows a standard
184 pin non ECC desktop DIMM.

> They are charging about $30 per DIMM, so four of them would be about
> $120.

The lot of 14 from Ebay is the only way to go here.

>> $50 for old RAM or $110 few all new guts? $110 gets you a new Foxconn
>> AM3 mobo, 2.8GHz 1MB L2 64bit 45 watt single core AMD retail CPU, and
>> 4GB DDR3-1333 dual channel RAM-- 6.6x the memory bandwidth of the
>> Netburst Xeon.
>>
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103888
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186189
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148541
>>
>> I've used this combo to refurb 2 old machines now, including the machine
>> from which I've typing this. No problems so far with exactly one year
>> on this one. I've got a dual core Regor 3GHz 2x1MB L2 in this box.
>>
>> If a single core 2.8 64bit Sempron is insufficient for your workload,
>> add $25 for a 65 watt 3.2GHz dual core AthlonII X2, $135 total:
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103873
>
> Hmm. That's worth mulling over. But I generally like to get hardware
> when it's at least 3 or 4 years old. That way, I can usually run
> Debian stable and have all the device drivers work with no problems.
> I worry particularly about the mobo with an on-board bleeding edge
> Nvidia video chipset.

The nVidia MCP61 SB+GPU single chip chipset on this board hit the market
in late 2006 and has been out of production for at least 2 years, boards
using it out of production for a year. Units still in the channel are
simply those that haven't sold. This is the reason this is the cheapest
socket AM3 board Newegg offers.

Sometimes you forget you and I think alot alike. I'd never recommend
anything bleeding edge to you Stephen.

> This thing is about 10 years old, but since
> it was originally intended to be used as a high-end server, it should
> make a decent desktop system even today.

The 2D chip is too slow. If you want to use a GUI desktop and a modern
browser, visit modern complex websites, play flash videos etc, this
system won't be very snappy. You'll also likely need to add a sound card.

This is decidedly an entry level server. Entry is 2-4 sockets.
Midrange is 8-16 sockets. High end is 16+ sockets. There have only
been a handful of high end x86 servers produced throughout history: the
32-way Data General Aviion PPro, the 32-way Unisys ES7000 P3 Xeon, both
long discontinued, and the currently shipping 256-way SGI Altix UV
4/8/10 core Xeon, the very highest of the high end. It's the only
shared memory system of any ISA with over 128 sockets.

>> As long as the PSU has the 4-pin CPU power plug, and it should being a
>> Xeon board, you shouldn't need to replace anything else. And you've
>> basically got a brand new system, sans drives, for $110-135.
>
> I don't see the 4-pin CPU power plug to which you refer coming out
> of the power supply. (Yes, I finally broke down and took the cover
> off.) Of course, it does have several spare 4-pin power connectors
> designed for peripherals, such as hard disks, CD-ROM drives, etc.
> But I suspect you are referring to something smaller.

Found a good pic of this board. It has an 8 pin aux +12v power
connector, not 4 pin. It may be unused on your system. I.e. the person
who built the box didn't use a PSU with the 8 pin aux output as only one
CPU was installed and most of the PCI slots are empty. I didn't read
the manual thoroughly.

You could probably get away without connecting the 4 pin aux CPU power
on the Foxconn board if using a 65w or lower CPU. I've never tried it.
But I don't find anything in the manual that says the board won't post
with it disconnected. Many newer boards won't power up without it
connected and their docs say so in bold print. This is a safety feature
to keep folks with 80+ watt CPUs from burning up the board traces and/or
smoking the 24pin +12V wires due to excessive current draw.

Worse case scenario if it must be connected, you also buy a $15 PSU with
the 4 pin aux CPU +12V output. It's still a big win over spending $120
to add memory to an old slow box.

Now, if you plan to use it as a headless server, spend the $50 on the
memory and use it as is. Should be fine for some light duty stuff.

--
Stan


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Old 08-24-2012, 10:16 AM
Stan Hoeppner
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

On 8/24/2012 12:57 AM, Bob Proulx wrote:
> Stephen Powell wrote:
>> Stan Hoeppner wrote:
>>> As long as the PSU has the 4-pin CPU power plug, and it should being a
>>> Xeon board, you shouldn't need to replace anything else. And you've
>>> basically got a brand new system, sans drives, for $110-135.
>>
>> I don't see the 4-pin CPU power plug to which you refer coming out
>> of the power supply. (Yes, I finally broke down and took the cover
>> off.) Of course, it does have several spare 4-pin power connectors
>> designed for peripherals, such as hard disks, CD-ROM drives, etc.
>> But I suspect you are referring to something smaller.
>
> Here is a reference for you:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_(computer)#ATX12V_standard
>
> Most newer motherboards now require this addtional power connector.
> But if your power supply does not provide one then you can add an
> adaptor and convert one of the 4-pin power connectors to the ATX12V
> 4-pin motherboard power connector. That works fine. I have done that
> on a couple of systems.

This method is usually fine for lower wattage CPUs. Be aware that using
this method provides only one additional +12V lead (wire) and one ground
from the PSU. The 4 pin aux CPU power standard provides two +12V leads
and two grounds. The new 8 pin aux standard provides 4 +12V leads and 4
grounds.

If running an 80+ watt CPU I recommend against this converter strategy
as you'll have only 1/2 of the aux +12V conductors needed to safely
carry the current load. You may sneak by at 80W, but at 95W you're
tickling the dragon, and with a 135W CPU you will fry some wires,
ruining your PSU, and likely the mobo as well. Decent PSUs with the
proper aux connectors are really inexpensive. Why gamble?

--
Stan



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Old 08-24-2012, 11:54 AM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:16:12 -0400 (EDT), Stan Hoeppner wrote:
> Stephen Powell wrote:
>> I don't see the 4-pin CPU power plug to which you refer coming out
>> of the power supply. (Yes, I finally broke down and took the cover
>> off.) Of course, it does have several spare 4-pin power connectors
>> designed for peripherals, such as hard disks, CD-ROM drives, etc.
>> But I suspect you are referring to something smaller.
> ...
> The new 8 pin aux standard provides 4 +12V leads and 4
> grounds.
> ...

OK, now we're getting somewhere. There is an eight-pin connector
coming from the power supply that plugs directly into the
motherboard, in addition to a 24-pin connector coming from the
power supply which also plugs directly into the motherboard.

--
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: :' :
`. `'`
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:37 PM
Stan Hoeppner
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

On 8/24/2012 6:54 AM, Stephen Powell wrote:
> On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:16:12 -0400 (EDT), Stan Hoeppner wrote:
>> Stephen Powell wrote:
>>> I don't see the 4-pin CPU power plug to which you refer coming out
>>> of the power supply. (Yes, I finally broke down and took the cover
>>> off.) Of course, it does have several spare 4-pin power connectors
>>> designed for peripherals, such as hard disks, CD-ROM drives, etc.
>>> But I suspect you are referring to something smaller.
>> ...
>> The new 8 pin aux standard provides 4 +12V leads and 4
>> grounds.
>> ...
>
> OK, now we're getting somewhere. There is an eight-pin connector
> coming from the power supply that plugs directly into the
> motherboard, in addition to a 24-pin connector coming from the
> power supply which also plugs directly into the motherboard.

Yes, I covered this is some detail in a section you snipped.

Your options should you choose to replace the guts...

Newegg has an Athena Power adapter for $5 that will mate your PSU's 8
pin aux power plug to the 4 pin of the Foxconn board I recommended. Or,
for $15 you can get a much better Foxconn desktop oriented mobo that
includes the 8 pin aux CPU power connector, as well as Radeon HD4250
GPU, VGA, DVI and HDMI video outputs, 5 SATAII ports, an eSATA port, 8
channel audio, 1 PCIe x16 and two PCIe x1 slots, etc. Works with the
same CPU and RAM I previously mentioned:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186206

Given the 4-8x performance increase of new hardware, for little more
than the cost of adding memory to the box, it's difficult to justify
hanging onto the original innards. Of course, this has been the case
for many years.

--
Stan


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Old 08-24-2012, 06:53 PM
Bob Proulx
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

Stan Hoeppner wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> > Most newer motherboards now require this addtional power connector.
> > But if your power supply does not provide one then you can add an
> > adaptor and convert one of the 4-pin power connectors to the ATX12V
> > 4-pin motherboard power connector. That works fine. I have done that
> > on a couple of systems.
>
> This method is usually fine for lower wattage CPUs. Be aware that using
> this method provides only one additional +12V lead (wire) and one ground
> from the PSU. The 4 pin aux CPU power standard provides two +12V leads
> and two grounds. The new 8 pin aux standard provides 4 +12V leads and 4
> grounds.

I have two of those adapters. One uses one 4-pin power plug. The
other uses two 4-pin power plugs. I take it that you would approve of
the one that uses two but not the one that uses only one. :-)

And now I could be cantankerous and plug those two power plugs into a
single power feed wire that had two connectors? Obviously for more
power I would at the least try to use a second power supply rail and
connect one each to two different rails. So the one with two 4-pin
plugs could be plugged into two different supply rails and everything
would meet spec just fine. Or I could plug it in oppositely and use a
cpu that needs excessive 12V current and over stress things. I am
sorry but I am just being cantankerous in this paragraph.

> If running an 80+ watt CPU I recommend against this converter strategy
> as you'll have only 1/2 of the aux +12V conductors needed to safely
> carry the current load. You may sneak by at 80W, but at 95W you're
> tickling the dragon, and with a 135W CPU you will fry some wires,
> ruining your PSU, and likely the mobo as well. Decent PSUs with the
> proper aux connectors are really inexpensive. Why gamble?

If you are running that much power then I think upgrading the power
supply is the best answer.

In actuality I have only used these adapters on low power Atom
motherboards. I am down in the 20 watts of power envelope area. So
for me the single rail is more than enough.

On every other system I have simply upgraded to a newer power supply.
The new supply has the newer power leads and no adapters are needed.
Being new I feel that it should reset the age clock on them. Being
new they tend to be more efficient and draw less total power. They
have become extremely cheap (and I say cheap instead of inexpensive)
and replacing the power supply for $15 and keeping a couple of spares
around to replace them as they need it has become very cost
effective.

But even expensive supplies fail. I just saw a rather expensive 700W
supply in a friend's system burn up shooting sparks out the back fan
and burning a large hole in the circuit board. It appears that heat
and vibration caused it to rub a part through a soft insulator and
short a component against a frame member. That is by far the most
violent failure I have seen for a long time! Most of the cheap ones
fail by fan bearing failure and without a fan it simply gets too hot
and goes into thermal shutdown. Be sure to use oven hot pads when
handling such items as they are extremely hot.

Bob
 
Old 08-24-2012, 07:17 PM
Bob Proulx
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

Stan Hoeppner wrote:
> You could probably get away without connecting the 4 pin aux CPU power
> on the Foxconn board if using a 65w or lower CPU. I've never tried it.
> But I don't find anything in the manual that says the board won't post
> with it disconnected. Many newer boards won't power up without it
> connected and their docs say so in bold print. This is a safety feature
> to keep folks with 80+ watt CPUs from burning up the board traces and/or
> smoking the 24pin +12V wires due to excessive current draw.

On the low power Atom D525 it won't POST with the 4-pin cpu power
disconnected. I tried it.

> Worse case scenario if it must be connected, you also buy a $15 PSU with
> the 4 pin aux CPU +12V output. It's still a big win over spending $120
> to add memory to an old slow box.
>
> Now, if you plan to use it as a headless server, spend the $50 on the
> memory and use it as is. Should be fine for some light duty stuff.

Agreed. I reuse a lot of older hardware too.

Here is another general observation. I routinely measure the total
power of a system and label it for reference later. I have been
moving out some of the older power hungry machines and replacing them
with newer greener lower power systems. Like the Atom which can make
a nice low watt system very easily and has reasonable performance for
many tasks.

But that doesn't mean that all old hardware is high power. I am still
using a Pentium 166MHz machine in a dedicated role because at 33 watts
it is still doing the job I need it to do and it is lower power than
most newer machines. I can beat 33 watts today (but at a significant
cost) and will probably change it out soon but for example a new
Foxconn machine I built up recently was 65 watts. Simply replacing
old with new isn't always lower power. It must be measured to be
sure.

A previous generation core 2 duo of mine runs 150 watts. Machines in
the high wattage envelope are pretty common. I still use that power
hungry machine but I turn it off between uses. I also have an IBM
workstation that burns 250 watts. That one is off most of the time.
My main desktop for program development and email I have converted to
a 40 watt low power Core 2 Quad system. For systems that I have
running 24x7 I am now optimizing for a combination of total power and
reasonable performance. Not peak gaming machine performance. Peak
performance can pull a lot of power. The GPU is the newest single
power hog in high performance systems.

So for me I now have dedicated machines. Some run 24x7 and I try to
make them as low of power as possible. Others that need peak
performance and are going to draw high power I turn on for when I want
to use them, use them, and then I turn them off when I am not using
them. The idea of having one desktop that does it all is no longer
viable for me. I try to optimize each machine for its task.

Bob
 
Old 08-25-2012, 02:34 PM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 05:45:23 -0400 (EDT), Stan Hoeppner wrote:
> On 8/23/2012 7:28 PM, Stephen Powell wrote:
>>
>> Hmm. I'm not even sure if this is the right kind of memory.
>
> It is.

OK, if you say so. I guess oempcworld.com is trying to sell me
faster memory than I really need. I was confused by PC1600 vs
PC2100.
>
> Under the photo: "Actual item may differ". That photo shows a standard
> 184 pin non ECC desktop DIMM.

Right. I understand they used a generic picture.
>
> The nVidia MCP61 SB+GPU single chip chipset on this board hit the market
> in late 2006 and has been out of production for at least 2 years, boards
> using it out of production for a year. Units still in the channel are
> simply those that haven't sold. This is the reason this is the cheapest
> socket AM3 board Newegg offers.
>
> Sometimes you forget you and I think alot alike. I'd never recommend
> anything bleeding edge to you Stephen.

I could find no evidence of support for this chip in the Debian package
descriptions (on-line web pages) for nvidia-kernel-source,
nvidia-kernel-legacy-173xx-source, or nvidia-kernel-legacy-96xx-source
for the Squeeze release. I could not find "MCP61" anywhere. Of course,
the nvidia-kernel-legacy-71xx-source package exists only in Sid because
of build problems. It doesn't work with any release past Lenny.
But I searched it too, just for grins, and couldn't find "MCP61" on that
web page either. By the way, that brings up a pet peeve of mine.
I should probably open another thread for it. The Wheezy versions of the
above Debian packages (i.e. the on-line web pages which describe them)
have *no* description of which chipsets they support.
How is one supposed to know which package one needs if one is running
Wheezy?
>
> The 2D chip is too slow. If you want to use a GUI desktop and a modern
> browser, visit modern complex websites, play flash videos etc, this
> system won't be very snappy.

That depends on one's level of expectations. I'm currently using a 1 GHz
single core, single thread, 32-bit processor and only 512M of RAM. The
video driver is nouveau, and for this chipset, it apparently does not
support 3D acceleration. So, believe it or not, I expect that the built-
in Intel video will be an improvement over what I've got now. If not,
installing a separate video card is always an option.
>
> You'll also likely need to add a sound card.

Actually, no. There is no built-in sound chip on the mobo, but there is
a sound card installed in an expansion slot. Apparently, the previous
owner was using it as a desktop system, even though it was originally
intended as a server.
>
> Now, if you plan to use it as a headless server, spend the $50 on the
> memory and use it as is. Should be fine for some light duty stuff.

Actually, I just might do both. I have another computer that someone
gave to me that has no RAM at all on it. Apparently the previous owner
removed the RAM from the old computer in order to use it in his new
computer before he gave me the old computer. Maybe I'll just replace
the mobo in it. I need to do more research first though.

--
.'`. Stephen Powell
: :' :
`. `'`
`-


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Old 08-25-2012, 02:40 PM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 09:37:17 -0400 (EDT), Stan Hoeppner wrote:
> On 8/24/2012 6:54 AM, Stephen Powell wrote:
>>
>> OK, now we're getting somewhere. There is an eight-pin connector
>> coming from the power supply that plugs directly into the
>> motherboard, in addition to a 24-pin connector coming from the
>> power supply which also plugs directly into the motherboard.
>
> Yes, I covered this is some detail in a section you snipped.

Actually, I think the information to which you refer was not
something that I snipped, but rather something which was in
another post, one that I accidentally deleted and had not read
at the time I wrote the above.

--
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: :' :
`. `'`
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:08 AM
Stan Hoeppner
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

On 8/24/2012 1:53 PM, Bob Proulx wrote:

> In actuality I have only used these adapters on low power Atom
> motherboards. I am down in the 20 watts of power envelope area. So
> for me the single rail is more than enough.

4 pin aux CPU power plug on at Atom board? That's just silly.

My now retired Barton system had a TDP of 76.8W and used a standard 20
pin ATX connector, drawing all power across board traces. Lasted 8
years. This Atom board you mention makes me think it's simply easier to
design mobos that use aux power instead of pulling from the main plug,
so they're doing it even when it's not "necessary".

> I just saw a rather expensive 700W
> supply in a friend's system burn up shooting sparks out the back fan
> and burning a large hole in the circuit board.

Back in '95 I had to steal the fan out of my bench supply to put in a
customer's machine. It was an old PSU so we didn't bother replacing the
fan, strictly using it for quick/dirty testing and what not from that
point, only running for short durations. You know where this is going...

I had a new build parts set on the bench and had fired it up for a quick
smoke test. I got called away "for just a sec" and left it running.
After the bosses wife had been chatting me up for about 5 minutes,
there's a loud pop accompanied by a simultaneous brilliant light
momentarily blinding everyone in the room. The PSU is showering my
bench with sparks much like a thermite reaction. The breaker didn't
trip for some reason. I dashed to the bench, and whilst avoiding the
shower of sparks, ripped the power cord from the wall socket. It
continued shooting sparks for another ~30 seconds, apparently due to the
intense heat buildup that led to the ignition. Everything was so badly
burned and welded together it was impossible to determine which
component overheated first and let go. I'd suppose it had to be one of
the MOSFETs in the switching circuit.

If anyone has an old PSU and wants some cheap kicks, invite some friends
over, remove the fan(s), take it outside and get 15 feet away. Plug it
into an extension cord, power it up, sit back in the lawn chairs with a
cold one and wait patiently for 5-20 minutes (some pop sooner others
later). If you want it to pop faster remove the heatsinks from the
MOSFETs. The spark shower won't be as intense in absence of chunks of
the aluminum heatsinks being liquified, but it'll ignite more quickly.
If you want maximum spark show, completely remove the board from the
chassis and sit it on plastic. You'll probably want to be more than 15
feet away if you go this route.

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible nor liable for any personal injury or
property damage resulting from following these suggestions. The
individual engaging in such activity accepts full responsibility for
any/all consequences.

--
Stan


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Old 08-26-2012, 03:44 AM
Stan Hoeppner
 
Default Is my processor 32-bit or 64-bit?

On 8/25/2012 9:34 AM, Stephen Powell wrote:

> OK, if you say so. I guess oempcworld.com is trying to sell me
> faster memory than I really need. I was confused by PC1600 vs
> PC2100.

IIRC PC1600 is DDR200. PC2100 is DDR266. Identical memory certified
for different frequencies. That Intel SE7500 will work with either
frequency.

> I could find no evidence of support for this chip in the Debian package
> descriptions (on-line web pages) for nvidia-kernel-source,
> nvidia-kernel-legacy-173xx-source, or nvidia-kernel-legacy-96xx-source
> for the Squeeze release. I could not find "MCP61" anywhere. Of course,
> the nvidia-kernel-legacy-71xx-source package exists only in Sid because
> of build problems. It doesn't work with any release past Lenny.
> But I searched it too, just for grins, and couldn't find "MCP61" on that
> web page either.

Search for GeForce 6150. That's the integrated GPU. Wikipedia tells
you this.

> That depends on one's level of expectations. I'm currently using a 1 GHz
> single core, single thread, 32-bit processor and only 512M of RAM. The
> video driver is nouveau, and for this chipset, it apparently does not
> support 3D acceleration. So, believe it or not, I expect that the built-
> in Intel video will be an improvement over what I've got now. If not,
> installing a separate video card is always an option.

The SE7500 does not an Intel GPU. It doesn't have a "GPU". It's a 2D
ATI chip with limited 3D support. In fact this was the first chip
series to which ATI added any 3D features. The ATI Rage series of chips
were released between 1995 and 1999. That should tell you something
about the performance, and the 75MHz clock, ouch.

>From the Intel board manual:

The Intel® Server Board SE7500CW2 provides an ATI Rage XL PCI graphics
accelerator, along
with 8 MB of video SDRAM and support circuitry for an embedded SVGA
video subsystem.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATI_Rage

75 MHz core
4, 8, and 16 MB 100 MHz SGRAM/WRAM memory
800 MB/s memory bandwidth
DirectX 6.0

Rage XL was a low-cost RAGE Pro-based solution. As a low-power solution
with capable 2D-acceleration, the chip was used on many low-end graphics
cards. It was also seen on Intel motherboards, as recently as 2004, and
was still used in 2006 for server motherboards. The Rage XL has been
succeeded by the ATI ES1000 for server use.

The chip was basically a die-shrunk Rage Pro, optimized to be very
inexpensive for solutions where only basic graphics output was necessary.

> Actually, no. There is no built-in sound chip on the mobo, but there is
> a sound card installed in an expansion slot. Apparently, the previous
> owner was using it as a desktop system, even though it was originally
> intended as a server.

Cool.

> Actually, I just might do both. I have another computer that someone
> gave to me that has no RAM at all on it. Apparently the previous owner
> removed the RAM from the old computer in order to use it in his new
> computer before he gave me the old computer. Maybe I'll just replace
> the mobo in it. I need to do more research first though.

If you need parts for old systems, you simply can't be Ebay. Just about
anything you could need is available, and usually really cheap. The
older the tech the cheaper. The opposite is normally true when buying
from computer retailers. In this case the older it is the more they
want for it, if they even have it or can get it. They treat such parts
as collectable antique furniture, price wise.

--
Stan


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