Technical Project: Another 1990’s Retro-PC (Intel Pentium 133 MHz)

Due to a neat dumpster found I got new hardware for another Retro-PC. But firstly some pictures again. 🙂

And now the basic information:

The Story

I casually found the Mainboard, Sound and Graphics Card in a dumpster. That’s why I thought I build another Retro-PC. But this time it has to really look like a real PC from the 1990’s and I think I did it well. 🙂

At next I looked into my CPU collection in my display cabinet and got a Intel Pentium MMX 133 MHz here. But unfortunately I found out that the Motherboard can’t run a Dual Power Rail CPU (P55C series). Besides the MMX Pentium I also got an opened Pentium 133 MHz and a 75 MHz model. I don’t tested if the opened is still running but the 75 MHz still runs. However 75 MHz are to sluggish for me because this CPU scratches on the recommended of some of my old games. Additionally the CPU has to almost reach my Vobis Highscreen Mini P150+ were a IBM Cyrix P150+ was working in. The Cyrix was physically clocked with 120 MHz but die to the architecture as fast as an Intel Pentium with 150 MHz. For this reason I bought and Intel Pentium 133 MHz of the P54CS series (aka. Pentium-S). 133 MHz are not 150 MHz but the Pentium doesn’t have any compatibility issues. Sometimes I had some trouble with compatibility issues in games.

Now I looked for EDO SIMM RAM. The only RAM type I not got in my collection. I thought I still got some but figured out it was SIMM RAM for printers. So crawled a bit through eBay and bought Fujitsu ESA4UN3242A-60JS-S RAM. Japanese chips are always good. 🙂

Then I looked for a CPU cooler because the Pentiums has now to be cooled actively. There are really still some different pieces left but not really that high quality. I decided to buy a Maxtron Sockel 7 CPU Cooler with an Maximus EC-6010 60mm FAN on it. That FAN reminded me a bit to my Intel Celeron 300 MHz CPU Cooler. The Maxtron is really maximus namely in making a lot of noise like an old Helicopter. That’s why I swapped the 60mm FAN with an 50mm Cooler Master FAN. That isn’t 100% silent as well but don’t rattle like an old Helicopter. A replacement from the seller isn’t unfortunately not possible because he sold out. But I got my money back.

As power supply I used an overpowered Cooler Master Elite Power 400 Watts power supply. I still got that in my collection of the last PC of my mother. I don’t wanted to buy another PSU so the old stuff had now the chance to get a job. 🙂

It’s sometimes really odd that you find some day finally a seller that sell old PC cases for a fair price. So I found this slightly modified case here on eBay Kleinanzeigen (it’s like Craigs List but from eBay). In ex friend of mine from the 1990’s also had this PC case but with a PC-Spezialist badge (old German PC seller) and maybe also different hardware. In the inside of this case the former owner cut the 3,5″ bay a bit but I was able to mount a HDD anyway. Because this Mainboard revision doesn’t have an USB header on board I wanted to cover the front USB ports with a faceplate. I printed a prototype in grey and tested it, but it fit so good I wasn’t able to remove it so I kept it. It gets the case a special touch that some PC cases had this time. There was also no I/O Shield with the board so I designed it by myself in TinkerCAD and printed it.

As drivers I used a Western Digital Caviar 21600 HDD with 1.6 GB, that I got past days from an old SIEMENS-Nixdorf PC of my father; the SAMSUNG SC-152G 52x CD-ROM that I previously used in my Pentium II Retro-PC and replaced it with a DVD-ROM drive; and an additionally bought SONY 3.5″ Floppy Driver.

The most time and sweat took the Pro-Multimedia Sound Card because you can’t find any drivers for Windows 95 and DOW these days easily. On a homepage named PC-Schnulli I found the picture and some basic information of this card but no drivers for this model. I just tried to use the drivers of the Typhoon Media Sound Advanced 16 Bit Sound Card because this model does have almost the same features like the Pro-Multimedia – but I failed. After I took a look on the other models and compared the chip sets. Then the Shuttle Spacewalker Sound System 48 plus HOT-233 Sound Card catches my eye. This card has a different Audio Codec (Crystal CS4248-KL instead of Analog Devices 1845JP) but the same Audio Controller OPTi 82C924. I thought follow the link on the page to Shuttle and try the 233w95.zip driver. And behold I was able to resurrect it! That cost me 1-2 days. I uploaded the driver to Archive.org.

Now I own to 1990’s Retro-PC but only 1 CRT Monitor plus mouse and keyboard. Here I won’t by another CRT plus mouse and keyboard that’s why I bought an CCM switch from ATEN. Btw. they make very good CCM switches!

I hope I be able to present my neat Retro-PCs in the near future. At the moment I’m lacking of space. Now I own enough Retro-PCs (3) to can play my childhood games e.g. like Carmageddon (1997), Theme Park (1994), Starcraft (1998), Dungeon Keeper (1997), Unreal (1998), Diablo (1998), Diablo II (2000) + Lord of Destruction (2001), Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption (2000), Giants: Citizen Kabuto (2000), Need for Speed III (1998) und 4 (1999) and much more native. It’s simply a very different feeling to play your old games on an old PC than on an up-to-date machine. These days many games lost their charm and depth anyway. So that’s why some game studios made or do remakes to bring back the feelings of the originals. But in my case many don’t bring back the old feelings, also if the graphics are that awesome or bloated. The Gothic remake is a good example.

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