I recently got a Raspberry Pi and my first project is using it as a General MIDI Module.
With a USB MIDI adapter and running FluidSynth, you can load any .SF2 SoundFont and hook this up to your DOS Retro Gaming PC. I did a thorough write up on this site with lots of pictures. You can set everything up with Graphical User Interfaces, so this is excellent for first time Raspberry Pi users.
Got a few bits and pieces, but these ones stand out.
A matched pair of XFX GeForce 8800 GT cards. Real game changer cards, especially on a budget.
I also got a PCIe Socket 478 board. I totally admit I was unaware that these exist. And there are actually quite a few of them in circulation, but they are somewhat rare and you will have to pay more than for a standard Pentium 4 board.
Got this Socket 478 Pentium 4 motherboard, but this is one is different, comes with a PCIe slot and DDR2. Picked it up from the post office. Inspected it at home, one cap was a bit rounded, but nothing serious, worth seeing if it posts.
Fired it up and head a PANG and a fizzle. Quickly killed the power. One cap vented at the top a little. Removed the 4 identical caps, all 16V 1000uF caps sitting in front of the voltage regulators. I only had some 35V 1000uF Panasonic lying around, so in the went. Board fired up straight away :D
There is this Aussie seller on eBay, selling cheap motherboards. Got these two Asus KVM-VM boards. Socket 754, VIA PCIe chipset, nothing fancy, but useful.
Anyway, both arrived. I do my usual motherboard prep. The first board posts, flashed the latest BIOS, caps look fine, all Nichicon in the VRM area. The other one, the famous KZG at the VRM out, all three rounded tops. That board didn't post.
I recently purchased 100! 3300uF 6.3V caps from Panasonic, because it's always these VRM out caps that seem to fail on the boards I'm getting.
De-soldered the three, put in the new ones, and all working again :)
Was a 5 minute job and I'm a happy camper. First time I had a board that didn't post because of caps.
A few days ago GOG released Crysis and Crysis Warhead!
Awesome games, and represent a real milestone in PC game. People hated it, but I loved the game. Does it run Crysis became a cool thing and now it's DRM free. I already had the game on Steam, but DRM free is so important to me that I buy pretty much any decent game that GOG releases :)
These items arrived recently!
First up is a new programmer. Apparently this is a really good one. I was using the Genius G540, but that one doesn't work well with older EPROM chips, which need 12 V to program. Apparently this one support it. I will find out soon :)
And then I got an Adaptec ISA SCSI controller, the 1542CF. I don't have much experience with SCSI, but my research tells me that this is a very solid model.
Just a quick update on some socket 939 action.
This is all work for some videos way down the track, but all the data goes into a spreadsheet, so I can then produce the videos quite swiftly.
This is the FX-57, the fastest single core CPU for socket 939. Running at a blistering 2.8 GHz and comes with a whopping 1 MB of cache. Compared to other chips, the CPU fan does start to get loud. I'm using a 125W copper / heatpipe AMD stock cooler from a 125 W Phenom II X4 processor.
The system uses AGP, I'm using the same overclocked 7800 GS from the previous Intel vs AMD episodes. I think I will do videos on the 939 chips, comparing them to the Intel 478 results, but single core only. Then move to AM2 vs 775 and go with a much faster PCIe graphics as in some games, like F.E.A.R. I'm not seeing much scaling with the 7800 GS.
So my capture PC is rocking a Pentium Anniversary Edition. Overclocked to 4 GHz it is barely able to let me capture at 1080p60. Around 90% of CPU usage, too close for my liking.
So I bit the bullet and bought a second hand Core i7 4790S from eBay.
The upgrade was very straight forward and the machine is already up and running :)
I'm Phil and run a YouTube Channel and website under PhilsComputerLab. You can also find me on various forums such as VOGONS, OCAU, DOSForum and others.