You couldn’t even give this stuff away now

Look at these notes I found from 10 years ago or so.  Remember when this stuff was new and fast?  I wonder where computers will be in another 10 years?

It seems that I’ve somehow managed to fry my processors (dual Athlon MP 1900s). I haven’t got a clue how, but my system refuses to boot at all, and I’ve verified that it’s not my motherboard or power supply – the two other obvious suspects – by running a friend’s XP 2100 chip with no problems. I don’t have the funds to replace them with two new MPs, so it looks like I’ll have to run a single XP setup until payday. Now, an interesting idea…

Soon, I’m going to end up with enough parts for three computers. Originally, I was planning to split up their duties as follows: the first as my main workstation, used for both work and play. The second would be my network server, routing the internet connection, handling print requests, and offering some common drive storage space. Finally, the third was going to be built solely as a HTPC – home theater PC – playing music and movies, then outputting to my receiver and TV. I’m thinking a better split might be:

  • Workstation. For work: web site development/testing, photo editing, video work, and general stuff such as chatting and browsing. This would be my dual CPU box, since heavy multitasking is a way of life here. Lots of memory is also a requisite. Slower – but possibly higher quality and more stable – components are likely to make their way into this box.
  • Gaming box. For play: games, games, games. This would be nForce2-based, single CPU setup. Most games don’t take advantage of multiple processors (Quake III is the only one I know of, but its support is sketchy at best – I could never get it actually working), so that’s not a worry here. 333 MHz bus, dual-channel 400 MHz DDR, and an Audigy 2 for gaming.
  • Server and HTPC. I figure one box can do all this easily enough. It doesn’t need to be overly fast, but it does need to be stable. I’m looking at the ATI All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro for video and M-Audio Revolution for sound, since those will need to be good high quality components.

Since I’ll have the workstation and gaming boxes seperate, I’ll want to have a switch to share the monitor, keyboard, and mouse between them. I haven’t looked into these much yet, but I think a good high quality one (with well-shielded cables, because I’ve used some crappy ones before that severely degraded the video signal) will run me a couple hundred bucks minimum. This setup sorta ties in with my current predicament, because I’ll pick up a new Athlon XP chip today, for temporary use in my workstation, but later to be used in the new gaming box. Whenever I can afford it, I’ll pick up a couple MP chips to replace the two I (somehow) murdered. I also need video cards. For the workstation, something cheap with good 2D will do. Either ATI or Matrox, probably. In the gaming box, I’ll be going nVidia almost definitely. The GeForce FX will be out soon enough, so I’ll probably hold out until then to finish that machine. Memory – I’ve got a gig of registered 266 MHz DDR, which will do fine for the workstation, but I’ll need some 400 MHz stuff sometime within the next couple months for the gaming box. The server will run off the 768 megs of regular ol’ SDR I’ve got in storage. Hard drives – Right now, I’ve got two 45 gig drives, and one 60. I’ll soon have a 120 as well, so I think I’ll throw the 120 and 60 in the server, then split the 45s between the workstation and gaming rig.

So… I need (adding stuff not mentioned above, as I think of it): one Athlon XP (2600 or higher), two Athlon MPs (1900s or higher), one All-in-Wonder 9700 Pro, one GeForce FX, one other cheap ATI or Matrox card, 512 megs of 400 MHz DDR, one nForce2 motherboard, one 300 watt power supply, one Audigy 2, one M-Audio Revolution, one good keyboard/mouse/monitor switch. Lastly, and most importantly, I need a higher paying job.

A new monitor (or two) would be nice, too…