So, the Optiplex 960 bios does not boot with a Xeon e5450 chip, and had I done my homework on that, I would have been able to find that out. However, I sourced an Asus P5KE motherboard with 8Gb of DDR2-1066 and a Q9550 chip in it for a decently low price, to further my retro PC ideas.
The Core2-Quad q9550 dropped straight into that Optiplex, making that a quad core 2.83 instead of the dual 3.0 it had been. Now I can install XP-32bit on that and get the mid-Naughties retrobox up and running properly.
The Xeon e5450 works perfectly in that new Asus board, overclocks like a demon, and I think that I’ll build that up to being an early Win7 retro box, though it won’t be retro for a few years.. When I get the upgrade card for my behemoth of a desktop, the GTX660 will go into this box to update from the QuadroFX380 currently there, and I may keep the Quadro card in the system as it’s not a low-profile card that could fit in the Optiplex. That system setup will do the 2010-era games very well indeed.
So here’s the current list of retro PCs and the years of games they are aimed at:
- 1995 – Dos, P3-600, 256Mb, 80Gb, Dos7.1/Win3.11, Matrox G400MAx, Audician32+D2
- 2000 – P3-1.13, 512Mb, 16Gb CF, Win98SE, GF4-Ti4200, SB-Audigy
- 2005 – C2Q Q9550, 4Gb, 250Gb, WinXP-sp3, Quadro K600, SB X-Fi
- 2010 – e5450, 8Gb, 250Gb, Win7, Quadro FX380, onboard Azalia 7.1 (for the moment)
The Behemoth of a desktop is currently:
- e5-1620 V2, 32Gb, 500Gb/4x1Tb, Win7, GTX660, Asus Xonar.
With the expected upcoming windfall of cash soon, I’ll be updating the Behemoth to:
- e6-1680 V2, 64Gb ECC, 500Gb/4x3Tb, Win7, RTX2080ti, SB Z.
(that will definitely keep what is a seven year old system faster than most current new builds. Might get a decent 144khz 4k monitor as well)
I still also have the PS2 and the PS3 – I must investigate the modding of both of those for fun and curiosity. My homebrewed Wii is also present and accounted for, as is my Amiga1200HD with the Blizzard 1230/IV accelerator.
Maybe it’s time to reposition one of the RPIs to be a retro arcade machine / console emulator. That could be an interesting project for the Springtime.