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Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :) - OLD Hardware Emporium

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Look forward to it.
 

Mussels

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Video Card(s) Galax RTX 3090 SG 24GB: Underclocked to 1700Mhz 0.750v (375W down to 250W))
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Benchmark Scores Nyooom.
@Robert B you'd probably love this random find that came out of my dads storage boxes when he moved house, un-opened...


1633295228892.png

1633295215174.png

1633295241729.png


I mean, look at all the built in I/O ports...
1633295268917.png
 
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Yeah she's a looker alright! :D I also have a Chaintech Sk.7 motherboard with white PCI and ISA slots. This combination is uncommon.

The Sk. 8 motherboard from yesterday is on the right track towards recovery! All the cosmetic damage has been taken care of. Now is the time for deep cleaning and the all important POWERING UP TEST!

Clean PPRO in a very dirty socket!
 

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Mussels

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Location
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System Name Rainbow Sparkles (Power efficient, <350W gaming load)
Processor Ryzen R7 5800x3D (Undervolted, 4.45GHz all core)
Motherboard Asus x570-F (BIOS Modded)
Cooling Alphacool Apex UV - Alphacool Eisblock XPX Aurora + EK Quantum ARGB 3090 w/ active backplate
Memory 2x32GB DDR4 3600 Corsair Vengeance RGB @3866 C18-22-22-22-42 TRFC704 (1.4V Hynix MJR - SoC 1.15V)
Video Card(s) Galax RTX 3090 SG 24GB: Underclocked to 1700Mhz 0.750v (375W down to 250W))
Storage 2TB WD SN850 NVME + 1TB Sasmsung 970 Pro NVME + 1TB Intel 6000P NVME USB 3.2
Display(s) Phillips 32 32M1N5800A (4k144), LG 32" (4K60) | Gigabyte G32QC (2k165) | Phillips 328m6fjrmb (2K144)
Case Fractal Design R6
Audio Device(s) Logitech G560 | Corsair Void pro RGB |Blue Yeti mic
Power Supply Fractal Ion+ 2 860W (Platinum) (This thing is God-tier. Silent and TINY)
Mouse Logitech G Pro wireless + Steelseries Prisma XL
Keyboard Razer Huntsman TE ( Sexy white keycaps)
VR HMD Oculus Rift S + Quest 2
Software Windows 11 pro x64 (Yes, it's genuinely a good OS) OpenRGB - ditch the branded bloatware!
Benchmark Scores Nyooom.
If you could use it for anything, pay shipping and it's yours

would rather it go to someone who could build a working system with it, after all these years... cant believe how much damage you can fix
 
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@Mussels - Coming from you it means a lot to me. I am a long time lurker on TPU and I know your nick from way back. :) There are quite a few nicks that I associate with TPU. Ever since I registered here I knew that I am stepping into a special place.

You live in Australia right? I'm from Romania (Europe). I did some research and the shipping costs are way out of my league. Add to this the changes in local laws related to customs expenses and this board will cost me an arm and a leg. For customs I would need an invoice with the declared value, otherwise I would be charged according to a fixed rate. At least this is what I found after some research online.

All in all I am sorry to inform you that I won't be able to take this awesome motherboard into my already big stash. :)

My advice would be to find a good home for it somewhere near you.

I must thank you from my heart for proposing this. You remind me of someone from my country that sent me a lot of stuff way back when I was just a greenhorn in regard to old HW. :D

In other turn of events I found more stuff that needed fixing on the Intel Venus board. I did the right thing and the board came out great. Unfortunately I just can't spill the beans just yet but what I can tell you is that ahead of schedule, the NEXT EPISODE will be about the SOCKET 8 MOTHERBOARD. It was an unexpected find and it needed a lot of attention but I hope that in the end it will pay off.

From rags to riches, from nothing to something, maybe the Gods of HW will be on my side and I will get the expected outcome! :) SOCKET 8 IN THE HOUSE! I can't even think what this would've meant back in the day when it just came out. Come to think of it I don't even remember if I ever read about the PPRO boards back in the day when I was in high school. This stuff was rarer than hen's teeth. Also remember that Internet wasn't what it is back in '94-'96 ... time flies and getting older sux BIG TIME!!!

More later.
 
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Mussels

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Processor Ryzen R7 5800x3D (Undervolted, 4.45GHz all core)
Motherboard Asus x570-F (BIOS Modded)
Cooling Alphacool Apex UV - Alphacool Eisblock XPX Aurora + EK Quantum ARGB 3090 w/ active backplate
Memory 2x32GB DDR4 3600 Corsair Vengeance RGB @3866 C18-22-22-22-42 TRFC704 (1.4V Hynix MJR - SoC 1.15V)
Video Card(s) Galax RTX 3090 SG 24GB: Underclocked to 1700Mhz 0.750v (375W down to 250W))
Storage 2TB WD SN850 NVME + 1TB Sasmsung 970 Pro NVME + 1TB Intel 6000P NVME USB 3.2
Display(s) Phillips 32 32M1N5800A (4k144), LG 32" (4K60) | Gigabyte G32QC (2k165) | Phillips 328m6fjrmb (2K144)
Case Fractal Design R6
Audio Device(s) Logitech G560 | Corsair Void pro RGB |Blue Yeti mic
Power Supply Fractal Ion+ 2 860W (Platinum) (This thing is God-tier. Silent and TINY)
Mouse Logitech G Pro wireless + Steelseries Prisma XL
Keyboard Razer Huntsman TE ( Sexy white keycaps)
VR HMD Oculus Rift S + Quest 2
Software Windows 11 pro x64 (Yes, it's genuinely a good OS) OpenRGB - ditch the branded bloatware!
Benchmark Scores Nyooom.
Damn, it's annoying how i can get things sent out bulk for free from china, but cant send anything to other countries myself
 

phill

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Memory Viper Steel 4 x 16GB DDR4 3600MHz not sure on the timings... Probably still at 2667!! :(
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Storage I'm bound to forget something here - 250GB OS, 2 x 1TB NVME, 2 x 1TB SSD, 4TB SSD, 2 x 8TB HD etc...
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Mouse Corsair thingy
Keyboard Razer something or other....
VR HMD No headset yet
Software Windows 11 OS... Not a fan!!
Benchmark Scores I've actually never benched it!! Too busy with WCG and FAH and not gaming! :( :( Not OC'd it!! :(
Yeah she's a looker alright! :D I also have a Chaintech Sk.7 motherboard with white PCI and ISA slots. This combination is uncommon.

The Sk. 8 motherboard from yesterday is on the right track towards recovery! All the cosmetic damage has been taken care of. Now is the time for deep cleaning and the all important POWERING UP TEST!

Clean PPRO in a very dirty socket!
Robert do you ever just check over the hardware, see if it's ok and just test it or do you go to the very limits that you do and then test?? I was just curious how you do your testing, before the main clean or after :)
 
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In the "old" days, I mean when I was starting in this endeavor, I always did a full restoration and then I would test the components. There was no exception.

Starting a few years ago, due to the fact that I also started collecting "newer" stuff, like Geforce 3,4,5,6 video cards, ATI 9 series, Socket A, 478 motherboards, etc., the need to test them before has arisen. If the state of a component is good or if I do enough repairs that I deem that it is fit for testing, I sometimes test it before going to town on it but in general I still prefer to make a component pretty before I plug it in. :) It is my way of ensuring the best conditions for a test. The casualty rate among these "newer" parts is usually bigger. Stuff from before the 2000s is in general more resilient. This has made me consider testing before restoring. I must say that even if a component turns up to be dead I still restore it quite nicely. Sometimes I do not go the extra mile but they are still going to be restored to a level of at least 95% of that of a full working part.

I never power up a component without ensuring the safety of it. The basics are: dusting off, visual caps check, missing parts checks, TIM quality, checks for scratches, touching parts that aren't supposed to touch, cooling fans operation, etc.

I consider any component alive and kicking, no matter the state, until proven contrary. :D If I would consider a component dead just by the looks of it then I would not own many of the jewels that now are in my possession.

There are a few cases with components that have given me a lot of grief or they provided a particular frustrating experience. To these, if they are dead, I just give them a once over and I "toss them" in the box of dead parts for a resurrection at an undisclosed date. :D

Not one component is/will be left in the condition it came if I decide to keep it. They have to wait in line but all will be restored eventually.

Testing means, for video cards several runs of 3DMark '99,'00.'01,'05,'11. Temps checks with GPU-z or the utility supplied by the manufacturer. For motherboards, POST tests, BIOS checks, BOOT tests and in some cases a full OS install with all the trimmings followed by a few 3DMark runs. The memory is subjected to a few passes of MEMTEST 86 /+. HDDs undergo a sector check with HDDScan or HDTUNE. The ODDs are checked with CD Speed util.

One more thing. Many of these parts are decades old. If I intend to use a component more often then I test it more thoroughly. If it will be kept in a box, then I take it easy on them.

What I am going to do with all of the stuff I gathered is an entirely different thing, :) I know that some time down the line I'll have to part with some of them but I am at peace with this. :D A year ago, I came to the realization that this is an inevitable part of this experience. I'll see how it will feel in the not so distant future. A month ago I started selling stuff locally. Mostly unrestored, some with caps changed, cleaned to about 40% of what I can do, in general newer stuff or stuff that it is not in my area of interests.
 
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The Socket 8 motherboard is giving me the fits, as a lady she is ... As this threw a spanner in my works I have to change plans and prepare another episode.

NEXT EPISODE: Retr08right? What's the hubbub with the bleaching of ancient electronic artefacts?

I took the easiest route I could and to my amazement it really worked as intended.

More later.
 

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Retr08right? What's the hubbub with the bleaching of ancient electronic artefacts?

Retrobright. Ever since I heard about this "thing" called retrobright, I wanted to try it. The main obstacle that prevented me from doing this was and still is, the fact that I mainly "specialize" in gathering components. I have just five complete PCs and of these, two need a retrobright treatment. The rest are looking fine and there is no need to fix something that's not "broken".

I watched a lot of videos on YT and read quite a few articles on the good ol' internet about what makes the retrobright tick. From all the information I gathered, I decided to use the 40 vol (12%) Hydrogen peroxide solution.

I won't go into detail in regard to types of retrobright solutions and methods as I think that there are way better tutorials on the internet than what I can present at this early stage. This will be a presentation of my first retrobright experience.

As this was my first ever foray into this new area, I needed the proverbial guinea pig which arrived in the form of two ODDs that initially were destined for recycling.



I took a long hard look at them and I said: Why don't I try a rejuvenating treatment on you two? What do you say? Yes please! was the unanimous answer.

Before I tackled these two, cough, ahem, beauties, I briefly tested them and they proved to be in good shape. They read DVDs like a dream. NOICE!

Let's meet the duo.

Lite-On DVD-RW LDW-851S



Samsung DVD-ROM TS-H352



These drives are common as dirt where I live and if I didn't get them as a combo deal with other parts I might've never bought them. Also, I must confess, that once I get something, it is quite hard for me to knowingly send them to the crusher. So I was stuck with these two ODDs and I wanted to at least give them a new lease of life. I mean, who in their right mind would stick something looking like that into a retro PC? For sure I would not do such thing.

I disassembled the trays and front bezels and I assessed the state of the plastics.



Inside the units, the trays looked quite well and they gave an indication of the original shade of white.



Being confronted by 50 shades of yellow I was even more determined to make these ODDs look as good as possible.

As I don't have zip bags or cling film and I didn't want to buy them just for this experiment, I took a regular plastic sheet cover, tied it with a zip tie to see if it held air and I was good to go. :) Not ideal but wth, the main purpose of this is to prevent the evaporation of the hydrogen peroxide solution/emulsion.



Finding the hydrogen peroxide solution/emulsion that I needed proved a little tricky but in the end I prevailed. At first I wanted to go to a hair saloon and buy a bottle of 40 vol (12%) hydrogen peroxide but in the end I bought what I needed from a local supermarket. Buying from the internet would've been even easier but I left that for the next time when I'll retrobright bigger plastic elements.

Initially I wanted to use a hydrogen peroxide in liquid form like I saw on the internet but when I found a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide in gel form I knew that it was perfect. As a backup I also bought some hydrogen peroxide in powder form which once water was added would also turn to a gel consistency.





I used a couple of brushes and I coated the plastic bits with a generous layer of hydrogen peroxide gel. When I did this, I also did my first "mistake". I didn't wear gloves while I handled the plastics and even if I took great care I still got some of hydrogen peroxide gel on my fingers. When I saw my skin turn white I rushed to the sink and with lots of water I washed away all of the hydrogen peroxide. This wasn't dangerous but it made my heart race a little. What can I say. Beginner mistake. During the time I worked with the hydrogen peroxide I had the inspiration to at least wear some safety glasses. You really really don't want this stuff in or near your eyes. :D

The bigger plastic bits were put in plastic sheet covers that were tied with zip ties, and the tray covers were put in a plastic sheet cover that was just rolled at the end. Nothing fancy.



After 30 minutes in the summer sun, I could see the transformation taking place just in front of my eyes. It was like magic, even if this sounds cheesy. :D After just a few minutes in the sun you could tell that the stuff was doing its job.

I left the bits in the sun for an hour, then I washed them with water and dish soap. I used some regular rubber gloves just as a precaution. My skin is very sensitive.

Let's see what I got in the end.



Fantastic results. An exigent eye can spot some hints of yellow still present but that didn't bother me at all. I didn't want to do another pass of retrobright as the scope of this entire thing was not to make perfect these humble ODDs, as to gather the all important data for future projects.

Before and now. Night and day difference.



Another reason why I didn't want to do another pass of retrobright was the fact that it is quite easy to overdo a retrobright treatment and get a shade of white that will not match an older case. Also it is worth mentioning that retrobrighting a part doesn't mean that it will stay like that forever. The yellow shade will return some time down the road. When? Nobody knows, as this is variable. In some cases it may take years or much less. Also it may return with a vengeance yellower than any yellow before it. :D It depends. The fire retardants used in the composition of the plastics that are responsible of the yellowing will still do their thing no matter what. Sure you could just paint the plastics but that it is an entirely different matter that needs a whole more experience to get it perfect, so retrobrighting is a lets say, safe and easy method to improve the appearance of all sorts of computer plastic bits.

The 50 shades of yellow are almost gone.



After the success of the the retrobright treatment I was ready to do what I know best. Restoring everything that's PC related and sometimes even more.



I still couldn't believe my eyes while I performed the final stages of cleaning.



The front bezels of the ODDs have taken some beating but as the plastic is soft I used a small screwdriver and with the round metal part I pressed the plastic back into shape. This was as good as it was ever going to get.



The metal cover of the Samsung drive had some small scuffs and spots of rust that were removed. I used a cotton stick and some paint to blend in the areas that were damaged. The results were quite good as the drive looked like it was never touched up.



The Lite-On drive had a lot more rust and the paint had a different shade of gray that didn't match anything that I had in stock. I treated the rust and I painted the area that was damaged. Nothing fancy.



Both of the drives have been taken completely apart and thoroughly cleaned. I took detailed pictures of all the important bits. To my joy the Lite-On drive didn't have a rubber belt. That's a plus in my book no matter the ODD. During the cleaning process I had to use some polishing paste to remove some brown stains on the inside.



Some assemblies required.



The first to be assembled was the Lite-On drive. All of the rails and all contact parts have been lubed with silicone grease. The laser lens has been cleaned gently with a microfiber cloth and some IPA 99%.



Next came the turn of the Samsung drive.



After a lot of work I had in my hands a couple of usable ODDs and I was filled with a sense of accomplishment.



My joy was short lived though.

After I finished the drives I installed them into my Slot 1 PC and I was ready to check them thoroughly. These two, cough, ahem, beauties, would not read CDs no matter what I tried. They read DVDs perfectly.

I tried to clean the laser head lenses a few more times but got the same results. It seems that the CD lens inside the laser head assembly it is toast on both of the units. What where to odds of this happening?! I even used cotton sticks dipped in IPA 99% that I left to rest on the lenses for a few minutes. Nothing worked. DVDs were read great CDs not so much. &*#&*($#%^#$!@#&!!!!!! :D The ASUS CD-ROM inside the Slot 1 PC worked as usual. I even changed the cable. Nothing changed.



I was a little bummed but I looked at the bright side of this affair. The retrobright section of this adventure was a complete success. :D

Retrobrighting is not complicated and if you decide to do it, it is better to start on small bits and pieces. In some cases retrobrighting might not get you the results you expect but this doesn't have to stop you from trying. You must decide if a piece of tech needs this treatment. There are cons and pros like everything in life. "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?" :D

As always Google is your friend. There is a lot of information on this subject waiting at your fingertips. :D

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/QTBxyFY

More later.
 
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Nice work and fun Pink Floyd reference! :D
 
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Great job!! retrobright is a extremely rewarding process personally I use UV led's as it's more controlled than sunshine but it does take longer. I used to use salon bleach also when I first started but large projects can get expensive so I moved on to mixing my own with baking soda. Once again a brilliant read Bob look forward to your next adventure.
 
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Store bought stuff is great but when you do multiple large items in my case retro chairs it starts to add up so making your own is the only viable option.
 
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Show Me What You Believe Baby 1989 Party up in here!

Friday I had some cake and I also got to see some topless action! :D

I hoped for a 1000MHz core like my defunct K7 750MHz but I was out of luck. Next time will be my lucky day! :) Still, a fresh 8(O)(O) MHZ slot A CPU that enters my collection is nothing to sneeze at.

NEXT EPISODE: A bunch of coolers! You need them! You love them! Some may hate them but there is no way around them!

More later.
 

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phill

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Messages
15,971 (3.40/day)
Location
Somerset, UK
System Name Not so complete or overkill - There are others!! Just no room to put! :D
Processor Ryzen Threadripper 3970X
Motherboard Asus Zenith 2 Extreme Alpha
Cooling Lots!! Dual GTX 560 rads with D5 pumps for each rad. One rad for each component
Memory Viper Steel 4 x 16GB DDR4 3600MHz not sure on the timings... Probably still at 2667!! :(
Video Card(s) Asus Strix 3090 with front and rear active full cover water blocks
Storage I'm bound to forget something here - 250GB OS, 2 x 1TB NVME, 2 x 1TB SSD, 4TB SSD, 2 x 8TB HD etc...
Display(s) 3 x Dell 27" S2721DGFA @ 7680 x 1440P @ 144Hz or 165Hz - working on it!!
Case The big Thermaltake that looks like a Case Mods
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply EVGA 1600W T2
Mouse Corsair thingy
Keyboard Razer something or other....
VR HMD No headset yet
Software Windows 11 OS... Not a fan!!
Benchmark Scores I've actually never benched it!! Too busy with WCG and FAH and not gaming! :( :( Not OC'd it!! :(
Such love and respect for the thread and you @Robert B I can't wait!! :D Apologises for not being around much to see the awesome next level stuff that you do... It's bloody amazing!!
 
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@phill I know you love "my work". :) Much appreciated. As always I try to keep up the good work each and every time.

The next episode will feature quite a few CPU coolers and even one VGA cooler. All have been restored no matter the brand. I'll present detailed info as usual. :)

I have even serviced the smallest ball bearing to date. Just 5 mm in diameter! :D I must be nuts but I don't care. :D

Why replace something when you can restore it?
 

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I have even serviced the smallest ball bearing to date. Just 5 mm in diameter!
It is like a watchmakers job :)
 
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It is like a watchmakers job :)

Indeed, but without watchmaker tools. :) I use whatever I have to get the job done. :D

Use a lighter to melt and pull away that broken plastic post.

Suggestion noted. :) The cartridge was already vandalized by an ape and it was partially opened. Good thing that the CPU survived!

In the end, the tiny plastic bit had a little crack on the side and I just had to widen it a little and the bit came out. It was promptly glued back. :)
 
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Legend Intro - Martijn Schutten - (Unknown) - C64 chiptune

Shenanigans in progress ... :)

I "mummified" the VS440FX in a last ditch effort to resurrect her. :D Tomorrow I'll power it up to see if she's still alive and kicking. I keep my fingers crossed! :) If this doesn't work then I'll have to send her to Valhalla on a burning longship!

Also I know that I'm way overdue on the coolers episode!

More later.
 

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KMBN - Der Panther (Tänzer)

A bunch of coolers! You need them! You love them! Some may hate them but there is no way around them!

The humble or not so humble cooler.
A cooler has a vital role inside any PC be it older or the latest tech. Often, the importance of a cooler is overlooked and only when something doesn't work as it is supposed to, people realize that from time to time, you have to clean that spinning fan and heatsink inside your computer.

As I mainly deal with stuff from the flea market, I found coolers that were in a state that ranges from perfect to one that is quite ridiculous. Fans and heatsinks caked with animal hairs, paint and all sorts of deposits of an unknown nature. Smelly and looking nasty. I'm not fazed by this fact as I know that it comes with the territory.

In regard to restoring old coolers I apply the same principles I always do. Nothing is unimportant. Surviving parts that once were destined to the crusher but had the opportunity to come into my possession deserve my absolute attention.

Over the time, when I restored old parts you also got to read how I gave a new lease of life to old lumps of aluminum and/or copper. There is a certain charm to building a system with era period correct components. This is why I try when possible, to save old fans, old stickers and everything in between.

The stars of today's episode aren't something out of this world. No exotic stuff. No water coolers. Just regular coolers that for sure will be put to good use. Some of them are more desirable than others but all of them are more than capable to fulfill their role. Keep things cool under pressure. These coolers have been acquired in the last 4-6 months with motherboards or on their own. I decided to have a small stash of coolers as the number of motherboards that I bought is growing way faster that I anticipated. In a word: I need to "reserve" more cooling capacity for the future! :D

So, without further ado, let's get on with the show! :)

Alpha PAL6035
Spire Falcon Rock II
AVC AV-112C86FBL01 AMD Sk. A Stock Cooler - Copper insert x2
No Name Socket. A CPU Cooler x2
Arctic Cooling Cooper Silent
Arctic Cooling Super Silent PRO
Zalman VF900-Cu
Akasa, Neolec
Mighty AMD K7 700MHz with dual cooling fans

Back in the day I read about the ALPHA coolers. I never owned such a cooler and to be honest I was on the lookout for one. Sure, I would've wanted an Alpha P3125 or something along the lines of it, but heck, beggars can't be choosers so I'm happy with my purchase.

I found this puppy inside a big plastic 200L barrel. It flew outside when the barrel released its contents on the ground. At first I looked at it in an absent manner. A few seconds later, though, it was in my hands. To my surprise I saw that it was an ALPHA PAL6035 CPU cooler. NICE! I liked the way it looked so I bought it asap. On the same day I also bought a Spire Falcon Rock II. The Spire cooler, albeit being nothing spectacular, is well built and silent. I have three or four of them and they are decent performers.



The Alpha PAL6035 had a rough life in the dust mines and it begged to be saved. Which I did in spades.



Dismantling.



The cooling fan certainly had seen better days.



I can't imagine how hard the cooling fan had to work to ensure a proper temperature of the CPU. Truth be told, the "hedgehog" design of the heatsink doesn't help either. Also, the cooling fan was mounted in a reversed position than regular, drawing air inside the heatsink instead of blowing it out. Why? I have no idea. Later on I'll put things in order from my point of view.



I removed the four round bits of foam that were present on the bottom of the heatsink as I want to use this cooler on other CPUs that aren't Sk.A. Also, the heatsink underwent an initial cleaning and detailing stage. I used water under pressure to remove all of the stuff that was inside the heatsink. It felt so good to watch it shine.



All bits have been washed with dish soap and hot tap water. Some rust that was on the long screws has been eradicated.



This was the easy part. Next came the cooling fan. Saving cooling fans isn't an exact science or a particularly sure shot procedure. Despite your efforts you might not get the expected results. Even if I am fully aware of this fact I always try to save them. There are two reasons for this: authenticity and money.



I have cleaned quite a few fans over the course of the time and I have a few tricks up my sleeve. In this instance I decided that I need to wash the whole thing with dish soap and hot tap water before I even start to assess its state.



Out with the old bearings! In with the still old bearings! :D Despite the washing with water, the bearings still worked nicely so I decided not to open and service them and just give them a grease treatment. I tried to get some grease inside by spinning them or just by using a very fine needle. If you are patient, using a fine needle you can get inside the bearings that minute quantity of grease that is required. Servicing bearings doesn't always get you the expected results. Sometimes they are so far gone that no grease will help. Also, using a thinner or a thicker oil instead of grease usually it is not recommended as it will push the grease out and make the bearing run way louder. In any case, the original grease can became contaminated or even dry out so all in all this is not an exact science. YMMV.



Looking good!



The scratches that were present on the heatsink have been covered with black paint that is resistant to temperature. This wasn't exactly needed but I had a can laying around so I said: why not?



The cooling fan received its final stage of cleaning.



After a day inside the grease bath, I removed the bearings and massaged them until they ran like butter. I think that I got lucky this time or maybe the bearing were of a better quality.



The hedgehog heatsink in all its glory.



The sticker from the cooling fan received a backing of aluminum tape to make it a little stiffer, then it was mounted with o.2mm double sided tape. Also, the frame of the cooling fan was damaged and it was glued back with super glue. Before the final assembly I removed the protective film that was on the aluminum shroud of the cooler. It felt so good! :D



Saved to fight another day. I put some high strength clear tape to prevent the scratching of the heatsink and I also mounted the fan in the position that I wanted.

This cooler is @100! The cooling fan is running great. I have yet to test it in a a system but it sure looks the part, ready to give an old runner that original look!



The Spire Falcon Rock II was in bad shape. I bought it for 1 EURO as I really didn't want to spend anything more. :D



Always take pictures of the way the metal clamp is positioned.



I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.



The cooling fan has an aluminum frame and by the looks of it, had contact with moisture so it lost some of its original appearance. Regardless, I took it apart and gave it what it so desperately needed.



During the time I was occupied with the Spire cooler I also had an AVC AV-112C86FBL01 AMD Sk. A Stock Cooler that underwent the same procedure.



The heatsink from the AVC cooler had some very hard specs of some gray stuff on the cooper insert so I lightly sanded it down and polished it by hand. I wasn't looking for perfection just for functionality.



The cooling fan on the AVC cooler was running well. Also the fan from the Spire cooler made a full recovery.



As good as it gets.



The AVC cooler isn't the best or one of the most silent coolers but it gets the job done. Tossing it out to be recycled wasn't an option so I was stuck with it. It can be upgraded with a better fan and be put to good use. The Spire on the other hand is everything that the AVC cooler isn't. A better option overall.

Three coolers got to fight another day. Three restored coolers that wait patiently to be jump back into action.



These two coolers, another AVC AV-112C86FBL01 and a No name Sk. A cooler, were fished from two Sk. A ASUS motherboards. They were also cleaned and made a full recovery.



The next three coolers were found on a few more Sk.A motherboards that I acquired recently. The most interesting ones are the Arctic coolers. They are well built. Silent and in my book, they look the part.

No Name Socket. A CPU Cooler *** Arctic Cooling Cooper Silent *** Arctic Cooling Super Silent PRO



Initial state.



The Arctic Super Silent PRO, that's a mouthful, is well built. I never saw or had one back in the day. When I took it apart I found out what it made it tick. I appreciated the nice addition of that plastic ring that ensures a concentrated stream of air inside the heatsink. An out of the ordinary detail that many coolers didn't have. Both of the Arctic coolers have this method of construction.

The Arctic Cooling Cooper Silent was full of everything you do not want inside a CPU cooler.



The No Name cooler was pretty clean. Go figure.



I washed the heatsinks with hot tap water and dish soap. The heatsink from the Arctic Cooling Cooper Silent was put inside a container to remove some of the more adherent stuff that was inside. I used an old long brush to stir the water inside. The heatsink have been dried with an air compressor after they were washed.



In regard to the Arctic coolers one thing was quite clear. I needed to restore both of the fans and any other replacement would throw a spanner into the way they looked and worked. I had no intention to modify new fans to fit inside the nicely made funnel rings. Also, given the track record of Arctic I knew that these fans should be quiet straight out of the door. They had a sleeve bearing type of construction that was still very, very quiet. Go figure.



The No Name cooler had a ball bearing and sleeve bearing combo. I opened up the tiny ball bearing. I used a fine needle to remove the dust cap only to find out that it had a security ring that would've made things way easier. I put it back with minimal tampering evidence. Fresh grease and stuff.



The cooling fan had signs of water damage. The copper sleeve bearing had some corrosion that was removed with vinegar. This damned cooling fan required so much work that once I was deep in, there was no turning back. I had to carry on and hope for the best. :D I plugged the hole with a bamboo stick and made a small pool of vinegar and it was left like that for a few hours.



After washing, detailing and polishing I could see that in the end, all my efforts will pay off.



Clean screws.



The fight with the verdigris was intense.



Some rust is still present but it doesn't interfere with the functioning of the fan.



I used some aluminum tape to restore the old sticker. 0.2mm double sided tape was used to fix it well.



This cooling fan was an affair that I want to forget. Despite my efforts it didn't respond well to treatment. Valuable information was gathered and experience has been gained, though. A Noctua fan is a perfect replacement both in the color department and also from a performance point of view.



After I put back the cooling fan on the Arctic Cooling Cooper Silent, I saw that once the cooler was flat on a surface, it would make a grindy noise that was gone once the cooler was flipped over. After a few minutes of investigation I found a solution.

I call it fan tuning! :D I made a small lever from a piece of metal and I tuned the round magnet that sits inside the propeller. How I found this solution? At first I experimented with small rubber o rings but that was a tedious affair and it didn't get me the expected outcome. Then, while I fiddled with the fan the solution hit me! From what I found, the whole grinding sound problem was due to the distance between the propeller and the sleeve bearing and/or motor so the solution was resting in that area.

A minute change in the position of the round magnet inside the propeller made all the change! The fan ran like a dream. YEAH!!!



Perfect VICTORY!

Arctic Cooling Copper Silent.



The Arctic Cooling Super Silent PRO also made a full recovery. The fan was running well from the get go. I had to use some tape to ensure a proper grip of the screws that hold the fan.



Three coolers got another lease of life. NICE!



A close up with the funnel ring.



During the time I was restoring these coolers I also made some progress with smaller fans that have 0.5cm bearing inside. While trying to service these bearing is in most cases problematic, as they usually do not respond too well to this treatment, I still do it. :D I even started experimenting with other magnets to try and restore other fans in the future. I do this from the perspective that if I get another ATI Rage Fury MAXX or another V5 5500 or even a V5 6k I want the original fans on, no matter what. Instead of replacing something it is sometimes better to try at least to save those parts. IMO. There is too much garbage and waste as it is.



HUH! This is a long episode! We are not done yet though! No rest for the wicked!

Next is the Zalman VF900-Cu VGA cooler.

I found the Zalman cooler on a regular trip to the flea market. It was mounted on a beat up 7600GT PCI-E. It looked worse for wear but nothing too serious. Some elbow grease and it will be golden ahem, copper(y) like. I said to myself. :D



It had some rust on some parts. Nothing that the rust remover solution can't handle.



The copper heatsink took a nice 15 minutes bath inside vinegar mixed with some table salt.



The copper base will forever be engraved with the nVIDIA logo. I wonder what will an ATI card say if I manage to mount this cooler on one. I'm pretty sure that it will puke it out! Fixing nuts and all. :D



The rust was stubborn and it needed to be flushed out.



Clean as a whistle.



The seal of approval.



LED action. NICE!



Tiny coolers that also got what they so desperately needed. The AKASA fan was still good the Neolec not so much. Crappy balls inside the ball bearing. For sure they used square balls inside!



After quite a few stand alone coolers we have arrived to one that was still firmly attached to a CPU.

Meet a very dusty double headed monster. A two PAPST beast that I really like! It was mounted on a Slot A AMD 700MHz CPU that in turn was mounted on a very dead Gigabyte GA-7IXE motherboard. When I mean dead I mean riddled with holes. Precious metal hunting + small brains = lot's of dead components. Not all that glitters is GOLD!



Holy dust bunnies Batman!



Dirty bits. In case you are wondering, I powered up the CPU to see if it works. It worked well but I also got a dust storm effect. Like when old plane engine fire up for the first time. :D I used a breathing mask of course. The CPU said NOT DEAD YET! AWESOME STUFF! The fans coughed up and got back to life.



Exemplary TIM placement that marginally touches the area of the CPU. NICE! GREAT! AWESOME!



Bubble bath.



I wanted to service the cooling fans but I found out that they have an enclosed design. I could've tried to try and pull on the propellers and try to remove them as for sure this is the way they were built, with a tiny plastic washer that holds the shaft, but I decided to try something that it is let's say a little more lazy. :)

Also they were so dirty that there was no way to clean them without extreme measures.



I washed them inside and outside!



Even after a good scrub they were still nasty. In what conditions has been poor thing used? In a mine or something?



After I was done with the cleaning of the fans I used a thick oil to lube the bearings inside. Not ideal but they were in bad shape to begin with. Three tiny holes inside the propeller made things nice and easy. In the end the tiny fans got from a very bad working state to a more than decent one. Still not perfect but perfectly usable if you know what I mean. A small grumble is still present but otherwise they spin freely.



Nice and clean.



I decided not to open the CPU cartridge as I do not plan to use this CPU in a build any time soon. I gave it a good clean and some air compressor treatment.



Some assembly required. :D



I did some tests with Arctic MX-4 to determine the best quantity of TIM needed. Also I put the blob of TIM on the center of the die of the CPU.



Done and Done!



RIP GA-7IXE ...



There you have it! A huge episode dedicated to the silent (or sometimes not so silent) heroes inside our machines. They toil in scorching heat, keeping things in check so that we can enjoy our purpose driven PCs. Do not overlook them and give them the attention they seldom need. A little bit goes a long way.

More later.

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/dyNHsHx *** https://postimg.cc/gallery/gwDvvNF *** https://postimg.cc/gallery/D4CV88T *** https://postimg.cc/gallery/0vC4cRp *** https://postimg.cc/gallery/Gyqjrzm *** https://postimg.cc/gallery/wvT4XBw *** https://postimg.cc/gallery/np27L0K
 
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