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

Jul 3, 2016
291 (0.38/day)
Tseng DUO

This episode features two Tseng video cards. Both of them are the PCI version.

I was searching for a Tseng ET4000/W32P video card for some time. In the end I found it at the good ol' flea market. I would've wanted the VLB or at least the ISA version but beggars can't be choosers, I guess.

The Tseng ET6000 4MB was bought a few years ago, also from the flea market. A test made after that moment, revealed that it was dead, so I put in a box and that was it. At least until this year :D

Let's meet the two video cards:

* Vision Magic Tseng Labs ET6000 4 MB MDRAM


The card was in a rough shape but as soon as I saw Tseng ET4000/W32P written all over it, I knew I had to have it. I paid very little for it and I took it home.

The card took a hit before I got to it and a few pins from the graphic chip were affected but they didnt separate from the PCB. Lucky me!

I took the card apart.

The BIOS chip had a few light scratches which werent removed by IPA 99% and cotton sticks, so, I searched for other options.

It became clear that I would need an abrasive paste which would also have to be friendly with the markings on the chip.

I decided to try a little metal polish paste, the kind I use to restore the shine of the chromed brackets, and a cotton stick. I rubbed gently the graphic chip and afterwards I washed it well with IPA 99%.

After two passes I got the desired results. GOOD AS NEW!!!

The satisfaction I got after this step was off the scale.

I applied this treatment to other IC's on the board.

The final results were notable. The downside is that now I have to apply this step to other cards I restore and the time that I spend with each component will get even longer than already is. Regardless, after these many electronic artifacts recovered from the crusher, one more stage dedicated to the restoration process isn't much. By now, all I do is like a reflex. I'm not kidding. Also, I never say STOP until I am completely satisfied.


gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/jyxc9xso/

Vision Magic Tseng Labs ET6000 4 MB MDRAM

I was so proud when I bought this card. Tseng ET6000 with 4MB, NICE! Lucky find!

After I tested it I was deflated. Dead!

This year, right after I managed to exorcise all the demons from the socket 4 / Pentium 66MHz setup (which will be presented at a later date), amadeus777999, a fellow vogons user, asked me to run some DOOM Shareware 1.9 timedemo tests with some of my graphic cards. These results were needed for a project of his. In the end I made over 100 DOOM Shareware 1.9 runs, so it was obvious that the ET6000 could not miss from the line-up. Needless to say, the P66+ASUS PCI/I-P5MP3 rev. 2.4 combo was rock solid, even if I got a few gray hairs during the process of eliminating all the demons that took over the socket 4 setup, and believe me they were many! (The P66 story will also be very interesting). (The results of the DOOM Shareware tests will be presented at the appropriate time)

I checked the ET6000 and I couldn't find anything wrong with it.

At first, I decided to remove the extra 2MB video memory from the PLCC sockets. This task was unbelievably hard. What could possibly go wrong?

The PLCC exctractor that I have is a cheap chinese model and it didnt grab the memory chips as it should. The plastic of the PLCC was brittle and old. After I applied the force required, I was faced with a disaster. One of the metal hooks of the PLCC extractor, dug into a memory chip, broke off a corner if it and then left a diagonal scratch.

You should've seen my face. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

&*($@#*($&###!!!! Curses, ()&%#*%#&*~)@%~~~!!!

Before I resorted to the chinese PLCC extractor, I tried two small screwdrivers but I couldn't remove the memory chips. The PLCC sockets groaned and flexed and I couldn't remove the chips.

In the end I managed to remove the memory chips. The PLCC sockets were cracked, the chips looks like hell....

I tested the card again. STILL NOTHING!. No change.....^$@#&$*^@*!@!@!!##

Reluctantly, I removed the Vision Magic sticker from the BIOS chip and I verified if the BIOS image was good. I had to know what model the chip was. This information was vital. I placed it into my MiniPro TL866A BIOS programmer and I did a READ and VERIFY test. ALL WAS OK! Foiled again! - ATMEL AT27C256R

I used double sided tape to put back the Vision Magic sticker and I inserted the memory chips I removed earlier.

Damn it!

What could be the problem?

And then IT HIT ME!!!

I saw some marks on the pins of the graphic chip, so, I decided to investigate them thoroughly. Flea market cards usually have a few marks on them and I investigate the chips to see if the pins make contact with each other.

I took a fine needle and I checked the pins. Needless to say that I found out soon why the ET6000 wasnt running. Lots of pins were separated from the PCB.

I knew the cause of the problem and I needed a solution.

Ideally I would've needed a hot air station and the required supplies. At the start of this year I thought of buying a hot air station but in the end I gave up. I couldn't justify the costs as I dont have many card to repair.

The second option was represented by a repair shop but where's the fun in that? :D I think you know me well after the V4-L saga. :D

For some time I wanted to try the drag soldering tehnique. After I got accustomed with the use of flux and I got a little courageous, I said LET'S DO IT!!!

The brain-dead ET6000-ul was the perfect candidate!

I looked at a demo of the drag soldering tehnique.

HowTo: Drag Soldering Demo

I looked a few times over these videos.

Professional SMT Soldering: Hand Soldering Techniques - Surface Mount

Professional Hand Soldering: Surface Mount QFP 208 Fine-Pitch

I couldn't be bothered with the lower stages and I went straight to MASTER class, crash course style :D just the way I LIKE IT!!! :D QFP 208 Fine-Pitch drag soldering. How hard can it be?:D

Because I couldnt find angled tips for my soldering iron I decided to make my own.

Dont forget the sponge.

Let's inspect the pins closer. Not GOOD!!! Some are bent and some are separated from the PCB due to some force applied over them.

Before I took over the main task, I practiced on a dead laptop motherboard.

I used liquid flux branded Topnik RF800.

The results were encouraging so I tackled the ET6000.

I applied Topnik RF800 flux and I placed the tip of the soldering iron over the pins. Unfortunately, the flux was liquid and it wouldn't stay in one place. It quickly evaporated at the contact with the soldering iron and it didnt help me. I used a low quantity of solder.

A few weeks before, I bought from the flea market, some Amtech RMA-223 flux, which in the end proved to be fake. I decided to use it after I saw a comparative video in which it was said that it is OK. To my surprise, I found the exact fake flux at the local electronic shop. YAY!!! :D The label has spelling errors and the packaging is not like the original.

I applied Amtech RM-223-FAKE flux.



After a soldering pass.

The Topnik RF800 flux is a NO CLEAN flux. The Amtech RMA-223-FAKE flux was an unknown quantity so I had to clean it.

The weather was cold during this operation. The lack of experience meant that I used too much flux and I had to clean A TON OF IT!

Cleaning the leftover flux proved to be a challenge. The difficulty was due to the fact that it was behind the pins and in contact with IPA 99% it would turn in a substance like cheese.

I was afraid that some of the pins I soldered back might separate again, so, I placed the card in a IPA 99% bath. I used a container with a lid to reduce evaporation.

The IPA 99% bath didnt remove the flux so I had to use an old tooth brush and a syringe.

After almost an hour, I managed to remove all the flux. DAMN SON!

I inspected the solder job and I was pleased with the results. I didnt straighten any of the pins because I was afraid I might break them. Before I got to solder them back I checked that each one of them made contact with their pad.

I placed the card in the PC and I saw that the orange led of the monitor turned to green but the screen remained black.

It looks like I'm on the right path. I inspected again all of the pins, 208 of them....

I found a few pins that werent making contact. It looks like my solder job wasnt as strong as I thought and during cleaning I separated some of them.


This time I used the right amount of flux.

I soldered again all the pins and I cleaned the card.

Final results.

Close view of the soldered pins.

I DID THIS! When all was said and done, I was satisfied with my results.

I tested the card again and it ran flawlessly, almost.

The image was crips, the drivers installed without a hitch, I ran a DOOM test. ALL OK!

I was happy and I wasnt bothered anymore with the looks of the card. I will remember these battle scars for a long time from now. They look bad from every angle. (One of the soldered memory chips had some chips when I bought it.)

Unfortunately, the victory was bitter sweet. When I ran the timedemo benchmark from DOOM Shareware 1.9, I saw on the lower part of the screen, that some pixels werent displayed correctly.

I removed the extra VRAM and I left the card with the soldered chips. When I booted in WIN 95 I saw that the image wasnt right.

I inspected again all of the pins of the graphic chip. All was well.

After I put back the extra VRAM chips the video card didnt show the anomalies that were present with just the soldered 2MB and I was left with the odd pixels.

At this moment I gave up. There was no way I could recover this card completely.

Some fights you cannot win. I could find some memory chips and try something, but this might come sometime in the far far far future.

The upside is, that I can execute drag soldering at a reasonable level of quality. Practice makes perfect and I'm sure I'll need this skill someday.

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/31f9xa72w/

C ya next time with more good stuff.:D
Last edited:
Jul 3, 2016
291 (0.38/day)
My first 80386!!! Pine Technology PT-321 (M3200793) / AMD 386DX 40MHz / am386DX-40

Nebs Jack - Guys like me (Andre Rizo & Dj Pado remix)

For over three years since I've been going to the flea market, I've never seen a 80386 for sale. The 80286 is even harder to find. Rara avis.

The truth is that I wasnt searching for a 80286 or a 80386 as I was pretty sure that I wasnt going to pass the 80486 border and travel further into the past.

Like many times before, all it took was a tiny piece of kryptonite and I was already looking at the 80486 border in my rear view mirror.

I found the PT-321 motherboard at one of my contacts at the flea market.

On 14.04.2018 I went to the flea market to see what was avaialable. The day didnt look promising. All changed when I was faced with a pile of motherboards. :D

I put aside the Pentium 4 and Athlon XP motherbaords and I was left with the 80386 plus 9 CPUs.

After a quick negociation I took THE LOOT and I went home.

The PT-321 is compact and the CPU is soldered on the motherboard. This didnt bother me at all as the CPU is pretty potent.

As soon as I laid my eyes on it, I thought about my Zida Tomato Board 4DPS.

It seems that the PT-321 was sold at a time when the 80386 cycle was coming to an end, and the 80486 was somewhat expensive.

Let's get to the matter at hand.

Eversince I negociated the price for the 80386, I knew that the CMOS battery leaked and all its poison spilled over the motherboard.

This didnt put me off as I was convinced that the motherboard was still alive. In the past I had to deal with far more desperate situations.

I removed the battery using a fine screwdriver. Some gentle persuasion was needed and the battery was free. I kept the battery terminals as I might need them down the road.

Initial state.

I applied the usual treatment for battery leaks: VINEGAR made from GRAPES.

Immediately after I used the vinegar, I could see the bubbles forming and the acid started to lose the fight.

I felt a great satisfaction while I was looking at the bubbles. BEGONE FIEND!!! :D :D :D

When the reaction ended I was pleased to see that the treatment went according to plan. The laquer was a little affected but the traces are in great shape.

Cleaning was business as usual. You know the drill.

The leaked acid left some marks on the back of the motherboard. Nothing too serious.

The passing of time left its mark and on the back of the motherboard we can see a few white spots beneath the laquer. I dont know if these spots are from the manufacturing process or are the result of another factor.

I'm pretty sure, even with the facts mentioned above, that this 386 will continue to work long time from now. I cant say the same thing about some of my newer components though.

The glass half full.

The testing session was a complete success. ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO!

I didnt think it was necessary to use a controller and install an O.S. The motherboard is working well. Even from the first powerup, the PC SPEAKER greeted me with a happy BEEP! I'M ALIVE!!!

BULLETPROOF! I really like these old parts, they work and work and keep on working.

More later.
Jul 3, 2016
291 (0.38/day)
Claptone - No Eyes (feat. Jaw)

The RED Beast!

As you probably already know, my luck regarding ATI cards is legendary ... bad ... yep. I dont see many ATI cards at the flea market and when I find them I think twice before I make a purchase.

The card featured in this episode is A MONSTER. I saw it briefly and that was enough: I WANT IT! I put my hands on it and I loved the weight of the mammoth. I knew well this feeling as I've experienced it many times since all this retro madness has started. There's always something "new" at the horizon. Something that stirs you up. FRESH! FRESH! Fresh from the dumpster, of course.

I bought the ATI Radeon 3870x2 on a Sunday, in July this year. The price was low. I haggled a bit and I managed to drive the price down. The day was rainy but it cleared up a bit after 12.00 o'clock and that was the window I was waiting for. That day I scored more good stuff besides the ATI card.

Meet the ASUS ROG HD 3870 X2 TOP (EAH3870X2-TOP/G/3DHTI/1G)

In the past I avoided many times to buy from the flea market, newer cards and especially PCI-E cards. The reasons are obvious: the danger of missing ICs, the difficulty to restore them, the risk of them beeing dead is far greater than in the case of older parts, etc.

The irony is that I broke this "rule" for an ATI card. Never say never ... they say.

So I was stuck with the little ASUS. :D

Another fact to consider is that the 3870x2 (2008) is the second ATI dual-GPU card after Rage Fury MAXX (1999). I'm talking about ATI factory cards. If it was working it would've been awesome. Only 10 years have passed since it was introduced and it feels old. Life is in overdrive.

I left the card in the trunk of my car, but soon after that I brought it into the house and I decided to clean it and give it a go to see what's what.

The 3870x2 was full of dust and fingerprints. The fingerprints were very stubborn and werent removed by IPA 99%.

Before I bought it, I looked to see if something was missing on the back. At that time I didnt see anything suspicious. Later while I was cleaning it, I saw that it was missing two ceramic capacitors above the PCI-E connector and a third one was hanging for dear life.

I soldered the third one and I decided to find and solder the other two, the following day.

After this cold shower I felt I bought a wreck. My enthusiasm was going down...

Ready for testing.


POWER ON! - nothing, black screen - NO SIGNAL!!!

Damn son, I told you not to buy crap form the flea market.

My gut feeling said it was alive. Was I mistaken?!

I took out the card from the PC and I conducted a thorough examination. Inch by inch.

Soon, I recevied more bad news.

MIA: 1 resitor, 1 transistor with unkown specs, one more ceramic capacitor hanging for dear life, 6 ceramic capacitor missing.

Not a pretty picture.

I didnt gave up and I hatched a rescue plan. I still believed that the card was alive.

I didnt know the specs of the missing transistor and I couldn't find detailed pictures on the internet. In many instances, articles written 10 years ago werent available. Such a shame.

So I looked for a solution.

The missing transistor was marked Q99. I searched for Q98 but I didnt find it so I looked for Q100. Luckily at Q100 I found two resistors and one tranzistor.

The similarity between Q99 and Q100 put me on the right path. I decided to transplant at the Q99 location one resistor and one tranzistor with the same specs as those at Q100.

The donor was a Medion ATI X740 XL.

This was the first time when I had to solder this many tiny components. The results arent my best work but I have accumulated experience and now I can do them a lot better.The solder job was verified and it is as strong as it can be.

In the past I used a soldering iron to remove the ceramic capacitors from the PCB and it was tedious.

Lately, I use gentle persuasion and I remove them flea market style. :D They come off surprisingly easy. A gentle tap with a set of pliers on the head of a fine screwdriver and they are free. A fact to remember when I decide to buy such complex cards from the flea market.

I used NO CLEAN flux when I soldered the missing parts as I wanted to test the card before I cleaned it. Even so, I used cotton sticks dipped in IPA 99% and a soft brush to remove the leftover flux and/or tiny bits of solder.

I put the card in the PC.



The satisfaction I felt was OFF THE CHARTS!!! A highly addictive drug, believe me.

Clean bill of health.

After I found out that the card was A-OK came the moment to clean it properly and restore it to its former glory.

Let's get to work!

Close-up with the problem areas.

First I tackled the heatsinks. Full of dust, hardened TIM and tired thermal pads. I decided to save the pads as they were softer than what I had available and I didnt know the exact width. I didnt need more problems.

I decided to restore the shine of the copper even if I knew that it will not last. I didnt use vinegar as it might've affected the silver fins.

I used small amounts of metal polishing paste and with patience I got the desired results.

The base of the heatsinks was left as it was.

After I finished with the heatsinks I worked on the other metal parts.

I tried to remove the fingerprints from the anodized aluminium shroud but to no avail. I used IPA 99%, tar remover, brake cleaner, metal polishing paste, paint polishing paste and none worked, so I gave up. The upside was that after all of this, the shroud was squeaky clean.

The PCB was cleaned well.

I added a few high res pictures. Maybe someone will find them useful.

I prepared the screws and other small parts.

The fans received some SPA TREAMENT.

Looking good!

I left the problem of the pads, for last.I cleaned them as much as I could with cotton sticks and IPA 99%. I had to be extra careful as the IPA99% softened up the pads and I didnt want to destroy them. I was very gentle with them, fully aware of the problems I was facing in the event of a disaster.

The rest was almost smooth sailing except the fact that I mounted the first heatsink and then the second one. I had to lign up the fixing holes using a source of light without touching the TIM on the GPU or the four pads on the memory. BUMPY RIDE! I used Arctic MX-4 for the GPU's.

The results? He, he, he, watch for yourselves :D

Back from the gutter!!!

Normally this would the happy end of the story but it isnt so. :D

While I was preparing the pictures for this episode I saw that two more ceramic caps were missing on the back of the card.

I soldered back the missing caps. The card is now at 100% :D

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/oohsxgy6/

More later. :D
Jul 3, 2016
291 (0.38/day)
GAINWARD Beyond Your Senses - The MIGHTY 7800GS+

Gainward Bliss 7800GS+ 512MB AGP
Gainward SilentFX Active 7800GS+
Gainward 7800GS+ AGP8X 512MB TV-OUT 2DVI

Back in the day I was a BIG fan of Gainward graphic cards. As usual, they were waaaaayyy out of my price range and all I could do was to read about them on the internet or from magazines and drool freely :D ... Even so, I wasnt put off by this, and I wanted a piece of heaven too and my first Gainward card was a Geforce 4 MX460 when everybody was buying MX440. The card I bought was a Gainward Geforce 4 MX460 64MB Golden Sample. Looking back I should've bought a Geforce 3 Ti 200 but at that time the MX460 brought me a lot of joy. I bought the MX460 together with an ECS K7VTA3 V3.1 – KT333 motherboard. I still remember vividly the moment when I got the package from the courier. It's like it was yesterday... Later I bought an Athlon XP 1900+/Palomino core CPU, after I tricked my father a little, and I was good to go!

Happy times.

A few years later I sold the MX460 to a cousin and I bought it back from him only to sell it to someone else. When I write these lines I wish I didnt sell the card, well..., I was young and foolish... :D

The Gainward 7800GS+, featured in this episode, was bought from the flea market together with the ASUS ATI Radeon HD 3870x2 PCI-E, from the previous episode.

Like many times in the past, as soon as I laid my eyes on the 7800GS+, I knew I HAD TO HAVE IT! The initial price was steep, around 55 EUR but I was at the right time and in the right place, Sunday at the end of the flea market day, somewhere around 12.00 o'clock and I managed to drive down the price. In the end I paid for the card the hefty sum of 11 EUR. :D

After I had my way with this card and I found out what has in the engine bay, the selling price, IF I decide to sell it, went well beyond what I paid for it.

From what I read on the internet, the GW 7800GS+ with the G71-GT2-H-N-A2 core was a limited edition. It has a Geforce 7950GT core with 24 pixel shaders / 8 vertex shaders but only 8 ROPs instead of 16. This model is quite overclockable. I didnt try to see what it can do because I dont have a powerfull AGP setup yet.


What were the odds to find such a card at the flea market? Pretty small! 11EUR well spent!

When I bought the card I didnt know if it was working. It had many scratches but after I conducted a through PCB inspection and I didnt saw anything suspicious I decided to do all I could to make it mine.

When I got home I stared at it for a few minutes and after this I said to myself : MINE ALL MINE!!!

Smookin' HOT beastly AGP video card! I love that GAINWARD LOGO! Such a shame Gainward isn't what it once was...

Beastie Boys - Sure Shot

Lets clean this sucker!

Hi! It's me the 7800GS+!


Hefty cooler!

What do we have here? FUR? Nope. Dust, some animal hairs, cigarette smoke and God knows what! YUCK!

Cool looking fan and a nice shroud.

I washed the plastic shroud and I was pleased with the results.

I still didnt know if I had the full 24/8 setup. I didnt want to power it up and I decided to cleant it first. If you ask yourselves how I managed to restrain myself I can say that it took will and many other situations like these experienced in the past. The moment when you power-up a cleaned/restored card has some similarities with moment when you first power-up a new card. The feeling is intense and addictive.

After I removed the hardened TIM I was greeted by the string G71-GT2-H-N-A2. THE REAL DEAL!

Fatboy Slim - Push The Tempo

After this discovery I started the cleaning process and first I tackled the heatsink.

Initially I wanted to remove the thermal pads but they were glued in place and any attempt to take them off was met with a failure. I even put the heatsink in the freezer for a few minutes but still NO DICE!

In the end I decided to leave them in place. If it aint broken why fix it? They were clean, undamaged and reusable. Why bother?

The card has Samsung DK4J52324QC-BC14 GDDR3 memory chips that are rated up to 700MHz. From factory they run at a pedestrian 550 MHz.

On your mark, get, set, GO!

The heatsink was cleaned thoroughly. I flatened a few cotton sticks and I dipped then in IPA 99% and I cleaned each and every fin. The end result was quite good .

Because the backplate nuts have a fine thread and they were quite hard to remove, I decided to put them in my trusty rust remover solution.

I prepared the backplate and the bracket for cleaning. A little polishing paste and they came out like new.

All this time the rust remover solution did its job.

Some metal shards were left on the bottom of the container.

I took out the screws from the rust remover solution and I washed them well with IPA 99%.

The nuts were much easier to thread on the screws.


Because the plastic shroud of the cooler has a mirror finish, I decided to use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching it further.

The most difficult part was to clean the fan. I didnt want to take it apart and I used various tools to clean it well. I managed to clean only 95% of the dirt from under the fan. The rest of the fan and surrounding area was easier to clean 100%. If I removed the sticker on the back that meant losing the factory look. A NO NO in my book. In the end my efforts were enough and the final results were very good. The fan is still silent and spins easily.

Some battle scars. Nothing too serious.

I took the required measures to eliminate the rattle of a few fins.

Cooling system DONE!

Next came the cleaning of the PCB. My favourite part.

Ready for assembly.


As I mentioned above, I dont have a potent AGP test system, yet, so I had to use my trusty KT333.

In one of my visits at the flea market I found an Athlon XP 2400+/266MHz Thorton core CPU. Because the 3.1 revision of my ECS K7VTA3 motherboard doesnt support 333MHz bus CPUs, the Athlon XP 2400+/266 Thorton core was better than my Athlon XP 1900+/266 Palomino core, so I did a BIOS update and I was ready for a test.

The mainboard ECS K7VTA3 3.1, uses an AMD 462-pin Socket A that has the following features:
· Supports 100(200)/133(266) MHz frontside bus (FSB)
· Accommodates AMD Athlon XP/Athlon/Duron processors

Was the 7800GS+ alive and kicking?

2001: A Space Odyssey Theme • Also Sprach Zarathustra • Richard Strauss



That's a wrap!

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/l4i5t1w2/

More later.
Jul 3, 2016
291 (0.38/day)
Imagination - Just An Illusion

ASUS K7M v 1.04 AMD 750/VIA 686A Slot-A motherboard

Until not long ago, I wasnt interested in SLOT A stuff. I knew about them but I didnt see them in the flesh. This changed after I bought my first slot A motherboard with the AMD 750 Irongate chipset and a few Slot A CPUs. Now, they are a must for me and I buy them without blinking.

The motherboard featured in this episode was found in a tired old case, at the flea market, in my city, right under my nose. The icing on the cake was that it came with an AMD K7 - AMD-A0800MPR24B A 800MHz Thunderbird core CPU. My first and only Thundebird Slot A CPU. What were the odds of me finding these goddies in a place like that? I'm sure I've seen that case a few times on separate visits to the flea market before I decided to see what's inside.

Because I found this motherboard in a case, its condition is almost perfect. Besides some dust and grime there was nothing to be repaired or replaced.

A perfect candidate for the cleaning operation.

While I prepared the motherboard for cleaning I also removed the northbridge heatsink because it moved freely. To my amazement I saw that it didnt have any thermal paste, thermal adhesive or even a thermal pad. What the ....

I cleaned well the elements that I removed.

I protected the PCB ink stamps against IPA 99%.

I did my magic. I took my sweet time and I didnt rush anything. I took more time to clean this particular board. With each componet I clean, I get better and the steps I take have almost become a reflex. Experience tells me where and how much I have to insist to obtain the desired results.


Arctic MX-4. 'nuff said!

Dream build candidate sometime down the line...:D

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/1vu9g3zma/


More later.
Jul 3, 2016
291 (0.38/day)
Trans-X - Living On Video (Official Music Video)

S370 - Revisiting an old friend. Abit SA6 V1.1

Ahhh, S370 takes me back a long time ago, when I bought my second PC. After the AMD 586-133MHz I switched over to Intel.

Taking into consideration that the price of Pentium II CPUs was stratospheric, I had to choose the next best thing, THE MIGHTY CELERON A!. K6-2 was not for me. :D

Uh yeah! I bought a MSI-6154 / 440ZX motherboard and a Celeron 366MHz. Nearly 20 years have passed since that moment...sheeshhh getting old suxx BIG TIME!

In January, this year I went to the local flea market and to my surprise I bought an Abit SA6 V1.1 motherboard for under 3 EUR. I couldnt believe that I found an Abit motherboard, there, of all places. Usually the motherboards that escape the crusher are low end and the chances to find something nice are very low.

I bought it without blinking. There she is on the trunk of my car :D

The motherboard came with a CPU and a heatsink. A few days later I removed the heatsink and under it I found.....a Pentium III 733MHz/133/256 - SL4CG CPU.

I expected something better but I said to myself that the "little" one is still good to have.

Some time later I bought three Tualatin CPUs, one at 1.2GHz and two at 1.3GHz, only to find out that the motherboard doesnt support Tualatin CPUs....I should've RTFM BETTER!!!

Lets return to the the Abit SA6.

I tested the motherboard with the 733MHz PIII and BEHOLD: It's ALIVE!

Immortal relic of times gone by even if it is full with crappy capacitors...

Some battle scars, as expected. Nobody at the flea market treats PC components with velvet gloves.

Beside the "small imperfections" from above, the board was also missing a jack and I bought a damaged Creative SB Live! SB0060 sound card just for this.

Obscure asian stuff: Yang An, V0.41 and HIGH QUALITY JACKCON caps...BLISS!....yeah right...what could possibly go wrong? I WONDER!

The flea market was good to me and I also found a Celeron la 1.1GHz/100/128 - SL5XU CPU. I bought it even if I saw that it was missing a few pins. I really dont know what I was thinking...

After I straightened a bunch of pins, three more pins broke off and I said to myself that it was the right time to see if I can solder them back. The third one separated completely so I wasnt able to solder it back and I was left with two pins to attach.

The pictures are self explanatory.

After I inserted the CPU in the socket a few times, one of the two pins broke off again. The thin copper layer onto which I added the solder, was already separated from the textolite/fiber, so all my effort was for nothing.

Even so, now I have the required experience and I can save other CPUs that have better chances of survival. Soldering back pins is not too complicated. The fact that older CPUs have far less pins, allows for a higher rate of success. All in all I do not recommend that you waste your time with CPUs that have missing pins. I didnt try to see if the 1.1GHz Celeron was alive...too many missing pins...

Before and close to the end of the straightening process. If you ask yourselves why I bought the 1.1GHz Celeron, I really dont have an answer :D sometimes I believe I can save them all...

Later I found a nice Pentium III la 1GHz/133/256 - SL4C8 CPU and I vanquished all my demons. Now the Abit SA6 has a decent CPU under the hood. Case closed.

I can make a Tualatin mod for my three CPUs or I can modify the CPU socket but I dont want to do this right now.

I prepared the Abit SA6 for cleaning. BEHOLD no TIM under the northbridge heastink. This was also the case when I cleaned the Asus K7M V1.04 motherboard, what the F.........KKKKKKKK!!!

Ready for action!



Work in progress!

Results? Robert B Trade Mark! :D

Byte my shiny metal a$$...ahem shiny metal bits.

Arctic MX-4 - serious business!

Glamour shots. I take great pride in my "work"!

V for VICTORY!!!

Who paid attention has seen that the stamped ink marking under the northbridge was removed by IPA 99% because I didnt protect it. So I had to do something about it. A few tries later I managed to get a result close to the original.

Attention to detail is very important!

I dont have to bother you further with my obsessions ...

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/1uzxs218y/

More later.:D
Last edited:
Jul 3, 2016
291 (0.38/day)
Eminem - Bitch Please II (Feat. Dr. Dre & Xzibit & Snoop Dogg)

Central Processing Unit

In this episode we will get to meet a few CPUs.

One part was bought from the flea market. The other part came from one of my retro HW suppliers :D

CPU cleaning doesnt allow me to demonstrate all I know in regard to HW restoration, but even so, I got some pretty good results. I was accustomed to more difficult tasks but sometimes I enjoy the occasional "easy" stuff too :D

From rags to riches.

Batch 1 - flea market

1. Pentium 166MHz SL27H
2. Pentium 200MHz SL23W
3. Pentium 200MHz SL27J
4. Celeron 400MHz SL3A2
5. AMD Athlon 64 3000 - ADA3000DAA4BW - 2 buc.
6. Athlon XP 2800+ / AXDA2800DKV4D

Batch 2 - my contact

1. Slotket 370SP Rev 1.0
2. Celeron 300MHz - SL36A
3. Celeron 400MHz - SL3A2
4. Celeron 433MHz - SL3BS
5. Celeron 433MHz - SL3BA
6. Celeron 500MHz - SL3FY - 2buc

The CPUs from the first batch were a little rough.

Besides the fact that I had to deal with dust, dirt, grime, hardenned TIM, I also had to deal with a lot of bent pins. A "FUN" job let me tell you...

The first on the operating table was the Pentium 200MHz - SL23W. Unfortunately it came without the original fan.

At first, no matter what I tried, I didnt get the results that I desired. In particular, the black fiber/ textolite Pentium and Celeron CPUs, still looked like hell after a few cleanup procedures.

I took out the BIG GUNS, the rust remover solution, Szuper Evipass, and all the "garbage" bought from the flea market took a nice long bath :D This way, I also removed some corrosion that was present on some of the pins. Some marks were left in the places were the corrosion was present but otherwise the pins were untouched and were shiny after this operation. This rust remover is not so aggresive like other products.

A few hours later I washed the CPUs with water and dish soap.

Afterwards they took a long bath in IPA 99%.

I cleaned them well, I used a little metal polish paste, then came even more IPA 99%...

Results? HHHHhhhmmmm...acceptable by my standards :D

While I cleaned the CPUs I also received some bad news.

One Athlon 64 3000+ CPU was missing a pin and the Celeron 400MHz was also missing a pin...this is what happens when you dont have your eyes peeled when you buy stuff from the flea market!

I searched the pinout for Athlon 64 and Celeron PGA CPUs.

In the case of the Athlon 64 3000+ CPU the identification of the missing pin, took a while, because I could pinpoint it exactly. In the PDF document, the pinout was presented in following way. Initially I thought that the pinout is like when the heatspreader is in the back and the pins are facing you, when in fact, the pinout is like when the CPU is inserted in the socket. The missing pin is AJ-1.

Page 22-23 in the document: AMD Functional Data Sheet, 940 Pin Package - https://support.amd.com/TechDocs/31412.pdf

The missing pin is THERMDA - A Anode (+) of the thermal diode. The CPU will run without it :D I dont have a 939 motherboard ATM, but I'm sure that the CPU is alive. It seems that the Venice core has a good OC potential. I'll see if it is so when I'll find a nice 939 motherboard and I'll take them for a spin.

The Celeron 400MHz was missing the pin 4-D which is a VSS pin. I tested the CPU on the Super P6DLS V2.1 motherboard and it runs well.

Page 81 in the document: https://www.intel.com/design/celeron/datashts/24365820.pdf

Huh. That was a close one.

Cleaning the CPUs from the second batch was straight forward. I also had to straighten some pins but not so many like in the case of the CPUs from the first batch.


After IPA 99% and elbow grease.

Group shot.


Exploded view.

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/2q5f3aet8/

More later.