OUR 1999 DIY PLATFORM

We use a gaming grade desktop PC in the shop. During the day we use productivity tools. On the weekend we like to play games. The flexibility of the PC makes this possible.

THE CURRENT SETUP

CHASSIS iCute 640
MB GA-586TX3 430HX
CPU AMD K6
RAM 32 MB EDO RAM
GPU PCI Video
PSU 350W OEM
MON Proview VGA 1280×1024
KB/M Logitech Keyboard and Mouse
HD Seagate 20GB
OS Windows 98SE

This  machine was assembled in January 2000 from very low cost OEM components. The Socket 7 board was designed for the new ATX PSU or it could be used with the old AT type power supplies. There are 4 PCI slots and 3 ISA slots which is typical for this type of motherboard. The GA-586TX3 was designed for DIY upgrade and repair and was widely available in the market for $99.

The ATX chassis we had featured holes to mount the baby AT and ATX motherboards. This was common due to the transition from 1996 to 1999.

We had an available AMD K6 CPU for this motherboard which was reasonably fast for the period. The K6 operated at 200 MHz which was fast enough for Windows 98 or even Windows 2000. Socket 7 had several CPU options available which make this board a good choice. The board had automatic settings which is helpful when there several CPU choices.

There are 3 slots of SDRAM memory. We had 16MB of memory which was barely enough for Windows 2000 which was more demanding than Windows 98 SE. We eventually upgraded the machine to 32MB which helped immensely. Versions of this board are also available for EDO memory. The machine was unable to use SDRAM larger than 64MB which limited its capability.

We installed a PCI card to upgrade the system for the new USB mice, keyboards however were slow to move to USB.

We installed an ISA sound card, but eventually we acquired a PCI card. PCI was maturing rapidly..

The machine has the 32GB disk limit problem which was typical of this era. Most machines used smaller 10 GB and 15 GB disks. It was not until XP SP2 that disk limitations finally were eliminated.

We used an early ATX power supply which was available and it was much more suitable for this motherboard with a few cards installed. The ATX PSU was overkill but but it managed to last longer than expected. Power supplies were still quite limited in capacity.Intel 430HX motherboard