A PC’s life, UPGRADES and re-purposing. Part 1 of 2.

My 10 year old NEC ValueStar VN750 died in late 2018. It was a pretty good system for the day. See specs in Japanese.

Originally fitted with a mighty Core 2 Duo E7200@2.53ghz (Passmark 1631) and 2GB of ram and windows Vista.

As it was chugging along nicely albeit slow. In early 2017, 2GB more ram, a new wireless card, and the CPU was replaced with a boxed Core 2 Quad Q9550@2.85ghz which was maybe 30$USD. (Passmark 3971)  (passmark is used as I use PLEX)

The old parts were swapped for the new and all worked relatively well. The case got warmer with the new CPU with 2 more cores.  But well within spec for the moment.

With the new CPU the boot times were improved

Despite all working well, I decided that I could push my new CPU harder. For the socket 775 there is a tape overclock option. Covering a pin on the cpu disables communication about the bus and multiplier. (see vid)

This took more power and the default heat solution was no longer adequate. Thermal throttling was verified with aida64 plus the case got warm quickly reaching 99c in minutes.

Checking online I discovered someone in Japan had done something similar on their brown computer. It was a little over the top.

img_9930
Picture from a random Japanese page.

I wanted something a little more discreet so ventilation holes were cut in the case where the mesh was and the airflow altered with fans performing push pull duties as opposed to both doing push (out) and having massive negative pressure inside the case.

img_9941


All worked well for a couple years plus windows 10 was working smooth. It was a lot louder and used more power than before, but it was like a new lease on life for this computer. It felt completely different. I should have kept a screenshot of the overclocked performance.

Of course the PC eventually died, it could have been caused from a number of reasons. But I suspect the power delivery, from an increased power draw or bios issue, although it was recognized. In any case it was dead. At first windows wound’t boot, then the machine wouldn’t post, then nothing.

fractal-design-node-804
Slot optical drive Node 804. Pic from here

Case disassembled the slot optical disc drive will be used in my server (Node 804, see pic). The ram in an old laptop. The HDD in my Security camera NVR (for now).

Besides the custom case, are the CPUs (which I don’t know what to do with), the keyboard which is annoyingly not Bluetooth, and the monitor. Monitor removed and LCD controller card set purchased….. part 2

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