Exotic Windows XP Build

Discussion in 'Windows XP Hardware' started by Kithylin, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    I mentioned in another thread recently that I could do a "Build Log" of me re-building my Windows XP computer and at least one user (Samir) was interested so here's the build log. I'm finally getting to it so I'll log it here in this thread. Forewarning: This will not be a beautiful showcase build like you see on reddit. It's largely a bunch of older used parts I have left over from other builds and it uses older mid-2000's barb and clamp water cooling so it's not pretty. But it's focused on raw performance. Short summary: Rather exotic parts for 2013 and it runs with an I5-3570K @ 4.7 Ghz stable, 32GB DDR3 @ 2200 Mhz, and a water cooled EVGA GTX 780 Classified card. The rest I'll describe as we go. Also don't expect daily updates or anything. My ability to advance with this project will depend on how my body feels day to day and what ever else is going on in life but I have all the parts here and I will complete this and get it running before the end of 2021. Summary out of the way and let's get on to the pictures and descriptions and the building.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [​IMG]
    Antec 1200 Full Tower computer case. Very old.. I've owned this since about 2004. Scratched up and modified. I cut the fan grilles out for mounting radiators and I added a set of 3" casters with rubber wheels to wheel it around.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ASRock P67 Extreme4 B3 revision motherboard with the PLX chip. Memory is actually this: https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Memory/High-Performance-Memory/VENGEANCE®-Pro-Series-—-32GB-(4-x-8GB)-DDR3-DRAM-2400MHz-C11-Memory-Kit/p/CMY32GX3M4A2400C11R but I have modified it by removing the heatsinks and resin-bonding them to a set of older Corsair Dominator GT Water-Block enabled ram covers. I have the water block that goes on them and I will be installing it along in this build. I'll show that later.

    [​IMG]
    Heatkiller Pro IV Intel Nickel-Plated Copper water block. The finest German Engineered water block in my opinion. I'm not taking it apart again just to show everyone but I'm running the CPU delidded with the IHS removed and bare chip right to the water block. This water block is specifically designed to give the exact mounting pressure for Intel CPU's with the IHS removed so they will function normally. Without this block people have to guess and use shims and all sorts of non-sesne. But I just put the block on, put paste on, crank down the mounting screws until they bottom out and it works every time.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Antec 1200W HCP / High Current Pro power supply. I expect this system to run around 700~800 watts under load when it's done. So this is actually necessary. I might try to find a raid card and put some of my 15,000 RPM SAS drives in here as a RAID array for more storage later so I'll need every bit of this big boy.
    [​IMG]
    Hardware Labs Gen Two Extreme radiator. This may look like a thick 240mm radiator but it's actually a 480mm. Hardware Labs put two 240mm radiator cores in the frame and routed em together so it passes through one -> into the second -> then back to the rest of the system. So this will be cooling everything. 480mm of radiator should be perfectly fine for this system.

    That's it for parts for now, on to the building.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And here's the progress for today. I'm stopping here for now. Both of the other two fans for the other side of this radiator are broken apparently.. one had a broken blade and the other the frame cracked when I put the screw in it.. FFS.. !#@!#@!#$#@#[email protected] Oh well. I'll still continue to build the system. I can get it up and running with two fans on the radiator for now, it'll just run a bit warmer. Part of having two cores in this radiator is it really does need two sets of fans in Push-Pull to get the maximum cooling out of this abnormally super-dense radiator. So I'll get that for later.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
    Kithylin, Dec 6, 2021
    #1
    Samir and SmilinDoug like this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. Kithylin

    SmilinDoug

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2019
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Adirondacks of New York
    If you're running Windows XP aren't you limited on how much memory you can use? Cool project btw.
     
    SmilinDoug, Dec 7, 2021
    #2
    Samir likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    There's a patch to bypass that and use more ram with XP-32. A friend of mine tried it and showed 48GB usable in XP-32. I haven't used it yet but I will be trying it soon after this build is done. I'll post links in here if it works for me and show others how to do it later. I'm motivated to get this done so I might get it running tonight maybe if my body can keep up with what I want to do with it.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 7, 2021
    #3
    Samir and SmilinDoug like this.
  4. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    More pictures. :>
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Waterblock for the ram.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Pump. Dual SwiftTech MCP-355's combined together with a aftermarket top and a heatsink on the bottom.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Sunbeam 6-channel fan controller. Originally it was rated for 15 watts per port but I melted the power connector so I modified it with a thicker wire to handle more current from higher current fans. Positive lead goes along the thicker wire which I soldered to the +12v pin which goes into the PCB and now it gets the negative connection from it's frame which connects to the chassis of the computer. Works great.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    As described above: EVGA GTX 780 Classified with EK water block. And miss wolf came over to inspect what I'm doing and stick her head into it.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 7, 2021
    #4
    Samir likes this.
  5. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    And darn.. I'm building it and it looks like I made a small mistake and the water block is oriented the wrong way for one of the water connections. Which means I'm going to have to take the block off and flip it around.. which means yay for anyone watching this thread: You'll get a few photos of a "naked" Ivy Bridge processor.. not so yay for me.. this is an annoying set-back. :( And the more I look at it I realize I really need to stop at this point and wait for the other 2 fans to arrive before proceeding as it would be a nightmare to nearly impossible to get those two fans in once I get all this tubing routed into this system. So this project sits for now until more parts arrive. I'll post some photos of the current progress of the system and where it sits now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
    Kithylin, Dec 7, 2021
    #5
    Samir likes this.
  6. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    I can't edit my previous posts to add to them so I'll just write another. Here's where I stopped for now:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure yet if I'll need to take the motherboard out to get that water block swapped around. I hope not. We'll see.
    EDIT: Also I was wrong on the original date in the start of the thread. The Antec 1200 came out in 2008, not 2004.
    EDIT #2: Also I added the small 120mm single radiator in the bottom for more cooling.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
    Kithylin, Dec 7, 2021
    #6
    Samir likes this.
  7. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    I made a little more progress today but mostly I worked on other things in this system because yesterday UPS said my fans were "Out for Delivery" at 3pm, said they would be here by 9pm, and then by 10pm they changed the ETA to be the next day (later today, it's 2am now). [email protected]#@!$#%$#@[email protected] Annoying, oh well.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I needed to change the orientation of the water block so it can make the connection up to the ram block so while it was off I took some photos of the system. Here's the "Naked" CPU I spoke of before and the shiny mirror finish of the water block.

    [​IMG]
    Here's the system now, I also installed one of the water connections from the ram water block. I decided this one won't be in the way of installing the other stuff later. Video card removed temporarily and I'll do that last.

    [​IMG]
    SSD's installed in their 2.5" -> 3.5" adapter brackets and installed in the main hard drive cage things and connected up to data and power.

    That's it for now. Hopefully I actually get the fans later today.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 9, 2021
    #7
    Samir likes this.
  8. Kithylin

    ClippyBeer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    At the pub
    Like your dog :)
     
    ClippyBeer, Dec 9, 2021
    #8
    Samir likes this.
  9. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    Thank you. She's a hybrid wolf dog. 60% Timber Wolf, 20% Siberian Husky and 20% German Shepard.

    By the way, if anyone needs fans Performance-PCS has them on sale right now. Sleeved wires and everything. $2.99 each and I was able to select free shipping. 5 fans shipped and delivered for $13.45, see here: https://www.performance-pcs.com/fan...tor-fan-1650rpm-fan-xspc-120mm-1650rpm-d.html They're supposedly marketed as static pressure fans for radiators (And they are fantastic at that job). But they would work great for generic case fans too. I finally have mine in my hands and UPS came through and delivered them earlier today while I was asleep. I'll get back to work on this project later today. Maybe I can finish it up today. At least I want to.. we'll see if my body tells me to stop or not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
    Kithylin, Dec 9, 2021
    #9
    Samir likes this.
  10. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And the system re-build is complete. Something I didn't show in detail: The Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Champion Edition PCI-Express card I have in it. Because XP was the last OS to have Direct-sound and native Creative EAX in games so I have to have a X-Fi in my XP rig. Also yes the ram water block is floating. The original thermal pad came apart in a bunch of pieces and was useless. And turned out.. a 2mm thermal pad is too thick and I can't mount the ram water block. It's fine air cooled at 2200 Mhz for now. I'll buy another thermal pad and re-mount it later, maybe 1mm will work. The only reason I wanted to water cool the ram is for hopes of reaching 2400~2500 Mhz ram, maybe. The ram is rated for 2800 Mhz, but it only wants to do 2200 stable so far. Here's a 3dmark result I ran tonight of the system running in XP and you can all see it's running, see the clock speeds of the CPU, the ram, and the clock of the GTX 780 in it. https://www.3dmark.com/3dm06/18208905 For those wondering: The CPU is running at 1.600v constant with LLC / Load-Line Calibration disabled so it runs a fixed voltage. Yes that's high. Yes I don't care. I paid $20 for this CPU. I was running this same CPU at 1.85v for 2.5 years in the other Gigabyte Z77X motherboard I had before so 1.60v is nothing for it. And temps: The CPU averages 68~74c if I load it in 3dmark for an all-core load, but averages 50c when gaming despite the volts and overclock. The GTX 780 maxes out at 37c in 3dmark, runs around 34c when gaming.

    To anyone watching this thread or if you made it to the end: If you want me to run any benchmarks for you then let me know and I'll run them for you and post here. Just make sure they work in XP.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 10, 2021
    #10
    Samir likes this.
  11. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    So I kinda messed up.. first I bought a 2mm thermal pad for the ram water block to connect it to the ram, that didn't work. I tried a 1mm one, that didn't work. Eventually I went with a 0.5mm one and that works perfectly. Now that the ram is connected to the water cooling system and water cooled I can safely feed it lots more volts up to 1.80v (which is as far as this motherboard will let me). The increased voltage plus water cooling allowed me to get it up to 2400 Mhz stable for the ram. Sadly this P67 motherboard doesn't have a memory divider for 2500 Mhz ram or it would probably do that too. It only has 2400 and 2600. I tried 2600 and it wouldn't even POST so that won't work so 2400 is all it's ever going to do. I then spent about 2, or 3 days (I forget how long) manually tuning the ram timings one by one for 2400 Mhz. Turned out it improved latency (lower latency in AIDA64 vs 2200 Mhz) and gained bandwidth and this is shown in 3dmark too. So this is the most I'm ever going to get out of this system on this motherboard. Here's some photos and then I'll give some links to the benchmark results. Otherwise this system is done now. ❤️
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is the ram water block installed and you can see how it's bolted to the top of the ram sticks.

    Here's the AIDA64 benchmark results for 2200 Mhz ram speed: http://www.outfoxed.net/p67-xp/P67_+_3570K_-_2200_Mhz.html

    And here it is for 2400 Mhz ram speed: http://www.outfoxed.net/p67-xp/P67_+_3570K_-_2400_Mhz.html

    And here's the new 3dmark result from the ram at 2400 Mhz: https://www.3dmark.com/3dm06/18209446

    And here's the new 2400 mhz ram speed 3dmark result compared against the previous one posted earlier in this thread when the ram was at 2200 Mhz: https://www.3dmark.com/compare/3dm06/18209446/3dm06/18208905

    The goal of this system is playing older windows games at 1920x1080 @ 144 FPS fixed / constant at max settings to go with my new 144Hz 1080p screen I bought myself from black friday sales. That's why it's overpowered, overclocked and stupidly extreme for XP. I already tried it and It's able to run Race Driver: GRID (AKA GRID V1) at 1080p @ 144 Hz fixed, and I could even enable SuperSample Anti-Aliasing ontop of it and it was still 144 FPS constant. So this system is working for my goals.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 15, 2021
    #11
    Samir likes this.
  12. Kithylin

    marinescuiuri

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2021
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    6
    very impressive
     
    marinescuiuri, Dec 15, 2021
    #12
    Samir likes this.
  13. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm impressed with the memory speed but I'm still kind of sort of casually on the look out for another motherboard/CPU combination that might be faster. For now this is working fine though. I have considered the idea of an Intel X79 era motherboard with a 4 core ivy bridge xeon that can be overclocked (there are some with unlocked multipliers). The only problem is I'm looking for specific and "super exotic" motherboards not just the generic run-of-the-mill ones. So finding one that's affordable isn't that easy. We'll see with time. For now this should do my needs just fine. I haven't found a game yet that I want to run on it that won't run maxed out.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 16, 2021
    #13
    Samir likes this.
  14. Kithylin

    marinescuiuri

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2021
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    6
    i'll follow this thread.
    while searching on google "xp dream pc" and things related, i came across many threads regarding installing xp on gen 4 or 5 cpu's and on hardware that was not officially supported.
    very interesting.
    going by the book, and keeping things within supported hardware is my way.
    for now.
    congratulations for the work done.
     
    marinescuiuri, Dec 16, 2021
    #14
    Samir likes this.
  15. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah I agree with you and I have reasons too: I stuck to supported hardware with official drivers for XP from the manufacturers because I intend to run a lot of older software and older Win9x era games on this system (If they're DirectX/Direct3D). And having officially supported drivers for the chipset and other onboard components is very important for compatibility with older software and older games. So My goal is to find the fastest hardware possible for Windows XP that is 100% natively supported. Intel's X79 platform should be fully supported with native XP drivers. I'm pretty sure that will be the fastest / latest natively supported system. I've thought about trying to put XP on newer systems but if we can't get drivers for all the onboard components to make all the software and everything work then there's no point in that nonsense.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 16, 2021
    #15
    Samir likes this.
  16. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    Update: I won an auction today on ebay for a Samsung 256GB 950 Pro NVME drive. These drives are super special because (supposedly, according to youtube videos of random people) these drives are the only NVME drives with their own built in BIOS on them that allows them to be used as boot drives in older systems that pre-date BIOS support for NVME drives. I'm hopeful I might be able to get this to work as a boot drive in this XP system. I will be testing and trying this and if it works then I'll report here and make a new thread on it to share this info with others. Right now this system is using a pair of SATA SSD's (32GB & 128GB). This will be a nice final upgrade to this system. Also tonight I think I'm going to experiment with putting my Voodoo2 in this XP rig and see if it works with some GLIDE games. Sadly I only own a single Voodoo2 which means it will restrict GLIDE games to 800x600 for me, but my new monitor I bought can do 800x600 @ 144 Hz over VGA so maybe I can get some older games up to 100+ FPS in GLIDE mode by combining this CPU with a Voodoo2, maybe.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 18, 2021
    #16
    Samir likes this.
  17. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    I still find it super annoying that I can't edit my old messages and it makes my thread look stupid that I have to keep replying to a new post here to add something to it.. grumble mumble. Anyway... I spent multiple hours digging through the ancient parts of the internet and finally figured out how to get the drivers and software working for my Voodoo2 12MB PCI card in Windows XP and I had it working 100%. After all that time: It was slow, with lots of graphical glitches in some games and in general undesirable and just a sour gaming experience. To anyone wondering: Don't do this. Just stick with NGlide instead. It's +5000x faster and a very high percentage of GLIDE games look correct with it.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 18, 2021
    #17
    Samir likes this.
  18. Kithylin

    marinescuiuri

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2021
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    6
    slow and steady wins the race.
    have no idea what glide and nvme drives are, but in order to make a spaceship windows xp computer, one must go beyond 7200rpm.
    i'll google any new term in order to find out what this that.
     
    marinescuiuri, Dec 18, 2021
    #18
    Samir likes this.
  19. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    Here I'll help you.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NVM_Express

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glide_(API)

    GLIDE was a proprietary Graphics API created by 3DFX. There are a lot of Windows 98 and Windows XP era games that were coded to require GLIDE support to actually play them at all. I was hoping to pair a really fast computer with an older Voodoo2 PCI Card and get really fast "Native" GLIDE support for GLIDE games but I found out that nope, that's not going to work. So I need to use a "GLIDE Wrapper" instead and NGlide seems to be the best so far.
     
    Kithylin, Dec 18, 2021
    #19
    Samir likes this.
  20. Kithylin

    Kithylin

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2021
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    One small update then a conclusion: I bought a Samsung 950 Pro NVME SSD and tried it in an adapter in this computer. It doesn't work at all. The system just locks up with it installed. XP doesn't run with it in the computer. XP setup doesn't run with it in the computer. So SATA Storage only for WindowsXP sadly. There's nothing else to do to this computer. So this build is complete now. If you made it this far thanks for following on this build log journey.

    EDIT: Actually I may of found a modified XP installer with modified drivers to try the NVME drive.. maybe. I don't know yet if it will work or if it would be stable. I'll have to do some testing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
    Kithylin, Jan 4, 2022
    #20
    Samir likes this.
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.