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The Spam Thread!

(02-19-2020, 11:04 AM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  That was back when movie DVDs were too taxing for an average processor of the day to decode on their own without a separate decoder card.
I'm not sure if my family's first PC from 1999 was powerful enough for DVD playback. I recall it did have a 3DFX Voodoo graphics card, so perhaps it did? When we got a new replacement two years later, the tower came with a DVD-ROM drive out of the box. I also remember mentions of these decoder cards while playing around with Linux back in the day. I saw packages for drivers that mentioned said cards.

Another LGR video. This time, a Gateway Essential PC that looks very similar to the one my family got in 1999. Surprised my family didn't get an iMac. Macs of various types were used at the local school back then, though they switched to PCs not long after.

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The only name-brand desktop I could recall using at home was that HP Pavilion 7855 we got as a hand-me-down from my grand-uncle back in 2006. It was a crappy 1GHz Coppermine Pentium III rig, with 128MB of RAM and an integrated Intel i740 via the Intel 810 chipset. The 740 took up the AGP bus so it meant that you'd end up with next to no options for a video card upgrade unless you stumble upon someone selling a PCI graphics card.

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Okay. I finally got the IRS refund today. Based on my budget, I have decided to place a bid on a 2008 24'' iMac. The seller states this iMac has an Intel C2D 2.8ghz CPU, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD and macOS Leopard and includes keyboard, magic mouse and macOS CDs. I checked out the seller's feedback, looking for obvious clues that would point out a possible scammer, and the seller does appear to be safe. Picture isn't a stock photo and appears to be the actual item. The iMac pictured is in very good cosmetic condition. Auction ends Tuesday and I plan on bidding no more than $120 for the iMac.

A late 2009 iMac would have gone a bit out of my budget range, so I went back to looking at 2007 - early 2009 models.

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And, just like that, I was able to score a better deal on that Dell Inspiron tower at the pawn shop, so I decided to go for that as well. I'll still have enough for the retro iMac, and I'll also may up sell off the old rig as well, if the Dell checks out. I will spend the rest of today getting that set up and running benchmarks, testing video encoding, etc..

If I do sell Pearl, I will leave in the 1TB WD Black HDD and do a secure wipe of that disk, remove the 500GB disk and reinstall Windows 10 and drivers. I'll also include the Windows 10 product key in the package since the Dell already has a key.

The dual core i3-6100 is getting a bit old, but if you're doing light gaming and productivity work, it's still a good performer. I think I'll get a decent amount for it.

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Well, this Inspiron rig appears to either have been barely used, or located in a very clean environment. I opened the case and everything inside is virtually dust free and looks like new.

Here are the specs:
-AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 8-core CPU at 3.6ghz
-16GB RAM in Single Channel Mode (two slots, one stick in use)
-256GB SKHynix PCI-e SSD boot drive
-1GB Toshiba HDD data drive
-AMD Radeon RX 580 GPU

Expandability is much better than old Pearl. There appears to be spaces inside the case to attach 2.5 drives, along with an extra 3.5 HDD bay. The board has six SATA ports, two in use for the DVD-RW drive and 1TB HDD. There is an unused NVMe slot on the motherboard as well. There are six total USB 3.0 connectors, four on the back and two on the front. There's also 4 USB 2.0 slots, front panel audio jacks and an SD card reader.

The PC started up with the old user's account password locked, so I had to restore the factory image. Restoration took only about 20 minutes and I'm now fetching the latest Windows Updates and getting everything ready for benchmarks and other tests. The installed Windows version was 1709, updating to 1903.

Oh yeah, the system also has integrated WiFi A/C/N and Bluetooth. Bluetooth is great for wireless keyboards and mice. I've never had luck with standard 2.4ghz keyboards and mice, as they claim up to 30 Feet range, yet I still have connection issues since I place my rig on the floor (with good airflow, of course). Now I'll have to search for a good BT keyboard/mouse, but it's not a priority at the moment.

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I'd be more than interested to see how it would perform on the usual tasks you do like transcoding and such.

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Video transcoding is much, much faster than old Pearl even with software encoders. For a test, I used my Vidbox to record a sample 30 minute MKV source file from a random cable weather channel. It has a scrolling ticker which is a good indicator of frame drops. To transcode that several gigabyte 720x480 MKV to a 204MB compressed MP4 took only 3 minutes using the software MPEG-4 AVC x264 encoder in Avidemux. On the old rig, a 30 minute file would have taken at least 10 to 15 minutes IIRC. It certainly wasn't good at software encoding, hence the need for NVENC. I will check the Avidemux settings to see if it can support AMD VCE.

I think I will move back to my old editing standby, Premiere Pro 2.0. I'm very curious as to how well it can do software encoding. The program detects multiple cores as physical CPUs. I do have the DaVinci Resolve installer on hand in case the old Premiere Pro doesn't work out.

I also ran the Mafia II benchmark. I got a constant 58 to 59 FPS average even during intense explosions and action. Not true 60FPS, but perhaps I just needed to enable V-Sync. I recall Pearl's 750Ti struggling a bit with the the explosions and PhysX heavy scenes.

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Some other tidbits about the Dell...

The PSU is a Dell branded 480W model.

I added in Pearl's old Spare disk that contains most of my video collection. I also threw in Greta's old 320GB WD HDD in the 2.5'' bay to use as a dual-boot Ubuntu Linux drive.

The DVD-RW drive is a small laptop style thing. You press the button and the tray just pops out a bit like on a laptop.

The hard drive bays are wonderful. They are little trays that are only held on the case by one screw, and the drives are held into the trays with the usual four screw assembly. There's two 3.5 bays, one 2.5 bay and the empty NVMe slot on the board. Lots of room to grow as well as being very easy to work on.

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Do you have any screenshots of the benchmarks in action? And pictures of the device itself if you don't mind?

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(02-24-2020, 07:42 AM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Do you have any screenshots of the benchmarks in action? And pictures of the device itself if you don't mind?
Not right now. I'd have to re-run the benchmarks, but I will get to those later tonight.

As for Ubuntu Linux... I'm running into serious issues with it's AMD graphics drivers. Ubuntu will run fine for about 10 minutes or so and then the display suddenly gets corrupted and the system freezes. So far this has not happened on Windows 10 and I'm crossing my fingers that it's just a Linux issue and not a more serious problem with the RX 580 itself.

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