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Just got: HP Vectra VL 6/400 and I am liking it! (faceplate needed)

NathanAllan

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Someone here said they liked the older Vectra machines, and I can really see why. Mine has a PII 400MHz in it, is very expandable with PCI and ISA slots, headers for different things I am looking up now, and onboard sound.

/off topic, it has Win XP installed on it, not to happy with that but it works. Slowly, but it does okay

I added ram to make it 320mb, so it goes along not too badly, but the hdd is only 6gb (for now) so I will be making use of the empty 5.25" bay to add another there as a secondary.

Which brings me to the real topic, does anyone have a faceplate for it? Maybe the whole outer shell, as this one has been beaten up pretty bad and there is a lot of broken plastic and even more scratches and scrapes. The only picture I could find of it was on the HP website for reference, attached.pic18057.gif
 

Chuck(G)

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I like the old Vectras.

The closest I've got to yours is a VL6 Series 8 minitower (vertical motherboard with horizontal riser. 4 ISA + 4 PCI slots). Came with a 350 MHz Deschutes PII. I initially replaced that with a 600MHz Katmai PIII, then with a 1.4GHz Celeron slocket. 768MB SDRAM. XP runs okay on it; 2K much faster. A nice quiet system with easy to get at slots.

Made in France of all places.

(But this stuff is hardly vintage, is it?)
 

NathanAllan

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Not sure on it's release date, but I wasn't sure where to put it. Maybe the off topic marketplace (Feel free to move it moderators, if it is) but thought that not too many people would see my Wanted since it's mostly selling afaik.

So, I could bump this thing to 1.2ghz??? I had no idea.

Also have no idea of its release date, so it might be ten years old already.

/edit
Pentium II
* Introduced May 7, 1997

meets the 10-year rule (from wikipedia), just looked it up briefly.
 
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Chuck(G)

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Check around on the HP site for BIOS upgrades. There was one for the Series 8 that supported 256MB SDRAM for a max of 768M. The odd thing is that mine will also accept 128M registered ECC server SDRAM, but not 256M registered SDRAM.

I plopped in a Powerleap Slocket with a Celeron and it worked right off the bat. You need the Powerleap or at least one with an onboard voltage regulator as the motherboard VR can't get down to 1.5V. Overclocking is pretty much out of the question, so you're restricted to a 100MHz FSB. On the other hand, it uses the Intel 440BX AGPset chipset, which is one of the best chipsets that Intel ever made (It was routinely run at 133MHz and I've seen where people have got it smoking at 200MHz).

Later Vectras used non-HP commodity motherboards from vendors such as Asus and FIC, and were sometimes stripped-down versions. They lack the HP cachet and mark a sad decline in HP engineering.
 

Lorne

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The VL6 may be a good one, but I'd warn anyone else looking to get a Vectra to stay away from the HP Vectra VL5/200.
The BIOS in the VL5 gives you the option of using a 1.44MB 3 1/2" or a 1.2MB 5 1/4" floppy.
No 360K 5 1/4" is even possible without disabling the onboard floppy controller, and installing a separate floppy controller.
My VL5 went into the trash about a month ago - I wouldn't wish a VL5 on anyone.
 

NathanAllan

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Check around on the HP site for BIOS upgrades. There was one for the Series 8 that supported 256MB SDRAM for a max of 768M. The odd thing is that mine will also accept 128M registered ECC server SDRAM, but not 256M registered SDRAM.

I plopped in a Powerleap Slocket with a Celeron and it worked right off the bat. You need the Powerleap or at least one with an onboard voltage regulator as the motherboard VR can't get down to 1.5V. Overclocking is pretty much out of the question, so you're restricted to a 100MHz FSB. On the other hand, it uses the Intel 440BX AGPset chipset, which is one of the best chipsets that Intel ever made (It was routinely run at 133MHz and I've seen where people have got it smoking at 200MHz).

Later Vectras used non-HP commodity motherboards from vendors such as Asus and FIC, and were sometimes stripped-down versions. They lack the HP cachet and mark a sad decline in HP engineering.

This is interesting.

My main machine broke down and I am now using the Vectra as my main machine, being a backup. Chuck, those things are hard to come by, I have found zero on evilbay and am wondering if the Slot 1 adapters will work since they are plentiful and fairly cheap. I did find plenty of the Intel brands, but not Powerleap-- at least not cheap.

I'm glad I like this thing, because using it on today's internet is downright harsh.

This

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Intel-Slot-...ter-/250698584333?pt=CPUs&hash=item3a5eccd10d

is the one I am looking at.

/edit Ok, found this after looking a bit more:

http://cgi.ebay.com/370SP-CPU-Card-...327?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f00ddb877

Are these strictly for Celeron or can a Pentium be used? I seem to have run out of Celerons (???)
 
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Chuck(G)

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Yes, you can use the Super Slocket III, but with a few changes (pin isolation and jumpers) with up to a 1.4GHz Tualeron if your motherboard supports a Vcore of 1.5-1.6V. (I'm not sure about your board). Don't get the other no-name cheapies; they're suited only for the slow Celerons and take massive changes to work with the FCPGA ones.

I was patient on eBay and located the PowerLeap quietly sitting by its lonesome and got it (and a 1.4GHz P3 along with fan and heatsink) for $25. It was basically swap the P3 for a Celeron and plug it in and go.

Your searches should include things such as "Slot 1 adapter", "Pwerleap", "Power leap", "Upgradeware", "Upgrade ware", "Slocket", "Slotket"...etc. Part of finding good deals on eBay is knowing how to search.
 

NathanAllan

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Yes, you can use the Super Slocket III, but with a few changes (pin isolation and jumpers) with up to a 1.4GHz Tualeron if your motherboard supports a Vcore of 1.5-1.6V. (I'm not sure about your board). Don't get the other no-name cheapies; they're suited only for the slow Celerons and take massive changes to work with the FCPGA ones.

I was patient on eBay and located the PowerLeap quietly sitting by its lonesome and got it (and a 1.4GHz P3 along with fan and heatsink) for $25. It was basically swap the P3 for a Celeron and plug it in and go.

Your searches should include things such as "Slot 1 adapter", "Pwerleap", "Power leap", "Upgradeware", "Upgrade ware", "Slocket", "Slotket"...etc. Part of finding good deals on eBay is knowing how to search.
Looks like you were right on target, Chuck. Hopefully one will be on its way soon, this one precisely:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Slocket-Cpu-Ada...ING-/260565275975?pt=CPUs&hash=item3caae69547

I just hope it works. I have a 1.1ghz PIII ready to go in. If that doesn't work I can go down one processor at a time until one works.

/edit Nix that, I took a closer look and came up with a Celeron SL5XU, 100/128/100/1.75 that ought to fit the bill nicely. Thanks for that priceless tip!
 
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Chuck(G)

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No, Intel never made a slocket. The vendor is just reading the part number off the fan.

Again, this is for the PGA Celeron. (66 MHz FSB, top speed about 433MHz). i.e. the cheapest generic slocket.
 

NathanAllan

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Well, crap then. It's already ordered and I don't want to get into an ebay fight, and it's cheap enough so that will have to do-- or not, and I just move along at the 400mhz I am at now. When it gets here I will report anything good or bad, see what happens. It isn't something I can't undo. Hopefully it will be an improvement.
 

Chuck(G)

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What's the exact model that you have, Nathan? A pointer to an hp manual would help nail it down. The VL6 series was pretty diverse and used many different motherboards.
 

NathanAllan

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Headed to 'work' at the moment, I'll take a close look when I get back later. Wish me luck :)

/edit My ride hasn't shown up so far so I went ahead and did some looking up an checking, and I have a Vectra VL 8/400. Surprisingly totally supported from HP as far as drivers and downloads.

Board: Hewlett-Packard HP VL Mainboard BETTY
Serial Number: 03ÿÿÿ
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies Ltd. HN.01.08US 07/31/98
400 megahertz Intel Pentium II
32 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
384 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

I am going to now see about the BIOS update that you spoke of.


I found this out using the Belarc advisor program, nifty little thing that is useful at times.
 
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Chuck(G)

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Thanks, that helps a lot.

As nearly as I can figure, your Vcore is 2.0V and your FSB is 100MHz. Your chipset should be an Intel 440BX (a good chipset; you can download Intel's chipset identifier to verify this).

The cheapest improvements that I can think of are a BIOS upgrade to allow for 768MB RAM and larger hard drive. I'd also be tempted to replace the Celeron with a Slot 1 Katmai P3 (600MHz), which will give youl performance boost with the 512MB L1 cache. Any more substantial boost will have to be achieved with a slocket with an on-board voltage regulator, which may not be worth the cost.
 

MikeS

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Well, I've had somewhat less affection for HP Vectras, albeit a somewhat later vintage; I had 22 VL-420s (Asus P4BMX P4 M/B) and out of 10 or so that I managed to find new homes for among friends and relatives (with lifetime free service of course ;-) ) the power supply failed in at least 5 of them, a common problem apparently with no explanation that I could find. Good thing I had spare systems, and I've been using one myself 24/7 for over a year so they ain't all bad.

Well built and nice to work on though with sideways-mounted slide-in HDs; too bad they're USB1.

BTW, I just happen to be scrapping several Compaq Proliant servers with dual slot1 P3s in them, but they're 667/256/133/1.65V so probably no use here...
 

Chuck(G)

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Dunno Mike, I've got an odd Compaq PSU here that won't fit anything that I've got (too big to be ATX) It's labeled WTX460-3505 and the pinout looks proprietary, even through it uses the standard ATX connector. I think I read somewhere that this works with a Compaq dual Xeon server. Ever see one of these? It might be fun to own the mobo that goes with this PSU.

Later Vectras were all over the place. I've got a Vectra that uses a FIC KC19+ Slot 1 P3 FSB133 Intel 820 motherboard. 2 slots for RDRAM (!). I'm running it with a Slot 1 P3 1GHz and it's a sweet little board with 3 ISA slots in addition to the 3 PCI and 1 AGP. Yet, the same line of Vectra that uses the same case and PSU has a Mitac 6515WU Socket 370 P3/133 CPU (still Intel 820). It has 1 AGP and 3 PCI slots and a connector for some sort of ISA riser. This seems to have come from a time when HP didn't make their own motherboards.

OTOH, Nathan's appears to be one of the made-by-HP France units--pretty unusual when everything's made in China now.
 
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MikeS

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A little OT, but:

These Proliants definitely use a much larger PS, with an ATX connector but nonstandard color code.

Dunno about the Mobo though; it's got onboard SCSI (for 6 hotswappable 18GB SCSI drives), video &c and no onboard slots, just a riser with 2xPCI and 4xPCI-X. I think you'd have trouble fitting it into any other case.

There's also an HP Surestore DLT40 in one; is that of any use to anyone these days?

Just like the IBM RT and e-servers and NAS boxes a while back I hate to scrap these babies, but whatcha gonna do with 'em...

Haven't seen 'em for a while but somewhere in this mess are some RDRAM modules. Systems went to the dump long ago and I don't have any use for 'em; do you, if I ever run across them again?
 

Chuck(G)

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A little digging shows that the PSU belongs to an HP XW6000. Looks like a pretty hot system.

If your RDRAM is bigger than 128M, I'd hang onto it. I've seen some crazy silly prices for the 512M RDRAM on eBay.
 

MikeS

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A little digging shows that the PSU belongs to an HP XW6000. Looks like a pretty hot system.
A little newer than any of mine; doesn't have eight hot-swap drives though ;-)

If your RDRAM is bigger than 128M, I'd hang onto it. I've seen some crazy silly prices for the 512M RDRAM on eBay.
Don't remember, but I'll certainly keep an eye out. What about that HP tape drive - useful or scrap?
 
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