November 29, 2020, 05:14:19 PM

Author Topic: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112  (Read 385 times)

Offline hosch

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Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« on: July 31, 2020, 11:55:01 PM »
Hi,

I've picked up an IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112 pretty cheap, because it was in my area. I was blinded by the aesthetics of it (and I still think it looks cool), but when I hooked it up it ran... like crap. I kinda wanted to get into some retroish computing for some time and decided it's time to start with this one, but I have to admit, it's a little over my head. The small form factor doesn't help either.

Is there any hope? I'd like to upgrade the graphics card (running on the integrated card atm) and possibly the CPU.

Those are the specs:
Intel Celeron D 341 Processor (2.93GHz 533MHz FSB 256KB L2)
Intel 945G core chipset
Up to 4 GB of double data rate 2 (DDR2) system memory
225 W power supply
2 x PCI
1 x PCI-e (16x)

What graphics card options do I have? There are 2 PCI slots and I think 1 PCI-e 16x, which currently has a DVI adapter card in it (which is only useful to support a second monitor and is still using the integrated graphics). So does it need to be a DDR2, PCI-e 16x card? And I guess not drawing too much power, because of the rather weak power supply? Thinking about this one currently: https://www.ebay.de/itm/MSI-GeForce-8400GS-256-MB-NX8400GSTD256EH-Grafikkarte/224023375047?hash=item3428d56cc7:g:WUcAAOSwq~5ezCcD

What can I do about the CPU?

Thanks guys, not my proudest moment!

Offline Qube

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 12:52:13 AM »
Not a great many options to play with unfortunately. You could upgrade the CPU to a Pentium 4 520 or something similar.

Max memory is 4GB and as far as the graphics card goes then perhaps on the lines of the old Radeon HD series ( full sized PCI-e 1.0 ). You could also get away with a low powered PCI-e 2.0 full size GPU and even though you'd not get the full benefit they may be cheaper to get hold of.

*edit* The GPU you linked to would be grand too. I would get a better PSU regardless though as 225W one is pushing things pretty tight if you upgrade the CPU & GPU.
Mac mini ( 2018 / 2020 ), 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i5, 16 GB 2667 MHz DDR4, 1TB NVMe, eGPU Radeon Pro 580 8 GB, LG Ultragear 27GL83A-B 27 Inch
Commodore VIC-20, 1.1Mhz MOS 6502 CPU, 5KB RAM, VIC ( 6560 ) GPU

Until the next time...

Offline hosch

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 03:23:11 AM »
Thanks so much for your reply. I ordered 4 Gigs of RAM and the GPU model I've linked (got it a bit cheaper from another seller). I'll see how it turns out and if it improves things.

As for the CPU it seems to be up for debate whether to go with a Pentium 4 or stick to the Pentium D (from what I've read) - however the power intake of the Pentium D seems to be above the one of the Pentium 4. Also it depends on the usage/multitasking. I guess for gaming a P4 it is?

It's pretty hard to come across a more powerful PSU specifically from IBMs thinkcentre. However a standard ATX PSU should be sufficient, or am I wrong? First time I am swapping a PSU around  :))

Offline Qube

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 03:45:46 AM »
The Pentium D was pretty much 2 Pentium 4's together and sucked up more power. If the apps you want to run would benefit from an exciting dual core then grab one of those but if mostly for retro games then a Pentium D is just going to be a waste of money and power as a Pentium 4 would be the better option.

PSU wise it's not a standard off the shelf one and looking at the prices of 280W / 300W ones I'd try the one you have first :P
Mac mini ( 2018 / 2020 ), 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i5, 16 GB 2667 MHz DDR4, 1TB NVMe, eGPU Radeon Pro 580 8 GB, LG Ultragear 27GL83A-B 27 Inch
Commodore VIC-20, 1.1Mhz MOS 6502 CPU, 5KB RAM, VIC ( 6560 ) GPU

Until the next time...

Offline hosch

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 09:51:31 AM »
PSU wise it's not a standard off the shelf one and looking at the prices of 280W / 300W ones I'd try the one you have first :P
Uh oh  :)) Don't wanna break the bank for my first oldschoolish project  :P

I'll look into a Pentium 4 then, thanks for your advice.

Offline hosch

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2020, 01:01:20 AM »
Could this be a solution for my PSU problems? Scouted a bit on eBay and searched for Pentium 4 PSU. One of those gotta work, right? ;D

Making progress with the project, got the Pentium 4 in the Mail today. Upgraded to 4 Gigs of RAM as well. I went with Windows XP, as my games span roughly from 1995 to 2005. I've ordered an IBM Monitor that originally went with the system.

Offline Qube

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 01:20:14 AM »
Hard to say if that'll be the right one as I can't see any small black connectors like this one has.
Mac mini ( 2018 / 2020 ), 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i5, 16 GB 2667 MHz DDR4, 1TB NVMe, eGPU Radeon Pro 580 8 GB, LG Ultragear 27GL83A-B 27 Inch
Commodore VIC-20, 1.1Mhz MOS 6502 CPU, 5KB RAM, VIC ( 6560 ) GPU

Until the next time...

Offline hosch

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2020, 08:32:37 AM »
So, from what I've read and understood, it needs to supply 12V via a 2x2 4 PIN connector to support a Pentium 4,  right? The Rombutech HM-580 specs are
Code: [Select]
Stromstärke (DC Output) +12V1 (maximal) 24 A
Stromstärke (DC Output) -12V (maximal) 0,8 A

So my guess is, it does supply it (will ask the seller for better pictures).

Thank you for your help so far.

Offline Derron

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2020, 09:25:14 AM »
For older computers with non-standard PSU and sometimes even non-standard mainboards + Small Form Factor ... you better buy one of the business computers.
80 bucks and more - afbshop.de (including Win10 licence etc).

Ordered an i5 one for my wife a few months ago. Despite the "special psu" it was pretty standard.
Also have a htpc desktop case (low profile) which I really liked some years ago ... waiting for a new core2duo (lg1151 socket) fan to move my old hackintosh into it ... saves space :D


@ RAM
I am sure to have some DDR2 RAM laying around here too ... would surely fit into a simple envelope - and across Germany this is <2 shipping cost :D


bye
Ron

Offline hosch

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Re: Upgrade a 'retro' IBM Thinkcentre M52 8112
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2020, 12:00:46 PM »
For older computers with non-standard PSU and sometimes even non-standard mainboards + Small Form Factor ... you better buy one of the business computers.
80 bucks and more - afbshop.de (including Win10 licence etc).
Do you mean I should forget about the small form factor and buy a tower? Might save some trouble, true, but I love the look and sleek design of the IBM Thinkcentre. The front plate with the IBM badge really does it for me. That's why I bought it without reading any information first - love at first sight  :))

Thanks, but I got some DDR2 RAM running at 667 MHz already on eBay. If you have a PSU lying around, though...

 

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