So on with the show
The Good I bought my first used C90s online back in 2011 for about $280, For it's time the C90s was the best in it's class as a Desktop Replacement with it's core 2 processor and it's vigorous Nvidia 8600M GT it really kicked butt compared to what was on the market at the time, at a price tag of around $2k it was marketed as a gaming/productivity PC that you could easily move from place to place and wouldn't have to setup each time, one of the more attractive advantages of this desktop replacement the size of a large laptop was that unlike laptops of the time it was not only easily user accessible, but you could easily swap or upgrade the desktop CPU as well as replace the MX GPU or upgrade it, that is if an upgrade was available, It's features and specs were/are 15.4-inch WSXGA+ screen 1680X1050 Resolution,Intel 945GM Express chipset, Nvidia 8600M GT 512MB can be set to as high as 1920X1080 Resolution on external HMI monitors. Ram, 250 GB HDD which has been upgraded to 1 TB, not sure what the max is, Maximum 3 GB RAM A Core 2 Duo Intel E-6600 which has since been upgraded to the highest it can take Intel E-87500 @ 2.93 MHZ can not be safely over clocked beyond this speed. The E-6600 could be over clocked to max 2.93 MHZ with Turbo Gear, a Over clocking utility the C90s shipped with. Other features were a touch pad with finger print reader, 8 in 1 card reader, A 19 volt, 90 Watt PSU brick, it could be upgraded to 180 watts if you can find the brick, interesting to note the C90s turned out to be one of the most user modded desktop replacements,with both the cooling system being modded and graphics cards being upgraded to much faster ones, I have not ventured that far as I wouldn't know what I"m doing and the cost to do the copper heat mod is rather expensive. It has a 4800 mAh Cells 6-cell lithium ion,unfortunately while the 4800 LION would allow you to run off the battery it would only give you so much game time. The left side is the home of most of the ports, with e-sata, modem and Ethernet, VGA, S-Video, microphone and headphone ports, mini Firewire, Express Card and an aerial port for the built in TV tuner. I'm grateful it has the HDMI connection otherwise I would not be connected to my HD monitor. 3 USB ports 2 in the back 1 on the side, mic and headphone ports, DVD+ -RW, 2 MP Webcam able to twist 180 degrees to take a view behind the laptop, twin microphones sit on either side of the Webcam, all in all the features were very good for it's time and still are it was a fast gaming machine for it's time, it can play games like GTA San Andreas without breaking a sweat but than again the recommended system requirements for GTA SA were core 2. It plays old games with no problems, can do graphics design and handles some video production with very little problems.
The Bad Unlike it's successor the C90p the C90s can only take up to 3 GB of usable RAM and can run only a core 2 CPU, whereas with a BIOS upgrade the C90p can run a quad core and can take up to 8 GB of RAM, by the way I have a C90p mother board, I put into an old C90s case but the BIOS just doesn't want to update and refuses to recognize the CPU, that's another subject. The cooling system while it's innovative does not do the job it was designed to do and the Nvidia card as it goes through heat up and cool down cycles winds up needing to be reflowed, if you look at this video you see what happens as I explain it better,
what I mean by that is the Ball Grid Array BGA needs to be re-balled or reconnected to the GPU it's a costly process that should be done professionally and the cost of equipment is very expensive, so instead what many users have done is either A. put the card in a oven and bake and reflow it or B. reflow the card with a hair dryer or as I do a hot air gun, it works quite well in restoring the card till it goes through the same heat up cool down cycle issue which in my case can be anywhere from days to months. The card is not easily found online and only unlocked cards work, so I have now bought over the years at least 3 full 90S online luckily for less than a $100 ea. Well enough about the graphics card. The other issue is the, count them not 1 not 2 but 4 Turbo Cooling Fans that some times sound like a 747 jet was taking off, in fact I hear them now. I'm currently reading 56C which is fairly consistent for the CPU, fan speed is being reported as 5000 rpm but if fluctuates so I don't know if that's accurate, the biggest issue with these fans is that the speed can not be controlled manually and they only kick in when the CPU is being stressed not the GPU, so the GPU doesn't get cooled like it should that could be lending to the reball issue.
The Ugly As far as aesthetics go, it's not bad, but it doesn't hold up to scratches and dings well and there are plenty on mine to attest to that I'm not abusive to my equipment previous owners may have been though, what's noticeable is the paint has scraped off, there is chrome missing from various areas including the touch pad, the front grills for the speakers are somewhat damaged but holding up. Another issue has been heat up of the external AC Power tip I have had to replace at least 2 power supplies because the ceramic inside the tip partially melted,obviously a heat issue. Other than that I can't think of any other issues.
In summary I would say the C90s is an oldie but a goody and if you don't play newer hardcore
games you could have fun with it and use it productively, also because it doesn't use
anywhere near the power a typical desktop uses you get much better energy efficiency, if your
on a tight budget this may solve your problem temporarily you might find one in good working
order online from anywhere from 60 to 200 bucks depending on it's condition.
You can read more about it here and double check specs if you like.
Ohh its got a Modem, I actually miss those.
Ohh its got a Modem, I actually miss those.