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Thread: Use for aging computer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Use for aging computer

    Hi everyone

    AMD Athlon(tm) XP 2500+
    MS-6570 K7N2 AMD Motherboard
    HDD 1 Hitachi HDP725050GLAT80 (500GB IDE)
    HDD 2 Maxtor 6Y120L0 (120 GB IDE)
    HDD 3 Samsung Spinpoint F1 (1TB SATA) - Connected via VT6421A SATA PCI Adapter
    Advance MPT-300 300W PSU
    Generic Armada Case - room for 5 hard drive ports,and 4 optical drive ports
    Pioneer DVD-RW DVR 116-D
    Additional 80-mm case fan
    2 x 512 DDR 400 RAM

    The above is my main computer and I have a computer with the following plugged into my television

    XP 1800+
    40 GB IDE HDD
    160 GB IDE HDD
    200w unbranded PSU
    This is just used for internet browsing and taking files off my Topfield PVR

    The two computers are both connected to my router via ethernet.

    My question is this:

    My main computer is now getting to the point that it is just too slow and I need an upgrade.
    I realised that it would pretty much be pointless and not cost-effective sticking in any more RAM or
    a cheap GPU. The other thing that worries me is that I am running a lot of stuff on a 300W PSU - especially
    as it is not a well-known make.

    Ideally, I would like to have my main computer attached to the telly with the 120, 160 and 500 GB hard drives and
    use this for backing up from my new to be bought computer. I realise that I am going to have to put in a new PSU and would be
    grateful for a recommendation - I doubt that I will add much more to this computer, but would like a bit of head room
    just in case.

    This is fine, but it occurred to me that it might just be better to get rid of both computers and build a very basic dual core
    computer for the living room and then build a pretty high spec for the main computer.

    What is everyone's opinion? Stick with the 2500 XP, considering it is only going to be used for backing up and surfing the net
    (but what would be the advantage of getting, say a cheap E2400 dual core for instance, with a media centre board (e.g.Abit I-N73 HD) - is their any real benefit?

    The other option would be to get a basic dual core and use this as my main computer for a year or so
    and then build a high spec and put the basic dual core in next to the telly.

    Sorry for such a huge question, but your views would be really appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Re: Use for aging computer

    I would probably get a new main PC and use your XP2500 as the secondary computer as it should still powerful enough for general internet duties.

    This is what I would look at getting:

    AMD Athlon II X2 245 ~ £49

    It is comparable to the E5300 and E5400 in speed and even has VT too!

    Asus M3N78-VM motherboard ~ £47

    Has all the important display connectors such as D-SUB,DVI and HDMI! It also has inbuilt HD video decoding since it has the Nvidia 8200 chipset.

    4gb PC2-8500 RAM ~ £37

    Silverpower 400w PSU ~ £29

    A decent budget PSU and Silverpower is part of the same company as Tagan.

    Alternatively if you want a smaller case the Coolermaster Elite 340 can come as part of a bundle with a reasonable 460w PSU:

    If you have 20+ posts on Hexus you are eligible fro free postage at Scan and also they have daily offers on their Today Only webpage if you do choose to buy from them.

    Virtually all modern motherboards only have one IDE connector so you may need to ditch one of the drives and buy a SATA DVD rewriter or get an adaptor.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 16-07-2009 at 07:32 PM.

    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    • Pob255's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus M5A99X EVO
      • CPU:
      • PhenomII x4 955 & CM Hyper 212+
      • Memory:
      • 2x 4gb Corsair Vengence 1600mhz cas9
      • Storage:
      • 250gb SATA Westerndigital + 500gb samsung +1tb Samsung
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus GTX560ti CuII
      • PSU:
      • Be Quiet E9 680w
      • Case:
      • HAF 912+
      • Operating System:
      • W7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 21" ips something

    Re: Use for aging computer

    no mention of graphics card on you're current 1st pc, for the power issue, while I don't fully trust cheap, free with case or no brand PSUs (after you've had one die and take stuff with it you learn fast )
    That said you have to remember that most of the bits in a pc use very little power, the two single bits that do use the majority of the power is the CPU and graphics card.
    A hard drive will normally use under 20watts where as a mid/mid-high end graphics card will use over 100watts (9800gt = 116w, hd4850 = 110w) it normally works out at about 6 hard drives to the high-mid range card, with a top of the line high end card using around 200w
    I've not found a good listing for cpu's yet I seem to remember athlon xp's run around 120watts

    You current system, if you've got onboard graphics or a low end graphics card (depending on gpu but under 30w under load, and 10w idle for low end graphics) I recon around 220w-250w

    Apart from that pritty much what CAT said, includeing the warning about current motherboards only having 1 IDE port ie no more than 2 IDE devices.
    Myu main tip here for low cost, is reuse the current hard drives you can and swap and dvd/cd roms over to sata as they cost under £20

    One thing you may want to consider if you have the cash is the new "nettop" systems, esp the ones with the dual core atom cpu and ION chipset
    For £250 it makes a great little web browser and media center

  4. #4
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    Jul 2009
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    Re: Use for aging computer

    Thanks guys. Much appreciate the comments.

    I agree that the way forward is to swap the computers, chuck out the old one and start afresh on a new build as suggested.

    Thanks again.


  5. #5
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Use for aging computer

    Had to smile when I read the specs - I have just built a SFF machine with a lower speed processor than that to act as a webserver, mailserver and file server - which it does with ease!

    So you could use the old one as a file server for your home network. You may want to put in a better (branded) PSU which may be more efficient (especuially if you want to run it 24x7) and a linux OS system, maybe a replacement drive and use it like that. I stream my CD collection from mine as well, to a number of soundbridge devices.

    Been helped or just 'Like' a post? Use the Thanks button!
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