How Long Should A Computer Last?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by PCquery, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. PCquery

    PCquery Guest

    A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now needs to
    be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb (preferably
    512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB (which is the minimum
    you can buy). One computer servicing place told him to dump it as any
    computer that is more than 5 years old is not worth upgrading!

    Another computer technician advised him that generic memory is not
    compatible with his system, so the costs of the memory would be quite high
    as specific memory for the type of desktop would need to be purchased, and
    this may not even be available at all. He also said that a computer that was
    originally designed with a 6GB hard drive, may need a new motherboard if it
    is to run a 80GB hard drive.

    What do you think, would you risk upgrading this computer, bearing in mind
    that the person involved has a very tight budget and cannot really afford a
    new computer.

    Is it likely that, after 10 years' use, other parts, such as the fan, the
    motherboard, or the power supply are likely to fail also? In other words, if
    your budget and your processing requirements are quite limited, how long
    these days can you expect a computer to keep functioning?

    Thanks, Percy
    PCquery, Sep 25, 2006
    #1
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  2. PCquery

    whome Guest

    > What do you think, would you risk upgrading this computer, bearing in mind
    > that the person involved has a very tight budget and cannot really afford
    > a new computer.
    >
    > Is it likely that, after 10 years' use, other parts, such as the fan, the
    > motherboard, or the power supply are likely to fail also? In other words,
    > if your budget and your processing requirements are quite limited, how
    > long these days can you expect a computer to keep functioning?
    >
    > Thanks, Percy


    Given it only needs updating today indicates your pal only uses the most
    basic functions such as email/webbrowsing. Buy an upgrade box and swap the
    drives from the old comp to the new one. Should be able to get something
    for round $400 without monitor/hdd/cd-dvd or OS.

    You should say the amount of the 'tight budget'.
    whome, Sep 25, 2006
    #2
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  3. PCquery

    thingy Guest

    PCquery wrote:
    > A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now needs to
    > be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb (preferably
    > 512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB (which is the minimum
    > you can buy). One computer servicing place told him to dump it as any
    > computer that is more than 5 years old is not worth upgrading!
    >
    > Another computer technician advised him that generic memory is not
    > compatible with his system, so the costs of the memory would be quite high
    > as specific memory for the type of desktop would need to be purchased, and
    > this may not even be available at all. He also said that a computer that was
    > originally designed with a 6GB hard drive, may need a new motherboard if it
    > is to run a 80GB hard drive.


    If I was a betting guy, I would agree.

    > What do you think, would you risk upgrading this computer, bearing in mind
    > that the person involved has a very tight budget and cannot really afford a
    > new computer.
    >
    > Is it likely that, after 10 years' use, other parts, such as the fan, the
    > motherboard, or the power supply are likely to fail also? In other words, if
    > your budget and your processing requirements are quite limited, how long
    > these days can you expect a computer to keep functioning?
    >
    > Thanks, Percy
    >
    >


    Yes, old parts plus older PSUs can have quite small power
    outputs......some as low as 120w.....It is probably an AT case so a new
    motherboard will not fit....when it comes down to it trying to get some
    bits to upgrade is plain hassle.....and not that cost effective IMHO.

    If the use is quite low in terms of CPU and Ram, I'd suggest considering
    a new bottom end laptop. The Acers sell at about $900 at
    DSE....Otherwise a base Dell with 3 years support...

    Or look at something on trademe or the second hand computer sites....a
    p3-800 or similar for a few Hundred.....

    regards

    Thing
    thingy, Sep 25, 2006
    #3
  4. PCquery

    Fred Dagg Guest

    On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 11:10:15 +1200, "PCquery" <>
    exclaimed:

    >A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now needs to
    >be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb (preferably
    >512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB (which is the minimum
    >you can buy). One computer servicing place told him to dump it as any
    >computer that is more than 5 years old is not worth upgrading!
    >
    >Another computer technician advised him that generic memory is not
    >compatible with his system, so the costs of the memory would be quite high
    >as specific memory for the type of desktop would need to be purchased, and
    >this may not even be available at all. He also said that a computer that was
    >originally designed with a 6GB hard drive, may need a new motherboard if it
    >is to run a 80GB hard drive.
    >
    >What do you think, would you risk upgrading this computer, bearing in mind
    >that the person involved has a very tight budget and cannot really afford a
    >new computer.
    >
    >Is it likely that, after 10 years' use, other parts, such as the fan, the
    >motherboard, or the power supply are likely to fail also? In other words, if
    >your budget and your processing requirements are quite limited, how long
    >these days can you expect a computer to keep functioning?


    Yup, not worth upgrading. Sounds like he's had a lot of use out of it,
    but it's definately time to retire it.

    Best bet would be to get a new one. If he gets a decent one from a
    computer place (ie not a "warehouse" dell etc), he'll probably get
    another 10 years out of it.

    How "tight" is the budget, remembering that he can get a Hire Purchase
    and spread the cost over a couple of years, although he'll end up
    paying more in interest etc.

    Another distant second option may be a TardMe machine, but you really
    need to know a little about computers to not get ripped off on there.
    There are some bargains, but there are also some real lemons going for
    a heap more than they're worth.
    Fred Dagg, Sep 25, 2006
    #4
  5. In article <451710af$>, says...
    > A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now needs to
    > be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb (preferably
    > 512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB (which is the minimum
    > you can buy). One computer servicing place told him to dump it as any
    > computer that is more than 5 years old is not worth upgrading!


    You may need to buy a pci controller for that new harddrive, not necessarily a
    new motherboard.
    >
    > Another computer technician advised him that generic memory is not
    > compatible with his system, so the costs of the memory would be quite high
    > as specific memory for the type of desktop would need to be purchased, and
    > this may not even be available at all.


    Correct. On the other hand, I am pretty sure that many people on this newsgroup
    probably have some megabytes of exactly _that_ type sitting in a shoebox in the
    garage. I recently gave away a whole stack of mine ...

    He also said that a computer that was
    > originally designed with a 6GB hard drive, may need a new motherboard if it
    > is to run a 80GB hard drive.


    (see up top)

    >
    > What do you think, would you risk upgrading this computer, bearing in mind
    > that the person involved has a very tight budget and cannot really afford a
    > new computer.


    I think it is entirely possible to get a second hand machine for 300ish dollars
    when that's quite possibly how much that upgrade is going to cost you.
    But make sure to put it through its paces before taking it home and handing
    over the money: some people sell because of upgrades, some because of problems.
    Having said that, the problem can also reside between the ears of the previous
    owner...

    > Is it likely that, after 10 years' use, other parts, such as the fan, the
    > motherboard, or the power supply are likely to fail also? In other words, if
    > your budget and your processing requirements are quite limited, how long
    > these days can you expect a computer to keep functioning?
    >
    > Thanks, Percy


    You just can't tell. I have a comp that is a P166MX that still runs (as an
    email terminal for visitors, it boots slowly but runs Firefox just fine) but on
    the other hand I've replaced lots of optical drives that were no older than 1
    or 2 years, and power supplies that were less than that. Looks like your friend
    has a goer :) and probably only mechanical wear will eventually finish off the
    parts that have bearings.

    -P.

    --
    =========================================
    firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
    Peter Huebner, Sep 25, 2006
    #5
  6. PCquery

    Vista Guest

    "PCquery" <> wrote in message
    news:451710af$...
    >A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now needs
    >to be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb (preferably
    >512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB (which is the minimum
    >you can buy). One computer servicing place told him to dump it as any
    >computer that is more than 5 years old is not worth upgrading!
    >
    > Another computer technician advised him that generic memory is not
    > compatible with his system, so the costs of the memory would be quite high
    > as specific memory for the type of desktop would need to be purchased, and
    > this may not even be available at all. He also said that a computer that
    > was originally designed with a 6GB hard drive, may need a new motherboard
    > if it is to run a 80GB hard drive.
    >
    > What do you think, would you risk upgrading this computer, bearing in mind
    > that the person involved has a very tight budget and cannot really afford
    > a new computer.
    >
    > Is it likely that, after 10 years' use, other parts, such as the fan, the
    > motherboard, or the power supply are likely to fail also? In other words,
    > if your budget and your processing requirements are quite limited, how
    > long these days can you expect a computer to keep functioning?
    >
    > Thanks, Percy
    >


    YOu could buy something off trademe for a couple of hundred dollars which
    would be far cheaper than upgrading an old computer. Biff the 1995 one, it
    isn't even worth considering.
    Vista, Sep 25, 2006
    #6
  7. PCquery

    ~misfit~ Guest

    PCquery wrote:
    > A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now
    > needs to be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb
    > (preferably 512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB
    > (which is the minimum you can buy). One computer servicing place told
    > him to dump it as any computer that is more than 5 years old is not
    > worth upgrading!
    > Another computer technician advised him that generic memory is not
    > compatible with his system, so the costs of the memory would be quite
    > high as specific memory for the type of desktop would need to be
    > purchased, and this may not even be available at all. He also said
    > that a computer that was originally designed with a 6GB hard drive,
    > may need a new motherboard if it is to run a 80GB hard drive.
    >
    > What do you think, would you risk upgrading this computer, bearing in
    > mind that the person involved has a very tight budget and cannot
    > really afford a new computer.
    >
    > Is it likely that, after 10 years' use, other parts, such as the fan,
    > the motherboard, or the power supply are likely to fail also? In
    > other words, if your budget and your processing requirements are
    > quite limited, how long these days can you expect a computer to keep
    > functioning?
    > Thanks, Percy


    A computer "should" last forever.

    However, a computer from '95 is likely to be a Pentium 120 at best, probably
    a 486 DX266 if your friend was on a tight budget then too.

    Sadly, those PCs were from the era just before PCs became powerful enough to
    have really long lives for simple use. For instance, anything over 400MHz
    will be adequate for email/browsing/basic gaming (period games) and should
    last more than 10 years, barring parts failure. A 1GHz machine from a couple
    years later is even better. A machine from 2000~ish could still be in use in
    2020 IMO. (As stated, barring component failures, capacitors were
    particularly prone to failure at that time).

    Sorry to say that you friend's current machine is probably at the end of
    it's life. What are it's specs? If it has PCI slots then a PCI - ATA/SATA
    adapter takes away all the HDD size constraint worries. However, I seriously
    doubt it's worth it. What operating system does it have?

    Where are you guys at? I have an AT board sitting in an anti-static bag
    that's fitted with a Pentium 166, has all 4 72-pin RAM slots populated
    (Don't ask me how much RAM it is, possibly 32MB, maybe more) and has PCI
    slots that he can have gratis. Or, for a modest sum, I can probably supply a
    350MHz to 900MHz ATX box that he can use with his current peripherals. (My
    biggest "expense" with machines of this era is SDRAM/graphics cards. I have
    more mobo/CPU combos than RAM)

    Or there's always something like:

    http://www.eoneonline.co.nz/shop/UPGRADE BOX UNITS/Upgrade Box-3/AMD CPU/www.e-one.co.nz.html

    $400 + GST, use his current monitor/mouse/keyboard (although keyboard and
    mouse will probably need replacing as they'll likely have wrong fittings)

    Cheers,
    --
    Shaun.
    ~misfit~, Sep 25, 2006
    #7
  8. PCquery

    -=rjh=- Guest

    PCquery wrote:
    > A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now needs to
    > be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb (preferably
    > 512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB (which is the minimum
    > you can buy). One computer servicing place told him to dump it as any
    > computer that is more than 5 years old is not worth upgrading!


    Dump it - you can buy something like a really nice, Compaq SFF P3/666
    for ~$50 at Turners Auctions these days. Including a 17" monitor.

    I'll bet that 1995 system doesn't even have USB ports.
    -=rjh=-, Sep 25, 2006
    #8
  9. PCquery

    Ray Greene Guest

    On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 11:10:15 +1200, "PCquery" <> wrote:

    >A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now needs to
    >be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb (preferably
    >512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB (which is the minimum
    >you can buy). One computer servicing place told him to dump it as any
    >computer that is more than 5 years old is not worth upgrading!


    I think the most important question is why does it need to be upgraded?
    Is he planning on running Windows XP on it, or some software which needs more
    RAM or disk space, or does he just want it to go faster?

    There have been lots of good suggestions here, but if you can let us know the
    specs and operating system of the computer, and what your friend wants to do
    with it, then the suggestions can be a lot more specific.

    --
    Ray Greene
    Ray Greene, Sep 25, 2006
    #9
  10. PCquery

    PCquery Guest

    "Ray Greene" <> wrote in message
    news:ef7aen$26u$...
    > On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 11:10:15 +1200, "PCquery" <> wrote:
    >
    >>A friend has a computer that was purchased about 1995 and which now needs
    >>to
    >>be upgraded. It needs to upgrade memory to at least 256 mb (preferably
    >>512mb) and to increase hard drive capacity to 80 GB (which is the minimum
    >>you can buy). One computer servicing place told him to dump it as any
    >>computer that is more than 5 years old is not worth upgrading!

    >
    > I think the most important question is why does it need to be upgraded?
    > Is he planning on running Windows XP on it, or some software which needs
    > more
    > RAM or disk space, or does he just want it to go faster?
    >
    > There have been lots of good suggestions here, but if you can let us know
    > the
    > specs and operating system of the computer, and what your friend wants to
    > do
    > with it, then the suggestions can be a lot more specific.
    >
    > --
    > Ray Greene


    Yes, there have been lots of good suggestions, thanks very much to you all
    for these. The system memory is 128 mb with 1 x 64mb and 2x 32mb sticks. The
    hard drive is 6 gig. It is an IBM brand computer. It is actually running
    Windows XP, which is no doubt the reason why it is extremely slow, although
    it has got worse recently. Various clean-up and virus checks have been made,
    including a defrag, but these haven't noticeably improved things. The reason
    it needs to be upgraded is to speed the computer up and to have more disk
    space. I am surprised my friend installed XP with just 128mb RAM, I thought
    you needed a minimum of 256mb. Despite this, the computer has been OK for
    word processing, e-mailing, and some photo work, until a few weeks ago, when
    it started to get very slow.

    Thanks, Percy
    PCquery, Sep 25, 2006
    #10
  11. PCquery

    Richard Guest

    Peter Huebner wrote:
    > You may need to buy a pci controller for that new harddrive, not necessarily a
    > new motherboard.


    PCI controller will be most of the cost of a new bottom end motherboard,
    sad but true.

    > Correct. On the other hand, I am pretty sure that many people on this newsgroup
    > probably have some megabytes of exactly _that_ type sitting in a shoebox in the
    > garage. I recently gave away a whole stack of mine ...


    I just threw out a whole lot of PC133 sticks because I had nothing to
    test them in and didnt want to risk the negative feedback on trademe if
    they were stuffed.

    > I think it is entirely possible to get a second hand machine for 300ish dollars
    > when that's quite possibly how much that upgrade is going to cost you.
    > But make sure to put it through its paces before taking it home and handing
    > over the money: some people sell because of upgrades, some because of problems.
    > Having said that, the problem can also reside between the ears of the previous
    > owner...


    Can get a brand new upgrade box for almost that little, onboard VGA
    however and some slow celeron or semperon processor.

    > You just can't tell. I have a comp that is a P166MX that still runs (as an
    > email terminal for visitors, it boots slowly but runs Firefox just fine) but on
    > the other hand I've replaced lots of optical drives that were no older than 1
    > or 2 years, and power supplies that were less than that. Looks like your friend
    > has a goer :) and probably only mechanical wear will eventually finish off the
    > parts that have bearings.


    Yeah, they dont last as long now, but when you can build a topish spec
    machine for 1500 thesedays compared with the 3500 a few years back, who
    cares.
    Richard, Sep 25, 2006
    #11
  12. PCquery

    PCquery Guest

    "Richard" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > Yeah, they dont last as long now, but when you can build a topish spec
    > machine for 1500 thesedays compared with the 3500 a few years back, who
    > cares.


    A technician has just told me that he has tried a larger hard drive in the
    machine, but it only detects it as a 55GB drive. In addition, the system is
    a Pentium II with a 400Mhz processor. Although 256MB modules don't work,
    smaller modules in the 16 to 64Mb range seem to work. This may be because of
    motherboard limitations which allow it to address only 64Mb in each memory
    slot.
    PCquery, Sep 25, 2006
    #12
  13. PCquery

    MarkH Guest

    "PCquery" <> wrote in news:45173237$:

    > Yes, there have been lots of good suggestions, thanks very much to you
    > all for these. The system memory is 128 mb with 1 x 64mb and 2x 32mb
    > sticks. The hard drive is 6 gig. It is an IBM brand computer. It is
    > actually running Windows XP, which is no doubt the reason why it is
    > extremely slow, although it has got worse recently. Various clean-up
    > and virus checks have been made, including a defrag, but these haven't
    > noticeably improved things. The reason it needs to be upgraded is to
    > speed the computer up and to have more disk space. I am surprised my
    > friend installed XP with just 128mb RAM, I thought you needed a
    > minimum of 256mb. Despite this, the computer has been OK for word
    > processing, e-mailing, and some photo work, until a few weeks ago,
    > when it started to get very slow.


    I have seen PCs with 128MB RAM running WinXP before, it is definitely
    possible to do it. But 128MB is the minimum to run WinXP and it will be
    slow no matter what.

    You can get an Upgrade box for $450 with 256MB RAM, probably about $500
    with 512MB RAM. A complete system with 512MB RAM, 80GB HDD, CD-Writer,
    17" LCD, keyboard and optical mouse would cost under $1000. A second hand
    PC would not cost much - probably $200 or so for a 3 year old PC.

    Most likely the M/Board will not understand drives above 32GB, it may even
    have problems over 8GB. The RAM will be hard to find. I would have to
    agree with the computer place that suggested binning this system - whatever
    you spend to upgrade it will be more than it is worth. To spend a couple
    of hundred or more on a system that would not fetch $50 on trademe is just
    bad economics. Imagine if you spent $200 (assuming you could get RAM and
    HDD that works) and then in a couple of months something failed - it makes
    more sense to invest that $200 in a new PC that has at least 12 months
    warranty.


    I would suggest a basic PC like this:
    http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=WKSPB9103
    and pay to increase the RAM to 512MB (probably about $50 extra).
    This would give your friend a new system with at least 1 year warranty.
    (the CPU and RAM would have 3 years warranty on them). This has a Sempron
    2800+ system which is slower than many other new CPUs, but many times as
    fast as any 10 year old CPU. 512MB RAM should be enough to run WinXP, WP,
    E-Mail, Web Browser and some photo work. It comes with an 80GB HDD which
    would be MUCH faster than an old 6GB HDD as well as storing over 10 times
    as much data. The new systems also have USB2 - useful for transferring
    photos from card readers or digital cameras.



    --
    Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
    See my pics at www.gigatech.co.nz (last updated 27-May-06)
    "The person on the other side was a young woman. Very obviously a
    young woman. There was no possible way she could have been mistaken
    for a young man in any language, especially Braille."
    Maskerade
    MarkH, Sep 25, 2006
    #13
  14. PCquery

    PCquery Guest

    "MarkH" <> wrote in message
    news:ssIRg.157767$...
    > "PCquery" <> wrote in news:45173237$:
    >
    >> Yes, there have been lots of good suggestions, thanks very much to you
    >> all for these. The system memory is 128 mb with 1 x 64mb and 2x 32mb
    >> sticks. The hard drive is 6 gig. It is an IBM brand computer. It is
    >> actually running Windows XP, which is no doubt the reason why it is
    >> extremely slow, although it has got worse recently. Various clean-up
    >> and virus checks have been made, including a defrag, but these haven't
    >> noticeably improved things. The reason it needs to be upgraded is to
    >> speed the computer up and to have more disk space. I am surprised my
    >> friend installed XP with just 128mb RAM, I thought you needed a
    >> minimum of 256mb. Despite this, the computer has been OK for word
    >> processing, e-mailing, and some photo work, until a few weeks ago,
    >> when it started to get very slow.

    >
    > I have seen PCs with 128MB RAM running WinXP before, it is definitely
    > possible to do it. But 128MB is the minimum to run WinXP and it will be
    > slow no matter what.
    >
    > You can get an Upgrade box for $450 with 256MB RAM, probably about $500
    > with 512MB RAM. A complete system with 512MB RAM, 80GB HDD, CD-Writer,
    > 17" LCD, keyboard and optical mouse would cost under $1000. A second hand
    > PC would not cost much - probably $200 or so for a 3 year old PC.
    >
    > Most likely the M/Board will not understand drives above 32GB, it may even
    > have problems over 8GB. The RAM will be hard to find. I would have to
    > agree with the computer place that suggested binning this system -
    > whatever
    > you spend to upgrade it will be more than it is worth. To spend a couple
    > of hundred or more on a system that would not fetch $50 on trademe is just
    > bad economics. Imagine if you spent $200 (assuming you could get RAM and
    > HDD that works) and then in a couple of months something failed - it makes
    > more sense to invest that $200 in a new PC that has at least 12 months
    > warranty.
    >
    >
    > I would suggest a basic PC like this:
    > http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=WKSPB9103
    > and pay to increase the RAM to 512MB (probably about $50 extra).
    > This would give your friend a new system with at least 1 year warranty.
    > (the CPU and RAM would have 3 years warranty on them). This has a Sempron
    > 2800+ system which is slower than many other new CPUs, but many times as
    > fast as any 10 year old CPU. 512MB RAM should be enough to run WinXP, WP,
    > E-Mail, Web Browser and some photo work. It comes with an 80GB HDD which
    > would be MUCH faster than an old 6GB HDD as well as storing over 10 times
    > as much data. The new systems also have USB2 - useful for transferring
    > photos from card readers or digital cameras.


    Thanks Mark for this good advice. There is a problem with recognition of a
    larger hard drive, it recognises an 80GB drive as only 55GB. The processor
    is a Pentium II 400Mhz. I would be rather nervous about buying a second-hand
    system unless it came with at least a 3-month warranty, but I guess people
    have had good value from systems bought on TradeMe? I hadn't thought of an
    upgrade box, this might be worth looking at, do they link in OK with older
    systems? I also agree with the need for a USB2 card.

    Thanks, Percy
    PCquery, Sep 25, 2006
    #14
  15. PCquery

    Ray Greene Guest

    On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 13:34:50 +1200, "PCquery" <> wrote:

    >Yes, there have been lots of good suggestions, thanks very much to you all
    >for these. The system memory is 128 mb with 1 x 64mb and 2x 32mb sticks. The
    >hard drive is 6 gig. It is an IBM brand computer. It is actually running
    >Windows XP, which is no doubt the reason why it is extremely slow, although
    >it has got worse recently. Various clean-up and virus checks have been made,
    >including a defrag, but these haven't noticeably improved things. The reason
    >it needs to be upgraded is to speed the computer up and to have more disk
    >space. I am surprised my friend installed XP with just 128mb RAM, I thought
    >you needed a minimum of 256mb. Despite this, the computer has been OK for
    >word processing, e-mailing, and some photo work, until a few weeks ago, when
    >it started to get very slow.


    Hes he installed any new software or Windows updates recently? It may be time
    for a reinstall.
    Hard drives usually come with software which allows older computers to see
    the whole drive. Still, you can go to a lot of trouble and expense with a PC
    like this and it will never be fast.

    If you're looking at secondhand machines, check out Compaq DeskPros on
    Trademe. They're just about bulletproof. I would steer away from the Celeron
    and small form factor DeskPros as I've heard bad reports about them.

    Lots of other machines are OK too of course, but I've had a lot of experience
    with DeskPros and they are good.

    --
    Ray Greene
    Ray Greene, Sep 25, 2006
    #15
  16. PCquery

    GraB Guest

    On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 15:39:37 +1200, "PCquery" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Richard" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >
    >> Yeah, they dont last as long now, but when you can build a topish spec
    >> machine for 1500 thesedays compared with the 3500 a few years back, who
    >> cares.

    >
    >A technician has just told me that he has tried a larger hard drive in the
    >machine, but it only detects it as a 55GB drive. In addition, the system is
    >a Pentium II with a 400Mhz processor. Although 256MB modules don't work,
    >smaller modules in the 16 to 64Mb range seem to work. This may be because of
    >motherboard limitations which allow it to address only 64Mb in each memory
    >slot.
    >

    That might be a BIOS limitation. The BIOS might be updateable but how
    to find an update for one that old would be a problem. If this could
    be done and it could take larger RAM modules, one could get a older
    (66MHz would do) PCI controller card and add a larger drive and the
    CPU, providing it had a decent cooler could be overclocked a bit.

    Otherwise it might be better to look at a 2nd hand machine or build a
    new low-end one with integrated sound and graphics with mobos starting
    under $100, hard drives under $100 and RAM under $100 for 512Mb if you
    shop around, Sempron 2800 around $80. While you would need a new case
    I think it is worth paying for a better PSU than what comes with a
    cheap case (better stability and long-term reliability, which all
    equates with ~misfit~'s suggestion, the upgrade box from eone. An
    extra $30 or so to upgrade to DVD writer would be a good suggestion.
    GraB, Sep 25, 2006
    #16
  17. PCquery

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Richard wrote:
    > Peter Huebner wrote:
    > > You may need to buy a pci controller for that new harddrive, not
    > > necessarily a new motherboard.

    >
    > PCI controller will be most of the cost of a new bottom end
    > motherboard, sad but true.


    $40-something dollars from DSE. Two SATA ports and one P - ATA100
    controller.
    --
    Shaun.
    ~misfit~, Sep 25, 2006
    #17
  18. PCquery

    MaHogany Guest

    On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 11:10:15 +1200, PCquery wrote:

    > Is it likely that, after 10 years' use, other parts, such as the fan, the
    > motherboard, or the power supply are likely to fail also? In other words, if
    > your budget and your processing requirements are quite limited, how long
    > these days can you expect a computer to keep functioning?


    10 years is a very good life as a desktop box.

    Time, now, to retire it to some sort of server role and to purchase a
    middle grade PC available now.

    Remember - AMD CPUs offer extremely good value currently when considering
    what they can do.

    Likewise RAM and HDDs are also cheap.

    Now is a reasonably good time to buy.


    Ma Hogany

    --
    "The average user doesn't know what he wants. The average user wants
    fries with that, if prompted."
    MaHogany, Sep 25, 2006
    #18
  19. PCquery

    Dave Taylor Guest

    "PCquery" <> wrote in news:45173237$:

    > It is actually running
    > Windows XP, which is no doubt the reason why it is extremely slow,
    > although it has got worse recently.


    128 Megs ram and XP don't go together. Go back to Win2K or 98 or
    puppylinux.

    --
    Ciao, Dave
    Dave Taylor, Sep 25, 2006
    #19
  20. PCquery

    Gordon Guest

    On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 11:10:15 +1200, PCquery wrote:

    > What do you think, would you risk upgrading this computer, bearing in mind
    > that the person involved has a very tight budget and cannot really afford a
    > new computer.


    Thought about a new second hand one?
    Gordon, Sep 25, 2006
    #20
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