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Am I Shooting Foot Off By Upgrading Old PC?


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#1 F-1DeskLamp

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 02:40 AM

I'm thinking that I can take old CPU's on old Mobo's, and increase their RAM.  I might add an SSD too.  

 

Is there a limit to the benefit of adding hardware upgrades, and how can I tell what it is in every computer I come across?

 

 

Thanks



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 03:35 AM

Are you meaning as a business venture or for your own use?  Anyway, yes there are always limits to what you can do.  It really depends on how old the hardware you are talking about. Some things are just never going to be upgradeable to a standard that could run current operating systems (e.g. Windows 10) very easily.  It's a very broad question, so perhaps some examples may help.

 

For example, say you have an old Socket A AMD Athlon PC, which would likely date it to at least 2005 or earlier.  They used mostly AGP graphics cards - no longer available.  At the absolute best, you could probably install 2 Gb RAM into a system like this.  Worst, the processors are badly dated and outperformed considerably by even the cheapest things you can buy now.  Probably the only thing this would be good for would be a "retro" gaming system running old Win 9x games.  They will be incapable of running modern browsers to an acceptable standard, and things like Windows 10 will be unlikely to even install.  Very light Linux versions may run, although once you start trying to do stuff, I suspect it would struggle.

 

A Core 2 Duo system on the other hand (2006-2011 ish) may well be capable of being upgraded to a level that provides OK performance for tasks using current software.


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#3 F-1DeskLamp

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 03:52 AM

I'm not really calling it a business.  It's more like a hobby/self education phase of picking up hardware, studying it, talking about it, and then seeing what I can do to provide someone with it it in working condition/optimal performance.  But I'm aiming to make a buck on it for sport.  

So I live in a metro.  Lots of kinds of culture here.  We got high end gamer crowd.  We got middle end value crowd, and we got lower class hopeful crowds just needing the first 2 rungs on the ladder up.  So since I'm at the first rungs in the IT field, I'm trying to stick with low end equipment first before upgrading my interests to higher grade hardware.  That's probably practical.

So basically folks that just need a portal to the internet. no games, no photoshop, just internet stuff is who I'm catering to this month.  I just started, so I can't say how it's going yet.  

 

And so I pick the hardware off of the heap so to speak, and I start my research.  

 

And here's where it gets tricky.  Where do I refer to for identification and compatibility?  

 

If I know what I have, and I know what is possible with it, then I know what to look for in order to "supe it up."  

But just so everyone knows it's not simply for a buck or simply to be the "PC's on Wheels" driver.  I'm self educating myself in this field, and I'll be devoted for at least the next 6 years if not the rest of my life.  IT is not a fad.  It's a new world, so I have to know have to know how everything works in it from technology to logic.  

 

...and I'm looking for sources, centers of information, and brokers.  

Thanks



#4 MadmanRB

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 10:31 AM

For me depending on the age of the hardware getting something like say a SSD will be the most universal option as long as the hardware you come across has SATA.

As for a resource for finding hardware information well the old adage "google is your friend" comes very true.

if you are looking at some motherboards its best to see if you can find a model number, run it by google.

The vast majority of motherboards have a serial number of some type on it, the only downside is there is no real universal place to find it on a lot of old and OEM motherboards.

Sometimes this number is on the top, sometimes its on the side, sometimes its on the bottom.

If you have the ability to remove heatsinks from CPU's do so as you will need the information written on top of the processors.

Memory sticks with usually have a label of some kind.

And you cant miss the huge labels on a HDD.

Another thing to note is know your connections.

If a piece of hardware has a SATA port then great, if IDE only its mainly a huge waste of time and i would recommend newer hardware in those cases.

Basically anything made after 2004-5 is fine and can be worked on.

Before 2003 and it starts becoming a waste of time.

In terms of processors anything Pentium 4 and above should be fine.

GPU's? if AGP dont bother unless its a replacement for a dead unit.

I am self taught here on comouters here but i know mostly what to look for, heck if you are struggling you may wish to take photos and maybe i can spot model numbers and the like.

The internet is a great resource for this sort of thing :D


Edited by MadmanRB, 23 November 2017 - 10:32 AM.

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#5 F-1DeskLamp

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 06:05 PM

Sounds good.  It sounds like I was on the right track then.  

I noticed you said that AGP was a "don't bother with."  Is that a card slot style, or is that an older version of video display processing?  Can you tell me about it?



#6 MadmanRB

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 01:02 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Graphics_Port

 

That connection port is way past obsolete and fully replaced by PCI express, no modern cards support it and no one makes AGP anymore.

Ypu can find older cards but only get them for replacing dead ones.


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#7 F-1DeskLamp

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 02:56 PM

How do you spot the difference just by looking at the AGP and PCI?  



#8 ranchhand_

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 04:15 PM

 

How do you spot the difference

Ahhh yes, that is the question when dealing with old equipment, and the only teacher is experience. I have been doing what you are considering for a few years, and bottom-line is IF it fits the socket on the mainboard, then it will *probably/hopefully* work. That applies to CPUs, cards, memory, almost everything. You will also find that purchasing old parts can get expensive real fast, because people figure they can get rich quick by selling old parts that others need and I have seen prices posted on Ebay that are almost as expensive as modern equipment. The next big problem is finding drivers for some of the equipment, especially mainboards and video cards. I have spent hours trying to find the drivers for these things when a person brings his 10 year old laptop to me with a hopelessly corrupted OS. Just this week I finally finished an old XP lap that was handed to me; he started having problems with his optical drive, so his wife got the bright idea to re-install the drivers. So she found a disk that mentioned "system drivers" and attempted to load them. The only problem is that the name on the lap was "Gateway", and the name on the disc was "Dell". You can image what happened.

When you can get your hands on some equipment, you can save yourself some aggravation and time by testing first before installing it. Remember that this is old stuff, and no guarantee that it isn't dodgy. Seatools for DOS, Memtest 86+ and a good power supply tester will be your friends, at least they are standbys for me.

I'm not trying to discourage you, in fact, it's a lot of fun. I get all nostalgic when I see a resurrected old box, and the Windows 98 logo and bootup theme appear. I wouldn't mind finding a Windows 3.xx box and trying to fix it, but I haven't seen any of that equipment in years.


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#9 hamluis

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 04:16 PM

 

Is there a limit to the benefit of adding hardware upgrades, and how can I tell what it is in every computer I come across?

 

 

Thanks

 

The most basic limits are determined by a system's motherboard.  Replacing a motherboard...may entail replacing the CPU and the RAM, at the minimum...all other hardware peripherals will be determined by what the MB supports.

 

For some situations...anything less than a new MB/CPU/RAM...will amount to nothing other than cosmetic surgery on the system.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 24 November 2017 - 04:35 PM.


#10 F-1DeskLamp

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:31 PM

Ranchhand:  Ya, I like it too.  Seatools aren Memtest are good pointers.  Thanks


Edited by hamluis, 27 November 2017 - 05:59 AM.


#11 F-1DeskLamp

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:32 PM

The most basic limits are determined by a system's motherboard.  Replacing a motherboard...may entail replacing the CPU and the RAM, at the minimum...all other hardware peripherals will be determined by what the MB supports.

 

For some situations...anything less than a new MB/CPU/RAM...will amount to nothing other than cosmetic surgery on the system.

 

Louis

 

 

Ya, I just need to get used to what is what, and knowing what they top out at, so that way I'm not messing with things that are hampering up the buyers when they are online too much.  That's the big thing for me to find out right now in the phase that I'm in with this adventure/venture.


Edited by hamluis, 27 November 2017 - 05:56 AM.


#12 F-1DeskLamp

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:35 PM

So if you were rebuilding or recycling, and pushing out these dated PC's and Laptops to first rung buyers with the real hard budgets, what would you recommend for their security?

I can imagine that once all of the bugs and trackers etc get on their rigs, it's going to slow down quite a bit, and given that these rebuilds are already slow as it is, it's going to be really fustraitin'.  

 

I'm thinking Windows 7 or Linux and a VMware, but how much is that going to cost them to keep them low budget and out of the weeds?  



#13 MadmanRB

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 10:32 PM

You could make them into linux boxes, remember you need a microsoft certification to sell a windows PC.

Just make sure you let your consumer know that they are getting something not windows so windows applications will not work.

You could just say they are like chromebooks, they can still internet and browse the facebooks :D

 

You could always pop something like Linux mint MATE on them


Edited by MadmanRB, 25 November 2017 - 10:34 PM.

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#14 F-1DeskLamp

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 11:09 PM

Well that sounds good.  Thanks






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