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bgd73 11-10-2009 02:25 AM

economical pc
I recently burned yet another voltage regulator module on an expensive board...and no fixing it. I took extra care for the case, the cooling down to 3 fans, it looked like the day I installed it 3.7 years ago. It is the longest i have ever run a pc, 23900 hours runtime.I can't stand the pile I created the past ten years...
My brother had some old pcs, I went for a 290 mile round trip to get them. One was a 633 celeron that never ran properly, some real smart guy at hewlett packard though it could run on 100w. Brilliant ....
I remembered back a few years, flying around in linux with a pentium 2. the big net crash happened while I owned it. I made a vow...
everything post socket 370 can do some work safely. I am here in a year 2000 pc, ubuntu os, all for free. Save the old pc...from creating an even bigger useless pile of overthunk greed for need.
I can't vid edit, or even watch a video..the highlight for the p3 generation was encryption to 128 bit mandatory for all secure transactions. Still useful. I keep it as a backup. I needed this reminder, coming down from 3400mhz and a 725mhz vid card.....:rolleyes:

drew1d 11-11-2009 10:18 AM

My problem has always been hard drives. For me it usually follows a cycle.

- Running out of space, add second HD
- First starts clicking and acting slow
- I consider reinstalling OS on the second, and slaving the first.
- Don't want to do all that work again for the same machine, buy a new HD, that easily can hold both disks and more, and install in a new machine. Save that same CD burner from 1999 that I only seem to use to install the OS.

I should own stock in WD or Seagate.

I haven't really played to much with changing the voltage on a mother board. (Over or under clocking)

RobertSmalls 11-11-2009 02:35 PM

Y'all should get SSDs. They're so snappy and responsive, and very easy to live with with no moving parts and low power consumption. They're supposed to last for decades.

Downsides: they're expensive and small. Totally worth it for me.

@bgd: I choose components for low noise, heat, and power consumption. I have an 80W PSU in my 2.0GHz Sempron rig. I really can't picture myself needing a PSU bigger than 120W, ever. Yet all the hardware review sites are talking about the next, greatest, 500-1000W PSU that you need if you want to play the latest games. Hogwash. Buy a PicoPSU.

MadisonMPG 11-11-2009 02:46 PM

Buy a netbook.

drew1d 11-11-2009 03:11 PM

I'm seriously considering SSD. I'm not really a laptop person, so I won't go the netbook route.

NiHaoMike 11-11-2009 09:54 PM
600MHz TI OMAP CPU. Very efficient and surprisingly fast.

MadisonMPG 11-11-2009 10:18 PM


Originally Posted by drew1d (Post 138992)
I'm seriously considering SSD. I'm not really a laptop person, so I won't go the netbook route.

Old monitor + old keyboard + mouse + netbook = new computer

Also, 600mhz is not fast at all.

NiHaoMike 11-11-2009 11:07 PM

600MHz is fast if it's ARM-based like the TI OMAP. TI has an ARM-based CPU (DaVinci) that can encode 1080p x264 in real time with just 400MHz.

I'm waiting on some of the newer ARM-based CPUs that go into the GHz.

And note that most desktop applications do not need much CPU at all.

jamesqf 11-12-2009 01:29 AM


Originally Posted by RobertSmalls (Post 138985)
Yet all the hardware review sites are talking about the next, greatest, 500-1000W PSU that you need...

Especially in the winter, when they double as space heaters. Or maybe you could put a flap in the case, so it be used as a toaster oven :-)

I work on an IBM Thinkpad laptop, which (running just the internal display) draws about 17 watts in just-editing-code mode. The larger external display I use probably bumps that up a few watts, but still, even running (seriously compute-intensive) tests just gets me to the 30-40 watt range.

NiHaoMike 11-12-2009 01:47 AM

Something somehow appeals to have a really oversized power supply, like putting a 500HP turbocharged diesel engine in a compact. Yet it will not improve performance if it's not needed. And only large servers and workstations will stress a 500w power supply.

I have a 550W Antec Truepower Trio in my older PC, but that is because that's what I had. It actually gets great efficiency since it's 80 Plus.

I have the PC running 24/7 since that's the only one I have with me that is designed for continuous full load operation. I loaded it down more now that the weather is cooling down. It is actually keeping my bedroom nice and warm at night when it drops to as low as 50F outside while only using 60w at low load to 150w at full load. So during the day, I'm using it for its designed purpose and at night, it runs Folding@Home while keeping my bedroom warm enough to comfortably sleep in.

When the weather starts warming back up, I will use a low powered PC instead for most purposes. I have an old Pentium 4 laptop that is half broken (bad fan, cannot find a replacement), which I will fix later. in my situation, I am actually better off running old PCs for heat since they are just as efficient as resistance heaters and do some other useful work at once. (Maybe I should write a simple program to measure the room temperature using a 1-Wire sensor and adjust bulk CPU load to regulate temperature?)

Another trick is to angle the PCs so the fans blow to the side and hang wet laundry on a rack a short distance away. So now it also works as a clothes dryer for the winter.

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