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Found a working, older PC. What should I do with it?

harvestharvest By birthright,a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
I've found this thing, it's kind of shit but it works.

It's a 1.7ghz Athlon of some type, 768mb ram, 40gb hard drive, mid tower atx design. I probably don't actually need another computer but why the hell not? Only question is, what do I do with this thing?

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harvest on

Posts

  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Do you have any sort of home LAN or wirless network? You could throw a bigger hard drive in there and run it as a media server.

    Michael H on
  • SakeidoSakeido Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Michael H wrote: »
    Do you have any sort of home LAN or wirless network? You could throw a bigger hard drive in there and run it as a media server.

    +1
    give it a ton of hard drive space, as much as you could fit, and then use it as a file server. These types of machines also make awesome dedicated Torrent boxes if you are into that kind of thing.. it doesn't even need its own display. You can use a torrent program (can't remember which one) and set it up for control from another computer.

    Sakeido on
  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Sakeido wrote: »
    Michael H wrote: »
    Do you have any sort of home LAN or wirless network? You could throw a bigger hard drive in there and run it as a media server.

    +1
    give it a ton of hard drive space, as much as you could fit, and then use it as a file server. These types of machines also make awesome dedicated Torrent boxes if you are into that kind of thing.. it doesn't even need its own display. You can use a torrent program (can't remember which one) and set it up for control from another computer.

    If it's XP or above you can also just use Remote Desktop and use any torrent program.

    Michael H on
  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Would a wimpy cpu like that be usable for a media pc? I could poke a hole in the floor under my TV in the living room and run cable to it I suppose. Maybe take the time to learn to use some lightweight Linux while I'm at it?

    harvest on
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  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Well, I'm thinking that a media PC (that sits next to your TV and records shows and whatnot) is not necessarily the same as a media or file server. When you purpose it as a server it's basically just going to be a big, network-attached hard drive. Semantics, I guess. It would just exist to hold files so other computers can access them.

    For HTPC use yes, you would probably need a beefier CPU/GPU.

    Michael H on
  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Michael H wrote: »
    For HTPC use yes, you would probably need a beefier CPU/GPU.

    Not if he's running SD content. I had an old P4 1.8GHz with 256MB of RAM and integrated video that was my movie/TV show/Etc box for a while. It's something to think about if he doesn't own an HDTV.

    Do you have any interest in having a LAN party? Because if so, you've got your dedicated server.

    Or you could always get it up and running on a wireless network and snag a decent speaker system and now you've got your mp3 collection plus free streaming Internet Radio in your living room or kitchen.

    Dicking around with Linux is also a good idea (and won't invalidate the second or {depending on the game} first options either).

    SmokeStacks on
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  • busfahrerbusfahrer Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    You could also just put it in your room and play older LAN games when you've got a friend over.

    busfahrer on
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    Twitter: busfahrer -- Quake Live: busfahrer -- StarCraft II: busfahrer.184 (EU)
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    You could run it as a NAS box. It won't be as versatile as the server, but you can use it to stream media and other stuff.

    Alecthar on
  • krushkrush Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    not much will run on that one... at least game-wise.

    You could use it to explore the various flavors of unix (*BSD, Solaris x86, etc).

    krush on
  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    you can get a GPU for like $34 that will work on an older PC (AGP probly?) it isn't hard to give it just that little bit of extra kick for running video files.

    Elimination on
    PSN: PA_Elimination 3DS: 4399-2012-1711 Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/TheElimination/
  • krushkrush Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    you can get a GPU for like $34 that will work on an older PC (AGP probly?) it isn't hard to give it just that little bit of extra kick for running video files.

    ATi's still supporting AGP. Nvidia stopped quite a while ago, though they supported PCI for far longer.

    krush on
  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    krush wrote: »
    you can get a GPU for like $34 that will work on an older PC (AGP probly?) it isn't hard to give it just that little bit of extra kick for running video files.

    ATi's still supporting AGP. Nvidia stopped quite a while ago, though they supported PCI for far longer.

    Yeah i think you can get a 3 series card that is AGP for really really cheap.

    Edit: Apparently you can even get stuff like 4650's in AGP format.

    Heres a good list.

    Elimination on
    PSN: PA_Elimination 3DS: 4399-2012-1711 Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/TheElimination/
  • algorhythmalgorhythm Registered User
    edited February 2010
    office-space-employees-smashing-printer.jpg

    algorhythm on
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  • krushkrush Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    krush wrote: »
    you can get a GPU for like $34 that will work on an older PC (AGP probly?) it isn't hard to give it just that little bit of extra kick for running video files.

    ATi's still supporting AGP. Nvidia stopped quite a while ago, though they supported PCI for far longer.

    Yeah i think you can get a 3 series card that is AGP for really really cheap.

    Edit: Apparently you can even get stuff like 4650's in AGP format.

    Heres a good list.

    true, but to what end???

    A faster card with, say, 1GB of ram won't help him play any newer games. My current machine is only a P4-3GHz (older socket 478), and even if I upgraded from the Geforce 6200 I have to a Radeon 3 series, I'm probably not gonna see the kind of difference that would allow me to play something like Crysis or Street Fighter 4 at decent quality and framerates. I could see the upgrade if I were running a socket 939 Athlon 64 or something, but not my P4, and definitely not the OP's 1.7GHz jobbie.

    krush on
  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I have a Celeron 2.6GHz with a gig of RAM and a 512MB 8400GS (PCI), and there are a shitload of games on Steam that this machine can play.

    A machine like that is by no means useless. There was a time when a 1.7GHz Athlon was the fastest shit on the block. Go back and look for games from that time period.

    SmokeStacks on
    gRAhjXV.gif
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    krush wrote: »
    krush wrote: »
    you can get a GPU for like $34 that will work on an older PC (AGP probly?) it isn't hard to give it just that little bit of extra kick for running video files.

    ATi's still supporting AGP. Nvidia stopped quite a while ago, though they supported PCI for far longer.

    Yeah i think you can get a 3 series card that is AGP for really really cheap.

    Edit: Apparently you can even get stuff like 4650's in AGP format.

    Heres a good list.

    true, but to what end???

    A faster card with, say, 1GB of ram won't help him play any newer games. My current machine is only a P4-3GHz (older socket 478), and even if I upgraded from the Geforce 6200 I have to a Radeon 3 series, I'm probably not gonna see the kind of difference that would allow me to play something like Crysis or Street Fighter 4 at decent quality and framerates. I could see the upgrade if I were running a socket 939 Athlon 64 or something, but not my P4, and definitely not the OP's 1.7GHz jobbie.

    A faster card will allow him to run HD video content, or at least it may. If you're hardware-accelerating video playback, you don't need a whole lot of CPU horsepower. Same for recording television...many TV tuners have on-board encoding/decoding hardware, so you can get by with a minimal CPU.

    Really, though, it sounds more like a candidate for a fileserver/print server/torrent box. But if you're going to go that route, you MAY want to look into getting a more efficient power supply for it (it possible...meaning if it's not proprietary like some Dells or other makes). Leaving something like that on 24/7 (or even just most of the time) can add up pretty quickly, power-wise. And though we like to ignore it, that DOES cost money.

    mcdermott on
  • Shorn Scrotum ManShorn Scrotum Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I came into an old pc and turned it into a file server/print server. Works perfectly.

    Shorn Scrotum Man on
    steam_sig.png
  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    krush wrote: »
    krush wrote: »
    you can get a GPU for like $34 that will work on an older PC (AGP probly?) it isn't hard to give it just that little bit of extra kick for running video files.

    ATi's still supporting AGP. Nvidia stopped quite a while ago, though they supported PCI for far longer.

    Yeah i think you can get a 3 series card that is AGP for really really cheap.

    Edit: Apparently you can even get stuff like 4650's in AGP format.

    Heres a good list.

    true, but to what end???

    A faster card with, say, 1GB of ram won't help him play any newer games. My current machine is only a P4-3GHz (older socket 478), and even if I upgraded from the Geforce 6200 I have to a Radeon 3 series, I'm probably not gonna see the kind of difference that would allow me to play something like Crysis or Street Fighter 4 at decent quality and framerates. I could see the upgrade if I were running a socket 939 Athlon 64 or something, but not my P4, and definitely not the OP's 1.7GHz jobbie.

    I wasnt talking about games. I was talking in terms of media and video for the purpose of a media file PC to stream off of. A video card of reasonable quality is pretty much needed for that type of thing. Which is why i suggested cheap cards.

    Elimination on
    PSN: PA_Elimination 3DS: 4399-2012-1711 Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/TheElimination/
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    If you're not adverse to Linux, check out Kmandla's blog. Does a ton of fun stuff with very old hardware:

    http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/things-to-do-with-an-old-computer/

    Visti on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Roland_tHTGRoland_tHTG Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I came into an old pc and turned it into a file server/print server. Works perfectly.

    This makes me wonder what other common household items would turn into if the man with the magic scrotum came into them.

    Roland_tHTG on
    roland even though you are just living life until ragnarok

    us mortals have to deal
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Michael H wrote: »
    Sakeido wrote: »
    Michael H wrote: »
    Do you have any sort of home LAN or wirless network? You could throw a bigger hard drive in there and run it as a media server.

    +1
    give it a ton of hard drive space, as much as you could fit, and then use it as a file server. These types of machines also make awesome dedicated Torrent boxes if you are into that kind of thing.. it doesn't even need its own display. You can use a torrent program (can't remember which one) and set it up for control from another computer.

    If it's XP or above you can also just use Remote Desktop and use any torrent program.

    Teamviewer!

    TL DR on
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I have a computer of similar vintage running Windows 98 so I can run various games that are a pig to get working on anything newer: System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Thief 2, the XCOM series, etc.

    japan on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Visti wrote: »
    If you're not adverse to Linux, check out Kmandla's blog. Does a ton of fun stuff with very old hardware:

    http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/things-to-do-with-an-old-computer/

    That's a nice list, but keep in mind that Kmandla's definition of "very old" is a machine with about a quarter of the power of the one in OP has. ;-)

    If you look at his other posts, keep in mind that you do not need to do the stuff he does on his machines to run Linux. Seriously, if it's over 1GHz and has 512 Mb RAM, Ubuntu will run fine on it.

    Frem on
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    It is almost as fast as the machine I use primarily for games.

    Yeah.


    Way outside my definition of a very old computer.

    Visti on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • RynaRyna Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Visti wrote: »
    It is almost as fast as the machine I use primarily for games.

    Yeah.


    Way outside my definition of a very old computer.

    geez, I reckon you need a new GPU

    depending on what games you play

    Ryna on
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The graphics card is the only thing I've updated. It does alright. Last game I played was Zeno Clash, which worked fine.

    Visti on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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