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Why my 'old' desktop is awesome


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#1 Denis W.

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 00:57

In this age of devices going mobile, computing shifting towards touch and tablets, desktops are no doubt a dying breed. I have a tablet. I have a phone. I have my laptop for school. I use all of them daily.

 

Now my desktop. Wind back to 2007 when I did a significant rebuild of my desktop (thread here). I had a dumb phone, my then-laptop was giving me hell with overheating and dying GPU, and tablets weren't a thing then. As a refresher, this was the original config in December 2007:

 

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 with OCZ Vanquisher as cooler
  • RAM: 2x1 GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R
  • Sound card: SB Audigy 2 ZS
  • Hard drives: WD5000AAKS 500 GB, WD2500KS 250 GB -> total 750 GB
  • GPU: XFX GeForce 8800 GT with stock cooler
  • Case: Antec Super Lanboy
  • PSU: Enermax Noisetaker 485W
  • Monitor: 15" Samsung monitor
  • Speakers: Logitech X-530
  • Keyboard: Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard
  • Mouse: plain Microsoft Optical USB mouse
  • Burner: some white LG DVD-RW drive

 

Fast-forward more than 6 years later and now it's this (bolded items were changed):

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 with OCZ Vanquisher as cooler
  • RAM: RAM: 2x1 GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer, 2x2 GB Corsair forgot-its-brand -> total 6 GB
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R
  • Sound card: back to onboard sound (NB: up to recently I was using the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude, but was fed up with lack of driver support, card blaring out ungodly static, and that even modified Creative drivers don't work with the Prelude anymore)
  • Hard drives: Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, Crucial M4 256 GB SSD, WD6400AAKS 640 GB, WD5000AAKS 500 GB -> total 1476 GB (plus a ton of extra drives used as externals)
  • GPU: PNY GeForce 670 GTX
  • Case: Antec Nine Hundred
  • PSU: Corsair TX650 V2
  • Monitor: 23" (I think?) Samsung monitor
  • Speakers: Logitech X-530 (this is the one piece of kit that hasn't been replaced since December 2005!)
  • Mouse: Logitech G500
  • Keyboard: Corsair Vengeance K60 mechanical keyboard 
  • Burner: almost the same LG burner but now coloured black

So while most of my desktop has changed, the 3 essentials of CPU, RAM, and motherboard have remained intact. Yet I'm still fairly satisfied with regards to performance and enjoyment factor. Yes it's not as power efficient as the latest CPU and MB combinations. Yes the CPU isn't as good as today's CPUs for decoding movies. But that doesn't bother me much.

 

It seems like the time to build this desktop, towards the end of the last decade, was the most ideal time. It came when Windows 7 began the reversal of needing more powerful hardware to go with increasingly power hungry software, moreso now with Windows 8 and tablet (hybrids).

 

Hence my dilemma: as much as I'd like to finally schedule a replacement of the CPU, motherboard, and RAM sticks all at once sometime soon, I'm also equally hesitant to. I could perhaps repurpose the CPU, motherboard, and mouse into upgrading another computer build in this house if need be. But in either case I'll have surplus hardware doing nothing. First world problems :p

 

Anyways, that's another testimonial for modular custom-built desktops. In this timespan I've had to replace that dying laptop with another one, which while is also showing signs of slowness, I'm also hesitant to replace too since Windows 8 runs fine on that laptop.




#2 Tony.

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:06

This is the thing about adopting early on multi-core CPU's, as more and more programs and games become multi-threaded the CPU lasts longer rather than back in 2003 with the Pentium 4's, you wouldn't dare using one after 6 years.



#3 Andre S.

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:12

Why change it if it's still doing everything you want it to do? How will spending hundreds of dollars on new hardware improve your quality of life? Yeah, 4th gen Intel Core CPUs are 2-4 times faster than your Q6600, but if your CPU is still not a significant bottleneck in anything you do, then you'll see little gain. Keep in mind DDR4 is right around the corner with Broadwell (5th gen Intel Core) in 2015.



#4 Raa

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:18

And this is why i'll never get rid of my desktop. It's been upgraded for as long as I can remember. :laugh:



#5 OP Denis W.

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:20

This is the thing about adopting early on multi-core CPU's, as more and more programs and games become multi-threaded the CPU lasts longer rather than back in 2003 with the Pentium 4's, you wouldn't dare using one after 6 years.

 

Definitely. Trying to use Windows 7 on my older desktop with a P4 clocked at 2 GHz and it's pretty bad. If you do nothing but run a program at a time then maybe it'll be okay, but trying to even do a Windows Update in the background and surfing the 'net simultaneously with any modern browser will bring the system to a crawl.

 

Why change it if it's still doing everything you want it to do? How will spending hundreds of dollars on new hardware improve your quality of life? Yeah, 4th gen Intel Core CPUs are at least 4 times faster than your Q6600, but if your CPU is still not a significant bottleneck in anything you do, then you'll see little gain. Keep in mind DDR4 is right around the corner with Broadwell (5th gen Intel Core) in 2015.

 

The only CPU bottleneck that would bother me is if, for instance, the PC port of GTAV runs unbelievably bad, going by how GTAIV went. Otherwise yeah, at this point I'm looking for an excuse to buy stuff were an upgrade to happen this year. :p

 

I wasn't fully aware of the latter point; perhaps I'll wait out an additional year for that reason alone.



#6 Auditor

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:33

I have two desktops and I love it both. I really like the freedom of customization in term of hardware upgrade on desktop. I have 2006 quad core cpu on one of my desktop and I installed Hackintosh on it and it works without any issue. My other desktop  has Sandybridge i7 and I have upgraded HD with SSD and power in that. I don't really use high CPU intensive work which might create bottleneck anywhere but overall I am happy with my desktop. 



#7 Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:38

By all means, brag about this ancient beast. Also, rub it in on those of us who own older, still functional systems. We all love that. Feels good huh? Feeding trolls is awesome. Especially when it makes their e-peens seem (smaller) bigger. Keep on trolling.

#8 Stokkolm

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:51

By all means, brag about this ancient beast. Also, rub it in on those of us who own older, still functional systems. We all love that. Feels good huh? Feeding trolls is awesome. Especially when it makes their e-peens seem (smaller) bigger. Keep on trolling.

The only one who seems to be trolling is you. How is he trolling for talking about his hardware in the "hardware hangout?" You need to calm the ###### down.



#9 OP Denis W.

Denis W.

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 02:10

By all means, brag about this ancient beast. Also, rub it in on those of us who own older, still functional systems. We all love that. Feels good huh? Feeding trolls is awesome. Especially when it makes their e-peens seem (smaller) bigger. Keep on trolling.

 

Hey if your older system works great for you, more power to you. Definitely not a bad thing for old hardware to remain useful! I did mention having an older P4 and still have it, albeit repurposed for another use.



#10 notuptome2004

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 03:04

Hey if your older system works great for you, more power to you. Definitely not a bad thing for old hardware to remain useful! I did mention having an older P4 and still have it, albeit repurposed for another use.

 

 

 

if you ever do upgrade everything in your system take your  current system slap windows 8.1 on the sucker  or what ever OS ya choose and turn it in to a media  streaming PC 



#11 T3X4S

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 04:07

I feel the same way as the OP

When my desktop was new, it was a Core i7 920, 6GB, 500GB AAKS, 2x 260GTX SLI in a Koolance watercooled case.

 

Over time, every part was changed, but I still feel as if it is the same "ol desktop".

Now, its a Core i7 950, 24GB RAM, 570GTX, 512 GB SSD, 4TB WD Black -

Everything is instantaneous on day to day stuff.  But gaming @ 2560x1440 Titanfall has caused me to look @ video cards - but I love this "ol' desktop"



#12 T3X4S

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 04:12

By all means, brag about this ancient beast. Also, rub it in on those of us who own older, still functional systems. We all love that. Feels good huh? Feeding trolls is awesome. Especially when it makes their e-peens seem (smaller) bigger. Keep on trolling.

wow, a little sensitive, huh ?   Dang - its not a big deal - some people have & some dont - it brings balance to the universe.  Remember, its all relative.  For every person out there who thinks they have some massive badass system, there is someone out there who laughs at trivial stuff (Im thinking rich kids of Instagram who spend $50,000 in 1 night at a club), and someone else who would love to own a computer, any computer - its all about balance. ;)



#13 Melfster

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 04:19

I have very similar desktop to your unupgraded Q6600.   In fact it still duel boots OS X and windows 7. The only thing upgraded was RAM and added lots of hard disk. I will to another build maybe at end of this year.



#14 Fahim S.

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 17:52

For me the hard discs have been changed (to SSDs), the graphics card has been replaced (more for noise than performance), and I have a far better monitor.  Other peripherals have been updated regularly (keyboard, mouse, webcam etc.)

 

I am not a gamer at all.  As much as I get the itch to upgrade every so often, I find it very difficult to justify it.  My system runs Windows 8 really well.

 

It is a Dell system from 2007.

 

When I bought it: Core 2 Duo E6400, 4GB RAM, 2x250GB 7200RPM Hard discs in RAID 0, DVD Reader & Burner, Floppy drive (!), GeForce 7800GS, 2x20" Dell E207 @ 1680x1050.

 

Now: Core 2 Duo E6400, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD + 256GB SSD, DVD Reader & Burner, Floppy drive (!), Quadro NV295, Dell 27" U2711 @ 2560x1440

 

Next week it will be: Core 2 Duo E6400, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 500GB SSD, DVD Reader & Burner, Floppy drive (!), Quadro NV295, Dell 27" U2711 @ 2560x1440

 

It  will eventually need replacing.  The box is ugly (unsurprisingly), it's noisier than I would like but it works for me.

 

To me it shows 2 things: 1) max out the right components and your machine will continue to  perform - for a non gamer that means the most possible memory and the quickest most capacious discs, and 2) they've done a hell of a job making Windows lighter.



#15 +warwagon

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 18:09

I built my main 4 monitor workstation the 1st week the 1st Gen i7's came out. It's was and still is an i7 920. Since then i've added more ram for a total of 12 GB. Added a 120 GB SSD and it  Still runs great.

 

So it's around 5 going on 6 years old.


By all means, brag about this ancient beast. Also, rub it in on those of us who own older, still functional systems. We all love that. Feels good huh? Feeding trolls is awesome. Especially when it makes their e-peens seem (smaller) bigger. Keep on trolling.

 

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