Ideas for a Mac complimentary purpose for an old Pentium 4 rig?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tevion5, May 28, 2015.

  1. tevion5, May 28, 2015
    Last edited: May 30, 2015

    tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    I often take scrap from my college, and I've got great stuff for free in the past. However a while ago I rescued a (fairly ugly) Dell Dimension 8100 from recycling. I got it home only to discover that it wouldn't show anything on the display. I tried a few different video cards but gave up.

    I enthusiastically decided to have another bask at it today and low and behold...after reseating the RAM DIMM's it sprang into life. Silly fixes are usually the best!

    Anyway, I now have a working Pentium 4 Dell. It had an Nvidia 2MX but I upgraded it with an old FX5600 I had lying about. So specs wise it's now:

    CPU: Penitum 4 @ 1.7GHz
    RAM: 512MB
    HDD: 250GB (Odd for an IDE drive from 2001!)
    GPU: nVidia Geforce FX5600XT 256MB
    Other: CD/RW Drive, ZIP Drive (my first), PCI sound card, USB 2.0 card and a PCI Ethernet card.

    What do you think I could use this for? Put Windows 2000 Server and use it as an AppleTalk server? Vintage gaming rig? Anything else? Something Mac related would probably be the best, but I'm open to any creative ideas!
     
  2. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #2

    Two words... Linux Mint. I have a Dimension 8600 with a P4 3.xGHz and ATIRaedon HD 7xxx or something similar in it, and I stuck Mint on it because I had no other use for it. Mint runs extremely well on it and can be very usable.

    Or better yet, stick Windows 10 Insider Preview on it, as part of another experiment I did with it, I discovered Windows 10 runs extremely well on it. Just make sure your GFX Card has drivers for 7 and up. Also, I would bump up the RAM to at least 2 for it to be usable, 4GB would be perfect being that it is the max for 32bit processors and OSes.
     
  3. tevion5 thread starter macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    I actually got a lovely Dell Optiplex 780 with 3GHz Core2Duo E8400 and 8GB RAM for free a few months ago! I threw in a GT 730 and it's been my main windows rig in college :) And yes I gave into temptation and it's running Windows 10 as it's main OS. I have Steam running CounterStrike and even GTA V on it. Awesome for a FREE machine!

    But actually Linux Mint might be the perfect use for it. I can have a dedicated Linux System and the fact that it's x86 means most everything will be supported. I love networking so I could do some fun stuff.

    Or damn!!! I can use it as a Linux System and hook it up to my Apple II and use it to control it as a terminal. Actually now this seems perfect.

    You reckon Linux Mint is the best district for an old x86 tower? Not Lububuntu or something else? I know very little about modern Linux so some advise would be great.
     
  4. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #4

    I know even less about Linux probably. I have used 4 types of Linux, ZorinOS, Ubuntu, Elementary OS, and Mint. I can honestly say that Mint doesn't seem to be very intensive, thus it runs very well on the older hardware. Lubuntu I've never used, but it's specific purpose is to be for older systems, but I think when they say older systems, they mean ancient. ZorinOS is very impressive, but very resource intensive. Elementary is beautiful, but still a work in progress. Finally, you are a scrub if you just use plain old Ubuntu. It's apparently too generic for the diehard Linux fans.

    I also became very tempted and installed Windows 10 over my 8.1 install on my HP. Its a one-year old machine so it runs it well. But as a daily driver, it's rough around the edges. The constant locking up after the screen shuts off, the broken graphics, and just the overall bugs are a little annoying. But i, too, play my steam games on it and it works pretty well. Frankly GTA V works better now than it did on 8.1. In my beta experiences, every IOS (7 And 8) and OS X (10.9 and 10.10) both were extremely smooth and felt like full OSes.

    BTW, for GTA V, please tell me you have the trainers mod and "carmaggeddon" mod...
     
  5. tevion5 thread starter macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #5
    I think I'll try Linux Mint first and see how that goes. I can use it with the Apple II via serial and have a bit of fun that way. Be hilarious to administrate my Minecraft server from my Apple II! xD

    Also, I only though of it now, my dad upgraded his Dell Dimension 8200 from 256MB to 2GB RAM a while back, so I did some scavenging and located the old RIMMs. That brings me to a total of 512MB for now. Should be plenty for light Linux. Just like the 8200, it's RD RAM, so no cheap SD for me.

    I haven't modded my GTA V on my main gaming rig at all as I've heard something about people getting banned from online when they accidentally load online with the mods turned on. I might approach it carefully and try a few. Some of the ones I've seen like the car firing gun and the mod that let's you be a whale look really funny.
     
  6. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #6
    That's the machine I got! 8GB RAM in mine too. I've got Win 8.1 Pro on it
     
  7. tevion5 thread starter macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #7
    Most powerful machine I ever got for nothing! Nice little worker, runs Windows 10 brilliantly. One of the least ugly Dell's I've seen too :p
     
  8. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #8
    It would make a great server. You can use it as a file server and/or website host and/or game server etc etc etc!
     
  9. tevion5 thread starter macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #9
    I've got XP installed on one partition and that runs very quickly for now. I have Linux Mint installed on the other, but it's hella slow. I think I have to tweak something to disable the swap file as it has less than 1GB ram but it's too unstable to even start the terminal! Might have to look into a different flavor of Linux.
     
  10. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #10
    Yeah, I guess you can give Lubuntu a try... It's runs pretty smooth on my system, but mine also has a pretty good ATI Raedon GFX Card and 3GB of RAM
     
  11. abundantmussel macrumors member

    abundantmussel

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    #11
    I would recommend Debian using the Debian net install disk nice minimal system that you can add new packages to in order to build it up
     
  12. Imixmuan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    #12
    LXLE, which is based on Lubuntu will run extremely well on older PC hardware like that. It has a Mac OS X "paradigm" ie, a vaguely mac like interface option. Linux Mint Cinnamon and MATE are probably a titch too resource intensive for it. Stock Ubuntu Unity is really going to be a slow performer. Puppy Linux on the other hand would fly, Puppy Tahr is based on Ubuntu Trusty Tahr but with a super lightweight interface using the JWN window manager. Puppy is a little fractured (fity bajillion variations, software repositories that are old and poorly maintained) and not as easy to use as some distros though. If you want a Mac OS X clone try Pearl LInux. I've never used it myself, but I've read some decent reviews...I'd try the XFCE one on a P4.

    http://lxle.net/

    http://www.puppylinux.com/

    http://www.pearllinux.com/
     

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