Should you throw away your computer?


cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Also, do not disassemble the power supply, it can kill you.
 

ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
734
240
San Jose, CA
Also, do not disassemble the power supply, it can kill you.
Not when it's powered down and the capacitors are discharged, I've worked on PC PSUs before without an issue. It's not like a CRT TV which has actual high voltage components.
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Not when it's powered down and the capacitors are discharged, I've worked on PC PSUs before without an issue. It's not like a CRT TV which has actual high voltage components.
I meant you should not do it if you're not an expert on it.
 

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
366
205
London, UK
Not when it's powered down and the capacitors are discharged, I've worked on PC PSUs before without an issue. It's not like a CRT TV which has actual high voltage components.
That's assuming that everything is working correctly though. It's certainly not unheard of for people to die from working on faulty PSUs.

I'm sure you know what you're doing, but keep in mind there's plenty of people who probably don't and shouldn't attempt to repair a PSU.
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Things to do to upgrade a CPU:

- Check if the motherboard supports the new one before buying
- Check if the CPU would be too hot for your case
- You may need to upgrade the BIOS using the old CPU first
- If you got a used CPU with a cooler, check that you did not get one that is not enough
- If you got a used CPU without a cooler, you may need a beefier one that the one you have (check that it fits your CPU socket and your case).
- Again, the computer might get too hot and you would need bigger or additional fans for the case
- Again, that might still not be enough and you would need a better case
- You need to check that the motherboard would be compatible with the new case
- You need to check that the power supply would be compatible with the new case
- You need to check that the CPU cooler is not too tall for the new case
- You need to check that the GPU is not too big for the new case (or that the bracket needs to be replaced)
- Obviously, you need to check that you can fit all the other stuff that you still want to use

It may not be worth it to upgrade just the CPU, but many times it is a really cheap good option.

Your other components might not give you the best performance out of it, but it might not be worth it to optimize for an old and cheap CPU.

Your system might seem slow because of lack of RAM or having a slow hard drive. But if you add more RAM than what you actually need it will not make the system faster.

It might not be worth it to upgrade just the CPU if you cannot add enough RAM. That does not mean a CPU upgrade requires more, unless you switch from 32-bit to 64-bit.

Old stuff can sometimes be more expensive than newer stuff.
 
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cube

macrumors P6
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May 10, 2004
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The oldest NVIDIA cards that can support Windows 7 with a legacy driver are the FX 5000 series.
Note that for this series, it would be using a Vista driver. Vista drivers many times work with Windows 7.

Radeon X has Vista drivers, so it might also work. Some people are even using them with Windows 10.
 

cube

macrumors P6
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May 10, 2004
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Remember that some old stuff does not have USB 3.0, although many times it is possible to add a 3.0 or even 3.1 card.

My AM3+ motherboard only has PCIe 2.0 and USB 3.0, but I added a USB 3.1 card (there's an ASRock that already bundles it, maybe onboard in others).

Similarly, some old stuff has SATA slower than 6Gbps.

And M.2 is relatively recent. Do not forget to check that it supports NVMe if you want it to be faster than SATA (what PCIe generation and lane width?). And the slot length.

Some of these last things could also be fixed with a PCIe card.
 
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RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,014
313
.. London ..
Nice thread! Yes it's mostly yourself (so far) but it's more of a detailed guide spread out over multiple consecutive posts. Nothing wrong with that.

I have a question - I'm (& probably many other people on this board too) mainly interested in building or sourcing / recycling parts into a cheapish hackintosh.

There's a useful guide to parts here at https://www.tonymacx86.com/buyersguide/july/2017

What do you think is the cheapest system around that meets these requirements?

Getting the mobo right seems crucial - so one route I'm considering is:

- buy / eBay an old PC, which probably won't have the right mobo,
- then buying a second hand compatible Gigabyte mobo from the recommended hackintosh list and transplanting all the PC parts onto it.

What's your opinion?
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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I have only bought/built new PCs but I keep upgrading them with new/reused parts until it's not worth it anymore (arguably sometimes a bit too much).

The PC I built I started at least 15 years ago with some Intel. Now the oldest parts are the Phenom II X6 and a FireWire PCI card. The next step is Ryzen, but it will probably be easier to just reassign this as is.
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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I got a GT 720 some years ago instead of a low end R7 2xx because the latter were behind in video decoding, even knowing it was a poor buy. :(

I actually wanted an R7 260 but it was not in stock.
 
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cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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It seems many people know about the Dell office computers, but are not familiar with the HPs. Here is one which is not so old (I think it would need a low profile USB 3.0 or 3.1 card):


Note that there is now a DDR4 GT 1030 which is about half as fast as the one shown in the video, which has GDDR5.
 
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cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Here are some notable consumer Intel Core milestones (no prosumer HEDT):

Core: SSSE3, power consumption
Core 2: x86-64 again, more cores (MCM again)
Penryn: SSE4.1
Nehalem: SSE4.2, POPCNT (from ABM), some SMT again, no MCM, IMC
Westmere: AES-NI, CLMUL
Sandy Bridge: AVX, Spectre mitigation microcode
Ivy Bridge: F16C, power consumption, usually USB 3.0
Haswell: ABM, BMI1, BMI2, FMA3, AVX2
Skylake: often Thunderbolt 3, usually DDR4
Coffee Lake: more cores
 
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cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
16,437
4,449
Some notable consumer AMD milestones (no prosumer HEDT):

K8: x86-64, IMC
K10: ABM, more cores
Bulldozer: SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, F16C, AES-NI, CLMUL, more cores (CMT), Spectre mitigation microcode
Piledriver: FMA3, BMI1
Excavator: BMI2, AVX2, power consumption
Bristol Ridge: AM4, DDR4
Zen: performance, power consumption, full cores again, some SMT
 
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