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Weekend Open Forum: Finding a use for old hardware

By Matthew · 47 replies
Jun 3, 2011
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  1. Being tech enthusiasts, we've committed ourselves to an everlasting pursuit of owning the latest and greatest hardware. Many of you probably upgrade your graphics card more often than you get…

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  2. bchen88c

    bchen88c TS Member Posts: 23

    disassemble everything just for fun :) (if it's something really old)
    UPDATE: my phone just went through the washer, now im going to take it apart :)
  3. matchu

    matchu TS Enthusiast Posts: 100

    Definitely sell them to fund a new project :)

    Personally, do not have a need for more than 1 desktop + 1 notebook
  4. phillai

    phillai TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +15

    I've got two old PC's not in use (Athlon 2600XP & P4 3.00GHz). I really want to build my own MAME cabinets with these PC's.
  5. Greg S

    Greg S TS Evangelist Posts: 1,607   +443

    lol. I've still got a desktop running with a pentium 4 @3.00Ghz (no overclock) w/Windows XP Pro. Can anyone beat my laptop with 1.25Gb of DDR ram and 1400Mhz pentium M?
  6. AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 1.8GHz Single Core, 1GB SDRAM 400MHz, Hitachi 250GB SCSI HDD, BFG 6800GT 256MB, Sony DVD-ROM, Sony DVD Burner, 3.5" floppy drive, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS, Windows XP Home. Still in use today, not selling it. :)
  7. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,219   +1,657

    I'm planning on doing an overhual on my current computer and with the old parts I'm thinking of making a media center since they're still good parts, but getting old.
  8. bchen88c

    bchen88c TS Member Posts: 23

    my 4 pc's
    1.) hp d530 2.8ghz p4 northwood, 512mb ddr 400mhz, seagate 7200.12 500gb and 2x ide wd 80gb, geforce mx 440 agp, xp pro
    2.) same thing except 3ghz p4 prescott, 1gb ddr, 160gb hdd, geforce 6200 agp, ubuntu
    3.)hp dv2000t 1.6ghz t5200 core 2 duo, 1gb ddr2, 120gb hdd, intel 950 integrated, windows 7
    4.)hp dv7t-4100 2.53ghz intel i5 460m, 6gb ddr3, 500gb hdd, intel hd graphics (1st gen), windows 7
    the first 3 have either too little ram or disk, its messed up. can anyone dig below 512 ram?
  9. I have stuff going back to a Kaypro II (1983). Total maybe 16 systems. Most work. I have 3 Win98 boxes which we connect for some older multi-player stuff. Someday I plan to sacrifice the P3 to the glycerin tank in hopes of a double overclock.. A friend of mine runs a robotics clubs - and they LOVE old systems for use as parts.
  10. techfiend4

    techfiend4 TS Rookie

    i have 4 laptops 2 complete, 2 are parts but working. i also have 4 desktops, 1 brand new custom built, 3 old (5 years atleast). 2 of the desktops need new capacitors so i figure id use the mobo for practice, the other i use for a test bench. im going to use the extra laptop mobos for a custom wall server like what hak5 featured. also considering a mame cabinet like phillai mentioned.
  11. Cota

    Cota TS Enthusiast Posts: 512   +8

    I personally just stock them in my garage or put them to work until they die from brute force work *evil laugh*
    For Laptops... well sadly for me all of them had died from screen hits, so i like to dissemble them and put the hardware in polycarbonate slim cases and use remote desktop, they look uber and gives me a good low power consumption slave, however since my last build they had become useless so i just use them as decoration or lamps, wich my 2 VAIO's are very capable to do... :)

    "One VAIO was mine other was free! so no im not so stupid to buy another VAIO :mad:"
  12. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 850   +386

    Always keep one set of good parts in case something in the main rig dies prematurely.
  13. war59312

    war59312 TS Booster Posts: 133   +12

  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,075   +4,082

    Does a 6 1/2 year old eMachines T-5026 count as "old hardware"? Cause if it does, I just use it as a computer.

    At least a a prime internet machine. The P-4, 400Mhz DDR, and 915 chipset is a tad slow for DVD burning and photo editing.
  15. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,661   +321

    A combination of the options. I sell what I manage to sell without too much effort, for example to the store where I buy my new PC (which used to sell and lend used PC's) or happened to sell to my neighbour, that kind of thing. I also give a lot of stuff to my family, especially my brother in law who's a gamer. Some of the stuff I keep in storage. Some I keep because they might still prove marginally useful, some for nostalgia (like the 3 or 4 sets of LCD shutter glasses showing the history of 3D through the ages), some just because I have no idea that I still have them. :) I occasionally throw things away because they're really too old to be of use, even if there were good once (like the Sound Blaster AWE32 and Voodoo cards).
  16. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,661   +321

    Oh, I once tried the media centre thing, many years ago, but ended up deciding it was just easier to use dedicated hardware. I tend to stick to just one desktop and one small laptop.
  17. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,542   +424

    I just upgraded my itx system to sandybridge and good graphics, so I put all the old hardware back in my mini MINI desktop case (not tower). Incidentally, I had a raid card in there so now I have this Frankenstein looking thing with 4 hardrives that are connected to the computer via an umbilical cord of power and Sata cables.

    TL;DR: I try to re-purpose my old systems.
  18. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,007   +18

    My oldest stuff I gave away in the form of computers for my family members, but I pretty much have all the computer components I bought in the last decade.

    When I get a new video card, or other component, I take the one that was replaced and put it in my second best computer, and then take that replaced component, and put it in the third computer.

    As far as use goes, I don't really use more than two computers simultaneously, so the older ones I just load up with Ubuntu and they sit to the side. I'll occasionally turn those on to install all the updates, but I don't really do that much with them.
  19. arkantos

    arkantos TS Member Posts: 44

    sell them to fund a new project this is what I do usually. and other is a torrent rig.
  20. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TS Guru Posts: 449   +36

    Sell them if they're pretty much useless some components i keep them like i have an extra optical drive which i lend to friends in time of need.
  21. R3DP3NGUIN

    R3DP3NGUIN TS Booster Posts: 155   +12

    Almost all of my old computers get turned into servers or spare-parts collection. I have about 11 computers floating around my bedroom at the moment with atleast 4 unused motherboards.
  22. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,129   +1,635

    Whenever I have something functional - like an old PC, I soup it up as best I can and donate it to the Boys and Girls Club of America.

    For stuff that is just completely unsalvageable, I drop off at Office Depot for recycling.

    Bottom line, I do what I can to empower kids who don't have the means to have their own PC as well as being green as possible with old components that serve no purpose.
  23. I've got enough parts to build myself a Pentium machine (yes, original Pentium). Does that count? =P
  24. What about recycling of unusable old hardware like CRT monitors?!
    Do you know where and how they can be used?!
  25. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    I still have my old office desktop which I bought in 2001. It has an Intel Celeron 667 Mhz processor, a 10 GB HDD, 128 MB RAM, built-in SIS graphics and it's running Windows ME. It is currently my back-up office machine running Word, Excel and a few DOS apps. I'll keep it around as long as it still functions. I actually used it as my primary rig for a few months about 3 years ago when my Athlon 64 X2 PC went down with a busted motherboard.

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