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[SOLVED] Attempting to take a very old (Sempron age) computer to an usable level

howtobeironic

Respectable
Jun 16, 2018
257
13
1,915
28
So, yes, it's kind of awkward to throw these specs into a community known for modern builds, however here we go:
Processor: AMD Sempron, 1400 MHz (7 x 200) 2500+
Motherboard (this is onboard, so no removing the GPU): MSI RS480M (MS-7145) (3 PCI, 1 PCI-E x16, 2 DDR DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN)
GPU: ATI Radeon Xpress 200, AMD Hammer
RAM: 512 MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM (2.5-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz) (2.0-3-3-7 @ 166 MHz) (Generic RAM, I had 768 MB at the start but burnt the 256 MB one trying to play GTA:SA years ago)
Storage: SAMSUNG SV2011H (20 GB, 5400 RPM, Ultra-ATA/100)/(Seagate Barracuda) ST380817AS (80 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA)
Extras: A floppy drive! (I am not sure if that thing even works or not, I don't have a floppy to try that out)


The PC itself originates back to 2005, but received several upgrades throughout the time (though I don't know which parts were changed exactly, the above is from the last AIDA64 report I took yesterday) and is running Windows XP just fine.

So-so, I powered off this thing back in 2017 when I got the money to build my own rig. Now, one of my cousins (who is 7) wants to take that PC since she does not have any PC's to do work (plays Roblox, attends lessons on Zoom, uses Whatsapp to receive homework) on. I do know that the instant I connect this thing to the net, it will be flooded by virii. I also know that the hardware will not survive an upgrade to Windows 10/7, let alone Vista. I can roll lightweight Linux distros, but then they'll have a hard time figuring out what button doesn't commence a thermonuclear war (yes, they are that oblivious on tech knowledge)

So, I'm asking you, if there is the slightest way to bring this PC to an usable level? Any parts that you recommend? The line I'm looking for is the ability to run some really basic programs, such as Firefox, Whatsapp and Roblox. Forfeiting this PC is an option, but I want to know the possibilities.
 
I would not even try to use that PC anymore. It would be better than nothing, however slow.

If you do keep that PC:

In its current form, it CAN run Windows 10, however, it would be insanely sluggish as it is far below the minimum requirements.

Fastest CPU you can upgrade to is an Athlon 4800+ dual-core, however, you can get an Athlon 4200 dual-core for $5.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/AMD-Athlon-64-X2-4000-4200-4400-4600-4800-AM2-940-pin-Desktop-CPU/233443038819?hash=item365a4a1663:m:mAVwPis5CCf3nJ-P2qTU6RQ&var=533043550606
Your board supports up to 1gb ram sticks at 400mhz each. $30 will get you 4gb ram, which is enough for W10.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/G-Skill-PC-3200-2-GB-2x1gb-DIMM-400-MHz-DDR-SDRAM-Memory-F1-3200PHU2-2GBNS/202988932886?epid=133718018&hash=item2f43154f16:g:GbkAAOSwB6Reuqm0
Your board supports SATA, so you could spend $30 on a small SSD or newer hdd, or you could continue to use your existing drives.
And even then your not going to be able to play any sort of game-like Roblox for example, and Windows 10 will still chug.

At this point, you have spent enough that you could just get yourself a used OptiPlex that would be far better.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optiplex-790-i3-2100-3-10Ghz-4GB-RAM-250GB-HD-USFF-Desktop-Computer-i3-2/202976960539?hash=item2f425ea01b:g:ehQAAOSwPTNep0yE&LH_BIN=1
Something that actually will run windows 10 alright and has some upgrade path.
 

King_V

Distinguished
I tried to use a Pentium 4 3.8Ghz a couple of years back with 2GB of RAM. Using Linux. Just to see if it could be used as a simple "browse the web machine."

The answer is "no, no it could not." The moment I hit a web page, with one or two ads/vids playing, the CPU fan started roaring at max speed, and simply scrolling through a web page would be very jumpy, with each jump happening several seconds after hitting the Page Down key.

I imagine that, at best, the experience would be frustrating in the extreme.
 
I would not even try to use that PC anymore. It would be better than nothing, however slow.

If you do keep that PC:

In its current form, it CAN run Windows 10, however, it would be insanely sluggish as it is far below the minimum requirements.

Fastest CPU you can upgrade to is an Athlon 4800+ dual-core, however, you can get an Athlon 4200 dual-core for $5.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/AMD-Athlon-64-X2-4000-4200-4400-4600-4800-AM2-940-pin-Desktop-CPU/233443038819?hash=item365a4a1663:m:mAVwPis5CCf3nJ-P2qTU6RQ&var=533043550606
Your board supports up to 1gb ram sticks at 400mhz each. $30 will get you 4gb ram, which is enough for W10.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/G-Skill-PC-3200-2-GB-2x1gb-DIMM-400-MHz-DDR-SDRAM-Memory-F1-3200PHU2-2GBNS/202988932886?epid=133718018&hash=item2f43154f16:g:GbkAAOSwB6Reuqm0
Your board supports SATA, so you could spend $30 on a small SSD or newer hdd, or you could continue to use your existing drives.
And even then your not going to be able to play any sort of game-like Roblox for example, and Windows 10 will still chug.

At this point, you have spent enough that you could just get yourself a used OptiPlex that would be far better.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optiplex-790-i3-2100-3-10Ghz-4GB-RAM-250GB-HD-USFF-Desktop-Computer-i3-2/202976960539?hash=item2f425ea01b:g:ehQAAOSwPTNep0yE&LH_BIN=1
Something that actually will run windows 10 alright and has some upgrade path.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
126,054
4,409
159,940
19,752
RAM: 512 MB PC3200 DDR
20GB HDD
Sempron CPU

Will it run Linux?
As an OS, and whatever might come with a Linux install? Sure.

Degree of Difficulty - a 7 year old user.
Zoom
Roblox
WhatsApp

This will not end well.

$150-$200 on a refurb from Dell or BestBuy, that comes with a valid Win 10 license, and will actually do what he wants it to do (mostly).
 

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