What OS to install on an old computer

EfoDom

Commendable
Nov 6, 2016
85
0
1,630
0
My aunt has an old computer running windows XP home edition 2002 service pack 3.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual
Core Processor 4000+
2.11 GHz, 1,00 GB RAM (I unfortunately don't have more info about her pc at the moment)
Her computer is really slow, skype doesn't even want to run and it probably has malware. What OS should I install on it that would make use of that old pc? My aunt should also be able to use it (she can do basic computer tasks). She would just like to use skype, browse the internet (gmail etc.) and open documents. Thanks in advance.
 

jacobweaver800

Respectable
Dec 15, 2017
1,539
0
2,460
209


After doing a bit of searching, you can run Win7 32 bit, you'll need aleast 2gbs of ram for 64 bit
 
There are many "lightweight" operating system options for older PCs and laptops and most are free and/or open source if upgrading is out of the question. If you are not familiar with Linux, Xubuntu is a great user-friendly Linux based OS that has a built in Windows-type interface package for email, web, Office, and photo and video programs.

I don't know much about it nor if Skype will run on it, but a friend runs it on his old Dell Pentium IV computer just fine. I do know that it has a huge support community out there so you will have all kinds of resources and forums to work with (https://xubuntu.org/). Another option is to try Chrome OS but I know it will not do Skype in main feature form (no video or voice calls specifically).
 

Be aware extended support for Windows 7 is set to expire in Jan 2020. That's when Microsoft is planning to stop releasing security updates for it. Note that Windows 10 also lists 1 GB as the minimum for the 32-bit version. So you may want to opt for Win10 instead. Because CPUs pretty much stopped getting faster (they used to double in speed every ~3 years), software developers were forced to optimize to cut down on software bloat. And as a result by many metrics Win 10 actually requires fewer resources than Win 7.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

If you don't want to pay for a Windows license, I would suggest either Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Both currently list 1 GB as a minimum, 2 GB recommended.

Ubuntu is by far the most popular Linux distro, but it uses a UI which a lot of people have complained about. The regular versions are released every 6 months, with 9 months of support - you're expected to upgrade to the newest version for continued support. Every 2 years they release a LTS (long term support) version which will get updates for 5 years before they expect you to upgrade to a newer version. The next LTS release is set for April 2018.
https://www.ubuntu.com/desktop

Mint is basically Ubuntu with the UI replaced with something more similar to Windows. So it may be easier to use if your aunt already comfortable with Windows. Their releases are based on the Ubuntu LTS releases. So the current versions are supported until April 2021. The next release (after the April 2018 Ubuntu LTS release) will be supported until April 2023.
https://linuxmint.com/download_all.php

Xubuntu is probably good too, I just haven't tried it out yet.

While that CPU is capable of running 64-bit software, I'd suggest sticking with the 32-bit versions. The 64-bit versions require slightly more RAM because it increases the smallest memory size for variables from 4 bytes to 8 bytes. Consequently the exact same software recompiled for 64-bit requires more RAM than the 32-bit version.

An easier way to install Skype for Linux was just released.
https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/02/install-skype-linux-ubuntu
 

jacobweaver800

Respectable
Dec 15, 2017
1,539
0
2,460
209


Something Linux based is always an option, however Linux is usually slow on older PC's and you might be better off just getting Windows 7, it's a very easy OS to use and your Aunt shouldn't have any problems with it. Just remember that your going to want to use a 32-bit OS since it only has 1gb of ram.
 
jacobweaver800 - just curious why you state that Linux is usually slow on older PC's? I've found just the opposite. Linux Mint seems to be snappier and more responsive than Windows 7 on a PC of that tech era.
 

jacobweaver800

Respectable
Dec 15, 2017
1,539
0
2,460
209

Well yes, Linux Mint is great, however if you want to go with something free like Puppy Linux it will generally be slow. As for Win 10 your PC would support it, however it may be very sluggish since it was designed to run on newer hardware because very little people are running anything that old, although it is a very neat system since its Athlon 64. I would still recommend Win 7 since its very easy to learn and use, also it should run a lot faster than Win 10 just because of better optimization, and yes Microsoft is planning to end support for Win 7 in 2020, but lets be honest here, that is still a very old system and it might not make it much farther than 2020.
 

jacobweaver800

Respectable
Dec 15, 2017
1,539
0
2,460
209

Well yes, Linux Mint is great, however if you want to go with something free like Puppy Linux it will generally be slow. As for Win 10 your PC would support it, however it may be very sluggish since it was designed to run on newer hardware because very little people are running anything that old, although it is a very neat system since its Athlon 64. I would still recommend Win 7 since its very easy to learn and use, also it should run a lot faster than Win 10 just because of better optimization, and yes Microsoft is planning to end support for Win 7 in 2020, but lets be honest here, that is still a very old system and it might not make it much farther than 2020.
 

Similar threads


ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS