Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

How much of you use REALLY vintage computer for internet only?

Last response: in Systems
Share
March 9, 2008 3:06:57 PM

Im curious how much of you use REALLY vintage computers for internet only?
Also report the specs please.

A few years ago it was true that really old computers were still good for net browsing, but today it doesnt seems so true, mostly because of the extreme usage of flash plugins, that consume to 100% and above the cpu usage.

I'm upgrading as a second computer my old and first computer AMD k6-2 450 mhz (clocked to 500 mhz and fsb at 112mhz) for internet purposes ONLY, and it anoyes me that all the sites with flash plugins (as youtube) run like crap because of cpu extreme usage.

How much of you that used primitive computer dealed with this as well?
Im also curious if there is a way around it, by making all the flash plugins to be rendered through the gpu, now that would solve it.

Btw to all k6 haters, i tested a pentium 3 550 mhz and it showed the same symptoms.

Im not looking to be bashed for using such a old crappy computer and to get a new one, the whole purpose is to revive my first computer and give it some utility.

I'm using windows xp sp2, 384 of ram and a geforce mx 440 128 mb on it.

Btw msn 8.5 with msn plus runs oddly remarkably well (apart when im spammed with animated smiles)
Winamp 2.5 makes it great for music.
And of course, i'm curious how much of you still have vintage computer laying around for some sort of usage :kaola: 
March 9, 2008 3:26:11 PM

I had a dutiful AMD K6-2 333 with 128MB of EDO, yes EDO RAM that I used until 2003. It is still in service though, my Aunt is using it to web browse on dial up so while the computer is extremely slow, at least it can keep up with the internet connection lol. After retiring that box to my Aunt, built a P4 that I still use every single day, thinking of upgrading it from a 2.4 on 533 FSB to a 3.0 on 800 FSB because the Prescott 478 socket core retail is still for sale, and it's only $80.
March 9, 2008 3:32:45 PM

Well, currently at my mom's business I use a laptop that has a Pentium 2 @366Mhz with Win98 on it just for internet browsing and sometimes emulation.

Yep, sadly, with huge flash files being frequently used, I think the minimum would be a Pentium 3 CPU. Even the TH forums lag in that laptop due to the flash advertise on the top of the pages.
Related resources
March 9, 2008 3:34:02 PM

Well like all man I like junk, if you ask me it is possible to get xp running “well” on this system. Some ram can do wonders. You can google for some tips, howto make xp liter, or you can use other approach, win2k much liter than XP and it works well. If can handle Linux there are few optimized Linux distributions. But no meter what you do I think p3/k6 are bit obsolete. I made few p4 1.6+ systems that run really well, p3 can’t be as fast. Bottom line is, you can make workable system, if you got all the time in the world to work on in.
March 9, 2008 3:55:06 PM

arkadi said:
Well like all man I like junk, if you ask me it is possible to get xp running “well” on this system. Some ram can do wonders. You can google for some tips, howto make xp liter, or you can use other approach, win2k much liter than XP and it works well. If can handle Linux there are few optimized Linux distributions. But no meter what you do I think p3/k6 are bit obsolete. I made few p4 1.6+ systems that run really well, p3 can’t be as fast. Bottom line is, you can make workable system, if you got all the time in the world to work on in.


Actually pentium 3 1.4ghz cant outperform old pentium4 1.6ghz i think.


As for the k6 system, everythings runs nice apart FLASHY sites :( 
March 9, 2008 4:38:45 PM

I've mostly retired my PII 400 from web service...right now it sits there dutifully running seti at 140,000 seconds a workunit, or occasionally winamp 5.5 when in-game sound refuses to mute. XP runs just fine. It's a completely clean installation (external firewall, thankfully) and boots surprisingly fast.

On the other hand, to one-up boonality, my grandfather's wife browses the web (including flash) with dial-up on a Pentium 100 running Windows 98. I was staying over and she wanted to show me some forwarded flash email...that was an adventure...but she seems to have no problem watching animations in slide-show...
March 9, 2008 5:00:27 PM

Wow, a Pentium 100, I haven't used one of them since I picked up the K6-2 back in 97... or was it 96? Eh either way that is a very old machine.

Speaking of Grandmothers, mine invested in a celeron laptop and a year later spilled a completely full, huge glass of tea into the keyboard and juiced it. Then I convinced her to buy a cheap low end Pentium desktop. She actually listened and couldn't be happier, she paid less, got more, and now when she spills tea into the keyboard she can just hook another one up :) 
March 9, 2008 5:04:05 PM

I had tried setting up an old packard bell P1 @ 180Mhz for internet use, but i never got it to work. i had significant problems just installing an OS, and then the BIOS would randomly choose to not always see the hard drive. i gave up on it pretty quickly.
March 9, 2008 5:21:51 PM

Nik_I said:
I had tried setting up an old packard bell P1 @ 180Mhz for internet use, but i never got it to work. i had significant problems just installing an OS, and then the BIOS would randomly choose to not always see the hard drive. i gave up on it pretty quickly.


For normal web browsing under windows xp (no flash animations of huge amount of gifs), anything above 300 will do fine.
I have tested a 133 and 166 mmx, and none where good for the most basic\enjoyable internet browsing, without huge slowdowns just by scrooling up and down websites :lol: 
For a good net browsing experience with any flashy site of ours days, maybe a 1000 mhz athlon\pentium will be needed.
March 9, 2008 5:38:30 PM

rickzor said:
For normal web browsing under windows xp (no flash animations of huge amount of gifs), anything above 300 will do fine.
I have tested a 133 and 166 mmx, and none where good for the most basic\enjoyable internet browsing, without huge slowdowns just by scrooling up and down websites :lol: 
For a good net browsing experience with any flashy site of ours days, maybe a 1000 mhz athlon\pentium will be needed.


the computer itself would probably be ok, except that i can't get it to work. i've tried changing the IDE cables, i tried using a different IDE channel, and i still get weird problems. After spending almost two whole weekends trying to get that piece of junk to work, i just gave up.
March 9, 2008 6:01:11 PM

I'm using a PII/266 Mhz to post this right now. Running XP and 384 meg of ram. Also use it to burn cd's, made from parts given to be my people that I do builds for.
March 9, 2008 6:18:32 PM

I was running a 533 Celeron until last autumn. Bought that thing in 2000. The Adblock parsing was enough to noticeably slow page rendering :sleep: . Youtube was a chopfest. Playing an mp3 and loading a page simultaneously would cause the music to stutter. I had this box as optimized and tweaked as you could get, but it just couldn't keep up. There wasn't much Flash, but there was still a measure of pride to accomplishing what I could. :) 
March 9, 2008 6:46:38 PM

I set up an old laptop recently for my mom - she uses it for Internet browsing and pictures watching everyday.

It's an IBM Thinkpad a21m, meaning a 750 MHz P3-M, juiced up with 384 Mb of PC 100 SDRAM and a 40 Gb hard disk (instead of 64 Mb and slow 20 Gb HD with little cache).

Running xubuntu 7.10, it does pretty much everything a more modern computer does, except mapped 3D (the Rage Mobility M1 in it will crash if anything looking like a texture is mapped to the viewport; unmapped polygons show up well though). No virus means very little system overhead.

In fact, during normal use the CPU throttles down to 600 MHz and stays there (note: P3-M didn't do automatic clock throttling under Windows, but this one does under Linux - go figure) except when I start some 'largish' video playback (some advanced simple profile DivX/Xvid movies may saturate the CPU), or when playing Flash animations at full quality (I then switch them to low quality, no biggies).
March 9, 2008 10:51:35 PM

mitch074 said:
I set up an old laptop recently for my mom - she uses it for Internet browsing and pictures watching everyday.

It's an IBM Thinkpad a21m, meaning a 750 MHz P3-M, juiced up with 384 Mb of PC 100 SDRAM and a 40 Gb hard disk (instead of 64 Mb and slow 20 Gb HD with little cache).

Running xubuntu 7.10, it does pretty much everything a more modern computer does, except mapped 3D (the Rage Mobility M1 in it will crash if anything looking like a texture is mapped to the viewport; unmapped polygons show up well though). No virus means very little system overhead.

In fact, during normal use the CPU throttles down to 600 MHz and stays there (note: P3-M didn't do automatic clock throttling under Windows, but this one does under Linux - go figure) except when I start some 'largish' video playback (some advanced simple profile DivX/Xvid movies may saturate the CPU), or when playing Flash animations at full quality (I then switch them to low quality, no biggies).


Is unbutu a better choice for web browsing?
Is it a better choice over win xp\98\2000?

If so...what about firewalls and antivirus etc? Does it have any of these built in?

Last question..what is mapped 3D?


March 9, 2008 11:59:58 PM

I used a X2 socket 939 for a while, but while using it I also used a Pentium D 935 which I retired to an acrylic case, its probably not considered vintage though, maybe my socket A, ABit NF7-V 2. w/ a barton 2500+ is more of a vinatge PC, i just dunno nowadays :whistle: 
March 10, 2008 12:03:16 AM

rickzor said:
Is unbutu a better choice for web browsing?
Is it a better choice over win xp\98\2000?

If so...what about firewalls and antivirus etc? Does it have any of these built in?

Last question..what is mapped 3D?

Windows XP. I am pretty sure it has less overhead than 2k and 98 also.

If you are using it on an old system, I'd recommend a lighter weight version like xubuntu or fluxbuntu. They can install the same software as ubuntu, but their GUI and standard services have a lower overhead than standard Ubuntu or Kubuntu. I personally have xubuntu running on a koolu and on an eee-pc.

They do NOT have anti-virus or a firewall built in. With linux there is a slim to none chance of you getting a virus simply because such a small percentage of people use it. As far as a firewall goes, it is easy to install one.

If you have never used linux before, don't be afraid of simple command line commands. When a tutorial says to type "sudo apt-get install xxxxxx", it really is that simple to install a piece of software.
March 10, 2008 12:37:38 AM

No, ubuntu won't help you'd want the OS with smallest memory footprint which would be win98/98lite(d). For more stability move to Win2k and trim back the services and things running, then it'll consume under 50MB before anything else is running.

It won't matter for flash playback speed though, that is processor bound. You'll just have to not use that system to view flash, disable flash in your browser. You can make a couple of registry files as icons to put in your taskbar if you like to quickly enable or disable flash before loading the (IE) browser.

Enable flash
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000}]
"Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000000

Disable flash
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000}]
"Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400

I know these work on IE6 which is what Win98 or 2K would support. Haven't tried them on IE7 but you really don't want XP and especially not with SP2 for such an old system.

What about firewalls and antivirus? Don't run them to improve the performance. Make more regular backups so you can restore one if you get infected. Use a separate hardware router to provide a basic level of firewalling.

It'd be easier to just get a newer system eh? SOmething used can be had for $100 or less, sometimes people even throw away their old systems that have more performance so I don't see why you need to struggle against it, either disable flash or upgrade the system.
March 10, 2008 12:39:49 AM

zyberwoof said:
Windows XP. I am pretty sure it has less overhead than 2k and 98 also.



That is so backwards I can't even believe I just read it.
March 10, 2008 12:53:28 AM

P-100 as web server (FreeBSD & apache), k6-300 as firewall/router(monowall), amd k6-450 using FreeBSD 7.0 running KDE desktop and Konqueror web broswer.
March 10, 2008 1:28:45 AM

I know my old 633 worked much better under XP than ME. its now in use as a word processor, the new owner doesn't have internet.

My old P4 2.8 kicks the internest ass and wipes with solitare for my parents.
March 10, 2008 1:30:39 AM

Heheh, 2 years ago while I was still in college I was stuck with a PII-450 that I stuck in an old Gateway motherboard that limited it to 266. Had plenty of ram tho (like 770MB) so it ran XP surprisingly well. Killed my gaming tho, had an FX5200, I dont know how many times I replayed Half-Life and Civ III because they were the best games I could get to work, lol.
!