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Is a Pentium 4 still usable for low end use

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July 19, 2012 8:03:01 PM

Ok my dad had an old Presario that he used for work. This computer is pretty old I would say at the very least a good 8 years old. These are the specs on the computer.

Pentium 4 CPU
512 MB DDR RAM
320 Gig PATA HDD
Windows XP

I already put some upgrades into it. I changed out the 320 Gig PATA drive for a 500 Gig 7200 RPM SATA HDD. I figured that should help make it a little faster 3 Gbps compared to 100 Mbps of the PATA drive. What I was going to do was max out the RAM at 4 Gigs and do a fresh install of Windows. I plan on using this computer as a general back up for when I work on people’s computers and to play old games like Command and Conquer RA2, Battlefield 1942 and stuff like that. My question is do you think it’s worth it. I’m looking at about 100 dollars for the RAM and 50 dollars for Windows. Is the Pentium for actually usable for these things?

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a c 152 à CPUs
July 19, 2012 8:03:36 PM

bjfaia5 said:
Ok my dad had an old Presario that he used for work. This computer is pretty old I would say at the very least a good 8 years old. These are the specs on the computer.

Pentium 4 CPU
512 MB DDR RAM
320 Gig PATA HDD
Windows XP

I already put some upgrades into it. I changed out the 320 Gig PATA drive for a 500 Gig 7200 RPM SATA HDD. I figured that should help make it a little faster 3 Gbps compared to 100 Mbps of the PATA drive. What I was going to do was max out the RAM at 4 Gigs and do a fresh install of Windows. I plan on using this computer as a general back up for when I work on people’s computers and to play old games like Command and Conquer RA2, Battlefield 1942 and stuff like that. My question is do you think it’s worth it. I’m looking at about 100 dollars for the RAM and 50 dollars for Windows. Is the Pentium for actually usable for these things?



I would say yes the Pentium 4 while slow and obsolete by today’s standards is fine to use as a tool for fixing people’s computers and playing old games. Those games you want to play came out over 10 years ago and are nowhere near as demanding as today’s games. Command and Conquer RA2 really has very low requirements:

Quote:
Operating System
Windows '95, '98, NT4.0, 2000, Millenium
CPU
Pentinum 266 or higher
RAM
64MB
Hard Disk Space
200MB
CD-ROM Drive
Quad-speed
Video Card
2 MB local bus, Microsoft DirectDraw compatible video card (640x480 or 800x600 pixels @ 256, 16-bit, or 32-bit color depth).
Input Devices
Keyboard and 100% compatible Microsoft mouse


Everything you have pretty much will meet or exceed those requirements and that will pretty much be the case for all those old games.
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July 19, 2012 8:10:33 PM

So now what about the upgrades do you think that will worth it? Do you think adding Ram and doing a fresh install of Windows will help speed the computer up?
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a c 109 à CPUs
July 19, 2012 8:12:21 PM

You won't need to put 4GB in, 2GB is fine , it will run windows 7 fine but if its still using integrated graphics then you will need to turn down the visual effects a little, i have a P4 system, upgraded to 2GB RAM, 500GB and an low end ATI card and i can do most things except modern gaming and anything too intensive.
Try finding a GPU upgrade for the computer aswell.


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July 19, 2012 8:16:30 PM

hmm if you can spend $150 then might i suggest even bumping up to a better platform where even the integrated graphics would be enough for old games
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July 19, 2012 8:21:21 PM

Thanks and installing Windows 7 was going to be my plan. Problem is this computer goes back to the days of AGP, so all I can find in the AGP field is Nvidia Geforce 6200 or Radeon 3*** series cards. I'm not crazy about that but I have no choice the motherboard has no modern PCI-e slots. I guess it should be ok because none of those games are graphic demanding. Like I said the only games I'm going to be playing are games from the early 2000's the most demanding will probably be BF 1942 and that's really not that demading compared to todays games.
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a c 152 à CPUs
July 19, 2012 8:24:46 PM

IMO a fresh install of Windows and upgrading RAM should help speed things up. 512 MB's really is nothing especially when you have programs running plus everyday OS operations in the background. All that will eat up 512 MB's pretty fast.
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a c 152 à CPUs
July 19, 2012 8:29:29 PM

bjfaia5 said:
Thanks and installing Windows 7 was going to be my plan. Problem is this computer goes back to the days of AGP, so all I can find in the AGP field is Nvidia Geforce 6200 or Radeon 3*** series cards. I'm not crazy about that but I have no choice the motherboard has no modern PCI-e slots. I guess it should be ok because none of those games are graphic demanding. Like I said the only games I'm going to be playing are games from the early 2000's the most demanding will probably be BF 1942 and that's really not that demading compared to todays games.


While AGP is a slower interface compared to PCI-e having a dedicated video card will still be better than the integrated graphics that comes with the Pentium 4.
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July 19, 2012 8:36:47 PM

Yes I know like I said all you are going to find is Nvidia 6200 or Radeon 3*** cards. Thanks for everyone's help.
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July 19, 2012 8:37:11 PM

Best answer selected by bjfaia5.
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July 19, 2012 10:01:58 PM

One more thing real fast what gives better performance an Nvidia 6200 or a Radeon HD 3450. Yea I know they're both old and out of date but like I said I'm stuck with AGP so I might as well go with which ever one was the best performer at it's time.
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a c 109 à CPUs
July 19, 2012 10:12:54 PM

The ATI Raedon is probably better than the Nvidia.
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July 20, 2012 1:07:02 AM

Thats the one I was looking at getting, thanks.
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