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Dell Conversion

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April 28, 2012 10:17:48 PM

I am purchasing an old Dell Dimension 2400 (circa 2003) from my brother with plans to convert it into a private Minecraft server for ~six people. I need help deciding what to upgrade. Here are it's specs:

CPU: Socket 478 Pentium 4 @ 2.6ghz (single core)
RAM: 2gb DDR1 @ 333mhz
GPU: Nvidia 8400gs 512mb
HDD: 40gb (5400 rpm?, I'm not certain but it's slow)
OS: Windows XP Home

When I set it up as a server and connect from another machine and play Minecraft it performs *alright* but it could be better. I get a "Warning: Can't keep up" message on the Dell 2400. Traversing the map at high speeds causes this and some chunks will not load. Big redstone machines and TNT are also capable of choking up the Dell server.

I suspect three things as the problem; CPU may be too slow, 333mhz RAM may be too slow or the I/O of the HDD is too low for a Minecraft server.

Here is what I plan to upgrade to:

CPU: Socket 478 Pentium 4 HT @ 3.2ghz (single core)
HDD: ~32gb SSD w/IDE adapter




If there's anything else out there that can improve performance please let me know. Or is this system simply too old to be a Minecraft server?

More about : dell conversion

April 29, 2012 1:54:01 AM

Alternative: before you throw money at one of the slower P4 era computers price out a few alternative. For example this refurb "HP Pavilion p7-1130z AMD A6-3650 2.6GHz 6GB 500GB" for $285 + ship will run circles around the P4. http://www.ubid.com/HP_Pavilion_p7-1130z_AMD_A6-3650_2....

The P4 core you want is $30 used on amazon, I have no idea what an IDE format SSD costs now (my 32GB ZIF SSD was over $200 when I bought it, but it a fast SLC unit. zif is IDE compatible with passive adapter. )

If you go the upgrade route validate that the BIOS for your computer supports the P4 3.2ghz CPU. Dell will have a supported processors list. If the 3.2 is on the list MAKE SURE you are on the latest BIOS before you swap CPUs.
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April 29, 2012 2:30:27 AM

Thanks for the input, tsnor. I'm not looking to spend more than $100 so a new machine is out of the question.

I'm considering these:

http://www.compuvest.com/Search.jsp?Search=RK80546PG088...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-8-IDE-PATA-16GB-SSD-44-PIN-IB...

And the Dell hasn't had a change in BIOS since it came out of the box 9 years ago, so I will probably update. I may end up settling for a 3.06 ghz northwood P4 :(  as the 3.2 ghz is not listed: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim2400/e...
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April 29, 2012 3:06:41 AM

Hi, not sure you will see much diff between 3Ghz and 2.6.

Oddly enough, I had an X40 thinkpad so I'm familiar with the "1.8" IDE PATA 16GB SSD 44 PIN For IBM X40 X41 Agd" The disk socket on the X40 was non-standard -- it had a non-standard voltage on the power pin (spec i think was 5v, thinkpad was 2.?v) google it, my memory might be bad. Check with the seller on ebay and see if it will work.

Good luck. I think you can get this working. I'm not sure you'll be happy with the result once you do.
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April 29, 2012 5:57:36 AM

Are there any standard IDE SSDs? Or is a 10000 rpm HDD going to make any noticable difference.
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Best solution

April 29, 2012 2:29:32 PM

Should have thought of it sooner.

Get a SATA SSD if you want an SSD. That way you can carry it forward to a laptop or a new computer. Any cheap modern SATA SSD will blow the doors off a 5 year old SSD, the SSD controller technology has really improved.

Aside here's a set of $60 SSDs to go with the adapter. Ignore the max MB/SEC, focus on how many positive reviews the drive got. The value of SSDs is low latency, not high bandwidth. Any a stable drive is worth far more than one that locks up.
edit: forgot the link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

To put the SATA SSD in your Dell get a PCI SATA adapter. They are $15-$30. I don't know your exact dell model number so don't know what free on your MB, but most PCs of that era had PCI slots free. Here are PCI slot adapter cards: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Aside: Before spending, see how ofter your disk drive light is on with your server. If the disk light isn';t flashing a lot then a fast drive like the SSD drive will not help. Most games do *not* use disk at all when running -- only for loading levels.
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April 29, 2012 4:08:24 PM

Best answer selected by anxiousinfusion.
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May 18, 2012 2:53:05 AM

UPDATE: I may be using some "old" hardware from my current machine for this server as I will be replacing some core parts. I know this should run the server.exe just fine, but should I have any other considerations?

Core i7 2600
Biostar TH67B
16 GB DDR3 @ 1333 mhz
7200 RPM Sata HDD
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