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QOTD: What Do You Do With Your Old PCs?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 189 comments

I'm using my old computers to build a Transformer... Computatron!

With new hardware constantly being released, and we all wanting the latest and greatest, inevitably there will be many – perhaps prematurely – abandoned computers and gadgetry.

Most of the time, however, our electronic toys that we deem to passé to be fun anymore finds a new home or secondary use.

We may use an older computer as a server or media hub, or perhaps we'll pass off a previous-generation cell phone or music player to our parents, siblings or friend. (If they're going to be discarded, we certainly hope you take them to be carefully disposed of and recycled!)

So, our question to you for the day (and the rest of the weekend) is: what do you do with your old computers and electronics?

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    Burodsx , August 14, 2009 11:35 PM
    My old computer was such a piece of junk that I took it with me to an outdoor rifle range and everyone got to shoot it. It was glorious.
  • 32 Hide
    Kryan , August 14, 2009 11:36 PM
    sell 'em.

    and if i can't sell 'em, blow 'em up so nobody else gets anything for free.

    lol. no, i do try to sell high end stuff that isn't high end enough anymore for me, but other things (old monitors, printers, etc) go to the local schools (South Africa) where they are SERIOUSLY appreciated.
  • 26 Hide
    jerfle , August 15, 2009 12:08 AM
    Trickle down theory. I use my family to justify new hardware. "Well little brother your video card is struggling with that game." So I buy me a faster card and give him mine. Everybody wins!! Old, outdated PC's usually become toys to play with. Overclocking to breaking point.
Other Comments
  • 32 Hide
    Burodsx , August 14, 2009 11:35 PM
    My old computer was such a piece of junk that I took it with me to an outdoor rifle range and everyone got to shoot it. It was glorious.
  • 24 Hide
    ricardok , August 14, 2009 11:35 PM
    I use them to teach hardware classes. :) 
    assembling it, formating it, the most common issues with hardware, etc.
  • 32 Hide
    Kryan , August 14, 2009 11:36 PM
    sell 'em.

    and if i can't sell 'em, blow 'em up so nobody else gets anything for free.

    lol. no, i do try to sell high end stuff that isn't high end enough anymore for me, but other things (old monitors, printers, etc) go to the local schools (South Africa) where they are SERIOUSLY appreciated.
  • 12 Hide
    Wayoffbase , August 14, 2009 11:41 PM
    Old hardware for me gets reused as new hardware for family for the most part. I've never thrown anything away, I still have a few 56k modems and a 4mb PCI video card in my desk drawer for some reason I can't explain.
  • 4 Hide
    rooket , August 14, 2009 11:48 PM
    I throw out all the ones that are too slow. Right now I'm getting ready to retire my Pentium 3, which is a very stable file server and going to move my P4 into it. And may end up getting a dual core board/cpu soon after and taking the P4 out. I also have a P233mmx system for legacy gaming with a 4mb monster 3d 3dfx video card in it, but I rarely ever use it. The games are too outdated in graphics to play and leave very little nostalgic value. I also built up one of my P4 with 6600GT agp and monster 3d II voodoo2 video card in it but it is just sitting idle without a hard drive.

    Realistically anything that isn't core2duo or above is pretty crummy for gaming on, all of my friends wonder why I have more than my two core2duo computers. Playing battlefield 2 for example on a pentium 4 HT is sad, very sad.. my biggest complaint about high priced video cards too. I had a ti4600 in that system for a while and although 6600gt is faster, it is pretty pathetic.
  • 0 Hide
    rooket , August 14, 2009 11:49 PM
    .. and point is I remember spending $300 on that ti4600 card when it came out.
  • 0 Hide
    cryogenic , August 14, 2009 11:54 PM
    Old computers...let me see I have some somewhere in the basement in some boxes, mostly pieces ...
  • 5 Hide
    adamovera , August 14, 2009 11:55 PM
    In order: harvest parts for less-old systems, jury-rigged HTPCs, backup systems, test parts, sale, donation, recycling.
  • 0 Hide
    maigo , August 15, 2009 12:00 AM
    Right now, stacked behind the bathroom door
  • 9 Hide
    taiso , August 15, 2009 12:02 AM
    i passed on my old semprom 2400 build with 1gb of ddr and a geforce 5500 to my sisters. to them going from a 300 or 400 mhz pentium 3 to that setup has been like going from an nvidia riva to a gtx 295 to the kind of people that like to visit this website. good enough to surf online, download music, barely manage photoshop cs3, watch a few movies and play the sims 3 at the lowest possible settings. but they're happy with that, not a very demanding pair....the old gateway tower with that P3 chip, 96 mb of ram and some 64mb nvidia card was abandoned in a garage in what used to be my house! and my current build will probably end up with my fiancee after i upgrade to a core i7 or phenom II build (if amd steps up their game some).
  • 0 Hide
    redgarl , August 15, 2009 12:03 AM
    I sell them or give them, all depending on what is in it.
  • 6 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , August 15, 2009 12:04 AM
    BurodsxMy old computer was such a piece of junk that I took it with me to an outdoor rifle range and everyone got to shoot it. It was glorious.


    Remember to invite me next time you do so.
  • 12 Hide
    ravenware , August 15, 2009 12:04 AM
    Oh, I just put Crucial RAM in and pretend it is no longer obsolete.
  • 26 Hide
    jerfle , August 15, 2009 12:08 AM
    Trickle down theory. I use my family to justify new hardware. "Well little brother your video card is struggling with that game." So I buy me a faster card and give him mine. Everybody wins!! Old, outdated PC's usually become toys to play with. Overclocking to breaking point.
  • 3 Hide
    salopar , August 15, 2009 12:16 AM
    there is a lot of thing i would do , but they die before i change pc
  • 3 Hide
    lucuis , August 15, 2009 12:17 AM
    Usually old PC get put to use playing old games, or just using the web. No sense wasting it.
  • 0 Hide
    buzznut , August 15, 2009 12:27 AM
    Still using some of those old parts. Just gave a buddy a Pentium 3 500 Mhz gateway tower, he didn't have squat so he's thankful for it. I think I picked it up for spare parts for $15 at goodwill 2 years ago.

    Built a server box for the family from old parts and a new hard drive. It worked fine for about a year, but then we've had some power issues that led to system death. Hoping to get the new parts on Tues or weds.
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