Which OS to install for this PC?

Which OS to install for this PC?

  • 95

    Votes: 3 3.4%
  • 98

    Votes: 3 3.4%
  • XP

    Votes: 42 48.3%
  • Other (LINUX?)

    Votes: 39 44.8%

  • Total voters
    87

alik4041

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
1,316
The goal of this PC is to enable a user to do some browsing, look at pictures, listen to music, and be able to use usb 2.0 devices, but without a whole bunch of waiting (work with me here :p).

Specs are as follows:
Socket A AMD Athlon XP @ 1.35ghz w/ 256KB (either 1500+ or 1600+, didn't check)
A7V400-MX Motherboard
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=13&l3=63&model=228&modelmenu=1
256mb ddr333 kingston value ram
Maxtor ATA133 40GB 7200RPM
Integrated Graphics
crappy 400w psu

I'm trying to restore this PC for no more than $15. And I have decided to buy an extra 256mb of memory (haven't done so). XP is currently installed on this machine and it is slowwwwwwwwww.
 

thebeephaha

2[H]4U
Joined
May 27, 2007
Messages
2,054
XP should be fine if you bump the RAM to 512MB. BUT. If you have a copy of 2k I would personally use that.
 

alik4041

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
1,316
Just to clarify
"XP is currently installed on this machine and it is slowwwwwwwwww." :cool:
 

Joe Average

Ad Blocker - Banned
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Apr 6, 2008
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A clean installation of XP SP3 will bring it back to life, and as the poster above said, get more RAM. 1GB sticks can be had for under $30 these days, on Craig's List or eBay even cheaper to be honest.

It's slow because you're acclimated (read: used) to a machine with a much faster speed. It's quite noticeable when you jump back to older boxes these days, especially something that slow and underpowered. Hell, you can find Pentium 4 2 GHz or faster boxes, complete systems on Craig's List or eBay nowadays for $100 or less. I wouldn't waste time trying anything to upgrade that box except for some additional RAM. I'd be looking for a "new" machine top to bottom, period.
 

brons2

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
503
I would install Xubuntu, it's a Ubuntu variant that uses the lightweight XFCE desktop environment rather than Gnome. It only uses about 100mb of memory to load the OS. And it runs good on older processors. I ran it recently on my Celeron 1200 and it was snappy.

I would also use Opera as my browser, it's the most lightweight browser available on Linux.

You can make a live CD and try it first. The install CD is a live CD by default, so it you download it and burn it to disk, you have automatically made a live CD that you can boot into Xubuntu with. If you like it, then go ahead and install it. You can even dual boot with Windows, it's pretty easy.

http://www.xubuntu.com/
 

alik4041

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
1,316
A clean installation of XP SP3 will bring it back to life, and as the poster above said, get more RAM. 1GB sticks can be had for under $30 these days, on Craig's List or eBay even cheaper to be honest.

It's slow because you're acclimated (read: used) to a machine with a much faster speed. It's quite noticeable when you jump back to older boxes these days, especially something that slow and underpowered. Hell, you can find Pentium 4 2 GHz or faster boxes, complete systems on Craig's List or eBay nowadays for $100 or less. I wouldn't waste time trying anything to upgrade that box except for some additional RAM. I'd be looking for a "new" machine top to bottom, period.
It's actually not for me, this is someone's computer and they wanted me to "bring it back to life" because they can't afford anything right now. To be honest, I was being a bit dumb by saying that it is slow. Infact, I don't think that this pc has had a fresh install in more than 3 years so, yeah :p . But still, should I install 2k just to help it from $hitin the bed?
 

Joe Average

Ad Blocker - Banned
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Apr 6, 2008
Messages
15,459
No, XP SP3 is the OS to choose. 2K is old, period - I really don't need to expand on that if you know anything about computers. :) The user wouldn't be able to run IE7 on it as that's XP/Vista only and even if you intended to put Firefox or Opera on the machine, not having IE7 as the fallback default browser is problematic. There are just too many issues with 2K as a "serious" day to day OS anymore it's not even funny.

XP is the one...
 

Arainach

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Messages
2,353
Don't install 95/98, period. Let those OSes die like they deserve. They were good for their time, but they aged rapidly.
 

YeOldeStonecat

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
11,330
More than enough power to run XP fine. It's slooooooow right now because you're only running it on 256 megs of RAM. 512 megs of RAM is the comfort zone for XP to start running happily. For light program use (aka no games), it'll run just fine surfing the web, look at pictures (unless you're using Adobe editing software), basic light use.

Clean up that computer, flip XP to classic desktop mode for performance, she'll run great. Just don't put a bloated antivirus/internet security suite on it....use AntiVir (free) or NOD32 ($) or something light like that.
 

cleathco

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Messages
214
My vote goes to Ubuntu Linux. Once you have the extra 256 of RAM should be bo issue to install 8.04 and have it running smooth.
 

DeaconFrost

[H]F Junkie
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11,503
My vote goes to Ubuntu Linux. Once you have the extra 256 of RAM should be bo issue to install 8.04 and have it running smooth.
That same result would happen with XP as well, so if you prefer XP, it will run much better with the 512 MB of memory.
 

YeOldeStonecat

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
11,330
I don't think he has much room for money in the budget, having to go out and find an old copy of 2K to purchase.

Performance difference between 2K and XP when you have 512 megs of RAM is pretty much nil, some testing sites even showed XP to be faster than 2K when 512 megs is involved.
 

Kubrick

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
98
Your machine is going to be resurrected by any Linux distribution. I suggest Ubuntu for ease of use, Puppy Linux or DSL ( Damn Small Linux ) for minimal computational resources.
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
20,133
95 / 98 never! do not stick a 95/98 machine on the web unless you are hawt on security.
They are not patched to cope with the mass of malware/virii out there.
Win 2K is a bit old in the tooth in this regard too.
 

AMD T-type

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Messages
4,591
I'm running XP SP3 on a laptop with a 1GHz PIII and 512MB or ram, smooth as silk with a lot of the eye candy turned off

Ubuntu would do nicely as well
 

Mithent

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
1,616
Windows 2000 is in Extended Support until 2010, so it still gets security updates; it doesn't have the improved security features of XP (and Vista) though. Whereas 95/98 are out of support entirely, and can't be recommended - never mind their being horribly outdated nowadays.

I agree that it's either XP if you can get it tidied up, or Linux. Windows 2000 isn't unusable, but it is long in the tooth.
 

Volcanon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
350
If you strip down an XP install it will work on 256 megs of ram, which is the good choice if you don't know how to use linux very well.

Otherwise I'd recommend Ubuntu 8.04, but thats been suggested in about every post already:)
 

griffinhart

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
1,294
Just to clarify
"XP is currently installed on this machine and it is slowwwwwwwwww." :cool:

IMHO, XP is dog slow on anything with less than 512MB. If possible, I'd see if I could upgrade the RAM to at least that if you can find it cheaply.
 

g1tigi

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
256
just for reference, I just upgraded a home computer running win2k with the following pre-upgrade specs

Celeron 900mhz
196mb RAM
5400RPM 40 gig maxtor HD
ati all in wonder radeon
some old asus mobo :/

...and even in that condition, running programs like firefox and thunderbird wasn't actually that slow (in terms of waiting time for program loading). Even itunes worked surprisingly smoothly (coverflow was flawless, e.g.) once loaded (the loading time was a quite a bit longer). You obviously couldn't do too much multitasking, but based upon what you said the computer is for, that doesn't seem to be an issue. The only thing that really killed this machine, and generally sucks on slower machines is loading of the ubiquitous script-laden webpages...

Given your hardware specs, I agree with the rest that prolly XP is your best bet. The laptop in my sig has similar specs--tho with 512mb of RAM, that is. And with a fresh install of XP, it rivals my desktop in bootup times, for example.
 

GushpinBob

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
2,721
I almost voted 'Other' but I had to go with XP. I like the idea of installing Linux or some other OS but if you happen to own one or more USB 2.0 devices that have poor Linux/Other support then XP (with SP3) should be your primary choice. Don't even think about installing 95/98/Me on that computer; they're wayyy outdated, unsupported, insecure, and your machine is overkill to run them (I don't think Windows 95 even has the ability to run on an AMD Athlon XP without some sort of patch). The same could be said about Windows 2000 since it's over 8 years old and extended support for it ends in less than 2 years.

You mentioned in your first post that you will likely invest in more RAM to up it to 512MB. That much RAM and a fresh install of XP (SP3 integrated, unless you have an OEM disc) and your computer will run like a champ. Turn off the themes, animations and install only lite software (think Foxit Reader instead of Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF viewing) and it will scream.
 

Alien

n00b
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
23
With that much RAM i wouldn't use XP, it would be really slow, the safest bet is to go with Xubuntu I think, but if you get a bit more RAM then go with XP or even better with Ubuntu.
 

jb_hafo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
333
way back when I needed 98FE >> usb component upgrading, I
chanced upon FreeBSD 5.x at Fry's. Runs fine here, on p2 p3 laptops
and p4 etc. But there is a learning curve you can keep forever and
even use maybe professionally. 7.0 is a great step up from 5.x which
is obsolete nowadays.
..................
speedy, yes. Quick to install, yes, but unless you are experienced in
the OS it will be a few weeks at least learning everything and config's.
................
the owner of the computer thus would want to learn it backwards and
forwards, in other words, have free time.
.................
 

mnewxcv

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
8,808
xp. you can always turn off all the eye candy by going to start, right click my computer, properties, advanced tab, performance settings, adjust for best performance.

I am running a p4 1.5ghz with 256mb pc133 sdram right now. Yeah it isnt the quickest, but it gets the job done for a second browsing computer. Hell, in 02 i was running an axp 1800+ with 128mb ram and xp.
 

0ptional

Don't Trust Your Friends with Your Decanter
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
5,592
a stripped copy of xp sp3 would be awesome for this machine, it's got pretty good specs, just needs a tad more ram, if i had some, i'd mail it to you.
 

brons2

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
503
With that much RAM i wouldn't use XP, it would be really slow, the safest bet is to go with Xubuntu I think, but if you get a bit more RAM then go with XP or even better with Ubuntu.

Finally someone who agrees with me. Man this place is full of Windows apologists, and those who recommended a Linux, recommended regular Ubuntu.

This machine will run great AS IS with Xubuntu, and it will boot up to the desktop with memory usage in the 100-115 MB range, leaving you have of your memory to run programs and then you've got swap after that.

Other good recommendations I saw are Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux but yes they will not support USB 2.0 as well.
 

OldMX

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
3,532
AthlonXP + WindowsXP...a match made in heaven...

I remember that quote from the hardnews :D
 

SockMan!

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
2,187
If you choose Windows then go with XP. I'd only recommend 2000 for really old computers (I've ran it on a K6-2 with 64 megs of RAM; kinda sluggish but doable) or Windows 95/98 for nothing but old school DOS gaming (which your friend probably won't be doing).
 

alik4041

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
1,316
XP it is, thanks guys. Now the only question is should I install sp3 or just keep sp2? I currently have sp3 installed, but I don't know what it would do on this pc. Thanks for all the feedback :D
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
20,133
XP it is, thanks guys. Now the only question is should I install sp3 or just keep sp2? I currently have sp3 installed, but I don't know what it would do on this pc. Thanks for all the feedback :D

Its not really a choice.
SP3 closes many more security holes.
Only consider using SP2 if SP3 breaks something.
 

YeOldeStonecat

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
11,330
XP it is, thanks guys. Now the only question is should I install sp3 or just keep sp2? I currently have sp3 installed, but I don't know what it would do on this pc. Thanks for all the feedback :D

Rule of thumb should be whatever the latest service pack is.
 

GreenMonkey

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 25, 2006
Messages
2,159
XP runs fine on an old socket A Athlon. One my my Dad's PCs has my old 1.1ghz Thunderbird in it that I used to run XP on.

It runs XP fine with 384MB of PC133 RAM. In fact, I think it runs better than my dad's other box, a ~2ghz P4-based Celeron w/ 256MB PC2700.

XP really needs 512MB of RAM. It will run great on 256 on a fresh, clean install. But the minute your user starts installing programs that launch at startup and sit in the taskbar it will bog down like crazy.

Spend a few bucks and get them some extra RAM and it'll be good to go.
 

kaneda

n00b
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
1
I highly suggest shying away from any Microsoft operating system simply due to the specs of the pc you're planning on using.

I agree with the guy who said Ubuntu, possible the xfe version.

Unlike what some people are saying not having IE7 isn't a bad thing in the slightest. unless you're a web developer/designer or Microsoft fanboy there isn't any reason to have the damned thing.

the beauty of using ubuntu(or any other linux distribution) is its efficiency. It wont rape your system for kicks.
 

Digital Cro-Magnon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
194
I would try linuxMint (http://linuxmint.com/ ). it is basically ubuntu with the extra codec (MP3,..) already pre-installed for you. This make the setup easier. Otherwise if linux is not your forte, add some more RAM and go with Windows XP.
 

Joe Average

Ad Blocker - Banned
Joined
Apr 6, 2008
Messages
15,459
I highly suggest shying away from any Microsoft operating system simply due to the specs of the pc you're planning on using.

I agree with the guy who said Ubuntu, possible the xfe version.

Unlike what some people are saying not having IE7 isn't a bad thing in the slightest. unless you're a web developer/designer or Microsoft fanboy there isn't any reason to have the damned thing.

the beauty of using ubuntu(or any other linux distribution) is its efficiency. It wont rape your system for kicks.

Lemme see here... I install XP SP3 right now clean and hit Windows Update I'll have 43MB of updates to download to make it current.

I download Ubuntu 8.04 and burn the ISO and install it and then hit Update and... wow... 296MB of updates? What gives... my precious hard drive space just got raped not only by an OS that takes more space on my hard drive to install it than XP does (850MB for XP and 1.6GB for Ubuntu 8.04 clean)but then adds close to another 500MB of drive space used when it downloads and extracts the contents of those updates...

Raped... right... right... sure.

If you'd said something like Debian bare, or perhaps Arch (superior to Ubuntu in nearly every possible way but takes effort to make it happen), I'd have some respect for your comments. As such... they're just... bleh... I hesitate to say "bait" but...
 
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