Jump to content

Saving old hardware


Recommended Posts

Why would you need a 625W PSU on that system, then? Don't tell me it came with the case...

The PSU is rated for 625W. However, it's the most efficient ATX power supply that SPCR has ever tested!!! Read the review before making snooty comments. I'm trying to have a civilized discussion here, and all you can come up with is "don't tell me it came with the case..."

I've been working at SPCR off and on for over a year, and I can safely say, without any sort of bias that it's one of the most thorough, consistent, and well documented review sites. We're one of the only sites in the world that can properly test 1KW PSUs (not that we do often) to their full potential.

The sister site to SPCR is EPCR, or rather, Eco PC Review. It's been somewhat dead over the past year (never really got off the ground), but SPCR/EPCR has always been concerned about power consumption and eco-friendly manufacturing and packaging. You'll notice, if you happen to read a few reviews, that we do make note of how much packaging a product uses. Mike has also done quite a bit of work into looking at the environmental impact of manufacturing most of the devices in question.

Like I (and several others) have mentioned before - there are always recycling facilities for old or broken components.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And SPCR was the site that convinced me that the Enermax was what to use in my new PC this past week, due to it's efficiency and relative quiet. All around a nice PSU.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to (and try to) be as environmentally friendly as possible, but sometimes an upgrade is in order I guess.

I'm looking at the kids' old PC. It's too slow to watch HD movies (and the kids like to watch them too) and it's also getting slow for some other tasks, and it's not particularly energy efficient either. I've been dying to replace the several-years-old aopen case that has poor airflow & design (it runs pretty hot). The old hard drive in it started having SMART errors recently (going to have to replace it soon) and it's not as quiet (or fast) as more recent drives either (it's also the last non-SATA drive here). The ATI x800's fan was replaced ~6 months ago with a $30 aftermarket HSF, and the fan is already starting to sound quite loud. I don't feel like wasting $30 more every 6 months on a new cooler on an old card that's probably not even worth $50 in the first place, and the Linux ATI drivers for it (flglx) suck HARD. I find it's too power hungry too (like 80W). The PSU fan has been making some noise for a while (I slowed it down so it's not so deafening), and the case fans should probably be changed too at this point. Also, the old DVD writer in it is showing its age, and sometimes it likes not recognizing a disc (only like 5% of them, but it's quite an annoyance when it doesn't work). Adding RAM to it would mean getting rid of its existing RAM first (all slots full), and older RAM tends to cost more to buy too...

So I'm going to give away the motherboard/CPU/RAM and crappy creative sound card to someone who needs it (and the crappy vid card if they want it) so no pollution there. PSU wise, I'll replace that fan and keep it (370W enermax, only a couple years old) -- only a fan being replaced (although I could give that away too, and buy a 80plus model). Some remaining parts will make their way to the landfill (mainly fans), and others will have their plastic & metal recycled. It only makes sense fixing up an old PC so much really.

The new PC will play HD movies and other heavy-ish tasks just fine, be better at multitasking, run cooler/quieter/on less power, work more reliably (like read all discs), have better power saving modes and all that. Not sure what vid card I'll use yet though (probably a ATI 3450). I'll also get better sound, more SATA & USB2 ports, gigabit ethernet and other such things out of it. It couldn't really look uglier either. With some luck, the hardware will play nicer with Linux, and as a bonus it should run Vista and likely Windows v7 fine too, and pretty much anything we could throw at it. Edit: it'll also be able to use a x64 OS & apps.

Edited by crahak
Link to post
Share on other sites
The new PC will play HD movies and other heavy-ish tasks just fine, be better at multitasking, run cooler/quieter/on less power, work more reliably (like read all discs)

Lite-On please. Otherwise you'll be surprised that after a few months it doesn't read half the discs your old drive handled just fine. :P

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lite-On please. Otherwise you'll be surprised that after a few months it doesn't read half the discs your old drive handled just fine. :P

Bah. That's the least of my worries really. I've had good luck with some fairly generic drives before (e.g. LG), just like I had some bad luck with some of those many people consider as the best (e.g. a Samsung drive that REALLY sucked at AHCI and such, it was the worst optical drive EVER -- totally unusable on ICH9R, and a $250 Pioneer that died a VERY early death -- we're talking like a half spindle here). Right now I mostly use an old HP 640b, which even though is "only" 16x, burns faster than my old 18x Samsung (when it actually worked)... No issue at all with it (it's not SATA though).

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a stack of dead LGs in the corner.

That's what I'm saying. I had something like a half dozen LG drives over the years, and none of them ever failed (I gave them away, or sold them in PCs, and they still worked great) so I don't have anything against them. Similar story with other "lesser" brands, e.g. I had one AOpen CD burner that lasted a LONG time, it finally died after burning over 250 CDs straight (non-stop, 24/7) -- likely from the heat. This HP burner works great too. Just saying, almost any brand worked fine for me (yet, I had problems with most of the "better" ones, like Samsung, Pioneer, or this one that doesn't read all discs anymore -- a NEC). So I don't really care so much for brand name when it comes to DVD writers, it's much like playing the lottery anyways, and it seems the "better" the brand I pick, or the more I pay for it, and the more it sucks.

And again, it's the least of my worries... The only thing I'm not really sure about, is the vid card. In fact, even onboard video would suffice (as long as it does H.264 decoding in hardware). The main considerations here being 1) low power and 2) quietness. Some 3D performance wouldn't hurt I guess, but it really comes in third (and really not necessary). The main issue with onboard video is, it only seems to come on low-end mATX boards (with like only 2 DIMM slots and such -- limitations I can't live with).

Edited by crahak
Link to post
Share on other sites
The only thing I'm not really sure about, is the vid card. In fact, even onboard video would suffice (as long as it does H.264 decoding in hardware). The main considerations here being 1) low power and 2) quietness. Some 3D performance wouldn't hurt I guess, but it really comes in third (and really not necessary). The main issue with onboard video is, it only seems to come on low-end mATX boards (with like only 2 DIMM slots and such -- limitations I can't live with).

The HD3450 will do fine. Onboard video started to suck since they started using system RAM, and they have sucked ever since. There is a reason they are not present on regular ATX boards anymore.

Edited by Th3_uN1Qu3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Onboard video started to suck since they started using system RAM, and they have sucked ever since. There is a reason they are not present on regular ATX boards anymore.

Suck for gaming and such, yes. But personally (when it comes to 3D performance) I'm perfectly happy with Intel GMA 950 video with 8MB of shared RAM... I was quite happy with Rage-era (pre-radeon) PCI (non-express) graphics too. So onboard video from something like a 780G chipset would already be more than enough (but that doesn't do me any good unless I go AMD, which I probably won't). So I know a 3450 will more than suffice (it's overkill for me really), what I'm not sure about, is if ATI has lower-wattage cards that also have UVD or such, as I don't keep up with all the video cards not being a gamer at all (if there's one thing I don't keep track of when it comes to PCs, it's video cards).

Link to post
Share on other sites
Suck for gaming and such, yes. But personally (when it comes to 3D performance) I'm perfectly happy with Intel GMA 950 video with 8MB of shared RAM... I was quite happy with Rage-era (pre-radeon) PCI (non-express) graphics too.

GMA 950? Sheesh. Go away! It can't even support proper refresh rates... It has absolutely no TnL and pixel shaders, so it can't even apply video filters in hardware. Nice. The Rage chips were good, don't compare them to intel's GMA rubbish as they are a heck of a load older yet still had more features (considering their age) than the GMA.

Edited by Th3_uN1Qu3
Link to post
Share on other sites
So onboard video from something like a 780G chipset would already be more than enough (but that doesn't do me any good unless I go AMD, which I probably won't).
That´s too bad really, they dropped the X2 CPUs more in price and I see 5200+ CPUs fro way less than a E2200 for example and perform better. Too bad there cooler isn´t really top of the notch so to say... The 780G and the 790G chipset perform darn well I have to say, about 60% better in 3D apps (DX 8.1/9.0 and not OCed) and has DX 10, H.264, HDMI (with sound)/DVI, and THG says it has a TDP of less than 1W (RIGHT! remember the 945GC has a TDP of 22W :P).

Anyway, we are going into the AMD vs. Intel discucion ;).

GMA 950? Sheesh. Go away! It can't even support proper refresh rates... It has absolutely no TnL and pixel shaders, so it can't even apply video filters in hardware. Nice. The Rage chips were good, don't compare them to intel's GMA rubbish as they are a heck of a load older yet still had more features (considering their age) than the GMA.
Do you need more than 60Hz on an LCD screen?

Any way, it DOES do TnL hardware and DOES pixel shading hardware too (9.0c even as I remember, just wasn´t enabled in their first release of their drivers). The GMA 950 isn´t bad at all and does run some titles like NFSU2 and HL2 pretty well, ... for real...

Link to post
Share on other sites
It can't even support proper refresh rates... It has absolutely no TnL and pixel shaders, so it can't even apply video filters in hardware.

Never had any issues with any of that really. It worked just fine under any OS, and did everything I needed it to do: display 2D stuff, and play some videos. Not even once did I wish for something "better". I couldn't care less what it has or doesn't really...

Anyways. They should make more "non-gamer", full-featured ATX boards with basic video on it, much like a Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3H. Only AMD seems to get this right (just like having 4 DIMM slots on mATX boards), just too bad I want an Intel CPU I guess.

That´s too bad really, they dropped the X2 CPUs more in price and I see 5200+ CPUs fro way less than a E2200 for example and perform better.

I considered getting an AMD box really. But when my old $70 E2160 OC'ed benches about the same as a X2 6400+, yet, the somewhat slower X2 6000+ costs $120... Plus, if I go AMD in that one, then I lose the ability to "rotate" CPUs around (if I replace one with a quad core later on, the older "fastest" chip can go to the other rig if they're both Intel) But if you don't look at the CPU, I very much prefer AMD's solutions.

So yet again, I'm left wishing for two things I can't have together: an Intel CPU with AMD board... (Just like I wish I had Compiz Fusion on Vista). And both possible solutions kind of suck: pay more for a AMD CPU (or settle for slower), or pay more to get a video card I don't really want for a Intel box... What sucks less? Wasting $50 extra on a CPU for nothing, or wasting $50 on a vid card for nothing?

Although, there are more considerations. TDP is about the same in both cases. Socket 775 is a dead end I guess with Nehalem coming (of course there will be some more S 775 CPUs for a while) and those will use DDR3 too (I must say it sucks buying something that you know will be replaced so soon). Maybe AM2+ might stick around for longer (who knows for sure) as it's brand new, and they're not going to get rid of HT unlike Intel ditching their overdue FSB and such things. And it's hard to predict just how much Nehalem stuff will cost/how soon it'll be affordable/how much it'll make Core 2 Quad prices drop, or things like is AMD going to have competitive products out in a year or 2? Now excuse me, while I go look for a crystal ball...

Edited by crahak
Link to post
Share on other sites
Never had any issues with any of that really. It worked just fine under any OS, and did everything I needed it to do: display 2D stuff, and play some videos.
Well, there is a negative side on those Intel graphics; they seem to have the 24Hz bug that makes some videos "skip" a frame or two every ones and then but nothing that can be fixed with a new BIOS or driver (Even the G45 has it :P).
I considered getting an AMD box really. But when my old $70 E2160 OC'ed benches about the same as a X2 6400+, yet, the somewhat slower X2 6000+ costs $120...
Okay, didn´t knew you were such an OCer, Intel=OC, AMD=Stock indeed.
Now excuse me, while I go look for a crystal ball...
Let me have a peek too! :P
Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, I see a lot of smart guys around here that consider mounting a V12 engine on a bicycle as perfectly normal.

I'll show myself out of this talk now, thank you.

If you're referring to putting a 625W PSU in a low power system, it can make perfect sense. The key thing to look at here is AC->DC efficiency. The system will draw the same amount of DC power regardless of your power supply. If the efficiency of the PSU is higher, then the AC power draw (which is what matters in the big picture) will be lower. My file server only draws ~150W at load, but I've got a 520W PSU in there, because it's quiet and it has very high efficiency.

Actually, the Zalman ZM1000-HP (rated for 1000W maximum load), has some of the highest efficiencies ever recorded from ATX power supplies - breaking 86% from 200W all the way up to 400W. While most systems never reach these types of loads, it shows that it can be done. I'd guess that the typical PSU in a system purchased 8 years ago (PIII era) barely breaks 70% efficiency.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...