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Windows 7: Using an older computer

05 Jan 2016   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Using an older computer

I want to know, are PC computers that were made more than 10 years ago even usable at all anymore? Is it still okay or right to use one of those machines. I'm probably in a minority, but I think with PC specs, the simpler, the better. Modern mid-high end configurations are only useful for specialized users like those gamers and video editors.

This leads me to ask why the everyday user demands more power from their PC every year, but I suppose I'm getting ahead of myself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2016   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Sure, they are usable---depending on the task and depending on whether the user can tolerate their slowness on more complex tasks.

At some point, the hardware breaks and may not be easily replaceable with an identical part.

At some point, newer versions of software will not run at all on older hardware.

"Everyday users" come in several categories:

Some will replace the whole shebang if hardware fails, rather than attempt to keep it going--particularly if they can't maintain their own systems.

Some have more disposable income than others.

Some are hobbyists to one extent or other and want to stay within at least shouting distance of the cutting edge.

Some don't realize that older stuff is perfectly adequate for most tasks and spend a lot more than they need to---particularly if they have a PC from the last 6 or 8 years.

You could as easily ask why anyone would buy a car that is more than "basic transportation".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2016   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Yeah, I think the old stuff from 5-6 years ago is still very adequate now for some needs. I confess, I happen to be interested in buying a 5-6 year old computer for the sake of it. Where do I look besides eBay ?

Yeah, I had a 2011/2012 low-end PC which I nearly abandoned for a newer mid-range Dell model only so I can get better performance out of some recent games.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Jan 2016   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

From you post #1
This leads me to ask why the everyday user demands more power from their PC every year, but I suppose I'm getting ahead of myself.
If one can get the 10 year old computer to do the things one wants and doesn't get bothered by the slowness. By all means use the old system.

Sometimes a newer system is need to be able to use the newer programs.

Sometimes a newer computer is need to raise productivity for the user.

Sometimes a newer computer is needed because the old computer is broken and it cost more to fix it that it does to buy a new one.

Sometimes a new computer is wanted and the old one saved as a backup in case of a emergency. (My case)

Sometimes a new computer is just plain wanted; like mine.

The system in my specs was a I want computer. I don't need that much computer, that is why it's a I want computer.
I could of built 2 or 3 very nice new computer for what I have rapped up in that puppy. My old computer is a old (Asus X58) motherboard computer that I'm typing on at the present time. I built in 2011.
Through the years I have added better cooling and a upgrade in the video card. Didn't really need to be done. It was just another I want, so I did it.

Hopefully my old Asus X58 will keep doing it's required job for another 5 years.
The Asus X58 replace a old Intel 775 computer that got to costly to repair and compared to the X58 was sloooow.
This old X58 has been over clocked from day one and knock on wood still runs great.

It takes me years to save enough money to do one of my builds. I start off with a budget but it doesn't take long and the budget is gone somewhere and can't be found.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2016   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Windidugo View Post
I happen to be interested in buying a 5-6 year old computer for the sake of it. Where do I look besides eBay ?
The default answer is Craigslist.

The usual caveats apply: don't invite them to your house; get as many details ironed out by email or phone before you meet at their place; maybe take a friend with you; be aware that you might be offered stolen goods; the OS installation may be hinky, etc etc.

I've never even seen a PC at Goodwill stores--just keyboards and modems. I keep thinking I'm going to find a classic IBM "clicky" keyboard, but it's never happened.

You might get lucky through sources local to you---businesses or colleges getting rid of old PCs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2016   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

My Dell is a 2007 model and runs fine. It uses SATA for the hard drive and DVD so replacing those are easy with new drives. RAM is standard so sticks are easy to get. The PSU and heat sink/CPU fan might be proprietary though being a Dell design which could make replacements of those harder.

But older PCs, yeah, parts can be harder to get. I know IDE drives and such are still made mostly for those who use legacy machines, as some enthusiasts, such as LazyGameReviews on Youtube still deal with old computers to run DOS games and such. I've also seen these IDE adapters that allow the use of a CF card for a hard drive in those old machines. I suppose modern LCD monitors MIGHT work if it has a VGA input and can run the lower resolutions but no guarantees. The downside is that those old 95-era browsers can't use the internet very well except for pages done in basic HTML. No Youtube, no modern Flash plugins, no nothing. Anything before XP is out for web browsing now, and even with XP you may want SP3 or later plus some relatively good hardware to make sure the browser and plugins will work well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2016   #7
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I just realize that I have "old computers" because they are at least 5 years old. But with i7 and i5 CPUs plus SSDs they work pretty well. So even "old computers" can make you happy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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