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Old 5th Sep 2017, 10:38 pm   #1
ben
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Default New hard drive for Pentium IV

Here's hoping someone can advise!
My current main PC dates from circa 2002, runs xp and is on its last legs.
However, I was recently given a Pentium IV (2.8 Ghz I think) with motherboard GIGABYTE GA85648 P4 TITAN DDR400, which, although not much better that what I have, seems very clean and had little use. Bearing in mind I only plan to runWindows 7 (I already have about 2GB in RAM) , I thought I might be able to upgrade this enough to get it to do what I
want. It will need a new hard drive because the one fitted is only 80GB and I have about three times that amount of data on my current PC (albeit spread across two drives).

Now for the tricky bit. This Pentium IV only has IDE connectors. Presumably IDE aren't made any more so I would need a SATA drive and some kind of adaptor card. Would this work fast enough? Would this ageing PC accept more recent hard drives of several terrabytes? I was hoping to put in a drive of at least 1TB. Anyone attempted this, or am I being optimistic?

If I can find a relatively cheap and/or simple way of getting this PC running, I will have a go before splashing out on a new CPU.

Any suggestions gratefully received, even if along the lines of 'just bin it, you fool'!
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 10:46 pm   #2
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Default Re: new hard drive for Pentium IV

This belongs in the vintage computing section, I've had a P4 sitting idle for years, it's only job is for investigating the contents of old hard drives, seriously unless you can get it running for nought, it's not worth spending money, or more importantly time on.
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 10:51 pm   #3
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Default Re: new hard drive for Pentium IV

New IDE drives aren't generally available now. The best solution is probably to buy a PCI card with a SATA interface and HD BIOS. Alternatively you could use a PATA-SATA adaptor, but that may hit problems with the disk size, or use a separate data disk with a USB interface. USB2 is pretty fast.

You could buy a secondhand PATA drive, but the upper size limit is generally 500MB, and 320MB is the most common 'large' size.

I don't think you would be wise to put much time and money into this - as has been said in other threads, P4 systems are noisy and power hungry.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 12:07 am   #4
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

Okay. Many thanks for the tips. Sounds like its time to ditch the old dinosaurs!
I will bite the bullet and get a new CPU, after all its been more than a decade since I bought a PC (excepting a little Asus laptop 6 years ago!)

Looking at the specs of new machines, the processor speed seems to be quoted as around 3Ghz (so not much more than the 2.8Ghz I already have) but I don't know what all this Duo core/quad core business is, presumably that means processing speed is doubled?

I also noted that some of the new PCs do not have a VGA output, which I need as I already have perfectly good VGA monitors. Do they still have PCI slots or have they also gone the way of the dodo by now?

It looks like my options are:

- Buy a new plug- in -and -go PC CPU from the local electronics barn (cheapest they have: HP (AMD) 4X2GHZ 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, WIN10, cost: 320 Euros). I donīt really want to pay for win 10 as I would downgrade to win 7!

-Buy a new or refurb from Amazon, these seem to start at about 200 euros for something with a reasonable HDD.

As always, your thoughts welcome. Mods - since this subject matter seems to have taken a turn towards the modern, feel free to split or relocate thread as appropriate!
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 3:06 am   #5
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben View Post
Looking at the specs of new machines, the processor speed seems to be quoted as around 3Ghz (so not much more than the 2.8Ghz I already have) but I don't know what all this Duo core/quad core business is, presumably that means processing speed is doubled?
Speed is not a particularly useful measure.

Intel processors have a heirachy of Atom < Celeron < Pentium < Core < Xeon. There are different generations, and different levels within each type. I'd take a seventh generation Core with a slower speed than an older Pentium or Celeron any day. Most of the time I recommend starting with a Core i5.

Note - if you get a Core processor with a number starting with 7, it will not be supported by Windows 7 or 8.1.

Multiple cores do not multiply speed in a linear fashion. A modern (i.e. not DOS) OS will be able to do more at once by spreading threads and processes across multiple cores, so they can happen at the same time (this is a very simplistic explanation but gets to the core of it - no pun intended).

If you do a lot of work, and your applications are written to be multithreaded, then more cores is better. Again, a starting point I use for desktops is a quad core i5, which often supports two threads per core (similar to Hyperthreading on P4).

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I also noted that some of the new PCs do not have a VGA output, which I need as I already have perfectly good VGA monitors. Do they still have PCI slots or have they also gone the way of the dodo by now?
Check the specs. Some of the latest generation HP ProDesk 600 range (G4) have two DisplayPort connections and one optional DP/VGA - the NZ models have this populated with DisplayPort. You can get passive DP-DVI and DP-HDMI adapters, and active DP-VGA converters, which are not expensive.

Most computers come with PCI-E, and older graphics cards still have VGA. If you are building your own, many motherboards still have PCI as well, although I'd never use that for video - stick with a PCI-E card.

Quote:
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Buy a new plug- in -and -go PC CPU from the local electronics barn (cheapest they have: HP (AMD) 4X2GHZ 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, WIN10, cost: 320 Euros). I donīt really want to pay for win 10 as I would downgrade to win 7!
I was put off AMD processors years ago, so can't comment on support for older operating systems. My starting point for clients is the HP ProDesk 600 G4, i5-7500 processor, 8 GB memory, either 1 TB HDD or 256 GB SSD and Windows 10 Pro. If you want to use Windows 7, and the processor supports it, you will have to buy a machine with Windows 10 Pro and exercise downgrade rights, unless you find a retailer with old stock.

It's a pity you're not in New Zealand. I have a five year old HP Compaq 8200 Elite that's come from a client, Windows 7 license with Windows 10 installed and an Office 2010 OEM that I just can't get rid of on Trademe, would have done you a good deal to get it out of my workshop
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 8:02 am   #6
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

If the OP wanted to keep using the PC then I'd recommend loading the OS on the largest disk that can be installed (or is available in the current format) and use a USB external HDD of 1Tb (or more) for data.

Consider a Linux install and dedicate the PC to simple (Open) office-type programs and internet browsing.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 8:29 am   #7
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

I tend to just grab a Lenovo ThinkCentre M-series off ebay when I need a desktop PC. They usually go for around 50-90 quid (similar in Euros!). 4Gb of RAM is normal. Whack a cheap end Samsung SSD in it. Problem solved.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 8:45 am   #8
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

Hi I have just upgraded all my Pc in the house and have given away 4 M/b with dual core CPU's . I still have a 4core AMD ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO M/B FOR SALE at Ģ20 plus postage it has a amd 4 core chip and heat sink takes DDR3 memory (CEX sell for Ģ12 per 4Gb stick) . This has VGA ,HMDI ETC outputs plus USB and Firewire

Let me know if you want it and if not it will go on sale on the forum

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Old 6th Sep 2017, 8:53 am   #9
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

Yes Ben, as the others say, treat yourself to a newer, secondhand machine.

I bought two of Unrealdave's HP machines for Ģ20 a piece, c/w Windows 7 professional 64-bit OS, and they're brillliant in every respect.

I didn't think I really needed them at the time, being happy with what I was already using, but when I tried one, I realised just how relatively incompetent my 15 year-old old Windows XP machines were in comparison. I haven't had the heart to throw them out though

N.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 9:12 am   #10
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

I'm using an i7 CPU on Windows 7 with no problems. Didn't Microsoft backtrack on ending support?
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 9:18 am   #11
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

You're good until January 14, 2020 for windows 7.

However they have not bothered to fix a few things and it is in extended support which means if they find a massive architectural flaw in the OS then they won't be fixing it - the advice is upgrade.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 10:58 am   #12
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

Thanks so much for all the help, it is appreciated as I'm not at all up to speed on PCs (pardon the pun!). Thanks also for the offers of equipment; however, as I'm in Spain right now I would sooner pick something up locally for speed and convenience reasons.

Sounds like there is some decent kit second hand. Mr Bungle, does this Lenovo seem like a reasonable deal? HDD is perhaps a bit small, but for the price...

I have also been considering the stuff in this franchise who have several branches all wthin about 4 miles of me. Same 4mb RAM as above but bigger hard drive and newer processors, worth 100+ euros more? ... choices, choices!

Incidentally, it seems the trend is towards smaller profile desktop cases rather than towers. Is there any advantage to be gained from a larger case these days? Years ago I always went for the tallest for reasons of heat disipation, plus I would bung extra fans in and never had any probs with overheating. I suppose nowadays they run cooler.
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Last edited by ben; 6th Sep 2017 at 11:08 am.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 11:08 am   #13
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

Another vote for an oldish secondhand machine here. The reason to replace the P4 isn't that it's too slow - it's that it's noisy, runs very hot (a particular problem in Madrid I would think, though you may have A/C) and can't use modern hardware without modification. Any machine made from around 2005 onwards will be suitable and will run adequately fast for most jobs. In the UK a system unit with dual Core processor and 320G SATA drive can be had for Ģ0-Ģ50.

The only real drawback with a machine of that age is that it may be loaded with the truly awful Windows Vista, so you should try to find something with W7 (or install Linux).

A large case makes life easier in terms of adding hardware but obviously takes up more space. Cooling shouldn't be a problem with post-P4 processors.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 11:18 am   #14
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

If you get one with a COA sticker on it for Windows 7 professional x64 you're good for all windows versions up to and including windows 10. Most of the refurbished corporate desktops are pre-PID'ed which means that the product key is built into the hardware and it just works.

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Sounds like there is some decent kit second hand. Mr Bungle, does this Lenovo seem like a reasonable deal? HDD is perhaps a bit small, but for the price...
A little expensive IMHO although I'm not sure of the average pricing in your region. You should replace the hard disk on any second hand machine over 5 years old really so expect to write that off instantly. I wouldn't want to use anything without an SSD now so I happily live with a more limited 256Gb drive that is 50-80 times faster. That improves the overall performance more than any CPU upgrade in the last 10 years!

Look for an i5 CPU desktop, dual core, 4Gb of RAM minimum. Lenovo M-series, HP Elite series (8000 desktops are quite nice). You can't go wrong with them.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 11:23 am   #15
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

I must say I had never considered a solid state drive (pendrives excepted)!

Point taken re: Vista, Paul. It is also a relief to know that there is plenty of useable kit out there without going all-new.

Just found this national refurb place and am looking now. If anyone sees any standouts then feel free to shout. Likewise, any turkeys to avoid. TIA.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 11:28 am   #16
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

Looks like things are a little more expensive in Spain!

This sort of thing is worth looking at: http://www.ebay.es/itm/352152851708

I've got 3 of those in the house. Completely nuclear bomb proof. They have all the usual ports on the back so you can reuse monitor, keyboard, mouse etc if you have older ones without having to futz with DVI and USB. http://www.ctsestore.com/sites/defau...?itok=Ae3Bm3c_ - all parts come out without a screwdriver as well - nice modular construction.

(sorry to mods if i violated the ebay rules)
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 11:31 am   #17
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

That range is pretty much what I was thinking of. The 1 year guarantee is worth paying a small premium for, though you may find that claiming on it is tricky. There are similar outlets with similar pricing in the UK.

You don't need to replace the HD unless it is being used for something absolutely critical or the SMART numbers look bad, but you plan to replace it anyway so that'e not an issue. SSDs will certainly improve responsiveness and subjective speed, but good ones aren't cheap and they have a finite life.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 12:36 pm   #18
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

I like the idea of that bomb proof HP! I think I may go for this, from that same range. It has win10 but should be no big deal to 'downgrade'. I could do that as and when I get hold of a 1TB drive.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 1:02 pm   #19
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

That's a decent model too at a reasonable price. Try windows 10 first. If you stick this on it, it's certainly bearable: http://www.classicshell.net (I just use classic start)
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 1:04 pm   #20
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Default Re: New hard drive for Pentium IV

Ordered. Will update when it arrives (should be w/in 48 hrs)

Thank you all for the valuable information.
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