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What Was Your Longest-Lived PC?


EricBall

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This Slashdot thread got me to thinking about the PCs I have purchased over the years.

 

1989 12MHz 80286 - bought it on my first work term in university and used while in university.

1993 66MHz 80486DX2 with VLB motherboard - bought after I graduated and started working for IBM

1998 MediaGX Ambra Ispirati - this was a real dog of a computer which I wouldn't have bought except we received a $1000 gift certificate with our mortgage

2001 Athlon XP with nForce 420 motherboard - the Athlon series was the first time where AMD CPUs were significantly better than the Intel offerings of the time; nForce also included very good integrated graphics (and sound IIRC)

2010 Dell Inspiron 545 Q8300 2.5GHz Core 2 Quad - while I tried to stay off the upgrade treadmill as long as I could, I eventually an upgrade was required because the Athlon wasn't stable anymore.  However, I also decided at the time a prebuilt would fit my non-gaming needs

2012 Acer Aspire One netbook - be bought this one because we had a house fire so needed something cheap to get back online. I have to say I really love this form factor - a 10" screen is just big enough for a typable keyboard.  Still have this one and use it occasionally when I want something super portable.

2014 Late 2013 27” iMac 3.5GHz i7 w/ GTX 780M - after years of Windows I joined my wife on the Mac bandwagon.  This is currently my "secondary" computer - which gets used for work-time play and when my son is using the current computer.  Love the screen!  Unfortunately the Mac ease-of-use mantra has gone downhill over the years IMHO.

2020 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 w/ GTX 1650 Super - while the GTX 780M in the iMac was powerful at the time (especially for an iMac) it was basically a gaming laptop with a really nice screen.  So at the start of COVID I decided to actually assemble the PC I had been dreaming about for the previous 6 months.  (And a good thing too - it wasn't long after that GPU prices got stupid.)  This year I upgraded to an RTX 3080 and watercooling for noise reasons.  (Might still upgrade the CPU if I can justify the cost.)

 

Hmm... so in first place is the Athlon XP which lasted ~9 years.  Second place is the iMac which was my primary system for 6 years, although it hasn't been fully retired.  In addition I still use my wife's Early 2011 13" MacBook Pro when I need a non-work laptop.  (She replaced it with a Chromebook and then with an Acer Spin 15.)

 

Also notable is (unlike some of the respondents) each of my new computers has been a "forklift upgrade" - i.e. everything replaced.  In fact, I hadn't upgraded the CPU or GPU prior to my current computer.

Edited by EricBall

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All started with an Intel 386SX 16 in the late 80s, followed by an AMD 386 DX 40 and an Intel Pentium 100. At that time (90s) you had to exchange them quite frequently. Then I must have owned an Intel Pentium 166 (I hardly remember that one). 

 

In July 2003 followed an Athlon XP 2000+, which lastest 9 years.

 

My current one, an Intel i5 3570K lasted the longest. I switched to it in September 2012.

 

And accidentally I just yesterday ordered an AMD Ryzen 5700G. :) 

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Hmm... while that's not a bad processor, it's a AM4 processor so if you want to upgrade to a Zen 4 processor you'll need to upgrade your motherboard as well.

 

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My daily driver PC is an eMachines Pentium M 1.7. Got it in 2004 and still use it today, with Windows XP, to run the family business and all sorts of pertinent correspondence.

 

It's notable that the basic ho-hum not-exciting PCs of the dotcom era are far outliving the $$$$ MaximumPC builds and builds with all kinds of performance enhancements and RGB bling. Those blingblang machines always seem to develop issues and are usually unstable. Double the trouble if it's an AMD.

 

Once I got that cheap ass eMachines I was able to blissfully stay off the upgrade bandwagon. I also stopped chasing specifications shortly thereafter.

 

---

 

Other older machines include my original Gateway 2000 486 DX2/50. I don't use it these days, it's for sentimental value. Also have some sort of Abit BX6-R2 PIII-1.4 frankenstein homebuilt surviving from the thick of the dotcom era. When new graphics architectures and CPU speed grades were coming out every 6 months.

 

Nowadays we just do those disposable miniPCs to stay abreast of the newest tech.

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I used an XP HP from 2003? for about ten years. Still use it to rip CDs.

 

Current pc is an ASUS pre built (an OEM Z87 board) I bought my mom in 2012-13. Have almost maxed it out - went from an i3 to the highest gen 4 i5 and max memory.

Most of my PCs are around the same time period. Even my "gaming" rig is.  Most games over 5 years old run great with a i7 4790k on a Z87PLUS and GTX 1660 "SUPER". It is a lot cheaper to max out old hardware than new.

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10 hours ago, EricBall said:

Hmm... while that's not a bad processor, it's a AM4 processor so if you want to upgrade to a Zen 4 processor you'll need to upgrade your motherboard as well.

I know. But I have upgraded my PC CPUs only maybe once. And was 30 years ago. And still they lastest quite long lately.

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10 hours ago, Keatah said:

...with Windows XP, to run the family business and all sorts of pertinent correspondence...

Running an Windows XP PC connected to the net is a very bad idea.

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Longest running PC I had (over 20 years in service) is this Sony VIAO U running XP which I ordered at the end of 2001 from Japan, I got the grey market import to get the 30 GB drive instead of the 20 GB drive shipping with the US version:

It finally stopped working about 2 years ago, I was able to boot it up for 5 seconds tonight after seeing this thread and trying several times.

It got worse and worse, eventually it would only boot if I plugged in the power (powersurge booting) while turning it on.

Hesitant to open it and find the Cap that needs replacing... anyone have an idea how to fix it?

 

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On 4/4/2023 at 8:55 AM, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Running an Windows XP PC connected to the net is a very bad idea.

How does this work, really? Has Microsoft had an active malware filter running on all Windows installations, besides the software you install on your own, and once the operating system goes EOL, they remove the filter to expose the computer to all sorts of port hacking, viruses and trojans? I mean the vast majority of security holes probably have been found and fixed before, and as the number of XP machines connected to the Internet is dwindling, hackers have less and less reason to target their attacks towards newly found security holes in a 20 year old OS, compared to targeting Windows 7+ and even more so 10.

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I’ve long ago learned to downplay security hype - which is a marketing tool to get you to keep buying new stuff.

 

Common sense and good practices go a long way here.

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7 hours ago, carlsson said:

I mean the vast majority of security holes probably have been found and fixed before,

The vast majority, yes. Nevertheless, sometimes hefty risks are detected today which went undiscovered for 10 years or so. Also all security measures like WiFi encryption or secure network protocols are becoming more and more insecure over time, as cryptanalysis progresses. Also, why should the hackers remove their once working exploits from their tools? 

7 hours ago, carlsson said:

and as the number of XP machines connected to the Internet is dwindling, hackers have less and less reason to target their attacks towards newly found security holes in a 20 year old OS, compared to targeting Windows 7+ and even more so 10.

Today's Windows still uses code which is 20 years or more old. If that gets attacked, XP often automatically gets attacked too. And there are still millions of XP installations running worldwide, often in the public sector or in the industry. Usually these are hidden to the internet, but firewalls and local networks are getting attacked too. 

 

So, the tools for attack XP are still available and used. And XP is still a valid target.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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