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Offline scifidude79

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Resurrecting a Computer
« on: December 28, 2017, 11:16:15 pm »
I love computers. Though, these days, I find myself using a computer for less than I used to. A few years ago, when I was really into CGI, I needed a computer with an 8-core processor, lots of RAM and a nice GPU, for doing CGI. It was also nice to have that kind of system for gaming. Well, times change and Iíve noticed lately that I find myself doing much less of that stuff. As much as Iíd like to get back into CGI, I find I have less time and interest for it than I used to. Most of the time, I find myself just surfing the web, keeping up with friends on various sites, watching YouTube and online shopping. I have my Steam Machine for gaming, so booting up and running that big olí gaming desktop is really just a waste of power. So, I decided to resurrect one of my old rigs.

Way back in the early days of 2010, I built my first computer from components, and it was my first dual core system too. I built the system using an ASUS P5G41-M LE motherboard with an Intel LGA 775 socket, 2 DDR2 RAM slots and an Intel GMA X4500 GPU built in. One of the nice things about this board VS some of the others I looked at from this time is that it has DVI output, as well as VGA. DVI is nice because it is crisper and clearer than VGA. My CPU for that build was an Intel Celeron E3300 2.50GHz dual core. Now, I had a Celeron back in the early 2000s, and it was one of the worst processors I ever owned. It was terribly slow. I swore off Celerons. However, product reviews on this Celeron made me consider one. Itís a Wolfdale chip, which was used in the Core2Duos of the day, and basically it acts like a lower power Core2. In fact, Iíve had games identify it as a Core2. So, itís a good processor. And, I added a couple 2GB sticks of DDR2 800MHz Crucial RAM. Later on down the line, I added an ASUS Nvidia graphics card, but that was only because the X4500 wasnít so good for gaming, especially games with 3D graphics.

So, fast forward a few years, and I built my 8-core beast. Itís great for gaming, great for CGI, none of which Iím doing much of anymore, at least not on the desktop. So, I decided to resurrect that old dual core system. A few years back, someone gave me a HP Slimline computer, from around the same era as my dual core rig. It had a Pentium E5300 chip in it, which is insignificantly better than the Celeron I have. Also, the heat sink HP used on that rig is incredibly LOUD. Itís the loudest CPU cooler Iíve ever heard. The only thing that was wrong with the Slimline, aside from being a HP, is that the motherboard had been fried. Not the whole thing, just the GPU component. Now, thatís an easy fix, or at least it could be, if not for the fun fact that itís a Slimline. So, you have to get a low profile GPU. Also, the power supply is only 220w, not enough to run most desktop graphics cards. So, aside from that one component, the system was fine. The computer had been near a lightning strike and that was what fried the GPU. So, insurance paid for the person who gave me the computer to get a new one.

Anyway, I got this thing out earlier, tore it down and cleaned it up. Then I put the ASUS motherboard inside, with that Celeron and that Crucial RAM. Everything fits in here nice and snugly:







Anyway, itís all assembled and working great. That Intel stock cooler is much quieter than the off brand cooler that HP had inside this thing. There is plenty of cooling in the case, with that fan on the side blowing air out below the drives, and the power supply also has a fan. Theyíre all fairly quiet, though. I used the Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB HDD that came with the HP and installed Peppermint OS 8 on the system. It runs really fast, doing everything I need it to do in no time flat. I did order a new network card, thatís why thereís an open slot in the back of the case. (it came with a 56k modem) Iíll get that Saturday. That was going to be a necessary upgrade even with the other computer, because the old USB WIFI dongles I have just arenít getting it done. And, to finish it off, I stuck an old Peppermint sticker over the HP logo on the front. (just because I can)

Now, there are a few cons to this system. I can watch YouTube with it, but 1080p 60 FPS didnít work so well. However, 720p 60 FPS and 1080p 25 FPS both worked great. A newer Intel chip, such as an i3 with 2 cores and 4 threads, and a better GPU built in, would do better. But, this isnít bad. I can use Blender with it, at least for modeling. Hell, Iíve built models on much less powerful processors. Cycles rendering will take a long time but, should I need to render anything major I can always bring out the other rig. Anyway, itís been a lot of fun getting this old computer going again and itís going to be a great system for daily general use.

Oh, and if anyone is wondering why Iíd even bother with the DVD-ROM drive in this day and age:



inxi -F:

Code: [Select]
System:    Host: Chris-Desktop Kernel: 4.10.0-42-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
           Desktop: N/A Distro: Peppermint Eight
Machine:   Mobo: ASUSTeK model: P5G41-M LE v: Rev X.0x
           Bios: American Megatrends v: 0309 date: 10/27/2009
CPU:       Dual core Intel Celeron E3300 (-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB
           clock speeds: max: 2500 MHz 1: 2500 MHz 2: 2500 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 4 Series Integrated Graphics Controller
           Display Server: X.Org 1.19.3 driver: intel Resolution: 1600x900@59.98hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel G41 GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 17.0.2
Audio:     Card Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.10.0-42-generic
Network:   Card-1: Qualcomm Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 Gigabit or Fast Ethernet
           driver: ATL1E
           IF: enp1s0 state: down mac: 90:e6:ba:dd:80:fb
           Card-2: Atheros AR9271 802.11n driver: ath9k_htc
           IF: wlxb0487a9644b0 state: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 508.2GB (4.4% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD5000AAKS size: 500.1GB
           ID-2: USB /dev/sdb model: USB_2.0_FD size: 8.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 188G used: 6.1G (4%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 16.39GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda2
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 28.0C mobo: 32.0C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 1950 sys-1: 2410
Info:      Processes: 171 Uptime: 19 min Memory: 836.3/3915.2MB
           Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 11:29:26 pm by scifidude79 »

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 07:04:44 am »
Yeah Intels "Celeron" naming convention is weird .. last 'years' high end architecture becomes this years "Celeron" .. so "Celeron" on it's own doesn't really tell you if the CPU is really slow or just off the leading edge and damn quick.

Celeron also contains the "N" and "J" series .. which were never anything else.

The name "Celeron" is VERY broad .. indeed it covers more architecture families than any other Intel name (it is not necessarily an architecture in it's own right .. though it can be, as in the N/J series .. which is damn confusing).

A cynic might say it's almost as if they're trying to confuse/trick the unwary, but they'd never do that now would they. ;)
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 09:20:46 am »
The thing is the early Celerons were to terrible, that's why it was so shocking to me when I found a Celeron in early 2010 that was so highly rated on NewEgg. Really, it's just a Pentium from the year prior rebadged as a Celeron and sold at a slightly lower sticker price.  It's a great processor.  8)

Offline scifidude79

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 11:27:27 am »
Got my new WIFI card.  Don't have much time for testing, but I downloaded a file and it worked OK.  It was from a game site and it's Saturday, so results will vary.


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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 12:55:44 pm »
Nice .. can you post the make/model (and any hoops you had to jump through to make it work) in case it helps others choose ? .. TIA :)
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 01:39:49 pm »
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B071NZ6DL9/ref=ya_aw_oh_bia_dp

Itís not a brand I was familiar with, but itís the top rated internal network card on Amazon.  As for hoops, there were none.   I installed it and booted up the computer.  It found all of the nearby networks.  I selected mine, re-entered my password because I switched network devices, and was online in seconds.

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 02:17:24 pm »
Great, if it's generic can you post the output from:
Code: [Select]
lspci -vnn | grep -i net
so we can at least identify the wireless chip used :)
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 07:48:07 pm »
I can probably do that when I get home tonight.

Offline cfx795

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 09:41:31 pm »
Quote
The thing is the early Celerons were to terrible, that's why it was so shocking to me when I found a Celeron in early 2010 that was so highly rated on NewEgg. Really, it's just a Pentium from the year prior rebadged as a Celeron and sold at a slightly lower sticker price.  It's a great processor.  8)

I also love computers, and tinkering with them and putting together the parts for a desktop computer, etc. But I've never had the money for anything very high-end. I had an Ivy Bridge Celeron (G1620 I think) and I was happy with that. I have this Kaby Lake Celeron (G3930) and it's also just fine. The integrated graphics play HD Netflix vids seamlessly, without so much as a hiccup. I've seen people blasting the Celeron in the Amazon product reviews, just vaguely insisting it's "slow." I always wonder: as compared to what?? Sometimes I suspect it's just snobbery. Not that I'd attempt to make any comparison between a Celeron and an i5, you know, but really I suspect that most of the modern cpu's these days are reasonably capable, but some are a lot more capable than others.

I will say that I'm sure it helps to pair my Celeron with the Peppermint OS. I think if I had been running Windows 7, 8 or 10 this whole time I've been toying with computer builds, I probably would be yearning a lot more for that i5...
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 09:59:14 pm by cfx795 »

Offline scifidude79

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2017, 12:14:28 am »
Like I said, this chip changed my mind about Celerons.  It ran Windows 7 just fine, and it absolutely flies on Peppermint.  In fact, it's the same motherboard and processor I was running when I first found Peppermint, over 7 years ago.  :)

Great, if it's generic can you post the output from:
Code: [Select]
lspci -vnn | grep -i net
so we can at least identify the wireless chip used :)

Code: [Select]
lspci -vnn | grep -i net
01:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Qualcomm Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 Gigabit or Fast Ethernet [1969:1026] (rev b0)
02:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Qualcomm Atheros AR93xx Wireless Network Adapter [168c:0030] (rev 01)
Subsystem: Quanta Microsystems, Inc AR93xx Wireless Network Adapter [1a32:0508]

Offline scifidude79

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Re: Resurrecting a Computer
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 12:15:22 am »
Due to the stuff coming down about Intel processors, I'm no longer running that computer.  I no longer feel secure running anything Intel.  So, I'm back to my old AMD-based gaming desktop.  However, I did transfer that WIFI card over to the gaming desktop before hooking it back up.  (I also cleaned the computer)  Since I can't trust anything Intel, I won't be running my Steam Machine anymore either.  ::)