PC Hardware, Mix and Match

For the last two weeks, I\’ve been buying and selling computer parts in order to upgrade my Pentium 3 computer.

Initially, I bought a 2nd hand 1.0 Ghz Pentium III socket 370 (Coppermine) together with a motherboard, all for P1700. Then, I also bought an old Nvidia Riva TNT2 64mb graphics card for only P300. So I was able to upgrade my testing PC for only P2000.

The older motherboard of my Pentium III 550 Mhz slot 1 (Katmai) seems to be already defective because I have tested the memory modules and they seemed to be free from errors. I don\’t plan to sell the old 550mhz P3 slot 1 because I would collect it. :P I have a small collection of processors at home, starting from an x86 AMD processor I collected from my neighbor\’s PC parts and a 133 Mhz Pentium 1 from my old Compaq Prolinea 575. I\’m starting to fascinate with processors. The trend with processor is obvious — multi-core is in, single core is out. It\’s probable that about 5 years from now, single core processors would be history already.

The P3 Coppermine\’s motherboard is problematic with Ubuntu. I tried other distros but the LAN card and PCI graphics card could not be identified properly so I resold it the same price I bought it just to \”dispose\” it as fast as I could (I don\’t want my room to serve as stock room). I bundled it with 256 Mb Kingston SDRAM so the whole package costed P2,300. Right now I have a Pentium 4 1.6Ghz socket 478 (Northwood) in ECS PF1/648 motherboard bundle which I bought for only P3000. I had to take one 256Mb Geil DDR off my Pentium 4 2.4c to make it run.

I sold my old Linksys router for P1300 because I recently replaced it with a new wireless router (also Linksys). So, if I compute the total money I cashed out in order to replace my old P3, that\’s P1700 + P300 + P3000 – P2300 – P1300 = P1400. If I would sell the semi-defective P3 motherboard and P3 processor, and its 64 Mb SDRAM leftover, I would have probably even out my expenses. Nowadays, PC hardware could be dirt cheap.

My purpose of building this P4 system is for me to experiment with Ubuntu during my free time, and use it as a tunneled proxy server in the office. I will resell this lower-end Pentium 4 and I expect to get back at least 90% of the money I spent with it. Then, I\’ll get a brand new Core 2 Duo system this Christmas to replace my primary workstation at home. :)

By Marck V.

Filipino IT consultant on enterprise software. On his spare time he do web project management, photography and blogging. Web 2.0 enthusiast.