I have two desktop PC’s in this room. The first – the one I’m typing on now – is a box I built myself after spending weeks pouring through every computer publication and website known to man. The other is an older, slower machine they were throwing away at work. It has hosted at least 10 different flavors of Windows and Linux and is constantly in a state a flux.
The CPU – the brains behind the computer – is an Intel Pentium II-300. By today’s standards, it’s old and slow. Here’s the dirty little secret – if all you’re doing is word processing and web browsing, it’s perfect.
Shh, don’t tell.
It is my auxiliary machine and I do use it a lot, sometimes for photos and video, so it would be nice if it were a little faster. Last night I found what I hope will be the solution to this problem.
If you’re not a computer geek, a motherboard is the circuitry that ties together the computer chip (CPU) and everything else. Different motherboards have different functionality. This is pretty much a Swiss Army Knife, with video, audio, network connections and a host of other features right on the board. Previously, these demanded separate cards.
Usually, video on the motherboard isn’t my favorite way to go. It’s is often slower and less well thought out than stand alone video card which plug into a slot on the board. Since I’m not a game player, and video speed isn’t paramount, it’s a very small trade off.
This motherboard uses an AMD Athlon XP 2400+ CPU. When most people think of computer chips, they think Intel. This AMD is a virtual work alike. Other than cost (AMD is cheaper) I can’t see any difference – and I’ve been using AMD chips for years.
The plan is to remove the motherboard from the auxiliary machine and replace it with this one. The case, power supply and disk drives will remain the same. Everything should just plug in.
It really is very close to getting a brand new machine for $99.99. Of course that $99.99 is after rebates, but I’ll be diligent.
Earlier today, having already decided this would be a fun/good thing to do, I went to a local computer show in an elementary school gym. I couldn’t have matched this deal for less than twice the price.
This is a project I’m looking forward to. Ripping a computer apart and rebuilding it is something you don’t get to do every day. Hopefully, when it gets booted for the first time it will understand my angst and go right to work. Otherwise, I will be forced to threaten it with water. PC’s are scared of water.