Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

31 Jan 2004

I need a new computer

I have several computers, non of them are very modern or very powerful. All of them are getting old enough to worry about bits of them breaking. The oldest is a Sun SPARC station 5, though it's got the least number of cycles on it's clock, and it's proper kit so it's probably in the best shape. Next in age is scrap Dell unit, that I have added bit's to, it's running Debian and is my DNS, but with only a P120 and 64Mb of RAM it's not that powerful. Next up is my desktop system, it's a PPro 200, that has been expanded as much as the case will take, also running Debian. Finally there is a 6-year old Dell Inspiron notebook, with a PII-233 processor and a whopping 256Mb of RAM.

I could upgrade the disk and the RAM in the Sun, adding a new disk would give it enough space, and taking the RAM up to 256MB would make it mostly usable. I'd also replace Solaris with Debian/Linux as Linux is better on low end kit like this. It's a scrap machine, so I'd happily put second hand bits in, and fully upgraded it would probably be faster than my current x86 system.

My second option is to buy a new AMD based PC without OS, and install Debian on that. I'd then delete the oldest Dell PC and move my current one down the "food chain". A new AMD box can be bought for as little as £400 and it would be 5-10 times faster than the best system I have now.

Another option is to buy a newer second hand RISC/UNIX system such as an Sun or SGI, and install Debian on that. Apparently they are quite common on eBay, but even so would cost as much as a new AMD system, and not be any faster. However they would be better built, and a look a lot cooler!

My final option is to get an IBM powered PowerMac G5. Very cool, nice Unix underpinnings, with a slick Apple GUI. They don't come cheap, and at 5 times the price of a cheap AMD box, it's quite an outlay. However a new, modern RISC system, with a modern UNIX OS, and a wide selection of third party applications, is tempting, especially when you think that a dual G5 system is more than 30 times more powerful than my current best system...


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