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View Full Version : What would you consider a low spec computer?



JohneG
August 27th, 2009, 05:20 PM
Processor, RAM, etc. Below what would you consider to be a low spec computer???

Also what would you consider minimum requirements for all the major desktop environments?

Also what how old is the oldest computer you are running a distro of Linux on?

This should be interesting :D

sydbat
August 27th, 2009, 05:29 PM
Processor, RAM, etc. Below what would you consider to be a low spec computer???This? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altair_8800)

insane_alien
August 27th, 2009, 05:39 PM
well this all depends on what it is being used for.

i employ a 500MHz PIII with 64MB of RAM and (broken) integrated graphics as a fileserver but this is in fact overkill for its low usage as CPU usage never really gets up above 80%.

so i actually consider this a high spec machine for the task.

however my 3GHz P4 with 2GB of RAM and a FX5200 graphics card struggles with a lot of modern games(bottleneck is the graphics card) so in this case i'd class it as low spec.

i'd upgrade the graphics card but i want to switch over to a motherboard with pci-e rather than AGP.

JillSwift
August 27th, 2009, 05:39 PM
One I can afford.

zer010
August 27th, 2009, 05:52 PM
Mine! I couldn't even afford it when I "rescued" it! :P

Dark Aspect
August 27th, 2009, 05:54 PM
One where puppy Linux doesn't load or one where I can't play Doom.

hessiess
August 27th, 2009, 05:58 PM
Linux can run on practically everything, though the minimum for a recent desktop enviroment would probably be a p3 with maxed out RAM. CPU isn't that importent, modern CPU's are practically idle 99% of the time.

spoons
August 27th, 2009, 06:33 PM
I'd consider it a 2ghz or below Pentium 4 with less than 512mb of RAM.

Yellow Pasque
August 27th, 2009, 07:05 PM
I'd consider it a 2ghz or below Pentium 4 with less than 512mb of RAM.
For a general-purpose dektop machine, I'd agree.

You also have to consider balance. For example,
I have two old machines,

Machine 1: HP Pavilion 8400 (top of the line family desktop machine in its day)
PII-450, 256MB PC100 SDRAM, ATI Rage Pro Turbo 8MB video (AGP 2x)

Machine 2: HP Pavilion 7850 (office machine)
P3-933, 256MB PC133 SDRAM, Intel 810E IGP uses 1MB of system RAM for video memory, No AGP slot

Machine 1 can run Ubuntu Hardy (GNOME 2.22) decently, Machine 2 chokes on Hardy/GNOME and has to use Arch Linux xfce.

mr-woof
August 27th, 2009, 07:28 PM
I run ubuntu 9.04 on an old laptop (1.5 celeron, 512mb ram) I would consider anything under 1ghz with 256mb to be a low spec pc

moster
August 27th, 2009, 08:00 PM
I install it on:
CPU: Duron 1,3 GHz - bought in 2002
RAM: 512 SDRAM
VGA: Geforce 4 MX 400, 64 MB RAM
HDD: 15 GB

Ubuntu 9.4 run with default compiz settings on :) It was little sluggish, but I guess it only seems so because I was on overclocked beast.

I guess with little few tweaks it would fly :)

Anxious Nut
August 27th, 2009, 08:18 PM
Intel Pentium II, memory 256 MB, 4GB HHD
currently running ArchLinux -almost- perfectly; LXDE, Fluxbox WM, No Audio(i didn't install it) aaaaaaaaand i like it :)

ssam
August 27th, 2009, 08:42 PM
i'd say the most important spec is having 512MB RAM or more.
to make the desktop interface feel fast you need a graphics card that has some 2d or 3d acceleration. that means intel, ati, or nvidia (but nvidia will need the proprietary drivers). if it has an SIS graphics forget it.

CPU is not too important. over 1GHz is a good guideline, but you can easily be fooled. some chips are always slow no mater the clock speed, eg celeron. some have over inflated clock speeds eg pentium 4.

harddisk depends a lot on what you want to store. generally not an issue because you can put a 100GB disk into even very old machines.

some people think they are saving money by keeping very old machines running, but they often don't factor in electricity. if your computer uses 200 watts, and is on all the time, then it cost ~200 ($ or or ) per year. it might be worth doing the same job with low power machine, eg a via epia (20-30 W), linksys router with openwrt(10-20W), sheevaplug/beagleboard (~5W).

cmay
August 27th, 2009, 09:22 PM
Processor, RAM, etc. Below what would you consider to be a low spec computer???

Also what would you consider minimum requirements for all the major desktop environments?

Also what how old is the oldest computer you are running a distro of Linux on?

This should be interesting :D
the lowest specs of PC i still use is the first one i got when i was twenty. its 14 years ago.
it has processor 600 mzh and ram 300 mb. 18 gigabyte harddisk. it used to run debian etch then lenny and now it runs FreeBSD using XFCE as desktop. i had it running minx and FreeDOS also.

the oldest computer i ever had was 100 mzh i486 and 16 mb ram whihc i managed to install and run minix on.

i have one computer that i am going to get rid of because it has no internet connection and only a harddisk size of 6 gigabyte and it has 32 mb ram and 100 mzh processor. i managed to boot puppy linux on it and it runs FreeDOS now.

but its not fun to use a computer wiht out a internet connection and it is impossible to get a netcard in it so i dont have the space for it as it is now. not that i like getting rid of old hardware but this is too old to be useful for anything.

jrusso2
August 27th, 2009, 09:44 PM
Anything 1ghz and below I would say is low spec.

schauerlich
August 27th, 2009, 09:46 PM
For day-to-day use: Less than 1.5GHz single core (or 1GHz dual core) and 512mb or less of RAM.

dragos240
August 27th, 2009, 09:51 PM
I would say anything below i486 and 64mb of ram. :p

NovaAesa
August 27th, 2009, 11:10 PM
Anything with a P4 or less, 512MB or less RAM.

MikeTheC
August 27th, 2009, 11:10 PM
This? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altair_8800)

I can top that.

How about this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Difference_engine)?

K.Mandla
August 28th, 2009, 12:21 AM
In my humble opinion, I think most of your questions can be answered with this.

well this all depends on what it is being used for.
So I give that a +1. If you're happy surfing the Internet with a customized Commodore 64, then that's probably quite satisfactory. On the other hand, some people think a 2-year-old computer is out-of-date, and that too is quite satisfactory.

Processor, RAM, etc. Below what would you consider to be a low spec computer???
In my case, I lose interest around the 486, mostly because it becomes too much work to get it to a usable level. But also because recent kernels don't seem to like early versions of VESA hardware, which can make framebuffer support sketchy on machines as old as 1996 and earlier.

Also what would you consider minimum requirements for all the major desktop environments?
I resent both KDE and Gnome on machines slower than 1.4Ghz, if we're not talking about desktop effects. Since those are mostly reliant on video hardware, anything Geforce 2-ish is a bit choppy for me. I have a 1Ghz Pentium III with a 64Mb Geforce 440 Go that can handle Compiz (or whatever it's called these days) at 1600x1200 with no sweat, provided something like Gnome or KDE isn't sucking up a lot of system resources at the same time.

After that, I've tried things like LXDE and Enlightenment all the way down to i586 machines, and they're perfectly usable. For me, anyway. :roll:

Also what how old is the oldest computer you are running a distro of Linux on?
Currently running, is this (http://kmandla.wordpress.com/hardware#FMV-5120). I use it every day for instant messaging, e-mailing, blogging, keeping appointments and to-do lists, playing games, etc. Oldest ever personally is this (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=294292). I am confident I could get something older to work with Linux, but I'm not confident I could get something older. :KS

xuCGC002
August 28th, 2009, 12:58 AM
I can top that.

How about this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Difference_engine)?

i can top that.

How about this? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever)

EDIT: On topic, I consider anything that doesn't run Quake to be a low spec computer.

HappyFeet
August 28th, 2009, 01:08 AM
One where puppy Linux doesn't load

Good answer. I have to agree. If puppy won't load, I have no use for it. As a matter of fact, I'm using puppy on my Thinkpad. I could probably use a more full featured distro on it, but I only surf with it, so nothing else is needed.

dragos240
August 28th, 2009, 01:20 AM
i can top that.

How about this? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever)

EDIT: On topic, I consider anything that doesn't run Quake to be a low spec computer.

hahahaha a lever.

swoll1980
August 28th, 2009, 02:15 AM
Anything that won't run flash.

Dark Aspect
August 28th, 2009, 03:11 AM
http://www.wwu.edu/depts/tutorialcenter/images/calculator.gif

running_rabbit07
August 28th, 2009, 03:14 AM
One I can afford.

I hear ya. I got this one for x-mas from a friend. It pays to have a nuclear physicist in the network.