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chessnerd
January 23rd, 2010, 07:19 PM
Over the summer, my Linux desktop became a hybrid of two old machines. A Dell Optiplex and a Gateway Mid-tower, both from 2001. I kept the Dell case, motherboard, CPU, and graphics card, but added the Gateway RAM, hard drive, and DVD and CD drives to make a more powerful machine.

Recently, I got an old computer (also from 2001) from my aunt and swapped in the two RAM modules and the CPU from that computer to give my Linux box a bit more power. It wasn't as big of an improvement as the first overhaul, but the 128 MB increase in RAM is nice. The 0.1 GHz increase in processor power isn't much, but I'm sure it's doing it's part as well.

My question is this, has anyone here ever made a "Franken-puter" by combining two (or more) machines into one?

HoboElectus
January 23rd, 2010, 07:24 PM
Kind of. I got sent 2 of the same machine, so I added the RAM, HDD, and DVD-ROM from the second machine into the first.

cascade9
January 23rd, 2010, 07:37 PM
Recently, I got an old computer (also from 2001) from my aunt and swapped in the two RAM modules and the CPU from that computer to give my Linux box a bit more power. It wasn't as big of an improvement as the first overhaul, but the 128 MB increase in RAM is nice. The 0.1 GHz increase in processor power isn't much, but I'm sure it's doing it's part as well.

I'd be careful with this. Not ever CPU with a faster rating is actually 'faster'. Eg a P4 2.6Ghz is slower than a P4 2.53 (the 2.53 has a faster FSB, and this more than makes up for the minor Mhz loss).


My question is this, has anyone here ever made a "Franken-puter" by combining two (or more) machines into one?

Lots of times. I'm actually working on my old Athlon 1200C, with RAM from a friends old computer (1GB, 2x512MB DDR 400 sticks) the video card from another friends machien (currently GF MX440, though I might change that to a ATI 9600 XT), HDD from my uncles old machine (WD 40GB), DVD from one of my other older machines (pioneer) and a power supply from yet another friends old computer (a slighty horrid codegen 350watt).

Thats just one the frankenputers hanging around here....last count I had 4 running boxes. My current AMD X2, the athlon 1200, a P4 1.6 and a P3 866. All apart from the X2 was a bitsa (bits are from here, bits are from there LOL)

Berk
January 23rd, 2010, 07:50 PM
My old tower has parts from at least 3 computers in it, and I've just received a 250GB HDD that used to be in another machine, taking the total up up to 4.
Original motherboard, CPU.
RAM from my dads machine.
HDD from a newer tower that died.
New HDD from a random machine.

Also the sound cards and graphics cards have been around my two different towers.

chessnerd
January 23rd, 2010, 09:22 PM
I'd be careful with this. Not ever CPU with a faster rating is actually 'faster'. Eg a P4 2.6Ghz is slower than a P4 2.53 (the 2.53 has a faster FSB, and this more than makes up for the minor Mhz loss).
The FSB on both is 400Mhz. I did think to check that, but you are right. FSB can easily be more important than pure clock speed. Sadly, 400MHz is all the old mobo can handle. I tried to use a chip with 533MHz FSB earlier and the computer wouldn't boot with it.


Lots of times. I'm actually working on my old Athlon 1200C, with RAM from a friends old computer (1GB, 2x512MB DDR 400 sticks) the video card from another friends machine (currently GF MX440, though I might change that to a ATI 9600 XT), HDD from my uncles old machine (WD 40GB), DVD from one of my other older machines (pioneer) and a power supply from yet another friends old computer (a slighty horrid codegen 350watt).

My old tower has parts from at least 3 computers in it, and I've just received a 250GB HDD that used to be in another machine, taking the total up up to 4.
Original motherboard, CPU.
RAM from my dads machine.
HDD from a newer tower that died.
New HDD from a random machine.
Combining of multiple computers seems much more economical because you can get parts from friends and family for little to no cost to you and you can recycle machines which would otherwise have little or no utility.

Now, doing this with Windows can be a pain because you often have to hunt down drivers (still can't find a Windows 2000 driver for the network card I added to my desktop). Linux works well with a plethora of hardware, as long as it isn't too recent, but that's not a problem when reusing older parts.

zami
January 23rd, 2010, 10:10 PM
My question is this, has anyone here ever made a "Franken-puter" by combining two (or more) machines into one?

Yes!

I just this last Christmas got a pre-made computer... I always figured if I had the money I'd custom build or custom order, but my computer (motherboard) up and died on me and after three days of frustration and then faced with the option of downgrading to a 10 year old motherboard... my husband went out and bought me a boxed HP.

Anyhow, all my computers have always been made of cast-offs from my husband and various friends "old" machines. I like to tinker and I'm a bit of a tight-wad so, it's always worked out really well for me. I bought a Blu-ray drive a few months back, but aside from that everything has been a hand-me-down part. (Till Christmas - great gift, but the bittersweet of my FrankenPuter era, too.)

Always called them "FrankenPuter"s, too.:D

-zami

Wandering Ronin
January 23rd, 2010, 10:26 PM
I plan to build one this year sometime. I have collected a couple of Dell Dimensions, two old Compaqs and hiding somewhere in a box in storage is an old AT&T 486, which might now have any useful parts in it for this project. (But I did really love that computer.)

I have an old monster Daewoo monitor that looks like it came from an old workstation set-up, as does one of the Compaq towers, and a very nice Dell monitor as well. Between all of them, I should be able to assemble something very serviceable.

Even this machine is several years old, and when we bought it we knew that the price was so cheap because it was older technology that was being phased out. But it does what I need it to do, and rather quickly, and I don't even miss 3D graphics or the inability to run Compiz. :)

azagaros
January 23rd, 2010, 10:27 PM
This post series is funny to me. I buy most of the parts, new or used to build my computers. Its sad when you have to call Mircosoft and cry because I "repaired" my computer with the same modal and make but different version number to make it go by the hardware validation.

I don't consider any computer anything but a franken-puter. Just because a manufacture uses exclusive parts from some where it usually had the chips from here and there.

spcwingo
January 23rd, 2010, 10:31 PM
I've done this too many times. I have ~12 systems that have been cobbled together (I have a cousin that works for the county waste department and ge picks them up for me all too often). I just throw them together install Ubuntu (or Puppy for the low spec machines) and give them to people that I know that don't have the money to go out and buy one for themselves.

Old_Grey_Wolf
January 23rd, 2010, 10:39 PM
I have owned many home computers over the last 30 years. I think that all of them have at some time become a "Franken-puter". I would be more inclined to ask who hasn't made a "Franken-puter" :D.

My newest computer is about 2 months old. It is a Lanovo. The day I got it, I put a second video card in it because new computers don't seem to come with S-video, and that is what my old TV requires.

I love to recycle my old computers by combining parts, then give them away to friends and family that can't afford one.

I got a big hug from a cut woman I gave an old laptop to that couldn't afford one.:oops: I added RAM and a bigger HDD from spare parts I save from other discarded computers.

The Real Dave
January 24th, 2010, 12:33 AM
All the time :) I have, no word of a lie, shoe boxes full of computer parts, mostly old, things like 6Gb HDDs and sticks of PC-100 RAM. All bar my main computer have parts from others, my server has RAM drives and fans taken from other computers, my secondary server is worse, a case from one computer, mobo from another, 451Mhz PIII chip from another, RAM from one I got just recently, and harddrives from all over the place :)

Specs and Pics of all my computers can be found on the hardware page of my blog here (http://linuxexpresso.wordpress.com).

I get quite a few older systems, and soon I'm gonna be building my first "PC from cannibalised parts for someone who cant afford it" computer :) Just waiting on another computer being dropped off :)

Still hanging out for a working laptop, a craptop would be fantastic. Sure who could need more than 128Mb RAM? ;)


Though, all that being said, I still buy parts from time to time, just today I bought a 2.8Ghz PIV (512/533) to replace the 2.4Ghz Celeron (128/400 OCd to 3Ghz) in one of my computers :) The speed difference I hope will be huge. Its the second most powerful CPU the mobo will take, bested only by the 3.06Ghz Northwood PIV with HT. I couldn't find an affordable heatsink that would cool that thing though, and the 2.8 was only €10 :) Once that Celeron is gone, all my day to day systems will be running Pentiums, either IIIs or IVs :)

lisati
January 24th, 2010, 12:42 AM
Haven't really played "pick'n'mix" too much. My old desktop has had a couple of replacement parts, but nothing too remarkable: the original 1Gb hard drive was replaced by a 3Gb drive I got from a friend, the CD drive was replaced with a new one, the sound card & modem have been replaced with a USB card and an ethernet card. Now to fix/replace the monitor but that's not a high priority - the machine is old and tired, and only hooked up as a backup just in case I need to take my main desktop (running as a server) down for some reason.

k64
January 24th, 2010, 01:17 AM
I have - by building a computer from scratch! Let's not forget: I had to be electrically grounded at all times.

Edit: Or at least from bare CPU, RAM, MB, GPU, Case, and Wi-Fi card. Not to mention TV tuner.