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When to renew (and when not)


More than a question, we are first of all a philosophical problem, since to answer supposes knowing:

  • what do you want to do with his computer;
  • with what grade of serviceability and rapidity does he want to do it;
  • how much does he want (or it can) spend;
  • how long he wishes his investment to last.

Anyway, nothing prevents from giving a few general advices, although he remembers that nobody as you know his concrete case yourself, so them adapt all that he wishes to his needs. The topics are classified under several paragraphs to which he can gain access without need to go in order:


How to make use of a computer

Before thinking of renewing nothing of his old computer, read this paragraph. It is possible that there is surprised of greatly use that can give to his computer, especially in office works. First of all, one does not create this publicity of which if it is not a Pentium II to 300 MHz with Windows 95 (ˇ 98, already), does not cost for anything. Is it that before MMX existed so much, II and 95 the computers were not doing anything?

Computers up to 286

Undoubtedly, nowadays there are relics. Nevertheless, these relics sometimes still work, and can have utility. They can be used principally for office computerization works, like process of texts, spreadsheet or accounting; of course: always in environment TWO (or Windows 3.1 if 2 MB of RAM we have 286 to 20 MHz with 1 ˇ, but uncomfortably, especially on having printed).

Let's say that in this case we can do certain tasks but at the cost of losing the whole serviceability of the graphic environments and the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get, what you see - for screen - is what it obtains). Nevertheless, if this does not matter for us, the result can be very professional. Programs adapted for these computers are:

If you are in accordance with the programs of his 286, but he wants slightly more of speed, perhaps the answer is to change the whole CPU into the second-hand one, what can cost him less than 15.000 pts for 386 completito... and with monitor in color. Windows might enter the world and quite!!

Computers 386

To these it is possible to extract them greatly, greatly juice. Do not even consider to install Windows 95, but Windows 3.x works as in his house, especially if we have 4 ˇ "gentler" of RAM, for what to be employed at them can turn out to be even comfortable (whenever he does not wait for enormous speeds).

Anyway, it does not happen to him to extend one of these computers, as it is not at balance price. Perhaps be able to find in a second-hand shop, in the Track or in some individuals' announcement in Internet a pair of gentle and a card VGA slightly better than his; if it is like that and is thrown of price, buy, if not not.

  • Office computerization: Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. (versions for Windows 3.x, from the 1.0 up to 6.0, according to the speed and installed RAM), Lotus SmartSuite (all the Amipro versions, Lotus 123 for Windows 3.1, etc.), WordPerfect for Windows 3.1 (slightly advisable, it is the most demanding in speed and memory).
  • Accounting: for TWO or Windows 3.x, many programs.
  • Games: very ancient, although the most numerous.
  • Internet / e-mail: for the "rapid" models (approximately 33 MHz) and with 4 MB RAM, numerous programs for Windows 3.x. For the slightly powerful ones, Arachne in TWO.
  • Multimedia: he is not worth installing a modern "kit", but it is possible that it finds a CD 4x and a second-hand sound card or remains of stock at good price; study if really it him is worth it.

With a computer 386 to 33 MHz, 4 MB RAM, 100 MB I dial, screen VGA and software like Windows 3.1, Word 2.0 ˇ Amipro 3, etc., one can be employed comfortably at an office. It will not be so nice, it will not be so modern and it will not be able to play Quake not fardar of computer, but the results (letters, reports...) there are almost always the same ones than with a Pentium; you will see.

Computers 486

There are something like damned ones of the software, since his biggest problem in which they not all are capable of fighting efficiently with Windows 95, although they are perfect for Windows 3.x. So that a program of Windows 95 (for example Word 95) works quickly, at least we will need 486 DX2-66 with 12 MB RAM, while his similar one in Windows 3.11 (let's say Word 6.0th) would satisfy with 486 DX-33 with 6 MB.

So he knows already: if he wants the maximum of serviceability (Windows 95 be read), he will need 12 MB RAM (if possible 16 ˇ 24) and at least 66 MHz (if possible 100). If not, I was employed at Windows 3.x; it will have all kinds of standard software (Word, Amipro, WordPro, WordPerfect, Excel, Lotus 123, Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, etc.) and will go more rapid.

In both Windows, 3.x and 95, will be able to do office tasks, sail along Internet, use multimedia and even do something of CAD; for what will not serve almost surely his 486 to him it is to play, since like much a pair of years will be able to dare with games of hace. If Pentium recommends the box of the game, there is 80 % of probabilities of which it is played very badly in 486, for rapid that is (if it demands it, do not even try it).

So, unless it wants to be thrown to something very specific like playing the big thing, editing video or doing CAD intensively, my advice is that that one extends 486, does not buy a new computer. Certainly, if instead of so much Windows installs Linux, it will meet another experience as for reliability and speed (and to problems of installation, and to the absence of programs in Spanish... but that does not matter for him: or yes?).

Computers Pentium

They are perfect for everything what he wants, except for games of last batch (the truth is that to play, where there is a console, which takes the rest from itself). If he bought moderately with head, it will be enough to him to extend in one or two aspects to increase the yield up to what I needed; keep on reading to see some examples.


What to update for...

... to manage to do that that you want and of the way that wants to do it. The answers to the classic questions: "do I put more memory or change the badge? Or will it work out for me more expensive than the new one?"

... To install Windows 9x (95 ˇ 98)?

Since it depends. If it has 386 or even 486 to 25 MHz, many things, probably sufficient as to buy a new computer or to remain with Windows 3.x: more memory, change of badge and mike, something of hard disk, perhaps monitor or graphic card...

Nevertheless, if it has 486 to 50 MHz ˇ more, it is possible that it is sufficient. He will need a practical minimum (to work, not to crawl) of 16 MB RAM and a hard disk of approximately 300 MB (only Windows 95 already will occupy approximately 100 MB). If he wants a major yield increase, already it will have to change badge and microprocessor, what will go out more expensive; to put an OverDrive is not very advisable, since they are quite expensive and difficult to find, in addition to not putting the yield at the level not of a Pentium 75.

Certainly, Windows 98 consumes a lot of more memory than Windows 95, although the functionality in two versions is very similar and the compatibility of the programs is entire. Do not even consider to install Windows 98 with less than 32 MB of RAM, especially if his computer is not very rapid.

... To obtain more yield in Windows 9x (or NT)?

In general, it is necessary to increase the quantity of memory RAM, especially if it is a question of Windows 98 or NT. Minimum 16 MB; absolutely advisable 32. To spend from 8 to 16 MB can give 40 % of increase of yield; from 16 to 32 as 15 %. To go on from 32 usually does not give valuable increases for normal uses of the computer (only 2 %, for example), but neither it costs so much money...

To obtain moreover yield, change the microprocessor, for almost sure which that will have to change the motherboard due to problems of changes of voltage or for BIOS not actualizables incompatibilities; there be read the manual to see what he says. If it changes only the mike and the computer is for office use, better an AMD K6-x, one Cyrix 6x86 or one Winchip, cheaper and magnificent in these tasks. If you have to change also the badge, install a Celeron or be useful to put a Pentium III or an AMD K7 Athlon.

... To play the most modern games?

To buy to him a Pentium II with everything, especially card 3D. If you have 486 or low, consider to update it, since he will need a new badge, a new mike (if possible Pentium II), a card 3D and possibly some memory, and that supposing that already has a CD 8x and sound card.

If it has a Pentium, as little will need the card 3D, supposing that his Pentium has 100 MHz or more; if it is not like that, he will need to change the mike, and for it probably the motherboard (if he does not support mikes MMX). So that he reflects on his intention of playing in a PC, look at the following table:

Option PC for modern games

PC for games (Pentium II 266, 32 MB, card 3D, monitor 15 ", multimedia, Windows), WITHOUT GAMES


160.000 pts
, included VAT (16 %)

Option games consoles

Sony Playstation

20.000
+ 50.000
+ 25.000

95.000 pts, included VAT (16 %)

Second-hand PC or the rest of stock (486DX4 100, 16 MB, 14 "), adapted for office computerization

4 GAMES for Playstation

The prices are brought near, but the conclusion is clear. Clear it is that some games as the pretenders of flight or the graphic adventures are almost specific of the world PC, but for arcades matabichos (included DOOM and Quake), matanaves, games of platforms, careers of cars, soccer, etc., nothing better than a console (especially connected to a TV set of 25 " or more!!).

... To sail along Internet?

Supposing that wants to extract juice to the experience, with access to the WWW to a comfortable speed and e-mail (e-mail), he will need first of all a good modem, of 33.600 bauds or 55.600 (meet as 33,6 and 55,6). As for the computer, it will depend on the software that it uses, especially on the requisites of his operating system.

Anyway, to sail along Internet is not more demanding that Microsoft Word to use, so with 486 to 66 MHz and 16 MB of RAM it can do it even under Windows 95. Certainly, unless it has a Pentium 200 with 32 MB or Superior, avoid the modems HSP. In them the mike of the computer realizes part of the work that should realize the modem, therefore, on having had less chips, they are cheaper; nevertheless, this saving is paid almost always in yield, so it does not do it if it does not possess an authentic monster.

If the money remains him, hire a line RDSI and the corresponding card. The speed will be major (128.000 bauds if it combines the channels or 64.000 if it makes them separated, allowing to use the phone while it is connected), sufficiently for videoconference. It is a quite expensive caprice, but the experience is very different.

Also, a well-known provider chooses and try to try one month or two before hiring a longer period. As nothing a supermodem serves if his provider does not allow him to make use of it.

... To install a CDs tape recorder?

If it has an any Pentium and 32 MB RAM, nothing by no means, at least while I did not try to record to any more of 2x (slightly more than half an hour for a full CD). If he wants to record to 4x, a mike is desirable to 166 MHz or more and a CD breeding animal for the CD copies to rapid and trustworthy CD (let's say of mark to 16x), ideally SCSI (although it is not not much less essential, a good IDE will serve).

If it does not fulfill these requisites, do not worry: limit itself to being recorded in 2x, record in multiple meetings or do "images" of what it is going to record on the hard disk and record from him. From 486 to 100 MHz with 16 MB RAM it might record CDs without many problems, but try to have 32 MB and that the source of the information (breeding animal of CD or hard disk) is rapid and trustworthy.


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