Keeping hardware way past obsolescence

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by etcetera, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. etcetera

    etcetera Notebook Consultant

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    I just got a MSI Titan GT80 SLI notebook. I like it.


    I kept my previous machine, Sun Ultra 40 M2 for 9 years. I got it when it was 1.5 years old for 1750. New, loaded it was something like 6 grand.
    It was -- and actually still is a very fast machine. I haven't any issues with performance but the USB ports are failing one by one, it lacks Wi-fi, video, mic, all these modern features. Huge, noisy fans and HDDs. Firmware support not available for years.

    Sun Ultra 40 M2 had dual 3.0Ghz CPUs, fast 300GB 15.5K disks.. RAID. Hot-swappable drives. It is a workstation you might see at a data center. The noise level made you feel like you were flying in an airplane. Took almost 5 minutes to boot up. SSD speed - it's not.
    I got rid of it with some regret. Oh, and it was heavy as a boat anchor. I could barely move the tower case.

    Before that, I kept some custom Linux workstation from aslab, got it in 1999 and kept it until 2008, also 9 years. It was a beast at the time, though I cannot even remember the specs, other than dual Penium4 400Mhz I think.

    Before that one, I got a DEC workstation, 5000/20, Got it in 1992 and kept it until 1999 - for 7 years. I remember the specs on that one. 300MB HD (a lot at the time) 20 Mhz CPU and 8MB of RAM. I mostly did development on that one. It came with a cool monochrome 17" monitor. I ran Mosaic and pascal and C compilers and MWM and FVWM and TWM window managers.

    Before that I had some 8088. I cannot remember much about it. I had it for a relatively short time of 2 years.

    I should upgrade more often. Especially considering I am in IT.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  2. Datamonger

    Datamonger Notebook Evangelist

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    If it weren't for the failing USB ports, that Sun Ultra 40 M2 could actually be used as a file server, though it would definitely be a bit overkill. If at all possible, the fans could be replaced as could the hard drives.

    Just because something is considered to be obsolete doesn't mean that it can't still serve a purpose. I'm currently typing this on an 11 year old Mac Pro from 2006. I've done a few upgrades here and there and most recently shoehorned El Capitan onto it. Despite being significantly slower than my mid 2017 MacBook Pro, it's still a bit of a beast.
     
  3. etcetera

    etcetera Notebook Consultant

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    Yeah, the really cool thing about Ultra 40 M2 is that it's highly modular, everything is super easy to replace. Hot swap HDD, fans come out in a nanosecond, everything is super simple and without tools.

    It was the weight, the noise, lack of new firmware, and high power consumption, noisy HDDs, all of that in sum made me move on. I installed a nice graphics card and ran a Dell monitor, 27" and UP2713HM which has that fancy 2560x1440 resolution -- halfway between 1080 and 4K I suppose (it supported it just fine including the 4K mode) Ran youtube and netflix in 4K without issues.

    It was kind of amazing that the dual 3.0Ghz CPUs crunched through everything in no time at all. I never felt that machine was slow, the bottleneck was the HDD and at 15.5K they were the best you could get. Still, way slower than slowest SSD.




    You don't need to upgrade every year. But it's the SSD that was the biggest change in the last decade. I now boot in 29 seconds versus 4:30.
     
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