Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

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I recently got hold of a very old computer. I think it was purchased
around the year 2000. Currently no OS is loaded on it. Its
configuration is Pentium 3 - 450 MHz, 128 MB SD RAM, 4 GB Hard drive.
I have to give it to someone who wants to run very basic tasks like
some photo editing software, winamp and watching movies.
I have two questions -
Will windows XP be able to run smoothly for the tasks mentioned above?
Is it better to install some older OS like Windows 2000/Windows 98?


Re: Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

Alanz wrote:
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You need more RAM. And on an older motherboard, installing more
RAM is not very easy. The first thing you need to find out,
is the brand and model number of the motherboard, to see what
RAM expansion options are available. can help out with
some info on what RAM it can take.

I would aim for 512MB minimum, if you can manage it. That amount
will work with all the OSes. Even WinXP can run with 512MB, but
there would not be a whole lot of free RAM left over.

And photo editing usually makes good use of RAM, so the more
RAM, the better for that.


Re: Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

Paul wrote:
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And, if the board will take it, get ECC RAM.  Adding a hard drive
should also be cheap, but don't go to far or the bios may not
handle it.  32 G should be OK, probably 80 or 120 G also.  Avoid
W2000 or WXP.  That leaves W98, or better, Linux.

Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
   Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.

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Re: Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

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As configured, XP will BOOT, but if you actually want to DO something
with it, you need more ram. Also 4gb is very tight for XP.

A better OS would be win2k, but even then more ram would be better.

If you tell us what make and model your machine (or motherboard) is,
we might be able to point you to some compatible ram.

I should also point out that the only 'basic' task in your list is
running winamp. the rest of these apps are hungrier for ram. Watching
movies on that system is iffy. If you have a decent video card, you'll
be fine, but if you have a crappy card, it will require more system
ram, and horsepower to make up the difference.

Also, if you could tell us what video card you have, we could tell you
if it's up to running movies. An ATI rage 128, or nvidia vanta, or
better would be about the minimum for dvds. Some earlier cards will do
it fine, too, but not a great proportion of them.

Re: Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

On 23 Mar 2007 00:43:34 -0700, "Alanz"

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I generally agree with the Pauls, XP will run - far better
if the eyecandy and unnecessary services are disabled so the
memory load and overhead is lower, but Win2k is more

What OS licenses do you have available?  I can't see paying
for a license for a newer OS like XP for a system worth no
more than the license, unless it's highly expected that
would be reused with another system when this is retired -
and of course getting  a retail license instead of OEM which
costs even more.  If the system has Win98, and the
multitasking is light, if the system doesn't need to stay
running for days at a time but rather will be turned off,
say once every few hours of aggressive use or every couple
days of light use as described, Win98 might be suitable if
only to save some $, there's only so much $ it is reasonable
to sink into aged hardware that has several limitations like
CPU, memory, hard drive space.  WinXP w/SP2 is probably the
worst choice for that system, it will just struggle too much
and with the hard drive much fuller, the perpetual paging of
virtual memory that would happen will be all that much

At the very least you should upgrade memory to 256MB, or if
adding a 256MB module then with Win2k it will be comfortable
running basic applications.  Photo editing - depends on the
size of the jobs.  Winamp - plenty fast enough for that.
Watching movies - depends on the movie, a DVD will play fine
if your video card has hardware acceleration to some extent,
but if it doesn't then a P3/450 is marginal.  Higher
compression video like MPEG4 at anything above 480x(n)
resolution may be too choppy to watch.

If you used Win2k (w/SP4), disabled unnecessary services,
and didn't leave a lot perpetually running in the
background, the booted-to-desktop memory usage can be around
60MB.  That leaves enough memory remaining out of the
original 128MB to have a couple applications open for very
light multitasking, watching a DVD or whatever.  That would
be the ideal unless you add more memory... and even then,
such a configured Win2k will make the most of the memory as
there are reasonable limits to how high the memory can be
upgraded on that era of system, and again it starts to cost
too much to buy half a gig of memory and an OS when newer
systems, used ones too, are not so much more expensive if at
all- that the total cost of this could be if upgraded too

Re: Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

The PC is not suitable for WinXP. It would work well with Win98SE or WinNT. I
don't know enough about the requirements of Win2k to advice you about it.

Alanz wrote:
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                   Mike Walsh
            West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

Re: Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

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Microsoft publishes a minimum af a pentium 1 133mhz processor for
win2k, and 64mb ram. It does a lot better with 128 or more. It would
run acceptably on that system.

Under XP the processor is not the limiting factor, it's just the RAM
that's the issue.   Upgrading the ram to 256 or more would be a
*requirement* to make xp work acceptably on that machine.

I would advise against nt4 for a home user because of limits such as
directx 3 and the difficulty in finding drivers. (they do exist,
they're just harder to find).

98se would be all right.

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Re: Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

Alanz wrote:

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IMO, this particular machine is unsuitable for its intended purpose.
The cost of upgrading it, including getting Windows XP, could well
surpass the price of a basic, new system. Essentially, more RAM is
needed but there is probably a 768 MB limitation on the total RAM that
can be installed. An improved video graphics card to work at 1280x1024
resolution; significantly larger hard drive, etc. Want to factor in the
price of a 17-inch or 19-inch LCD monitor? There are some well-priced
bundles that can be bought, even with Windows XP. It is the physical
machine and not the OS that is the primary handicap here.

Re: Is this configuration good enough for Windows XP?

XP requires a MINIMUM of 256 MB of RAM even to run slowly.  I would load Win
98 on that older machine.  It is very hardware limited.



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