Best OS for really old PC

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  1. Posts : 14
    Windows 10, Windows 7, Linux Mint 17.3
       #21

    BReeves said:
    Just wasting disk space and clock cycles to memory management..
    There is more to 64 bit processing than addressing more memory. It's my understanding that when a native 64 bit application can make full use of the architecture it can be literally twice as fast as the 32 bit equivalent for any given clock speed. Also, even with 4GB or less RAM, a 64 bit system can make more efficient use of what's available vs a 32 bit system.

    In the real world though we have to contend with 32 bit only apps and it's more complicated. Some (very) old head to head performance comparisons show 32 bit Windows as having slightly better frame rates in some games and performance testing suites. However the games that were newer at the time of testing tended to fare better on 64 bit Windows.

    Since we're now 10+ years on from the uncertainty and doubt when these tests were relevant, I really don't think there is a compelling performance reason to choose 32 bit now, unless there is some old game or 32 bit app that works better natively on 32 bit and it is the main thing to used on the system.

    joedaman633 said:
    Berk, the 9400GT is a dedicated card so he won't be allocating memory to it, it has dedicated onboard stuff.
    OK, so I crammed too many thoughts into a short post and didn't elaborate enough (sorry, I should've been clearer at the first attempt)

    The E7200/i9300 system I referenced with the tearing issue:

    • 2GB -> 4GB improved overall performance and responsiveness, a small but certainly noticeable effect.
    • 2GB -> 4GB without changing the iGPU allocation yielded a small but noticeable improvement in tearing.
    • 2GB -> 4GB and maximising the iGPU RAM allocation yielded the best mitigation of tearing, but did not eliminate it entirely.

    Additionally, I have also used 512MB (Nvidia) 1GB (AMD) and 2GB (Nvidia) discrete VRAM graphics cards on the same Linux OSs (Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora) across several systems. The discrete cards also have also been blighted by hideous screen tearing, with AMD usually faring the worst. I conclude VRAM is not the only defining factor, system RAM and overall system performance also influence the issue.
    Last edited by Berk; 08 Jan 2016 at 20:42.
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  2. Posts : 487
    Windows 8 Pro x64
       #22

    XweAponX said:
    You'd do well with either Windows 7 32 or 64, 64 would use more of the Ram but 32 would allow you to use very old hardware drivers (it has 16 bit support).

    You'd probably do well with regular Windows 8 (Not 8.1) - I was able to install Windows 8 into some very old boxes and it runs very well. The 32 bit version will leave you with 3.2gb of usable Ram. Windows 10 32 bit will use up 1GB of Ram, leaving you only 3GB. Also Windows 8 can run just about anything that ran in Windows 7.

    I always install 32 bit for Business situations, where 64 bit can accommodate personal needs like Gaming.
    I'm not sure why the x86 version of Windows 8.1 wouldn't work, instead of Windows 8 (since support runs out next week on the former). Windows 7 might be fine too, though if he/she likes Windows 10, no reason not to opt for the x86 version.

    In any case, if I were the OP I would stay 32-bit if all you're using the system for is traditional productivity apps. In which case, you may as well just stay at 3 GB of RAM too, since most of the additional 1 GB will be swallowed up as address space for your hardware, particularly your video card.
    .
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  3. Posts : 45
    Windows 10 Pro / Windows Server 2012 (VM)
       #23

    everyone has post about this - I will add my two cents -- x64 -- Max out the MB with the 4GB Ram -- the machine is old but not that old -- Windows 10 will run on 4GB --- *** the only problems I see with windows 10 is that it is a 64 bit system and may have compatibility issues with certain hardware -- ie. DataFax drivers if you use the Modem. Windows 10 is 100% 64 bit any embedded or attached card must be 64 bit -- sometimes it's hard to find 64bit drivers *** it just means certain things won't work -- if you don't use them It doesn't matter.
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  4. Posts : 22,741
    Windows 10 Home x64
       #24

    FWIW,, I would check out a Linux distribution on a live DVD and see how it works. That's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of an OS for an old PC.

    YMMV..
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  5. Posts : 123
    Win 10
       #25
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  6. Posts : 487
    Windows 8 Pro x64
       #26

    BunnyJ said:
    FWIW,, I would check out a Linux distribution on a live DVD and see how it works. That's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of an OS for an old PC.

    YMMV..
    I have an old Dell D-610 that came preloaded with XP back in 2005. I put Precise Puppy Linux (based on uBuntu binaries), and it work great in a single gigabyte of RAM on a Centrino CPU at 1.8 GHz
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  7. whs
    Posts : 1,935
    Windows 7
       #27

    rfruth said:
    DSL is kind of very skimpy. I have setup a precanned Mint that looks a bit more like an OS. You can download it from here:

    OneDrive
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  8. Posts : 22,741
    Windows 10 Home x64
       #28

    Jody Thornton said:
    I have an old Dell D-610 that came preloaded with XP back in 2005. I put Precise Puppy Linux (based on uBuntu binaries), and it work great in a single gigabyte of RAM on a Centrino CPU at 1.8 GHz
    whs said:
    DSL is kind of very skimpy. I have setup a precanned Mint that looks a bit more like an OS. You can download it from here:

    OneDrive
    From my experience Linux is perfect for old hardware.. assuming the drivers work out. But I've found that in many cases they do and I like Mint. It's very similar to 7 and with the pre-installed software you can go wrong really.
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  9. Posts : 94
    Windows 10 Home Single Language
    Thread Starter
       #29

    No, Linux, please guys. I appreciate the suggestions, but just no.

    The max RAM is for the mobo is 4GB. Will be upgrading it today or tomorrow I think.

    So what Windows OS now? Is there really such a difference between 7 and 10's memory usage? I don't like 10's UI, feels bloated IMO. A lot of useless features like tablet mode, Windows Store etc.

    32-bit or 64-bit on 4GB of RAM?
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  10. Posts : 487
    Windows 8 Pro x64
       #30

    Well what are you doing with the PC @djdelarosa25 ? Please be specific. Even so, there will still be varying opinions to a degree. If you don't like Windows 10, and all you do is productivity (Word/Excel/Mail/Browsing/Video/Music), a 32-bit OS would be fine (that's what I meant by x86), and as I said, if you opt for a 32-bit OS, you may as well just stick with 3 GB of RAM. The maximum amount of addressable memory space on a 32-bit system is 4 GB, but your video adapter and other hardware needs to map itself in that space as well. That means with 4 GB of RAM, you'll likely only see between 3.25 to 3.5 GB of RAM on 32-bit Windows.
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