Upgrading an Old Pentium 1 Computer?, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

You must be wondering: why is the Infopackets Gazette being sent out on a Sunday?

In short, I've decided to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

First of all, I'm going on a small vacation. So, I won't be here to send out the newsletter on Tuesday -- so that's why I've decided to send it out Sunday instead of Tuesday.

Secondly, I received a lot of feedback regarding my Visitor Feedback suggestion to Judy W. in the last newsletter. Many of you wrote in and asked me if I was crazy for suggesting that she purchase a special adapter for her old and ailing Pentium-1 system instead of telling her to purchase a new system.

Well, I suppose that's mostly my fault.

I originally suggested that Judy should purchase a new system rather than try and upgrade her old one. But, she insisted that she was fond of her old Pentium-1 system and she didn't want to part with it. That's when I mentioned that she should look into purchasing the upgrade adapter with a new 500 MHz processor.

Ok -- so why is the upgrade adapter with processor not really cost effective in the long-run?

Long story short: mixing new technologies with old technologies doesn't really give you the full benefits of the new technology. I suppose this is equivalent to saying "the new technology is only as good as the weakest link". In this case, Judy wanted to upgrade to a new processor and keep her old system. As such, the weakest link is the remaining part of her system that is connected to the new processor.

The new processor will obviously run faster than her old one, but the system won't really be running at optimal performance because she's still using old computer parts, such as: a slow hard drive, video card, RAM, etc. The new processor that I suggested Judy look into was originally designed to run at a 100 MHz bus speed. The important thing to note here is that her old system won't run at this speed because it's using old technology (66 MHz bus). That's almost half of what it should be; the result is that the processor isn't going to run at its peak performance. On the other hand, the new processor will give her system a nice boost when using hungry applications that need a lot of processing power, such as her digital camera application (cropping, resizing photos, etc). What it all boils down to is that her old processor just wouldn't compare to the new one, and she *will* benefit.

That was a mouthful! I hope you all understand what I'm talking about because it is a bit of a technical issue. That's sort of why I neglected to mention all of that in the last newsletter. Thanks to all those who wrote in to set me straight.

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