Author Topic: I bought a new computer  (Read 7814 times)

mindaugas

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I bought a new computer
« on: October 11, 2013, 10:29:03 AM »
So I can play Star Citizen when it comes out, because it's the game of my dreams. When my buddy and I used to play Wing Commander late into the night when we were kids we talked about how awesome it would be to play a game just like Star Citizen, now it's real. So I bought parts to build a kick ass $1200 gaming machine. In an attempt to make up for it I'm going to try and sell my old parts. I'm posting here to accept face punches, with a goofy smile, because I love my new PC.

FunkyStickman

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 11:05:34 AM »
Self-inflicted Facepunch:

KingCoin

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 11:31:40 AM »
I think your computer is going to be obsolete by the time the final release comes out (allegedly Q4 2015, read Q1 2017). Everyone's going to have newer, faster computers by then, and you're going to be a lame lame Star Citizen. Maybe even the lamest.

mindaugas

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 11:40:25 AM »
I think your computer is going to be obsolete by the time the final release comes out (allegedly Q4 2015, read Q1 2017). Everyone's going to have newer, faster computers by then, and you're going to be a lame lame Star Citizen. Maybe even the lamest.
Mayhaps, but until then I'll be able to play the modules as they release.

KingCoin

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 01:23:51 PM »
I think your computer is going to be obsolete by the time the final release comes out (allegedly Q4 2015, read Q1 2017). Everyone's going to have newer, faster computers by then, and you're going to be a lame lame Star Citizen. Maybe even the lamest.
Mayhaps, but until then I'll be able to play the modules as they release.

Ah. Playing slowly released beta modules is definitely worth $1200. Consider my facepunch retracted.

mindaugas

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 01:25:56 PM »
I think your computer is going to be obsolete by the time the final release comes out (allegedly Q4 2015, read Q1 2017). Everyone's going to have newer, faster computers by then, and you're going to be a lame lame Star Citizen. Maybe even the lamest.
Mayhaps, but until then I'll be able to play the modules as they release.

Ah. Playing slowly released beta modules is definitely worth $1200. Consider my facepunch retracted.
I also play Hyper-V

LalsConstant

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 02:15:23 PM »
Hey the box I built earlier this year cost about that much.  I say BAH! to the face punches!  Bah!  Fie on them!

For some reason PC gaming gets a lot of flack on the frugal sites.  I won't name the examples but I've seen them.

While it's true that it's not good to sit in front of a computer for too long, I find it vexing these sites can discuss reasonable levels of alcohol consumption (for example) as being frugal and poop on video games.

The average consumer sucker goes out and throws down $2400 on console hardware AND still has to buy TVs and extra controllers and proprietary adapters and proprietary cables and all sorts of proprietary hardware nonsense, pays outrageous additional sums for what's just a damn hard drive, and belts out $60 for bland games from huge bloated anti-social corporations who are creatively bankrupt.

(Granted the self published online markets have alleviated the latter problem somewhat, I give them credit there and not all AAA titles are shovelware.)

The Mustachian gamer may throw down a princely sum of $1200, but in exchange receives one machine which both duplicates and exceeds the capabilities of those expensive boxes all combined.  And he is not feature locked either!  Every time a new generation of hardware comes out, he is off to Ebay or the refurbished bins for the next to last generation which works almost exactly as well at a cost less than some new rubbish components.

He has a machine that he can use to track his savings and investments, one that can replace cable TV, one that can call up the library, that can mine bitcoins while he's otherwise occupied, that can do damn near anything, one that is a gateway to a cornucopia of free things.  And he enjoys it all in a way that Chromebook user never will.

Consumer suckers have to go buy a box just to put Netflix on their TV, for instance.  Not you.  Consumer suckers pay out the nose for theaters or Redbox or any other number of products and services this replaces, and does so in style with exceptional performance!

And because the Mustachian made it himself, this wonderful machine is free of all the junky add ons and unlike a consumer sucka, he bought the best and most highly vetted parts.

Soon, with Steam coming out with its own Linux based OS, free open source software may reduce costs even further. 

The frugality sites love organic food from small growers, why don't they love DRM free software from independent developers?

The PC itself may cost you $1200 but you can play things like Path of Exile for thousands of hours (please do this over many years) at no additional cost.  And if you actually deign to spend any money, well good grief, you won't even live long enough to exhaust all the good stuff you can get from GoG.com for a pittance.

It gets even sillier when you realize that because you built your own instead of buying a locked down corporation box, you can modify and improve games to your heart's content.  You can add functionality and content leagues beyond what was ever intended.

Never mind the fact configuring and running your own high end personal computer to perform so well leads to greater skills with modern technology.  Suckers pay thousands of dollars just to keep up, you're ahead of 80% of people because you actually know something about hardware and software to make that beast spit out another 10 FPS.

When your family member's mere normal computers break or have problems, no one has to hire an expensive tech to fix it.

It keeps you from buying stupid consumer things, after you realize what you can make with your own two hands, it makes you look at something like an Ipad and assess its true value.

And one more thing.  Family history of Alzheimer's and dementia here.  Research shows empirically that improving your logic and memory skills as much as possible as long as possible is effective in delaying the onset of the disease.  Also reading helps.  Nothing in existence does this combination of lots of reading and lots of thinking better than the more cerebreal genres of games, especially when you start making spreadsheets to figure out how to play the game better.

Rocking a silly good computer may not be strictly necessary, but neither is air conditioning or eating anything besides water, vitamin pills and ramen noodles.

The truth is video gaming can be stupid cheap especially on a PC, and the fringe benefits are hard to put a price on because you now have an absolutely beastly multipurpose machine plus a body of skills and knowledge you wouldn't otherwise.

Something that does all this, that amortizes out to a cost less than what most people pay for phone service in the United States, is money well spent.  Provided you don't have a debt crisis on your hands and shop for value rather than shop for the bleeding edge because it's the bleeding edge, what's the problem?

I pay cash for my computer stuff and games and have no debt, and it's in my budget at the very bottom because it's my last priority.  So Fie!  No face punches!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 02:17:43 PM by LalsConstant »

mindaugas

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2013, 02:38:00 PM »
Lol, I still deserve a facepunch for buying a PC for a game that isn't even released yet, and for buying a PC for gaming. But I did almost comment that I don't own any console whatsoever, don't have cable, and I don't even subscribe to Netflix, Prime, Hulu+, etc. Nor do I subscribe or play any MMOs. Hell, I don't even have surround sound or a receiver, just the HTPC (which cost less than a new console) and some nice speakers I already had.
I agree, PC gaming is infinitely better than console. Also, everything you said should endear you to Star Citizen. It's independent, player backed, and made to push PC gaming.

KingCoin

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2013, 02:51:59 PM »
@LalsConstant

I don't think anyone is going to dispute that a PC delivers far more value than it's retail price. The implicit question is, does a $1,200 PC deliver enough marginal value vs a $400 PC?

I guess if your priority is high performance gaming, then the answer might be yes. Is high performance gaming a Mustachian activity? If you play hundreds or thousands of hours, it's quite cheap on a per hour basis. But then again, you're spending hundreds or thousands of hours developing no real relationships, meaningful skills or knowledge, financial strength, or having positive impact on others. This strikes me as deeply unmustachian, or at least a rather hollow way to spend your time (you can save the stories about the deep bonds you have with your World of Warcraft clan and the hand eye coordination you're developing). Like all things, it's probably fine in moderation, but I've seen more than one person get sucked in to the major detriment of their "real" life.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 02:57:52 PM by KingCoin »

Jimbo

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2013, 03:02:13 PM »
Videogaming is unmustachian not because of the sunk costs (albeit can get pricey) but because of the time sink.

I prefer to do the deeds instead of activating a character doing the deeds.

You know, hockey, baseball, soccer, world domination.

mindaugas

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2013, 03:14:14 PM »
So no one here sinks any time into watching TV or movies?
I don't see any difference between playing recreational sports with "the guys" and playing Battlefield 3 with "the guys". Both usually involve beer and lot of cursing.
I don't think anyone is going to dispute that a PC delivers far more value than it's retail price. The implicit question is, does a $1,200 PC deliver enough marginal value vs a $400 PC?

No, a gaming PC is definitely a premium over building a standard PC. But that is the point ... Or even buying an older used PC like an off lease unit. Hell, you can sometimes find dual cores at Arc for $10.

prodarwin

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2013, 06:38:24 PM »
rabble rabble rabble

I agree with many of your points about frugal PC gaming, but not sure I follow all the console hate. 

Long-time PC gamer here.  But you can play on a console in a frugal way as well: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/10/psa-nows-the-time-to-snap-up-cheap-last-generation-consoles/  There.  $149 gets you a machine that can play plenty of great games (that you can snag in the bargain bin for <$10), and stream netflix, hulu, amazon prime, etc.

Ultimately, what the frugal gamer does is:  game slightly behind the curve.  Don't buy the console until its out for a year or two, play games after they've been out a few months and you can snap them up used cheap.  Build a budget PC that will run games respectably for a long time, and... play games after they've been out a while and can snapped up cheap.

TygerTung

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 08:30:34 PM »
I once brought a new computer back in maybe 2004, it cost me $1800. I'm still using parts of it today. The motherboard did blow up though and I had to replace that- I brought an ex-lease computer for about $120, and put my old ram and hard drive, DVD writer, videocard into that. It is a 3.2 Ghz rather than only 3 GHz that I had before. Very fast computer the Pentium 4, I can't see myself upgrading for a good few years yet.

Because of Moores Law, any computer from 2004 onwards is insanely fast, and can be used for many years if you use an efficient operating system. (I use Linux).

If I every have to buy another computer, I'll definately buy another ex Lease one as they are so much cheaper. I did buy a netbook a couple of years ago in Hong Kong, they were cheaper there. I expect that to last me at least another 15 years.

Freckles

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2013, 08:30:58 PM »

Jamesqf

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2013, 09:02:10 PM »
Because of Moores Law, any computer from 2004 onwards is insanely fast, and can be used for many years if you use an efficient operating system. (I use Linux).

Yeah.  I did buy a new computer about 6 months ago: fast quad-core CPU, lots of memory, upper-end graphics card.  $927, IIRC.  But my excuse is that it's for work, and I develop some really serious number-crunching stuff, and do a bunch of CUDA coding, so it was pretty much a business necessity (and deductible business expense :-)).  But you know what?  I still write most of my code (and do all my other stuff) on my ThinkPad that dates from 2008, if not before.

FunkyStickman

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2013, 10:12:31 PM »
Lots of advice flying, I'm just going to pitch in on what's already been said. I've been in the computer field for 18 years, built custom computers and servers for customers, did some gaming... but then I became Mustachian.


I agree with many of your points about frugal PC gaming, but not sure I follow all the console hate. 

Long-time PC gamer here.  But you can play on a console in a frugal way as well: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/10/psa-nows-the-time-to-snap-up-cheap-last-generation-consoles/  There.  $149 gets you a machine that can play plenty of great games (that you can snag in the bargain bin for <$10), and stream netflix, hulu, amazon prime, etc.

Ultimately, what the frugal gamer does is:  game slightly behind the curve.  Don't buy the console until its out for a year or two, play games after they've been out a few months and you can snap them up used cheap.  Build a budget PC that will run games respectably for a long time, and... play games after they've been out a while and can snapped up cheap.

This is exactly what I (and my kids) do. No way am I going to spend $300 on a video card to play a $60 game. Just notgonnahappen.

Secondly, I have a LOT of fun playing older games with my kids. Some of the best games ever made (gameplay-wise) were made for computers more than 5-6 years ago. Even a cheap computer today has no problem playing them. And old arcade and Nintendo emulators? Yes please! My kids are hooked on playing through the Megaman series.

You can play ridiculously fun, absorbing, multiplayer games from years ago for pennies on the dollar. So the question is, are you a gamer, or are you keeping up with the Joneses? There's a whole list of awesome games I'm wanting to play through, and as I see them pop up on Steam for $5, I snap them up and enjoy them immensely.

prodarwin

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2013, 10:04:02 AM »

Because of Moores Law, any computer from 2004 onwards is insanely fast, and can be used for many years if you use an efficient operating system. (I use Linux).


Not for gaming.  I'm all about being a tad behind the curve... but pentium 4?  I disagree.

Passmark CPU scores...
P4 3.2 Ghz (fastest model) : 386
Core 2 Duo 3.16 Ghz: 2175
i5 2500k: 6,373

My 5 year old computer, which was a budget build, is rocking a core 2 duo E8500 (3.0, but overclocked to 3.6).  Its on the order of 6.5 times the speed of a P4.  And it is what i would consider borderline obsolete.  I say that because there are now many games you can get for <$5 on sale on Steam that will tax the performance of the machine.  A newer video card would help, but not save it.

Toms hardware recommends the i5-2500k for gaming as the single/dual threaded performance seems to remain on-par with most high end 4 or 6 core hyperthreading i7s.  It's been a fairly "budget" processor for 2+ years, and you can see its about 16.5 times the speed of a P4.


mindaugas

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2013, 10:16:31 AM »
You can play ridiculously fun, absorbing, multiplayer games from years ago for pennies on the dollar. So the question is, are you a gamer, or are you keeping up with the Joneses? There's a whole list of awesome games I'm wanting to play through, and as I see them pop up on Steam for $5, I snap them up and enjoy them immensely.

I have such a massive steam library of old games that I don't buy anything new. I wait for it to go on steam sale (or amazon, GoG). I won't buy anything new until I've played through What I have. My exception is Battlefield since that's what I play with my friends who have all moved away. Think of getting together once a week to play football, baseball, golf, w/e. It's the same thing, including beer and cursing. Keep in mind I save in other areas like Netflix and Hulu. So $60 gives me 30+ hours of fun.

Frugality isn't about cutting everything out, but it does include moderation and if anything, I am moderate. I don't choose gaming over other fun activities, like taking my son for a bike ride to the grocery store or just to explore.

http://www.denverbybike.com/index.php/new-mtb-new-home-new-ride/

I like where this thread is going as far as advice though. We should continue with that and share our frugal gaming tips.
Another one I would suggest is a combo of gaming + HTPC. An inexpensive AMD APU + mobo can be had for $100. It's powerful enough for those cheap indie games and emulators and play back blurays and 1080p content. I have one running my HTPC and it works great. I know you can put together a whole PC for $350 and I think I could get one down to $300.

So my HTPC/Console is gaming, media center, DVR, online streaming (free Hulu). And it's great for throwing up home movies and pics when the family is over. I spent $300 for the parts to build it and looking at prices now I think you can do it for less.

KingCoin

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2013, 10:47:24 AM »
I realize this may be taking things a bit afield, but does anyone have build-your-own-computer instructional resource they recommend? On a percentage basis, what is the cost saving vs just configuring your own at a retailer or buying used and upgrading individual components? Or is it really more about tinkering and complete customization than cost saving per-se?

FunkyStickman

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2013, 12:13:23 PM »
I realize this may be taking things a bit afield, but does anyone have build-your-own-computer instructional resource they recommend? On a percentage basis, what is the cost saving vs just configuring your own at a retailer or buying used and upgrading individual components? Or is it really more about tinkering and complete customization than cost saving per-se?

You're not going to build a machine cheaper than a bulk-built cheapo machine. If you have specific hardware requirements, though, or existing stuff, you could build a decent machine for about the same price. If you want a decent case and PSU, that's $200 right there, or more. Your best bet is to go with a Newegg barebones bundle, and add your own software/OS/hardware to round it out.

daverobev

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2013, 12:17:44 PM »

Because of Moores Law, any computer from 2004 onwards is insanely fast, and can be used for many years if you use an efficient operating system. (I use Linux).


Not for gaming.  I'm all about being a tad behind the curve... but pentium 4?  I disagree.

Passmark CPU scores...
P4 3.2 Ghz (fastest model) : 386
Core 2 Duo 3.16 Ghz: 2175
i5 2500k: 6,373

My 5 year old computer, which was a budget build, is rocking a core 2 duo E8500 (3.0, but overclocked to 3.6).  Its on the order of 6.5 times the speed of a P4.  And it is what i would consider borderline obsolete.  I say that because there are now many games you can get for <$5 on sale on Steam that will tax the performance of the machine.  A newer video card would help, but not save it.

Toms hardware recommends the i5-2500k for gaming as the single/dual threaded performance seems to remain on-par with most high end 4 or 6 core hyperthreading i7s.  It's been a fairly "budget" processor for 2+ years, and you can see its about 16.5 times the speed of a P4.

Pentium 4 was an atrocious architecture full stop. But, anything Core 2 Duo and newer is good, IMHO.

grantmeaname

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2013, 02:19:31 PM »
I realize this may be taking things a bit afield, but does anyone have build-your-own-computer instructional resource they recommend? On a percentage basis, what is the cost saving vs just configuring your own at a retailer or buying used and upgrading individual components? Or is it really more about tinkering and complete customization than cost saving per-se?
The TR Guide to building a PC. From about $500 upwards you're better off building your own; below that, the volume discounts are bigger than the markups and you should just get any old computer. Around here, Craigslist has lots of two year old PCs that people put up when they upgrade to the next biggest thing or can't make rent, and those are bargains too.

prodarwin

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2013, 03:01:16 PM »
I realize this may be taking things a bit afield, but does anyone have build-your-own-computer instructional resource they recommend? On a percentage basis, what is the cost saving vs just configuring your own at a retailer or buying used and upgrading individual components? Or is it really more about tinkering and complete customization than cost saving per-se?

Well, customization can result in a cost savings - especially when you want one feature of a higher "tier" machine from one of the big box computer builders.  Often the components you get building the computer yourself will be of higher quality than an equivalent off the shelf unit.

I wouldn't hesitate to build a sub $500 PC, I just don't expect my savings to be that great.  But I'll get exactly what I want and not pay for silly features I don't need (like a CD-Drive, 1 gagillion gigs of hard disk space, etc.)

This parts list is frequently updated and not bad:  http://www.hardware-revolution.com/best-budget-gaming-pc-computer-august-2013/


mindaugas

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2013, 10:36:51 PM »
I realize this may be taking things a bit afield, but does anyone have build-your-own-computer instructional resource they recommend? On a percentage basis, what is the cost saving vs just configuring your own at a retailer or buying used and upgrading individual components? Or is it really more about tinkering and complete customization than cost saving per-se?
Generally you will get higher quality parts by building your own. You also get to pick a case and what it looks like and frankly (and obviously entirely subjective) I think custom cases are far better looking than the major vendors like Dell, HP, Acer, etc. You can build a much better PC for under $300, what gets you is the OS. So if you're going *nix then this is a better deal, if you need windows you may be able to find something vendor built with a Windows license.

AMD A6 w/ mobo combo $85 - http://www.microcenter.com/site/products/amd_bundles.aspx
4GB RAM $45 - http://www.microcenter.com/product/401547/HyperX_Red_4GB_DDR3-1600_(PC3-12800)_CL_9_Desktop_Memory_Module
128GB SSD $75 - http://www.microcenter.com/product/418330/M4_CT128M4SSD2_128GB_SATA_60Gb-s_25_Internal_Solid_State_Drive_(SSD)_with_Marvell_Controller_-_Refurbished
DVDRW $16 - http://www.microcenter.com/product/407512/24x_Super_Multi_Internal_SATA_DVD%C2%B1RW_DL_Drive_-_Bare_Drive
Pretty case $45 - http://www.microcenter.com/product/414482/N200_Mini_Tower_mATX_Computer_Case_-_Black
PSU $20 - http://www.microcenter.com/product/407821/I-500_500W_ATX_Power_Supply
Total: $286

Building a PC is incredibly easy. I started out working at a small shop and when we got big orders I brought my wife in to help. It took about 20 minutes to explain what part was what and how to put it together. Even installing the OS is easy now. Personally, I will always build my own because I love doing it and I have access to OS licenses through my partnership with MS.

TygerTung

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Re: I bought a new computer
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2013, 03:23:14 AM »

Because of Moores Law, any computer from 2004 onwards is insanely fast, and can be used for many years if you use an efficient operating system. (I use Linux).


Not for gaming.  I'm all about being a tad behind the curve... but pentium 4?  I disagree.

Passmark CPU scores...
P4 3.2 Ghz (fastest model) : 386
Core 2 Duo 3.16 Ghz: 2175
i5 2500k: 6,373

My 5 year old computer, which was a budget build, is rocking a core 2 duo E8500 (3.0, but overclocked to 3.6).  Its on the order of 6.5 times the speed of a P4.  And it is what i would consider borderline obsolete.  I say that because there are now many games you can get for <$5 on sale on Steam that will tax the performance of the machine.  A newer video card would help, but not save it.

Toms hardware recommends the i5-2500k for gaming as the single/dual threaded performance seems to remain on-par with most high end 4 or 6 core hyperthreading i7s.  It's been a fairly "budget" processor for 2+ years, and you can see its about 16.5 times the speed of a P4.

Thats probably about right. Moores Law says that about every two years, the amount of transistors they can get on an intergrated circuit will double, so they should be twice as fast.

I'm just saying that since the computer is from 2004, and it runs pretty quick on linux, that anything this age or newer has very good performance.

I don't play computer games, just browse the internet, emails, word processing etc, so the machine is well fast enough for me. It boots up in about 18 seconds from the BIOS post screen, and firefox is running in about a second or so, so I'm pretty happy.

I have played gamed on it, but just emulated Amiga games etc, and it does that fine.

The SCUMM VM is very good fun.