Old hardware and Linux


The test series in this article shows that legacy hardware is not necessarily too slow for modern Linux systems. With a lean Linux distribution, older desktops and notebooks with single-core processors, as represented by the HP Compaq NC6220, are still suitable for simple office tasks or as file or proxy servers in a small intranet. The prerequisite is that the system in question has sufficient RAM and corresponding mass storage capacities.

Systems built in 2007, 2008, or later that use dual-core processors continue to be suitable for everyday use for simple and medium-duty tasks. Because these computers usually come with 2 or 4GB of RAM by default, they usually do not need to be upgraded.

Formerly very expensive professional workstations like the HP Z600, which the company exclusively equipped with premium components at the time, still perform demanding tasks today. These devices are even suitable for video transcoding and are sufficiently future-proof.

Older Xeon workstations keep up with current upper mid-range devices, not only because of their high processor performance, but also because of their versatile interfaces. Moreover, such systems are generally more fail-safe than entry-level consumer or business computers.

A modern and energy-saving Raspberry Pi is more suitable for simple office tasks on a very small budget. Sufficient processor power cannot compensate for the small amount of memory and the relatively slow mass storage subsystem. The SBC would only become serious competition for Intel systems if the manufacturer were to increase the RAM and provide mass storage with a fast SATA interface.

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