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The test of time: Benchmarking an 11-year-old PC

How does a long-forgotten PC fare in today's tests?

It's amazing how quickly things advance in technology, with PCs being one of the worst culprits. What seemed speedy and cutting edge just a few years ago, now seems sluggish and poor value for money. We decided to speed test a PC that had been sent to our labs for testing, some eleven years ago, and was never returned to its rightful owner.

Once we got WorldBench 6 up and running, the machine failed 7 of the 10 consumer app tests right from the start. Without a full-sized motherboard, we couldn't even install a 3D graphics card (no PCI or AGP slots), and were forced to rely on an integrated graphics chipset installed during the late 90s as the machine limped through our Adobe Photoshop and video encoding tests.

Here's our results:

For reference, the average budget desktop scores around the 100point mark in WorldBench 6. My Favourite PC scored a five, and even earning that was a gruelling process as the 400MHz processor spent days chugging through Firefox and Microsoft Office tests that normally take 6 to 8 hours on a post-Y2K budget PC. For comparison purposes, here's the same test results from the recently-reviewed Viewsonic VPC 190 a budget all-in-one PC.

So what have we learned from our upgrade experiment?

  • Windows 7 runs exceptionally well on an old machine, an impressive feat given the system hog that was Vista.
  • With a little love, even a decade-old PC can be useful as a dedicated iternet machine for a small business or tech-phobic family member.

See also: 10 great tools to test your PC

  1. How does a long-forgotten machine fare in today's speed tests
  2. Getting WorldBench up and running

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