Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gateway Performance 600

I'm struggling with the original precept of this blog: building a new computer, because my Gateway Performance 600 is working so well now. It's almost eight years old, but it runs a Pentium III processor at 600 MHz and has been upgraded significantly:
    System Properties show 768 Mb
  1. Added another hard disk to increase total disk capacity from 20 Gb to about 100 Gb.
  2. Replaced the original CD RW drive (failed) with a new and better Sony drive.
  3. Upgraded from Windows 98 to Windows XP Professional, now SP2 and fully current.
  4. Maxed out the memory to 768 Mbytes, comparable to brand-new low-end computers.
C drive is pretty fullG drive is more than half fullIt's not a bad computer, and I'm wavering on the decision to replace it. Money ($1000+) and time are the reasons NOT to replace it. Here are some reasons why I might:

  • Quieter. The Performance 600, though not loud, is the loudest thing in the room.
  • Faster. I wonder how much. The processors will be ten or twenty times as fast and the disk(s) at least twice as fast. I'm sure the difference will be noticeable!
  • Upgradable. In theory at least, the memory will be upgradable to 8 Gb.
  • Bigger disk. At least three times as much, upgradable to much more.
  • Windows Vista or Vista compatible. The Gateway 600 is not even slightly compatible with Vista, needing more speed, disk, a DVD drive, and more.
  • More reliable? Only the CD RW drive in the 600 has ever failed, but I've been lucky because hard disks certainly do fail too. I'm thinking about paired disks in the new computer for improved data security, and a better backup system than the zipped CD ROMs I use now.
  • Experience. Mine. I will enjoy the experience and learn a LOT! I've been involved in computers almost all of my adult life (45+ years) and it's time to add some current technology to that knowledge.
I'm almost convinced, but then again the 600 is really working pretty well. I have plenty of time to think about it.


Anonymous said...

Hey just read your old post, I run a Performance 600 for my second (kids) system. Over time I have upgraded the HD to 120gb, added CDRW and DVDRW and 384mb RAM and am now using XP instead of the original W98. All runs pretty good for a 9 yr old P111 600mhz based system! I saw that you maxed out your RAM to 768mb - something that I considered doing also but I thought this would not work as some sites (and the Gateway manual)suggest that anything above 384 (ie. 3 x 128) wont be recognised by the system. Did you have any problems? I also am considering upgrading the Nvidia TNT2 graphics card as the kids are complaining that the DVD playback is not as good as the Intel dual core 2ghz, 2gig Ram main system!

Don said...

You're more adventurous than I was with the 600. But indeed it had NO problem with 768 Mb of memory - Windows regognized it all. Apparently Intel upgraded the MB without documenting it.

Nice thing is that parts cost next to nothing now on eBay.

Anonymous said...

I've also got a Gateway Performance 600 with 356mb ram with PC100. Will it also take PC133? With your 768mb you must have used three 256mb sticks. I'll maybe try some ram from my other computer and see what happens? Also, I'm running Linux Ubuntu 7.10 on it and it works very good--Just as good as XP. Lance Gillette.