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What’s the Best Upgrade for an Older Machine?

You can breathe new life into an old machine.

A Computer System
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Upgrading a computer can be a lot of work, is going to cost some money, and depends on your needs. I'll show you where to start.
What’s the easiest way (other than buying a new machine) to upgrade my 10-year-old computer?

There’s no blanket answer. It depends on what you’re trying to do with this machine and how it isn’t meeting your needs.

I do have ideas, though.

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TL;DR:

Upgrade that Old Computer

Your best options to extend the life of an old computer include:

  • Adding RAM
  • Replacing the hard disk with an SSD
  • Upgrading your display and/or video card
  • Switching to a lightweight operating system

Start with RAM

The first thing I do with an old machine I want to revive is maximize the amount of RAM installed.

How much RAM you can add depends on the specific machine. Each machine’s motherboard has a limit as to how much RAM can be installed.

New machines are frequently not fully populated. For example, your machine may have a capacity of 32 GB of RAM, but may have only come with 8GB. That’s common, particularly in older machines built when RAM was more expensive.

Examine the machine, or look up the machine’s capacity for RAM, and then install as much RAM as you can. Windows loves RAM.

It used to be that adding RAM was the first and most effective thing you could do. While it’s probably still the cheapest, there’s another upgrade that can often make a more significant difference.

Upgrade the hard drive to an SSD

SSDs, or Solid State Disks, are significantly faster than traditional spinning-platter hard disks. Replacing  an HDD with an SSD can often result in surprising performance boosts.

You’ll likely increase the disk capacity at the same time. SSDs have come down significantly in price in recent years, and will almost certainly outlast even a new machine, not to mention your older one.

There are replacement SSDs that come in the same size and shape as HDDs. This means replacing the disk is as conceptually simple as:

I’ve done this myself to good effect, and I’ve also heard from many others who’ve upgraded to an SSD and been impressed with the performance impact.

Improve your display

Get a bigger display.

I’ve been quite surprised at how much “better” a machine feels with a larger, crisper display, even as an external monitor on a laptop can make quite the difference when you’re not traveling.

For desktop machines, also consider upgrading your video card. This might be required to take full advantage of the capabilities of your new display. It can provide higher resolution and perhaps better performance than what you started with.

And, of course, if you do eventually end up replacing your machine, you can keep using the new monitor. That makes it a little easier to justify the investment in a good one.

Consider another operating system

Another alternative to lengthening the usable life of an older machine is to consider a low-footprint Linux distribution. Even the standard distributions usually require fewer resources than the equivalent edition of Windows, but there are specific distributions that require much less machine to run smoothly.

Best Lightweight Linux Distributions for Older Computers has an overview of 16 different alternatives. Personally, I’ve used PuppyLinux on occasion. I’m also encouraged to find variations of both Ubuntu and Linux Mint on the list.

If what you’re doing doesn’t tie you to Windows, a lightweight Linux distribution might be just the thing to keep getting value from an older machine.

Old versus new

Now that I’ve outlined a few different things you can do to upgrade your machine, the decision lies with you. I hesitate to call these options “easy”, because they all require you to work, research, or purchase components that you then need to install or add to the machine.

Honestly, the easiest way to do this is to get a new machine. There’s very little involved other than transferring your data.

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23 comments on “What’s the Best Upgrade for an Older Machine?”

  1. Just another thought. Before spending any money on an old computer it’s worth checking the “Passmark Score” of the CPU (http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php). If the old box doesn’t score at least a 500 it’s not worth spending money on UNLESS you can upgrade the processor easily or cheaply. You can find used but functional processors on ebay from a few bucks. It’s a more complex upgrade, but the instructions can be found online along with “how to” videos on youtube.

    Reply
  2. FWIW, not long ago I doubled the RAM in my 6YO HP Pavilion a1540n from 2M to 4M. Nice boost, not big but noticeable. Since then however, strange things have begun happening – and I’m not blaming it on the memory upgrade.

    First, the cursor started doing crazy things when playing ordinary games like solitare, Bejeweled, etc. It would suddenly fly off the display in an unpredictable direction.
    Second, usually about the same time around 7am, the hard drive light would illuminate continuously ‘on’, the mouse and keyboard would be unresponsive, and I would have to shut down with the power button and restart to regain control.
    Finally, the video presentation became indistinct, weak colors, text characters alternating between black, red, green.

    I spent days on another pc searching the web for clues, installing drivers, adjusting video settings, etc, all to no avail. I even purchased a graphics card compatible with the machine, but could never get the system to use it even though Windows 7 said it (and everything else) was working correctly.

    Finally through in the towel and ordered a new desktop upper-low-end gaming pc that I hope will be upgradeable in future years so that I can just install new components occasionally without having to buy another new one.

    Reply
  3. I agree increasing the RAM is probably the best thing you can do to upgrade a computer, but depending on the age and RAM type of the machine, be prepared for sticker-shock. While RAM for the current generation of motherboards is pretty reasonably priced, going back a generation or two can be eye-opening. Sometime maxing out the RAM on an older PC can be more than half the cost of a new PC.
    I’ve found Crucial.com a good site for finding out what kind and how much RAM a computer or motherboard will support.

    Reply
  4. I think in most cases, upgrading a computer older than 8 years old is probably not the best bang for your buck. For example, you can upgrade the RAM for somewhere around $40-50. A new SSD for $80 or more and a graphics card from $60 (if you can even get one that can go into your computer.) So you might invest $100-200 to upgrade, but you’ll still have an older slower computer which will probably only be able to run and older OS (or of course, a small Linux distro) which will soon be unsupported, leaving your computer susceptible to malware. I’d prefer to invest in a lower end computer available for somewhere in the vicinity of $300, which will be brand new, much faster and running the latest version of Windows.

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  5. Hello all.

    I have been upgrading/building computers for 15 years or so. I do it more as a hobby than to save money or have the latest/greatest hardware. My policy is to do step upgrades, usually one component at a time. My current system started with a motherboard/CPU/RAM combo about 5 years ago. Since then, I have upgraded the power supply, the RAM, and the CPU twice. I started with a dual-core AMD CPU, then a quad-core, and now have a hex-core AMD CPU. I am not a gamer, so I don’t care about the video card. In fact, I’m actually using the onboard video graphics chipset to drive a 22 inch LCD display. This way, I can keep the cost down to around $100 or less per upgrade, and troubleshoot any issues that might arise from the single upgrade. My home-built system is in a large tower case with 6 hard drives, including one SSD, 2 optical drives, and a combo floppy with SD card reader (which I don’t use any more). I usually add another hard drive when I run out of storage space, and keep the older drives around as spares. My total storage capacity is around 4 TB, not including external hard drives used for backup. So, while upgrading an older system all at once is not going to save money, you can upgrade one or two components at a time, and end up with a much better computer than you started with.

    Don

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  6. I am not a tech head, but when my Dell desktop started showing its age, my solution was to take everything of value from My Documents and transfer it to my newer laptop via an external drive – still running XP.

    Then to replace Windows XP with Linux Ubuntu – which works like a charm. A little bit of work setting it up, but I really am a novice at this stuff.

    Now I have a machine which I can turn on, update my programs, send an email, and turn off again while the laptop is still booting up.

    Reply
  7. Hi Leo
    Have not been around your excellent forum for 6 months. Reason movin house etc. But mention of older comps spurred me to enter something here. My old laptop still runnin with Vista and still the fastest I have seen to date. I usually play around with approx one other comp per week including Win 8 and even Mac’s. Remember ya did not believe this in the past. As regards older comps I believe best thing to do when they start to go wrong is to get a new one. Fiddling around, as I sometimes have to do with other comps to get them to work is not really productive, even though most of them can be made somewhat better. As to my own Vista machine I sometimes hope it will explode !..Instead so far at least if anything it seems to get faster. Have my own method of course but mostly against mainstream thinkin !!!!!!!!!!!
    PS Congrats on your new site setup..Like it !!

    Reply
  8. Just read what I posted and thought that it may have been insensitive to use the word “Explode”…A better word would have been disintegrate….Reason is for me to move on to a newer system…Would really love to get a Mac..Think they really cool !!!

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  9. I’ve been using XP Pro for many years. It has served me well. Now it’s time to move up a step and Win 7 Pro is the plan. I’m going to chunk the ASRock mobo and go with an Intel BOXDZ68BC, 16GB of either Crucial or Corsair memory and probably the Intel Core i5-3330 Ivy Bridge 3.0GHz CPU and say bye bye to my old faithful Intel Pentium D 2.8. Video card??? Uhhh…don’t know yet. I have a PC Power & Cooling power supply still in the box I bought several years ago in case my 600w Aspire PS croked, but it refuses to die.

    Reply
  10. I just needed a PC to run Spotify outside and in my garage. My old HP laptop was barely alive with Vista. Swept it clean and installed Ubuntu, manually downloaded Spotify and voila. Who knows how long it’s got, but so far so good.

    Reply
  11. As Richard and David noted, the best upgrade to an old PC is free – Backup your data files and install Linux. They used Ubuntu, but for most people moving from Windows either Linux Mint or PCLinuxOS are probably easier to use. Both will speed up an old PC significantly, as Linux is dramatically more efficient than Windows.

    Reply
  12. I forgot about maximizing the RAM. I used to do that years ago on older pc’s but never thought about it on this one. Thanks for the great tips.

    Reply
  13. With the upcoming introduction of Windows 11 there will be an additional item to consider. TPM which is Trusted Platform Module is required to be TPM 2.0. I have 2 desktops and the newer 1 has TPM 2.0 while the older more powerful desktop has TPM 1.2. This is still an ongoing discussion between M$ and those wanting to step up to Windows 11.

    The most obvious solution is to simply leave my older desktop with Windows 10.

    Leo – I’ll allow you to create a detailed description of what is required for an upgrade to Windows 11.

    Reply
    • So much is in flux with Windows 11, and it’s so far away for most people, that while I absolutely will be talking about it, it’ll be a while. Things need to settle down a bit first.

      Reply
  14. I would tend to assume a SSD would be probably the safest all-around bet for boosting system performance for most people. RAM can help, but it’s probably not all that likely many people are running less than 4GB nowadays as while going from say 4GB to 8GB of RAM would be a solid upgrade, I would rather have 4GB of RAM paired with a SSD than 8GB of RAM with a regular HDD. not that one is strictly limited to this, but in terms of keeping costs down, if I had to choose between those two options, I would opt for the ‘4GB of RAM+SSD’ over ‘8GB of RAM+HDD’. because with a SSD, given it’s speed it can help compensate for lack of RAM to a degree. sure, it will wear the SSD out faster due to increased writes because of swap file usage, but a fairly modern SSD should last a ‘easy’ 5-10+ years unless one is doing extreme data writing to the SSD and even noticeably increase swap file writes I can’t see wearing out the SSD for quite some time and SSD’s are cheap enough not to worry too much about it.

    also, Linux (I suggest Linux Mint (which requires 1GB of RAM, but realistically one needs 2GB+ for a functional system that won’t be totally crippled due to lack of RAM)) is a solid option for aging hardware in general as it’s how I keep on using my ASUS A8N32-SLI board which I had since March 2006 as, in short, Win10 won’t work on it (lack of ‘nx-bit’ on 64bit and 32bit version is not stable). currently running Linux Mint v20.1-Xfce on that old ASUS board with the 5.11 kernel.

    p.s. I replaced capacitors on the A8N32-SLI board recently (with Rubycon ZLJ’s) as 70% (16/23) of the KZG 6.3v 820uF capacitors were bad (swollen etc), so to be safe I just replaced all 23 of them, as the rest (6.3v 1800uF/16v 470uF/16v 100uF) I did not touch since there are no visible signs they are bad and all appears good so far. because prior to the capacitor replacement the PC hanged on BIOS screen not all that long ago (powering off and back on and it seemed okay again) and was getting occasional weird messages during booting of Linux that are normally not there etc which seem to be cured now. I am running the AMD Athlon X2 3600+ CPU overclocked @ 2.4Ghz @ 1.3375v (CPU appears to be officially rated for 1.35v) which is minimum voltage required so rebooting works as expected at 2.4GHz and is only a 6c increase in temps vs stock speed of 2.0GHz @ 1.300v (which is the lowest I can go as any lower system simply won’t work outright). the board defaults to 1.4v to the CPU which is a little high and I am running basically the newest BIOS on it. but I noticed with newer BIOS on that board that the 1st GPU slot does not work, but the 2nd one works fine. but if I flash back to a older BIOS, the 1st GPU slot works as expected once again. but I figure it’s probably better to use a newer BIOS and just use the 2nd GPU slot for my Radeon 5670 512MB GPU.

    Reply
    • I’ve had an experience which may confirm what you say about upgrading to an SSD. I have an 11-year-old Sony Vaio laptop. I upgraded the RAM to 8 GB right after purchasing it, so I can’t say how upgrading the RAM affected the speed, but a year ago, it was running slow, so I put in an SSD that I had left over after upgrading another machine to a larger SSD. The difference was so great that it feels almost as fast as a new computer. And it’s running Windows 10.

      Reply
      • I noticed 8GB of RAM back around 9 years ago now (in May 2012) when I pretty much built my PC (basically new motherboard/CPU/RAM(kept same case from March 2006), which is still my main PC today (same motherboard, but I have since upgraded RAM from 8GB to 16GB ($45 for 2x 8GB used chips) (which is MAX my motherboard supports) and CPU from a i3-2120 to a i5-3550 (only $20) in the year 2020 which I suspect will extend the usable life of this setup by years)) that at the time 8GB was well more than enough where as in semi-recent memory 8GB ain’t nearly as plenty as it was back then as back in those days it was hard to use it all up where as nowadays, as browsers became more bloated, I can go over 8GB nowadays (even on Firefox which is more RAM friendly than Chrome the last I knew) since I leave my browser pretty much always running with many tabs which eats up quite a bit of RAM since it’s running for days/weeks at a time. but since I suspect most people won’t leave their browser running for days, or PC on all of the time, 8GB should still be plenty good enough for someone browsing websites and the like tasks as even if someone uses it up, it’s not something I suspect too many would do quickly. so it gives them some room to breathe (and a SSD here would basically help compensate for lack of RAM as even when I went from 8GB to 16GB of RAM last year on my main PC, while I can see that the system goes over 8GB of RAM here and there, I can’t say I notice any obvious performance difference in day-to-day usage between 8GB of RAM and 16GB of RAM).

        so given your “11 year old laptop immediately upgraded to 8GB of RAM” comment… at that time I am sure 8GB was mostly a waste of $ for many people (although offered a solid safety buffer over 4GB which was roughly the more typical max people had at the time off the top of my head), even though as time passed that ‘wasted $’ was no longer wasted and became noticeably more important. because I think nowadays, short of fairly light users, 8GB of RAM is probably what I would say is a recommended ‘minimum’ so one can comfortably use their PC for a while, but on my A8N32-SLI board (running Mint v20.1-Xfce (64bit only (they dropped 32bit OS after Mint v19 series)), it only supports 4GB of RAM (4x 1GB) MAX and to get the OS to see all 4GB of RAM you got to enable ‘memory hole’ in the BIOS options (i.e. CPU Configuration > Memory Setting > Memory Configuration > Hardware Memory Hole = ENABLED) otherwise the OS will only see 3GB max by default. but anyways, it seems like unless one has pretty much a bare minimum of 4GB, they ain’t going to do all that much on their PC without running out of RAM quickly, especially if you start getting into 2GB or less of RAM as after barely doing anything it can blow past that pretty quickly short of light/very light usage (but at least 2GB is just barely passable as 1GB is just too low as while it will technically work on Linux Mint for example, one will blow past that shortly after loading up their browser as just booting to desktop on Mint v20.1-Xfce (the least RAM hungry Mint version) is in the 653MB of RAM in use range after things settle down/stable out). but thankfully just about any computer still being used probably has a bare minimum of 2GB of RAM but many(maybe most people(?)) probably have at least 4GB of RAM as at 4GB of RAM you got a little room to breathe for general usage, especially I suspect if it’s paired with a SSD as it sort of makes that 4GB of RAM be less crippled and, given what you say, it makes me even more confident that just putting a SSD into that A8N32-SLI computer will probably make a rather solid all-around difference in speed.

        because while I am used to SSD on my main PC, and a regular 250GB HDD on that A8N32-SLI board does not seem too bad, I noticed if the HDD is already being accessed fairly decently by one program and you try to load something else, then you can REALLY see the difference between SSD and HDD which I sort of forgot about and took for granted when using my main PC which has a SSD. because you can basically see the system is crippled by the HDD at this point. but just booting up, which obviously takes noticeably longer on HDD vs SSD, I can deal with and initial loading of say the browser has some delay, but I can deal with it, but if you try to do anything that starts accessing the HDD a fair amount and then say load up the browser while that’s still being processed by the HDD, the already longer wait time increases noticeably as I noticed it fairly recently when I was running updates on Linux Mint and then tried to load the browser up at the same time. too slow at this point. but if you just load up the OS and run a browser, it’s tolerable if you don’t mind waiting a little bit.

        while I get one can use a Linux OS even lighter than Mint (Xfce), unless one has a very ancient computer, you can probably upgrade it to 2GB of RAM at the very least as I suspect if ones computer can’t be upgraded to at least 2GB of RAM, it’s probably got a CPU that’s ancient and not really usable anyways (since nowadays one probably needs a CPU that’s dual core at the very least as when you get into the single core range, it’s probably going to tax the CPU a bit too much in general and will either be pegged at 100% or probably not far from that standard off the top of my head(I know a computer I had in 2001(i.e. Athlon 1.2Ghz CPU), while it technically works on Mint (but only 32bit version which means after Mint v19 series expires(April 2023), that would be the end of Mint on it even if it did work okay), CPU usage is routinely at 100% and it’s just too slow outright as even a SSD could not save that). plus, I feel Linux Mint is one of the safer all-around choices for people coming from Windows to Linux so I personally would not really want to attempt to go to a ‘lighter’ Linux OS in a attempt to get Linux working on say 1GB of RAM. but really, a system having a minimum of 2GB of RAM is not asking much in general when many machines still in use probably have 4GB of RAM. so if one does not have a computer with at least 2GB of RAM, good luck as you probably ain’t going to be able to do much with it in today’s world 😉

        p.s. back in Jan 2019, which is when I revived that A8N32-SLI board since it was collecting dust since May 2012 when I retired it (it was my previous main PC until then), I got a hold of 4GB (4x 1GB) of RAM for it for only $11 used on Ebay (NOTE: back in May 2012, the cost of RAM upgrade was too much for that A8N32-SLI board so I said the heck with it and just swapped motherboard/CPU/RAM since it was not all that much more $ and gave me much better performance). so I went with it given it will keep that usable for probably years to come should I ever start using it a bit more on a regular basis. it’s DDR 400MHz CAS3 RAM but I currently am using it at I think a lower speed (seems I had to do that a bit so the 2.4GHz overclock is good otherwise it would attempt to overclock the RAM and then system would freeze/not work. when doing 2.4GHz the BIOS automatically lowered RAM speed enough for things to work but seems to have lowered it a bit further than it needs to) and a bit tighter timings as by default the BIOS seems to lower things a bit too much with 3-3-3-8 timings (even after RAM slowed down as those timings seem standard for when the RAM is running @ 400MHz and slower MHz generally means one can use tighter RAM timings) and RAM speed was likely a bit slower since it showed 266MHz on BIOS screen (although it might be a bit different(higher) from what I read due to overclocking CPU). but I manually tried 2.5-3-3-7 (which is apparently for 333MHz RAM, and from calculations I read online in relation to this board, assuming those are correct, I am likely faster than 333MHz but less than 400MHz (about 369MHz) given my current overclocking of the CPU settings. I used that what I think they call ‘ram divider’ of 166 so things would work as when I tried 183 it did not work since at that point it pushes a fair amount beyond 400MHz on RAM. but if what I read online is roughly correct in relation to this A8N32-SLI board, when I am using that 166 divider the real RAM speed currently on my system should be about 369MHz) and so far all seems good on Memtest86+ and Prime95. so it’s CAS 2.5 which is a touch better than it’s stock CAS 3. either way, it appears RAM speed is not all that important anyways since from what I read the CPU is the biggest improvement from overclocking. but I just tried to squeeze a little extra from the RAM for good measure 😉

        Reply
        • I thought about what you said that maxing out my RAM was a waste of $. Actually, it’s just spending the same money a couple of years earlier. 😉

          Of course, the memory purchased two or three years later might have been a tiny bit faster and cheaper, but that’s not very significant, especially if you use an SSD.

          Reply
          • Well at that time it was mostly a waste. but as time passed, your ‘wasted money’ was no longer wasted since browsers can blow past 4GB of RAM, especially if you leave it running for days or have quite a few tabs open and the like. so with a SSD, having 8GB of RAM might not be ‘critical’ for general usage, it’s probably still not a bad idea to have it since it would cut back on swap file usage a fair amount as with 8GB of RAM one has a little more room to breathe vs 4GB, which I would assume swap file usage will increase noticeably, which while the SSD will probably handle well enough, it might shorten it’s life. but like I was saying even doing 40GB every single day of writes, it will likely last at least 10+ years (assuming it only dies from writing data to it).

            but back around 10 years ago(as your 8GB of RAM was 11 years ago and mine was 9 years etc), off the top of my head, SSD’s were not really good, nor all that affordable. because when I got my SSD in May 2015, I think that was roughly around the time you could get a good SSD, with ample storage space, for a reasonable price. I paid $120 for my Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD in May 2015 as short of a more light users, I tend to see 250GB or so as a minimum that’s worth buying for anyone who plans to use their computer. although those 120-128GB range SSD’s can be okay for light users though. but SSD’s any smaller than 120GB, I just straight up avoid (and their quality I suspect is a bit more suspect to etc).

            but yeah, I think if I ever had to use my A8N32-SLI as my primary PC (like if my main i5-3550 ever dies), a SSD will probably keep it ‘good enough’ for general usage, especially considering it’s age.

  15. I’m dual booting Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and Q4OS Linux on my 2011 PC. After doing a lot of reading about the various Linux distros, I first tried Ubuntu from a Live CD several years ago. I didn’t much care for it and gave up at the time. A few months ago I decided to try again, this time trying Zorin OS and Q4OS. I opted to go with Q4OS because of so many positive reviews and because it can be installed within Windows just like any other application! It was extremely simple to do with the most “difficult” thing being how much space I wanted to give to Linux. There are 3 choices in deciding how much you want to install, from bare bones to “complete with most common applications.” I chose complete and about 20-minutes later I was up and running. It even detected and configured my Brother printer, something some distros apparently have trouble with. There are a lot of built-in tweaks to choose from and I have something that very closely resembles Windows 7.

    The downsides are that there are some Windows apps that don’t have an equivalent in Linux (or that I’ve found), and some apps require using the Terminal and command line instruction to work. Although it has an update manager, some apps don’t actually update — they just download a package and you have to take it from there. (More commands in the terminal.)

    There are a couple of ways to use “some” Windows apps in Linux, but not all. That’s one of the main reasons I’m still using Windows 7. Also for some reason, I can’t always navigate to files created or saved in Windows to open in Linux. That’s very frustrating!

    Reply
  16. If you want to run a Linux OS from within Windows, VirtualBox should be a decent option. or better yet, depending on what you do, you can run Linux primarily and run say Win7/Win10 through VirtualBox. but I would suggest having ‘at least’ 8GB of RAM if your going to run a VirtualBox as with 8GB of RAM I would probably use 2GB of RAM (maybe 4GB tops) for the virtual machine.

    but I think to use VirtualBox etc you need a CPU that supports ‘virtualization technology’ which if your computer is fairly old, it might not support it. my old A8N32-SLI board, which I bought in March 2006(which appears to be 2005 tech), does not support it. but my main PC’s motherboard (ASUS P8H61-M LX Plus), which I bought in May 2012, does support virtualization technology. but I think it’s disabled by default in the BIOS but it’s easy enough to enable and then VirtualBox works fine. so being your PC is from 2011, there is a reasonable chance it supports virtualization technology.

    but in terms of interface… if your used to Windows 7 and the like, Linux Mint is a good alternative to that as I am confident it’s one of the better all-around choices for someone coming from Windows to Linux. I suggest either the Cinnamon(their most popular DE(desktop environment)) or Xfce (their lightest on resources DE). but I don’t have any experience with it when it comes to printers as while I do have a printer, I never tried to use it on my Linux Mint machine (hell, I have not used it in many years now).

    as for Windows apps, while it won’t work on all of them, it should work on a fair amount at least, which is… WINE. that’s how I run my preferred music playback program and music conversion program of choice on my Linux Mint machine, which is… Foobar2000. it’s the primary reason why I have WINE installed for day-to-day usage (although I do play a video game occasionally which it helps with that to paired with Lutris).

    also, depending on your hardware… it should still be possible for you to upgrade to Windows 10 from your Windows 7 machine, which is completely free, using the ‘Media Creation Tool’ from Microsoft… https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows10 ; once you upgrade, confirm Win10 is activated, then you can use the ISO (which you can also download from that Media Creation Tool), which you can create a bootable USB stick (I suggest using ‘Rufus’ if your using Windows or ‘Ventoy’ if your on Linux), to wipe your hard drive and reinstall Win10 from scratch and then your all good as Win10 should be supported til Oct 2025. one last thing… in case you did not know, Microsoft no longer supports Win7 with security updates as of Jan 2020. so it’s probably not a good idea to use it online.

    just some thoughts as I figure even if your not a fan of the Linux stuff, there is a good chance your computer can probably run Win10 through the free upgrade I mentioned above since you said it’s from the year 2011 as I figure if ones computer is from the 2010’s (or newer) there is a good chance it will work on Windows 10.

    Reply
  17. Hello, Leo. I hope you see this question and comment. At what point should we change computers when chipsets are no longer supported? Is there a way we can avoid this situation in the future so we don’t need to change mother boards of CPUs in future purchases? I have a Dell computer bought in 2015 with I7 CPU (gen 1) and 16GB. The chipset is no longer supported by Dell.

    Reply

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