I recently came across an old Gateway Performance 1400 that needed fixing. Generally a PC this old is to be considered “Scrap” and usually I advise the client that it’s time for the dreaded replacement. Then comes the painful process of moving of data, apps, and all of the other nightmarish stuff that comes to the small business owner requiring a computer upgrade.
But this computer was just a bit different, as are many other RDRAM based Pentium 4 computers with a 400mhz Front Side Bus. It came with Windows ME installed originally back in 2000. Over the years the owner upgraded to Windows 2000, and recently upgraded the OS to Windows XP.
Now keep in mind that this box only had 128mb of ram … and XP actually ran on it. It was slow with that 128mb of ram, but still usable for most business tasks. But one particular app was having problems due to the low amount of RAM available to it.
I started pricing a pair of 512 sticks of PC800 RDRAM for it, but the retail price from the bigger internet stores for that type of RDRAM was around four hundred dollars at the time. Since I could buy a cheap Budget business PC with DDR2 ram for a couple of hundred bucks more, it wouldn’t have been worth the upgrade for my client. Thats where ebay comes in.
I found the same 1gb kit on ebay for under two hundred dollars and that included shipping and postal insurance. The seller’s store is “Rambus RDRAM Depot ” and they offer a really great way to get some extra life out of those old RDRAM machines. I also added a salvaged secondary 40 gig hard disk from the junk pile (to help speed up swap-file in-out) and the machine is now as fast if not faster than most new budget priced business PCs but at less than half the cost of buying new and with no included data migration pain.
Here is a list of the RDRAM machines that are salvageable with this simple upgrade:
Deskpro EN Rambus ;
EXS Desktop, EXS P IV;
Presario 7000T, 7120US, 7126CL;
Workstation 300, AP240, AP250, AP550, SP750;
Evo Workstation W6000, W8000.
Dimension 8250, 8100, 8200 (both 400FSB and 533MHz FSB);
Dimension XPS B533R, B600R, B667R, B733R, B800R , B866, B866R, B933, B933R, B1000, B1000R, B1130, B1.13R;
OptiPlex GX200, GX300, GX400;
Precision 667, 733, 800, 866, 933;
Precision Online Trading Workstation;
Precision Workstation 220, 330, 340(both 400FSB and 533MHz FSB), 350((both 400FSB and 533MHz FSB), 420, 530, 620.
GATEWAY 700C, 700L, 700L2, 700S, 700SE, 700X, 700XL.
Performance 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 2000;
E Desktop Series E4400, 4400SE, 4600SE, 4600XL, 4650, 4650 Deluxe, 6000 Deluxe, 6000L
Professional S 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600 ,1700.
Pavilion 1G; 7960, 7970, 9795, 9720;
HP Workstation X1100, X2000, X2100, X4000;
Kayak X2000, X4000, XM600, XU700, XU800
NetVista A60i 6832, A60 6833;
Intellistation M Pro 6229, 6849, 6850, 6866, 6868;
Intellistation Z Pro 6866.
Vaio PCV-RX66, RX76, RX370, RX380, RX370DS, PCV-RX380DS, RX462, RX462DS, RX463DS
Vaio PCV-RX465DS, RX470DS, RX480DS, RX490TV, PCV-RX500E, RX600E, RX600N, RX790C, RX790G
Thanks to Rambus RDRAM Depot for the above table. (as well as for the excellent deal)
So if you have one of these PC800 RAMBUS RAM machines, or you find one in the bargain bin of your local computer superstore (I see the IBM boxes at Microcenter now and then) bump up the RAM to a gig or two, add a second Disk, and cheaply get another two or three years of life out of equipment you would otherwise retire.
Just a quick disclaimer, We here at PoliTech have no affiliation with the vendor links posted above, We’re simply happy customers, and think the Rambus-RDRAM-Depot folks are still offering some really good deals on RAM that is getting harder and harder to find.
A quick update: This is an old post but I just wanted to mention that Windows 7 32 bit is running fine on that old Gateway.