Facebook was a year old. YouTube had just been launched. The iPhone- say what? Netflix was a video rental company.
I had just retired. My wife was still working. We had not yet moved to our new digs near Ottawa.
My daughter was a newlywed. No grandkids in the picture. They lived in an apartment in downtown Ottawa. But their old Dell Dimension 4100 was giving them problems.
So they splurged and bought a top of the line Dell Dimension 8400 system. That is the one they have handed over to me today. It was leading edge back in 2005 - so what does it look like in 2017?
- The Case - a tank. Built in Texas, the desktop features one of those Dell clamshell tool free cases. To open it you lay it on its side push a button on the top and bottom and pry it open. It is a ton of plastic and steel and it doesn't quite close the way it should now. It weighs about 25 lbs and is bulky to boot.
- Processor - from the golden age of 32 bits an Intel P4 540. Hyperthreaded, fast and hot, Hot, HOT.
- Cooling - aside from the CPU and power supply fans not much. The video card has a small fan too. The CPU fan sounds like a 707 taking off when it boots and doesn't quiet down much.
- Motherboard - pretty decent even today - features SATA 1 and PCIe 16. Peripherals are mostly discrete though.
- Power supply - 400 watt Dell proprietary design. Does the job but don't expect to put a GTX 1080 in the box.
- Storage - 160 GB 7200 mechanical drive on SATA, CD-RW and DVD-RW on IDE.
- RAM - DDR2 - came with 1 GB now has 3 GB.
- Audio - Sound Blaster Audigy discrete. Remember those?
- Video - Radeon X300SE - PCIe and 128 MB of VRAM (Wowee!)
- Speakers - nice Dell 2:1 system.
- Keyboard and mouse - USB cable.
- Ethernet - 10/100 - totally obsolete so I put in a Gigabit PCI card for them.
- Wifi - you're kidding, right? There's plenty of USB 2.0 ports for a dongle though.
- O/S - Windows XP which is totally dead today. Maybe you could get this beast to run Windows 7 but it would be like a netbook. Linux is your friend with a lightweight distro like MX-16.