Refurbishing your Linux box ...

So I just had a box that started throwing both memory errors and disk errors (SSD) so I decided to try something new. The box dates back to 2011, an ASUS ATX motherboard, Phenom II 4-core 3GHz CPU and 8G RAM with a 30 quid NVidia fanless graphics card. Nothing special, but a nice quiet workstation.

In an attempt to replace that, for the first time in 9 years I bought a new CPU and motherboard.
Just for reference, this combination worked first time for me;

  • ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming ATX Motherboard, AMD Socket AM4, Ryzen 3000 Ready (£109)
    • AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler (£109)
    • Corsair CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 Vengeance LPX 16 GB (£75)
    • Kingston A400 SSD SA400M8/120G - Internal Solid State Drive M.2 (£28)

(Total of £321)

Thus far very happy, the M2 unbuffered is doing between 500M and 1G/sec, CPU has 12 (yes 12!) cores. I was a little worried I’d “get the wrong stuff” after not buying kit for a while, but this lot seemed happy on the first pass … not seeing any incompatibilities. Thrown a bit by the lack of PATA interface so I had to swap the DVD for a unit with a USB interface, but apart from that … 2W sleep and ~ 55W idle with a 3-disk RAID added.

I’ve a few more boxes to do over the coming months (well a few more boxes the same age), if anyone has any alternative working combinations I’d be interesting in comparing notes … :slight_smile:

My 2005 home-built desktop died just before Christmas leaving me relying on a 2003 laptop, so I bought a new desktop ready-made from CCL. A considerable contrast:
Gigabyte A320M-S2H motherboard
AMD A6-9500, 2 cores and Radeon R5 internal graphics
4 GB DDR4 RAM, manufacturer unknown
PNY CS900 120 GB SSD
But since I don’t use it for videos, music, or games, it works just fine and cost less than £250 including delivery!

It had been a long while since I had been connecting my desktop to the www, I mostly used it for isolated data management as it still ran my highly modified version of Windows 98 SE. I discovered peppermintONE made my aging 2005 Toshiba F25-AV205 run faster than when it was new, way back in 2010. I began formulating a plan to upgrade the old desktop box too. Finally scrounged up the dough in 2016 after the old laptop made it clear it was on it’s last legs.

Now my old Antec Aria box sports:

  • ASRock H270M pro4 motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-7700 Quad Core
  • Crucial 32 GB DDR4-2133
  • Samsung 960 Evo 250GBNCMe SSD

Along with the three elder platter drives still running from prior computers, I have a total of 2.5 TB of internal storage.

Hello Mad Penguin,

Interesting post. I’m in a similar situation. Old motherboard/processor in a home built desktop now dying on it’s @rse.

I too am worried about buying the wrong stuff.

Which distro did you install? My preference is Xubuntu…



Just a thought, Spence.

That’s a lot of eggs in one basket.

I’ve had 2 or 3 branded PSUs and 4 or 5 branded HDDs die on me over the years. A PSU can take all your disks out if it fails. Fortunately I am fairly good about backups.

These days I stick to “one disk, one PSU” which means my data lives on external drives. It’s inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as seeing 2.5 terrabytes of data disappear…