Is this PC worth Donating for a Good Cause

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When I first started out with computers a decade ago, I remember talking with a friend about the components that made up a PC on a piece of paper, and he didn’t have a clue what the hell I was talking about, I remember thinking that Memory was the storage but found out shortly after that it had noting to do with HDD, it was funny.

The mount of information was inhaled over the last decade involving computers are just insane, there’s nights where my head would just run with all the stuff I did over the years causing me not to sleep, personally I envy the programers and developers, how do you sleep at night? Nonetheless it was kinda cool to do something for a good cause, sure they may not learn how to program HTML or develop the next indie title, but they surly should have no problem talking with other people around them.

So when the girlfriend came home after work a few days ago with a Mico-ATX computer, the first words that came out my mouth was, I’m not even looking at it. When she told me it was for a donation for people with head injuries and they were loading a program called Dragon Naturally Speaking to help them communicate everything was fine.

Here’s what was said in the e-mail with a quote:

“I’ve heard from a man in the city who provides computers to kids with head injuries. The computers are loaded with a program called Dragon Naturally Speaking to help them communicate. They have a request for 167 computers for Christmas. So far they have about 50. This is done in partnership with Community Services, so it is for income assisted families. If you have a computer you would like to unload, you can contact this man and he will take it off your hands, and rebuild for this project. They do have a surplus of monitors (graciously donated by CBC) so even just a tower would be appreciated.”

So here is what I did for a good cause, restored it back to Manufacture defaults obviously, something that should be done before donating anything, uninstalled the crap ware, Google Toolbar, Google Desktop search, Java update 5, Norton Internet Security and updated the graphics drivers followed by installing SP2 and running a few commands to clean out the junk folders etc. With it all been cleaned up why not benchmark it and see what kinda instructions per clock (instruction per cycle or IPC) is one aspect of a processor’s performance, the computer is about five years old.

Not going to load it with all the benchmarks that was used in this years dream machine, just one since it’s running Windows Vista Home Basic it’ll be Futuremark’s PCMark Vantage. It’s made with Vista support out of the box so it kinda makes sense. Downside of it all is that it’s Home Basic, that means there well no TV and Movies Suite selected as it reports on Futuremark website:

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No big deal as I’ll be running it with default settings at 1024×768 with a Dell screen that supports 1280×1024 resolution with 4:3 Aspect Ratio, at least this way we know the overall benchmark score ant going to look like the PC came from 2004 loaded with a Pentium 4 Processor, 256MB of RAM, 80GB HDD and AGP 128GB graphics card, ha the old days.

eMachines EL1300 Rundown:
  • Processor: AMD Athlon 2650e (Single core)
  • Memory: 2GB PC25300 667Mhz Dual-Channel
  • Chipset: NVIDIA 430
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE
  • Storage: Seagate 320GB (HDD)
  • Optical Drive: DVD-Super Multi drive with LabelFlash
  • External Storage: Multi-in-one Digital Media Manager
  • OS: Windows Vista Home Basic (32-bit)

With this kinda of hardware there should be no problem running Dragon Naturally Speaking, but then again if it’s anything like Microsoft Speech program include with their operation system, it could run a little slow. When first trying Microsoft speech program I was running a E8400 processor clocked at 3.00GHz running on a P45 Chipset, this is single core can’t see this chip smoking a Dual Core E8400 Central Processing Unit (CPU).

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Has you can see it’s not going to win any rewards for the year or the Dream Machine you been dying to build, but yeah somethings are better then noting, especially when it free. I’m just glad that this computer is going to be used for something good and not end up in a scrap yard, it’s the kinda of machine you see in stores behind the cash registers or in a small office environment. Overall it should manage to run a single program, that’s of course your not loading it with crap ware or running some form of internet security because that’s where you going to see the performance of the machine hitting up against the wall.

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There was one point where I thought there was something wrong with the computer and ran the benchmark for the second time. Apparently it’s the computer, yes the computer, I couldn’t believe it and ran the benchmark on the Dream Machine 2014 to make sure, something that wasn’t planed. Then started to view the 3DMark Vantage (Performance) Hall of Fame to only to discover that the computer was worst then ever.

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The PCMark Score for Dream Machine 2014 was 27602 and for the eMachines 1537 no where near the computer you would have laying around in your home for something else like a test subject. There’s Scores double the digits on the Hall of Fame and number one in the Top ten is from Gunslinger with a Score 102545 . After seen these numbers, and waiting so long for the benchmark to finish, I was better off benchmarking a Calculator. Seriously though it’s that bad, again I really hope this computer can run Dragon Naturally Speaking and not feel like it’s running off a Pentium 4.

Nevertheless it was fun messing around with the computer and writing about it, plus playing around with Corel Quattro Pro X6 Carts. I just hope that the person that receives it for Christmas actually uses it and that someone as the knowledge to keep it running fairly decent, but were talking about Windows Vista here so anything is possible with this operation system. Merry Christmas!


This Article/Post can be paranoidly updated on the account of OCD. Check it once, Check it again, make sure you have it right, because it’ll Never End!