I Bought This PC For $750 in 1999. Here’s How It Holds Up In 2017.


I Bought this PC For $750 in 1999. I used it for 4 years until 2003. Here’s How It Holds Up In 2017. If you’re around my age, you may remember
the late 1990s, a golden age in consumer computing. This was an exciting time where Moore’s
law meant more than just double the number of transistors on a chip, it physically translated
to double the clock speeds on processors. This meant that computers back then became
exponentially difficult to use without upgrades, every 18 months. And the dramatic decrease in price from each
iteration would mean you had little time to make your investment in a computer worth it. This Micron Electronics Millennia P200 Plus
had a 200 MHz Pentium processor, 64 MB of RAM and 4 GB hard drive for $4249 in 1996. 3 years later in 1999 a similarly specced
PC, with a faster 350 MHz processor, lesser 32 MB of RAM, and also a 4GB hard drive went
for $750, literally 1/5, or 20% the price of 3 years prior. In my memory, this was one of the most exciting
times to be a computer enthusiast, but a bad time to be a teenage kid who couldn’t afford
new things every couple months. This Hewlett Packard Pavilion 4530 was THE
computer I rode out the 1990’s with. Bought on June 20, 1999, it was complete with
an AMD K6-2 processor running at 350 MHz, 32 MB of RAM, a 4GB hard drive, and SiS integrated
graphics, which shared 8 MB of system RAM to render the display. This would be the main workhorse of some of
my teenage years. Even already at the time, this was a low-end
machine. The HP Pavilion line featured 4000, 6000 and
8000 models. Ones starting with a 4 were the low budget
end and models beginning with an 8 were the highest end. There was a difference in size of the towers
in the higher end models. The front of this PC features a simple design,
but unfortunately the floppy drive is built in to the case. There is a 32x CD ROM drive, no CD-R or CD-RW
capability, and the door underneath exposes a 3.5” bay. Awkward, as you’d maybe hope you could fit
another CD-drive underneath, but nope. On the back of this computer, maybe only half
of the connections appear in today’s machines.. Aside from the Ethernet port, 3-pronged power,
sound module, and MAYBE the PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard, you wouldn’t be caught
dead with USB 1.1, Serial, Parallel, VGA, telephone jack, and DA-15 game port that was
used for Joysticks and game controllers. The internals of this computer are really
cramped when compared to today. I understand this is a minitower, but this
case stands at 12.5” tall, quite a difference from the 23” of the HAF 932 in a PC I built
in 2010, it’s the most snug fit you can have for this ATX motherboard. The main hard drive was mounted on the front
this way. It’s an ok use of space, I guess. When you look at this configuration, you’ll
see that only the expansion slots are easily accessible without removing the 100W power
supply. In the expansion slots, you would only be
able to find these PCI slots and 1 ISA slot. PCI, not PCI-express. These slots have a maximum data rate of 133
MB / sec, which is about the average transfer speed of these USB 3.0 hard drives. The cutting edge for graphics cards at this
time was the Advanced Graphics Port, which had 1, 2, 4 and 8x variations, but since this
is a low end PC, that slot is absent. When we remove the 100 W power supply, we
find the hilariously small cooler master CPU cooler, 3 slots for RAM. The CPU is the AMD K6-2 running at 350 MHz
and in AMD’s Socket 7. Released in May 1998, it was supposed to be
the lower cost competitor to Intel’s Pentium 2. On a 250 nm process (which is 18x larger than
2017’s Kaby Lake processors), we had a CPU that quickly became budget grade to compete
with Intel’s Celeron processors. Wasn’t a fair comparison in my opinion,
but fortunately for AMD, the K6-2 was a commercial success and helped lead the way for the Athlon
line of processors, which were the first to hit 1 GHz, literally 8 months after I bought
this PC. In February 2000. One of the perks of this processor was the
use of PC100 SDRAM, meaning it ran at 100 MHz. I upgraded the base from 32 MB to 192 MB back
in 2001. Oddly, but maybe not that surprising, there
isn’t much else to the internals of this PC. It’s pretty boring really. Maybe one thing of interest is in this side
panel that swings out. When we turn on the computer, that pristine
vacuum cleaner-like sound immediately fills the room. Computers were notorious for being loud in
the 1990s. If you didn’t like it, too bad. At the familiar old Windows 98 loading screen,
we have the fantastic sound of nostalgia… And one of my favorite songs ever, the soundcheck
for the HP system. Aside from all the quirks of Windows 98 that
makes this distinctly 1990’s computing, including the sounds, themes, screensavers,
16-bit color, 800×600 resolution, there’s quite a few barriers in this system that completely
isolate it from today’s real computing environment. Most of these have to do with things we take
for granted today. One of the biggest barriers is the notion
of drivers. In today’s world, we can plug in a USB device
and expect it to function within a few seconds. Whether it’s an audio interface or a USB
Hard drive, we don’t need to install anything, it just works, it’s native to the OS. That isn’t the case in Windows 98. Anything that’s plugged in must go through
a wizard and needs to have drivers installed, maybe from CD, maybe from Floppy Disk, or
maybe through Windows Update. But you need to have it installed to work. This is a problem when the ethernet port on
the back of this computer is through an expansion card that I lost the driver CD to years ago. Luckily for me though, the drivers are still
installed on this PC, so i can access internet through this ethernet port. Which comes to the second problem. In Windows 98, you must configure internet
before the computer knows to access it through the ethernet card… But, the worst problem here is the fact that
there are very few websites today that work in Internet Explorer 6. That’s right, IE 6. And aside from MSN and Bing, literally no
other site loads. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google. Even when I try to look for Firefox, it says
my computer specs are below the minimum So… I could install Windows XP on this machine,
it does fit the minimum specs. But there’s something unique I can use this
PC for. For anyone who runs games released before
year 2000, you’ll find that it’s hard to get some of them working on modern hardware. There is a preliminary solution for that in
GoG.com, but for games like this Evolva (on GOG), Hexen II, Virtua Fighter II, or one
of my personal favorites, an old indie game named Stick Fighters Brawl II by Kevin Reems. The game didn’t even really have proper
sound, but written in QBasic, you’d need emulation to run it on modern hardware, whereas
it runs like a dream on this machine. There’s a certain feel to these games when
run on older hardware. The experience is exactly as I remember it
back then. It’s just not the same on modern hardware,
even though it is much faster with way more perks, like larger resolutions, ultra wide
monitor support, minimal input lag, the ability to handle large battles. Sometimes getting games on this PC is kind
of a pain. For Stick Fighters Brawl II, because this
PC cannot access Archive.org where the game is hosted now, I literally had to transfer
the hard drive to my main Desktop and load the game files there manually. I could have used a CD-R, but I don’t have
any with me, and the main computer no longer has a CD drive. Also, with older CD ROM drives, they aren’t
always guaranteed to read CD-R disks. I remember this one having trouble with it. Also, modern computers can’t access this
PC via network. Perhaps I haven’t read up too much on it,
but honestly, I don’t think I really want this thing connected to anything. I’m not too bothered that I can’t really
browse the internet on this machine— I have more machines that can than I know what to
do with. But, I only have 1 machine to natively play
these kinds of games. So, it’s been 18 years since I bought this
computer. It has followed me through 7 different moves
to 4 major cities. Fun fact: your skin turns over every 27 days. It’s been more than 6500 days since I first bought this computer So my skin has turned over 245 times since My outward physical appearance is literally different, 245 times since I bought this computer. No matter the changes in me as a person, this
will always be my PC, from 1999. Thanks so much for watching. Have a great week. And I’ll see you next week. Adios amigos.

100 thoughts on “I Bought This PC For $750 in 1999. Here’s How It Holds Up In 2017.

  1. Hi everyone! I've always thought of putting a PCI graphics card in this computer. Maybe TNT2? If you have any suggestions, I'd like to hear them! Happy weekend!

  2. Those 2k dollars prehistoric pc is so rip off of your money that made them greedy companies billionaires today. Amazing how capitalism works.. It's all about one thing: Greed.

  3. That is so cool, I still have my first pc as well, I could only get an emachines 210 in 2003. It was garbage but did the job! Had a celeron 2.3ghz, 256mb ram and an 80gb HDD the graphics was…. Intel Extreme-ly slow agp 3D 😂
    but it was amazing for me because it's price of £500 about $700. It literally broke every year for about 6 years and I guess you get what you get with that low of a price!

  4. 2:36 I had this very HP Pavillion, exactly that one!!. And I used it until 2012!!!. I feel bad for throwing it to the trash. Should have kept it.

  5. You could also install GNU/Linux. You will have drivers already in OS and newest software will work (if it is not too heavy). Not to mention security will be up to date.

  6. I had an Amd Duron 750 mhz with 1 gb of Ram back then, i used it until 2005 i think and i learned everything i need to know about computers and pc gaming. Awesome times

  7. Eek! Taskbar on the top of the desktop. That always messed me up back in the day when people wanted me to fix something. Like… Why?

  8. And this is why I built my own PC so I could just upgrade the required components as and when I needed.

    EDIT: I still have RAM from 7 years ago in my PC, and that RAM was in the same PC case I started off with 15 years ago.
    I get a new case tomorrow, my PC is just going to migrate to its new shell, like a hermit crab 😀

  9. where are you plugging ide ribbon cable into on your new pc. current or even semi old pc's do not have an ide socket.

  10. The pre-Athlon CPUs from AMD had poor floating point peformance making them poor for gaming, even Celerons were better IIRC. Budget CPU was accurate.

    I had a similar K6-2 CPU overclocked to 400mhz but with a vodoo 3dfx gfx card followed by a TNT2 gfx card and it still strugled with 3D games and was unstable. In year 2000 I upgraded to Athlon 600 which was a beast at the time, more memory and more hard drive space. I evetually swapped out the tnt2 for a geforce 4 mx before retiring the system.

    Still got it in my garage but im working on resurecting my intel core 2 duo, geforce 8800 gts, win Xp machine from 2006.

  11. i wonder if something like that would even be powerful enough to run most linux distrobutions now days LOL
    and linux is a fairly light system compared to the bloatware this is windows.

  12. And here I am in 2019 building my first desktop computer with a 6-core processor, 16 GB of DDR4 3000 MHz memory, 1 TB of storage, and an HD 1080p resolution monitor. All for around $850. It’s amazing how fast computer technology progresses.

  13. When I was studying in ckmnss, we used to play dangerous Dave, dangerous Dave 2 and crorepathi during our computer period.Oh the nostalgia.

  14. Watching this video reminded me of when my parents bought me my first PC back in 1998 which was a Packard Bell PB 9400, it came with a Pentium 2 450 MHz CPU, 64MB RAM, 4.3GB Hard drive, DVD-ROM drive, 3 1/2 floppy drive, onboard 8MB ATI Rage Pro graphics, onboard sound and it came with Windows 98 Second Edition.

    I loved using that PC and ran it for about 5 years until it could no longer run the stuff that I wanted it to and started to build my own PC's from that point on, even though it doesn't get much use now I have done various upgrades to it over the years such as adding a CD-RW drive, upgraded the RAM from 64MB to a max of 512MB, installed a pair of 12MB Diamond Monster 3D 2 Voodoo cards in SLI for gaming, replaced the original hard drive for a 20GB Maxtor, added a second 10GB hard drive for extra storage and added some case fans even though they aren't really needed for it I still like to have them.

    One thing that I did find funny when I went to college in the early 2000s is that the computers at college were made by RM (YUCK!) and came with 1 GHz Pentium 3 CPU's, 1GB RAM yet they ran like absolute crap, I'm sure I spent more time dealing with crashes and waiting for the computers to do stuff than I did actually working!

  15. My first pc in 1998 was a pentium 3 350 Mhz .. 64MB ram and 4GB hdd .. 14' View Sonic CRT .. I bought this pc to play Carmageddon if any one knows the game ..

  16. Oh god, I hated those SIS integrated graphics machines… I suffered one as well and ended up just using a PCI Voodoo 3 card and never looked at onboard graphics ever again.

  17. I still have my old IBM from the same era. But I scavenge it for part so I doubt it works today.
    I've been a Linux user for decades so this also reminds me of when I used to use Windows. XP was my last Windows. I still have computers with Windows laying around but I use Linux 99% of the time.
    These days upgrading PC is less fun because performance increase is so small. Same thing is happening to phones now.

  18. Damn $2549. Right now if we used that much money to buy pc parts, we can get a high end gaming rigs.

  19. Put my Linux distro SlimPup on it, it'll run fast as hell.

    Also, wow. Chiptunes and technology. Chubbyemu, you're well-rounded.

  20. Oh my God, that one with a 13 GB hard drive 😂
    I know some games that use 15-20 GB just by themselves.

  21. I don’t know how you build a computer with all those ugly colors, if I built a computer like that I would be to stressed.

  22. A man breathed.
    This is how his arteries got blocked, his heart stopped working and his brain exploded to turn into a black hole and engulf the Earth.

  23. This is great! I had an old Compaq AMD K6-2 475 that I overclocked to 560 by changing some (fsb) pin selectors on the motherboard. I also rounded the IDE cables, installed a window-modded DVD drive, and LED fans. Don't remember what graphics card I had installed though. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  24. Wow, I don't have any of my childhood desktops anymore. I only use laptops. I'm against purchasing desktops. It's just not worth it.

  25. In 2019, in Asia , Gigabyte has H310 motherboards with Serial and Parallel ports but I think it’s in other countries

  26. How come a gaming channel and a gamer become a scientific channel and a doctor?? You should make a video about it.

  27. Here's how this video would normally go. "PC was a 19 yr. old computer presenting to the emergency room with hyperhemaemia. Hyper meaning high, hema referring heme, part of the molecule Hemaglobin which transports oxygen in humans, or in this case referring to iron, and emia meaning presence in blood. High iron presence in blood. At presentation his blood iron levels are over 200x the upper limit of normal. This means severe hard drive damage, but not only that, but the filter capacitors are failing. They should catch any excess iron, but they aren't. Without immediate treatment, iron will build up all around the body, causing a short, damaging both the PSU and the traces. …"

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