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Should I upgrade my server?


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What benefits would I see if I upgraded my server hardware?

I took an old windows pc out of the office's recycle bin. The hardware was OLD!

Dell Optix GX 260

  • Intel® Pentium® 4
  • Level 1 (L1) cache 8 KB
  • 512 MB RAM
  • ~100 GB PSATA HDD

I installed Ubuntu Server 12.x (32bit)

It's been workin great for 1 year+

I host a corporate wiki on it, a CRM software. I am adding a ticketing program.

It runs so great, I don't mess with it too much.

Does this old hardware that idles mostly 24/7 consume lots of power?

Would switching to 64-bit hardware make more software available?

The $600 server is a nice price. But I could spend that on desktop hardware upgrades. New SSD. Videocard. etc.

Hak5 keep inspiring. The linux server build was one the biggest eye-openers I've ever had. The possibilities are endless.

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A few points to make...

Any machine can be upgraded to become more ultimate in one way or another. The question FIRST should be just what you want to do with it. I mean, you could overclock the bejezus out of it after filling it with liquid nitrogen. Wouldn't cost _that_ much but unless you're into that there really isn't any point in doing so. Once you know what you want to do with it, find out which part(s) of the system are hampering it in achieving that goal. For example, you're talking about server programs running on it, and you want to upgrade the video card. How does a ticketing program benefit from a good video card? You say it idles mostly. If that's the case why upgrade anything at all? It's spending more time waiting for you than you are waiting for it.

Does it consume a lot of power? I'm sure that, relatively, it most certainly does. But, again, $600 buys a lot of juice. You can probably even factor in the airco needed to get the produced heat out. Don't forget that you can tune the machine to use less power too, but those P4's are notorious floor heaters.

Does 64-bit hardware (i.e. CPU - the rest of the machine doesn't give a shit either way) make more software available? No. And since you're running Linux, HELL NO. What it does is allow your software to address more than 2GB of memory which only very little software actually does (in real life, mostly java-based application servers and such). And since you don't have more than 4GB of physical RAM, I'd say you have nothing to worry about on that side of the equation either.

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