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What is the basic spec of a 5 yr old business workstation?

Posted on 2004-10-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi Experts

Could someone reach back into their memory and give me an idea of the basic spec (CPU speed, memory will do) of a typical business PC bought  4 to 5 years ago? I am trying to get a feel for the worst case environment for a piece of software.

Thanks.
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Question by:metalaureate
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 12328221
A Pentium III 500 cpu was introduced around that time, and 256MB PC100 RAM was probably considered a lot of memory.
Socket370 BX motherboards were commonplace.  http://www17.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030217/cpu_charts-09.html
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Notorious-Biggles earned 200 total points
ID: 12328225
I'd say for a 5 year old business machine you would be looking at:

400 MHz
64 MB RAM
8 GB HDD
Onboard graphics (for office type work, CAD etc would have proper graphics)
NT4 in large organizations, Windows 98 in small offices.
NIC

Cyrix were fairly popular in business machines due to being fairly cheap, although obviously Intel chips will dominate. Cheap machines may have had even less RAM, but 64 MB is probably going to be the norm. 128 MB was overkill for an office machine then. Most machines had 6 or 8 GB hard drives from 1998, so expect that much space.
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by:kpaske
kpaske earned 200 total points
ID: 12328229
According to E. Garrison Walters in the textbook "The Essential Guide to Computing" written in 1999, the top of the line CPU at that time was the 700 MHz Pentium III.  What was typical back then is really anyone's guess.  I've got two PII-350's that are still going strong (one with 256MB running WinXP, the other with 128MB running Linux).  One is a file and print server and the other is a web server, but either one could easily work as a "business pc" to run office applications.  So if you want to know the worst case scenario for what someone could still be running today?  You better go at least a notch or two below the PII-350 with 128MB.  Hope that helps.
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Author Comment

by:metalaureate
ID: 12328251
You have all been wonderfully helpful, thank you.
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Expert Comment

by:jarich
ID: 12328260
What software are you trying to run? Maybe one of us can help you decide what you need to run it.
Jerry
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Author Comment

by:metalaureate
ID: 12328266
Some I wrote!
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Expert Comment

by:jarich
ID: 12328320
Maybe you could also get some help from the Programing experts. I know it is harder to know just the right question to ask there though.
Good Luck,
Jerry
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Expert Comment

by:jtbrown22
ID: 12342099
I would have to say 5 years old you are probably looking at
166 MHz - 350 Mhz
32 - 64 MB ram
6 GB Hard drive
Onboard Video and NIC
Windows 95 and Windows NT
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