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Which ThinkCentre should I get?

IBM or Lenovo Desktops, Workstations, ThinkStations, etc. Recent vintage, hardware/software..
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thomase13
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Which ThinkCentre should I get?

#1 Post by thomase13 » Mon May 06, 2013 8:58 pm

Hello,

I am looking for a new (to me) desktop microcomputer.

I was going to have my old Pentium-4 Dell Dimension 4500 upgraded, but apparently the motherboard can't be replaced. :/

So, I was thinking about an IBM (or Lenovo) ThinkCentre of some sort!

What I want is the fastest 32-bit Windows XP system possible!
I would like it to be fast enough to play — and edit — 1920 x 1080 HD videos as well as play the Sims 3.
As far as drives go, I would like it to at least have a DVD burner, as well as a 3½-inch floppy diskette drive.

Thanks in advance,
Thomas :)

ZaZ
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Re: Which ThinkCentre should I get?

#2 Post by ZaZ » Mon May 06, 2013 10:47 pm

Just so you're aware of it, in less than a years time XP be will no longer be supported, which would include no longer getting security updates. I say get a Windows 7 machine. It's optimized for SSDs, which the part most likely to make your system seem fast. It also has a XP mode if you need to run some older programs. Playing 1080 video isn't particularly taxing for most systems these days. Certainly the ThinkCentre M series is worth a look. It's just a matter of which form factor you want.
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thomase13
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Re: Which ThinkCentre should I get?

#3 Post by thomase13 » Wed May 08, 2013 12:07 pm

I am acutely aware of the Windows XP End-of-support situation, but thanks though.
I am not interested in Windows 7. I have given it a very fair trial. It is okay, but does not suit my needs (as well as XP.)

I am basically wondering which is the fastest ThinkCentre system that
  1. still supports Windows XP, and
  2. includes a floppy disk drive (or at least a slot for one, and a compatible motherboard!)
If I wanted a faster computer, couldn't I just add an SSD anyway?

I'm thinking the best form factor would the one that is designed to lay down horizontally, so you can sit your monitor on top! I don't care about the size of form factor though. Standard is fine or whatever. :)

ZaZ
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Re: Which ThinkCentre should I get?

#4 Post by ZaZ » Wed May 08, 2013 9:45 pm

I believe that would be the desktop form factor that sits a top the desk.

Adding a SSD is a little more tricky with XP. I presume you'll be installing it via a XP disc, but a XP disc won't align the partition properly for best performance. You'll need a Vista or Windows 7 disc to get proper alignment.
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thomase13
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Re: Which ThinkCentre should I get?

#5 Post by thomase13 » Thu May 09, 2013 9:44 am

Hmm...
I guess I don't need an SSD drive. It'd just be nice to have, I suppose.
I suppose there's no way to manually configure them in the way that Windows 7 or Vista would.
I understand that you would normally install the operating system and all system files on the SSD and then put whatever else on a regular hard drive (depending on the size of SSD, I guess.)

Do you happen to know which was the last ThinkCentre system to support floppy disk drives, or how I could find out?

I would typically use ThinkWiki, but it only lists actual ThinkPads. :/

thatgothbehindyou
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Re: Which ThinkCentre should I get?

#6 Post by thatgothbehindyou » Thu May 09, 2013 7:09 pm

You can align the partitions with GParted. I did it several times. It works, it's just a hassle. I'm too lazy to search for you, but you can find it.

thomase13
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Re: Which ThinkCentre should I get?

#7 Post by thomase13 » Fri May 10, 2013 9:49 am

Thanks!
That definitely helps; I'm glad to see that GParted works with XP!

Should the partitions be set up before installing XP, or does it matter?


Also, does anyone know how I can find the last ThinkCentre with a board that supports floppy disk drives?

Thanks,
Thomas :)

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Re: Which ThinkCentre should I get?

#8 Post by Theokretes » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:18 pm

If you want legacy hardware support, I would recommend an IBM IntelliStation M Pro 9229 and skip the lenovo thinkstations (lenovo just outsources generic mobos like HP).
The only caveat is the fastest CPU they support is a 2.98 core2quad extreme and 8GB of DDR2 RAM. They can run windows 7 and SSDs (that's how I have mine configured) along with a native 1.44 MB FDD.

They support the following:
*360K to 1.44 MB <-- that's right, you can run a 5 1/4" 360K drive in one of these computers
*Two serial ports
*Two firewire
*One parallel
*SAS / SATA / IDE

etc etc etc

They are some of the most fully featured computers you'll ever see. Not to mention, they do a POST beep just before the FDD seek like a real computer should ;)
The motherboard was designed internally by IBM via the System x team (they named it "Taroko").
2x T60p, 1x T61, loads of 701Cs, 1x WorkPad Z50, 2x TransNotes other random thinkpads...

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