In this era of fast-paced technological development, your computer from five years ago is already considered “old.” Double the mentioned years to a decade and you might have a very old system. People usually change their hardware after two or three years after purchase to be able to keep up with the latest technology out of requirement (part of their jobs) or out of leisure (computer enthusiasts). Because of the quick turnover of modern devices, what happens to the relatively old (a couple of generations old) devices that are still good?
Importance Of Recycling Computer Parts
According to The Balance SMB, electronic wastes or e-waste is the fastest growing segment in the solid waste stream. These electronic wastes are often recycled and repurposed, but a lot of it is getting into landfills and incinerators. 416,000 mobile devices and 142,000 computers are being disposed of or recycled every day, but fewer numbers belong to the ones being recycled. To manage the ballooning amount of e-waste on the planet, a lot of people are recognizing the importance of recycling parts that are still useful and working.
Things You Can Do With An Old System
Old hardware can still make a powerful computer system and become useful for some. A lot of people make their own media centers with their old computers by adding clearance hard drives for storage and adding Internet capabilities. Starter PCs for people who are starting in tech is also a popular option. Inferior computers are also being used to contribute to CPU cycles and old-school gaming. If you’re planning to build one system out of old computer parts, take note of these five tips which can save you resources.
5 Tips To Build Functional Computers Out Of Old Parts
- Use a more lightweight operating system
Old computer parts are slower than their modern counterparts, and that’s not a secret. Improvements are done in each generation, making new devices more powerful than before. And hardware is not the only one being outdated. Operating systems are not as stable as before and probably not that secure. Installing a Linux distro is an option if you want a more secure and more lightweight operating system running in your old device.
- Look for a specific function
Let’s be real about one thing for a moment, almost all of the modern computing needs evolved in the past decade. Most of the webpages need decent hardware to load smoothly. Your old but functional machine might not be able to handle a lot of tasks anymore, like streaming or playing newer games. Your experience will be better if the repurposed machine has a sole purpose and that purpose is on the lighter side of activities (e.g. for surfing the net, watching videos, typing).
- Choose energy-efficient hardware
Old hardware is not as optimized as its newer counterparts. With optimization and years of research, newer hardware has more power and more battery life without consuming a lot of energy. Look for older models that are Energy Star certified to minimize your electric bills. This is also a good idea to consider when shopping for other electronic products. It helps the environment and your savings at the same time.
- Look for computer recycling centers for cheap or free parts
There are computer recycling centers where old hardware is donated or are sold at a cheaper price. They often give old parts for free or for a very dirt cheap price. However, visiting a computer recycling center will not always yield a good deal because there is no definite stock of items. If you’re looking for a certain motherboard to use in your project, consider visiting these centers first. However, don’t automatically expect that you’ll find what you’re looking for. It’s all about great timing and luck.
- Ask for friends for old computer parts that are not being used anymore
If you want free parts or parts that are really cheap that they basically cost nothing, asking for a friend’s old computer is one way to get good parts. Depending on your friend, he might give it to you for free (especially if the unit is just collecting dust in his space). This is a good way to get parts if you want to learn about building computers from scratch.