Thrill (over-)Kill... buying HP Slim Celeron G4900 / G5900 PCs off of ebay BNIB, to upgrade?

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Yeah, I know, sounds kind of crazy. Bought a few of these PCs off of ebay, for around $200-230 shipped, from various sellers. Apparently, these were a recent Walmart close-out or "destroy" item (possibly purchased clearance, or dumpster-dived, one of the two, I suppose). They don't seem all that bad, if a bit ... mediocre? The Celeron rather than a Pentium (in the era in which Celeron is STILL stuck at 2C/2T, whereas Pentium is 2C/4T), is a crying shame, but what can you do. (Thought about slapping in some G6400 Pentium 4.0Ghz 2C/4T CPUs into the G5900 units, but that's just another expense, for not a lot of gain.)

Also, they ship with 4GB of RAM (DDR4), and a... HDD (ugh!). So the first thing to do, is crack them suckers open, and install a 16GB stick of DDR4 2666/3000, and an SSD. What size SSD, I'm debating. (I have a bunch of Team Group 512GB SSDs I recently purchased at Newegg for ~$50 ea.)

I'm also debating whether to clone the HP install, or do a fresh installation of Win10 64-bit 20H2. The HP install usually has some useful tools, that may or may not be downloadable off of their respective product pages to install when doing a 3rd-party Windows installation rather than an OEM installation.

So what this procedure SHOULD get me, is a few HP Slim Celeron PCs, that are NOT (HDD-powered) abominations, rather, a rather pleasant and smooth computing / web-browsing experience, with 16GB (or 20GB, if I leave the 4GB OEM RAM in there), and a 512GB SSD.

I'm not really interested in putting in a (low-profile) GPU, given both the meager 180W PSU, as well as the prices on GPUs (especially decent gaming low-profile cards, GTX 1650 LP I'm looking at you, and wondering why you're unavailable).

The other wildcard, about upgrading them to the Pentium G6400 2C/4T, is the HD630 iGPU, rather than the HD610. How much of a difference is there, in terms of real-world Windows 10 usage?
 

VirtualLarry

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Ok, I did an upgrade to a G5900 Celeron model.

Added 500GB WD Black NVMe (there's a slot, hint, it uses the bigger screws), and a 16GB stick of OLOY DDR4-3000, for a total of 20GB of DDR4.

Board has extra SATA port and SATA power.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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I would put an i3 in these for minimum spec.
 

VirtualLarry

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I would put an i3 in these for minimum spec.
I debated that, or at least, a Pentium G6400 2C/4T 4.0Ghz CPU.

But then, even with the upgrades, without a GPU upgrade (and about the only GPU that this thing will handle with a 180W PSU is a GT 1030 LP card), it's not going to be a gaming rig.

Does web browsing really require THAT much CPU? I suppose, if you have McAfee and whatnot, and ads playing, sure, maybe.

I did a fresh install of Win10 on the WD Black NVMe 500GB, and I installed uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger.

It seems to browse OK. I find that I run out of RAM for tabs, usually before I actually run out of CPU power. (I did bump the RAM up to 20GB of DDR4 though.)
 

VirtualLarry

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Now I'm very sad. I discovered just now, that adding a dual-wide GPU isn't going to work, the slot order is BACKWARDS, the PCI-E x16 slot should overlap the PCI-E x1 slot, but they have them the other way round, so the best GPU that is going to fit into this thing is a LP single-slot GT 1030 card, not even a passive dual-wide GT 1030, which most of the low-profile ones are. :(

WHAT was HP THINKING? Non-GPU-upgradable?
 

DAPUNISHER

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Now I'm very sad. I discovered just now, that adding a dual-wide GPU isn't going to work, the slot order is BACKWARDS, the PCI-E x16 slot should overlap the PCI-E x1 slot, but they have them the other way round, so the best GPU that is going to fit into this thing is a LP single-slot GT 1030 card, not even a passive dual-wide GT 1030, which most of the low-profile ones are. :(

WHAT was HP THINKING? Non-GPU-upgradable?
Typical. I have done many face palms after opening OEM garbage. But maybe you are coming at this all wrong? Why not sell them as Geforce Now systems? Only need 15Mbps for 720p 60 and 25Mbps for 1080p 60. It meets the system requirements rather easily, after the upgrades you have done. And it only costs $25 for 6 months, and a lot of games are supported. With GPU prices what they are, cheapest way to get into gaming right now.
 

VirtualLarry

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But maybe you are coming at this all wrong? Why not sell them as Geforce Now systems? Only need 15Mbps for 720p 60 and 25Mbps for 1080p 60. It meets the system requirements rather easily, after the upgrades you have done. And it only costs $25 for 6 months, and a lot of games are supported. With GPU prices what they are, cheapest way to get into gaming right now.
Hmm, I like the way that you're thinking! I could even "spice things up", by dropping in a Rosewill (RealTek) 2.5GbE-T PCI-E x1 card, in the hopes that the customer might "perceive" them to be faster in networking. (Although, if asked, I would just explain it to them, that the rig was "future-proof", for faster FIOS/Comcast.)
 

DAPUNISHER

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Hmm, I like the way that you're thinking! I could even "spice things up", by dropping in a Rosewill (RealTek) 2.5GbE-T PCI-E x1 card, in the hopes that the customer might "perceive" them to be faster in networking. (Although, if asked, I would just explain it to them, that the rig was "future-proof", for faster FIOS/Comcast.)
The cards you sent me solved the problems I was having, so sounds like a good idea. And the small footprint of the system is attractive for couch gaming. Full controller support for the most popular models, on the service too.
 

DAPUNISHER

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LOL I wonder if Bryan lurked our recent discussions about Celerons.


Comments section is right on. Philscomputerlab is dead on about old xeons. Nothing else provides the same value. But the GPU issue is the monkey wrench there. The 3000g is worth the extra cash in that case. And having played around with the 3000g overclocked, it will provide a playable experience in far more titles than the celeroff with iGPU. If the cost in a particular country puts it too close to a old xeon, optiplex meme, or similar, with a 1030, then go that route. I simply could not settle for 2/2 in 2021.
 

VirtualLarry

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Yeah, Bryan is always timely and relevant. *Chuckle*

I agree with you about the 3000G. I had a couple of 3000G PCs here, but I pulled one of them and sold it to Funboy, he wanted one for something, I think HTPC-related.

I placed an order for a single-slot LP GT 1030 MSI card with HDMI and DP outputs, and, sadly, a fan. (Seems that most of the passively-cooled GT 1030 cards are dual-wide.) Price is going up, $114.99. :(

I HAVE a GTX 1050 ti 4GB GDDR5 card here, double-wide, LP, Gigabyte model, maybe the one with dual HDMI outputs among others. I paid like $170+tax for it. Sad that I can't use it, but I have another Tower PC with an i5-10400 (refurb) coming, maybe I can use it in that.

Still, I like your idea about the GeForce Now PC angle.
 
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VirtualLarry

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Here's the TechDeals guy and his Wife, describing the differences in user experiences between 6C/12T and 12C/24T. He even refers to a 6C/12T Ryzen as a "budget PC".

So, I guess his verdict would be to move from the Celeron G5900, well, he would probably say the i5-10400 (I have one of those on the way), but certainly the 4.0Ghz 2C/4T Pentium Gold G6400 would be much-preferred to the only 2C/2T Celeron.
 

killster1

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For 200-300$ i would just buy a laptop with 8th+ gen cpu. i think sinking money into the machines with yield zero profit and lots of work. imagine will be hard to even break even. most stuff comes with ssd's and 8+gb anyway. Will it be able to play a h265 movie? play a fb game with that cpu? YIKES larry
 

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