Borys Bradel's Blog

Personal experiences of various hardware interactions

Tags: computers February 11, 2009    

I have recently had to deal with hardware and operating systems a lot. The following are my observations based on my systems from Dec. 2000, Oct. 2004 (with hard drive and power supply being replaced in 2006 and video card dying in 2007), Sept. 2008, and Jan. 2009.

Power Supplies

The power supply in the 2000 system got blown out by hydro workers sending a massive power spike to our house. Neither this one nor its replacement died of natural causes. The one from the 2004 system died by itself after two years. Its replacement, the only brand name power supply that I've bought, is now powering the 2009 system. Overall, I'm not sure if brand name power supplies are worth it. I'll have a better idea in four years.


Kingston seems to be usable by most motherboards. OCZ not so much.

Hard Drives

My last two hard drives were Western Digital. Each died pretty much after two years of use (give or take less than a month).

Video Cards

My Asus Radeon 9800Pro lasted about three years.



My K6II-500 system had a Houston motherboard which lasted 3 years and 9 months.


My old Asus motherboard, which works after four years and is currently sitting in a bag, would not tell me that my hard drive was failing. I thought it was the motherboard that was failing and so bought a new motherboard, cpu, and ram (the 2009 system). The new motherboard, also an Asus, only accepts some ram modules, which are clearly stated in the manual. Always choose memory based on that information. The new motherboard told me the hard drive was bad, which is nice. The motherboard resets instead of turning off when Ubuntu Linux goes into hibernate or sleep. Other than that, things work.

ASRock Motherboard

My other system has an asrock motherboard. The motherboard recognized my 800MHz ram as 533MHz ram, and the usb keyboard does not work in grub when the system resumes from hibernate. Other than that, things work.


I've had many AMD processors, and they're all good.

Operating Systems

Windows 2000 has many issues with newer hardware (motherboards, keyboards, mice, and cpus). On the new motherboards, sound works only after a hotfix is applied. USB keyboard and mouse support is flaky, and the peripherals sometimes need to be unplugged and plugged in again. The scheduler has major issues. When more than one processor exists, even when idle, the cpu temperature rises until the cpu overheats. The workaround is to have Windows 2000 use only one cpu by adding the /onecpu option to the boot.ini file (located in the root directory of the c drive).

Windows XP works very well with hardware.

Ubuntu Linux has many little problems dealing with hibernation (either with resetting or usb devices). Other than that, it works well with hardware.

Vista has some showstoppers, like not being able to print consistently to printers made by Brother.

Copyright © 2009 Borys Bradel. All rights reserved. This post is only my possibly incorrect opinion.

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