Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

woodycool

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Here goes, another woody rant! :roll:

I'll fill you all in .... I'm on my old laptop as I sold my HP that I complained about in a previous thread (you know, the one that kept overheating and buggering up the wireless connectivity)

Anyway, the laptop I'm using nowadays is an Intel Pentium 4 M, it's a Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pro V2000 (quite old) and the damn thing is so flakey it's untrue.

I'll start from the beginning .... I've always had issues with drivers & Windows on this machine ... it seems that one minute, it has a wireless card, but then about a reboot or two later (having made NO CHANGES to anything driver related) it no longer has a wireless device :shock: (Code 10: The device cannot start in Device Manager)
I got pretty pissed off with this, so eventually formatted and installed Ubuntu Linux on it (9.04 x86) as I have that on my desktop PC (and loving Ubuntu btw) .... now for the strange bit .... the damn thing randomly crashes, complete lockup for no reason .... you don't even have to be using it :pissed:

I reformatted and re-installed Ubuntu (in case it was something I buggered up after installation) and still got the same prob, so I tried a different distro (Gentoo) and still getting random lockups!

WTF is going on with this heap of sh*t?

For those who obviously haven't cottoned on, me an laptops have a 'love hate' relationship, I love 'em, but they hate me :x

Now, my desktop PC is working fine, but also to top things off, my little server is being a little sh*t! All of a sudden, IDE transfers have gone mega slow, for no reason.
I've checked all settings (including BIOS settings), swapped hard drives, swapped IDE cables .... yet again WTF? :pissed:
 

RedDaemonFox

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

Modern PC hardware is like a fancy appliance, Amigas and older PC's before the P2 were hobbyist systems. That is why I choose to spend sooo much money on obsolete machines!
 

Justin

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

I have to disagree, put decent bits in a PC and watch it go, tbh though none of my pc parts last longer than 12-18 months before they get changed anyway (constant state of upgrade here) so maybe they are unreliable i just don't keep them that long

JuvUK
 

Kin Hell

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

Always buy quality brand named stuff for Modern Pee Cee's. Try to stay Intel where ever possible & stay away from sh!tholes like Pee Cee World & your local PC dealer selling dodgey brands etc. Then you wont go far wrong.

JuvUK is like me, but in recent years, I've calmed down alot. :laugh:

Kin
 

woodycool

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

That's just it, I tend to stick with fairly decent branded stuff!
It just seems that PC components only just last the warranty period (if they even last that long)

Admittedly, this laptop of mine is quite old, so I don't expect too much from it!
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

I have to disagree with intel, as AMD tends to be much cheaper and more versatile. Not that I have owned one in the last 4 years, dagnabbit why'd I have to sell my K6-2!??
 

Kin Hell

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

Dreamcast270mhz said:
I have to disagree with intel, as AMD tends to be much cheaper and more versatile. Not that I have owned one in the last 4 years, dagnabbit why'd I have to sell my K6-2!??

& cheaper = crappier in my experiences. Cheap Chipsets, cheap CPU's & crap driver support. It's funny seeing AMD buy ATI. For me, it was two piles of crap rolled into one BIG pile of crap. Last time I looked, there was an Ice Age developing on the peak, Fergie was taking a well earned break on the lower slopes & the news reporters we all there, blending in with the rest of the sh!t. :ROTFLOL2:

Just my opinion of course. :wink: :mrgreen:

Kin
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

I can understand your bad experiences, Core class intels I won't buy, because they like to fail on me!!
 

woodycool

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

Kin Hell said:
Dreamcast270mhz said:
I have to disagree with intel, as AMD tends to be much cheaper and more versatile. Not that I have owned one in the last 4 years, dagnabbit why'd I have to sell my K6-2!??
& cheaper = crappier in my experiences. Cheap Chipsets, cheap CPU's & crap driver support. It's funny seeing AMD buy ATI. For me, it was two piles of crap rolled into one BIG pile of crap. Last time I looked, there was an Ice Age developing on the peak, Fergie was taking a well earned break on the lower slopes & the news reporters we all there, blending in with the rest of the sh!t. :ROTFLOL2:

Just my opinion of course. :wink: :mrgreen:

Kin
I have to agree with Kin on this one .... my experience of every machine AMD (or in fact, non-Intel based) is that they are completely sh*t when it comes to reliability.
I say, non-Intel based, I'm talking about alleged 'Intel compatible' stuff. CPU's from: AMD, IBM Cyrix, VIA etc. They all seem sluggish and crappy in comparison to Intel stuff. However, I'm of the opinion, that my old Intel Pentium 4 that I sold to my mate about 12 months ago (and it's still running really well) was the best and most reliable machine I'm ever going to own!
Why the f**k did I sell that thing? Madness!

Dreamcast270mhz said:
I can understand your bad experiences, Core class intels I won't buy, because they like to fail on me!!
That seems to be the problem I have nowadays though ... however, I've had the same (if not worse) problems with AMD stuff.

Oh, whilst we're on the subject of stuff to avoid .... ALWAYS AVOID MOTHERBOARDS BY ECS ELITEGROUP .... I had a dodgy few of these, and hence my reason to avoid cheap motherboards/cheap chipsets.
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

Dreamcast270mhz said:
I can understand your bad experiences, Core class intels I won't buy, because they like to fail on me!!

That's damned rotten luck m8y. In all the years of Computing, I've only had one CPU die on me & it was an AMD Barton. Core went up in smoke, took out the Mobo, PSU, Ram, hard drives & even burnt the inside of the case. When I'd got it outside, I unzipped & relieved myself all over it. Very satisfying. :D
I then ordered an Intel rig. Buy Retail Boxed Intel CPU's every time. 3 Years warranty should help your luck if nothing else. (y)

woodycool said:
ALWAYS AVOID MOTHERBOARDS BY ECS ELITEGROUP

Yes indeed.

Kin
 

Justin

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

hey AMD made really good gamer cpu's while intel were poncing about with the crappy p2 and p3 and different slots and stuff, then AMD was a better cpu, it took intel until the later p4s to beat AMD and since multicores intel has wiped the floor with the AMD stuff.
ATI on the other hand is a huge stinky pile of poo, in fact it's so bad they could have made the A600 which would explain a lot! :run:
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

JuvUK said:
ATI on the other hand is a huge stinky pile of poo, in fact it's so bad they could have made the A600 which would explain a lot! :run:
When it comes to graphics, I've always been a nVidia man myself.
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

I've also been thinking recently that more recent PC hardware is becoming less reliable and prone to failure. Years ago you could buy a PC and it would outlive its usefulness.

I still have my old Pentium 2 400MHz PC from 1998 and it is still fully working with the original motherboard, PSU, CPU etc all still working perfectly. It obviously had graphics card, ram, HDD and optical drive upgrades throughout its lifetime, but the core components kept on going.

And moving forward a couple of years, I built an Athlon XP 2000+ with 1GB ram etc and that is also still working perfectly. Original motherboard, CPU, ram etc, even still using the original HDD.

And both of these systems were quite stressed during their life. The P2 was my main system in the last year of uni and was on all the time uses for gaming and work, and continued to be my main system until I built the Athlon. It had many hardware upgrades during the time, with a couple of graphics card upgrades, more ram, more HDDs, newer CD-RWs, USB2, firewire and network cards.. It then turned into a download and test server and sat in the corner online 24/7 for years. Only being switched off and rarely used once the Athlon XP system was replaced for a newer main PC, and then that was used as the download and test server.

And as I said both of these are still working perfectly.

Now move forward some more and reliability and build quality seem to gave degraded in the PC world. Since 2005 I've had 3 PSU failures and 2 motherboard failures of my own systems, and more of both from systems I've repaired. PSUs seem to fail more than any other component in a PC in the last 3 years. And the danger with a PSU failing is that they can always take other components with them. So the makers should really get their acts together and make higher quality PSUs! Even the supposed good brand PSUs don't seem as good as they were years ago.

I'm not sure if motherboards have become less reliable, or if it is the bad quality PSUs that are just killing them. Maybe due to being more complex they fail more, but I have my suspicions that it is mainly the PSUs killing them.

CPUs, ram, HDDs and optical drives however do now seem very robust and hardly ever fail unless it is overheating due to a failed fan or heatsink.

As for laptops. I hate them! Regardless of the spec stated they have never in my opinion performed as well as a desktop equivalent. They always seem to take longer to boot, slower to perform any actions and an annoyance to use. Even well configured OSs on laptops just don't seem to run as nicely as a desktop system. Even on seemingly identical hardware specs. I've never liked laptops and don't use them much myself.
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

woodycool said:
When it comes to graphics, I've always been a nVidia man myself.

For me too, but only in recent years since the advent of GeForce series. Prior to that, Voodoo was second to none & still Rocks in an Amiga. :D

@ Harrison

Yeah. CrapTops in my book m8y, but handy if you need to be remote and able to plug in. 8)
Beats the hell out of me why anyone would prefer a Laptop over a big-box affair as a choice for use in the home. :shrug:

Kin
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

Harrison, your above statement is EXACTLY what I'm getting at. My old P2 is was acting as my server until I built a new Intel Core2Duo machine, so the old Intel Pentium Dual Core became my download server/file server.
Now, said server is playing up, so it looks highly likely I'm gonna end up digging out my old Intel Pentium 2 system, which still works perfectly, to carry out these tasks, once again.
Luckily (touch wood), my main PC (the core2duo) is functioning fine.

As for my laptop, it used to be fine, but all of a sudden it's decided to 'malfunction' ...... the damn thing even crashes at an MS-DOS prompt (pure DOS, not a command prompt from within Windows) :pissed:

Kin Hell said:
Yeah. CrapTops in my book m8y, but handy if you need to be remote and able to plug in. 8)
Beats the hell out of me why anyone would prefer a Laptop over a big-box affair as a choice for use in the home. :shrug:
Don't get me wrong, I like laptops, but I don't prefer them over my desktop PC at all.
I have good use for my laptop, and I use it when I'm away from home or if my bro is on the PC and I need to quickly do something (and can't wait)

If I had more room at home, I'd just build a second desktop, and be done with it!
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

hurrah for i too dislike to laptop, laptop smaptop!


:wink:
 

woodycool

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

are Macs any more reliable than PCs these days?
 

Harrison

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

Kin Hell said:
I've only had one CPU die on me & it was an AMD Barton. Core went up in smoke, took out the Mobo, PSU, Ram, hard drives & even burnt the inside of the case.

Now I understand why you hate AMD CPUs.

However I'm with JuvUK on this one. With the Athlon XPs they offered great performance at a fraction of the price of the P3's and then P4's at the time. I will however agree that they did run hot and without good enough cooling they were in danger of burning out. However in 2004 I built 3 systems around Athlon XP 3000+ Barton CPUs and only ever had temperature issues with one of them. All performed perfectly well. You did however need to try and get motherboards that supported the idle loop and northbridge cool bit. With these features you could run a utility to drop the CPU temperature quite dramatically. One one of the 3000+ systems using vcool I got it to drop from 50 degrees down to 29 degrees just running this software. Obviously when pushing the system in games the temps shot up again, and to some 55 degrees sounded dangerously high, but it was fine for these Barton processors.

The problematic system I had was idling in the high 40's and hitting the 60's in games. I didn't like that and tried everything at the time to cool it down. Installing 4 fans in the front of the case and 2 in the rear, but it didn't help that much. The motherboard in that system eventually failed when it suffered a PSU death with lots of smoke and burning smells. Sourcing an identical motherboard, but in a different case saw the temps drop a bit, but I later discovered it was the model of MSI board that was causing most of the high running temps. I later replaced the motherboard with an Asus one, but with the rest of the components all the same from the system and it run 10 degrees cooler. Very odd.

Anyway, back to AMD. While the Athlon XP was a good performer for the price, if I could have afforded Intel P4's I probably would have used them instead due to better CPU temps. However with the release of the AMD64 range I would never have touched an Intel chip. The AMD64's were much better. They ran cooler, were faster, and cheaper. My Athlon 64 3700+ ram very nicely at 28 degrees, and only ever went up to the high 30's in games.

As for graphics cards. I don't think it is that clear cut. I buy nVidia and ATI cards based on which is the best at the time of purchase. A few years ago the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro was the best price to performance card, so I bought that. The nVidia 7800GT was at its time so I bought one of those, and now the ATI Radeon 4890 is definitely the best card to purchase when you compare performance to price. Equal nVidia cards at the moment are about twice the price, which is just not worth the money.

I don't have a preference for either make. I just buy the best value to performance card at the time that I need a new one. And I don't quite understand the comments about nvidia drivers being so much better than ati's. Everything I throw at my 4870 runs perfectly at over 60fps with all settings maxxed out. That is more than good enough for me.
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

woodycool said:
are Macs any more reliable than PCs these days?

I know mac laptops and ipods are not. I have a couple of friends working in Apple stores and they see a ton of both coming back for repair. With their laptops it isn't so much hardware failure as the ports actually breaking.

Not sure about the big box Macs. They are no unpopular these days and so expensive to buy that I think their owners are very careful with them. Maybe not even switching them on, but instead stroking and admiring their looks. ;)
 

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Re: Why is modern (ish) PC hardware so damn unreliable?

Harrison said:
woodycool said:
are Macs any more reliable than PCs these days?
I know mac laptops and ipods are not.
Funny you should mention that, my bro has recently just killed his iPod :whistle:
 
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