Just adopted a Dell GX280, Any advice?

I'm looking to push this as far as it will go.
For now I have the basic setup plus some RAM I had lying around.

CPU: Pent. 4 3.2GHz
RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) @ 533 MHz
HDD: 500GB sata ( I switch out drives so much though so this is kinda dumb to include)

I see these old things everywhere and I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with them, and had any recommendations on distros (32-bit). Really looking to use this as a homework machine, I was thinking about getting a low profile GPU and squeezing it in, but I overestimated what I was going to find in here.

EDIT: RAM seems to have put itself at 333 MHz.


Debian is great for really old hardware.

I've had Debian run smoothly on hardware that couldn't even boot into Ubuntu.

I have has some run ins with Debian but it was on a laptop.

In terms of desktop installation, is there any need to install Ethernet firmware after the installation?

I know this is not a dual core... buy this might be interesting if possible

Hmm, that is an idea, I do have a few nics lying around. The housing department at my school is a bit fickle about students having networking gear, would be a fun experiment.

well interesting enough, this pentium 4 comes with HT, not dual but still, cool IMO

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Have you tried setting it on fire?

Seriously, those 280's were utter crap. The caps on the motherboard couldn't wait to spill their guts, the airflow in the cases (yes even the non slim line versions) was little better than having a moth flap its wings. If you want to push it load a live distro of linux with prime 95. The thing will catch fire in no time.

I will say that it sounded as if it were going to go into orbit with I put linux mint on it. So far so good though, no problems, runs extremely smooth.

When was the whole cap plague thing sorted out. My presario caught the brunt of it, not sure when this 280 rolled out.

Oh I want to say mid 2006 to early 2007. They did a good job of issuing new mobo's that had better quality caps on them when they were called on it. Check the Dell support site for a born on date and that will give you a good idea.

I will say it is loud as a mug though. Linux mint handles great, but then I put up youtube and I hear the turbines start up. Sounds more like the cpu fan is at the end of its life so I may just have to look for a replacement fan