Used PC on offer : Suitability or otherwise for Blender use ?

Hi. I’ve been offered a used PC, but before I decide whether to take it or not, I thought I’d ask for your opinions re its suitability or otherwise for Blender use.

The details are below. Do I need 16 GB RAM, or would 8 GB be enough ? … Is the graphics card suitable ? Not sure I need a 250 GB hard-drive, really. Is the processor type suitable ? …Regarding the operating system : I’m considering the possibility of having a dual-boot system (Windows and Linux)…etc

I’d be very grateful for any guidance received. Thanks, in advance.

HP XW8400 2 Dual Core 4x2.0GHz 16GB 250GB DVDRW Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit PC

Hard Drive Capacity: 250 GB SATA
Product Line: HP Workstation
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
Model: XW8400
Memory (RAM): 16 GB PC2-5300F DDR2 memory
MPN: Quad 2GHz Workstation Desktop Gaming Win Computer
Processor Type: Intel Xeon Dual Core
Primary Drive: DVDRW DVD Rewriter
Processor Speed: 2.00 GHz
Features: NVidia Quad FX1400 Professional 3D Graphics Card
Memory: 16 GB
Number of Processors: 2

Looks like a sweet system for Blender. You don’t “need” 16 gig of RAM, but the more RAM you have the faster your renders will process and the more complex models you can create. Extra RAM comes in handy if you are planning on using particles (hair, grass, leaves on trees, etc), simulations (flowing water, falling rocks), cloth (flags, clothing) or extensive scultping (fine details require a highly subdivided mesh, which needs more RAM). I am currently doing all that stuff on a Ubuntu box with only 2 Gig ram, but sometimes my machine lags and some renders, especially cycles, take a long time. (Hmmm, might be time to upgrade MY RAM…)

If you are planning on doing any animation, you’ll be amazed at how fast your hard drive fills up with still images. You’ll be glad you got the 250 Gig hard drive, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you are in the market for a Terabyte drive in a year or so.

You shouldn’t have any problems installing linux on that machine, and I don’t blame you for not wanting to hassle with Windows 7.

That RAM amount is nice but the PC overall looks outdated. Quadro cards are pretty much useless for Cycles rendering too, they generally provide better viewport performance but only with really complex stuff like huge cities. Right now there is no need for Quadro cards really.

If you can get it for cheap - why not but other than that, stear clear of this oldie. PCs are pretty cheap and powerful nowadays. It`s possible that for that price (which is unknown) someone is asking you, you could build more powerful setup with consumer level hardware.

EDIT: Haha, that Quadro was released in 2004 and processor in 2006. I wouldn`t even buy a 5 year old PC. This is some seriously acient tech. Most probably the latest entry level consumer grade hardware performs the same or even better than those grandpas.

@Bloodwork: I got my Ubuntu box for free from a co-worker because it stopped working and he bought a new one (cost me $90 to get it working again). As I mentioned, it lags and takes a long time on cycles renders.
Here’s what the System Details panel tells me
2 gig ram
Intel Pentium® Dual CPU E220 @ 2.20 GHz x 2
Gallium 0.4 on NV98
32bit Ubuntu 13.04

It’s an HP Pavilion Elite m9040n
with an Intel Q6600 Dual core processor
an NVidia GeForce 8400 GS grahics card
and 3072 MB ‘system memory’ according to the sticker on the side.

Any recommendations for upgrades for this bad boy?

@alan2012, since you didn’t mention any price, I assumed you were getting the same kind of 'take this off my hands it takes up too much room on my desk" deal I got.

Thanks, Orinoco and Bloodwork. I think I’ll pass on the offer of this particular PC. I’m thinking more of a PC build (either ask someone to do it, or do it myself), but am unsure of the components I ought to ask for or get. I’m sure there will be lots of information to trawl through on this forum, so I’ll do that…But if anyone could give me some pointers…? Thanks

I built a Windows box a few years ago following Build It Fix It Own It by Paul McFedries from Que Publishers. My edition was published in 2008, so it is out of date, but I’m sure someone is selling an up to date edition of that book or a similar book.