I run pretty “outdated” hardware. My MPCNC uses a RAMPS/Marlin for control with the graphical LCD so I just load my gcode to SD and run it from there. I have a computer near it but it’s far enough a USB cable won’t quite reach so I actually have to disconnect the RAMPS and bring it over manually for flashing - which is a big part of why I’m still on RC6 even though some of it’s bugs drive me crazy.
My computers are also outdated. I use a mix of linux, mac and windows. estlcam is one of the only two reasons I still use windows (the other is photoshop, GIMP is ok but it’s no replacement for photoshop.) I’ve yet to have any luck getting estlcam to run under linux with wine which is a real bummer because I love estlcam and I love linux.
The computer near my MPCNC is my newest, and it was the cheapest system I could find in town about 5 or 6 years ago (maybe longer I forget) when my main desktop died and I needed something to keep working THAT DAY but had no funds. I forget it’s specs but it was nothing special even when new. It runs estlcam, slic3r and inkscape just fine. It struggles a bit with photoshop but my SLR is old enough it’s files are small enough that usually isn’t an issue. It can run Fusion360…but it’s kind of frustrating and painful. It was a Windows 7 system when I bought it but I did the free upgrade to W10 - and wish I hadn’t as it definitely took a performance hit with the “upgrade”.
My next newest computer is over 10 years old…closer to 12…maybe 13. Well, parts of it are. The motherboard finally died a few months ago so I swapped it for another outdated computer of a slightly newer vintage but lower specs. The video card is only a year or so old but bottom of the line. It was running Vista until last summer when I upgraded it to 10 - again huge performance hit but Vista is dead so not much of a choice. The system I rebuilt it with was a 7 machine. It runs…but crashes frequently. I’ve got Fusion to run on it but it’s not really usable. Fine for OpenSCAD and slic3r and onshape though.
I have a few notebooks that run linux - but they’re all old enough that they’re not even 64bit based systems. Still they can run a browser and onshape works tolerably on them.
My main work computer is the lowest end macbook air available as of this past December…which sadly makes it my most powerful computer. It doesn’t run inkscape as well as my windows machines due to how inkscape work on macos - but it does run it usably. Onshape is great on there and Fusion360 is tolerable…but just barely. I actually use it as my main computer at home as well due to my others being so limited. Honestly - I absolutely abhor finder and mac’s keyboard mappings drive me up the wall…but other than that it’s a great system and I spend most of my time in the terminal where it’s almost the same as being on my linux systems. It runs chrome, gitkraken, and sublime text just as well as anything else and those are the 3 things I spend 90% of my time with so fine for me. As a notebook it beats any windows notebook I’ve ever had as suspend and restore actually works as expected (something my linux notebooks also do better than they did when they ran windows.)
So…you really don’t need much. Newer hardware is nice and can make things faster…but this works for me.
I know djk4linux uses a cheap <$200 chromebook with ubuntu loaded on it for a lot of his work and says it works great for him. I recently got him hooked on onshape and he’s been doing a lot of designing on those little chromebooks in onshape quite happily.
I will say that since I run my gcode off sd card it does help having a built in SD card reader - which thankfully all of my systems have.