is this machine sufficiently powerful?
Yup, that will run it. But I don't think it's in your best interest, financially.
In this case, the "correct" answer "is" the free tier of Amazon's EC2. (or a similar service). It's pretty extremely awesome. If you pay for a 3yr term on a Micro Instance (that's $82), you'll likely save a fair bit of money:
Here's a little "proof" for you:
- Your P4 eats 200W while idle (a decent guess for a 3GHz machine)
- You pay 0.07 $/kWhr
- You'll leave your P4 on 24/7
200W = 0.2kW
3 yrs = 3 * 365 days/yr * 24 hrs/day = 26280 hours
Thus you'll need 0.2kW * 26280 hrs = 5256.0kWhrs
Which @ 0.07 $/kWhr will cost 0.07 $/kWhr * 5256kWhrs = 367.92 $
So, running your P4 will cost you a lot more. The numbers may be out a bit, but your P4 costs you an order of magnitude more, that's not small. If you're skeptical, still, go grab one of these to see how much power you're really dumping in to that old space-heater.
I've found that I get pretty far on the AWS EC2 free tier, so it may not even cost you anything, for what you're talking about. I'm running a production server on EC2 right now,
I run various things on Amazon micro instances, the 613MB of memory is plenty for web services. A good tip to know is that if you're running a machine with <4GB of RAM, then use 32 bit OSes - because running 64bit apps requires more memory for the same program, so unless you actually are using >4GB of memory, it doesn't matter.