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Old 09-29-2010, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

Hi everyone, just joined this forum, and hope to stick around. I posted this thread on another site (actually, in the off-topic section on J-Body. Org(an automotive site)), and all i got was a few guys telling me to look into buying a refurb computer, not listening to what i was saying or asking.

Anyway, here goes. I am looking to rebuild/uprgrade a very old computer. I am a broke a** college student, so el cheapo is the goal. This will be my first computer build short of adding memory and vid cards. I am looking to do this mostly for fun and learning, but i also hope to get a better computer in the process.

Original computer specs-
HP Pavilion a605x
AMD Athlon XP 2800/2.08Ghz
curently 1Gb DDR
currently onboard graphics although i have had two different vid cards in the past
Windows XP "2002" SP3 (originally SP1)

The computer was bought new in summer of 2004. This thing is just barely still running, in fact i dont know how it is running- Spontaneous rebooting, constant errors, processor temp approaching 80C (i saw it hit 83 last week), not to mention slow as ****. Have run full system restore 4 times in last 3 months, even formatted hdd and did restore from disc, so it is not a software issue as someone on JBO tried to tell me. (thats what i get for posting a computer question on an automotive site)

So I have been pricing out parts on Newegg.com, and i am planning on doing the build in two phases. I am figuring on a budget of 200$ or less for the first phase, that is- MOBO, CPU, Ram, PSU.(when i said cheap, i meant it. lol) My plan is to get a mobo w/ integrated graphics, basic dual core, as well as reusing the 80Gb PATA HDD, and the PATA DVD drive, to get by untill i can put out the cash for a new sata hdd, dvd drive, and video card

I have a few questions though.- 1. Can i run the HDD and the DVD drive at the same time on a single port?
2. Should i run DDR2, or DDR3?(how much more should i pay for a DDR3 setup?)
3.- this is the big one- I have read that if you change the mobo and/or HDD, you have to buy a new license of windows. I would like to stick with XP, but i refuse to pay half again as much for an OS as i am spending on the rest of the computer. So is this true, am i just sol?

P.S.- i would like to use AMD based components- the computer was originally AMD, and it lasted a good 5 years with no problems whatsoever.
Thanks a bunch!
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

bump. Anybody?

case is a mATX FF.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

Well for a budget that small, you'll be going AMD anyway
What are you mainly planning to use this pc for? And what's the budget for the second phase?
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

well, this is my computer at my apartment at school(im posting this from it right now). Mostly internet/ research/word processing-school work, but seeing as this is my personal computer, i would also like decent performance(at least the ability to upgrade to decent performance, anything would be better than what it is now), i would also like to use it for music/multimedia, and some light gaming. I dont see my self getting the opportunity to do much gaming, but if i do it would only be something like one of the sim series games or racing games. Im not into the MMRPG stuff.

Second phase is HDD, DVD, Vid card, Ram upgrade. So around the same as phase 1(i dont ever see myself needing a TB HDD, or even a 500GB! As far as im concerned, on a personal computer, anything bigger than 250 Gb is just for bragging rights.)

After Cooling components, cables, thermal paste, etc. Im looking at closer to 300$ for phase 1.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

I've got ~6TB in my PC, and I use nearly all of it so for some the space isn't just for bragging rights

Ok, gimme a bit and I'll knock together your first phase for you. Check back in ~1hr

btw, do you need an OS, speakers, monitor, case, keyboard/mouse?
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

how would a Athlon 2 x2 250u 1.6Ghz run compared to my old athlon xp 2.08Ghz? Its on ebay new in retail box for $50 and free shipping.(I shop ebay for everything)
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

I wouldn't recommend it for an upgrade, not worth it IMO.

Total price: $309
CPU/MOBO: Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!
RAM: Newegg.com - Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996586
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817182202
Hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822152244
DVD drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827106289
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

So I have been pricing out parts on Newegg.com, and i am planning on doing the build in two phases. I am figuring on a budget of 200$ or less for the first phase, that is- MOBO, CPU, Ram, PSU.(when i said cheap, i meant it. lol) My plan is to get a mobo w/ integrated graphics, basic dual core, as well as reusing the 80Gb PATA HDD, and the PATA DVD drive, to get by untill i can put out the cash for a new sata hdd, dvd drive, and video card
I was also hoping to reuse the old hp case, possibly punch some holes in the side of it and add another fan.

I have a few questions though.- 1. Can i run the HDD and the DVD drive at the same time on a single port?
2. Should i run DDR2, or DDR3?(how much more should i pay for a DDR3 setup?)
3.- this is the big one- I have read that if you change the mobo and/or HDD, you have to buy a new license of windows. I would like to stick with XP, but i refuse to pay half again as much for an OS as i am spending on the rest of the computer. So is this true, am i just sol?
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

Just the Mobo, CPU, Ram, PSU I linked to will cost you $250. Surely you can scrape up an extra $50 somewhere right?
The HDD and Optical drive bump it up to $309, but you can use your old ones in the mean time.

1. No sorry, the HDD and DVD drive will need separate Sata ports.
2. The ram I included is DDR3. You should definitely go with DDR3
3. Depending on the type of license you got, you should be ok. If you bought a retail license, then you can transfer it to new hardware. If you bought the OEM version, you might have difficulties. I think you still can though.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, upgrading old hp, some questions.

1. AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX445WFGMBOX
2. BIOSTAR TA785G3HD AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Combo Price: $120.98 + $7.56 shipping

Newegg.com - Rendition by Crucial 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model RM25664BA1339
$33.99 w/free shipping

Newegg.com - Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$49.99 + $1.99 shipping ($5 off w/ promo code EMCYXNW25, ends 10/4)

Total = $214.51 with shipping, $209.51 if you order before the promo expires.

The Athlon II X3 445 is a potentially unlockable CPU, and that mobo is able to unlock it if it is able. It is the same CPU that is in my wife's computer chugging along on four stable cores.

In answer to your questions:
1. Yes. Set the DVD to slave.

2. DDR3 is faster. I had originally worked out a setup with DDR2, but looked again and put this one together. While it is only a single 2GB stick, you can add another one later on.

3. If you change the mobo, not the hard drive. Check with your college as most offer Win7 dirt cheap. In the meantime, google "sysprep xp".
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