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Old 12-20-2005, 06:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default n00b questions about upgrading


I want to upgrade my system but have some questions on which route to go. Can anyone give some input? Thanks

My current system is a Dell Dimension 2350. The problem is that it does not have AGP slot for a new video card. So, I'm thinking of upgrading the motherboard. Is this possible? (To just upgrade the motherboard and keep all the other components)

Or, should I just get ALL new parts?

Regarding the motherboard, how can you tell which CPU is compatible w/ a given motherboard? Or even if a given motherboard will be compatible with a certain case?

Also, I want to upgrade my HD. Currently, I have a 30GB disk and am running now. Is it possible to copy EVERYTHING from my 30GB drive onto a larger drive w/o having to re-install everything?

Thanks for the input.

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Old 12-20-2005, 08:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi mate,

Right I've checked out the system you have and if im right you have the following specs:

2A-GHz Pentium 4 CPU
256MB of DDR266 SDRAM
integrated Intel 845G graphics
30Gb hard drive

Ok you can quite easily change the motherboard over and add a graphics card to it but if you want to play games, especially new ones then you will be needing to upgrade your RAM and possibly your processor.

To tell what motherboard you need, all you gotta do is match up the socket on the CPU to the motherboard. I think yours would be skt 478 if im not mistaken.

As for your hard drive, if you want to copy all your stuff to a new one then just use both at the same time but set your new one to Master so you can install a O/S on it. Once into Windows just copy the contents from the one to the other.

Hope this helped

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Old 12-21-2005, 06:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Gamer,

Well as of now, I have a 2.39GHz, and I've upgraded to 512MB RAM....

If I upgrade, I want to get a faster CPU as well as 1GB RAM.

Are the motherboards all the same size (they will all fit in ANY case)?

As far as the motherboard, what other compatibility issues are there? I heard something about the motherboard can only handle certain types of HD's...... Sounds funky. Also, regarding the CPU, anything else to watch for besides the socket type? (Does the mobo only work for processors under a certain speed, etc)


Well, can you recommend an awesome mobo and CPU? $$ is not an issue
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Motherboards can come in different sizes but the two most common ones are ATX and Micro ATX. Im not sure which one you have but a lot of companies use Micro ATX like my Advent had.

As for the Hard Drive connections, you can have either IDE or Serial ATA. There are others but these are the most populat ones and on most boards you get both types of connections.

Requirements for the CPU are normally listed on the motherboard specs page and will show a maximum of what speed it will allow.

If you are upgrading both CPU and Mobo, what CPU are you going to want, AMD or Pentium. If your gonna use your comp for gaming then i suggest a skt 939 AMD 64bit processor, if not then an Intel Pentium 4 is a good choice.

Take a look on Newegg or something like that and pick a nice package and I will do my best to advise you but since most of the best boards out there are ATX, I would advise you to change your case unless it does support ATX and you wish to not spend anymore money
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by 24/7 Gamer
Motherboards can come in different sizes but the two most common ones are ATX and Micro ATX. Im not sure which one you have but a lot of companies use Micro ATX like my Advent had.
Dell hasn't used anything like an ATX board in years, so the thought that you can just pop in a new board with out any problems probably won't happen, beccause the cases don't conform to the ATX OR mATX formfactors.

On top of that, the Dell PSUs don't conform to the ATX PSU standard, either. So you are probably better off starting from scratch, but salvaging every part from your old Dell that you can.

Debian Support Forums!
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I say you buy a new computer. It is as old as it is you cant do anything to it now. It would be cheaper and more worth it if you just spent like 300 on a new computer.
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Old 12-21-2005, 05:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How is this for a mobo + cpu combo:


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Old 12-21-2005, 05:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice CPU but your might want to investigate an PCIe compliant mobo for gaming. You will be spending alot more than $300.
A Nvidia 6600gt or 6800gt PCIe will be good and the prices have fallen significantly. Unless you are filthy rich, do not go the dual SLI route as there are no real advantages yet over single video card systems. I gig of DDR 400 is minimum, as well. Consider like dual 150 gig SATAs and then don't waste your time with RAID.
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Old 12-21-2005, 05:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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look at newegg i look both those items on newegg and they are about 10 bux a piece cheaper at new egg
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Old 12-21-2005, 05:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I dont understand what is wrong w/ that mobo I picked out. What do you mean "investigate an PCIe compliant mobo".... this mobo does have a PCI express slot.

Can you recommend a mobo then?

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