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Old 08-22-2010, 02:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: An Old Dell PC Gets Loud and Hot

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Originally Posted by Discusman View Post
Thanks for the input guys. So how much do I really save by building my own PC? For example, I am buying the same exact system at Dell would cost me $1200, how much do I need to spend if I buy every hardware myself and put everything together myself? I just want to see whether it is worth the time and effort of building my own PC.

BTW, I opened my PC this morning and I realized I have two Memory sticks, they are 512 MB DDR 333MHz CL 2.5 and 128MB DDR 166MHz CL2.5. The inconsistant of MHz may slow down the pc? What's the max MB of ram can my Dell P4 2.66GHz handle? (1GB or 2GB?) I was also having hard time taking off the fan, I couldn't take it off. So I guess the fan can't be upgraded if I can't even take it off?
The ram will be as fast as its slowest module, so in your case they were both running at 166mhz.

As far as cost of building a new pc, I assume you wouldnt need a monitor, leyboard, etc, is this correct? Another question is what types of games do you see yourself playing?

You could spend as little as $500-800 to build a new pc that would be fairly snappy and beable to play almost any game now and in the foreseeable future
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: An Old Dell PC Gets Loud and Hot

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The ram will be as fast as its slowest module, so in your case they were both running at 166mhz.

As far as cost of building a new pc, I assume you wouldnt need a monitor, leyboard, etc, is this correct? Another question is what types of games do you see yourself playing?

You could spend as little as $500-800 to build a new pc that would be fairly snappy and beable to play almost any game now and in the foreseeable future
Thanks. I guess it make sense to replace of the memory stick (166MHz) with a 333MHz one. Does it matter if buy a memory stick that has CL 3.0? I'm playing Diablo 2 on battlenet and warcraft. I experience lot lag while playing the game. However, I am still able to play the game. But those new Dell studio XPS look really nice. very attempting....
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: An Old Dell PC Gets Loud and Hot

Ideally you should buy a matching set of memory. Most memory comes in kits of 2 or 4 that are identical in terms of speed and timings. Then again your system isn't exactly ideal.
If you get a DDR 333 stick and replace the 166 with it then it should work, but some times different memory doesn't like to work together. Like for example if you had Kingston and you bought OCZ. It would probably work together but it might be quirky because the subtimings may be quite a bit different.

I wouldn't buy a pre-built computer if I were paid to do so. The reason for this is that the ability to tweak, upgrade, or even replace dead parts is severely limited, and that can cause problems down the road.
If you're experiencing slowdowns in the game that you didn't experience before with the same hardware then the problem is most likely related to the hard drive or the operating system.
The hardware with no moving parts (aside from the fans) doesn't change at all. It's not going to just suddenly perform like crap. However, a hard drive over time will slowly degrade if it's not taken care of. And that system of yours is pushing 8-10 years old.

I would run a hard disk defrag utility such as Ultimate Defrag, delete any unnecessary files, run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and remove anything that may be running in memory that you don't need.
If you have Norton, Avast, Mcafee (Especially Mcafee and Norton), stop them from starting with windows.

Try this. Click the Start button, click Run, and type "msconfig" without the quotes. Click on the Startup tab and uncheck every single item in this list. Don't worry you won't mess anything up in startup.

This will probably give you a little headroom in memory and once your games are loaded they should run as they did before.


That being said.
If I were you I'd save my money and buy a new computer. Even the cheapest desktop these days is going to far outperform your system.

Just as an example. $50 processor, $50 motherboard, $50 power supply, $39 case, $29 memory, and $29 hard drive.
This totals around $200, and you'd have an Athlon II x2 240 dual core processor with at LEAST 1gig of memory, and a decent Radeon HD4200/3200/3100 onboard video card.
Just sayin'.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: An Old Dell PC Gets Loud and Hot

Thanks for your input, RichM499. I am totally new to build a PC myself type of thing. Do you guys normally get all parts from the same vendor? If not, the shipping cost may add up quick. If I decided to build a pc myself, what should I start? How would I know what parts should I get and what brand, model etc?

BTW, what do you think about those Dell Studio XPS series system? They look so nice and it comes with different colors.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: An Old Dell PC Gets Loud and Hot

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Originally Posted by Discusman View Post
Thanks for your input, RichM499. I am totally new to build a PC myself type of thing. Do you guys normally get all parts from the same vendor? If not, the shipping cost may add up quick. If I decided to build a pc myself, what should I start? How would I know what parts should I get and what brand, model etc?

BTW, what do you think about those Dell Studio XPS series system? They look so nice and it comes with different colors.
I would suggest buying parts from Newegg.com and Tigerdirect.com, both offer good prices and sometimes free shipping (especially newegg.com). The XPS is nice but for what you spend on it you could build a better performing computer.
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