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Old 07-14-2007, 06:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

I am trying to figure out a way to somewhat salvage the old dell and add in new parts to save money. This dell is... around 4-5 years old I think. Added GPU, RAM, HDrive through out the year. Now the AGP slot is what lead me to want to replace it.
================================================== =======

Computer:
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS Service Pack Service Pack 2
DirectX 4.09.00.0904 (DirectX 9.0c)
Computer Name DMG (MSHOME)
User Name Default

Motherboard:
CPU Type Intel Pentium 4, 2400 MHz (18 x 133)
Motherboard Name Dell Dimension 4600
Motherboard Chipset Intel Springdale i865PE
System Memory 1024 MB (DDR SDRAM)
BIOS Type Phoenix (07/21/03)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port ECP Printer Port (LPT1)

Display:
Video Adapter Radeon X1300 Series Secondary (512 MB)
Video Adapter Radeon X1300 Series (512 MB)
Monitor Plug and Play Monitor [NoDB] (CNC607PF4T)

Multimedia:
Audio Adapter Intel 82801EB ICH5 - AC'97 Audio Controller [A-2/A-3]

Storage:
IDE Controller Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers
IDE Controller Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers
Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive Maxtor 6E040L0 (40 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/133)
Disk Drive Maxtor 6L300R0 (300 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/133)
Optical Drive SAMSUNG CD-ROM SC-148C (48x CD-ROM)
Optical Drive SONY CD-RW CRX216E (48x/32x/48x CD-RW)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

Partitions:
C: (NTFS) 39158 MB (12530 MB free)
F: (NTFS) 149999 MB (111714 MB free)
G: (NTFS) 136180 MB (133170 MB free)
Total Size 317.7 GB (251.4 GB free)

Input:
Keyboard Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse PS/2 Compatible Mouse
Game Controller Microsoft PC-joystick driver

Network:
Network Adapter Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network
================================================== =======

I am trying to keep the upgrade under 500~600 dollars. I am quite afraid of the way dell works (example: the ram), since some part might not work on a non-dell PC and screw up my budget line.

The problems (trying to keep the post small):
motherboard: AGP slot -> PCI-E (suggestion?)
processor: Might want to upgrade but not sure (need suggestion)
GPU: considering at least a 7900GS (suggestion?)
case: Do I need to replace the case?
PSU: this PC had shut off itself quite occasionally, assuming the problem is not enough power
RAM: not sure if dell ram can work with other motherboard.
CD/DVD: probably salvage from this PC.

Any good use for the remaining of this dell?

So from the look of it, I am not sure if I should buy a new standalone brand name (gateway, etc) desktop or just build one myself. I don't know much of the good deals around neither, so please help.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

Some dell system use a proprietary 20pin ATX connector for the motherboard and PSU. So I would be careful using any of these two part in a new system.

For the RAM, there are many different type and they all have different pin layout. But the same RAM can be used on another system (HP, Gateway, Sony or custom build) if the motherboard support the same type.

I suggest you buy and build your own system, you'll get more for the price. Plus it's an experience for you if you haven't done it before. Where are you from by the way?
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

would you rather wanna build your own pc?
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

i suggest building your own keeping your monitor, keyboard, mouse, CD drive, and maxtors

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Old 07-14-2007, 10:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

I had been considering building one myself, that's where the salvage part come from. If building one myself is still the better choice under $500-600, I would probably do that (and it would be very helpful if one can suggest me something good).
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

Yeh use that cash for a new CPU/mobo/RAM/GPU. Im at work and dont have time to find them, but check out something along these lines:

CPU - Intel E6450
Mobo - Gigabyte P35- DS3R
RAM - 2GB G.skill or Crucial or Patriot
GPU - 7900GS

You can use the old parts from you dell for the rest. It should come in around $500 i think...
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

Keep the monitor/optical drives/keyboard/mouse/hard drives and sell the ram and just trash or whatever to the rest.

This gives you a very good starting point to build a nice cheap powerful system
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

Any PSU suggestion? Don't think I can reuse the dell PSU. I guess I should salvage the CPU as well?
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Old 08-11-2007, 10:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: A newbie need help: upgrading from ancient dell

if the system is 4 years old i wouldn't bother salvaging the CPU, it'll be the bottle neck of your system. you may as well upgrade it as well to some of the newer, faster technology. and don't chaep out on your PSU. this is important to buy quiality. a bad power supply can damage the rest of your system. it needs to be stable. good luck!
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