what to build out of spare computer?

I have an older P4 2.2ghz with 512MB and a 6600 256meg AGP video card in it that runs fine....however....

I have a newer HP computer AMD X2 4200 with 3 gig of ram in it and have tried, to no avail, to upgrade the video card to a newer PCI video card (even as far as new power supply and dif moboard).

My plan is to take the older P4 case (hard drive/floppy/dvd/cd) and put in an ASROCK DUALSATA board, place the X2 4200 AMD in it plus 2 gig of RAM (from the HP) and buy a 3000+ AMD and put in the HP. Leaving the HP for family and the "rebuilt" to tinker with.

Question: is their a better/cheaper/different way to deal with the old P4? (the moboard bios does not allow overclocking)
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More about what build spare computer
  1. Would be a great lan gaming node, print / fileserver, linux workstation - you have to check out XGL - the 3d hardware accellerated desktop
    there is even a live boot cd - Koroaa project (link)

    Check out this post there are a bunch of ideas there also...
  2. I would use it as a file server or maybe a media server... It depends on what your needs are. I like having central location for all of my digital photos, music, videos, and applications. Its easy access and easy for backing up all important data.
  3. My spare computer sits in the lounge on a table next to my comfy-est chair. I use it whilst watching TV to:

    1. Check TV listings
    2. Look stuff up on IMDB (helpful for those "where have I seen this actor before?" moments!)
    3. See if any mates come online on MSN

    It also doubles up as my download box.
  4. So it sounds like your original problem was that you needed to upgrade the graphics card in your new HP system but couldn't. My question is: why not? What problems did you have? Seems like you could just give the family the older P4 system, keep the HP for yourself, and figure out how to upgrade the graphics.
  5. I took my old P4 and setup a FreeNAS box. This is currently in beta, but is turning out pretty nice.
  6. I don't supposed you messed up on the driver did you? Did you go from ATI to NVidia and not completely remove the old driver before installing the new one?

    If you are stuck with what you plan I'd go HTPC. Very low requirements for that, just add a tv tuner card/pvr.
  7. I turned my spare parts into a HTPC. All my music is stored digitally, and I also ripped all of my DVDs to DivX, and I use the HTPC to watch them on my TV.
  8. I tried hard to upgrade the graphics, including 4 seperate cards, ATI and NVIDIA, ranging from x800-7600. Figured I had a weak PSU, so I changed it out, still no-go, so went ahead with a moboard and PSU and still no-go. I think I have a bad PCI-e slot and it keeps frying the video cards. The HP case will only fit micro-ATX boards....

    My old P4 is a tower so I can go with a different board and wipe everything off of the HDD and install XP Pro that I have. The HP I leave "stock" so If I have software prob I can use the re-install CD with all the neat stuff the family likes to have.

    I do not want to spend more than $200-250 to fix up anything nor do I want to ship the HP back and go thru the hassle of all that.....
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