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Can I reuse the CPU?

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April 1, 2009 4:36:57 AM

Hi, i was going swap my Dell C521 for a sorta new build. If i was going to buy another AM2+ motherboard, can i reuse the CPU that came with the dell? Also can i reuse the HDD's. Thanks! :D 

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April 1, 2009 4:42:13 AM

Yes, you can reuse the CPU, HDs, and optical. Possibly even the RAM, although you won't want to.
April 1, 2009 4:46:58 AM

Thanks Proximon, is there something wrong with the parts, like the RAM won't work. I heard somewhere the bios is tied to the CPU so it woudn't work. lol. XD
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April 1, 2009 5:04:35 AM

Your Dell computer could have come with several different processors. I'm guessing yours came with one of the better ones?

It's not a good CPU by modern standards, but if you need to build a better platform for future upgrades you can certainly reuse the CPU. You might need to replace the cooler on the CPU... it's hard to say.

The CPU will have a built in memory controller that will determine what speed ram you can pair with it. Possibly 800Mhz will be what you can do.. so you might very well want to wait and upgrade the CPU and memory together.

Certainly you cannot get a new AM3 board, but you can get a nice 790GX:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That will run your CPU until you can upgrade.
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April 1, 2009 5:07:08 AM

^ Your CPU ties you to DDR2 RAM.
April 1, 2009 5:52:31 AM

Thanks for the help, since i just want to reuse the parts and buy a cheap AM2 board and a new case for better airflow. My slimline dells sucks for getting decent airflow. The CPU is just a crappy 3400+ Sepron i use for word processing and internet browsing. The Ram is only 512GB DDR2 533Mhz, i'm pretty sure i can use 667Mhz ram. I will upgrade the ram tho.
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April 1, 2009 12:28:05 PM

Word processing and internet browsing? If that is the main use of your PC, I don't understand your line of thinking. All I would do is upgrade the RAM to 2 gig of inexpensive memory, buy more of the same you already have. That'll give you a nice little performance increase, beyond that, there is just no reason to spend more money, it won't do anything for you.
You also understand that if you do this, your OEM version of Windows is not going to work on the new motherboard? You will have to buy a new retail version of Windows.
Again, for what you do, just buy more memory. You are starting down a road that is going to get expensive, troublesome, and in the end, you won't notice a thing better than what you had in the first place.
April 1, 2009 10:21:30 PM

Thanks for the help, the reason why i am upgrading, is because the dell has really bad air flow. I have a Ge Force 9400 GT with a passive heatsink. Iwant to get a new mobo and a case, because the dell is mBTX and the cooling sucks.
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April 1, 2009 10:56:13 PM

A BTX AM2 Board? SACRILEGE!!! Anyway, yeah you can reuse all your parts and do an incremental upgrade. If you plan on putting in a Phenom II latter and overclocking you should get a board with the SB750 south bridge. As far as I've seen this is the only 790X board with the SB750

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And it's basically an update to the board I have, the GA MA 790X DS4 (which has an older SB600 ). The Asrock 790GX board is also a good choice, but if you don't really want to spend too much money the ASrock A780FullHD is a great board for around $50-60 and supports 140W CPUS and AM3, but since it's based on the 780G there's no SB750 for you. Just depends on what your budget is ^_^. From there you get a good case, and maybe an aftermarket cooler, and you should be able to overclock that old 4000X2+ a bit.
April 2, 2009 12:14:59 AM

Thanks, I was planning to get either one of these boards:
Asus M2N68-AM SE2
MSI K9N6PGM2-V

Would they be compatible with the 3400+? Thanks!
April 2, 2009 2:01:06 AM

Thank Proximon, as i said its just a crappy dell that I only use for word editing and surfing, but my vid. card can output 1080p and decode HD and Bluray so i don't need a really good mobo.
April 2, 2009 2:25:21 AM

Don't get that ECS black mobo, they tend to die all of a sudden. I have that board in my basement right now.
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April 2, 2009 4:11:41 AM

Yeah, that ASUS board is just a low end model that really doesn't deserve the ASUS name, and the MSI one is o.k for a cheap system, but I still wouldn't get it. This is the min I would get even though they raised the price on it a little

ASRock A780FullHD $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I guess the ECS board is o.k, I mean every manufacturer has a bad board once in a while, but ECS isn't always one of the more reliable makers. It's up to you of course, but I wouldn't get less than that ASRock. It has great overclocking options, just make sure you read the sticky and know what the default settings are before you go changing anything with that board.
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April 2, 2009 7:53:46 AM

Why upgrade if all you do is Word?
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April 2, 2009 4:37:52 PM

Your motherboard choice isn't about performance as much as it's about stability and functionality. Then there's efficiency.

Just having a sleep mode that really works could save 50-100 dollars the first year.
April 2, 2009 5:25:39 PM

LOL Proximon, that makes me think of a hibernation issue I had earlier. The guys at work wanted me to enable hibernation on their machines so if the power goes out and the battery backup goes on the machines would hibernate and they wouldn't loose their work.

For some reason I couldn't turn it on even after I enabled the feature in the BIOS. If it's not turned on when you install Windows, Windows will not have the feature available and there is no way to add it after the fact.

So Just FYI, if you want to hibernate make sure ACPI is enabled before you install Windows!
April 2, 2009 5:41:52 PM

As i don;t buy online i buy from a local store, and those are the cheapest mobo. Would the 3400+ be compatible. I
m upgradeing cause the 9400GT overheats real bad.
April 3, 2009 3:47:46 AM

If the sockets are same on the motherboards the CPU will work fine.
April 3, 2009 3:49:09 AM

Also, what kind of upgrade involves keeping the CPU, Optical Drive, and RAM?????
April 3, 2009 5:42:02 AM

LOL, you can call it a "case upgrade" for a crappy dell POS. ;) 
April 23, 2009 2:06:16 AM

N890 said:
LOL, you can call it a "case upgrade" for a crappy dell POS. ;) 


hello my friend

i just read this thread and all you really need is a small fan with a molex through connector(plug the 4 pin molex from your power supply in the through connector then plug it back into your hdd or cd rom or whatever) all you have to do is estimate the size you need by measuring the heatsink on your graphics card.then all you do is place the fan on the heatsink blowing towards it and screw in the four self tapping screws that are usually provided(or glue from a glue gun but its messy).problem solved for a total cost of around $10 to $15 or cheaper if you can find a used fan around,ive got 5 or 6 laying around but im in canada.
if your a frequent customer of the pc shop near you they may even help you out and give you a fan they have laying around out of an old pc and also help you to do the work if you buy them a coffee or something,always be nice to the pc guys.

dont go to all of that trouble your suggesting in the thread,just do my idea and then buy a better pc when you can afford it.
it will definetly work and cost next to nothing and will not destroy your already set up machine.

by the way ive got an amd phenom II 940 quad core pc with a zalman 9700 cooler,4 ghz of ocz DDR2/1066 fatality ram,2 asus en9800gtx+ video cards running on a tri sli asus m3n-ht motherboard,an lg dvd burner and 4 different hdds totalling around 600 gb of space in an antec 900 case with an antec tri650 watt psu,and ive built around 30 or so pc's so i do know exactly what im talking about,im not a newb by any means.

email me if you wish,see you later
!