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Upgrade Questions - Upgrade or Rebuild?

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December 31, 2009 4:35:24 AM

Recently I came recieved $275 dollars and my grandparents old Dell Dimension E310. The questions that I have is whether I should upgrade this or use the old parts to build a new computer.

Dell Dimension E310 Specification: Specifications Link

Current Specs:
Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHZ
2GB Memory
PCI 8400GT
430 Watt PSU
DVD-ROM Drive
80GB Maxtor Harddrive

Upgrades I Did Last Year:
* Upgraded to 2GB Ram
* 430 Watt Thermaltake PSU
* Sparkle PCI 8400 GT

Here is my options:

~Keep current build
~~Replace Video Card With
~~~Ethier a PCIe X1 or PCI Card
~~~~PCIe X1: Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64 Bit (64 Bit makes me want PCI Card)
~~~~PCI Geforce 9 Series Card (Low Bus Speed Turns me towards PCIe X1)
~~~Replace Loud 80GB Maxtor with
~~~~500GB WD Caviar Green (I Own one and it is very quiet so I will buy again

~Other Option is rebuild
~~Reuse Loud 80GB Harddrive and Reuse DVD ROM and 430 Watt Thermaltake PSU
~~~Buy low cost motherboard with good onboard graphics, case (Antec 300), good ram, and cheap CPU to overclock.

I didn't want to spend all of the money so the first option is favorable, but I think the Pentium 4 may bottleneck the graphics card or the whole system all together. The second option costs more and I have to reuse a crappy Maxtor harddrive. I also stick with onboard graphics or the old 8400GT but I think any new onboard graphics could kill that card. Im thinking about the first option but I am clueless what to do, guide me to making the best decision.
December 31, 2009 5:50:37 AM

What country are you in?

Unfortunately Pentium 4 is garbage by todays standards.

You can build a budget PC that would destroy that computer for about $450. (no monitor or operating system figured into that price I threw out).

My personal suggestion is a cheap AMD AM3 motherboard and CPU combo. and go from there. Newegg sells an ASUS 785G motherboard with decent onboard graphics for about $85. And you can get a decent dual core AMD AM3 processor for about $60/$70.
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December 31, 2009 6:25:48 AM

Although pentium 4's are low end by todays standards, and I have always personally disliked them your most problematic bottleneck IMO is going to be the lack of a full PCI-E slot.
I would have to second the recommendation for an AM3 785G based board such as this MSI board for $80, Add an Athlon II X2 for $58, and 2GB DDR3 for $55 and you have a usable upgrade, and you're ready for a standard video card when you have the money for it.
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December 31, 2009 6:54:43 AM

That or consider similar but full atx board instead of micro atx for future upgrade possibility as getting 2 slot graphic card (most of them these days) would left just one PCI slot free.
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December 31, 2009 7:28:59 AM

Ummmm if you are here in the U.S i think your best bet would be to invest in a cheap AM3 mobo and an athlon ll x 2 cpu as well as 2-4 gb of ddr 3 and an ATI hd 4650-4670

Am 3 mobo from MSI (nividia chipset or AMD chipset 770)= $55

4 gigs of ddr 3 = 89 dollars free shipping

ati 4650-4670= from $50- $70

Athlon ll x2 240 regor= $59

total= $262-$281 depending on configuration and the GPU you pick

you can keep other components, this system will keep you satisfied for a while and would make your user experience much better it is not right for anyone to be using a p4 in 2010 i got it all from new egg
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December 31, 2009 12:42:34 PM

I was just looking at some images of the case... looks to me like the dell one is inverted (motherboard mounted on the left side of the case vice the standard right, but pci slots still at the bottom) so you may have to include a case as well...
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December 31, 2009 3:56:46 PM

kiren said:
I was just looking at some images of the case... looks to me like the dell one is inverted (motherboard mounted on the left side of the case vice the standard right, but pci slots still at the bottom) so you may have to include a case as well...


Yeah BTX :(  Yes, im in the US I buy all my parts from newegg. I will probably go along with what you guys are saying about getting another motherboard, processor, ram, and case.
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December 31, 2009 5:31:11 PM

monsterman said:
I would suggest looking on your local craigslist or scour ebay. Very often I come across these specs for a $300 desktop

8800 gt
2.0 ghz c2d
4 gig ram

quick example= http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/sys/1531039525.h...

Then when you get some more cash on hand grab a 4850 for $90 and be good


Seems like a good idea, but I like buying my stuff new so I now when the warranty is and such. Plus the way im going I think I wont have to spend all my money. Im starting with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 58.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 64.99
Yet to think of cheap case give me suggestions on that
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December 31, 2009 5:39:31 PM

mwiebelhaus said:
Seems like a good idea, but I like buying my stuff new so I now when the warranty is and such. Plus the way im going I think I wont have to spend all my money. Im starting with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 58.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 64.99
Yet to think of cheap case give me suggestions on that


I have been buying used computer parts for over 10 years now. Never had a problem.
If you get something like I liked and put in a decent video card in for 70-100. You have a legit gaming machine that will last until you get some $$
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January 3, 2010 11:54:31 PM

Ok so pretty much this whole time I was thinking that this was a socket 478, ends up its socket 775? Anyways does this mean I could just go the intel route and pop in the Pentium 4 until I have enough money for a CPU upgrade?
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January 4, 2010 1:16:05 AM

Yes, you should be able to do that, I looked at the CPU support chart on several boards both DDR2 & 3 and they still support P4's.
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