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Need advice on PC build

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March 8, 2010 10:18:54 PM

Right, I need a PC capable of running XP/Ubuntu. All its going to be used for is web browsing, word processing and possibly video streaming (though this is not essential at all).

I have some scraps of PCs lying around and was wondering if there was anything I could build using what I have and spending very little extra.

I have a HP Compaq D530 USDT:

P4 2.4GHZ
512 ddr -333 RAM
40 GB 3.5 ATA HDD

This would be a perfect little machine for what I want. However the PSU has blown on it.

I also have a very old system with:
K7S5A motherboard?
Inno3d MX 440 64MB AGP Graphics Card
Its got a LC b350 ATX PSU that seems to be in working order, but a little noisey.
Couple of sticks of RAM, think its 512 mb
I honestly havent a clue what processor it has and am having difficulties getting the heat sink off :\. Havent tried very hard yet as the motherboard doesnt seem to be securely screwed in so I don't want to damage anything attempting to get it off.

I also have various other sticks of RAM lying around:

1 x 512 ddr2
2 x 128 -133 mhz sdram

etc.

Is there anything here worth persuing?

I know there is little hope, but its worth a try.

Thanks in advance for any replies.


Oops forgot to mention I also have a bog standard dvd drive in that last shamble of a machine.

More about : advice build

a b B Homebuilt system
March 8, 2010 10:51:04 PM

The very old system should be able to run something like puppy linux or xubuntu fairly easily. It may be able to do what you want.

The HP is good enough for that if you add a power supply. This is probably the only situation that I would rather a cheap, crappy PSU. Simply because it isn't really worth spending the $50-100 for a good one. Just get one off of newegg.

If you wanted you could also do a low-budget AMD build instead, depending on what kind of money we're talking about.
March 8, 2010 11:00:13 PM

are you american or english? swap the psu anyway. see how it goes. shouldn't be too hard, make sure you plug everything in and it should be okay. there should be a label on the psu stating its wattage.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 9, 2010 1:51:42 AM

If you are suggesting to take the PSU from the oldest system, it is likely a PSU without the 4-pin CPU plug, which is very needed.
March 9, 2010 5:16:35 AM

I'm English. Alright, the main issue I have with that is finding a PSU that will fir comfortably in the case.

And just out of interrest how much are we talking for an AMD rebuild?
a b B Homebuilt system
March 9, 2010 6:36:42 AM

I'd be able to say if you were in the US and could use newegg.

But with a dual core and 2 gigs of ram, prolly somewhere in the ballpark of $180-220 depending on what kinds of stuff is available at what price points and DDR2 or DDR3.
March 9, 2010 6:46:45 PM

Okay, well I'd rather keep the price as low as possible. Replacing the PSU seems like the best option. It only needs a 150W PSU, but the main problem I have is the size of the machine and current PSU.





Any ideas? :\ its a strange shape/setup.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 9, 2010 7:09:13 PM

Google reveals that the K7S5 is an old ECS board with two DDR slots and two SDR slots. It has a Socket A CPU so be careful not to damage the core (there is no heatspreader on those) when taking off and putting back on the heatsink. I would probably use the slower AMD setup simply because it's ATX, you have an ATX PSU, and you probably have a case for it somewhere. For the Compaq, you will have to buy a hard to find replacement PSU for it, or try and get it to somehow fit in another case.

Well, you could use the Compaq, take out the PSU, and cut a hole on top of the case to drop in the cables. I suppose you could also screw the PSU into the top of the case to secure it. Hey it won't win a beauty contest but it may work :D .
March 9, 2010 8:03:44 PM

I have managed to find a replacement PSU for the Compaq on Ebay! ( http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=15... ). However the price they are asking for feels somewhat over the top considering I could probably buy one of these PC's used for £20 more!

Hmm.... The ugly growth might be the best way to go... Wheres the best place to find a crappy PSU then? :)  (UK Remember ;)  )
a b B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2010 1:30:49 AM

If it's socket A (the older one) I'd see what CPU's it supports by using that model number. You could always buy a old barton core if it supports them and end up with a faster machine than the P4 would be depending on how much of a CPU that mobo can drive.

About the P4 one, there's no way for us to know if the actual plugs are standard. If they were I'd say the growth option is best. Look at the other one and it should basically look the same if its standard except it's possible that the AMD one is missing a 4-pin CPU power.

If you're lucky you may end up with both working.
!