Budget Replacement Help Needed

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a Week BUDGET RANGE: Budget computer - $350 after rebates tops

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photoshop, general usage, Half Life 2 era gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: No need for hard drive, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS or tower case


PARTS PREFERENCES: Heard good things about AMD CPUs for tight budgets. Motherboard with slots for 4 hard drives would be nice, but not necessarily needed.



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS/THE STORY: My computer is quite old and apparently has died. However, I am on a very tight budget and am wondering if the community here could help in at least minimizing the number of parts I need to replace. Since the parts are so old, I'm not too optimistic for just one replacement part, hence the new system section.

For the last few weeks, my 7 year old computer has been suffering from frequent and random restarts. Hoping the problem was merely in a corrupted system file, I decided to roll back my computer a month today. While in the process of doing so, I heard a pop, smelled smoke, and the computer died. I just went to Best Buy to get a replacement power supply (thinking if that was the problem, I would return the psu, then order another online for a better price). A light turned on on my motherboard and the fans start to spin, but then the fans stop and even the bios failed to boot up.

I have inspected the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and GPU to the best of my abilities but found no tell-tale darkening indicating burning.

I am at a loss for determining exactly which part of my computer has failed and was hoping one of you might be able to direct me toward procedures for doing so. Like I said, I am short on cash right now, and would be extremely grateful if you could help me find a solution that costs less than $350. If a single replacement part is inadvisable, then a workable replacement system/upgrade from newegg would be great.

Time is an issue as Photoshop is part of my work. Below are the specs of my dead computer. I would think the biggest issue would be finding a Motherboard with enough slots for my hard drives. I have at least one I can disconnect so don't worry about it too much.

Dead Computer Specs:
CPU: Pentium 4 - 2.4 GHz OC'ed at 2.56 GHz
GPU: Geforce FX 5500 AGP connector
Mobo: Asus p4sdx
RAM: 2 512 MB sticks and 2 256 MB sticks not sure which brand
PSU: 450 w unknown model
4 Hard drives with Windows XP Home installed on one
4 answers Last reply
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  1. Hmm i am thinking those are IDE drives? Any SATA ones? Most current mobos ahve 1 IDE slot for 2 x IDE devices and some even do away with IDE all together...
  2. Hmm ok worse case scenario: this combo still allows u to squeeze in a Samsung F3 500GB SATA HDD if u really have all IDE HDDs and perhaps you could sell those off in the used h/w market and recover some dough hehe

    Or perhaps reuse the biggest IDE drive/s (up to 2) and hit a HD 4670/5670 if u plan to game
  3. I'm still not sure about my PSU. It may not have burned out, but it's also quite old and I'm not even sure it has a 24 pin connector. Would this PSU be a good choice for the above setup from zipzoomflyhigh?
  4. Thanks very much guys. I think this'll work. You guys rock.
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