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Socket 939 HP system with problems. Upgrade or start fresh?

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June 25, 2010 3:51:11 AM

So my mom owns the above mentioned socket 939 AMD system from HP and is finally tired of fighting it. USB ports don't seem to work anymore and neither does the optical drive. The old dog takes approximately forever and a day to start up even though there don't seem to be that many programs running on start up. All the uninstall/reinstall type stuff has been done to no great effect. I'm thinking that the mobo is on its way out but I kinda wonder about the power supply as well. As long as she's been running it this way I'm kind of questioning the integrity of the CPU itself.

I've done a little bit (not much) surfing around the internet for socket 939 motherboards but for the price it seems like she might be just as well off in the long run to bite the bullet and step up to a new system.

So, here are my questions:

1. Are my suspicions that the mobo is bad well founded? If not, what's my likely culprit?

2. Regardless of which path I take, will it be possible to/should I bother to reuse the HP case? I understand that those folks like to go the proprietary route with many things. That is to say, will an atx style mobo or non-HP PSU fit this case?

3. And finally, depending on what may or may not still be salvageable, upgrade or start from scratch?

Also, I'm not 100% certain on the budget but the steel reinforced concrete ceiling is probably around $500 USD, probably including a copy of Windows 7.

P.S. Completely unrelated, sidenote bonus question that I probably already know the answer to but would like confirmation on: Will an ATI graphics card work on an MSI NF750-G55 mobo with an NVIDIA chipset?

Thanks in advance for everyone's help.

EDIT: Should probably also mention that she's uses the system primarily for surfing the web, word processing, very occasional movie watching, and some farmtown or whatever that facebook game is.
June 25, 2010 2:03:22 PM

1.) Not really. The motherboard doesn't really affect speed that much. It's probably just that the computer is ancient.

2.) You shouldn't be replacing anything in that build. The thing is ancient. I'd probably just buy an entirely new computer (or build one...).

3.) See above. Generally, the HDD/optical is really the only parts that are salvagable from prebuilts, but with the age and likely low quality, I would just replace everything.

If you wanted to build it, here's what you should be looking at:

CPU/Mobo: X3 440 and MSI 890GXM-G65 $185 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill 2x2 GB DDR3 1333 mhz CAS Latency 9 $87
HDD/Case/PSU: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB and Antec 300 w/ BP430W $105
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20
OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

Total: $497.

I should point out that if she calls tech support a lot, this wouldn't be the best idea, since you'd be tech support...
a b α HP
June 25, 2010 3:02:52 PM

LOL... If the OP's mom is anything like mine, you could buy a system off the shelf and STILL have to do all the tech support!

I'd agree with MadAdmiral's advice on going with a completely new build though. Just as an alternative, this is similar to what I recently built for my mother:

Barebones Mini - MSI Wind Intel Atom D510 - $160
Memory - G-Skill 2GB (1x2GB) DDR2-667 SODIMM - $41
Hard Drive - Seagate 160GB SATAII - $38
Optical Drive - LG DVD Burner SATAII - $20
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit - $100
Keyboard/Mouse - Microsoft USB Wired Keyboard and Mouse - $20

Total: $395.04 Shipped.

The dual-core Intel Atom D510 is more than enough for what Mom uses the computer for. I went with 32-bit Windows 7 as I wasn't certain the MSI Wind was 64-bit compliant. I also included a USB connected Keyboard/Mouse set as the MSI Wind does not have PS2 ports. I built this system three months ago and I've only receive one "tech support" call so far and that turned out to be a false alarm. ;) 

-Wolf sends
June 25, 2010 7:28:40 PM

Thanks to both of you for your responses. I like both of your ideas so far. I have to say though, if I was to go with Madadmiral's build I'd probably have to give my build from February to her and keep that for myself. ;)  I have an Athlon II X2 240 which, after having had a few months to live with it, would be more than enough for her. It's sitting on top of that NF750 mobo that I mentioned before, which is why I asked that question about graphics cards. I think if I had a do-over I'd go a different route but what's done is done. Really wish that case bundle was going on when I was building mine too.

I thought about doing something similar to Wolf's approach and doing something atom based but was kind of concerned about what kind of expandability there would be. Space is at sort of a premium though. It sounds like our mothers could be sisters though. I get those calls a lot too! :) 

Either way, thanks to both of you, and anyone else who'd like to share there thoughts/advice on a potential route to take. I'm kinda wondering if I should just start a thread in the new build section at this point though.
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