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A Stupid Question, with apologies

Last response: in Systems
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August 16, 2010 5:03:50 PM

I have a Dell Dimension 8200, build 97XJZ01, with a 2 GHz Pentium 4 and 512 MB or RAM, running XP Pro and I'd like to upgrade to a 64 bit capable MB and 4 core CPU, good/not necessarily bleeding edge graphics card for video/photo processing, run Windows 7 Ultimate, keep all the pictures and documents on my present hard disk and add a high capacity hard disk, and a couple of blu-ray drives. I think I'll go the retail route with Windows 7 for the support down the road. Can anyone point me to a "for dummies" step by step process for doing this in a relatively inexpensive way?
August 16, 2010 5:09:19 PM

What is your budget, you can build another computer really cheap if you want, you are basically re-building just need a few more parts for a whole new PC
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August 16, 2010 5:48:49 PM

Thanks for the quick reply! I see your point Mr. Pizza. All I'm really keeping is the case and the power supply, maybe not good ideas. I guess what most concerns me is keeping the photographs, documents, and bookmarks on the old PC. My preferred budget would be under a grand, but I could be persuaded to go above, although it might delay the project a bit. Perhaps I could build a good core, and go the rolling upgrade route, as my daughters' tuition bills and living expenses allow...
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August 16, 2010 5:59:20 PM

Should be no problem keeping all your documents/data. Two methods. One - Get a cheap IDE, or Sata) -> usb enclosure (approx $20) and transfer to new HDD. or (2) simply install your old HDD into new system and transfer (just make sure your Boot priority points to new HDD. Both methods, need to know if your current HDD is IDE (PATA) or SATA.

I kind of love my configuration (you can omit the SSD depending on the budget), You can also get a lower cost /Newer MB.

On PSU, check reviews for your current PSU. If not good then I would recommend replacing with a quality PSU (cost about $50) - I hate to see a NEW build go up in smoke.
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August 16, 2010 6:26:25 PM

Do you need a dedicated GPU, ie what games do you play. You stated quad core, will a dual core with hyper-threading work.
If a 2 DCore/ 4 thread CPU and integrated Graphics is OK, you can omit the $100 - $150 and buy later as needed.

CPU: i5-750 quad core, or I5-6xx dual core/4 threads ---- $200
MB: P55 (no IGP (integrated Graphics) support, or H55/57 ---- $100
Memory: 4 Gigs DDR3 --- $100 +/- 20
HDD - $50->$60
GPU: if Intergrated graphics not good enough and $100 -> $150 for a ATI 5670, or 5770

DVD drive, may be able to use your old one, But only about $25 to get a New one
Consider a 3rd party HSF - (I hate Intels stock cooler) add about $35 - $40.

Note on case, any front panel USB connectors may be USB 1, very slow compared to USB2, and Newer USB 3.

PSU, can make do with what you have (need min of 400 Watt QUALITY Brand) recommend 450 -> 500 watt.
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September 9, 2010 1:46:54 PM

Chief and Mr. Pizza,

Thank you for your replies.

I checked out the price of additional memory for my Dimension 8200, and RAMBUS memory is expensive, so I am thinking in terms of either mostly new components, including a power supply, as Chief recommends, using an enclosure to house my current HDD. Any issues with starting up with a new blank HDD and a new Operating System? I guess I just put the Windows 7 disk in the drive, and follow directions, right?

Do you have any recommendations for good e-tailers to purchase the components from, and who can offer advice on things like a PSU that will fit my current case?

Thanks again for your replies.
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September 9, 2010 1:51:25 PM

If you can give a budget.there are quite a few people here who knows of deals and such
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September 9, 2010 2:24:16 PM

Please, give us a budget. Anything will do, and get you a nice PC!
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September 9, 2010 2:31:37 PM

CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5770 (from a GOOD brand)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

650w XFX Power Supply -$79 after rebate and will be good if you want to overclock/upgrade
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows 7 (ultimate isn't any faster. Just get home premium)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HAF 912 FOR YOUR CASE ONLY $55 NOT IN STORES YET BUT WILL BE SOON

Cheap SATA Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Subtotal: $558.93
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!