anyways so i go back to the guy to put it together, and he says its not compatible. i.e. it wont work, i looked at it myself, and as far as i can see the only thing thats not compatible is the heatsink, and i can get a new one of those no problem.
apparently hes been working with computers for 15 years, so maybe hes right. but honestly i dont see what is incompatible here. maybe you guys can shed some light?
btw, its a pentium 4 ht processor, 1gb ram, IDE HDD, nothing special
The dell board has an older 915 chipset which may not work with your cpu or ram. You need to match not only the cpu but the ram to a replacement board. If you don't know how to change out a board, I would look for a used p4 or core2 duo system on craigslist so you don't have to pay someone more for labor.
it's possible that the motherboard has a custom front panel connector that won't work with your case. a lot of corporate made PC's are that way for easier assembly. I had an IBM that was that way. The other possibility is that he's concerned that the PSU connector on the MB is not standard. I don't know about that generation, but some older dells had a customs PSU connector that would not work with a regular PSU and might even damage the board. I'm not sure, but these are some possibilities. If you have the dell case as well as the MB you might using that instead for all your parts, assuming it's not a small form factor and everything will fit.
my case is a normal case, and my old mobo was the same form factor so its ok, their both ddr2 ram... guess ill just have to return it and get the exact same board. seems like a waste of money, spending 30 pounds on a system that cost 60. might aswell put that towards a decent new build.
is it worth trying the board out? will it get damaged at all? its definetly got the right socket and ram, thats for sure.
i was talking about either the front panel connectors or power supply connectors might be different. Dell cases and dell power supply's sometimes have a a different layout for these connections than your standard case would (at least they used to), hence the possible reason for the motherboard not being compatible. the best thing to do would be to ask the person that told you it wasn't compatible why it wasn't compatible so you understand where the problem lies.