Motherboard/CPU Purchase Questions

Hi all. I just recently stumbled across this board trying to pick some brains. I was recently given a maybe five year old Dell tower (I couldn't tell you model as it's at home and I'm at work) that I would like to upgrade piece by piece. Now I would consider myself computer-savvy. I can easily master all of the inner workings of Windows and Linux and have fiddled around with OEM Bios' before but unfortunately I have never built a pc and don't know everything about the insides of them. Is it even possible to piece together pieces or will they not play friendly?
I was thinking about getting a motherboard/cpu combo in the $100-$150 range withen the next day or so such as either the ASRock E350M1/USB3 AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD A50M Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo or the SAPPHIRE PURE Fusion Mini E350 AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo. I'm kinda leaning towards the Sapphire but I was wondering which is better or if there is even something even better in that price range (USB3.0 is a must).
Also, I noticed the Sapphire uses 2×204pin SO-DIMM for memory. That is essential laptop memory, no? Anything else I might need to bring into consideration?

Thanks for any help.
7 answers Last reply
More about motherboard purchase questions
  1. Forget the Dell thing and start out with a roomy well ventilated, inexpensive case.

    Pick a budget along with a list of apps ya wanna run and let the regulahs put together a build for you.
  2. Like Jack said above, scrap the Dell and start from scratch. That Dell case prob won't have enough room for some of the newwer components (H/S, graphics cards etc) and poor ventilation. You can get decent cases that will have way better designs for airflow for cheap and if you're going to be piecemealing a new system, you may as well throw in the cost for a case in your budget anyways. If I remember right, most of the Dell hardware is proprietary anyways, so if you were upgrading piece by piece, you'd have to get stuff from Dell, or at least find hardware that meets their specs. not 100% positive on this though, they could have changed from a few years ago.
  3. Thanks for the replies. That's what I was afraid of. Unfortunately, I'm just spending money I make from seldom side jobs and all I have at the moment is $165. Let's say I do get a case. What else besides a case, CPU/Motherboard combo, memory, keyboard, and mouse that you need?
    I was mostly just wanting to use it as file/media server until I could get more money.
  4. Power supply, hard drive, and disk drive if you're using it for media
  5. Awesome. So the only other thing I would need to buy that I don't have laying around is a power supply. Shouldn't run me too far over budget.
  6. One more thing. I have excess 2.5" HDDs. Would that work or do I have to get a 3.5"? I do have an extra 3.5" but it's just a measly 40GB.
  7. Could I use the old Dell for parts and take the power supply from that? I would rather spend that extra money on a better case or more memory.

    Also, if I get a mini-itx motherboard do I also have to get a mini-itx case and min-itx power supply?
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