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Upgrade an old Dell?

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January 30, 2012 5:52:17 PM

Hi all, :hello: 
Not sure what forum to post this in, thought I'd start here....

I have an old Dell Dimension 4100 w/ 512 mb 133mHz ram, a Pentium III 1gHz cpu and a GF4 Ti 4400 GPU.
It is obviously old and yes I have a new computer for my needs.
I am looking to boost this old warhorse(killed many a zerg in it's day!) a bit and pass it along to a youngster in the family. Any thoughts on how I can upgrade this thing? I does work now, runs winXP., just slllloooowww :lol:  ww!
Thanks for any thoughts

More about : upgrade dell

a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 30, 2012 6:23:35 PM

Honestly, I wouldn't pour any money into this system if I were you.

The trusty steed performed admirably throughout its long life, and it doesn't deserve to be put on life support.

Seriously, though, I think that the parts this thing could be upgraded with haven't been manufactured in so long and supplies have most likely dwindled to the point that they are quite low everywhere. Demand + very low supply = high prices. It is likely that the retailers jacked up the prices since there are no other alternatives.

I think you would likely pay just as much for upgrading this as you could spend to just buy a new setup that would work 10x or 20x better.

You could get this thing for $80

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

And 2x 2 GBs of RAM for $50

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

and for $130 you would have a full low end backbone with processor, ram, motherboard, and graphics.

The processor would be 1.6 ghz, the RAM would be 8x as much and 800 MHZ, the video card would be GMA 3150. Basically, it would be a large step up everywhere.

It would load XP and the child would have a very much better time trying to do homework on it or play flash games or listen to Pandora music or whatever they are trying to do.

I think the same $130 poured into life support for the DELL is going to buy you a whole lot less improvement.

If you have more money than that, things only get better from there, but I think to get improvement that matters in 2012 will require at least $130.

- Edit - I suppose you could shave the ram to 2x 1 GBs for $30 instead of $50 which would cut the price to $110. I have never suggested 2x 1GB to anyone before even for ultra budgets and I can't feel good about doing it now, but it is an option on the table. For applications where 4GB is possible, I generally advise that as the bare minimum. I think that 2012 really wants 4GBs or more in 99.9% of cases, but I could understand dropping to 2x 1 GBs with the Atom processor setup from above.

I would shed a tear if you were interested in going that route, but if so then get this RAM

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

instead of the one that I linked above.
January 30, 2012 7:06:17 PM

Raiddinn said:
Honestly, I wouldn't pour any money into this system if I were you.

The trusty steed performed admirably throughout its long life, and it doesn't deserve to be put on life support.

Seriously, though, I think that the parts this thing could be upgraded with haven't been manufactured in so long and supplies have most likely dwindled to the point that they are quite low everywhere. Demand + very low supply = high prices. It is likely that the retailers jacked up the prices since there are no other alternatives.

I think you would likely pay just as much for upgrading this as you could spend to just buy a new setup that would work 10x or 20x better.

You could get this thing for $80

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

And 2x 2 GBs of RAM for $50

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

and for $130 you would have a full low end backbone with processor, ram, motherboard, and graphics.

The processor would be 1.6 ghz, the RAM would be 8x as much and 800 MHZ, the video card would be GMA 3150. Basically, it would be a large step up everywhere.

It would load XP and the child would have a very much better time trying to do homework on it or play flash games or listen to Pandora music or whatever they are trying to do.

I think the same $130 poured into life support for the DELL is going to buy you a whole lot less improvement.

If you have more money than that, things only get better from there, but I think to get improvement that matters in 2012 will require at least $130.

- Edit - I suppose you could shave the ram to 2x 1 GBs for $30 instead of $50 which would cut the price to $110. I have never suggested 2x 1GB to anyone before even for ultra budgets and I can't feel good about doing it now, but it is an option on the table. For applications where 4GB is possible, I generally advise that as the bare minimum. I think that 2012 really wants 4GBs or more in 99.9% of cases, but I could understand dropping to 2x 1 GBs with the Atom processor setup from above.

I would shed a tear if you were interested in going that route, but if so then get this RAM

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

instead of the one that I linked above.


Hi, thanks for the reply,
Indeed I intend no shame. I would put the 4mb of RAM.....

Would all of this fit into the current case? and would the DELL PSU it currently has (200w) work...?...it has 'funny' wiring. I suppose I could get a new psu as well. If I spend to much more I should probably just get a new "everything" huh?
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 30, 2012 8:46:47 PM

The things I listed should use significantly less power than what you already have, so the 200w should be fine for this if it is fine for what you are already using.

I don't know what all the PSU has, but it should work with the atom board.

Does the current DELL PSU have a 20+4 connector and a 4+4 connector for the motherboards?

The board should fit in the current case just fine.

A new everything would cost much much more if you want it to be something I would reasonably suggest other people to use.

I have been working with someone else to build a rock bottom price full computer for low to medium settings sort of gaming and it is almost $400.

It would blow away the performance of what I suggested here by a lot, but at almost 4x the price too.

You may be able to find a fully built new low end DELL for like... 250 - 300ish but probably not much less, especially with the high prices for hard drives right now.

That would probably be the next most cost savings alternative.
!