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Upgrading An Old Computer

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February 23, 2012 6:14:56 PM

I have an old Dell XP from around 2004 I believe, and I was wondering what ways, if there even are any to improve it. I am not hoping to turn it into some kind of supercomputer, I just want faster program loading, faster web-browsing, and maybe able some games like Counter-Strike even on low. I heard that I could get more RAM and a cheap graphics card, but I am not sure and I would not know what to get. Any tips/suggestions? Thanks.

OS: MS Windows XP Home 32-bit SP3

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 530
Prescott 90nm Technology

RAM: 512 MB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 199MHz (3-3-3-8)

Motherboard: Dell Inc. 0M3918 (Microprocessor)

Graphics: Intel (R) 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family

Hard Drives: 78GB Western Digital WDC (SATA)

And two optical drives. The case is the old Dell case that I'm pretty sure everyone has seen before, grey & black with a big Dell button and power button in the center of the front. Ex. http://www.fcet.staffs.ac.uk/jdw1/sucfm/2005DellDimensi...

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February 23, 2012 6:27:30 PM

I would personally say rather than "upgrade" a 8 year old machine I would say save up some money, new machines can be built for as little as 500! It wouldn't be economical to try and upgrade such archaic technology
February 23, 2012 6:29:01 PM

Hi, welcome to the forums.

Well let me break it down for you. You've got an old as dirt system, one which is probably going to struggle with average web browsing/video playing.

If you wanted, you could give it a few minor upgrades to bring it to date. I don't know how big the performance increase will be though.
-Bump up the ram to 2GB DDR3 (if mobo supports it, which I doubt)
-Drop a cheap old video card in there, like a 4670 or a newer one like a 5450/6450

That said, I think it's beyond the point if salvaging. It'd probably make more sense to start anew, using the old case/dvd drive.

Sorry to be the bringer of bad news :/  I just don't think the PC is worth uprading, really.
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February 23, 2012 6:45:09 PM

striker410 said:
Hi, welcome to the forums.

Well let me break it down for you. You've got an old as dirt system, one which is probably going to struggle with average web browsing/video playing.

If you wanted, you could give it a few minor upgrades to bring it to date. I don't know how big the performance increase will be though.
-Bump up the ram to 2GB DDR3 (if mobo supports it, which I doubt)
-Drop a cheap old video card in there, like a 4670 or a newer one like a 5450/6450

That said, I think it's beyond the point if salvaging. It'd probably make more sense to start anew, using the old case/dvd drive.

Sorry to be the bringer of bad news :/  I just don't think the PC is worth uprading, really.


Thanks, but I am building a gaming PC at the moment as well. I just wanted this as a "on the side" project. I don't want to upgrade it and completely bring it up to date, I just want to get it going a bit faster then at the moment. And also, how do I find out how much RAM I could possibly add and if the 5450 or the 6450 is compatible with it? Thanks.
February 23, 2012 6:56:22 PM

Actually, I just found out that up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM is compatible with it, but I am not sure about the graphics card. DO you think that the 6450 would be compatible with it?

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February 23, 2012 6:59:02 PM
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It appears that the RAM slots support modules up to 1GB, with a speed of 533MHz with 1.8volts. No guarantees this will work but here's some RAM fitting those specifications: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Very pricey, actually.

The mobo appears to have a single PCI-E 1.0 X16 slot, meaning you're good to go with most cards. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 23, 2012 7:04:23 PM

striker410 said:
It appears that the RAM slots support modules up to 1GB, with a speed of 533MHz with 1.8volts. No guarantees this will work but here's some RAM fitting those specifications: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Very pricey, actually.

The mobo appears to have a single PCI-E 1.0 X16 slot, meaning you're good to go with most cards. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



your good for most cards, but I'd stick to a 5450, 5570, 5670 or 6450, 6570, 6670, as anything more will be severely bottlenecked by that CPU. all those cards are fairly cheap as well.
February 23, 2012 7:30:41 PM

striker410 said:
It appears that the RAM slots support modules up to 1GB, with a speed of 533MHz with 1.8volts. No guarantees this will work but here's some RAM fitting those specifications: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Very pricey, actually.

The mobo appears to have a single PCI-E 1.0 X16 slot, meaning you're good to go with most cards. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks man! And if I decided to go with the 5450, would I need to buy a better power supply or am I good? The PC is a Dell Dimension 4700.
February 23, 2012 7:33:03 PM

HomemadeChair said:
Thanks man! And if I decided to go with the 5450, would I need to buy a better power supply or am I good? The PC is a Dell Dimension 4700.

The 5450 pulls like 17w at load. You'll be fine, no matter what's under the hood.
February 23, 2012 7:36:54 PM

Best answer selected by HomemadeChair.
February 23, 2012 8:22:20 PM

Yeah, You can't really upgrade a CPU with that socket.. (Maybe you could find one on eBay but it really wouldn't be worth the money.)
Yeah, you can upgrade the ram Windows XP kinda sucks if you have less than 1 GB but you can get 4 times that amount in one ram stick of DDR 3 really cheap.

You need to upgrade:
-Your CPU
-Your Motherboard to support the new CPU
-Your RAM to be compatible with the new motherboard
-Your Power Supply because you likely won't have enough power for a video card.
-A new video card

So the only thing that you would be replacing is the mouse, keyboard, speakers and computer case (outter shell). But even that you might have to replace if the pins for the power and reset buttons aren't compatable with the new motherboard.

So in the end to upgrade you need to replace almost everything!

...
Yeah, don't waist your time/money. Just buy a new computer.
Here's a nice one that is also cheap...

High speed 6 Core CPU with 8 times the ram your computer has - $439
http://www.pcdirectsource.com/Item.cfm?ID=2622
OR
Intel Core i5 is an even better choice - $429
http://www.pcdirectsource.com/Item.cfm?ID=2661
Then just buy an HD 6770 or better.
February 23, 2012 8:58:39 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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