TechSpot

Computer Building Questions

By Joshjack
Jan 11, 2006
  1. Hello everyone! I have been doing some research on building my first new computer and I have been running into a LOT of problems, and after reading some of the posts here on TechSpot, I decided to get some "expert" advice from you guys! Let me try to explain...

    I have never built a new system before. I have a little bit of experience with computer building, but I have a lot of questions about what I should get. I am currently running a Dell Dimension 4600C. It is pretty much factory stock, with a slimline case, a Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.66GHz, 640MB DDR (I added a little RAM), and Intel(R) 82865G 64MB Graphics Controller. The system runs fine for basic home computing, but I want to be able to play some of the newer games, so I decided an upgrade is in order.

    I wanted to build a new computer using some new parts and some old parts from the current computer. I wanted to get a new case, and since the case I want is an ATX case, I think I have to buy a new ATX motherboard as well. This leads to my first question; Can I take my P4 processor out of my current Dell mobo and install it in the new mobo? This would save me money on buying a new processor.

    I had planned on buying some more memory as well, and also a new video card and a new power supply. I read on here that some Dell equipment is proprietary. I planned on using the old processor, hard drive, CD drive, DVD player/drive, and that is probably about it. Does anyone spot anything I am missing?

    This is what I planned on buying... (from NewEgg)

    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16811145047 (case)

    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813131484 (mobo)

    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817190005 (psu)

    I understand that I will probably have to install a new version of Windows XP on my motherboard, since it is a proprietary issue... Does this look like a decent setup? Any thoughts or ideas or criticisms would be very welcome, and thanks for reading all of this!
     
  2. Gandalph

    Gandalph TS Rookie

    You should have no major issues with that setup (although you failed to include what video card you are going to get). The P4P800SE is an excellent board, even if it is a little outdated and should accept the CPU from your Dell. The rest of the hardware you mentioned is not proprietary and should go into your new system relatively easily. When you go looking for a video card, make sure you stick with AGP cards as that Motherboard does not have PCI Express.
     
  3. DragonFury

    DragonFury TS Rookie Posts: 63

    a good rule of thumb is first decide how much u can spend . also it is a good idea to try to go Pci-e video cards either amd 754 - 939 socket or intels 775 socket . 754 / 939 boards for amd with pci-e run bout 50 - 200 dollars . intel boards running in the same catagory as price range what seperates the 2 is amd's use ddr ( so if you needed to use ur old ram for the time being u can ) intels use ddr2 ( u have to buy this type of ram ) so how much can you afford firstly ...
     
  4. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 82

    You'll need to double check that your processor is indeed a Socket 478 P4, and assuming that you're correct and have picked the proper mobo, I have one other question for you. Why?

    I would seriously question the money you are about to spend, although not much, you will be spending $100 bucks on a motherboard that has no future potential for upgradeability. The PSU is good for a while and the case is hot, but realistically thats all you're getting. I suppose if you were to buy an AGP video card, you would be good to go for 6 months or so, but realistically the majority of your technology is at the end of its life.

    Seriously consider saving a little more coin, and going for a PCI-E mobo with Socket 939, it will still accept your ram (although you may want to consider going with a dual channel kit anyways) and the entry level Athlon 64 3000 isn't terribly expensive. Even though it is only 1.8Ghz it will demolish your current processor in every task.

    An excellent option right now is to go for the Sapphire X800GTO2 for a video card, it will run in at around $200 USD (I got mine for $274 CDN) which is standard for a midrange video card. The difference being, the Sapphire card can be easily unlocked and overclocked with a 100% success rate to the much more expensive and powerful X850XT PE.

    Your optical and hdds will still carry over, and for roughly twice the price you will have a system that is immeasurably better, and with a 64 bit processor and 256 mb of VRAM, you will be good to go for the next generation of 64 bit software and full functionality of Windows Vista when it is released.
     
  5. mossimoboy

    mossimoboy TS Rookie Posts: 121

    I have to say, Cartz is pretty much 100% right..

    Theres no sense in upgrading to that board when it is outdated.
    You'll be able to play the newest games at medium settings,
    but if you want the most out of a PC, stick to Cartz's points.

    I can tell you first hand that my AMD Athlon64 and 1.5 gigs of ram is perfect for all the new games. I also have an x1600xt from sapphire.

    I can play every game I have (BF2, Counter-Strike:source, HL2, FarCry)
    at the absolute highest settings, with great framerates.

    I would never be able to do that with the P4 you have there and an AGP mobo.

    I think the bottom line is that you should go with AMD64 and a pci-e card.
    You could also use your old DDR ram!
     
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