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Need new motherboard with PCIe slots, possible to keep everything else?

By Mitchell95
Jul 2, 2011
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  1. I have a Dell Dimension 3000 computer. Currently I am running off windows XP OS, i have 2 GB RAM (bought from dell), an intel pentium 4 processor 3 ghz, 2.99ghz, Im not sure what my power supply is, im have a graphics controller integrated into the motherboard. I have a mechanical hard drive.
    Now I'm fairly new at this but am familiar with the hardware and working of the computer. I just wanna know if i could change the motherboard to one with PCIe slots to handle a video card capable of playing Shogun 2 or other total war games. All my other parts are up to the standards but it seems this is the only problem. What type of motherboard could i use to integrate these other parts. Would it be possible? What would it affect? Would i need to change any software(I shouldnt)? Any help would be great.
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    Can you provide me with the Dell Service Tag please.

    Its possible a new motherboard will require the purchase of a new case and CPU cooler as well.

    Personally, your computer spec's are old by todays standards, and as such I would upgrade the whole computer.

    Even a budget computer is going to have considerably more processing power, faster memory and better graphics performance.
  3. Mitchell95

    Mitchell95 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Service Tag? No Idea, not sure i should?
    Is 3 ghz processing power really that bad? It says on the shogun site that it is above the 2.8 that is needed the recommended system requirnments.
    I am certain that it would be easier to build a new one, but i am really short for cash and would much prefer to just change my mobo.
    ANy other options?
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    Service tag is fine, it just enables me to confirm with Dell your exact system specification, before making any further suggestions. It offers no personal information, its purely for hardware identification. Its on a sticker on the side, or top, or rear of the desktop tower.

    While the CPU might be enough for now, if you purchase a new motherboard for such old hardware, you will be spending money for the sake of it.

    I would strongly recommend you purchase a new CPU cooler as welll, if you go down that route.

    Once I have the service tag I'll hunt out a new board.
  5. Mitchell95

    Mitchell95 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    37N2Y61 is the srvice tag
    Do you mean like a new heat sink fan?
  6. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    Your build spec, for others looking at thread:

    Code:
    Quantity	Parts #	Part Description
    1	N7543	Processor, 80546, 3.0, 1M, Pentium4 Prescott Dt, 800, E0
    1	M6433	Base, Micro-Mini Tower, 3.0G, Pentium 4 Prescott DT, 800, 3000
    1	U6460	Ship Group, Dim3000, United States, United States, English, Dell Americas Organization
    1	Y5996	Module, Compact Diskette, Resource Compact Disk, Dimension, Dell Americas Organization
    1	7N242	Keyboard, 104 Key, UNITED STATES..., Silitek, LC, MIDNIGHT GRAY...
    1	T0943	Kit, Mouse, UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS..., 28, Optical Logitech
    1	K5198	Assembly, Removable Media Storage, Universal Serial Bus 64M, M-SYSTEMS
    1	U0482	Module, Filler, Panel, Audio, 3 Channel
    1	X2749	Modem, V.92, Data Fax, Internal Donny, Dell Americas Organization
    1	K4562	Card, Multi-Media, Audio, SB0413
    1	R4388	Module, Card, Audio, SB0413, Dimension
    1	R4151	Module, Software, ROBINSON NUGENT..., 7.1, MYDVD, 5.3, LOW ENCRYPTION..., Dimension
    1	P9513	Assembly, DVD+/-RW..., 16X, Philips 05, V1
    1	Y8140	Module, Speaker, 120V, A425, Lead Free, Zylux Corporation, Dell Americas Organization
    1	U4931	Display, Flat Panel, 17, DUAL VOLTAGE..., E173FPB, MIDNIGHT GRAY..., DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION...
    1	M1210	Assembly, Floppy Drive, 212, 2
    1	6K888	HARD DRIVE..., 160GB, IDE (INTEGRATED DRIVE ELECTRONICS) ..., 7.2K, 8MEGB, GENERIC...
    1	N6174	Module, Software, Image, Restore, Dimension
    1	Y5679	Module, Software, ADBEACBT Reader, 6.0
    1	U7806	Module, Software, Dell Support3 GTEC, Dimension
    1	K8631	Kit, Software, MCAF-SCTY, 6.0 Compact Disk Drive, English
    1	J8585	Module, Software, MCAF-SCTY, 6.0 15MO
    1	P8081	Module, Software, Music Match, 9.0, Basic
    1	N8051	Module, Software, PAINT SHOP PHOTO STUDIO..., 1.0 Standard, DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION...
    1	Y6874	Module, Software, Paint Shop Photo Album, 5.1, Standard ENG, DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION...
    1	H8412	Kit, Software, Overpack, WXPHSP2 Compact Diskette W/Documentation English
    1	N7965	Module, Software, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2, Dimension, English, NO DOCS/DISKETTES..., DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION...
    1	C8586	Module, Software, Windows Media Player, 10
    1	N8757	Kit, Documentaton On Floppy Disk, Software, POWERDVD..., 5.3.1012
    1	J0201	Dual Inline Memory Module 256, 400M, 32X64 8K, 184
    1	K4394	Kit, Software, WKS-STE2KOEM English
    1	J4547	Module, Software, Worksuite 2004, Original Equipment Mfgr, Dimension
    1	C6966	Module, Software, AOL9.0, INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER..., FI, English, Canadian
    1	H4702	Module, Software, DELL MEDIA MANAGER..., Basic 2.1, Dimension
    I was hoping it would also detail your PSU wattage as well, as this will be a deciding factor when looking to upgrade your GPU as well.

    The reason I mention this, is by the time you have purchased a legacy motherboard, a new cooler fan (more on this below) and a new GPU and PSU, you might as well purchase a new budget computer, which would be considerably faster than this in any case.

    The reason I mentioned about the CPU cooler is because Dell have a nasty habit of using a proprietary system whereby the case forms part of the backplate for the CPU cooler mounting, and the cooler is simply screwed into the baseplate sandwiching the motherboard and CPU between the two. Its very effective for high volume production environments, but its not how it should be done when using retail parts yourself. Spacers are also glued to the motherboard on the front and back to prevent shorting.

    Because of this, a new motherboard will likely short out on the raised backplate portion of the case. It will be impossible without drastic modification to use an aftermarket cooler (or even a genuine new one), and it restricts you to Dell components, just the way they like it.

    This should work for you: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138302

    Before you go ahead ordering though, you need to check your total wattage on your PSU (on the label in case), and confirm how the CPU cooler is mounted. Is it mounted with plastic pins, or is it screwed through the motherboard and held in place by the case behind it.
  7. Mitchell95

    Mitchell95 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks very muhc for your help. I think your right that it will just be easier to build a new one. Get new tech that would help me in the long run.
    It's a family computer right now anyway so i wouldnt want to go messing around with all this only to mess it up.
    How much do you think it will cost me to build a decent gaming computer?


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