Dell 2400 Upgrade!

By des1fool · 19 replies
May 23, 2006
  1. I've got an old Dell 2400 and I want to bring it to 2006.
    Intel Celeron 2.4 CPU and Integrated Graphics
    256MB RAM
    40GIG HD
    I want to do a Pentium 4 2.8: (Not Clear) Posssible Yes Or No?
    I want to do a NVidia GeForceFX 5700LE: (Clear on this)
    I want to install a 1G of RAM: (Not clear)
    But I am sort of unclear on this am I PC2700 or 3200? Because if I got two 512's i'll be two 2700 as to 1- 1G 3200 I need help on this.
    I want to install a 2nd HD and an additional rack if needed: (Sort Of not clear)
    Will the computer reconize it?
    Keep the original 40 GIG for OS only. An additional 250GIG for games and media.
    WiFi Card:(Very Clear)
    Linksys Card Plug and Play Simple.
    Drive Upgrade: (Unclear)
    But I want to know if the computer just reconizes it?
    I want to install a Speedy Sony DVD-Burner

    All of this should come up to about 500 total

    Sound possible to you?
    I really want to bring this computer into the 20th Century and I need to make a gaming computer that I can play GTA on with full resolution or Doom 3 on a mediocre resolution etc.

    Commets Appreciateded!
  2. Chris 96 WS6

    Chris 96 WS6 TS Rookie Posts: 28

    I am pretty sure its all possible, but I'm not an expert. Only thing I'm not certain on is how to upgrade the processor. The limiting factor may be your FSB speed.

    Video Card -- First thing to know is that the Dimension 2400 has no AGP or PCI-E graphics slot, so you'll have to buy a PCI Graphics Card. I got a GeForce FX5500 256mb PCI card off ebay really cheap.

    Memory -- Your machine sounds like its a touch newer than mine (I have a P4 2.2GHZ processor), so I'm not certain on your memory but mine has PC2700 memory. If all else fails download the system scan from and it will tell you exactly what memory you have, but you can also check the CMOS for the memory bus speed too.

    Hard drive -- 2nd hard drives are easy. You'll need a new cable as the OEM one has only one drive connection, but once you get power and the controller connected, boot into CMOS, turn on the primary slave, then go into windows and poof it is there. You'll have to format and partition but that's pretty easy from the MMC. I run a 20gb 2nd drive to which I back up all my documents/pictures/personal data. You will need a Dell HD bracket to mount the drive, but you can get those off ebay for ~$10.

    Same process for installing the DVD burner...

    WiFi -- As for the WiFi card that is literally plug and play, particularly if you have the XP service pack w/ the wireless networking utility.
  3. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    not sure of the P4 2.8. Possible, but I'll let someone confirm that.

    For the GFX, if there's a slot for it, go ahead, although I think there's better cards out there. Especially if you're thinking of running Doom 3 on medium. I have a 5700, and even on low, Doom 3 doesn't run all that good.

    On the RAM, you're better off using the same speed you're currently using. I'm assuming your computer doesn't support dual channel, but if it does, the 2x512 will be a better choice. The performance difference between PC2700 and 3200 isn't that great, tried it firsthand.

    On the additional rack, if you can put the HDD somewhere in the casing, its fine.

    VERY IMPORTANT: if you're thinking of getting a new 250g HDD, its much better for you to put the 250g as your main drive. This is because it would be a much faster drive. Partitioning it might be a good idea. I've personally set a 40gb HDD as my main drive instead of a 120gb, and when I switched them, the difference is very clear.

    Also, when you switch all those components, its a good idea to reformat and reinstall windows. It has a tendency to run really slow after upgrades. If it runs fine, leave it. If not, a reformat might be a good idea.
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Missed the part about PCI graphics.

    It might be a good idea to stay away from Dell, HP, Conpaq, whatever big computer company names. Custom built parts = custom built trouble upgrading = need to go back to them.

    You're basically building a whole new comp already, so why not? You'd get a better graphic card, and these parts should be pretty cheap secondhand. Might just only cost you an extra couple of hundred bucks, but you'll be much much better off.

    p.s. the old comp can always be used as a secondary comp... maybe a file server? Maybe something for the kids to play with.
  5. Chris 96 WS6

    Chris 96 WS6 TS Rookie Posts: 28

    I see no problem upgrading a Dell.

    Mine came like this:
    P4 2.2ghz
    512mb RAM
    80GB HDD
    No floppy drive
    integrated graphics.

    I have added:
    additional 512mb RAM
    20GB HDD for backups
    Combo internal floppy/USB card reader
    256mb PCI graphics card
    430w Thermaltake PSU

    There's nothing proprietary in the Dimension 2400 in terms of PSU, case, MoBo, I see no reason not to upgrade if the backbone of the system is still doing the job.

    FWIW I think I'd throw in the graphics card and memory first, see how the performance is BEFORE shelling out for a new processor.
  6. des1fool

    des1fool TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This is my first computer modding job other than just changing RAM.
    I want to use his computer as my testing computer after it is fully upgraded I will use it for a month then sell it to my money careless cousin.
    I would go and build my own computer but my budget is 500.
    Also would that processor work on my montherboard I was reading on some other forums about this and some guy said that it would so can anybody elaborate on this?
    Also woud GTA San Andreas or GTA 3 work on a high res mode?
    Also do you think I will need to upgrade the PCU after all of these upgrades?
    The GeForceFx 5700 is PCI.
  7. Chris 96 WS6

    Chris 96 WS6 TS Rookie Posts: 28

    I think it would work, it says 400mhz Front side bus...which should be what your MoBo is...mine is anyway.

    I've never upgraded a processor before though so not sure if its more detailed than just swapping it out or not.
  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Personally, I think you should completely ditch the intel motherboard, and put an amd board in instead. An amd based system will be much better for games than an intel based system.

    You could put an amd socket 939 mb, cpu, and decent video card, like a 6600gt, for very little more than your current budget.

    Motherboard Foxconn 939 matx $65

    Cpu 3000+ $110

    Video 6600gt $105

    Power supply FSP 350w $37(if your adding a vid. card and new hd, it'll draw more power).

    Ram 1gb(2x512) Corsair $85

    Dvd burner $40 (sony, just plug and play, after setting master/slave jumper)

    HD 250GB Seagate $95 (your case doesn't have a mount for a second drive, but I think they can be purchased either from dell or ebay. I made my own mount and mounted the drive to the case's floor).

    Windows xp home oem $90 (if you change mb, then get a new copy)

    For that, I get about $630 Usd.
    So for $130 more you get a better processor, motherboard, and a graphic card that blows a 5700le out of the water.

    If you still want to use your current motherboard, then a pci nvidia
    6200 would be your best card, but they're a little hard to find.
    Your board should support 400 and 533 fsb cpus, but not prescott core cpus, so look for northwoods cores, most likely a used cpu.
    If you decide to do this, check this site out, they have cpus and pci video cards.
    Only problem is the price.

    I'd recommend my first solution though, get an amd based system that is upgradeable and takes standard pci-e video cards.
  9. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Like I said, get a whole new comp. You're already getting the more expensive parts already, so just put in a couple of hundred bux into it for a motherboard and case.

    Also Chris, you didn't do anything as spectacular as changing the CPU and graphics card.

    And if I'm right, the case is proprietary. The CPU is not, but I'm sure the cooling is. Motherboard isn't, but the layout is. Small differences like that add up.
  10. des1fool

    des1fool TS Rookie Topic Starter

    You think a Dell Demension 4600 is worth it? It has a 2.4 P4 processor--can I put a pentium D in there or a P4 3.2? It has an AGP slot too. What do you guys think?
  11. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    If it has an AGP slot, you might want to put an AGP card in it. However, that'll be the only thing I'll put in it. Maybe another stick of PC2700 RAM, but I'd recommend just selling that and installing 2x512mb PC3200 RAM. DDR1 RAM is pretty cheap these days anyway.

    If you want to go as far as installing a pentium D in it, I wouldn't. You should ask yourself what you're gonna do with it. For gaming, the 2.4ghz is enough, I'm using that myself (at least till Conroe comes out). Its holding, but I think I'm being slowed down by my graphics, not the CPU.

    Same advice as Chris, go get a new comp if you want to put in a new CPU and graphics card. Go AMD wise, and you can more or less reuse every part in your current computer unless you want to upgrade, and that option is always available.

    As a general rule, computers last 3-5 years before needing a total rehaul. Maybe 7 years if you got top end everything. At least thats what I think. Upgrades are necessary if you went cheap parts, but buying a brand new comp cannot be evaded.
  12. des1fool

    des1fool TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Will that fit with my dell 2400 Case?
  13. des1fool

    des1fool TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Would that motheboard and parts fit in my Dell Dimension 2400 Case? Also I wouldn't need any of the parts that came stock right except the reusuable parts HDD and CD Drive.
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    You'll both need new casings if you are putting in a new mobo. You may be able to fit it in, but as I mentioned, the layout of the motherboard is proprietery, so you might have trouble aligning the holes. I've never personally tried though.

    Anyway, casings are pretty cheap. There are $10 casings on newegg:

    Your motherboards should fit into mid tower cases. Also, if you've got another copy of WinXP handy, or are willing to install free OSes, you don't have to fork out the 90 bux for the XP Home.
  15. Chris 96 WS6

    Chris 96 WS6 TS Rookie Posts: 28

    Actually I did do a graphics card. I think I mentioned that ;)
  16. Shawn2k5

    Shawn2k5 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Yes; i have a 2400, and i would totally agree with vnf4ultra on this. The 2400 isnt worth upgrading at all. If you ONLY want play games that are 2-3 years old and nothing more..ever, then yea upgrade it. But other then that the Mobo and the 2400 only supports 1 HDD in it /w a Weak PSU and only PCI slots. You cannot put in a HDD and a Video Card without upgrading the PSU. Which will knock you off about another 40-100 depending on the brand of PSU you want. So, Its not worth it to upgrade it. Just buy a whole new rig it'll have more value and be less of a headache. Dont buy a Dell... their motherboards suck... no support for OCing... limited expansion...ect...

    BTW I was thinking about upgrading my CPU the other day to and decided against it because of the above... the original 2400 mobo can support P4s upto 3.06 mhz @ 533 bus speeds. BUT DONT UPGRADE NOT WORTH IT. FIN...
  17. benken2202001

    benken2202001 TS Booster Posts: 115   +17

    don't go buying dell after dell. You'll soon see that some of their parts have connections that don't match with self-mod parts. (such as front panel power connectors). Also you will be buying many parts that you don't need, you'll end up with several CD-Roms, Printers, and processors.

    This could be a good time to practice your hand at building your own PC. Its real easy and a lot of fun.

    :::: Things you can find REAL cheap.
    1. cd-rom = $5
    2. hdd = you already have one in your dell.. but if you don't plan on downloading movies all day long, you don't need over 100gigs.
    3. power suppy = FREE with many cases. Just make sure its high enough power (400w+). Lots of people will tell you to get your own power supply, and you probably should if you don't trust case manufacturers. But i've had my case PS for 2 years and its never given me grief.
    4. Windows XP = FREE hopefully since you SHOULD have your dell instal CD and serial number. If not you may need to buy ur own disk. HOWEVER if you don't have a disk, but DO have the serial number, borrow the disk from a friend and install it. Microsoft will give you grief since your system will not "look" like the old system you installed XP on (they know weird things) so you'll just have to tell them that u rebuilt the computer and you need a new authentication key.

    there ya go. I think i saved you about $280 off of vn4ultra's list.
  18. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    My dell 2300 was a standard micro atx case(the holes in the dell mb were standard matx as well). The front panel(power button, led's, usb, audio) was non standard, but I got it all working, except audio, with a little modding(moving the wires to different positions in the front panel connector to correspond with the new board).
    The 2300, 2350, 2400, and 3000 cases all seem very similar to me, so I'd assume they'd all use micro atx boards.
    A cd rom won't burn any dvds.
    That may be true, but he says he wants 250GB, and some people really do "need" tons of space.
    I would not trust any psu that comes with a case, except antec, and possibly thermaltake and coolermaster.
    The ratings on these "free" psus are exaggerated, and they generally of very low quality. Not only could a bad psu fry itself, it could also take out your motherboard too.
    I don't think it's legal to use an oem copy of windows on a new motherboard, it does work, but I don't think it's a good idea to violate the eula.
    "An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a “new personal computer” to which Microsoft® OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required."
    This is apparantly a new addition to the eula, since my eula doesn't have that in it.
  19. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    If its new, and you obviously got the old version, you're still entitled to it (I think).

    I really think the Eula is very very dodgy, and personally I believe alot of whats said in it cannot be held in the court of law.

    Either way, a 250gb HDD is way too much if you don't download anything, or do video editing. But its still a good buy because its not much more expensive than the smaller models (plus its that little big faster). If you can afford it, 300gb is also a good buy for the extra few bux, but thats about how big you can get before spending exhorbitant amounts for small increments.

    On the PSU, you probably will not need anything other than what the case came with. Keep in mind that you might not want to do anything funny with your comp, such as overclocking, adding alot of lights/fans/drives (its okay if you're just gonna use whatever slots you got on the motherboard).
  20. utjblzuk

    utjblzuk TS Rookie

    Hello, I followed vnf4ultra's list and was very pleased with the results. Thank you so much, great performance improvement from the intel845GV. I want to do the same for another dell 2400 however this time I want to use an AM2 motherboard. I would like to know if this is possible? and if so could you provide a link to AM2 motherboards that would be compatible? I already have an AM2 cpu and DDR2 ram.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...