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Help Upgrading Dell Dimension 3000- motherboard and graphics card

By Slash_Kiron ยท 15 replies
Mar 6, 2007
  1. Hi all, I am new to techspot. Anyway I have a dell dimension 3000 and here are the specs:

    pentium 4 3.0 ghz

    geforce fx5500 pci graphics card

    1 gb ram

    200gb maxtor hard drive

    250 watt powersupply

    I am unsure what brand of motherboard is in it, but it is the standard 2005 dell dimension 3000 board.

    Anyway I want buy a new motherboard and graphics card. I found 6 motherboards that I am pretty sure will work.http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_attrib.php/page_id=40/form_keyword=motherboard/rd=1/popup1[]=15:278/popup5[]=30:342/popup4[]=15:22 Does anyone have any suggestions on which motherboard to get? Also, do you guys have any suggestions on graphics cards? I want one that had a good bang for the buck.

  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    You should mention your budget, and the aim of this upgrade.

    Unfortunately, the 478 CPUs are now becoming bottlenecks in the computer. Upgrading your graphics will see a performance increase, but don't bet on a really huge one. Also, Expect to pay a premium for AGP8X graphics cards which perform better than budget range. If you're up for the biggest AGP8X card, the X1950pro would be it, but there's a review somewhere which showed it doesn't perform much better than a 7600gs because of the CPU bottleneck.

    Personally, the 6600gt is probably the sweet spot, maybe an X800XT, but not much more than that. Even then you'd be paying a premium for the AGP8X versions of those cards.

    If you're after anything cheaper than the 6600gt, it wouldn't be worth your trouble IMO.

    Of course, if you decide to switch over to PCIe, you may still be able to use your RAM by getting the E4300, coupled with a board which will support DDR RAM and PCIe 16x. These boards don't come easily though, but here's a couple from newegg....


    It shouldn't come out to be much more expensive this way, because the savings from your graphics card (PCIe versions are alot cheaper) would go into the new processor.

    Besides, you can sell the processor.

    Of course, I'd recommend going all the way, but I'm aware of budget restriants... all you need for a full blown c2d system is DDR2 RAM.

    Oops, forgot to mention about the powersupply, you can barely run good graphics cards on 250W powersupplies. I'd recommend you getting at least a 400W. That should do the trick unless you're going to spend quite abit on your graphics card...
  3. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,360

  4. Slash_Kiron

    Slash_Kiron TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If I get that ASROCK P4VM890 motherboard, will I still be able to use my ram?

    Anyway I don't really want to upgrade my powersupply. All I really want to do is upgrade my computer enough so that I can play good games for the next three years. And my budget is pretty low.....the cheaper the better.

    Also CMH, which of the two boards you listed above would you reccomend? I noticed both boards have socket 775. That wouldn't work with my 478 cpu would it?
  5. Exonimus

    Exonimus TS Rookie Posts: 71

    that's true. You won't be able to use your cpu... you will be able to use it with the board underneath cmh's post As for the ram, as far as I can see, you will still be able to use it.
  6. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,360

    Yeah, it takes standard ddr ram, like you have, and you can use your cpu with it as well.
  7. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 593

    Yes, your CPU and RAM will work in it. I didnt know that board was made, a good 478 upgrade path that is moderatly priced that is good.

    You have a decent CPU, a GB of RAM, and will have a good PCI-e card, I bet your PC can run Vista without a hiccup (Well may need more RAM if you get it)
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    I'm a little sceptical about the 250W PSU's ability to power a 7600GT...

    And to be honest, a low budget upgrade like this would probably extend the life of your comp by a year or so, 3 years will be pushing it. You might still run into problems running today's games with that 7600GT, given that you're running a 3.0ghz socket 478 (single core I'm assuming).
  9. Slash_Kiron

    Slash_Kiron TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah I was looking at powersupplies and graphics cards and I realized I am going to need like a 400w power suply to get a good graphics card. So does anyone have any suggestions for powersupplies? Also if I get a PCI-e graphics card do I need to have a power suply which has special features or will just any old powersupply work?

    Thanks for all your help, If I hadn't posted here I would already have made a bad decision on both motherboard and graphics card.
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    I wouldn't suggest any old power supply.... But at the same time, you don't need any power supplies with special features. Just get one with enough wattage.

    Suggestions for power supplies? You won't go wrong with the Antec range, they might be abit pricey though. I'm still split about thermaltake PSUs, they used to be crap, the newer ones are better, but I'd need a well written review to actually fully recommend them.

    Silverstones are good I suppose, I've seen a few of them in reputable review sites. Hardocp just reviewed one of them, and their review process is just plain torture.

    The easiest choice is still the antecs tho, there's a list somewhere on the net on which powersupplies are good, and which you should totally stay away from. Its a little outdated, and I can't really find it at the moment. Antecs are real easy to come along too, and the other good brands will not be much cheaper, you really get what you pay for in this department.
  11. Slash_Kiron

    Slash_Kiron TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was looking at cases and I found this one on sale at a local retailer. Do you think the 400w powersupply will be good if I get a 7600 graphics card? As long as I am upgrading the case I can get an Atx motherboard, any suggestions on those? Also, would adding more ram (I already have a gig) make a significant difference?
  12. Rayss523

    Rayss523 TS Enthusiast Posts: 101

    Another gig of RAM would definately help.

    Thats power supply would probably be ok far a while but dont try anything crazy with it like overclocking or SLI(if you get a mobo that allows that) I had a no name brand PSU actually explode on me it was pretty scary. Don't encode anything either....

    You should be made aware that installing a new mobo in a dell might led to some software issues....
  13. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    Let me see...

    You're getting a new mobo, a new psu, a new case, a new GPU, adding some new RAM....

    It sounds like a whole new PC to me.

    You're just reusing your CPU and HDD in here. You might want to rethink about continuing with the socket 478 or DDR RAM....
  14. Slash_Kiron

    Slash_Kiron TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I know I really would rather go with a new processor but that would be another 200 dollars and I don't want to spend that much. Anyway would you recommend me going with this mobo and staying with a gig of ram but getting a PCI-E card or going with an AGP mobo and having two gigs of ram?
  15. Rayss523

    Rayss523 TS Enthusiast Posts: 101

    Tell us your budget.
    Tell Us your budget.
    Tell Us Your budget.
    Tell US Your Budget.

    If you for some reason cant do that then:
    Checkout the 300$ computer thread you might just want to start there....
  16. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    Well, you're thinking of making your computer last another 3 years, which imo, is about the life of the average, average performance PC. Which means you'll probably have to start from scratch. Reusing any components would probably be unadvisable (cept maybe casing/optical drives), especially looking at what you currently have.

    People might argue its possible to reuse HDD, but HDDs tend to fail after 3-5 years. So if you don't mind suddenly losing all your data on one fine day, feel free to reuse your drives.

    If you do mind, and yet want to reuse them, make sure you keep backups.
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