Computer transplant [Archive] - Glock Talk


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11-16-2004, 16:41
Ok, You guys have always helped me out :) heres a good one.

I want to upgrade my computer by getting a new MB,Graphics card and memory.

I have a Dell Dimension. I want to take all usable stuff out of the Dimension (CD Roms, Harddrive, sound card Etc...) and put it into a better easier to work on case (Maybe even a cool looking one with lights :)). Will this work? Can I just take the old motherboard out, put the new one in, then what? What about my HD? Do I need to do something to the HD too? I need to get a motherboard with OS installed right? Cause my DELL disk with OS will not work.

Hopefully Im not to far off, this is my first major Comp project, so bear with me. I can build a house, lay tile, roof, but this is a new one for me :)

11-16-2004, 16:51
A new MB may not fit in the Dell case, if that's what you're asking. If you're getting a new case, then no problem (as long as you match ATX, etc.)

Be careful if you want to reuse your power supply. Some of the older Dell's had some weird power connection and, though the plug shape was the same, the pins wouldn't correspond to a normal connection on the MB. It'd fry stuff.

Most everything you want to keep should just plug in on the new MB.

11-16-2004, 16:54
Yes, I would get a new case, the Dell case I have now is a rattling old thing. And most come with a new power supply, Im thinking about 400 watts?

11-16-2004, 18:05
So now Im looking at MB's and they are talking about sockets, which is better? and do these boards come with a processor????? man this is confusing.

11-16-2004, 19:49
You may have to reinstall your OS from scratch.

What OS are you running?

11-16-2004, 20:09
XP Home, would I be able to get it from the Dell disk somehow to save some cash, technically, its going on the same comp.

11-17-2004, 11:38
Originally posted by -=DFOX=-
So now Im looking at MB's and they are talking about sockets, which is better? and do these boards come with a processor????? man this is confusing.

just make sure the socket type of your motherboard is the same as the socket type of your processor.

sometimes companies sell motherboards with processors, and sometimes they are sold seperate. i blieve they are most often sold seperate.

back up anything you think is important. i've pulled a win 2000 hard drive out of one computer, stuck it in another, and lost everything (i.e. partition table b/c i tried to use windows' utilities to fix it ;g )

11-17-2004, 13:40
If you are going the "Cannibalize" route with the Dell - first make sure what parts you actually have to get out & re-use (Some systems have the Sound & Video cards made into the main system board).

After you know what components you have to re-use, next decide if they will be compatible with the new hardware you want to get (Memory is a Biggie here).

Now you can start looking for "bare bones" systems. These will typically get you a case, PS, MB, and a processor (package contents may vary depending on who is offering them).

Once you have all the basics, you can then start adding the extras.

Now - consider yourself warned - Speaking as someone who has built 3 or 4 home systems of my own as well as a great many systems for work, by building your own system Piece Mill you will not save money over the cost of Pre-built systems. The only way you "save" is if you want/need a lot of high end components that the regular system builders don't supply.

You will gain a lot of knowledge on how computers go together though.

Another thing you may run into is that when all is said and done the only thing you really have left over worth using is the hard drive. Given the fact that these are pretty cheap these days - you'd be better off buying all the parts (or a complete pre-built system) and saving the old one for a spare or selling it for some extra $$ to put toward the new system.

Just my $.02 - your thoughts, opinions, and mileage may vary.

11-17-2004, 15:07
Thanks alot, the more I think about it, going from a p4 2 MHZ to an Athlon probably wont get me the giant boost Im looking for. Ill probably just spring for another 512 of memory and let it ride awhile longer before just building a totally new system.

11-18-2004, 08:40
WARNING: If you decide to use the Dell mobo, you will either be stuck with the Dell PSU or be faced with buying a POS to ATX adapter for the new power supply...

Dell has bastardized their mainboards' 20-pin ATX plug so that non-Dell branded PSU's will kill the system!

Also, an Antec Sonata is a decent case if you want to buy one with a usable PSU included with it. A generic PSU is worse than bad, and the $20-$30 you save can easily cost you $1000 in the long run if it goes south and takes everything with it.

BTW, there is an excellent chance that your 2.0GHz is a CELERON, and if it is, then just about any CPU upgrade you do will net you huge GF runs a 1998 PIII 1.0GHz and with 512MB of SDRAM PC133, it is loads faster than our neighbor's rig, which has a Dell, running a 2.6 Celery, with 256MB of DDR PC2700 installed. Her Coppermine proc is 2X faster on all ops other than benches! A Celeron is effectively 1/2 of a P4 of equivalent speed.

An Athlon 64 is a great choice, but since you claim to not be a power user, that investment may end up being an exercise in diminishing returns.

The three things that are the biggest bottlenecks in an OEM machine like yours are the Celeron CPU, the cheap 'house brand' RAM and the mobo itself. They never use anything but 'barely adequate' for the PSU, either, so be warned.

I would suggest a total overhaul, but if that isn't in your budget it may be better for you to just get a bigger OEM PC and use this one for a network machine.

11-18-2004, 09:27
Good advice. Mines not a Celery, but last night I found it was using 76somthing MBs of ram. But they run at PC2100 So I think I will upgrade to 1 GB of new Corsair Ram and I think Ill be happy for awhile, then get a new one later on.

Thanks for the great feedback guys!:)