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#1
TeeklinDR

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Hey all, my motherboard just kinda died recently so I figured now would be a good time for an upgrade. I've been upgrading this eMachines for the past 5 years and there are still plenty of parts that are usable, but at the same time I need some new stuff as well.

I found a nice Compaq and HP at best buy that I could use the mobo/processor from and put my own stuff in and make a decent computer, but I figured that I could probably just do it myself buying the parts and get it for a lot cheaper than 550.

So let me tell you what I have and what I'm looking for.

I'm looking to use from my old computer:

550 watt power supply
IDE 120 GB hard drive
DVD writer drive
DVD reader drive
2x512MB DDR PC3200 RAM
Audigy Sound Card PCI
AGP nVidia 128MB video card
Wireless Network Card PCI

So what I need to get for a full computer past that is:

Motherboard
Processor
Another HD (internal or external, depending on price)
New case (as big as I can get it, if I can use a full tower then that's what I'd like. I hate small cases)

Now the problem is that I've never ever been big on motherboards and processors and I don't know what kind I need and what will work with what I've got. I like AMD over intel at this point, but from what it looks like if I get an Athlon X2 Dual-Core I can't get a motherboard that uses DDR standard RAM, so I'd need to buy DDR2 RAM and that would jack the price up for the whole she-bang a lot.

So is there any single-core AMD processor (looks like 3800+ is what I'm looking for I think) and motherboard combo that will allow me to use my current RAM and all the rest of my gear? Looks like I'll need a motherboard with at least one free IDE slot to hook my current HD up to, and at least one SATA to hook my new HD up to if I get an internal. I'll also need 2-3 PCI slots and 1 AGP slot.

Also, will I be able to use a full tower or is Mid-ATX as big as I can go with what I have? I hear that there is a lot of things you have to do differently when building a full tower computer and I've never built one. If so, what are some good full tower cases that anyone recommends?

And lastly, I'll need a new HD. Should I go internal or external? Needs to be at least 200 GB...any recommendations?

I know my problem is kinda complex and it isn't helped by me having only marginal computer building knowledge, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
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#2
kidnova

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The AMD socket 939 mobos use DDR so you would be able to reuse your RAM. Just don't get an AM2 mobo and you will be fine. The problem is that AGP is really being phased out so you will probably want to get a PCI E mobo and that would mean upgrading your graphics card.

I personally have never had a need for an external HD and most home users don't. Go internal and save the money.

Here are some suggestions for HD and case:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136010

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119047

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103562

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131033

Edited by kidnova, 01 September 2006 - 09:38 AM.

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#3
TeeklinDR

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Awesome, thanks for the quick reply.

Few more questions:

If I go with that processor, what's a decent motherboard to go with it that might fit my needs? Will I be able to find a socket 939 mobo with 1 AGP slot, 3 PCI, 1 IDE, and 1 SATA that uses DDR standard? That would be absolutely perfect.

Love the case also, my power supply is a [bleep]in blue one to begin with, so it would be pretty nice. However, does that mean that mid-ATX is as big as I should go? Is there any real benefit to going full tower (aside from making any hardware changes a total breeze since you're working in such a huge open space). Are there any downsides?

And thanks for the HD advice. I love western digital and I was thinking internal was probably best. One question though...when I switch everything over to a new case and start it up, should I make my old IDE the primary or the new SATA? If I make the SATA primary I'll have to reinstall windows, but how will that work when trying to access the IDE hard drive which already has windows installed? These are all kinda theoretical questions until I get all these parts, but important to note nonetheless just so I avoid any problems.

Thanks again for your help, it's great!
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#4
kidnova

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You could look at something like these for your mobo:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813138270

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128307

I don't know much about biostar, but the reviews seem pretty good.

I don't see a need for a full tower unless you are planning on installing multiple (as in 3 or more) DVD drives or harddrives. Also, having windows installed on your secondary drives will not cause any problems if you use the SATA drive as your primary. Whichever drive windows boots from is where it will run from.

Edited by kidnova, 01 September 2006 - 10:21 AM.

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#5
TeeklinDR

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Good deal on the HD thing. I think I'm almost definately going with that case, and with a western digital internal, though I might opt for http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822144701 instead of what you posted unless there's a good reason I shouldn't. Seems to be the exact same HD to me.

But honestly I don't have the money for a PCI express video card right now, so what if I dropped from the X2 to just a regular single core. What do you recommend there (I'm not sure what all the Orleans/Venice/Manchester things are in all the AMD processors on newegg). If I went with a single core, what motherboard could I get then that the right socket for it, an AGP slot, 1 IDE and at least 1 SATA 3.0?

And really, thanks a ton for your help. Be really hard to figure out all this on my own!

Edited by TeeklinDR, 01 September 2006 - 10:32 AM.

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#6
kidnova

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This was the only result I came up with using all of those specifications. Keep in mind that it is not set to support X2 so if you plan on going that way in the future you would have to change again:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813157081
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#7
kidnova

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BROWSER TRIPLE POST

Edited by kidnova, 01 September 2006 - 10:35 AM.

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#8
kidnova

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WOAH!! TRIPLE POST!!

Edited by kidnova, 01 September 2006 - 10:35 AM.

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#9
TeeklinDR

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That was actually exactly what I was lookin at. So tell me then if this setup will work (barring any huge problems of course)

550-watt power supply
2x512 PC3200 RAM
120GB IDE HD
Audigy Sound Card (PCI)
Wireless Network Card (PCI)
128MB nVidia video card (AGP)
1 DVD Reader
1 DVD Burner
+
this HD

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822144701

And this processor/motherboard:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813157081
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103529

all in this case

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119047

And should I bother looking around for a better price than 327.42 for all 4 of those? Usually newegg is my first/only stop when shopping computer parts.

If you think that'll all work then I'll order it all today and hopefully by next week I can give back this laptop I'm using!
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#10
kidnova

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Everything looks good to me, but there are others on this site that are more experienced than I am. I would wait until one of them gives you the thumbs up and then go for it.

Good luck.
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