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Full Build, or incremental upgrade?


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#1
interpolarity

interpolarity

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Well, it's been 4-5 years that we've had our Dell and it works fine, but it starting to break down... random BSODs, hardware malfunctions, random freezes, etc.

We don't have the money to buy a new computer with the specs we want for one that will last so I was thinking I could build my own and save money.

Then I thought that it might be better, and perhaps more cost effective to incrementally upgrade the system by adding ram, upgrading CPU and motherboard, getting a new graphics card, etc when we can afford each piece.

Which do you think is better? Save up for a full system to build or build it one piece at a time?
Also, any tips on getting good parts that are also for those on a budget?
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#2
Neil Jones

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A five year old machine isn't going to be part upgradable in any way, shape or form.
Plus it's a Dell machine, it'll be non-standard mainboard size so the case probably won't be usable, there's a chance that the power supply is unusable as they have been known to be unique to the boards...

Best save up and replace the entire unit.
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#3
interpolarity

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I was afraid of that...
Well, I can at least get the RAM as a starter and go on from there...
Anywhere I can get cheap ram? (other than NewEggor TigerDirect?)
and what's a good valued video card? I want a good one, but not an overpriced one...

Edited by interpolarity, 31 March 2010 - 02:52 PM.

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#4
Neil Jones

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You can get RAM but you will almost certainly have to buy new RAM for the machine that you upgrade to. It's unlikely that it'll fit in the new machine. Same goes for the graphics.
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#5
happyrock

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Neil Jones hit the nail right on the head...
any system you buy from dell gateway and the like are just about at the max you can do with them the day you get it...in addition any part you have to replace in it will be left behind in the new system except a hard drive or possibly a cd/dvd burner
that is why its better to build your own system...besides getting 5 years warranty on the hard drive...3 years warranty on the mobo and cpu...lifetime on the ram...and on some video cards a lifetime warranty...
you also get some headroom for upgrading later down the road...
save your money until you can put together a completely new system
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#6
Ferrari

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Just to chime in and for conversational sake, a combo from Newegg LIKE THIS for $295 isn't too bad of a deal.

Add a cheap case like this Gigabyte Case - $18
OCZ 500 Watt PSU - $65 (80 Plus Certified)
Windows 7 OEM - $99 (Happyrock might have a "upgrade option" for you that might be better)
CD/DVD Combo Drive - $19

I believe that comes to just under $500 for a brand new computer and all quality brand name parts. You might be able to find something comparable or a bit cheaper looking at individual parts, but like I said... just for conversation so you can get a rough idea.

2.8ghz Dual Core Processor (upgradeable)
2GB of RAM (upgradeable)
750gb SATA II Hard Drive (case allows 4 more additional hard drives)
1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 220 (middle-grade) - (upgradeable PCI-E 2.0 slot on mobo)
DVD/CD Burner
Windows 7 - OEM, not allowed to upgrade motherboard.
Front USB and Audio
6 Rear USB Ports
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#7
interpolarity

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wow! That seems great! I guess I'm just shy since this is my first time and I want to make sure there are no hiccups, especially because it is difficult to return things from online stores...
Will all those parts work together?
Also, are there any tutorials on installing the OS after setting it up?
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#8
Ferrari

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Will all those parts work together?

Yes, everything is compatible.

Also, are there any tutorials on installing the OS after setting it up?

Yes. Clean Install Windows 7 It's not that complicated really. After the install, you would need to install the motherboard drivers and graphics card drivers which come on discs with the components. You can always get the latest drivers from the manufacturers website too. Then install an Antivirus (excellent free ones recommended HERE)and the rest will take care of itself.

I guess I'm just shy since this is my first time and I want to make sure there are no hiccups

You can do it. I've seen many first timers come here for their first build and succeed. Some with little knowledge whatsoever. My friends Artellos and Troy put together a nice tutorial... How to Build Your Own Computer. Google and Youtube provide AMAZING help too <---good advice.

because it is difficult to return things from online stores...

I've actually never returned anything to Newegg, but I've heard they make it pretty hassle free... excellent customer service as well.
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