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Help Upgrading Old Computers


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#1
sere83

sere83

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Hi there,

I have two old Pentium 4 PC's that i'm looking to combine parts from and upgrade to make 1 PC that will be a decent runner. I don't want to spend much money as it's not worth due to their age.

It will be used as a general PC, just for surfing and watching films, listening to music/downloading etc and editing a few docs, nothing more.

They are....

Model: DELL Dimension 4500
OS: XP Home
Processor: P4 2.53Ghz
RAM: 1 Stick of 512GB PC2100 266Mhz DDR SD ram (2 Slots in Total)
HD: 80Gb Saegate

Issues: CD drive broken, Full with data - only 5gb left on HD

Model: Packard Bell iMedia 5067
OS: XP Home
Processor: P4 3.00Ghz
Ram: 2 sticks of 256Mb PC2700 333Mhz DDR SD Ram (2 Slots in total)
Graphics: GeForce MX440 TV 64MB AGP
HD: Seagate 80GB

Issues: Graphics do not display properly even with correct driver installed, some elements on the screen are scrambled, and simply mess up. I have come to the conclusion the card must be broken.

Now what I was thinking of doing is upgrading the Packard bell as it's the faster of the two by adding 2 1GB sticks of ram, installing a cheap HD graphics card and a fresh windows 7 install (if possible). Then installing the HD from the Dell into it along side the regular HD. However the Packard bell only has 1 HD bay, I suppose I could remove one of the cd drives and install an HD adaptor in there?

So my questions are....

Is this a viable/the best option?

Is it worth it, considering component pricing?

Are there any problems I would be likely to encounter?

Is it possible to get capable cheap AGP HD graphics card?

Should I consider doing something else?

Any help greatly appreciated....
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#2
Neil Jones

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Realistically and with all due respect, both computers are basically not worth combining. I wouldn't even put Windows 7 on either machine, because you cannot guarantee to get the drivers for either machine to work under that version of WIndows. I've seen machines from 2004 that somebody tried to put Windows 7 on and it wasn't going to happen. The Dell was brand new in 2002 and the Packard Bell is six months older. Neither machine is worth upgrading, you've already said the graphics card is shot on the PB, you'll spend more on the machines than either of them are actually worth...
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#3
sere83

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Realistically and with all due respect, both computers are basically not worth combining. I wouldn't even put Windows 7 on either machine, because you cannot guarantee to get the drivers for either machine to work under that version of WIndows. I've seen machines from 2004 that somebody tried to put Windows 7 on and it wasn't going to happen. The Dell was brand new in 2002 and the Packard Bell is six months older. Neither machine is worth upgrading, you've already said the graphics card is shot on the PB, you'll spend more on the machines than either of them are actually worth...


Thanks for the advice, on contemplation and looking at the available drivers, it does seem very unrealistic to get windows 7 running on either of these machines. However, I though that maybe with the Packard bell, I could keep XP, maybe get a Geeforce 6200, seen them on ebay for £15, then get 1GB ram for about £25. At least then it could be used for word processing/media and downloads, maybe even be able to get some 720p video action going.

All in for £40, What do you think? Worth it?
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#4
Neil Jones

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Again with all due respect, it's an eight year old machine. It ain't going to cope with high definition.

Personally I wouldn't spend £40 on an eight year old machine. The main point is, you don't know how long it's going to last, you could buy the parts you wanted and then the machine could keel over and die the next day, thus a waste of money.

If it's going on the internet, it needs anti-virus. Modern day anti-virus software will simply bog a machine of that age down beyond belief. Ignore the 3Ghz figure, it realistically doesn't mean anything. Heck, I've seen machines from 2006 being dragged across the proverbial Windows XP floor by their anti-virus software.
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#5
sere83

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Again with all due respect, it's an eight year old machine. It ain't going to cope with high definition.

Personally I wouldn't spend £40 on an eight year old machine. The main point is, you don't know how long it's going to last, you could buy the parts you wanted and then the machine could keel over and die the next day, thus a waste of money.

If it's going on the internet, it needs anti-virus. Modern day anti-virus software will simply bog a machine of that age down beyond belief. Ignore the 3Ghz figure, it realistically doesn't mean anything. Heck, I've seen machines from 2006 being dragged across the proverbial Windows XP floor by their anti-virus software.


Yeah, at the moment, i'm running avast, mind you hasn't been causing many problems despite only 512mb of ram, I suppose as AV's go the footprint is pretty low. I agree with what you're saying, it could just clap out at any minute so it may not be worth it.

The problem I have at this time is that I don't have the money to invest in a new system and was just hoping to get something that could be used, smooth 720p video is not really a main concern to be honest. I currently use the dell for downloads etc but it's crippled by the lack of hard drive space and ram, thought that maybe getting the other one up to a usable state may be a better option.
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