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UPGRADING A P3 HP VECTRA VL400 MODEL


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#1
superstar

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I recently bought a used "HP Vectra VL400"

MY SPECS:
Pentium 3
797MHZ, 192MB RAM
Windows XP Home
LG Dual Layer +/- DVD-R/RW

It seems to do some of the things I want it to, and runs alright enough. But I know it can be better. I want this pc to run at its FULL capacity until you can't add, or do anything more to it. Before I go on I will give you a few pictures of my pc I took with my sony digital camera that I uploaded to www.yousendit.com.

PICTURE LINK:
HP Vectra VL400 Pics

My hobby is music engineering, making mixes, or recording songs. My recording hobby is actually my job and requires me to run simultaneous waveforms while editing or recording (Up to 18 five minute long waveforms at one time, while running real time effects on them). I pass time on my pc surfing the net and downloading 100's of music files and large movies. So the main programs I run are Adobe Audition v1.5, Cubase SX v2.0, Limewire, Fruity Loops v6, Nero, Jasc Paint Shop Pro, and obviously McAfee Virus Scan (Those are my much needed programs - I have to use these everyday).

The first thing I want to do to this pc is throw away the ugly vcr sitting type office space saving case it is in. And buy this TK-8600 case for it: TK-8600 Case
(The store that I'm getting it from is bundling it with a 350watt power supply)

If you've looked at the pictures I took of my pc (the link above), can you tell me if it is possible to switch the cases myself? I'm very computer literate and know how to install hard drives, optical drives, and pci cards. though I have'nt ever taken out a motherboard. I am aware of the many connections and I have a photographic memory so I m very confident I can place each connection back where it was. I went to a pc store and the shop keeper told me that I would need to purchase something called a cpu cooling fan or a pentium chip cooling fan? Something like that I dunno. He said that the current cooling fan that goes to my pentium 3 chip (the black thing attached to my current power supply), is a specialized cooling fan that was made for my current power supply and mother board. He said that once the motherboard is placed in a new case using the new power supply I would need a cooler for the chip?? Hmmm... This leads me to ask. If I do this all myself what do I need to buy other than the case itself. If you look at the pictures of my pc you will notice there are two places I could connect a fan too (well thats what the shop keeper said). What type of fan will I need and what model or what kind? Because I don't want my anything to burn out or over heat. So if I do this will I need anything more like better IDE Hard Drive cables (mine are old wide and short), if so which ones? and will I have any problems if I disconnect the "Intrustion Switch" from my motherboard when I put it in a new case? (I hate that switch - and no longer want to use it). I know none of this is rocket science, and it is basically putting it in a new case please help.

That being said here are my final questions.
What add ons can I use to enhance it's preformance? (Like Ram, GB, or Video card)

Anything that will get it to work at its peak preformance. I want this to be closer to todays standards. The reason I said video card is because I want to play 3d games on it. And not just any but really good new ones. Not 2d stuff. So can you also give me a list of things I can use to make this Pc really worth my time and use. Or is it just scrap metal? Should I say forget the case and everything?

Because my main goal was buying the new case and buying new RAM (at least 512MB), and a standard 80GB hard drive or two. And later on (when I have the money) taking out the motherboard and p3 chip and installing a new motherboard with a new chip like a p4, p4HT, or pD. And taking out the RAM, Hard Drives, and the dvd-r I mentioned and setting them on the newer motherboard with the newer pentium chip. I thought this up to save money from purchasing a $1000-1500 computer because I already have a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. But the question is will my components (RAM, HD, DVDR, etc) work on the newer board? Or can I find like a... p4 one that they would work on? So I can keep upgrading...


PLEASE TAKE YOUR TIME WHEN REPLYING AND OPEN A NEW WINDOW TO WRITE BACK WHILE KEEPING THIS POST OPEN SO YOU CAN ANSWER EVERY QUESTION.

I respect whomever answers this. My thanks go out to you. I am a one year member and have had so much success with you guys. A year ago I did'nt even know anything but how to type in www. in internet explorer. And now I'm installing O/S's, formating, defragmenting, deleting sponsered ad spyware, and even installing drives, etc. You guys are a God sent. Keep up the good work. I love ya'll really. Thanks for inspiring me to be the next GEEK TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Superst :) :tazz: ar
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#2
superstar

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Oh i forgot!!!

Here are two "HP Vectra VL400" manuals I found on www.hp.com on the support page. I dunno if they can help but they have blueprint pics of the motherboard, etc.

They are in PDF format and I have also uploaded them using www.yousendit.com

HP Vectra VL400

P.s.
If the person reading my messages can't help please direct someone who can to my questions.
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#3
warriorscot

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That is pretty much beyond hope of upgrading to decent basic standard let alone what you want it for, youll need to put together a new system for what you want.
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#4
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Is my idea of buying a new case and putting the parts from the hp vectra in it, and than buying a new motherboard, and pentium chip later on a good idea? (and taking the 512 ram, 80 gb, and optical drives off of the hp vectra and onto a new motherboard with like a p4 chip).

would this work? is this a valid idea though? Like will I be able to reuse my components other the old Hp Vectra motherboard and p3 chip.
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#5
warriorscot

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The sockets for the cpu are different so you couldnt get a new mobo and then upgrade the cpu later you have to do both at the same time, you could maybe salvage the ram but it will be cheapo generic stuff and you can buy 1gig sticks of that for peanuts. You could get a new case as long as the mobo is a standard(not all bulders use standard parts so it may not be proper ATX standard). Like i said its really beyond hope, i would save your money and get a new AMD system in a few months or whenever you can afford a half decent one.

Edited by warriorscot, 14 February 2006 - 11:38 AM.

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