#1
Hey guys

So my laptop is in the shitter. The battery holds like 1 minute of battery, and the power cable cuts in and out all the time, which makes writing assignments for uni a bitch because at any point the power could just cut out.

My solution is to use one of my family's old desktop PC's. We've got 2 that I can build from, but from what I've learned in the past hour about PC hardware, they're both pretty awful.

Basic specs

Computer 1:
CPU - Pentium 4, 3.2ghz
Motherboard - Asus somethingorother, PCI express slot
1gb (2x512) DDR1 ram
250gb HDD
Integrated graphics

Computer 2:
CPU - Pentium 4, 3ghz
Motherboard - Random intel thing, AGP graphics slot
512mb DDR1 ram
250gb HDD
128mb Winfast graphics card (wewt)...


Right now, I'm thinking I'll buy a new motherboard + processor which supports DDR2/DDR3 ram and use the HDD + Case to recycle some parts. They both have windows XP and microsoft office licenses, and I'd really like to try and keep both to save on buying new licenses.

Questions:
1: Would it be better to just buy some more DDR1 ram and a PCIE graphics card for computer 1, or is the processor just too slow for any decent performance? (midi work, games, recording)

2: Can you foresee any issues I might come across while trying to use the old HDD + softwares with a new motherboard and processor?

3: Can you foresee any other issues I might have in general (e.g. compatibility issues with hardware I don't even know about)?

4: Would something like this be a good solution? I'd add a graphics card later down the line.
I'd really appreciate some help here. I've never really tinkered with computers before so I'm a bit in over my head.

Thanks

Tl;dr I'm trying to build a flying cyborg out of parts from old desktop PC's. What should I name him?
PPPPPPPOSTFINDER
Last edited by breadstick at Apr 8, 2011,
#5
if you're just writing papers and doing office things, computer 1 probly has the cajones already.
#6
Quote by GS LEAD 5
I can use the same questions as the GG&A sticky.
Budget?
Purposes? Ie photoshop. gaming, web surfing?

Everything is so expensive here in Australia that any budget I give won't be equivalent to the same $$$ in the U.S. This isn't so much about specs, it's more about general hardware rules in regards to compatibility and the like.

But since you asked, I'll be using it for mainly word processing and web browsing, but also for some old-ish games (AOE 3, cod4 etc), midi processing and recording. I'd like it to be reasonably responsive too.

Just found this:http://cgi.ebay.com.au/AMD-Phenom-II-X4-840-ASUS-Motherboard-4GB-DDR3-/350444071323?pt=AU_Components&hash=item519818299b#ht_5968wt_1037

^ That's pretty much at the ceiling of my budget btw.
PPPPPPPOSTFINDER
#7
'Awful' you say? Wanna use it for 'word processing and web browsing' you say?

Wow, kids these days must have it easy ... both computers would be more than enough to do the job ... First one would be my choice. (and many people I know would be more than happy to have either of them @.@)

~

But on to your questions:

1) Should be enough for midi work (as to what I consider 'midi work'). Recording and games is a relative matter, as both depend on WHAT you exactly wanna do. Simple recordings with only 1 input signal without live monitoring said signal enhanced with tons of effects, then the computer would do...really depends. Same for games... should be enough for old ones (but I myself wouldn't consider AoE3 as old... 1 and 2 yes, but I guess that's personal preference. I somehow doubt the ones you mentioned will run properly ^^)

2) If it's a completely different brand (motherboard) then you may have to reinstall your OS for it to work properly, so yes... (you'll may be needing different system drivers...)

3) As far as general compatibility goes...it should work. (Will you be using more than one hdd, or just your old one? maybe use the old one from the computer as it is and add yours as a second one? But then again you'd have to reinstall most programs I guess... depending on which ones you're using ^^)

4) Better than mine ... and I don't even need what mine's capable of xD

cheers ~
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Last edited by UltimaWeapon at Apr 8, 2011,
#9
Not that long ago both of those would have been pretty damn powerful. I'd recommend putting both hard disks in computer 1 and getting a better graphics card for it, then see if the RAM from computer 2 is compatible and if there's any free slots in computer 1 for it. Otherwise, go to crucial.com and max out computer 1's RAM from them, should be fairly cheap to do so.
You're using UG classic, congratulations.
You should be using UG classic.




E-Married to Guitar0Player

http://the llama forum because its gone forever which sucks and I hate it.
#10
I have an old p4 that I used to use for a firewall. Worked fine for that... It's going to be used an an xbmc media centre when I get a new TV.

I think you could mostly stick with computer one, but where on earth do you plan on getting DDR ram from? That stuff is pretty much legacy now :P Not that I've needed to look for it though, maybe it'll be easier than I think.

I reckon put the 3.2GHz processor on the board with AGP and put as much ram as you can on that board and RAID the HDDs or something.

Keep the case with the best power supply. Open them up and make sure the electrolytics aren't bulging and what not.

Check the CD/DVD writers and use the best of the two as well? I'm sure you'll work something out but this arrangement seems pretty good Remember to clean out your heat sinks too, they'll run heaps nicer.
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
#11
Update:

So I'm using computer 1 right now. I put the HDD from computer 2 in, but I don't have the correct cables to hook it up, so it's just screwed in there. I also put the extra 512mb of ram from the other computer into this one, so it now has '1.49mb' of ram according to the system properties.

One thing I'm noticing is that the HDD is really loud compared to our current desktop's HDD. It keeps making this sort of clicking sound. Could that be a sign of damage?

I took out the CPU fan and gave it a vaccuum (had about 5 years of dust on it) and also cleaned the HDD fan.

Reinstalling XP may prove to be a bitch, as I don't have the CD (nor for microsoft office). Really not keen on forking out $ for software which I already have.

Edit: This is painfully slow...It takes like 40 seconds just to get the dialogue box when I right click the desktop.
PPPPPPPOSTFINDER
Last edited by breadstick at Apr 8, 2011,
#12
Quote by breadstick
Update:

So I'm using computer 1 right now. I put the HDD from computer 2 in, but I don't have the correct cables to hook it up, so it's just screwed in there. I also put the extra 512mb of ram from the other computer into this one, so it now has '1.49mb' of ram according to the system properties.

One thing I'm noticing is that the HDD is really loud compared to our current desktop's HDD. It keeps making this sort of clicking sound. Could that be a sign of damage?

I took out the CPU fan and gave it a vaccuum (had about 5 years of dust on it) and also cleaned the HDD fan.

Reinstalling XP may prove to be a bitch, as I don't have the CD (nor for microsoft office). Really not keen on forking out $ for software which I already have.

Edit: This is painfully slow...It takes like 40 seconds just to get the dialogue box when I right click the desktop.

clicking noise from the HD is a bad sign. It's likely the reason why it's being so slow as well. even a single core running at 3GHz should be pretty speedy for simple tasks.
You're using UG classic, congratulations.
You should be using UG classic.




E-Married to Guitar0Player

http://the llama forum because its gone forever which sucks and I hate it.
#13
Quote by breadstick
One thing I'm noticing is that the HDD is really loud compared to our current desktop's HDD. It keeps making this sort of clicking sound. Could that be a sign of damage?


This usually means that your read/write head is destroying your hard drive at 5400 or 7200 rpm.
#14
Eh? Those specs are more than enough for a word-processing machine.
Proud owner of an Engl Thunder 50 Reverb and an Ibanez S470

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