Computer Help forum


New comp or rebuild old one??

by glaucaster / August 8, 2012 9:18 PM PDT

i know this has been asked many times before but each case is specific, so i was hoping for an idea i was thinking of to sway me iether way.

i have a 7 year old PC that i built that the MOBO just went. (actually the on board video card went and i cant get the BIOS to recognize the new graphics card), plus my MOBO was OLD and needs updating. i have a 1 year old 450w PSU, a new giga byte HD video card, a new caviar green hard drive.
what i would need is a New MOBO, new Ram and a new PCU from what i can tell. also have windows XP that i can reinstall and a micro ATX standard case with 2 cooling units.

but new comps are so darn cheap...i can get this one for $450 after shipping...

i estimate around $300 for the new stuff i would need..any suggestions iether way? thanks in advance

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All Answers

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Opinion only
by Steven Haninger / August 8, 2012 10:33 PM PDT

Upgrading old stuff still leaves you with some old stuff. Don't think that what is compatible with a 7 year old system will work optimally in anything new. As for that copy of XP, make sure it's a full retail version and not an OEM copy. Once activated on a system, it cannot be used on a later build. Good luck.

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I agreed with Steven 100%.
by ahtoi / August 9, 2012 12:01 AM PDT

No contest. I would build new. Not much you can can do with a 775 socket also DDR2 is expensive comparing to what DDR3 would cost.

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Oh, if you don't want to do any work then...
by ahtoi / August 9, 2012 12:21 AM PDT

I would say Lenovo is the way to go. It seems priced fairly. I am in the process of building a computer myself but buying parts at a bargain price only. Today I am picking up 16G DDR3 for $74 and a i3_2125 for $99 at Fry's and I got my board awhile back for less than $50. All the other I will be using old stuffs.

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Not much to save and re-use
by Willy / August 9, 2012 12:48 AM PDT

As a 7yr. old PC, you aren't going far in rebuilding. It's far better to DIY on a totally new mtrbd. and all that entails. You could re-use some old parts and allow the upgrade path as yrs. go by like the newer video card, etc.. if all that please you then in effect rebuild from scratch. Tossing out everything except worthy parts and just improve it all. The time and effort are rewarded for those better understanding thier PC and inclusion of upgrade path is far easier and wider accept items or devices.

However, as you noted, the prices for a new PC ready to go has alot to offer. Here, you decide what best suits you can get the PC. While PCs are cheaper, there are far more expensive PCs out there as you increase the abilities or capabilities. Thus, buying the cheapest may not be well suited if you plan to upgrade later, as some are limited excluding those far more capable at the beginning. You truly have to measure what you plan to do and what your wallet can bear. Many OEM offered PCs just don't lend themselves to upgrades other than the basics so it boils down to your needs, etc. and then decide.

tada -----Willy Shocked

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Check out this inexpensive rebuild
by andrewbaggins / August 10, 2012 10:53 AM PDT

Today (Aug. 11) Fry's has a combo special on an MSI H61M-P31 motherboard plus an Intel G530 cpu for $79.99 minus $15 mail-in rebate = $65 net cost. The cpu is way more powerful on office-type productivity work than my trusty e6750 Core2Duo which was the bang-for-buck champion in its day; and it's even slightly ahead of the later e8200 which cost $169. Also, the new G530 runs way cooler and draws less power when idling and when working. For internet and office productivity computing this little cpu beats the AMD competition and comes in just a fraction slower than its higher priced Pentium dual-core brother. The MSI motherboard has all the basics and gets good user reviews on There's also a sale price at Fry's on 8GB of DDR3 RAM for $24.99, or you can buy a single 4GB stick of DDR3 for $19.99 and free shipping at newegg.

Now, if you need to be more cutting edge then by all means spend more on a Core i3 or Core i5 cpu plus a motherboard and RAM. But for everyday computing you will not currently find a more smokin' deal than $65 for the Intel / MSI combo.

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Almost forgot
by andrewbaggins / August 10, 2012 10:58 AM PDT

If you decide to go with the $65 combo you would have some $$$ left over to spend on a good little SSD. Now, that will make your PC REALLY FLY !! You can your existing hard drive for storage of all your data.

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I had the same situation
by pocosdad / August 10, 2012 11:55 AM PDT

I recently had the same situation and decided to rebuild my own. I found a Gigabyte M/O with a 775 socket and USB 3 and DDR3 memory Newegg for $89. I also got an Intel Q9400 Quad cor 2.6 Mhz and 8 gig of memory for another $120. I reused my SSD and WD HDD which were both about a year old. I am dual booting WIN7 Pro 64bit and Mint and everything is nice and happy in there playing together. I had no issues with the case or my coolers but I did add 2 120 mm fans for extra circulation.
Bottom-line I now have a system that does everything I need and more for about $200. The Lenovo you were looking at seems like a good setup if you need Win7 anyway, but it did say in-store I am guessing you have an outlet near you.
Either way you go best of luck to you.

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You won't be rebuilding but building new with some old parts
by mdulcey / August 12, 2012 12:58 AM PDT

First, the stuff not worth saving: the motherboard, CPU, and RAM. They go through generation changes; the stuff from a seven year old system won't work in a new one and vice versa.

The stuff worth saving: the parts you bought recently. The video card, the new hard drive, and maybe the power supply if it's large enough for the new system.

The stuff maybe worth saving: the case if it's a quality item rather than a cheapie. (I've been partial to the Antec Three Hundred for a few years now, and I would totally reuse that in a new build.) The optical drive, if your new motherboard has a PATA port - a system of that age is unlikely to have a SATA optical drive. (Otherwise buy a new one for under $20 or do without.) The OS, if it's transferable and if you really want to stay with XP rather than installing Windows 7. Any other expansion cards you have installed; if you're planning to go to a new OS make sure that drivers are available. (In some cases drivers are no longer available from the manufacturer but are supplied by Microsoft; my HDTV Wonder in my Windows 7 Media Center is an example.)

Aside from that, you won't save a pile of money by building your own PC, but you will get the satisfaction of doing it yourself and getting exactly what you want.

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