Upgrading Dell Dimension 4600 Questions

I recently acquired an old desktop from work and decided I wanted to fix it up for my mom to use for her computing needs (which aren't very demanding). Anyway, I don't really want to spend much on this, because I would just assume build her something new if it's going to cost more than $75-100 to make it useable. The one thing I already identified and found was the RAM upgrade (found 2x1gb sticks for $40). I'm just going to post the system specs and hope someone can help me out. Thanks. Happy

OS: MS Windows XP 32-bit SP3
CPU: Pentium 4 2.4Ghz
RAM: 256mb Dual-Channel DDR@166MHz
Mobo: Dell 02y832
Graphics: Dell E773c, 64MB Nvidia GeForce4 MX 440 with AGP8X
HD: 56Gb; 233GB

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Cleaned and reload

While you can upgrade the RAM to 2gb and will work, that XP OS will work just as good with 1gb installed, 2x512mb sticks. That's up to you or shop for cheaper ram. You may want to check Craigslist for another local source by an user that has some.

The big issue with older PCs is having the restore/recovery dics and Dell more than likely provided that with the 4600. You certainly can improve the video with used or unsold AGP card for cheap as well. Of course all this depends on cost but the demand is low and likely used is the way to go. The big issue with older PCs is the PSU, as long as yours works now and the PC has cleaned out of dust bunnies. A good blast of compressed air before any rebuilding or reloading would be a plus. I've found untold dirt and dust within the PSU and case if never done. Plus, checking everything before the reload, etc.. So, check all that out.

tada -----Willy Happy

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agp card recommendation?

are there any that you could recommend me looking into? i don't anticipate her having any demanding visual needs but i obviously want to give her the best thing possible. as for the ram, i've noticed that something comparable to the stock specs in a 2x512mb group is only a few bucks cheaper than the least expensive 2x1gb packs. i'm not really knowledgeable about older pcs and compatibility with parts, so if you have any insight, please share. Happy i really appreciate what you've already posted as well. thanks!

@bob b

thanks for your tips. i cleaned it out pretty thoroughly when i got it home, but it slipped my mind to do both directions on the psu. thanks for catching that!

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Let's try

The search I used is

It all of 8 cards long and my favorite on the list is this one.

The lowest price model is 36 bucks and the usual last hurrah of the day but I worry if it can deliver full screen video play on this old box.

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Left out a word.

"It all" should be "It listed all"

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Up to you

You should get it all going and go from there. If it's stable and appears to deliver the goods, you could leave it as is once the ram is added as a good upgrade. Anything else is touch and go, decide if needed. I don't know if the Dell was given to you free or low cost, but you know its a dated PC. Any costs to upgrade or such is entirely your choice. If it works well, allow it to work until it fails. the whole being, it show batter days and costs will be a deal breaker if too much $ is thrown at it, it's just so. Heck, new PCs on sale or bargain entry level is $400 or less which could very well be 5-10X better than old Dell. Check one of my favorite websites: or any of the used/surplus PC parts outlets out there.

tada -----Willy Happy

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