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danrok 25th November, 2009 06:13 PM

Revitalizing an aging desktop computer on the cheap
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booman 25th November, 2009 07:56 PM

Memory of course. They still sell DDR 400 PC3200 at

CPU, maybe, depends on how fast your old CPU is. Pentium 4's are harder to find brand new and are fairly hot.

But Graphics Card? Yes yes yes... still sells AGP cards and they are pretty fast! I've got a Radeon 9800 Pro that runs most games 2006 and under, but there are some faster cards at newegg that increase clock speeds memory interface.
Radeon HD 3850 AGP
I wouldn't mind getting two of these for my old P4 systems.

Audio card isn't too much of an upgrade since most motherboards come with on-board audio, so I'll rule that one out.

Power Supply is a concern because after 4-6 years of gaming, graphics, internet, on/off, on/off.... It may be a smart purchase to ensure another 4-6 years.

Hard Drive is a smart call because you never know when it done. Hard drives are so cheap for 200-500 Gigs that it is an easy upgrade. As long as you still have the activation code for Windows XP that is...

The only other thing to upgrade would be that old CRT monitor!
$120 will get you an Acer 19 inch widescreen LCD

I didn't add all of it up, but it should be Roughly $330.00 for hard drive, LCD, video card & memory.

Kaitain 25th November, 2009 08:18 PM

I'm not sure whether the US has something similar, but in the UK you can get refurbished second hand components from outfits such as Computer Exchange* or otherwise find rare and obsolete hardware from small local computer shops and repairers.

For the most part, second hand components are still in sound, working order, significantly cheaper than new and come with a Warm Fuzzy Feeling™ at having spared the landfill of more copper, mercury and bonded silicon.

Disclaimer: I'm fondly disposed towards Computer Exchange after flogging half my electronics graveyard to pay for food when I was a student. Who'd have thought a PCI-based Voodoo 3 was worth so much?

booman 25th November, 2009 08:22 PM

you just described my office.
I have so many extra parts that I don't even know what to do with them. Most of them are for "just-in-case" scenarios or for putting together another budget machine.
Right now I have 6 old Pentium 3 machines with Windows 98 ready for a computer lab. I even have two Pentium 4 machines that have Windows 98 too. These are extra and I may end up giving them away to friends and family if my Church doesn't want them.

Daniel ~ 25th November, 2009 08:30 PM

Seattle has RE-PC that recycles...everything PC and sells rebuilds from scrap parts.

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