Confirm ideas about a replacement Box

  Diemmess 15:11 26 Apr 2007

January 2001 was when I last assembled some basics as a new computer for my own use - 800Mhz Duron and SDRAM. The CPU was later changed to a 1200. OS has changed over time from 98SE through 2000 and I now use XP Pro.

Now only the mobo, CPU and case are original and one day will fail, so have decided to treat myself to a new box of bits and put the old one away as emergencies only. Forget high power games, but allow for most other activities which the present box will do, though some take longer than perhaps they should!

Have no immediate intentions of intranet linking, nor interest in fancy game play.
Realize that future proofing is a publicity spiel with little connection with reality, but would like to feel I have made worthwhile improvements in replacement for the retiring box.

My intention is a current mid-range PC neither minimal nor cutting edge technology.
Strange terms like SATA, and Duo Core spring at me. click here

In order to be able to mix-an-match I will probably buy a mobo bundle like the ready made example, add a case of my own choice, and a (SATA) HD …… etc.
Happy at the moment with 1Gb RAM, but intend to double this on a new motherboard.

1) Will I be able to use an older (IDE) HD as a secondary HD?

2) Is a duo core CPU worthwhile improvement over the previous designs for ordinary mortals, or of very little difference in use?

  MAJ 15:19 26 Apr 2007

1) Yes, if the motherboard supports it, i.e. has an IDE connection.

2) Yes there is a significant improvement over single core processors.

  alan2273 15:20 26 Apr 2007

Although I am an AMD fan, Intels core 2 duo blows anything AMD have out of the water.
You will be able to use your old hard drive, but beware most new motherboards only have one IDE connector so if you have two optical drives you are knackered unless you put in a PCI/IDE card.
As far as the RAM is concerned if you intend using 2GB's get a matched pair and use dual channel .

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:40 26 Apr 2007

Build it or Buy it?
Bought my last one, previously built all my others.

Check on the specials from ALdi unbeatable price couldn't build cheaper.

click here

  keef66 15:55 26 Apr 2007

The cheapest Core 2 duo processor, the E4300, would be a sensible buy. Prices have just been cut by 30%. Like you, I'd look for a bundle with mobo / cpu / matched pair of ram. Novatech are good.

As has been pointed out, newer mobos have plenty of sata connectors, but skimp on IDE. If you have 2 older optical drives you want to recycle, you could always insert your old HDD into a caddy and attach it by USB 2.0

Alternatively if the optical drives need replacing, go for sata types, and plug your old HDD into the ide connector.

Mind you, once you start adding too many extras to your upgrade bundle, you should check the prices of similarly specced base units complete.

  skidzy 16:03 26 Apr 2007

Diemmess at todays prices its hardly worth try to rebuild or even build a new pc,this im sure your aware of.However if its satisfication of the new build, good luck.

I currently have an E6300 system and coming from a P4 system...well no looking back for me.

If your only looking towards general use,surfing photo editing and word etc i would take a look at PC World/Dell AMD spec systems or as Fruit Bat /\0/\ says Aldi.

The AMD systems have come down significantly in recent weeks.

  [email protected] 16:09 26 Apr 2007

i reieved an email from novatech yesterday,they have some good clearance offers at the moment

  Dipso 16:16 26 Apr 2007

I think you'd be lucky finding any Aldi PC's in stock since they went on sale 4 weeks ago. The next offering seems to be a laptop according to instore posters.

Even so they are good value for money...I'm on my second.

  Diemmess 17:12 26 Apr 2007

I wont tick this just yet, but will chew all advice for a while longer.

There is such a bewildering mass of alternatives from Novatech alone, that I'm beginning to suffer brain fatigue.

You know the situation "it has that, but only if, and does that match and so on"

One more question to help me choose:

RAM quotes:

[Dual channel, unbuffered, 1.8V DDR2 533, (2) 240-pin DIMM sockets, max 2GB[
[Dual channel, unbuffered, 1.8V DDR2 800, (4) 240-pin DIMM sockets, max 8GB]

The difference is speed, capacity of the mobo and price?

  keef66 09:39 27 Apr 2007

If you don't plan to overclock the processor or upgrade it in the near future the 2GB DDR2 533 will be perfectly adequate.

(I'm still toying with the idea of building a pc with an E4300, but overclock it to 3ghz, and for that I'll need an obliging motherboard and the DDR2-800 ram.)

  Diemmess 14:44 27 Apr 2007

Normally impulsive, have unusually three weeks till I have to be in Bristol anyway and can call on the Portishead outlet saving delivery charges.

Meanwhile at whatever level I start - Ready made, Bare bones, or Mobo bundle, no juggling components is allowed.
The prices are very keen and can't be matched by choosing all components separately.

So as I said this deal has xx as a snag, that one something else.

Net result is that I will buy ready-to-go, make a check-list of what I think most important and then do the deal by phone, cross checking for the expected answers.

The choice at this moment is something in the + or - £400 range

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