Buying New Comp or Upgrading??

  Chrisann 13:44 12 Jan 2005

I have the following complete Comp set up from 2001.

Packard Bell 700 processor 10 Hard drive. 126 Ram C.R.T. Screen. Running Windows M.E. with Microsfolt software installed..

I am wondering whether to upgrade any parts..i.e. more Hrd Drive..also I would like a new Flat Screen...or whether to go for a completely new package.

This set up was opbviously an entry level model for me as a beginner..but am wondering now whether to go for a new one. For the same money I purchased this one I can now get a lot more of everything.

So would upgrading this set up be a pointless task. and be more costly in the end.

Any advice appreciated..Thanks.


  Lead 14:04 12 Jan 2005

It depends on what you can salvage - you're restricted by things like the power supply, case design, motherboard compatiblity with new components, e.g. CPU, RAM... So it might be better to start again, either a new system or self-build.

  Bleep 14:10 12 Jan 2005

Depends what you want to get out of it?

A general Improvement would be: click here

£499inc VAT

AMD Sempron 2800+ Processor

Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition

512MB DDR400 RAM (PC3200) Memory

80GB 7200rpm Ultra DMA-133 HDD with 2MB Buffer

128MB Integrated nVIDIA GeForce 4 Graphics (SMA)

15" TFT Flat Panel Monitor

SONY 16x Dual Layer DVD-RW (R/W all standard formats)*

5.1 Surround Sound - 6 channel audio

Creative Labs Soundblaster SBS260 Stereo Speakers

Internet Ready V.92 56Kbps data/fax/voice modem

Network Ready integrated 10/100 Ethernet Adaptor

Logitech Desktop Keyboard & Optical Mouse

FREE Microsoft Works 8.0

FREE Pinnacle Studio 9 SE Video Editing Software

FREE 3 Year Warranty (Back to Base

Black Mini Tower Case/4 USBs + Additional Features

Or: click here

£249.97 inc VAT

Processor: AMD Sempron 2600+

Memory: 256MB DDR expandable to 2GB

Disk: 40GB


Modem/LAN 10/100

VIA KM400+ VT8235 chipset with built-in VGA

Audio on board

6 in 1 memory card reader

6x USB2 Ports (2 front)



External bays: 2 x 3.5, 2 x 5.25

Expansion slots: 3X PCI, 1XAGP

PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse

2 Stereo Speakers

Microsoft Windows XP Home

Warranty: 1 year collect and return

If you were looking for a general more up to date PC any of the above would be great and yes you would get a good overall noticiable performance boost.

I would not personally recommend up-grading as for the price above £499 inc 15incTFT!!! you can see what a barging your getting.

Post back with what your trying to gain from your upgrade so that you can get a more specific anwser but with prices so low @ the moment for the average Joe buying pre-built has nver been better.

  Chrisann 14:11 12 Jan 2005

Am I right in assuming then that the processor speed of only 700 is my stumbling block. I have been told that adding more Hard drive and more memory would be pointless with this speed. It did seem adequate for me at the time but the hard drive is quickly filling up now.

I have looked at new systems and for about £500 - £600 I can get so much more. It does seem that as soon as a set up is bought it becomes outdated.


  Chrisann 13:52 13 Jan 2005

Thanks for all that info..and there do seem to be some good buys out there.

I think what I really need to know is ..I am about to buy a Digital Camera and was wondering if my set up will cope with downloading the piccies etc. Also I think I just need more Hard drive...maybe??

I am only a Home user for simple office stuff etc. As I don't play games etc. probably a high speed isn't necessary for me...just more space.

Any more comments appreciated. Chrisann

  Gongoozler 14:28 13 Jan 2005

Hi Chrisann. Downloading and manipulating isn,t a very demanding task. I don't know the Packard Bell 700, but a 2001 computer should be able to take a 40G hard drive, and you can get a good one for under £35 including delivery click here. A 40G drive will hold well over 40,000 jpg photos from a 3.2Mp camera. If your computer does have problems with a 40G drive, there are ways round it. If you can tell us what your motherboard is, we may be able to tell you if there is a size limitation.

  Gongoozler 14:29 13 Jan 2005

Sorry, as I clicked on "Post response" I spotted the error:

"Downloading and manipulating photos isn't a very demanding task"

  Chrisann 15:43 13 Jan 2005

Motherboard says 'Houston' Model iconnect 1225 Celeron 700 Mhz..... Is this what you require?


  Gongoozler 16:30 13 Jan 2005

Hi Chrisann. Packard Bell motherboards are usually peculiar to Packard Bell, and so it's difficult to be sure what they are. I suspect yours is this one click here. If you download and run Belarc Advisor click here. you may get more information. Since the end of 1998, motherboards have generally been able to recognise hard drives up to 127GB (and more recently beyond that), so I don't think you will have any problems with a 40G or even larger drive. My suggestion, if you don't want the expense of a new computer, is to get a 40G drive and try it. You won't do any damage, the worst case is that your computer will only see it as 32G. If that happens, we can deal with it later. If you need advice on fitting the drive, pst back here.

  Chrisann 13:08 14 Jan 2005

Had a look at the Motherboard and it says...Houston 3+.... it gives lots of info about it on the Acvtiv dot info which is installed on my comp...about adding extra bits etc. such as memory..but I can't see anywhere where it says about adding extra Hard drives.!!

As for fitting it myself...Crickey I don't think I would venture to do that...that would be scary for me I reckon.


  Gongoozler 19:25 14 Jan 2005

Hi Chrisann. Any computer shop would be able to do the job, but you wouldn't learn much that way. If you want to give it a go, it's not difficult and there's plentu of help available on this forum.

The basic steps are:-

1. Set a link on the back of the drive to the "slave" position. This is usually clearly indicated on the drive itself.

2. Open the computer case.

3. Identify where the existing hard drive is and find the spare bay below it.

4. Put your new drive in the spare bay and secure it with screws (no supplied with an OEM drive.

5. Plug the spare ribbon cable connector and a spare power connector into the appropriate positions on the drive.

6. Switch on your computer and check that the BIOS has recognised the new drive.

7. Format the new drive.

8. Put the covers back on and use your new drive to store all your photos.

Have a look at these helpful sites and see if you feel up to the task:

click here

click here for an interactive flash video.

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