upgrade or buy new desktop..?

  awest3 16:51 20 Jun 2008

My wifes PC is getting old, slow and tired..Dell dimension 4100. She uses it for the web and card crafting very little else. She's working on a borrowed flat screen at the moment (CRT broke a while ago). So I thought I go get a new flat screen, upgrade the mob and Cpu (the one she has can only take 256meg mem), add a card reader (she does some photos) and a USB2 internal card (she has a wireless keyboard and mouse). Looking at the cost of all this I realised that for not much more money I could probably get a whole new machine. Built one on th Dell website for about £400 (using the existing keyboard, mouse and dvd rewriters she already has). Any views on this..should I update or go for a new build? can I get the componants I require cheaper than where I've looked or will I just be putting off the date for buying a new one by just a few months..?

any advice gratefully accepted.


  awest3 16:55 20 Jun 2008

Sorry, Should have said this is what I would get for £400
PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4600 Processor (2.40GHz,800MHz,2MB cache),
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium - English
HARDWARE SUPPORT 1 Year Base Warranty edit
MONITOR 17in SE178WFP WIDESCREEN UK/Irish Silver (1440 x 900) TCO99 DVI-D With TrueLife
MEMORY 2048MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x1024] edit
HARD DRIVE 500GB (7200rpm) SATA Hard Drive edit
GRAPHICS CARD Integrated Intel® Graphic Media Accelerator 3100 edit
SOUND SOFTWARE Integrated 7.1 Channel High Definition Audio edit
FLOPPY/MEDIA DRIVES 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
MICROSOFT SOFTWARE Microsoft® Works 9.0 - English

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:01 20 Jun 2008

click here at £380 plus a 19" monitor. This will be more than your wife needs and is an excellent bit of kit.


  woodchip 17:38 20 Jun 2008

If you can get into Makro Warehouse, you can buy a Medion with a 17" LCD monitor for £299 plus Vat

  lodger 22:49 20 Jun 2008

unless you really need a new one, a reconditioned and tested machine from a specialist company can be a far more sress free and cheaper option, ---this one has 2.4Ghz, win xp pro, cd , floppy,6 usb ports,network card,512ram,and cost me pounds59, ITTrading UK Big Pockets,etc etc =====I used to spend more on calls to the PC World 'helpline' than i've spent on this whole rig, AND it's the most reliable pc i've owned..!

  awest3 16:16 22 Jun 2008

Ok..so I've decide to upgrade the dell dimension with a new mother board and cpu. Now I need to understand which Mb and Cpu to get, there seem to be hundreds out there.

I shall be using the old case, DVD drives, floppy and HDD.

Any advice on a suitable set up gratefully recevied. As before it does not need to be a gaming machine so one with built in graphics and sound is ok...looking for a cpc around the 2.8ghz and will want to install 2 gb of ram. Machine uses XP home, sp3.


  awest3 16:18 22 Jun 2008

should have said, budget is about £250 to include MB, Cpu and flat screen..all esle I will reuse.


  Quiller. 16:28 22 Jun 2008

"Ok..so I've decide to upgrade the dell dimension with a new mother board and cpu."

You will probably also need a new psu and memory.

Woodchip's computer from Makro is a good buy followed by GANDALF <|:-)>'s dell.

If you still want to go upgrade route want to keep back about £130 for a flat screen which leaves you around £120 for a bundle. You may also need a new copy of windows as the one on the hard drive will be tied to that motherboard. You might be able to get around it or you might not.

So you will need

new motherboard and cpu.
Flat screen.

You might need

new memory
new psu
new version of windows

  awest3 17:20 22 Jun 2008

hi quiller,

Yes I think you are right about the PSU its only 200w on the 4100...I think I can get a 500w for about £20 inc vat and post. I can see a 17" TFT samsung for about £105 again inc vat and post.

leaves me about £125 for the rest.

What MB and CPu is more of a problem for me...I'd want 2gb memory...
Any ideas on these..?

I bought a copy of xp home not long ago (found I had a dodgy copy of XP pro on the machine), I'm hoping that I can use that and explain it to MS support.


  Batch 17:40 22 Jun 2008

IMHO you'd be far better off buying a prebuilt system. The cost of buying separate components will probably cost more in the first place. Then you have the effort of getting it all together and working. Then if something goes wrong you have to work it out yourself and get it sorted (as opposed to a warranty on the complete system). Plus if you are keeping some bits from the old system, they will always be the weak / slow link.

I know this click here (3Ghz, 512MB, 160GB) isn't up to the spec. you are looking at and isn't cutting edge. But should easily meet your wifes' needs and at £130 + £10 delievry (incl. keyboard, mouse, speakers, but excl. screen and OS) it is a v. good deal.

If you need it, you can get XP Home or Vista Basic for about 54 quid (at ebuyer) and then less than £86 for a 17" screen (again at ebuyer).

Total is approx. £280. A little over your budget, but I'd say it's a far better solution.

  Batch 17:46 22 Jun 2008

Alternatively you could consider this system unit + keybaord, mouse & OS click here, which comes in at £140. But being Vista it may need more memory and I'm not so sure how the Sempron 3800+ 2.2Ghz measures up against the Intel 3GHz P4.

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