New Computer or upgrade?

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by k13eod, Apr 2, 2009.

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  1. Anyone offer any advice?

    We have a Dell desktop that is about five years old. It only has 40gb of memory and even with an external hard drive bolted on it fills up quickly ... most of the memory is taken up with programmes. Don't know what the RAM is but it now runs so slowwwww. It also doesn't have a wireless modem. Thing is we have a huge shed and I want to set that up as an office so we need the desktop to be wireless ... I have a laptop with wireless to use in the house for general browsing and a brand new Acer Aspire One netbook for travelling.

    So is it worth my while upgrading the existing desktop with more RAM, more memory and a wireless card or would I be better off buying a new machine. How much would an upgrade cost compared to buying new? I am reluctant to buy new if I can upgrade cheaply as, apart from being slow, there is nothing wrong with the Dell.

    Any help much appreciated as always.
  2. Id get a new one , what with the whole everyone not having any money thing, tech toys are cheap.

    What you want to use it for should dictate what you should buy really.
  3. If you type "winver" in the run line it will tell you how much RAM the PC has.

    Upgrading can be cheap, but buying new is very cheap nowadays for an average PC.

    By the time you've upgraded your HDD, your RAM, added a wireless card you may be in the realms of a cheap new PC, depending on what parts you want?

    Depending on what Dell it is, I may havbe some free RAM you can have.
  4. It's a Dell Dimension 2400 ... thats what it says on the front :D

    What's the 'run line'? :oops:
  5. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    It depends a lot on what you use it for. If its only for surfing the net and writing stuff up in word, then why upgrade something thats perfectly capable. If you need to run more resource hungry programs and a little bit of oomf is needed then an upgrade is the way ahead.

    You can pick up a decent PC these days for a few hundred quid, cutting edge will cost a bit more of course. ;)
  6. Cheers mate ... it's mainly because it's slow and needs to be wireless.

    Edited to add: O_S I have been stalking your every post simply to watch those boobs being constantly exposed 8O
  7. Click Start (bottom left hand corner :D ) Then see where it says "Run" above it? Click on that
  8. Depends what you want to use the dell for. If its just for office work then its probably just as easy to reformat the hard-drive (backing up what you need of course) and then having a fresh install.

    RAM and hard-drives are cheap as chips now. You can find 1 TB disks for under £100 and 500Gb around the £50 mark. Depending on your operating system, RAM isn't much an issue. If your running a 32-Bit OS then theres no need to have more than 4Gb of it. Again depending on the manufacturer and the clock speed could set you back £20 could set you back £50.

    That said, due to the new generation of Intel processors (Core i7) the previous generation of dual core and quad cores (Core 2) have fallen drastically in price.

    Wireless LANs are similarly low priced, should be under £50.

    Depending on your work, and the programs you use for it, I reckon you'd probably be able to get by with just an upgrade. Though there is the consideration of how long you'd want this machine to last. Just a side note all the prices off the top of my head are from online retailers, going into a store like PC world or currys isn't worth the hassle as they won't have the variety and are almost certainly more expensive.

    Hope that helps, it'd be better if you knew your processor type, Operating system type and RAM as those are the main 3 components you need to worry about when upgrading/buying. Easily found on XP by going Start>Right click on "My Computer">Properties. Vista is a similar sort of gig but I can' remember the exact buttons to press.
  9. Sorry for being a thicky! :oops: It reads 522,240kb?

    I have now found the instruction book and all the drivers ... there is a section for installing extra memory and cards! Just wondering if I could do this ... if I can get the memory/RAM/wireless card.
  10. It's a piece of urine. I can help if need be. A complete one legged flid could do it!! Oh...hang on ;)

  11. Means you've got 512mb of RAM. That there could be your easiest solution. upgrade that to even 2Gb and you'd have a massive improvement in speed. most computers these days have around 2-4Gb
  12. 5 Year old would suggest it's running with old SD RAM, DIMMS - these can be quite hard to get a hold of now as they have pretty much gone the way of their forebares (SIPP's and SIMM's) and the Dodo for that matter. E-bay may be the only viable source as most high street stores simply will not stock them anymore. What OS are you running? Most wireless systems now insist on at least Win Xp with SP 2 installed and at least 512MB of RAM.

    Most cost effective solution for the long run may be to simply purchase a more recent 2nd hand PC base unit, you can keep your existing monitor etc. You may have to change your keyboard and mouse however as the age you quote would suggest they will have the old PS2 (not to be confused with the Playstation) connectors and not USB which is almost standard fair now. Athlough many Mobo's still have the ports for these legacy devices.

    However if you get a decent wireless router, there is no reason why you cannot use one of your laptops with WIFI in the shed, you should be able to get a range of well over 100mtrs - the buggers are better than Clansman now like!

    Oh and a DELL! Satan's PC maker - made from the cheapest possible parts by inbred Micks in Sothern Potato Land! For best results, make your own bugger!

    If you need any help just PM me, I'll be glad to be of assistance.
  13. You have to know that this is the one legged flid who sorted out his pond electric live whilst trying to earth himself with a prosthetic limb that has a steel ankle ... only two attempts at flying before I got it right :wink:

    It's running on MS Win XP Pro 2002 SP 2. If someone can give me pointers on what to buy (RAM/Memory/Wireless card) I will give it a go!
  14. Dell are rather crafty as their machines come with non-standard (or Dell-standard) voltage Power Supply Units under the bonnet. Upgrading Dells by yourself can be tricky because you have the match the voltage of the new parts to the voltage of the PSU. Linky

    Your machine must be fairly old to come with a 40GB hard drive. I'm guessing that the case is a mini-ATX size (standard is ATX) and that your motherboard will only support slower RAM and hard drive, which on the plus side will mean that you can probably get them cheaply off eBay. Probably looking at around £10 for a wireless internet dongle, about £50 for another 512MB of RAM and up to £40 for five times the HDD space.

    If all you do is go on t'internet, look at naughty pictures, word process etc this upgrade would probably last you a while.

    But if I were me I'd probably spend double that to get myself a new machine with standard size case and free myself from Dell. You can get ready made rigs off eBay or other places on the interweb and they will certainly meet or exceed your spec. Having an ATX case with an off-the-shelf PSU means that getting new parts (a quieter PSU for example) will involve alot less faffing about and better options. You'll be future-proof, and you will be able to add capabilities, make it quieter etc, or not, as required - and as long as you're happy with the casing you won't ever have to consider getting a new machine again. If you manage to upgrade your Dell this time then by the time you need to upgrade again it may be impossible.
  15. All I want is the cheaper option that will last a couple of years. We would probably buy a new machine then. I have a 2 year old HP laptop that we will use in the house. I can't really afford a new desktop on account of one of those impulsive buys of a netbook (which I probably didn't need but it looked shiny). The machine is not used for gaming merely browsing, photo editing and word processing.