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  1. #1
    JR
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    I'm considering building a new computer by buying parts one-by-one - because I can't afford all the components in one go. What I am wondering is, that if I bought a new motherboard and P4 processor to start with, could I use my other 4-year-old components (such as HDD, CD-ROMs, graphics card, RAM etc.) with it? They are currently running on a P3 600mhz system.
    JR

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  3. #2
    Senior Member GrandmasterB's Avatar
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    Parts are really cheap right now. The HDD and CD-ROM could be reused, but you'd probably want to upgrade the rest. It's usually better to buy new RAM, and you always want a better graphics card. Check out pricewatch.com. They've got links to the best prices on the web.

  4. #3
    Senior Member nsr81's Avatar
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    Try pricegrabber.com as well. And if you got some time before you go shopping, hang around at techbargains.com and fatwallet.com from coupons and deals, etc.
    There and Back Again :Ogre:

  5. #4
    JR
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    I'm English guys. I find that www.dealtime.co.uk is a useful website.

    Anyway, you haven't really answered my question though, what I was asking was if I buy a motherboard and processor to start with, will my old components actually work with them until I can afford replacement parts?
    JR

  6. #5
    Senior Member nsr81's Avatar
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    sorry about that. Well, it depends on what you have and what you are buying. If you have DDR RAM right now, and your next motherboard supports that RAM, then reuse it till you are able to get new chips. Same goes for video card, although you'd want a new one, but if you currently have a AGP card, you can reuse that as well. CDROM/DVD/HDD, should all work.

    All in all, yes you can reuse most of your old components, provided that your new motherboard supports them.
    There and Back Again :Ogre:

  7. #6
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    You would definitely want to get new memory along with the motherboard (the absolute fastest memory it supports, no exceptions).

    If the hard drive is not ATA/133 and 7200 RPM, then get a new one and use it as your primary (although you can keep the old hard drive for extra, less-speed-critical space). If you have a GeForce3 or later, you can keep it for now, and you can definitely keep your CD-ROM drives and other random accessories. If it's PCI, definitely keep it and use it for a second monitor.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!

  8. #7
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    In Norway everything is expensive EXCEPT electronics! :classic:

    In my job, I'm often in London and other european cities, and the components are much more expensive there (don't know why). I have of course not tried out the webshops abroad.

    Anyway, peripherals like Keyboard, Monitor, HDD's, CD/DVD-drives, Floppy drives, Networkcards, Graphics and sound cards etc are all good to go in newer machines. Even if an old graphics card will not do your new power box justice, it still works and does its job until you can replace it with something more powerful.

    However, CPU, RAM, Chipsets, Socket type and motherboard are tailormade for each other. (Of course the last three comes soldered together, so you don't have much choice there anyway). You have some options with regard to CPU speed, but the FSB speed determines RAM type. You can in some cases use faster RAM on a slower system bus, but in your case, the opposite would be the case and that's not compatible. DDR RAM/SDRAM/RAMBUS are three incompatible RAM types that requires different sockets. The RAM speed also need to match your processor speed as they feed directly of the systembus.

    PCI and AGP peripherals on the other hand are safe, as the multiplier settings (available through BIOS or jumper switches on the MB) will slow down systembus speed to match the international standard speed for these ports (33MHz/32bit for PCI and 66MHz/32bit wide for AGP). The new PCI64/66-specification raises the PCI bus to 4 times capacity, but there are still hardly any hardware that supports it).

    So in short, you can use almost all your old stuff and replace them one-by-one when you can afford to.

    EDIT:
    I was writing this as filburt posted his, so all repetetive information was unintended.
    S. Rosland

  9. #8
    JR
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    What should I look for to see if there is compatibility between my older parts and a newer motherboard?
    JR

  10. #9
    JR
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    Rosland's post pretty much answered that, I was writing a response while he posted it.

    Thanks for the info all.
    JR

  11. #10
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    This is more personal than anything, but I recommend you Athlon. They have a much better value/price. Look these: [http://pifast.tweakers.net/]. See how the 3GHz Athlon64 is faster than a 4.5GHz pentium 4? I know this is a mathematic test, but it gives you a idea.
    Almost always a "slower" AthlonXP is faster than a "faster" P4.

    I own a Duron 1200 OC to 1320 and it goes good. My brother has a Celeron 1500 and is really slow. And I do charge more the computer. (DWMX, Photoshop, Fireworks, IE, Opera, Firefox, Antivirus,etc all at the same time).

    Anyway- Be sure to have LOTS of RAM. It's more important than the CPU's speed, because when you run out of RAM, it starts to use the HD as RAM, but the HD is millions slower (millions...don
    t be picky ). Get the fastest DDR available for the Motherboard you choose and I advise you at least 1 Gig of RAM if you use it for more than "writing emails and learn Word/Excel..."


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