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Thread: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

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    Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    Hey guys,

    My Dad has been wanting a computer for a while to upload his photo's onto (or download, as he calls it -.-) and do some editing with the software that came with the camera, plus some basic internet browsing. However, we don't have the money to get him a computer to do this. He would either buy a laptop or use my mum's old one, as she is getting my nan's old one. But it is soooooo slow. It takes ~30 minutes to boot and open an email attatchment. It is painful. And, you can't really do photo editing on a touchpad?

    Anyway, I have this old desktop PC. It's a Dell Dimension 8300. I'm not too certain on the specs, but I know it has a Pentium 4 (the one with hyper threading), 500MB of RAM, 120GB HDD, and a Radeon 9800 Pro (some generic specs are here). My issue is the graphics card has gone kaput. It looks like this:




    My question is, is it worth fixing this computer? Will it be powerful enough to do what he wants? If I was to restore it, I think I'd upgrade to 2GB RAM (4GB of 184-pin DDR is sooo expensive!) and get a new AGP x8 card (plus a bios battery as that is out of charge, but I have one already). This would all cost ~£70 looking at this memory and graphics. I may even contemplate an upgrade to Windows 7 (32 bit, ofc). Would the PC be able to handle all of this?

    Otherwise, he would get my mum's laptop. It's a 1.73GHz centrino (same as in mine, to the left), 60GB HDD, 500MB RAM (DDR 100-pin, I would have to upgrade), and graphics I don't know. It's gut wrenchingly slow, but I guess a clean XP install would give it a slight boost.


    Thanks very much

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    if your looking at a low budget may as well just fix the pc it will be better than the laptop

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    I did offer you a free AGP graphics card in your other post but, you didn't get back to me.

    For £70ish you could probably get a new motherboard, CPU and memory. Rather than waste money on old tech.

    A new AMD motherboards integrated graphics should be roughly equal to an old Radeon 9800 pro. (I could be wrong)

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    I did offer you a free AGP graphics card in your other post but, you didn't get back to me.

    For £70ish you could probably get a new motherboard, CPU and memory. Rather than waste money on old tech.

    A new AMD motherboards integrated graphics should be roughly equal to an old Radeon 9800 pro. (I could be wrong)
    Hmm yeah, thanks for that. Sorry, I was still looking around to see if anyone else had one in the local area (friends, family, work...).

    That's quite interesting... I assume it'll fit into the case? Would AMD Llano be a good bet then?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    Also, the HDD and DVD drives (there's 2x dvd drives) are IDE. Modern mobos won't really support that will they?

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    Quote Originally Posted by EvanJackPenn View Post
    Hey guys,

    My Dad has been wanting a computer for a while to upload his photo's onto (or download, as he calls it -.-) and do some editing with the software that came with the camera, plus some basic internet browsing. However, we don't have the money to get him a computer to do this. He would either buy a laptop or use my mum's old one, as she is getting my nan's old one. But it is soooooo slow. It takes ~30 minutes to boot and open an email attatchment. It is painful. And, you can't really do photo editing on a touchpad?

    Anyway, I have this old desktop PC. It's a Dell Dimension 8300. I'm not too certain on the specs, but I know it has a Pentium 4 (the one with hyper threading), 500MB of RAM, 120GB HDD, and a Radeon 9800 Pro (some generic specs are here). My issue is the graphics card has gone kaput. It looks like this:




    My question is, is it worth fixing this computer? Will it be powerful enough to do what he wants? If I was to restore it, I think I'd upgrade to 2GB RAM (4GB of 184-pin DDR is sooo expensive!) and get a new AGP x8 card (plus a bios battery as that is out of charge, but I have one already). This would all cost ~£70 looking at this memory and graphics. I may even contemplate an upgrade to Windows 7 (32 bit, ofc). Would the PC be able to handle all of this?

    Otherwise, he would get my mum's laptop. It's a 1.73GHz centrino (same as in mine, to the left), 60GB HDD, 500MB RAM (DDR 100-pin, I would have to upgrade), and graphics I don't know. It's gut wrenchingly slow, but I guess a clean XP install would give it a slight boost.


    Thanks very much
    If you want a new one, just go to the following site and search pc within your bugget...
    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/index.html

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    Thing is, gutting it and starting again wouldn't be too expensive. But then I might as well buy from a shop.

    How much would postage on that AGP card cost? I might then ask around to see if anyone on the forum has some spare DDR laying around

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    Quote Originally Posted by EvanJackPenn View Post
    Thing is, gutting it and starting again wouldn't be too expensive. But then I might as well buy from a shop.

    How much would postage on that AGP card cost? I might then ask around to see if anyone on the forum has some spare DDR laying around
    You could always have a look at cheap machines from somewhere like bigpockets.

    I doubt the cost of a postage is much about £3 maybe? If you really wanted a 9800 pro I have one I bought from one of the Jim's but, I'd want to get my money back on it as I bought it.

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    Ah no, I'm not too fussed about the card. As long as it's compatable

    I'll look for some memory, and if I can get some of that for cheap I'll contact you about the card

    Many thanks

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    IMHO,this nettop would do the job:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/267867-emachin...p-pt-nbzec-004


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    looks like gpu is overheating or overheated

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    yep, to be exact the Vram has overheated, I had the exact same thing on my 9700pro many years ago, it cooked it's own ram.

    Some 2nd hand ddr and an agp graphics card would get it back up and running, it'll never be exactly nippy, but upping the ram will improve it a bit.

    Unless he's playing games on that then no need for anything powerful, geforce 7200 or 6200 or ati x1650 or 2600 don't need anything powerful and should be under £20 2nd hand

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    Re: Restoring an old PC for my Dad

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    yep, to be exact the Vram has overheated, I had the exact same thing on my 9700pro many years ago, it cooked it's own ram.

    Some 2nd hand ddr and an agp graphics card would get it back up and running, it'll never be exactly nippy, but upping the ram will improve it a bit.

    Unless he's playing games on that then no need for anything powerful, geforce 7200 or 6200 or ati x1650 or 2600 don't need anything powerful and should be under £20 2nd hand
    I've read about this issue a lot with this card. Thing is, it was a free upgrade

    My friend's dad says he has an old desktop I could either use or salvage from. I'll see what I can get from that.

    P.S. My mum got that laptop today. Vista Basic, rediculously slow. The mouse cursor was a flag rippling in the wind. It made me cringe. Stuck it on Windows 7, works like a dream :3

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