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Scrounging for cheap build.


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#1 bsgranpa

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:45 PM

I have several desktops that are out of service due mainly to age.  My daughter needs something to do emails and some internet work on an online exchange for inventory, etc.  Absolutely no gaming, video or photo editing capability needed.

 

I don't think that I can use any of the motherboards due to their old style power cords (I don't know what they are called, but they are big slotted things).  The newest of the CPU's is a Pentium (4) the best I can tell.  Can I reuse it with a new "bare bones" MB?  If so, what is the best way to store it while I'm getting the rest of the parts together?

 

I bought a Samsung 128G SSD and I have plenty of extra hard drives to add for file and document storage.  I've never done this before so please consider me to be fairly ignorant of terms and abbreviations (although, I'm getting awesome at Googling).  I think that I will get Win7 just because she is handy with XP and I'm guessing that her transition will be a little easier.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:43 AM

It's difficult to answer your question on the information given.  By "old style power chords" do you mean a 20pin ATX connector?  Like this?

 

300px-ATX_PS_ATX_connector.jpg

If so, most power supplies (which use 24 pins under the current standard) are backward compatible.  You can in most cases just detach the extra 4 pins, as shown in the picture above.

 

Pentium 4's can be either Socket 478 or Socket LGA775.  Socket 478 is long obsolete, and you will not find any new motherboards being sold for it now.  Socket LGA775 is also obsolete, but you might find the odd motherboard for sale still, as it was so long lived.

 

Socket 775 (note metal surround that locks the CPU into place from above)

260px-Socket775.JPG

 

Socket 478 (usually made of beige plastic like this)

Socket_adapter.jpg

 

To be totally honest, Windows 7 will likely be slow on old hardware like this, and it needs about 2Gb RAM to give just about adequate performance (4Gb is a lot better).  Given that you plan on buying a new motherboard anyway, some relatively cheap modern CPU's can be bought which are much more capable, and that may be worth doing. You can still potentially re-use old cases, any good hard drives, spare keyboards and mice etc.  For example looking at the lowest end of the market, an AMD A4-5300 or a Celeron G1820 are dual core processors (with integrated GPU's) which are $40-50, and more than capable of doing internet work.  Here's how they benchmark compared to a 2.8Ghz Pentium 4.


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#3 bsgranpa

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:36 AM

Thank you.  There are 3.5 floppy drives and WD internal tape back-up drives as well.  Is there any use for them?  What do I look for if I want to reuse a case?



#4 bsgranpa

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:40 AM

Found this on Amazon:

 

Intel Celeron G1620 2.70GHz LGA-1155 Processor BX80637G1620

 

Since I'm Prime, it's $45 with free shipping.  Is there a motherboard you would suggest?



#5 jonuk76

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:59 AM

Not a suggestion from personal experience, but I would probably look at something like this considering the type of build (low cost, no frills) as I do like Gigabyte's motherboard products and they tend to be reasonable quality.  However on checking further it is SATA only, and doesn't appear to have IDE or floppy controllers so if you wanted to use IDE hard disks or a floppy drive, you'd need to look elsewhere.


Edited by jonuk76, 19 March 2014 - 08:09 AM.

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#6 jonuk76

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:12 AM

Thank you.  There are 3.5 floppy drives and WD internal tape back-up drives as well.  Is there any use for them?  What do I look for if I want to reuse a case?

 

Floppy drives are rare on current PC's (replaced to all intents and purposes by flash drives and optical drives) but if there's a need for one then why not.  However, checking the spec on the motherboard above shows it doesn't have a floppy controller. Whether the tape drive would be any use depends on a few things.  Interface - is it IDE or some other connection?  If so a motherboard with IDE controllers would be needed (getting rarer).  Also it wouldn't be much use using say an old 250mb tape drive as it just wouldn't have enough capacity to do anything much.  A $10 flash drive would hold much more and have infinitely faster access :)

 

Cases - if a case is ATX or mATX standard it should be able to be re-used.  A good case should have adequate ventillation.  Note most power supplies in old cases are probably not going to be suitable for a current PC and should be upgraded.  Most things not from the major manufacturers, i.e. Gateway, Dell, HP use ATX or mATX standards, while the big companies often but not always used proprietary designs which may be incompatible with ATX.


Edited by jonuk76, 19 March 2014 - 08:19 AM.

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#7 bsgranpa

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:13 AM

How do I know if the hard drives are "IDE"?  



#8 jonuk76

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:28 AM

Easiest to look at the connectors.

 

IDE data connector (big 40 or 80 pin ribbon cables)

800px-PATA-cable.jpg

 

SATA connector (these are small, less than an inch wide)

SATA_Data_Cable.jpg


Edited by jonuk76, 19 March 2014 - 08:30 AM.

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#9 buddy215

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:23 AM

Why try to utilize such old parts when you can pick up a good used computer? I am seeing a lot of these on Craig's list

in my little home town.

 

EXAMPLE:

00v0v_bm1h01UqPBG_600x450.jpg
00v0v_bm1h01UqPBG_50x50c.jpg00h0h_dsYkWsRzNFP_50x50c.jpg00p0p_7pZ3gQiJ7bU_50x50c.jpg00V0V_23LcfFZBErr_50x50c.jpg00k0k_8x6iIFJnbJM_50x50c.jpg00e0e_fM3FlIBgLdz_50x50c.jpg
 

Desktop computer for sale like new condition , screen dell 18 inches mouse keyboard , windows 7 Professional , 250Gb hard driver ' 2 Gb Ram ,intel ® core™2 CPU 32=bit .150$


“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”


#10 jonuk76

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:39 AM

Agreed, that is definitely a route worth considering.


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#11 bsgranpa

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:07 PM

I've bought my share of other's used machines and had mixed results.  I thought that I would start with a fairly simple computer for someone who didn't have much in the way of heavy demand and see how that goes.  I guess that it's in the nature of "dipping my toe in the water" kind of an effort.  At some point, I'd like to be comfortable building, upgrading and repairing my several boxes.



#12 buddy215

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 05:31 AM

Well, if you are buying a Windows OS.........at NewEgg... Win 7 pro...$139 plus taxes and shipping.


“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss

A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”





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