Mar 08

There is no need to go out and pay $500 to $1000 desktop computer when you can buy ab inexpensive desktops from Computer Liquidators or Factory Direct.

While most people won’t go out and buy a new $75k vehicle many fall into the biggest and fastest trap when it comes to buying a computer. Better to spend $200 and use the extra you save to pay down your debt.

If you don’t need a 30 day warranty and want to save 13% tax you can buy a used computer at Kijiji London or Craigslist London.

Or another option is to just upgrade the motherboard (mobo), cpu, cpu fan, and memory of your current desktop computer.

For example I have a Pentium 4 3Ghz Gateway computer and am considering upgrading the mobo/cpu/fan/memory. Here is the process I took.

The first thing I did was get the current rating of my current CPU. I did a search for “Intel Pentium 4 3.00GHz” at CPU Benchmarks and found the Passmark CPU rating was 491.

See a picture of the rating of the CPU to the right. Click the picture to have it pop up in a larger size.

The next step is to check to make sure your power supply, RAM, and hard drive interface are compatible. You will need to check if you have extra cards install and if you had a video card that is build into the mobo or is separate. Also if no CPU fan comes with the bundle you will need to purchase a fan that matches the Processor Interface.

The specs for the mother board will let you know what is required.

Also keep in mind you will need to backup and reinstall your Windows OS and programs if you change your motherboard.

For any new mobo’s you are going to need a ATX power supply that has a 24pin and 4pin connector at the least.

See a picture of the power supply connectors to the right. Click the picture to have it pop up in a larger size.

Check for the type of RAM you have (DDR, DDR2, or DDR3) and make sure that the mobo will take your RAM. Also check to see how many sticks of RAM you have and how many slots the prospective mobo has.

See a picture of the memory differences to the right. Click the picture to have it pop up in a larger size.

Then make sure there is the right harddrive interface (IDE, SATA) for your current hard drive.

See a picture of the harddrive interface differences to the right. Click on the picture to have it pop up in a larger size.

Let’s head over to TigerDirect.Ca to view their Motherboard Bundles.

Here is a ECS A740GM-M mobo and AMD Athlon X2 7850 bundle for $69.97.

See a picture of the mobo bundle to the right. Click on the picture to have it pop up in a larger size.

It takes an ATX power supply that requires a 24 and 4 pin connector, has 2 DDR2 memory slots, has a built in VGA port, comes with 2 PCI slots, and has IDE and SATA hard drive connectors.

In my case I have 4 – 1GB DDR2 memory sticks so I will only be able to use 2GB instead of 4GB. Also I could use 2GB for now but put up my 4 -1GB memory sticks up for sale on Kijiji and then when they sell buy a 4GB DDR2 memory stick.

The next step is to check and see how much faster this CPU is than my current CPU that is rated at CPU Benchmarks at 491.

When I search for “7850″ I find the AMD Athlon 7850 Dual-Core is rated at 1603 which is almost 4 times faster than my current motherboard.

This motherboard combo doesn’t include a CPU fan so I need to also purchase a socket AM2+ CPU fan. If you have a slim line case you will need to make sure that the fan you are purchasing is not to high and you won’t be able to close the computer case.

It was here that I realize that my Gateway E-4500S computer has a non standard mobo and this new mobo wouldn’t fit into the computer box. At least I figured this out before I ordered the mobo and tried to fit it in.

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