View Full Version : Upgrading old computer advice needed.

04-12-2011, 08:26 AM
In 2001 I purchased what was then my pride and joy, a PC that of course is now completely outdated.

It has a fine ATX case but has a Soltex SL-75MAV motherboard and the CPU runs at 1000. The case size is 420 x 420 x 180.

My quandry is, what sort of motherboard would an ATX case accept? Are mbs manufactured to go into any old ATX case? Are the holes to affix the mb always in the same place? Are the board sizes much the same?

The case is in mint condition and it would be a real shame to scrap it. What would a good replacement board be your recomendation. I don't need it to do anything fancy.

If anything I would like it to be a learning experience to learn how to upgrade the system.

Speedy Gonzales
04-12-2011, 08:44 AM
Any MATX or ATX mobo will fit into an ATX case. If you decide to upgrade it, you'll probably have to replace the PSU (as well as the ram and CPU obviously). The only prob is, most socket 478 mobos and CPU's are obsolete. And (I dont think) many shops still stock socket 775 mobo's and CPU's (you may find one with video onboard). You could either get AMD, or Socket 1155 / the latest mobo's and CPU's. But the Intel's arent exactly cheap

Whats your budget?

04-12-2011, 09:24 AM
You can still get Socket 775 CPU's and the occasional boards.

I got a new 3.06 775 CPU only last week for a customer.

BUT if you are going to upgrade, better to spend the money on newer more modern components ( board and CPU)

04-12-2011, 10:17 AM
for a basic upgrade something like;

same RAM as above

And if your old PSU isn't up to the Job

Any good supplier should be able to match or better these prices so use it as a base, these are bottom end new systems not gaming machines so just a starting point really. The intel would be my choice, a lot better performance and far more upgradeable.
Puts you in the $375-500 +OS if you need it (around $170 for windows 7 OEM if you buy with parts) for an upgrade. Not cheap, but better than a whole new machine. These should fit your case just fine, and if you added a reasonable graphics card could also handle most games (although the AMD is probably a bit slow, go for quad core if you want AMD and plan to game or use CPU intensive apps).

Hopefully this gives you an Idea, online sites like www.computerlounge.co.nz www.pp.co.nz www.pbtech.co.nz let you pick all the components you want and see what it will cost you.

It may seem cheap to start with but it can snowball, just $20 more for the next model CPU, sweet. hard drive a bit old and small, better grab a new one. OS pretty outdated, prob should upgrade. Be cool if it could play Blu-ray, time for a better optical drive....
You get the Idea.

04-12-2011, 12:10 PM
A 2001 case wouldn't have had front USB, if I recall correctly.
Would you be thinking twice about such a refit if it didn't feature front USB, knowing how convenient it is?

04-12-2011, 12:59 PM
Are mbs manufactured to go into any old ATX case? Are the holes to affix the mb always in the same place? Are the board sizes much the same?

The holes are in the same place on the case (there is a standard layout that will fit most ATX and mATX boards)

But, different motherboards don't always use all the same holes. So you may need to move the standoffs around to fit a new board.

Make sure you line these all up, as a standoff in the wrong place (where there is no hole on your board) will create a short circuit and likely damage something.

The case is in mint condition and it would be a real shame to scrap it.
Why scrap the case? You could sell it or give it away - same with the old hardware, it might be slow to you but to some people it would be quite useful.

If you can't be bothered selling it, I always find freecycle.org is a great way to get rid of stuff. I'd be rather surprised if nobody took it!

04-12-2011, 09:26 PM
Computers are a little bit like cars, you can replace the motor, gearbox/CPU,GPU usually with components slightly better from about the same period or a little later. After that it becomes a real stretch. Can be done but its a bit like fitting a V8 into a Mini, it does work, but is too hard and the result is probably not what you really wanted Best idea is to start fresh on a whole new computer. Transfer your data to it and go from there. Wipe your old computer, reinstall the OS, tune it up ,put some freeware apps on it, and give it to a charity shop or some deserving family or person you know, result warm fuzzies, and the knowledge your old computer lives on in a new life.

05-12-2011, 09:54 AM
I regularily recycle good well-made cases with new motherboards. You could get an AMD AM3 motherboard fo under $100, processors starting from the140 for about $70 and dirt cheap 2GB DDR3; enough to run Windows 7 [or XP if you prefer]. If you use on board graphics you may not need to buy a new power supply, but $40 will get you a new 420-w one if needed to supply 4pin connector to motherboard secondary supply point. A card reader [about $18] can be installed in the slot formerly used by a floppy drive. This will also give you USB on the front panel.