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Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

Old 11-30-09, 06:02 AM
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Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I have in my possession a Dell Dimension 2400 computer that I am fixing up for my gf's grandparents. (Specs for the thing are Here. The one I have has 256mb of ram).

I understand this PC is older and that some upgrades might be pricey (ram), but the computer is pretty well suited for them, they require XP (which it has) and its pretty much going to be web-surfing/e-mail/ maybe some youtube watching (which is what this is good for).

The problem I'm having is trying to figure out if its worth bumping the RAM to the MB's max supported 2gig (as her dad suggests). I'd like to throw in a DVD drive to replace the current CD-Rom, but I'm not sure if adding the DVD drive and RAM will be too much for the power supply (which is 200 watts). There is also a possibility of a DVD burner that might be donated to this project, which I know will be too much for the PS.

So would it be worthwhile to put 2gig in the computer, or should I only put 1gig in there and get a newer power supply instead? ( This one to be exact).

I'd like to put both 2gig and a newer PS, but budget won't allow for that.
Old 11-30-09, 12:24 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

Buy a netbook or a $399 desktop package
Old 11-30-09, 01:48 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

Buy cheap RAM from Ebay Dells like the slower RAM, there is no need for high performance ram. Stick with something like Kingston VALUE SERIES (PC2700 IIRC on that model, but 3200 would work fine)

http://cgi.ebay.com/1GB-2-512MB-King...item3ca7d58244



don't knock the power supply, a 200W rated Dell supply is actually better than many 300W rated aftermarket PSUs. If you remove a CD rom and replace with a DVD Rom or burner, the PSU will be perfectly fine.

As for 1 gig vs 2, I don't see a reason to go 2 on that machine with the use as you describe. 1 should be fine. Yes 2 will be better, but at what cost? Many times the gain isn't worth it.


You should have scoped out all the BF deals and just got a new machine. That thing is ancient and although it might be just enough to get by for their needs, it doesn't make any sense to put money in it. The mobo could blow tomorrow and then where does that leave you?

link

http://www.staples.com/office/suppli...21-NY540AA#ABA

in case the link fails - Compaq Presario CQ5210F Desktop PC - for $299 @ staples

# Microsoft Windows 7 Premium 64-bit
# AMD Athlon™ II X2 215 Dual-Core Processor
# 3GB installed memory
# 500GB hard drive
# SuperMulti DVD Burner with LightScribe Technology
# 10/100Base-T network interface
# 1 year warranty


IMO "netbooks" are not for older people, too small to work with

Last edited by 4KRG; 11-30-09 at 01:52 PM.
Old 11-30-09, 01:56 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

Your gf's dad doesn't really think it needs 2gb of memory. He's testing you and establishing dominance. He wants to see if you, in a situation where your instincts and logic tell you 1gb, you'll do 2gb just because he says so.

Grab control of the situation and do as 4KRG suggests. There should be no shortage of cheap computer deals between now and Christmas. Better to spend a little more and get everything current than put $50-150 in that thing. Have, or suggest, that other relatives chip in in lieu of giving them other gifts this year.
Old 11-30-09, 02:14 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

plenty of power with that dell power supply. 1gb is enough for surfing.
Old 12-01-09, 02:33 AM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I just opted for getting 1gig of ram.
Old 12-02-09, 12:30 AM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

if it has a celeron, upgrading to a p4 chip will make it faster.
Old 12-02-09, 02:16 AM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

Wow, I really need a new computer. That's my main computer (and what I'm on now).

I upgraded the RAM to 1GB total about 4 years ago. It runs fine. It has a Celeron processor and Windows XP with SP2. For what they'll be using it for it's ideal.

I use my school's computers for everything else now but I would just keep the RAM at 1GB. I also got a cheap DVD Burner a couple of years ago. Still runs without ever crashing, so it'll last. I've had mine since August of 2004.
Old 12-02-09, 03:14 AM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I actually put a DVD-rom in there that I had before I bought a sata DVD drive.

Which is also an upgrade over both what came with the computer (plain old cd-rom) and what they have now (plain old cd-rom).

It is good to hear that it has legs. I have no idea what the previous owner did with this computer (it was a dumpster find) other than catch some malware and leave it.

Ctrl+F11 fixed that right up.


Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
if it has a celeron, upgrading to a p4 chip will make it faster.
Considering their current computer is a 900mhz something-or-other with 120mb ram and a 10gig HDD running Win98, a 2.4ghz with 1gig ram and an 80gig HDD running XP is quite a jump.
Old 01-05-10, 03:33 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I'm reviving this thread, sorry, but I want to ask what DVD drives did you guys purchase that you used on your Dell Dimension 2400? I'm looking for some, but I have no idea what to get and at what price.
Old 01-05-10, 04:39 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

For most users all DVD burners are the same, just make sure it has the right interface. For older machines you want PATA or IDE (same thing, different name), newer machines can use SATA, but most will be able to still use IDE if needed.

6 months ago you could get good a number of good burners for $20 shipped but something happened in the market and now they are closer to $35-40.

At those prices getting an external USB burner for $50+ might not be a bad idea.
Old 01-05-10, 05:19 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I've ordered, and the new dvd drive is officially on its way. It'll get here in two days. Thanks for the help.
Old 01-06-10, 11:37 AM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I'm late to the party but I just retired a very similar Dell with 512MB of memory after seven years of use. I used it for DVD burning and streaming media to my home theater room and it never had any issues so there's still a lot you can do with these older machines. More memory would've been better but mine used some proprietary format that cost close to $200 for 1GB so I never bothered to upgrade.
Old 01-06-10, 01:30 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

Originally Posted by UAIOE View Post
I just opted for getting 1gig of ram.
How much of a difference did the jump from 256MB to 1GB make?

Originally Posted by FeistyKitty
I've ordered, and the new dvd drive is officially on its way. It'll get here in two days. Thanks for the help.
Which unit did you order?
Old 01-06-10, 02:42 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I actually left both the 1gig and the 256 in there.

The increase of 1gig helped with loading after Windows started and some things load faster. I've not heard any complaints, so they must be happy.
Old 01-06-10, 04:58 PM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I bought the Sony DVD drive from this page:
newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010100055%201038406818&name=IDE&SpeTabStoreType=1
You can look at the others, too. I just simply went with the Sony. They're not DVD burners, I don't think, but I didn't need one for my purposes.

Oh, and I also had 1GB of RAM added to my computer and kept the 256mb that came with it on the other slot. It improved the performance SO MUCH. I HIGHLY recommend it or I wouldn't be using the caps lock button this much, I swear. Anyway, remember, it has to be an IDE drive, but everything else is up to you.

(if you need a RAM site to buy your stuff, crucial.com is the place, by the way)
Old 01-09-10, 12:27 AM
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Re: Advice on (older) Dell computer upgrade

I upgraded a Dell 2350 (Celeron 2Ghz) just to see how far I could push it: 2gb GSKILL PC3200 RAM, 300gb SATA HD, Pioneer Blu-ray drive, 8400GS video, Windows 7.

It'll play Blu-rays, but at 70-90% CPU usage.

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