I have been thinking of upgrading my system that I currently have. I was wondering how much trouble this would be...I would want the following
1.) A new AMD processor but if this is too much of a hassle I can stick with my current
2.) A new case
3.) A new motherboard AMD compadable if I get an AMD processor

My current system is in my signature. Its a Dell dimension 4600, and everywhere I ask there is NO upgradable case you can buy for it :( because dell makes the motherboard and it has weird dimensions or something I think. Also I would like to be able to overclock my CPU but my Dell system doesnt "allow" this. And the stock Dell case that I have has extreemly poor airflow and I have had to do this to get around it ;) http://ee.domaindlx.com/goon/cooling.jpg the fan is blowing directly into the case, which helps ALOT I have overclocked my GPU ALOT farther when I put the fan on the "high" setting hehe. And I would also like to have some sensors! I have none at all, no fan sensors no CPU sensors no GPU sensors (depends on card I guess) and no voltage sensors or anything, which I think I can get with a new motherboard. And the cpu heatsink doesn't have a fan on it which I would like to have. Basically I just want to salvage what I can from my computer like memory and all and be able to build a new computer kind of.

-thanks if you can help out.

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You need a case.

Get a decent one, with a 'brand name power supply included, or buy your power unit separately. If the one in the Dell is 300 to 350 wattsa or better, and is standard configuration which will bolt into a standard case, then re-use that. Dell includes good quality units.

Do NOT purchase a cheap as chips case and use the generic PSU from that. Codegens and the like are crappy PSUs. An Antec case and Antec Trupower PSU would be good choices. Thermaltake and Zalman make good PSUs as well. If you intend to overclock, you will need to be able to rely on the quality and stability of power delivered.

Reuse your processor. Match it up with a good motherboard, based on i865PE or i875P chipsets. ABit IS7 or ABit IC7-G respectively are good choices.

Grab a heatsink/fan unit like the Zalman CNPS7000-Cu

That's about it, really :D

Wow thanks alot

I can't tell from looking at the psu how many watts it is (thats dell for ya) and its probably not standard configuration (thats dell for ya) but if I can I will salvage the psu. I've decided to not upgrade processors because now that I have a new mobo I can just overclock :) I recently purchased this---> http://www.buyextras.com/thsp7forpe4u.html from compusa but of course it didnt fit on this STUPID DELL CPU HEATSINK BRACKET that they made to fit only DELL heatsinks >:O so I had to return that. But if I upgrade to a new mobo I would either choose that thermaltake or this one if I buy another fan for the other side>>> http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=121037&CatId=493 As for the motherboard, If im keeping my cpu and ram don't I have to get a 500 MHz fsb board? And do most boards these days have sensors? because I REALLY like to see the temps of my cpu gpu and mobo. As for a case, I am not concerned AT ALL about noise levels, after having that huge fan for a while I would just rather go for performance :) any cases you reccomend with ALOT of intake and exhaust fans? btw my birthday is aug 31 so Im not going to cheap-out on components here. I just want a high performance long lasting machine ;)

thanks for the help!

There are only two things to worry about with the power supply unit. If it's less than 300 watts, then I'd discard it. If the mounting screws are in a different place to a standard unit then you can't use it. Take note of the 4 screw holes on this one:


The motherboards I mentioned are Socket 478 motherboards, and any suitable heatsink/fan combination would be suitable.

All modern motherboards have heat sensors built into them, and almost all come with a temperature monitoring utility. The utility would probably have overclocking facilities also, but I'd suggest they be used only for temperature monitoring. Overclocking is best performaed manually, in BIOS. Your display card uses its own temperature sensor.

The motherboards I mentioned cater to Pentium 4 processors with either a 533MHz or 800MHz frontside bus.

Ok my psu is 250w =\ but its a stock dell psu so its reliablebut I'm still getting a new one like you said. Would a 400 Watt do? I just removed my motherboard and removed the CPU heatsink bracket and installed a STANDARD p4 bracket and installed a COPPERSTREAM 2 P4 FAN it seems to be working excellently. One problem is with me , oc'ing my gpu adding a northbridge fan adding this cpu fan and adding an arctic vga silencer, is my psu under alot of stress? It doesnt feel warm to me but I dont know.
thanks, also could I get a 800MHz fsb motherboard?

Power supply:

Just replacing the 250W unit with a 400W unit in itself may not be the ultimate move. not if you just pop into a local store to get the new PSU anyway! You certainly have enough in your system to be testing out a 250W unit, but it's quality that counts. A good 250W unit, such as the one in your Dell, may in fact be more stable than a cheap as chips generic 400W unit, by delivering more stable voltage levels. Cheap power supplies are all over the place with the voltages, I'm afraid.

I've mentioned some brand names earlier, but as a general rule it IS price that counts. Here in Australia, where el-cheapo PSUs at the corner shop cost around $AU40 to $50, I wouldn't consider paying less than $AU100 for a unit. There simply isn't a quality model on the market for under that price, and the better ones come in at $AU120+.


You still seem confused. Motherboards aren't limited to one front side bus speed only, they have settings in BIOS to adjust the fsb setting to suit the processor installed (or to overclock it of course :)) The two Abit motherboards I recommended above cater to both 533MHz and 800MHz fsb processors, and both should allow you to increase it even beyond 800MHz for overclocking purposes, should you choose to 'hot-rod' the thing.

Thanks for the psu advice, I read somewhere were soemone bought a cheap psu and it started to catch on fire so he got a new one and it burnt out so he wasted 200 bucks on cheap psus

thanks for the mobo advice I understand now ;) thanks for the advice and I think that will solve my problems now.

You mentioned overclocking earlier, and that makes the motherboard you mentioned just now totally unsuitable.

The i875P chipset is fine, but Intel manufactured motherboards do not provide the necessary BIOS features for overclocking. A third party motherboard using the chipset is a far better choice, and the ABit boards I specifically mentioned are widely accepted by enthusiasts as amongst the best options available.

That Intel motherboard would be OK if you only ever intend to run your processor at stock settings ;)

The Thermaltake case is a quite good quality one, as is the power supply unit included in it.

The RAM should be fine, and its 400MHz capability should allow you to have your processor running 'in sync' all the way up to 800MHz front side bus if it's good enough to get that far.

ok thanks I was wanting to buy the motherboard from a local store, it is here -> http://www.computerzoo.com can you tell me the best motherboard that would work
thanks man I appreciate it.

I already mentioned two motherboards as my recommended options.

But I wanted to buy from my local store and the selection is somewhat limited but thanks

Let us know what motherboards they stock and we can suggest which are the best alternatives.

I'd suggest that purchasing from a local store isn't always the best alternative, especially if that store deals only in a limited range.

Just a minor update to this, and hopefully someone can confirm the point. I've been informed that the power supply units included in Dell PCs use a non-standard ATX connector, and if that's the case then a new unit would be required.

Ok I was planning on getting a new psu thanks

heres the final system components I'm getting:

Motherboard - http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=240311

Case (not sure yet but something with a good psu) http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-133-108&depa=0

Memory - http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...-145-479&depa=1

Im ordering them in a few days and I will show some pictures after I install

-thanks for your help

FINNALY!!! ok I ordered my parts from newegg and they came a day ahead of schedule so that was good. I got my motherboard and hooked it all up insdie of my new case and everything on tuesday, and I go to turn it on and there is no video feed...so i call tech support and they were busy and said they would call back but I kept calling them and finaly after 2 days of waiting I got an Email telling me how to trouble shoot it. So before i start the troubleshooting guide I decided to remove my ram and re seat it to see if that would work, and when I did that the motherboards voice poster said "BOOT FAIL DUE TO CPU OVERCLOCK". but i havent even setup my motherboard! so I called tech support again and he told me to try a new cpu and boot it up and flash the bios to a new version. I was like ehhhuhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooo -.- , so I went upstairs to my other computer and pulled out a 2.4 ghz p4 and popped it in there and WHOA it worked! so I booted up and I DIDNT HAVE TO RE INSTALL WINDOWS OR WHIPE MY HD CLEAN!!! so I opend the asus utility and hit the "Udate BIOS" button and it flashed it automatically. then I put my 2.8 ghz p4 back in and it worked!!! so now I have it all set up and my CPU is overclocked to 3.63GHZ(100ºF) the case has 7 fans on it so it works great!, So once again thanks for the help in buying the parts and info. here are some pictures

Nice choice in parts, and nice job. :)

I had similar issues upgrading the Dell Dimension 8400 origina insanely noisy cooling system to the massive Zalman CNPS7700-Cu!

You can find out more info about this operation here:


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