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I want to upgrade my computer hardware to advanced hardware parts like Mother board, RAM, Processor, hard disk, CDROM and etc..

For example I have the following in my mind:

  1. I have Pentium III processor. I want to replace the processor with the latest P 4 or something else.
  2. I have CD ROM drive. I am going fro DVD Writer. Is it dependent on the Processor ?
  3. My machines RAM is 256 MB. I want to replace with 2GB RAM...

Can anyone suggest me ?

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Ah ... don't stick your fingers in a running fan? More seriously I really have no idea what sort of an answer you are looking for. I think it would help if you would narrow down your question by adding some specifics to it. In general I would say do what works best for you. –  irrational John Jul 2 '10 at 4:34
1  
Latest P4? You have invented time travel but can't figure out a motherboard & CPU swap? Question needs to be more narrowly focussed, there can't possibly be a correct answer for this 'question' so it should be community wiki at the very least. –  Lunatik Jul 2 '10 at 6:13

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted
  1. I have Pentium III processor. I want to replace the processor with the latest P 4 or something else.
  2. I have CD ROM drive. I am going fro DVD Writer. Is it dependent on the Processor ?
  3. My machines RAM is 256 MB. I want to replace with 2GB RAM...

OK, this I can respond to.

What you ask ... changing from a Pentium III to a Penitum 4 and increasing the memory to 2GB ... can not be done. More precisely, you would have to change your motherboard to do this. It is not physically possible to plug a P 4 CPU into the socket of a P 3 motherboard. The CPUs have a different number of pins. (Look at the socket column in these tables).

(BTW, that is not the only reason what you asked will not work. It's just a quickest way to point out one reason why it would not work).

For similar reasons you could not increase the memory of an old Pentium III motherboard to 2GB. The physical formats and underlying hardware support just would either not allow it or would cost you more than it rationally worth.

So if you want to "upgrade" then I think what you want is to get a newer computer, or at least replace your motherboard which a newer one. This would also require to get a CPU and RAM which would work in that motherboard.

As JohnB said in his answer, you'd do much better completely skipping the Pentium 4 series and moving to something "... made within the last 5 years ...". It's not just that you will get vastly better performance. It is also that, as he pointed out, you often actually can end up paying more for the older parts simply because they are now less available. The cost/benefit rarely makes sense.

Finally, a word about moving to a DVD writer. The price of a 5.25" DVD burner these days is around $20 to $40 depending on where you get it (at least in the US). DVD burners have become a commodity item. But again, you would do better running one on a more recent motherboard. The newer chipsets and CPUs provide better data throughput which in turn makes burning a DVD more reliable (IMO).

If the newer iCore series hardware (using DDR3 RAM) is not within your reach then I would suggest looking around for a Core 2 Duo motherboard & CPU which uses DDR2 RAM. (Or possibly a Core 2 Duo which uses DDR3 RAM ... I'm not sure which would result in the better deal for you).

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As another note, also chances are that a power supply that old would either not have the extra CPU power (and graphics power if needed) connectors, would be half dead, or simply wouldn't be able to supply enough power for a modern system. –  Mokubai Jul 2 '10 at 21:55
    
@Mokubai - Agreed. And a good ... not excessive, just sufficient and reliable ;-) ... PSU is an important part of a good system. Like a DVD burner not that expensive if you look around and buy what you need rather than a humongous Watt beast the marketeers try to sell you. But I digress ... –  irrational John Jul 2 '10 at 23:54

If you want to upgrade only, you'll need to research the specs for your current machine, then hit ebay, since most of what you'll need is no longer being made.

My suggestion (if oyu can) would be to get an inexpensive ATX/microATX motherboard with onboard video & DDR2 support. Combine this with an inexspensive single core or dual core processor. With this, you should be able to use your hard drives & cdrom/dvd writer (make sure the new mobo supports PATA/IDE). You may need a new power supply, since the connectors have changed in recent years. You can buy DDR2 memory for about $25/Gb right now.

This is the budget route that should give you better performance than what you have, allow you to reuse some parts, and still be able to upgrade down the line - ie SATA drives, better processor. Of course, you don't need to get the least expensive items. You can follow the same plan with the best components on the market. But doing this will likely be better than trying to find older components that are compatible with your current PC.

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  1. You can get an AMD or Intel CPU. This will define which motherboard you can get, because it obviously has to plug in.
  2. A DVD writer is not dependent on the CPU necessarily, but if you want to stay current, look into SATA.
  3. Upgrading the RAM is related to the new motherboard you get as well.

Without going into too much detail (Joe Internet provided a good answer), when you replace the motherboard, you usually have to look at replacing everything else as well, especially if you're using old hardware. From what you're describing (i.e. the desire for "the latest" Intel CPU), you're looking at a new computer.

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Pentium 4? Here's what you do: ask around at work, or even just your friends and tell them to give you their old P4 instead of tossing it in the trash. (but remind people to recycle!) Then, when you finally decide to get a computer that was made within the last 5 years and can smoothly play videos on Youtube (i.e. a $500 laptop from Best Buy), don't forget to recycle your P4!

If you live around Chicago I'll give you a P4.

Btw, 184 pin memory (for P4's) is about twice the price of 240 pin memory.

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