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inherited new PC, help me spend $300


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Political User
I inherited this 2000 Dell XPSt750r from work.
I would like to make this my project PC. with a budget of $300. I would like input from you on how to spend this money to beef it up. here are the specs:
Model : Intel(R) Pentium(R) III
Speed : 748MHz
Performance Rating : PR898 (estimated)
Type : Standard
L2 On-board Cache : 256kB ECC Synchronous ATC (8-way, 32 byte line size)

Bus(es) : ISA X-Bus AGP PCI USB i2c/SMBus
MP Support : No
System BIOS : Intel Corp. A11
Mainboard : Intel Corporation SE440BX-3
Total Memory : 256MB SDRAM

Chipset 1
Model : Intel Corporation 82443BX/ZX 440BX/ZX CPU to PCI Bridge (AGP Implemented)
Front Side Bus Speed : 1x 100MHz (100MHz data rate)
Total Memory : 256MB SDRAM
Memory Bus Speed : 1x 100MHz (100MHz data rate)
Adapter : NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64/Model 64 Pro

Physical Storage Devices
Removable Drive : Floppy disk drive
Hard Disk : QUANTUM FIREBALLP LM20.4 (19.0GB)

Serial/Parallel Port(s) : 1 COM / 1 LPT
USB Controller/Hub : Intel(r) 82371AB/EB PCI to USB Universal Host Controller
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
Keyboard : Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse : PS/2 Compatible Mouse
Human Interface : HID-compliant game controller
Human Interface : USB Human Interface Device

MultiMedia Device(s)
Device : Aureal Vortex Game Port
Device : Aureal Vortex 8830 Audio (WDM)
Adapter : Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC
My suggestions:

1) Bump up that RAM - 512MB at least.
2) Larger hard disk - 19GB seems to be too small, but it all depends.

Also, what exactly do you mean by "project PC?" What's it going to be used for?

EDIT: Maybe if you have some cash leftover, a faster CD-RW drive? But again, this depends on how much you're going to make use of it.
Best advice for that system with $300 to spend is to take out all the parts and throw them away (except the drives and maybe the video).

AMD MB W/XP2500 CPU - $100
HSF - $20
Stick of DDR 512 RAM - $60
350W Antec PS - $50
Video (use the TNT2 or go MX440) -$50
2 case fans - $15

You can't up the proc speed by much and the P3 is a dog of a proc. No USB. Old firmware. Probably has an undersized power supply for upgrades. RAM is probably SDRAM (too slow) or worse yet RAMBUS (too pricey).
for that system i would say go a hdd and video card upgrade, also memory but that might be hard because i dont know if u can mix ECC and non ECC memory togther. ig you can then u are in luck, now are you sure it is SDRAM or RAMBUS. we have had a few of thoes systems in work and they were all ram bus. but yea

Video card, MX4000 Nvidia 128mb, or ATI something?
Memory (but memory is expencive at the moment)
HDD 40gb or more


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Political User
Keshik said:
could you clarify what your goals are for this machine, as in what you'll be using it for more exactly?

I would like to use this second system for multi-purpose use. My main PC is mostly for gaming and CAD.


I would sell it on an auction site, then with what you make, maybe 300$ add you other 300$ and you could get a good O.E.M. PC for about $600.

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
Well if its just for multi-purpose work (like chatting, surfing.. Im assuming) then I'd just go for more ram and a bigger hard drive (20gb is small in today's standards).

PS. My webserver is slower then that (P3 600MHz, Win 2003) and its fine.

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