Should I upgrade or replace my PC?

I would appreciate some opinions to help me make a decision.

My computer is over five years old. I feel that it’s still a good computer, but just needs some contemporary software and hardware. However, when I weigh the cost of upgrading vs. replacing :confused: … well, see and judge for yourself:

Desired upgrades:
[li]Windows XP Home $99.00[/li][li]CD-RW (internal) drive $29.99 [/li][li]256 MB RAM $49.99[/li][li]Video Card $35.00 - $XXX.00 (ouch) :eek: [/li][li]Miscellaneous Software upgrades $XXX.00[/li][/ul]

I estimate it would cost at minimum of $180-200.00 for the things I have done some pricing of. The video card and Win XP is where it starts hurting. I could probably get a whole new system for around $300+. Is it worth it to upgrade?

Here are a few specs of what my current system has:
[li]Pentium III @550mhz[/li][li]Windows 98 SE[/li][li]384 MB RAM[/li][li]9.51 GB HD[/li][li]Intel 810e Chipset Video (onboard)[/li][/ul]

Buy new, the upgrade still leaves you with a slow PC. A $300 PC will be significantly quicker.

I think last time I suggested looking for deals from Tigerdirect and


Get a new one. The general rule of thumb I’ve heard is that if a repair or upgrade will cost anywhere near half of what a new one would cost, you are probably better off replacing it. Especially when it’s as old as your computer is. However, you should be aware that most systems you will find for about $300 are not gonna have a great video card.

Yeah, I get the TigerDirect catalog and browse their site often. They have tons of cool stuff and their prices seem reasonable.

If what I use my computer for should play a part in the decision making process, here’s the list:

My Primary Uses of a PC:
[li]Web surfing[/li][li]Chat and Instant Messaging[/li][li]Online Games (I only play low-end types, e.g. Yahoo! Literati, Yahoo! Pool, etc)[/li][li]Word Processing[/li][/ul]

I do not use any 3-D PC games, e.g. Doom, Myst, etc.
I do not download music.
The only “movies” I would be downloading would be trailers or shorts.
If I think of anything else, I’ll let y’all know.

For what you do, a basic $300-$400 machine will easily suffice. Checking HP, you can get a fairly decent Sempron 3000+ machine configured with 512MB RAM, CDBurner/DVD-ROM, 80 GB HD, Radeon xPress video chip, for $340.

Go with the new computer. You won’t have a bunch of older components that are wearing out, and you get new software. People that have old software and no need for a high end computer do better to get a new one.

I appreciate the feedback, so far. Thank you.

I guess if I am going to put anything into my current pc, I’ll just invest in a CD-RW drive only. I can eventually transplant that into a new pc. I can save and backup all my data more efficiently. (I currently only have a 3.5" / 1.44mb floppy drive for file storage! :eek: Talk about archaic!)

This leaves the questions:

What should I do with my current (old) pc when I do get a new one?
What parts, if any, should I salvage?

My 52x CD ROM and 56K V.92 modem are newer additons* to my current machine, so I would save those. (*They are only around one year old.)

Don’t save anything out of virtue, only save something if it benefits you. It doesn’t matter how old it is or how much you paid. Most people don’t need modems anymore so ditch it unless you are one of the few that do. The CD Rom drive is only worth a few dollars and you probably can’t sell it at all. Move up, and forget the scrap.

“Most people don’t need modems anymore?” :confused: … What are they using instead? I assume you’re implying that ethernet cards and broadband connections are the “norm” now?

I know I won’t be able to afford any form of broadband connection, anytime soon. Right now, I use a dial-up ISP at $4.95 @ month. That’s about all I can handle. :o

Hey at least you were smart enough to get a $4.95 ISP. You wouldn’t believe how many idiots have AOL at $26.95 per month and a second Line at $15 + when then can get broadband for $19.95 to $41.95.

Curiosity what ISP are you using, that is a great price.


My ISP is Juno.
I do not need a second line, because my ISP supports V.92, and V.92 supports my call-waiting modem with caller ID. If I get a phone call while I am online, I’ll get a caller ID pop-up and I can put the internet on hold without losing my connection!

Here’s the really interesting part: I have researched a whole bunch of ISP’s, (the big names as well as the little guys) and Juno was the ONLY one that offers V.92 access numbers, in my vicinity.

I say that’s a pretty damn good deal for around five bucks a month! I’d say I’m sticking it to the AOHELL man pretty good. :smiley:

That is cool all the way around. Good luck on the new PC.

Hopefully we get wean everyone off AOHELL someday. I’ve only got one friend left on it and he really is stupid, no nice way to say it. :wink:

I don’t get it… Why do you want to make AOHell go out of business? You are not required to use them. I see this some times and I wonder at the hatred.

Why is AOHell the only ISP to be hated so? This thread is th efirst thing I have heard good about juno in 5 years… but I don’t go around insluting people who use it… Why do you think you should do it? I just don’t get the ‘tude’ …

I’ll be the disagreeing voice here.

I was in a similar position, and I chose the upgrade path.

Here is what I have:

5 Year old Dell Dimension XPS with a Pentium III @ 500 MHz
Windows 98 SE
512 MD RAM
20 GB HD
Nvidia Riva NTN2 Model 64 graphics card

If you’re not planning on any games that are demanding a video card, then I think that upgrading the OS and adding a hard drive is good enough for what you want to do. I upgraded to Windows XP home and added a 80 GB hard drive. As much as I don’t like Best Buy, they often have screaming deals on drives. My 80 GB drive cost $30 after rebates (and I recently bought a 120 GB drive for $40 after rebates there).

I think that you will be happy with that, rather than buying a low end machine for $400 or so. Save your money and upgrade your current machine. When (and if) you are ready, you can build a decent machine that can be easily upgraded if needed.

I still use my Dell every day, but I did build a second PC. The new machine has a AMD 64 3000+ CPU, ABIT 939 pin motherboard, 1 gig (2x512) of RAM, 200 GB hard drive, 1 DVD drive (reads and writes), a ATI X300 graphics card, and a copy of OEM Windows XP Home, all in an Antec case with a 350W power supply. All told it was $713. The advantage of this over a $400 bargain PC is that I have 3 PCI slots, a PCI Express X16 slot, and 2 PCI X1 slots, plus I have the Windows XP disc, rather than a system restore CD. Plus I still have 2 DIMM slots for more memory.

The new machine is nice for things like Google Earth and downloading music (plus it rips CD’s much faster), but If I didn’t use those things the upgraded Dell works just fine (I’m using it to type this). If you don’t need a more powerful machine (and it sounds like you don’t), then spending $150 for a new HD and Windows XP is a good deal. As for memory, I find that 512 is plenty, and I could probably deal with 384 MB.
Upgrade your existing machine, and tweak it as needed. You’ll be happy with it.

Also, I’m not sure why you want a video card. Your machine is probably sharing memory between the CPU and the onboard graphics. If so, then either a video card with it’s own memory (64 MB?) or adding the 256 MB memory will achive the same result. Doing both would be the best, but it may not be needed.

I am sorry. Please Survey every IT person on the board and ask about AOL.
If you work in IT or act as the Family & Friends Guru, you will understand that AOL is overpriced and substandard. But in fairness, MSN is in the same category.

I did not say JUNO was a great service, I said getting it for $4.95 per month is great. All any Dial up is worth is less than $10.00 per month. AOL is actually a major rip-off. Please enjoy if you like it, but tell me what you pay per month for it and if you maintain a second phone line for it.
I would really recommend almost any other service.

I believe I have what you need to upgrade your system. I’ve got tons of misc parts lying around. I think I have a CD burner, some memory (64, 128, 512), a 32M video card, and some 10 or 13 gig hard-drives lying around too.
I’m at work right now, but I can verify the parts list when I get home. If you’re interested, E-mail me.

I can sum up my hatred for AOL in three words: “overpriced resource hog”

I don’t have a cite for the following, but having used both ISP’s, I can honestly say that Juno feels like it uses about one-fifth of the resources that AOHELL would eat up. That’s a big plus in my book. (Looking at my system information, it says that Juno uses 25.9MB of RAM out of 384MB. That’s only 6.74%) Also, Juno doesn’t give me a bunch of crap added-in that I don’t want / don’t need, like AOHELL would.

AOHELL caused the September that never ended. That is reason enough to hate them. :mad: :mad:

Anyways, if you do want to upgrade your machine, go to your local computer shop, and see if they have a used parts table. I know the one around where I live, you can pick up some older $10-$15 Voodo 3 and Nvidia TNT cards and the like.