Basic Question About Upgrading Hardware

Dell Dimension 4300s desktop
June 28, 2009 at 21:59:19
Specs: Windows XP
Hello. I'm talking with my father about upgrading the motherboard, processor, and RAM in his Dell Dimension 4300.

My main question is this:

How do I go about finding out if the Dell's current video card, sound card, etc. will be compatible with the new motherboard and processor before I buy them?

I do already know that I will have to find a motherboard that supports 4x AGP.

Also, if you have any information you think I should know about doing such a major upgrade on a Dell (motherboard form factor, etc.), please let me know.

Thank you,

Dell Dimension 4300 Specs:

Pentium 4 Processor 1.5GHz
384MB SDRAM at 133MHz
16MB ATI Rage Ultra 4x AGP
SB Live! 1024 Digital Sound Card
More info here.

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June 29, 2009 at 01:30:52
Buy a new computer. Everything you have is obsolete.

If you were to attempt an upgrade you would run into the following issues.

Most importantly when changing the motherboard WinXP would most likely no longer work because your Dell computer, like all OEM computers, has a limited WinXP license that is keyed to the motherboard.

Disregarding that, all the hardware components are at least 3 to 4 generations behind. AGP graphics when the way of the dinosaurs as did PC133 memory.

The power supply is no doubt to weak and the wrong connectors for a more modern and powerful system. What you have left is a case and second rate processor. Those aren't worth much of anything.

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June 29, 2009 at 05:11:41
It's not worth it. Nothing in that old rig will be compatible with modern hardware except for the drives. You'd have to replace the CPU, board, RAM, video card & power supply.

Either buy an entirely new system or build from the ground up. Keep the old system as a backup or sell it for $50 (if you can get that much for it).

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