Recommendation on possible motherboard upgrade for obsolete PC

Posted on 2011-02-11
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I work for a small non-profit organization, and our budget is real tight these days.  Someone recently donated three identical PCs to us.  They are fairly old.  Here are the specs:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-8SIMLH (socket 478), microATX form factor
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 (Northwood), 2.4 GHz
Chipset: SiS 651 rev. 01
RAM: 2 x 512 MB
Power supply: 300W

They all have DVD ROM drives, as well.

I'd like to upgrade the machines to something newer/faster that can comfortably run Windows 7.  What kind of motherboard / processor combo would people recommend?  I'm hoping for something under $200.  Or is it hopeless, and I should just scrap the machines?

Thanks in advance for any input.
Question by:chernavsky
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

scriven_j earned 100 total points
ID: 34872240
I would upgrade the memory to 2GB and they should run Windows 7 comfortably.

Author Comment

ID: 34872306
Scriven, OK, thanks.  If I did want to upgrade the motherboard to make the machine run faster, what would you recommend?
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

scriven_j earned 100 total points
ID: 34872756
LVL 25

Accepted Solution

kode99 earned 150 total points
ID: 34874836
These are not really worth the upgrade unless you had parts kicking around.  You can buy a more up to date used system with legitimate OS for less than your $200 budget.

Here's and example direct from the manufacturer for $135 (shipping included),

Only running XP but the system would run Win7 as is.  So you only have whatever the cost is to put a legit copy of Win7 on.

Anything beyond bumping up the memory in those old systems basically involves building nearly a whole new system less a case/power supply and maybe the hard drive.    

Ironically the reused parts are also the most likely to fail.

There are a number of fairly inexpensive boards with built on Atom or Celeron chips that can be had for under $100 plus the cost of memory.  Also Socket 775 boards and processors are fairly inexpensive and could do the job to eep hardware cost down (board $50-75, processor $50-100).  Of course I talking about new parts,  ebay would likely be much cheaper.

Here's some links to give you an idea of the kind of costs involved,

Boards with built in processors,

Socket 775 Motherboards,

Socket 775 Processors,

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34988568
Thanks for the tips.

Featured Post

Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

pc, laptop  monitor connection configurations
Microsoft will be releasing the Windows 10 Creators Update in just a matter of weeks. Are you prepared? Follow these steps to ensure everything goes smoothly and you don't lose valuable data on your PC.
The viewer will learn how to successfully download and install the SARDU utility on Windows 8, without downloading adware.
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decadeā€¦

623 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question