I have had a PC in the house that has been slowly on the brink of dying due to its power supply reaching the end of its existence.  The PC my wife uses was originally a COMPAQ 1330NX which we bought nearly 5 years ago when it first came out.  It had a AMD Athlon XP 3200+ Processor running at 2.2GHZ.  It was a solid machine for quite a while.

It has had one cycle of a strip down and upgrade about 12 months ago when I put in a new motherboard, memory and a Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor running at 2.3GHZ.  Topping it off with 4 GB of RAM gave it new life.

Well that new life moved onto life support due to the power supply dying on it.  I knew it was time for an upgrade.

Of course upgrade means a new PC build and then a re-purposing of another PC.

Before I did anything else I used Windows Home Server to do a fresh backup of both PC’s just to have an up to date copy of everything on the system.  I recommend you make good backups before any major hardware changes.

I stripped down the COMPAQ and removed everything useful including the IDE hard drive and DVD/CD ROM, memory, mother board, video card, processor and heat sink/fan and a front panel memory card reader.  As you can see in the picture above the case is completely bare.

I moved my current machine to my wife’s desk having removed the memory and SATA hard drives and installing her memory and IDE hard drive. I kept my old ATI Radeon HD 4550 video card, an upgrade from her ATI Radeon HD 4350, in the system and the front panel memory card reader.

I originally thought I would have to re-install Windows 7 and all the software on the system.  However, as I booted up what is now my wife’s PC Windows 7 recognized the new motherboard, peripherals and installed all the drivers for it.  After a reboot the system was ready to go.  I did have to re-activate Windows 7 because hardware had changed which impacts your registration status.  It was less than 10 minutes to call the activation line to get it re-done.

So at this point my wife now has a system that has the following specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5400+ Processor at 2.79GHZ
  • 4GB of DDR2 800MHZ RAM
  • 60GB IDE Hard Drive
  • ATI Radeon HD 4550

A comparison of Windows Experience Index scores between the two systems shows it is a decent system update:

 Old SystemNew System




Memory (RAM)



Graphics (Desktop)



Gaming Graphics



Primary Hard Disk



Overall Score



As expected that IDE drive is the slowest element of the system. An upgrade to a SATA hard drive will happen when that drive dies and that should bump the score up nicely.  I will also add some updated memory as this is running DDR2 at 667MHZ vice the 800MHZ that was in her original system.

As a result of this upgrade I have some PC parts that I am looking to move on to someone else.  This stuff is used but in very good condition and works as they just came out of the system last night. 

Here is what I have for immediate sale:

I will sell these either individually (price above plus $5.00 for shipping) or bundled ($110.00 shipped).  All transactions processed via PayPal which protects both of us for payment and delivery of goods.  Sorry for all of my international friends but only US addresses to keep shipping costs down.

Just drop me a line if your interested.