2 Dell Desktops - General Use - Upgrade or Replace?


Nov 17, 2007
We've got 2 old Dell Desktops that are really showing signs of their age -- long boot-up, delay/lag between windows, etc. Looking for advise on whether these can be upgraded on the cheap (<$500 each) or whether we need to start planning full system replacement. Usage profile on both is internet browsing, some MS Office usage, essentially no gaming. Any & all advice will be greatly appreciated!

The details:

System 1
Dell Dimension 4550 (12/02)
P4 2.66GHz
1 GB RAM (533 MHz FSB) - max for system
NVidia GeForce 6600 GT video card

System 2
Dell Dimension 2400 (12/03)
P4 2.53 GHz
1GB RAM (533 MHz FSB) - can add another 1GB to max out
No other additions/mods


Jan 31, 2006
Probably could speed these up a bit with another GB of RAM and new hdd if you're using the originals. You could build a nice AMD X2 for about $500 - $600, which would make more sense. If you decide to build, I'd take the RAM out of the 2400 and put it in the 4550 and use it for a back up.
Other thing to try if you can afford to have the machines down, is re-install windows. It may not be much, but it will speed things up a bit especially on such old machines. You may be able to upgrade to higher clocked P4's but the speed increase from those probably wouldn't be worth the money you would spend.


Or he could for now, take the memory and video from the first dell, use it to upgrade the 2nd dell, and then do windows reinstall. That would tide that system over for a little while, then go with an AMD x2 chip and board with ddr 2 memory to upgrade that first system. For the first system for example, you could get an AMD x2 4000+ and pc chips board from newegg for about 100 bucks before shipping, the pc chips board I'm thinking of has 2 IDE channels, so 4 devices, which means if you want to go cheap, then 100 there, 50 bucks gets you 2 gigs of ddr2 pc6400, and case for say 35 if you find a cheapy with free shipping, mainly just then get a cheap pci express vid card and PSU, but you would be able to reuse the old hard drive and optical drive, saving a little money there. Then for the other system, as I said, use the old components to upgrade that and have it go another year or so, that way you don't have as much $$ coming out at 1 time and still get 2 capable systems.

You could upgrade them, but you could also check out the Dell Outlet and get 2 updated C2D machines for less than $500 apiece. Just so people don't feel left out, you could also get an AMD based I 531.

Inspiron 530
Windows XP or Vista
C2D 2.2ghz
2g ram
320g harddrive
Onboard video

There are also lower priced machines available that would outperform what you have now.