I'm trying to build a new computer for DIII but salvage parts from old


May 10, 2012
Hey, I'm a 22 year old law student in NYC, and let me just say upfront: I'm woefully ignorant about computers. I've spent the last two days reading as much as I could, though, so I've at least an idea of what I'm dealing with (I guess I know enough to know that I don't know).

That said, here's my situation: I'm trying to build/upgrade a computer that can handle Diablo III. I don't care about its future viability; I just need it to handle DIII on medium graphics with no FPS lag for as cheap as possible. My budget is ~$500. Here's what I already have (I hope you can tell me if it's worth keeping or replacing - and if it's worth replacing, what to replace it with):

Hard Drive: "WDC WD1600AAJS-75M0A0" (150 GB).

Memory: 2.99 GHz, 3.00 GB. I'm not sure how to check what type beyond that.

Power Supply: Raidmax Quantum RX-700 700W.

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+.

CPU/Motherboard: My current ones are way too old to salvage.

Operating System: My school provides students with Windows 7.

I also have a 19" ACER LCD monitor, keyboard/mouse/speakers/case already (though I'm not sure if the case is big enough for the new parts, or how to check - it's a Dell Dimension 4700 case). From what I was able to gather on my own, I'd say the video card, PSU, and hard drive are worth keeping, and I should buy memory, a CPU, and a motherboard - am I on track?

I'd really, truly appreciate any help anyone can offer me. Thanks for the time.
Hi, what is the native resolution for that monitor?

memory type you can check with hwinfo or speccy (you want to find your memory type as you want your new CPU + mobo to support it, if you plan to reuse the RAM)

That being said, RAM is really cheap today, so $30-40 for 4Gb won't break the bank.

Another issue I see with your plan is the following, Dell and other companies in the market, I believe USED TO, make proprietary PSU and Cases so only their parts would fit inside and work with each other. I'm not sure how to check whether that is the case with your particular parts, see if you could investigate that on your own.

Also, check whether your HDD is IDE or SATA.

If you're able to take a trip out to yonkers microcenter store you can get a nice deal on i3/i5 cpu with mobo. $150 tops.

You can probably also reuse the optical drive from your old PC.
If you don't need another HDD (if 150Gb is enough for you) then that should be all you need.

If you need a bigger HDD you can get a decent 500Gb one for about $60-70.
DDR3 ram 1333 2x2gb or 2x4gb you can find sticks for $30-40 easily.

So, check if the case and PSU will work with new mobo, and then you should be all set I think. For $500 you can build a brand new system, if you can reuse a good amount of parts from your current PC then you'll easily be able to get good components to run D3 on high.


May 10, 2012
My screen's resolution is 1440 x 900.

I don't know how to find out what kind of RAM I have, but screw it - I googled it and they're pretty cheap. I'll just buy an 8 Gig for $40, and I can buy this case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146075 .

I don't know how to check my HDD type; I know the brand/model but couldn't find the answer by googling it. 150 gigs is more than enough if all it affects is storage capacity (and not speed); I've got ~100 free gigs and I've had this computer for years. Is that how it works?

What kind of CPU, RAM, and motherboard should I buy, specifically? I'm guess I'm looking for something compatible with my video card, PSU, and HDD. I have to buy online, by the way - I can't make it to stores.
why can you not take a trip to yonkers microcenter? ok, how about westbury on long island then?

I mean going to a store and buying your parts right there gets you the items you're looking for fastest way possible instead of waiting for the shipping and snailmail to come in... not to mention that microcenter has nice prices that sometimes beat newegg.

the type of HDD the easiest way to check is pull it out of the pc and look at it's connections IDE and SATA are very easy to tell apart, however you need to find out for sure, because if it's an IDE drive, you need to get a motherboard that will have IDE connections

In terms of CPU+mobo
I'd say get i3-2120 (dual-core) or i5-2400 (quad-core)
motherboard, either full atx or micro atx, 1155 socket, I think an H61 will work fine, but you could go with something more expensive like H77.