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Old 11-30-2007, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default reusing parts when upgrading

upgrading my computer and I have some noob questions here that i didn't see specifically answered anywhere else. I am basically wanting to install a new motherboard, processor, and memory; while reusing everything else. This means reusing drives, power supply, and case.

1. can I reuse all the drives? (dvd/cd burners and hard drive)

my instinct is yes, of course. but i was walking through compUSA and overheard a sales associate tell someone they didn't recommend reusing a hard drive. just wondering what the scoop on this is.

2. does every RAM memory slot have to be used? Mobos I'm looking at typically have 4 slots available. Can I fill only two of them? Or does there have to be a stick in each slot?

again the obvious answer is yet. but I just want to make sure before I start buying stuff.

is there anything else I should be aware of when reusing stuff? Mobo form factor, cpu voltage (not sure this is even important), and these things seem to be the same; so I was thinking I'm OK there.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: reusing parts when upgrading

Yes, you can reuse all your drives in the new computer. The only reason I can think of why that "sales associate" said that was to make another sale.

You can use as many memory slots as needed. Be it just one, or all four.

You just need to make sure your motherboard, CPU, and memory are all compatible with each other. For example. If you get a socket AM2 motherboard that uses DDR2 memory, you will need a socket AM2 CPU and 240 pin DDR2 memory.

Oh yea, the video card needs to be compatible with the motherboard too. Most, if not all, new motherboards have PCIe video card slots.


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Old 12-01-2007, 12:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: reusing parts when upgrading

right. thanks.

I think i've got everything, from socket to ram slots to PCIe, lined up right.

One thing throwing me for a loop was cpu stepping to mobo compatibility. I had never heard of this mattering, but on AMD's site they suggest certain mobos to be used with certain steppings. It is very limited, and I'm having trouble finding the specific motherboards that they list as compatible.

I've never read anything else on this. I'm guessing it has something to do with processor stepping 'errata', and particular mobos being good work arounds. But is it really that important? Nobody seems to think it is, judging from the number of articles or threads on the matter.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: reusing parts when upgrading

I've never head of stepping mattering. At the very least, it doesn't with Intel.

Sticking up for the sales associate a bit, I would recommend against re-using a hard drive simply because that's what I see fail most often. In the end though, it really comes down to what you can afford, and personal preference.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: reusing parts when upgrading

I don't see any worry about steppings with today's crop of CPUs and motherboards. it was different back in the socket A days, where as different steppings ran at differing speeds, some of which were too fast for some of the older motherboards. Most times, a good ol' BIOS flash would do the trick.


I've always reused hard drives. I have drives that are a few years old and have in a few different systems. Why retire a perfectly good working drive?
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: reusing parts when upgrading

one more quick question:

I can plug the drives (cd burner/dvd burner/and a hard drive) into either IDE or SATA? So I don't need to be concerned if there is only 1 IDE port on my new mobo?
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: reusing parts when upgrading

Well, no. IDE (PATA) drives can only be used on IDE ports. The only way to use an IDE drive on a SATA controller is to use an IDE to SATA converter.
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