How to upgrade old desktop

13
Posted 26th Apr
I have an old mini tower PC running 32bit Linux.
Would I be able to replace the motherboard with a 64bit one easily? If I simply sourced a same form factor mobo, would that do? What about power supply?

How much of the old system could be re-used?
( It has twin DVD drives and an nvidea graphics card and i seem to recall a decent soundcard)

I realise that I would need to install a 64bit OS. Would the existing 500GB hard drive still be ok?
Community Updates
Ask

Groups

13 Comments
too little detail, but at a guess if someone put a 32bit OS on it there will be next to nothing re-usable.
It is down to the processor as to whether it can run 32 or b4 bit OS.
What is the processor, and why do you need a 64 bit OS?
Bobbajob26/04/2020 14:15

It is down to the processor as to whether it can run 32 or b4 bit OS.What …It is down to the processor as to whether it can run 32 or b4 bit OS.What is the processor, and why do you need a 64 bit OS?



Its a 32bit mobo currently and increasingly there are less and less 32bit OS which are actively supported. I am a linux fan.
I fully expect to replace the processor also along with mobo.

I am more interested in how easy this would be.
tardytortoise26/04/2020 14:26

Its a 32bit mobo currently and increasingly there are less and less 32bit …Its a 32bit mobo currently and increasingly there are less and less 32bit OS which are actively supported. I am a linux fan.I fully expect to replace the processor also along with mobo. I am more interested in how easy this would be.


I would assume your PC is very old then. As 64 bit CPUs (and the motherboards to support them) have been around for a long time. As far as I am aware the last CPU that was 32 bit only dates from 2002. Are you sure your current system does not support 64 bit? What is the processor?
Edited by: "Bobbajob" 26th Apr
If the CPU is not capable of 64 bit, it and the rest of the system must be pretty old - 64 bit came in with the Intel Pentium 4 LGA775 (and a few rare models in 478).

Your graphics card may be AGP, or even PCI, but is unlikely to be PCI-E.

The first stumbling block, is the form factor standard, or is it a proprietary OEM special.

If the GPU is AGP, then to keep that, you need a motherboard with AGP - LGA775 Intel socket for Pentium 4, some may also support Core 2 (non-Intel chipset - the Intel chipsets that support Core 2 won't have AGP). The other option being AMD Athlon 64 on S754 or S939.
The drives are probably IDE, those older motherboards will have at least one IDE (2 drives).

If the GPU is PCI, then the options are more open, any motherboard which retains legacy PCI support, and can use an extra card to provide IDE.

If it's old enough to be AT rather than ATX (with a clunk-click power switch), that rules out the case and PSU
What's sad is that PCs with pcie and x64 processors are scrapped everyday and OP is left struggling to work out if upgrades are worthwhile on something this old.

Sadly, the answer is no. IMHO it's all good using a different OS but attempting an upgrade on a system this old is futile.
matth999926/04/2020 15:03

If the CPU is not capable of 64 bit, it and the rest of the system must be …If the CPU is not capable of 64 bit, it and the rest of the system must be pretty old - 64 bit came in with the Intel Pentium 4 LGA775 (and a few rare models in 478).Your graphics card may be AGP, or even PCI, but is unlikely to be PCI-E.The first stumbling block, is the form factor standard, or is it a proprietary OEM special.If the GPU is AGP, then to keep that, you need a motherboard with AGP - LGA775 Intel socket for Pentium 4, some may also support Core 2 (non-Intel chipset - the Intel chipsets that support Core 2 won't have AGP). The other option being AMD Athlon 64 on S754 or S939.The drives are probably IDE, those older motherboards will have at least one IDE (2 drives).If the GPU is PCI, then the options are more open, any motherboard which retains legacy PCI support, and can use an extra card to provide IDE.If it's old enough to be AT rather than ATX (with a clunk-click power switch), that rules out the case and PSU



It is an ASUS P5N-MX mobo (micro ATX?) with an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU O@ 3.16GHz
I know it has an Nvidea G96 (GEOFORCE 900 GT) graphics card I assume in addition to the onboard graphics. I think it is PCI. The sound appears to be onboard sound also.
It works really fine for my needs, it has served me very well (from MESH computers around 15 years ago) I'm just doing some forward planning.
It'd be pretty unusual for a motherboard that new to not support 64-bit. The CPU certainly does. Are you sure that's the case?

You'd need new memory but the PSU should be fine, as will the hard drive and DVDs providing they're SATA. The motherboard is a Micro ATX form factor which is still popular today so the case could be kept. Mini ITX motherboards would also fit.

You wouldn't bother with the graphics card, modern integrated graphics is far more capable. It's worth checking if it's worth something, a 9400GT would have been one of the last PCI cards made.
tardytortoise26/04/2020 16:08

It is an ASUS P5N-MX mobo (micro ATX?) with an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU …It is an ASUS P5N-MX mobo (micro ATX?) with an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU O@ 3.16GHzI know it has an Nvidea G96 (GEOFORCE 900 GT) graphics card I assume in addition to the onboard graphics. I think it is PCI. The sound appears to be onboard sound also.It works really fine for my needs, it has served me very well (from MESH computers around 15 years ago) I'm just doing some forward planning.


Quote from 2007 ASUS P5N-MX manual: "supports Windows 32-bit XP / 32-bit Vista / 64-bit XP / 64-bit Vista Operating System (OS)."
No idea what flavours of Linux is does or does not support.
AndyRoyd26/04/2020 17:09

Quote from 2007 ASUS P5N-MX manual: "supports Windows 32-bit XP / 32-bit …Quote from 2007 ASUS P5N-MX manual: "supports Windows 32-bit XP / 32-bit Vista / 64-bit XP / 64-bit Vista Operating System (OS)."No idea what flavours of Linux is does or does not support.



Thank you. I have always assumed it would only run 32bit OS cos thats what it was running. In fact I only recently ditched the Vista 32bit. Having just spent some effort getting all my important files onto this now 32bit linux machine I wonder if it is possible to install Windows 10 64 bit alongside? What would that entail?
EndlessWaves26/04/2020 16:26

It'd be pretty unusual for a motherboard that new to not support 64-bit. …It'd be pretty unusual for a motherboard that new to not support 64-bit. The CPU certainly does. Are you sure that's the case?You'd need new memory but the PSU should be fine, as will the hard drive and DVDs providing they're SATA. The motherboard is a Micro ATX form factor which is still popular today so the case could be kept. Mini ITX motherboards would also fit. You wouldn't bother with the graphics card, modern integrated graphics is far more capable. It's worth checking if it's worth something, a 9400GT would have been one of the last PCI cards made.



No, I'm not sure whether the board supports 64bit - I have just assumed all these years that cos I was running previous 32bit Windows OS then that is all it was capable of. Maybe there is even greater life in the old dog yet!
tardytortoise26/04/2020 17:31

Thank you. I have always assumed it would only run 32bit OS cos thats …Thank you. I have always assumed it would only run 32bit OS cos thats what it was running. In fact I only recently ditched the Vista 32bit. Having just spent some effort getting all my important files onto this now 32bit linux machine I wonder if it is possible to install Windows 10 64 bit alongside? What would that entail?


Should be fine to accommodate dual boot. Simple summary steps:
Partition the drive (split drive capacity allocation).
install W10 to the new/empty partition.
If either OS doesn't subsequently detect the other OS, boot to w10 and use something like NeoSmart Easy BCD to configure boot selection options neosmart.net/wik…10/
The Core 2 family are definitely 64 bit capable.
How much RAM does it have, looks like that board is limited to 4GB max and can be a bit fussy about RAM - the QVL lists some that fail, or only work in single, or only work in dual - less than 4GB, maybe try 2x 2GB DDR2 sticks from CEX, the postage is as much as the memory - for the 1333FSB running dual 667MHz makes sense, with no 667 in stock, have to be 800MHz and set them to 667 in BIOS
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text

    Discussions