Thinking on Compaq Presario upgrades

I’m going to be upgrading a Compaq Presario 7360 here pretty soon. It should be fun to shatter some of the myths surrounding recent Compaqs. It’s a standard microATX PC, nothing more, nothing less. With a $20 replacement power supply (Newegg.com calls the form factor used by low-end eMachines, Compaq, HP, and Gateway PCs “mini ATX”), it’ll handle any modern microATX motherboard.
Buying a new PC is easier, and if this PC were going to anyone else, I’d probably just tell the person to buy whatever the local consumer electronics store is hawking in its post-Christmas sales, or whatever Dell has for $349-$399. But for the technically savvy (or those who have a local computer store that’s honest and savvy and don’t mind paying for the use of that privelige), upgrading in pieces still makes sense. A motherboard based on an Nvidia Nforce2 (I’m sick of goofy capitalization) costs $65. Add a $36 1.6 GHz Duron CPU, a $10 fan, and a $35 256MB stick of DDR memory to go with the $20 power supply, and that Presario becomes a formidible computer for not a lot of money.

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